We've all been regaled with a tale or two of a monster-in-law - that classically overbearing, interfering, sometimes manipulative figure who progressively ruins her child's relationship with their significant other. And according to Reddit, there are a lot of monster-in-laws out there.
If you're not familiar with the Am I The Asshole subreddit, allow me to introduce you. It's a space where people across the internet are able to share their moral dilemmas, from family fights to coworker conundrums and everything in between. Other users then vote on who the 'asshole' is in the given situation and provide their unfiltered opinions and advice.
In one predicament shared to the forum this week, a recently married woman explained that she and her mother-in-law had fallen out after the older woman showed up unannounced at the couple's home and demanded to sleep in the master bedroom - with the door locked.
Sharing her story anonymously, the woman, 26, said she staunchly refused her mother-in-law's request, leading to a bitter fight. However, her husband, 34, sided with his mother, forcing his wife to question if she was, in fact, the asshole in this situation.
"To give some context about my MIL [mother-in-law], she is okay-ish but has no respect for her son's privacy and by extension, mine," the woman explained.
"When it was time to go to bed, MIL requested that we let her sleep in the bedroom, on the master bed - not just that, but lock the door as well, because she explained she can't feel comfortable enough to sleep without locking the door.
"I found this bizarre but I politely declined and suggested other options like the guest room, couch and air mattress. My husband agreed [with her] but I said no. This initiated an argument between her and I."
The woman insisted she didn't want to be barricaded from her own room and personal possessions, but the mother-in-law continued to push for the master bedroom while urging her son for his support.
"She lashed out at my husband saying, 'Don't you just stand there! Say something!' My husband told me to let her, [saying] it's just one night, but I told her those were all the options I had for her and if she didn't like them, then I could book her in a hotel. She took it as if I was kicking her out and started crying, which made my husband upset," the woman continued.
"She left at 12am and my husband blew up saying I disrespected his mom who was a guest at our house and treated her poorly, he then reminded me it's our bedroom not just mine and I acted horribly to her.
"He went to book a room in the same hotel as her and turned his phone off. The next day she went home and told the family, who berated me, calling my behaviour towards MIL abhorrent and loathsome. Now my husband is complaining about how I keep trying to ruin his relationship with his family and push them away.
"Am I the asshole for refusing to let MIL spend the night in my bedroom and lock the door?"
The woman's predicament prompted an outpouring of support from the online community, with the majority agreeing that in this instance, the mother-in-law was indeed the asshole.
"Girl I would get a divorce ASAP, these kinds of relationships never last for a long time. He is not able to see the disrespect his mother is giving BOTH of you guys. Run," one advised.
"This is her way of marking her territory. She needs to feel important SO BADLY and the only way she feels that can happen is if she stomps all over her son's new wife's boundaries," another observed.
Many agreed that the mother-in-law was likely wanting to snoop through her new daughter-in-law's personal possessions without the fear of getting caught.
"She probably wanted to lock the room so she can snoop around," one said, with another agreeing: "Mom wanted to go through their stuff without interruption. She wanted to snoop."
"She clearly had ulterior motives here, there is every chance she planned to snoop," a third added.
Others also branded the woman's husband as a certified asshole for failing to stick up for his wife.
"MIL is an [asshole] and so is OP's husband. NINE MONTHS of marriage and he is willing to allow his mother to sleep in their bed? He's a mommy's boy," another claimed.
"He is flat-out delusional if he thinks you're the problem. There's only two assholes in this situation and that is your husband and his mother. If you have a guest room and are not requiring your mother in law to sleep on the floor or in the kitchen, there's no reason for her to sleep in your bedroom in your bed with the door locked," one stated.
"Your husband needs to give you an apology. He should not have left you and stood up for her. Then he needs to tell his family that's harassing you to back off because you acted appropriately. If he is not willing to do that you have some serious thinking to do about your relationship because I would not bring children into this relationship with your mother in law acting this way and your husband supporting her."
"Also, she showed up unexpectedly. When you know you're having guests, you and your spouse have time to discuss arrangements," one user pointed out, with another agreeing: "She visited unexpectedly! You don't invite yourself over and demand the main bedroom when there's a guest room."
"It isn't like OP didn't have a GUEST ROOM in her house for MIL. It's not like she was getting the dog bed," a different user chimed in, with another agreeing: "She is a guest, she should be in the guest room."
It's not the first time family affairs have been the subject of intense scrutiny on the forum.
Last year, the internet was shocked by a groom's refusal to let his young daughter attend his wedding - all because his "sophisticated" fiancée wanted "child-free" nuptials.
And last month, one father took wedding wrongdoings into uncharted territory when he decided his son's big day was the perfect time to tell his own spouse - his son's mother - that he wanted a divorce.