Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Am I the Bad Guy?

Community Member

I hate my wife's real mother...if you could even call her that. My wife doesn't like her either but for some reason I fail to understand she still sees her. 


Whatever. That's not the issue here.


My issue is wife is now pregnant. When wife sees said "mother" the mother smokes around my pregnant wife. My wife immediately walks away when this happens. 


However I get extremely annoyed at this fact that the mother does this in the first place. 


Told my wife and she says I need to trust her to walk away and that I need to drop it basically.


Am I the bad guy here? 

9 Replies 9

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey Ijustneedhelp, welcome to the forums. 


Congratulations on the new baby on the way! How exciting. 


This time can also be nerve wracking. 
From conception we want to protect our unborn bubba(s). 


I truly understand your concern, it's common knowledge that smoking harms unborn babies. 
The great thing is that your wife isn't smoking and yes she can walk away from any smokers.
Smart cookie your wife. 


I doubt you're the "bad guy" lol. (Not yet anyway!)

Perhaps you can ask yourself BEFORE being opinionated about things leading to an "all or nothing" end... 

"Will this discussion create harmony for my wife and baby?"
Many things over your years of parenting this precious being WILL come up! 
Some things cannot be compromised on ie there is no grey area.


Pushing the point of your wife NOT seeing or spending time with her mother or any other relatives or friends she loves (even if she says doesn't "like" them but has a relationship she wants with them)... is not conducive to a happy wife. 
Many things can contribute to post natal depression, which can be very dangerous for your wife. 
Not seeing her mum is one big contributor. 


You can't stop your wife seeing her mother. 
I don't think you should try or argue about this with her at all. 

If you DO try to control the situation in any way shape or form, yes indeed you will be seen as the "bad guy". 
"Control" being the underlying cause of abuse in relationships. 


At the moment, it's concern. Keep yourself in check that it doesn't become controlling. 


My 2c

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Ijustneedhelp,

A very warm and caring welcome to our forums…


No way are you the “bad guy”….you have a lot of love, care and concern for both your beautiful wife and your precious unborn child….


Your mother in law…should start thinking of you, your wife and grandchild’s health….I feel it’s disrespectful to smoke in front of anyone….especially an expectant mother…


I think if you and your wife are able to talk to her together and let her know how you feel about her smoking when she is in your company….and ask her to refrain from smoking while she is…


Your wife is doing the right thing by walking away from her when she’s smoking….I’m concerned that if your mil doesn’t respect your wishes now…to not smoke around your pregnant wife….how will she be able to do so, when your baby is born….


Dear Ijustneedhelp, your first priority is your wife, your precious baby and your own health…and that’s exactly what your doing…..by being concerned and annoyed at her….


In my eyes, you are a very caring, loving husband and expectant daddy…..You are not at all the bad guy…


My kind thoughts with my care…





I think you do need to set some boundaries now….

She can see her mum I don't care. I'm just so irritated by the smoking around her who does that I don't understand seriously 

Hello again Ijustneedhelp, your irritation and near fury over this is clear, 


Sure we can agree with you that "people" shouldn't be smoking around your pregnant wife, or around anyone as Grandy pointed out if that's how we feel. Sure! 


But if they do, they do. Especially in their home. 


It's a wise thing to reflect upon your chances of CHANGING your mil's behaviours / habits / addictions. 
There IS a chance but you may waste a lot of energy and cause more contentious issues by forcing the point about it. 
My focus is more on CALM for your wife, as her whole body and mind is creating the environment for your growing baby. 


What you CAN do is: 
~ follow Grandy's lead about a gentle discussion (if that's possible... you said in the first line, you hate her mother. Not sure if you even SEE your mil)

~ know that some things are outside our control, 

~ be clear about the boundaries inside YOUR home. Again, if your mil ever visits (unsure if she'd be welcome). 


You can be loving and encompassing about your mil if you choose. 
I'd never want to see a you against "them" scenario unfold.
OR a "mil is never allowed to see the baby" scenario. 


Understanding that some things are outside of your control is a life lesson. 


Love EM

Doesn't matter where it is (their home, public, etc.) Common sense and courtesy should be to not smoke around a pregnant woman. That's what gets me. I don't understand why people don't think.

I really appreciate what you guys are saying and I agree. I just don't understand people. Maybe don't like people because they don't think

 It honestly baffles me it really does.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome 

Well, no, you're not the bad guy but you might end up being the bad guy.

Relationships are more complex that a basic question and answer.

What your wife is saying without saying it, is that she knows her mother is problematic but your wife is willing to tolerate/trade her mother in her life for harmony. That means of course tolerating more than you can.

Now the flip side of this can be seen thus- that your child deserves fresh unpolluted air etc and your MIL is showing inconsideration, that's not disputable. However your wife would prefer to work around this rather than have conflict.

Imo it's your wife's call. Introduce ideas like opening windows before she arrives, put the fan on her and a door open etc. One day she'll bring the topic up herself "why can't I mind my grandchild"?. Tactfully point out "we love you in our child's life but we can't subject him/her to cigarette smoke, I hope you understand".

If she takes offence it isn't your fault.


I didn't really stop and think wife could be saying that without saying that. I think I just focused on the frustration.

Your not the bad guy even though these type of things have a real way of making you feel it , l know.

But your wifes got it and has told the way she wants to play it so l suppose for now you maybe should let her handle it. l'd actually say something to the MIL if not for that, myself , but l know how these things can be.

On a brighter note , people use to smoke all the time in all kinds of family and public situations and still do in other countries, or just 20yrs ago here, been going on for centuries , your wife will be fine and she leaves anyway.

Good luck with all.