A 33-year-old woman took to Reddit’s Am I The A**hole to seek support in her battle against her late husband’s parents.
The woman told of losing her husband unexpectedly seven years ago after marrying shortly after graduating college. She said she has known his family for most of her life and is closer to them than her real family. She still refers to them as her in-laws, and they have all grieved closely together and slowly moved on with their lives.
The Woman Began Dating After four years
The original poster (OP) said that she slowly started casual dating again four years ago and that her in-laws were mostly supportive but did not want to hear details.
After a year, the OP met a man and started her first serious relationship after losing her husband. Her new partner lives in Paris, so they base their relationship there, and he has not visited the US yet or met her in-laws.
At Christmas time, the OP found out she was pregnant and decided to move to France permanently as this was easier than her partner moving to the US.
The In-Laws Were Deeply Upset
When the OP told her in-laws, they were very upset and said to her that she had ruined their opportunity to have a grandchild and that she was moving too quickly.
After arguing about this, the in-laws demanded that the OP give them all of their son’s belongings, including the OP’s engagement ring as it was a family heirloom.
They justified this request by saying that the OP had moved on. The OP refused as they are “treasured memories,” but the in-laws have threatened legal action. She admits giving in to them may give them closure, but she is unsure if they have a legal right, so she turned to Reddit.
She also gave an update to say that she did give her husband’s friend and family some possessions after the funeral, and the things she kept were personal to their relationship. The trickiest item will be the ring. She has a huge emotional attachment but recognizes it is a family heirloom.
The Woman Was Flooded With Supportive Comments
One person responded by saying that “NTA. You didn’t divorce your husband. He passed away. The person you chose to spend your life with, and that was taken from you way too soon. He was taken from them too soon as well.” This was a sentiment that many others agreed with.
Regarding the ring, people thought, “In all honesty, I would think a better compromise would be to let them have some of his other belongings but keep the symbol of his love: HER Engagement Ring. She could choose to will it be returned to his family, but that is the one item she absolutely should keep” With another reader points out that “Especially as the ring is not going to get any further use from their side of the family (to be harsh).”
Some people did empathize with the in-laws, saying, “I honestly think they’ve just experienced a second slap in the face of GRIEF of losing their son. They see this as losing you too.” However, some were concerned about the grandchild reference, saying, “Your in-laws came to view you as a bonus daughter, I suspect (from their comment about robbing them of a grandchild), so I suspect they feel like they’re losing another kid with you leaving.”
Such tragic circumstances are all around, and we only hope they all compromise and find happiness once again.