A new "Am I the A-hole?" post demonstrates just how scary a husband and his family can become when a woman is pregnant. Although the original post was deleted, it was screenshotted and shared on Twitter. We have no way of knowing how this man and his family acted toward his wife before she was pregnant, but once she was carrying their baby, they became, well, total monsters.
It's likely that when you get pregnant, people will start to treat you differently even though they shouldn't. But in no world should your husband and in-laws (or anyone else!) view you as merely a vessel for "their baby" and claim that you have no autonomy. And in no world should they steal your phone to try to prevent you from leaving a surprise baby shower you never wanted in the first place.
The mom-to-be who wrote the post explains that her husband has gone way overboard since she became pregnant. "A lot of the 'nice' things he does just makes me feel like...an incubator," she writes. He started calling her "Mommy," and now he literally will not call her by her real name.
She's asked him repeatedly to stop, but she thinks he continues to do it because he thinks it's funny that she gets so mad. That's bad enough, but her in-laws have also given up calling her by her name. They call her "Mama Patrick" (which I assume is their last name or the proposed name of her unborn child) or "Mama Pat" or just "Pat."
Even at Christmas and for her own birthday, she didn't get any presents that were for her. All of them were for the baby and addressed to "Pat." This is already getting extremely strange.
At one point OP's mother was trying to organize a shower for her, but her MIL insisted she was doing it. However, "Mama Pat" didn't want her MIL to throw her shower. Based on the bridal shower her MIL planned, she knew the guest list would not include any of her own friends or family — it would all be the MIL's friends.
OP thought that was it, until her husband tricked her with a "spa day" as a birthday present that turned out to be a ruse for the unwanted baby shower. "Immediately after walking in," she writes, "my mother-in-law's best friend comes up to me, sticks her hand UNDER MY SHIRT to rub my stomach, and points out the cake. It's one of those disgusting 'baby coming out of the woman' cakes, complete with fake poop."
She says she can't eat the cake because she's avoiding dairy and processed foods during her pregnancy. Later in the comments, she reveals that she's only following such restrictions because her husband is making her. She thinks his heart's in the right place and he just wants the baby to be healthy. At this point, I'm convinced he's just doing it to be controlling.
The cake seemed to be the last straw and OP, "seething with rage," told her husband she wanted to leave. "He said, 'No, the baby is the guest of honor. You have to stay!'" Holy crap. Psychotic. She was done, so she started to order an Uber home, but he grabbed her phone away from her and told her she was being "crazy and hysterical."
So she excused herself, left the house, walked to the library, and used their phone to call a cab. When she got home, she messaged her husband to tell him where she was, but now he's livid. He called the police the second she didn't come back, even though the total time he didn't know where she was amounted to half an hour.
Now her in-laws want her husband to leave her and fight for full custody of the baby, and he's threatening to have her taken to the ER for a psych evaluation "for the baby's safety."
Yes, she still thinks she might be in the wrong for "overreacting" to her husband and her in-laws' behavior. The people in the comments did everything in their power to convince her otherwise.
"Your husband is abusive," one commenter wrote. "He and his mother do not acknowledge your autonomy, are purposefully cruel, and undermine your sense of your own sanity.
"Your husband physically prevented you from leaving a stressful situation by taking your phone, then dismissed your legitimate anger by telling you that you were a prisoner to his and his mother’s whims and too mentally ill to decide for yourself whether or not you wanted to remain at the 'party.'"
Many people urged her to leave the situation immediately and go stay with friends or family, or to start planning to leave if she can't immediately. They advised that she contact a lawyer or a counselor, and even see a therapist who can confirm her sanity if her husband tries to prove otherwise.
In subsequent comments, she doesn't seem to be grasping the severity of her situation. She said she told her OBGYN what happened and that the doctor said it was normal for the father to start calling his partner "Mommy." But it's unclear if she really explained just how much he's stripping her of her personhood on a consistent basis.
Someone who had escaped a similar situation explained that they know everything she's feeling. The guilt, the questioning about whether she's overreacting. "Maybe you feel like you could have worded it better, etc.," the person writes. "Having been in your situation, please do not dismiss what people here are saying.
"You don’t have to go run to the ER and ask for help, but you do need to start to understand that you might be in a dangerous situation. Even if it’s not dangerous yet, these are all classic warning signs of abuse, and I highly recommend starting to make moves to protect yourself."
It's clear that her husband and his parents only view her as a vessel for the baby. The comment about the baby being the guest of honor at the shower distills that gross belief perfectly. Not only is he not listening to her when she says she wants to be called by her real name and didn't want a baby shower, but he's threatening to lie about her mental state and take the baby from her. None of this is OK.
"Please remember you’re not crazy. You’re not a vessel, you’re a human and you deserve to be treated like one," one commenter wrote. She needs to recognize that she is in an abusive situation, that it's only going to get worse, and that she deserves so much better.