While dealing with overbearing, opinionated in-laws is often stressful and complicated, many will try their best to ignore or just brush off things like rude comments and maddening behaviors. But, sometimes, it goes way too far. Like this story that recently went viral on Reddit's r/relationships subreddit from a woman who said her mother-in-law tampered with her birth control, which apparently led to her getting pregnant just months after welcoming her first child.
"My MIL tampered with my birth control resulting in me getting pregnant 3mo postpartum," the Reddit post began. The unidentified 20-year-old woman, who welcomed a daughter 18 months ago, shared that while she's "very happy about the pregnancy," she's in need of support because she believes her mother-in-law "has been poking holes in [their] condoms."
The woman said her in-laws apparently were "obsessed with the idea" of them having a boy because "the bloodline follows the father... so girls don’t really count," and so "denied" their granddaughter was a girl "up until the moment she was born."
She also said her mother-in-law was aware that the couple had been using condoms at the time instead of hormonal birth control, and thinks her MIL poked holes in their condoms when she'd come over to help with their newborn daughter. The poster suspected her mother-in-law wanted her to get pregnant again, with a son, as soon as possible in order to preserve the family name.
After learning she was pregnant, the woman said her sister-in-law was vaguely aware of the mother-in-law's plans, but thought she "was just spouting sh*t," so didn't feel the need to alert the poster and her husband. Understandably, the Redditor is "livid" with her mother-in-law. "I’m pleased with this pregnancy but it wasn’t my choice. It wasn’t even an accident, it was her meddling because she didn’t get the Golden Grandson she wanted," she wrote.
Unsurprisingly, people on Twitter and Reddit had a lot of thoughts on how this woman should handle this situation. As one person wrote on Twitter, "I hope they all change their surname to her maiden name so that their hopes of keeping the family name going are permanently foreclosed." Another said on Twitter, "MIL should honestly be banned from the house and the first 6 months if not longer of contact from the new baby. Should have to pay for all the new things she needs. Because what the f*ck."
Many readers suggested she seek legal advice about pressing charges against her mother-in-law, citing reproductive coercion, which is defined, in part, as behavior that "includes explicit attempts to impregnate a partner against her will, control outcomes of a pregnancy, coerce a partner to have unprotected sex, and interfere with contraceptive methods," according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "I hope you speak to a lawyer and follow through with that," one person commented on the Reddit post. "At the very minimum, this woman should have no contact with the grandchildren whatsoever."
The woman posted an update on Reddit a few days later, sharing that what she believes her mother-in-law did to her condoms "isn’t a crime here, so there won’t be any jail time [if] charges pressed." Though, in time, she and her husband plan to cut off contact from her "once the truth is out."
"I want all the proof in the world she did this. I’ve ordered a hidden camera, and am going to buy new, latex free condoms claiming that I’m suddenly allergic to latex. Hopefully she’ll poke holes again and I’ll have video proof this time," she wrote in the update.
While it's unclear where the woman is located, back in 2011 a Canadian man was found guilty of sexual assault after he poked holes in the condoms he used with his girlfriend, which resulted in her getting pregnant, according to the CBC. However, that was in Canada, and doesn't necessarily mean victims elsewhere, such as the United States, of reproductive coercion can always expect the same outcome. As attorney Deanne Katz explained in a 2013 article for FindLaw, "sabotaging birth control isn't something that's commonly charged as a crime, although it might fall under fraud."
Fellow Redditors also chimed in to share their experiences on having "Irish twins" — children who are born less than a year apart from each other — assuring the woman both her children will be OK. "I honestly think Irish twins are the best of both worlds in terms of growing up with a sibling but not on top of them," one Reddit user wrote. Another commented, "In regards to the Irish twins, you do have a lot to be excited about. I am a Irish twin, and while me and my sister fought all the time as kids, she is now my best friend. Having a sibling that close growing up is a blessing."
And as many readers were delighted to hear, the woman also shared that her husband is supportive of whatever she decides to do and is planning to change the family's last name to "literally anything else."