New MIL Tries Pressuring Dad Into Forcing His Son To Call Stepmom 'Mom'

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Finding a partner after losing your soulmate is a rare gift. It is even rarer when you meet someone who loves your child as their own. It's definitely not something anyone so lucky to find it should take for granted -- however, it is OK to have boundaries (especially when it comes to kids).

For one 31-year-old father who lost his fiancée and 7-year-old son's mother at birth due to "complications," things are getting murky after a MIL decided to impose her opinion on the situation.

  • Losing his fiancée was impossibly hard, but the dad was intent on keeping her memory alive for his son's sake. 

    "Since he was an infant, I told him all about his mom and constantly showed him pictures of her," he wrote on Reddit. "I always told my son she went up to heaven and is now watching over him. We talk about death whenever he has questions about it so it's something we're open about. He also has a really great relationship with her side of the family so that's another way he's connected to her."

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  • When his son was 3, the dad started dating his current wife, and he waited a year before officially introducing them. 

    "They both bonded instantly and my son adores her," he happily reported. "Fast forward 3 years later, we're now happily married. This issue happened right after her parents moved closer to our city. They were previously living across the country, so the only time they met me or my son face to face was at our wedding."

  • The issue started at a Father's Day brunch when they came over to spend some time together. 

    "While we were all chatting, my son came in and asked 'Mimi (my wife's nickname) can you help me set up my PlayStation please,'" he explained. "Her mother immediately expressed how bothered she was that he still doesn't [call] her mom even though we've been married over a year. I didn't feel like it was a big deal but she refused to stop talking about it and it kinda ruined the afternoon."

  • Apparently, the nagging about the issue persisted for a few days. 

    "A few days later, my wife said her mom keeps calling her over this and now she sort of agrees too," he revealed.

    "She said it's hurtful that he still doesn't see her as his mom after everything she's done for him and doesn't feel appreciated because I haven't encouraged him to do so. My son does appreciate her though. He makes her cards every Mother's Day and tells her how much he loves her. And it's not like I never spoke to my son about this."

  • He explained that on their wedding day, his son asked if he had to call her mom, and he told him only if he wanted to. 

    "She knows all this but said she still feels she deserves to be called 'mom' especially since she's been in his life longer than his mother," he said. "That comment struck a nerve and I told her to never say anything like that again. We had a big argument over this and now we're not talking."

    So the dad wants to know if he is off base for not encouraging his son to call her "mom."

  • Users were really proud of this dad standing his ground on the subject, and openly shared their perspectives.

    "I had a friend who was forced to call his stepdad 'dad' and really it did not improve the relationship," noted one user. "Your son should do this of his own volition, or not at all. I'm sorry this hurts your current wife, but she's the adult and should understand. Just because she's not his 'mom' doesn't mean he can't love her. It's not a competition."

  • People also warned of the other layers to this problem.

    "He had a mom that sadly passed away," rationalized one reader. "Your wife needs to stay in her lane instead of forcing herself into a role that your son doesn't WANT her in. Mimi is a good name and if he feels comfortable enough, maybe he will call her mom in time. But if he doesn't, that HIS right forcing him to do it, will only cause a problem. And honestly, that comment 'she was longer in his life than his mom's' is disturbing and I wouldn't glance over that. Sounds like she's in a sick competition with a dead woman ..."

  • Most importantly, people thought it was necessary to assess the relationship with the MIL who pushed the matter. 

    "I think your wife needs to understand why she jumped immediately to actions to assuage her mother's anger rather than supporting a boy she considers her son, in the way he feels most comfortable," wrote one introspective reader.

    "His actions show they are close and that he feels she's someone he can go to for help," the person continued. "It's only her mother that made her change, so what is it about her relationship with her mother that made her change her mind? Does she have an otherwise good relationship with her mother? Is your MIL going to treat your son as second best when you do have children with her and favor her 'real' grandkids because they call her mommy?"

    It's evident that these adults need to sit down and see where the dad is coming from and do what is best to support the little boy caught in the crosshairs.