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Source: iStock Photo / Reddit

Man Flips out When His MIL Secretly Baptizes His Son Without Permission


Sep. 25 2020, Updated 8:55 a.m. ET

Religion is a very personal and touchy subject. Just because your parents or parents-in-law are religious doesn't mean you and your family will be. And they should respect that.

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But the mother-in-law (MIL) in this "Am I the A-hole?" post did not respect the wishes of her daughter and son-in-law when it came to their beliefs. And now, OP doesn't feel comfortable leaving his son alone with his mother-in-law ever again.

Source: iStock Photo
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OP explains that he and his wife have a 2-year-old son. A month ago, they went away for their anniversary and left their son with his wife's parents for the weekend. 

Although he was raised Lutheran and his wife was raised Catholic, neither of them are very religious. They don't go to church or anything, so they hadn't baptized their son. His MIL knows this "and hates it," he writes. "She thinks our son needs to be baptized or he will burn in hell. She's that kind of Catholic."

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But no matter her beliefs, she knew that they chose not to baptize their son. Anyway, when they come back from their weekend away, OP's MIL said that everything went great and added that she saved their son's soul from the devil. When OP pressed her, she admitted that she had him baptized at her church. Without the permission of his parents. 

In fact, she knew that they never wanted their son to be baptized. Needless to say, OP flipped out. He managed to remain calm until he and his wife got home, but then he told her that he no longer trusts her parents to watch their son without supervision. 

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Source: iStock Photo

His wife was annoyed at what her mom did, but she thought it was an overreaction to forbid them from ever looking after him again. OP wasn't having it. "I told my wife I no longer trust her parents with our son and that if they did something like this behind our backs I can't trust them to respect our wishes as parents in the future," he wrote. He's got a point.

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His wife tried to defend her mom and say that she thought she was doing what's best for him and that it wasn't actually a big deal, that it's "just a little water." But that's not the point. The point is she went behind their backs with their child and did something she 100 percent knew they were against. 

OP stood firm. He said his wife's parents can still see their son but that "under no circumstances" will he allow them to watch him on their own again. He wrote, "I also said that if she doesn't see what the big deal is with this situation, that maybe we aren't on the same page as parents and maybe we need to get a counselor."

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His wife got super upset, started crying, and said that he was an a--hole for trying to dictate what kind of relationship her parents can have with their son. OP has lost total respect for his in-laws, and he can't control his feelings here. So he came to Reddit to see what people think. 

Source: iStock Photo
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One commenter said that OP was not wrong for feeling the way he does and actually suggested that this baptism was a violation of church law. They suggested he file a complaint with the bishop in charge of the church where the baptism was performed. 

Other commenters agreed with OP. "Your wife is downplaying her mother's actions when she should be standing up next to you as half of a united couple," one person wrote. "Your wife is deliberately closing her eyes to what's happening and is putting your marriage in jeopardy by trying to say this breach of trust was no big deal."

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It can be so hard sometimes, but when you have a partner and a child, you are a team. I understand the impulse to defend your own parents, but your husband's reaction to a breach of trust is valid and deserves to be listened to and acknowledged. There may be another solution than what he is proposing, but you can't dismiss what he's feeling. 

Counseling is a great option when couples feel like they've reached an impasse. It can be extremely useful to have a neutral third party to mediate the conversation and make sure both people are really getting heard. I hope this couple can come to an understanding. 

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