A man who asked his daughter-in-law an “invasive” question about pregnancy is wondering whether he violated her privacy (spoiler alert: yes, he did).
Here’s how it happened, according to a Reddit user who posted on the website’s “Am I The A**hole” forum. The OP (original poster) and his wife began noticing that their daughter-in-law always dressed in baggy clothing and seemed “nervous and on edge all the time” and as a result, they wondered if she was pregnant. So one evening over dinner, the woman’s mother-in-law decided to ask.
“She looked startled and honestly a little scared but she said she was,” wrote the user. “She was almost 17 weeks pregnant apparently and was hoping to hide it until 24 weeks. I didn’t understand why until that specific time so she explained about viability…”
People can share their pregnancy any time they choose; however, many wait until after the first trimester (12 weeks) because, according to the Mayo Clinic, the majority of miscarriages (which usually happen among 10 to 12 percent of known pregnancies), take place before the end of that time period. And asking people if they’re pregnant, before they’ve shared that information themselves, could hurt those who have dealt with infertility.
Then, the Redditor made things worse with the following question: “I then without thinking asked her if this was her first pregnancy,” he wrote. “She looks at me for a second and she starts crying uncontrollably. My son is quick to calm her down and they leave pretty quickly after that. I got a call later in the night from my son explaining that they had already had two pregnancy losses and she was trying to be calm and enjoy the pregnancy. My son then told me she just wants a little bit of space now.”
The OP added, “I don’t think my question was bad and she was too emotional which is understandable but my wife is upset and thinks I’m a major [a**hole]” adding, “I didn’t ask to judge her or anything like that. I had heard something about her being pregnant a few years back but nothing was said directly to me and it was in the back of my head that night.”
He also insisted that while “invasive,” the question wasn’t meant to judge his daughter-in-law and that he and his wife only wanted to support their pregnancy.
But the case was open-and-shut for Reddit readers. “Bruh, if it looks like she’s trying to hide it, then she probably is,” one wrote. “Why would you confront someone who’s trying to hide something personal?” Someone else wrote, “I’m truly gobsmacked at how oblivious this guy is. Outside of your OB’s office, this is a question that should never be asked.”
Another voiced, “Yeah, I don’t see what answer [the] OP was expecting here. He knows [his] son and [daughter-in-law] don’t already have a happy little kid running around, so either…it’s her first pregnancy and she’s just nervous about it or…it’s not her first and she’s had prior pregnancies that ended in miscarriage, abortion, or adoption” none of which are acceptable dinner conversations.
Those who related to the daughter-in-law agreed. “The ‘Have you been pregnant before?’ or the ‘What number pregnancy is this?’ f*cking kills me, even if it is [from] a doctor because I have to say ‘four’ then explain that this is my only viable pregnancy,” someone wrote. “It always hurts.”
And most everyone agreed that the poster needs to make peace with his daughter-in-law, no matter if she accepts it. “Give her space. Don’t apologize until she’s ready to talk to you,” someone advised. “God know you’ve push yourself on that poor woman enough.”
“OP can grovel and apologize but if I was that young woman, the damage to the relationship would be done,” wrote another. “That obnoxious, invasive, inappropriate, stupid question would hang like a cloud.”
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