People Seek Feedback For Their "Am I The Jerk?" Story

Getting feedback is how we grow. We get feedback at work. We received it from teachers when we were in school. At first, getting feedback may cause a blow to one's self-esteem, but in the end, it's nice to know where you went wrong, what you did correctly, and what you can do to improve next time around. It's feedback that encourages us to change for the better. One of the biggest signs you're growing is when you specifically ask others for their honest feedback. That's what the following people do. They want us to provide our opinion on whether or not they were a jerk in a particular situation. They're counting on your comments for reassurance. AITJ = Am I the jerk? NTJ = Not the jerk YTJ = You're the jerk WIBTJ = Would I be the jerk? EHS = Everyone here sucks

14. AITJ For Saying That Everyone's Hurt Feelings Were Deserved Since They Decided To Snoop?

“My bedroom has a lock on the door. One of the conditions of getting the lock put on my door was that I must have two keys and keep one with my dad and his wife Sandra.

So I could have a key but they also needed access to one in the house. I wanted the lock in the first place because Sandra’s kids and her and my dad’s kids were always wandering in and out of my room, letting their two cats in and my room would often have cat pee in it or my stuff would be all over the place.

Monday I got home from school late because I stopped by my part-time job beforehand. When I got back Sandra’s kids were sad/crying or mad. Sandra yelled for me to see her in the kitchen and my dad was on the phone with her.

While I wasn’t home Sandra let her kids into my room and they rummaged through my stuff until they found all the scrapbooks I make. It’s a hobby, I have loads of them. A lot are either me and my friends or they’re my family.

None include Sandra, her kids or her and my dad’s kids. Lately, they haven’t featured my dad either. Just my mom (who died when I was 7), my siblings (who are both over 18 and don’t live with us anymore) and my extended family.

They got their feelings hurt because they saw how many I had and that none of them had a single photo in any of the scrapbooks. They also weren’t mentioned in any notes.

Sandra and my dad were telling me how badly I had treated them and how I should be ashamed of myself for doing that kind of stuff.

I said they never should have been in my room in the first place. Sandra replied that kids often want to be in older siblings rooms. I made a face which she realized was me thinking they’re not really my siblings.

She told me I broke their hearts, and hers, because they have tried everything to be my family and they have taken me into their hearts and I have shown clearly with those scrapbooks that I have not taken them into theirs.

She told me that should make me feel bad. I told them (dad and Sandra) that they deserved to have their feelings hurt when they snooped and her worst of all because she knew what her kids wanted to do and she unlocked the door for them to do it.

Sandra sent me straight to my room. Her and dad both yelled at me and called me a heartless brat for saying that. Dad told me the kids did nothing wrong. I said he should blame Sandra for opening the door for them to snoop in the first place.

He said my feelings were wrong, and it’s all my fault they feel hurt. Sandra told me nobody should say someone deserves to have their feelings hurt.

AITJ?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

What’s the point of having a lock on the door? If they just let themselves in whenever they want.

They need to start respecting your privacy and give you your own space. You didn’t do anything to hurt them. You literally just did nice things for other people, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The way they acted proves why they are not in the scrapbooks. Sandra violated your privacy and your respect by letting not just herself but her kids into your room to play with your stuff.

If they had broken something valuable or expensive would they be replacing it? If they hurt themselves with your items will they be blaming you?

This is a completely toxic situation and I see two ways of getting out of it.

One live with your mom two. Get a lock for your drawers, put everything in boxes, and put everything behind locks there too. This way they have access to an empty sterile room but all your stuff is locked and no one else has the key.” dap00man

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

Unless you have family on your mother’s side you could spend time with, because you’re 16, you’re sort stuck for now. In your post, you say, “While I wasn’t home Sandra let her kids into my room and they rummaged through my stuff…” Since your room is locked, and your dad and his wife have the key, this was purposeful.

Perhaps Sandra wanted to use the excuse of her kids getting into your room to find something to bust you over. Did she suspect you of hiding booze or substances? Your stash of automatic weapons and change maybe (as if your side-hustle is narco-trafficking)? Seriously, your dad and his stupid wife are busting you over scrapbooks? Seriously, of all the things a 16 yr old could have stashed in their rooms, scrapbooks that don’t include your dad’s wife and her kids – that’s just beyond ridiculous.

What this sounds more like to me as an average person with no stake in the argument, is that his wife wanted to bust you on something, sent her kids in to do that, they made a mess of it, and so she had to find something to complain about because who gets busted over scrapbooks?” Shoddy_Lifeguard_852

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

First off, these children should not have been let into your room to snoop around. Your father and stepmom made an agreement with you about your lock on your door. Your stepmom broke that agreement to let her children violate you privacy.

If she kept her word to you about only using the key you gave her for an emergency, none of this would have happened. She’s the big AH here.

Second, while I don’t scrapbook, I believe it is an art form.

You use your artistic sensibilities to decide what to place in your scrapbook. These are your personal choices and others should not be upset to the choices you made, especially when you didn’t display your scrapbooks to the offended parties.

You meant for them to be private.

These children and probably your stepmother and your father, are all hurt by their absence from your scrapbooks. They are all experiencing the consequences of their actions, their violating your privacy.

Most of all, your stepmother and father should have told the children who violated your privacy to put the scrapbooks back and pretend they never saw them. They should have explained that they were meant to be private and they shouldn’t snoop around in your room.

The fact they instead tried to “blame” you for hurting them when they didn’t like their exclusion from your art is troubling. You didn’t exclude them from your scrapbooks because you wanted to hurt them.

Instead, they hurt themselves by snooping. They are jerks from trying to shift the blame for their hurt feeling on you, when your stepmom is responsible for those hurt feelings. If she kept her word about the spare key being for emergencies, none of this would have happened.” AbleRelationship6808

10 points (10 votes)
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hocu 3 weeks ago
NTJ, oh, honey. I'm sorry for the loss of your mom. It's very unfortunate that your dad and stepmother are jerks and have zero respect for you. Is there any possibility of you going to live with one of your adult siblings? If not I can only advise you to realize now that nothing you have in that house will be left alone. You have no privacy but at least now you know the score. I was raised in a no privacy home as well. Under a pile of seemingly dirty clothes was always my best hiding spot. Also if you have a nightside stand.... There is often a space between the bottom drawer and the floor that is a good stashing spot. Good luck. It's a shame that with their disrespect they are teaching the other kids to be the same. You seem to have escaped that mindset so good on you. Good luck and just know that this will pass.
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13. AITJ For Not Allowing My Mother-In-Law Take My Toddler On Vacation?

I’d feel the same way.

“I have an almost three-year-old beautiful little girl. She’s just a few weeks shy of her third birthday. My baby was out in hospice four weeks ago after having gone into remission in late May.

Unfortunately, the cancer has returned except it is now crushing her optic nerve and is about 8cm long. Multiple doctors recommended we make our daughter as comfortable as possible as they do not believe removing the tumor is a good option.

I have so much to say in regard to her diagnosis but heartbroken will suffice for now.

My husband and I have been making tons of memories with her for the past few weeks. We’ve included family in some of these memories but we both feel that we want to spend as much time with our daughter as possible.

My mother-in-law called me yesterday to tell me she booked tickets/hotel/airfare for a trip next month. I thought it sounded fun until she said she was taking our toddler with her. Just her, my daughter, and her husband.

She did not invite my husband and I.

My daughter isn’t even three yet. She has never stayed overnight anywhere and mother in law wants to take her for one entire week across the country, alone.

I suggested that my husband and I both go that way our daughter is comfortable and for God’s sake in the event that she dies? She can’t be gone for a week. Her nurses are here.

Her care is here.

I suggested what if we all go for a shorter amount of time. I came up with various suggestions to which all were turned down. I should add that if my daughter was not in hospice I still would not be comfortable with our toddler being across the country for a week alone without her parents.

My child being in hospice adds another layer of complexity to the situation.

I told my mother-in-law that the decisions that she made alone without consulting us was a solid no. She called me a few names and hung up on me.

She then called my husband and called me a few names and suggested she would fight for rights before my daughter dies.

I’m already grieving. My husband said we should acquiesce to his mother’s trip to avoid drama (even though he agrees that our daughter is too young).

But I want to spend time with her before the cancer takes her, she’s too little etc. I said no for various reasons not just to say no.”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ, obviously.

I have so much to say about this, but most of it would get me banned.

What kind of grandmother would suggest taking her DYING TODDLER GRANDDAUGHTER WHO IS ALREADY IN HOSPICE away from the child’s parents for even ONE of these final precious days in order to spend time with her, rather than suggesting spending that time together as a family (including grandma, I mean)!?

Worse yet, what kind of grandmother would threaten to waste precious moments of your last days with your daughter with a COURT CASE that no sensible lawyer will even consider taking, it’s so ridiculous? Visitation rights are one thing, but the idea that she has a right to take your child, who is currently in hospice, away on vacation for a week without you, across the country, is absolutely ludicrous.

No such rights exist. And for her to even be talking about wasting your time, energy, focus, and finances on a court case, whether it happens or not, is beyond obnoxious.

There would be absolutely nothing wrong with her wanting to spend time with her granddaughter, or, as you so lovingly suggested, wanting to do a short trip together as a family …

something that your daughter could physically handle, and that would be a special memory. But this? This selfish nonsense? As if a not-quite-3-year-old would even WANT to be apart from her Mummy and Daddy when she feels rotten and everything is confusing? As someone who has been chronically ill most of my life, I can assure you .

. . the way your daughter is feeling these days, she doesn’t want to be ANYWHERE without you, not even with her grandma. Mummy and Daddy are her comfort and safety.

You are NTJ. Stand your ground.

Your MIL is being horrifying, and there is no excuse for it.” FoolMe1nceShameOnU

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

I lost my child to cancer, too. (Rhabdoid tumor, symptoms started at 2 months, diagnosed at 5 months (with mets), died just shy of 10 months.)

Your MIL might have the usual delusions of people whose perceptions of pediatric cancer all involve bald kids smiling (EDIT: of all the things for autocorrect to say here, “smoking” seems especially bizarre) while some calm voiceover talks vaguely of “a cure”—but this child’s father should be much more keenly aware by now that that’s not how this crap goes a lot of the time, and that none of his daughter’s time is guaranteed.

When my son’s situation started going downhill, it was fast. Overnight Monday night/Tuesday morning we were admitted; Wednesday we agreed to stop treatment and focus on palliative care and talked about an initial hospice visit; Thursday we knew he wasn’t leaving the hospital with us, and midday Friday he was gone.

The idea of being anywhere other than by his side is flat-out unthinkable to me. It was then, and it certainly is now. There are so many moments I spent with him in those final days that are burned into my being (heck of an accomplishment when I’ve got aphantasia), and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

It’s a bond that never should exist—comforting your own small child in their final moments—but for those of us who are in the position you’re in, there’s nothing more sacred.

Your MIL is insisting on shattering that comfort for your daughter and barring you and your husband from that last parental duty of care—and for what?!

I’d have half a mind to notify hospital security and the local airport (at the very least) that this person has expressed a clear intent to abduct this child, and tell them very clearly not to allow it to happen.” myersjustinc

Another User Comments:

“I could not and would not acquiesce.

No way, no how. And, if I had to fight my husband on this hill, I would. I can’t imagine the pain you are going through, but I understand that there are only a finite number of days left to you, and those days are too precious to give up.

Regardless of MIL’s feelings and her own love and pain and feelings of loss toward your daughter, she doesn’t have a right to make plans without you, make plans that don’t include you or even make plans without you consulting a physician to see if this cross-country jaunt is medically advisable.

You and the baby are a package deal. If MIL wants her, she has to take you. This is not negotiable. And if, at any time, you feel upset, you reserve the right to withdraw yourself and your daughter, so she better treat you with respect and dignity at all times. So, so, so, so, so NTJ.” PrivateEyes2020

8 points (8 votes)
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rusty 3 weeks ago (Edited)
I feel awful for OP right now...trust and believe, OP is not the jerk, no way, nowhere, no how!! MIL is a horrible bitch monster from hell for even suggesting such a thing. If I were OP, I would have a restraining order put on MIL, and if hubby says one thing about it, I would tell him, "Let this happen and I will divorce you on the spot". This is the hill I would die on MANY times! This child is in palliative care for a terminal condition and has no guarantee that she will make through another day and MIL wants to pull a stunt like this??!! OH HELL NO!!! TIMES TEN THOUSAND!!! MIL does not want this for the baby; for some twisted reason in her squirrel bait brain, she wants it to be all about her!!! NONONONO, a million times NO!!!!!!!
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12. AITJ For Not Wanting My Husband On The Deed To Our House?

“I (37F) have been married to my husband (38M) for 10 years. We both worked good jobs, had a house with a mortgage and otherwise lived normal lives until 5 years ago when everything turned upside down.

My husband has always liked to gamble, it was never excessive, poker night with the boys, a couple of trips to Las Vegas, the lottery that was it. Or so I thought.

Eventually, all the lies and the secrets came out, he’d been gambling, a lot.

Online, illegal poker games, horse race betting, everything you could put finances down on. He had secret credit cards, emptied our savings account without me realizing and even took a loan out again the house, faking my signature to do so.

Eventually, his brother convinced him to tell me. I’d always been good with finances I’d never been stupid, but I relaxed around my Husband because I had no reason to believe he’d do something like this.

We had to sell our house to pay off the loan and mortgage, we paid off some of the credit cards and bookies but still had a mountain of debt. We even put off having kids because we were no longer financially secure.

My Dad (72M) came to our rescue, he had a decent pension enough to live on and gave me some of his savings to pay off the rest of the debt so we could rebuild.

I had initially refused but he said it was an “early inheritance” and I was desperate.

My husband went to gamblers anonymous, he had to be completely transparent with his Internet and phone usage with me and his brother, if he left to go out with friends he would have to send a photo to show he wasn’t gambling.

I was strict because I said it was that or I left.

He hasn’t gambled in 3 years, he did slip just before the 2-year mark, ended up losing $1,500 at poker. He apologized, continued on the meetings, and nothing since.

My Dad recently passed and with the sale of his estate and his savings we have enough to buy a house again, with only a small mortgage.

The issue is I don’t want my husband on the deed, the idea of us losing everything again because he remortgaged/put a loan against the house terrifies me.

I don’t know how I would survive if we lost it all again.

I broached the idea of just my name on the deed and when I explained why he called me a jerk, said I clearly don’t trust him and if I don’t trust him why am I still married to him.

His brother also called me a jerk, said I’ve seen how hard he’s worked and I need to forgive him and just move forward.

AITJ?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ – You would have been well within your rights to have him arrested for fraud for forging your signature on the loan documents and that debt probably would have been his alone.

Instead, you stood by him and helped him pay off HIS debts.

You can trust him as a partner in your marriage and still not be ready to trust him as a financial partner in your life.

If he cannot understand why you would want to do this, then he has not truly taken responsibility for his actions. If I were you, now that the debts are clear I would insist on keeping your finances separate.

This is YOUR inheritance. In most states (not sure if you are even in the US) inheritance is not considered a marital asset. So you can do whatever you want with it.

Tell him that you are buying a house with your finances and he is welcome to live there with you if he wants.

His contribution to the mortgage is no different than him contributing to rent in your current home – it does not give him ownership rights. If you have enough of your own bucks from the inheritance that you are looking at a 5-6 year mortgage than his overall contribution is not even going to be significant in proportion to the overall cost of the house.” Forward_Squirrel8879

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

I don’t like how they are trying to bully you with self-righteous attitudes. He lost your trust, and might not ever be able to regain it.

And you forgave him anyway, that doesn’t mean you will or even have to trust him again.

What that means is that you now know to take the proper precautions to protect yourself from the ways that he could hurt you and your family.

You are trying to make it work, and both husband and bil are challenging why.

(ETA: as a manipulation tactic to get a piece of your change) Maybe you should reconsider whether you do want to have Husband in your life, if he is unable to accept the new terms that he brought on himself and feels entitled to even more of your share.

Also, since you see it here all the time, I’ll echo that inheritance is not always considered marital property, and may be protected to some degree from his bs, so I just don’t see any upside at all to giving him access to your finances, except to his ego.

And I really think you should continue to keep his ego in check in this way as a constant reminder that actions have consequences, much like you are suffering the consequences of his actions.

Sometimes gamblers look for that feeling, that they’re down and trying to win. They’re trying to win your trust and as soon as they have it will likely break it again so the cycle can repeat.” qnachowoman

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

I’m the child of a gambling addict, so came home to evictions and no utilities and had my identity stolen for the first time at 11 years old. I’m not saying that gambling addicts are never again to be trusted with finances, but being trusted with finances and assets is a privilege they have to re-earn, and it takes a lot more time than 1 year (a slip re-sets the clock.) His best streak is less than two years at this point.

Assets are at least a 10-year chip.

I wouldn’t even let him have a credit card at this point, but like I said, I’m the child of one, and I’ve seen treatment fail many more times than I’ve seen it be successful.

And let’s be clear: he’s on his third chance — he slipped. Make him be honest on this, and make yourself be honest. Gambling is an addiction that requires even more committed to the treatment than substance use, because there is no withdrawal for gamblers.

It’s all pleasure and very little pain for them when they’re active. They don’t hurt when they don’t get their substance, but everyone around the gambler DOES hurt when the gambler is lying and stealing for their habit.

Secondly: it’s your inheritance, and inheritances should not be community property even in the best circumstances. Your dad wanted you to have that finances. If he wanted your spouse to have some, your dad could have made/changed his will.

He didn’t.

Third: if he’s calling you names, then he’s not committed to the making amends part of recovery, because making amends means doing the work and accepting that one has to earn back the trust one has taken advantage of.

He’s just expecting to be forgiven and for you to forget, and that’s not how this works. And if his own sponsor/therapist isn’t calling him out for this, well… they’re enabling, not helping.

You are not the jerk here, OP. Not even a little. (But if there’s an Al-Anon group near you or another support group for family members of addiction, you might want to check it out.)” LogosLaurel

8 points (8 votes)
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Bruinsgirl143 3 weeks ago
Put the house in your name put the cars in your name put moneybin an account he can't touch simple as that he doesn't like it divorce him
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11. AITJ For Telling My Adult Son That He Needs To Grow Up?

“I am a 47-year-old woman with 2 grown children – “Lila” is 23 and “Adam” is 26.

When Adam was 11, he had his first partner, “Jenna.” It was a typical middle school relationship; they went to a few dances, went bowling together, things like that.

It was very cute. It lasted about 5 months and when they broke up, Adam sulked for a day before continuing on as normal. Jenna did hurt his feelings a bit by telling him the reason was “she didn’t like kissing him” but he seemed to get over it quickly.

Present day – Adam married his lovely wife about a year ago and they are expecting a child in November. Lila moved back home after college last year and started seeing Jenna about 7 months ago.

Lila is in love. She’s been open about being a lesbian since she was a freshman in high school but she never showed much interest in anyone before Jenna. I am so happy to finally see her satisfied with that aspect of her life.

Adam isn’t, though. He thinks it’s “weird” that Lila is seeing his ex. His main arguments are that it’s tainting the memory of his first love and that Jenna hurt him when she broke up with him.

Lila and Jenna have just signed a lease on their first apartment together and Adam is upping the dramatics now. He’s called Lila a backstabber, disloyal and recently – a hoe and I’ve just about had enough.

He’s a married man! With a baby on the way! It is not healthy to focus on this. I could understand if it were a serious relationship, even high school would be different. But they were honest to God children then, how could it possibly matter still? He insists it’s not about harboring feelings and I certainly believe that but this obsession with preserving his nostalgia is ridiculous.

I’ve told Adam that I will not tolerate this anymore and if he chooses to continue behaving this way, I will have to start limiting my contact with him. He needs to let this go, grow up and stop acting like he owned Jenna.

He got very angry with me for “choosing Lila” but I don’t see it that way; I think I am choosing to protect my own sanity, not choosing between my children.

I asked some friends what they thought and I’ve gotten some mixed responses.

2/3 agree with me that Adam is overreacting but one says she understands why Adam is upset. I enjoy lurking in this subreddit so I thought I’d finally ask a question of my own.

AITJ?”

Another User Comments:

“Obviously you’re NTJ. You said something that spikes my interest though. I know sometimes this might be a semantic argument but I wanted to check-in. You said that you haven’t chosen sides, but you also present a fairly dichotomous perspective of the situation.

For instance, you said 2/3 of your friends agree with you that your son is overreacting and one understands why Adam is upset. You have 2 children who are having a fairly significant conflict.

One side you think is being reasonable and the other who isn’t. That feels like a situation where it might be challenging to not chose sides. Particularly for a parent. Double particularly when one is launching attacks on the other.

Is it possible to know he is overreacting but also understand his distress?

Secondly, becoming a first-time dad is a stressful thing. That is a giant shift in identity and old issues are often stirred up (or triggered).

Frequently I’d see old traumas get reignited, particularly relational traumas (traumas that have occurred in attachment relationships such as family attachment relationships). There is always a possibility that what is playing out is more about how he feels about you and his relationship with you.

You didn’t mention anything about Adam’s father. I wonder about this relationship.

Then again it may not be any deeper than the surface issue. Either way, as long as he is upset and feeling dismissed and sidelined, you have little chance of understanding his distress at this stressful and triggering time for him.

He will move past it, anyone who has a child knows that this distress will shift. But compassion without judgment is hard, but always worth it with your own children.” T0mbaker

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. Your son is acting like he owns Jenna’s entire life because of a childhood failed crush.

His behavior MUST be suss to his wife.

His world being RoCkEd at 11 sounds implausible. He was 11.

I remember those times but, this guy holds a grudge that he needs to let go.

I would suggest he see a therapist about it.

Most likely, it’s not about his crush, but about someone he liked finding love without him (and it must have happened more than once in his life since then), and that love is with his very own sibling.

Could be sibling rivalry. It’s also possible that he isn’t “down” with his sister being queer completely yet.

But really, if I found out a guy I dated as a CHILD was gay, and he had said that to me as a child, I would have laughed about it in the now because 1) we were kids, 2) It was clearly about their sexuality, not me.

Honestly, I would have been excited for them. Even if it was me then, I would have been 11. Times would have changed hopefully for your son who is now married with a kid on the way 15 years later.

You are right to try and preserve your sanity this way. I mean really, he needs to grow up. He has a happy life. What is he even complaining about?” Otherwiseunderstated

Another User Comments:

“Me and my sister has both dated women.

The scene in Stockholm isn’t big so we made a “no one the other person has slept with”-rule. We would have been fine with a couple of dates and a kiss. As adults! (And frankly, though I would have been uncomfortable with her seeing someone I had slept with, if they loved each other and was ready to get married I would have come to terms with that and demanded to be the best man/maid of honor for them both! (Only fair!))

I suspect there is some internalized homophobia going on.

I doubt he would accept any girl/crush he’s dated (and that’s stretching the term if they were 11) being with another woman. It’s not uncommon. I’ve often wondered if they are upset they weren’t Man Enough to turn these women straight.

But he doesn’t see his own homophobia and is projecting it on other things (calling it “his sister betrayal”). Ask him if he’s bothered her for being gay, and that he might need to work on that.

I’ve had a girl I dated later identify as straight (she was a butch hockey player. At some point she probably came out as a lesbian as a matter of self-defense) My reaction was “yeah, that makes sense.

Good to know her lukewarm reaction to me wanting to have interactions wasn’t personal. I’m happy for her sake that she figured it out.” It’s not an insult, it’s a consequence of a messed-up society with norms and prejudices that messes people up.

NTJ- your son needs to grow up and take responsibility for his behavior. It’s WAY out of line. Tell him that if the situation had been the reverse, you would have called your daughter out on it as well.” ikeasyndrome

6 points (6 votes)
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TeaLikeTheDrink 2 weeks ago
Dude is homophobic and can't understand why someone he dated wasn't straight. The relationship lasted 5mo at 11yo. I would hope that they didn't get up to any mature shenanigans at 11yo that *MIGHT* make it make a tiny fraction more sense. As it is, I agree with the commentor who said he probably can't believe he wasn't man enough for her to be straight, whatever the jerk that means.
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10. AITJ For Not Allowing My Husband To Visit My Sister With Me?

It’s all for a good reason.

“My sister, Marie, (29) and her husband Zach (40) had their first child, a beautiful baby girl, 2 months ago. They have been pretty nervous parents, so when my husband Tom (42) and I (37) were invited to finally meet our niece, I was thrilled except I was worried about Tom making an fool out of himself.

You see, Tom and Marie have always had a hard time getting along because they do not agree on nearly anything, and Tom has always gotten a kick out of challenging Marie on their differing views because they are both very opinionated.

The thing is to Tom, it is funny to watch Marie react when he says things to provoke her, and Marie always wants to prove his views wrong. In his head, because she was in grad school for social sciences (she finished right before having her baby) and is knowledgeable about the topics that Tom wants to argue about, Marie shouldn’t have a problem with debating him because “it’s literally her job.”

In the past, both Tom and Marie have initiated these arguments, and they have both been guilty of taking it too far in the past.

But ever since she got pregnant/ had a baby Marie has calmed down a lot, whereas Tom still tries to “bait” her into debates about touchy subjects (mainly politics and personal values). This got to a point where Marie blocked him on all social media a few months ago.

Before we went to visit, I asked Tom to just be nice to Marie and Zach and not start anything. Tom said that he would try his best. I told him I would be very upset with him if he tried to “bait” Marie or Zach into an argument.

Tom started out the evening pretty strong and kept to himself until it was revealed that Zach was going to be the one to stay home with their daughter. Tom made a comment like, “oh I thought mom was supposed to do that.”

Zach said that it was pretty sexist for Tom to say that and when Tom asked how, Zach told him that moms can have careers too and that Marie shouldn’t give up all the hard work she just did… Tom started on a tangent and Marie cut him off and told him to either quit or leave because she’s done entertaining his nonsense.

Tom laughed it off, but it was still very awkward after this.

We didn’t stay for long after and when we got home, I told Tom that I am done with him embarrassing me and that he’s not allowed to join me whenever I visit Marie again if I’m even invited back.

I told him that it doesn’t make him look smart when he always insists on having these conversations, that it just makes him look like a jerk and me like a fool.

Tom said I’m blowing this way out of proportion and that it’s not his fault that they got so offended, and that if anything they were rude to kick him out over his opinion.

But Marie didn’t do anything to him this time, she didn’t snap back at him, she didn’t call him names, she just asked him to stop.

AITJ? Am I being unreasonable?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. I have known many, many Toms in my lifetime.

There is one Tom in my family (used to be two, but one passed) and I have navigated countless Toms in my professional and social lives. Men like Tom feel a compulsion to bait and goad people of both genders, in part because they believe that the ability to debate (by which I mean spew B.S.

talking points gleaned from social media) makes them look intelligent and educated. But it has the polar opposite effect. The Toms of this world make themselves look like total insecure jerks. No one thinks they’re funny, even if they score a few polite laughs.

No one thinks they’re smart or witty. And I have been on the Marie end of things and can tell you that it often feels like an assault to be antagonized repeatedly. It is not fun to feel like you need to “prove” the validity of your point of view every darn minute, especially in your own effing home.

It is tiresome. It creates anger and stress. People like me will literally leave a room to avoid a Tom, or walk away from a conversation mid-TomRant.

I don’t think it’s fair for people to question your integrity or your marriage or call you TA for Tom’s behavior.

But I suggest you talk with Marie and support her if she wishes to go LC/NC with Tom; let her know you still want to be a part of her family’s life. Please protect your sister from your husband.

And please reread your last full paragraph in which Tom resorts to victim-blaming. This is an example of the DARVO technique that is extremely common among emotional manipulators. Redditors tend to overuse the word manipulation, but in this case, I think it is worth considering.” MadameAllura

Another User Comments:

“NTJ but Tom is.

He’s being manipulative and abusive using intellect as a thinly veiled excuse to try and tear your sister down.

Tom is either jealous of her achievements. Jealous that he can’t control her or get her to comply with his thinking.

Or he is enjoying the reactions he is getting.

Tom will cause a divide between you and your sister.

He is happy, to put you in this uncomfortable situation everything. He is happy to drive a wedge.

He is not taking any responsibility or acknowledgment for his actions or behaviors. Tom is blaming everyone else but himself.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY HIS FAULT!

TOM IS A BULLY.

The fact your sister blocked him from social media, shows how bad his behavior truly is.

If anyone else constantly harassed someone like this, it would have legal ramifications.

This will sound harsh but by putting up with this, you are inadvertently tolerating this behavior too. There are so many red flags.

You risk losing your family.

Your sister just had a baby. This is a time when she is emotionally and physically drained, and tired. He STILL chose to attack her choices. He is LOOKING for an argument.

You already know how poor his behavior is. You were worried about it. He NEEDS to get a reaction. He Needs to exert control. He disrespected your wishes flat out. Because he doesn’t care about what you think.

It’s about him.

Ditch Tom. Support your sister. Or you may find you won’t have a family to support. Tom seems heck bent on driving a wedge between you all.

As parents, their job is to protect their baby.

Your niece or nephew. They won’t be allowed around someone who is willfully emotionally destructive to others. Or likely anyone who puts up with that behavior.” SmartCrazy4

Another User Comments:

“YTJ, not for your stance against your husband.

It’s the right stance. But for staying married to such a louse of a man. You have been clearly vain about the differences of viewpoint, but I get the feeling that your husband has fairly dated views and has been picking fights to mock your sister and her husband.

Just based on his sexist comment alone I’m guessing he’s just a ball of joy to talk to.

YTJ for subjecting your family to him and for staying with him. If I was your sister I would have cut you and your husband out of my life.” snowykitty1

3 points (7 votes)
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rbleah 3 weeks ago
YOU ARE NOT THE JERK, Tom however is and an jerk as well. Is he THAT insecure?
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9. AITJ For Not Letting My Son's Father Meet My Son?

“My son is 12 and his father has never met him. We had gone to court when my son was like 1ish and he, at that point, said he wasn’t ready to be a father and ultimately wanted nothing to do with our child.

I was awarded visitation at my own discretion and child support.

Well, last year he had reached out completely random on FB and said he was ready to meet our kid and said that he turned his life around and regrets every single day of not being here.

At this point he spoke to our son but in the end, my son decided he wasn’t ready to meet him yet. Not a big deal, really. I mean, his father was livid and tried blaming me at first but later dropped it and we hadn’t heard from him since.

Well, he just reached out again about a week and a half ago and at this point, my son was ready to meet him. We made a plan and everything was great. He was being super attentive and checking in every single day.

He appeared to be really involved and everything was truly great. However, he calls me last night and I don’t know if he was drinking or what was up with the sudden freaking attitude but he was being nasty and telling me “I will take that freaking boy from you if you do crap that I don’t agree with” (he was accusing me of spending the child support payment on myself despite me giving him no reason to think this).

I told him to stop speaking to me like that and he said it a few more times before I finally snapped and said “You know what, nevermind. I’m not bringing my son to meet you when you are telling me you are taking him from me.

You’re not meeting him.” And hung up. I didn’t realize my son heard the whole thing (he was standing on the other side of the door and I was unaware). He is obviously on my side but definitely a bit bummed and just keeps saying he can’t believe his dad had the audacity to treat me like that and kept saying “Mum I want you to know that I would always choose you even if he brought you to court” and it was incredibly sad.

I reached out to a friend today because this is seriously mentally destroying me because I know deep down my son still wants to meet him and my friend basically told me that I was a freaking jerk, and I had no right to keep my kid from him.

Went on to say “So what if he freaking takes him? The cops would find him and charge him with kidnapping and then your son would know what he’s dealing with but until then stop depriving your son.” AITJ?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

I think it’s reasonable to go no contact with your son’s father, but check with your lawyer. It may be safer to allow supervised visitation of some sort in order to pre-empt him from having legal grounds for revising custody.

If it is safer to allow some contact, I would suggest starting with zoom calls and recording them. The moment he says anything inappropriate you say goodbye and hang up.

If he can behave himself and show up consistently for those for multiple months, then you can try a supervised introduction.

Stick to public places where you can easily grab your son and walk away. Double check recording laws in your state – most states are single consent, so you could have audio recording going on your phone the whole visit.” pupperoni42

Another User Comments:

“….What is wrong with your friend?

This man is clearly unstable, and just made a credible threat to kidnap your child.

‘the cops would find him and charge him with kidnapping’ like…has your friend MET any police? It could take days, weeks to find him. What if he was hiding? What if he left town?

Your friend is saying it’s okay to gamble your sons safety and if he gets ABDUCTED it’ll be fine.

Who cares about the mental harm that’ll inflict on him, or the physical harm an unstable man could do to him.

NTJ times infinity. Your friend needs to stop thinking of human lives like objects.” GoingPriceForHome

Another User Comments:

“You’re in a hard situation and I wish you had come up with a different solution.

It is a bad thing to override your son’s choice to meet his father. Obviously, you cannot allow threats of kidnapping to go unmet either. And ffs why do so many child-support payers think that the parent who receives child support use the finances on themselves? My dad said the same about my mom and she didn’t use a penny on herself.

Anyway, different options include: 1) refuse to meet him in a private place, meet at a public restaurant or busy park instead. 2) alert the child protective service in your area that a threat has been made and request that visitation be supervised.

3) take him to court to establish a new custody agreement that can be legally enforced. 4) alert the police that a threat has been made and get an officer to talk to him before the meeting or supervise the meeting.

5) only because your child DID overhear (you shouldn’t have told him if he didn’t), ask him how he would like to handle the situation and follow his lead, suggesting some other options if he still wants to meet but allowing your child to choose not to meet his dad if it changed his perceptions enough to not trust him.

6) probably more. Be creative!

I guess if I have to make a judgment, it’s a soft ESH (except the kid, of course), but with the acknowledgment that he doesn’t even know his child and shouldn’t be making decisions about your son’s life at this point and also you obviously couldn’t take the risk of maintaining the status quo when childnapping has been threatened.

I’m glad you have such a good relationship with your son. Hopefully, you can work something out to meet his needs without additional risk.

Also, your friend is dead wrong. You aren’t the AH for keeping the kids from his father, the only sucky move was to decline What the kids needed.

Kids aren’t toys for parents. The child should determine the relationship they want, not some parent’s desire to possess them. Furthermore, in lots of places a parent without a custody order won’t be charged with kidnapping because it is often legally impossible for a parent to kidnap their own child. If all legal custody has been officially terminated, that might be different, but your friend was off-base otherwise and him taking the child NEEDS to be taken seriously.” Square-Ebb1846

3 points (3 votes)
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Beads1912 3 weeks ago
You NEED NEW FRIENDS!
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8. AITJ For Bringing Up My Friend's Former Crush On Me During A Speech At His Wedding?

“Okay, I’m currently in a predicament. And frankly, I could really use some opinions. For backstory, I (F27) met one of my best friends Christian (M26) back in 2010 during our freshman year of high school.

We became friends and remained close over the years since, making a lot of great memories and sharing mutual close friends. From 2013 to 2016, Christian had pretty serious unrequited feelings for me. However, he eventually got over me, and I had never even let his feelings harm our friendship.

If anything, our friendship honestly got closer after he got over me. In early 2018, Christian met Victoria (F29) at a bar, and they hit it off. They started seeing eachother after two weeks, got engaged in late 2021, and the wedding happened yesterday night.

It was honestly a great time, as I watched with my parents and mutual friends as this kid I’ve known for 12 years was getting married to the love of his life. Plus, Victoria and I honestly had a pretty decent relationship, and according to Christian, she didn’t really seem to care about his past feelings as time went on.

Anyway, as the night kept going with a lot of music and dancing, I got up to eventually give a speech for Christian. I talked about how we first met, how much our lives changed since then, and just how great of a person Christian was.

The attendees were clearly touched, and Christian and Victoria both looked happy. As I talked more about our history, I jokingly mentioned how Christian had the hots for me, but that didn’t matter because he found his soulmate and that our friendship was stronger than some unrequited feelings.

Most of the crowd laughed, and I could even see Christian smiling for a second before seeing Victoria’s confused face. After the speech was over, I went over to the bar with a few friends.

Christian came up and hugged me, thanking me for the speech.

However, at our hotel, one of my other best friends Deven (F27) told me she had heard gossip from the bridesmaids that Victoria was really upset with me for bringing up Christian’s previous feelings for me at the wedding.

Apparently, Victoria genuinely had no issue with Christian’s feelings but felt it was inappropriate to mention them at a wedding. I sincerely intended no harm with my actions, maybe I didn’t read the room? Everyone I’ve told is honestly split on whether I’m the bad guy or not, so it’s definitely been polarizing.

Christian hasn’t mentioned any of this to me, and I’m not sure I should ask him. AITJ?”

Another User Comments:

“YTJ – the number of ways you’re a complete AH would take too long so I’ll try to make it short.

God forbid you have to make another wedding speech, remember to keep the joke about the bride being a second choice and the groom settling which makes you that much closer to the groom.

You know those people who say or do something so bad years later talking about the event it always gets brought up? That’s you. Let’s hope they can chalk it up to you being an AH and not get hurt every time someone mentions the husband’s friend humiliating his wife publicly during their wedding.

The laughter and smile were for the bride’s sake to try and make it less awkward (guess what, it didn’t)

You should be ashamed of yourself and if you haven’t apologized to the wife (which would somehow make you a bigger jerk if that’s possible) you apologize immediately.” Valuable_Ad_742

Another User Comments:

“You know that female friend? Like that female friend? The one that makes every woman/partner uncomfortable.

The one that you get absolutely awful feelings about even if you can’t put your finger on why, but everyone treats you like you’re crazy because “they’ve been friends for an eternity!”, the pick me! Choose me! friend.

That’s you. You literally had to make it about you.

She may not have cared about the feelings, but you have the absolute nerve to ask to give a speech, then took the time to rub it in this poor girl’s face.

Well, guess what? You will forever be a stain on their day.

You will be that crappy memory.

I’m not sure what made you think this was appropriate.

YTJ. You’re the complete jerk. You owe them both an apology.

And if that were my husband? I’d probably put an end to your “friendship.”” bexannh

Another User Comments:

“YTJ. Did it ever occur to you that Christian and Victoria’s wedding is NOT about you? And that the fact he used tiowant to screwyou is an entirely unnecessary detail for a speech and an entire party celebrating their relationship?

But no, you HAD to, because making sure people knew that he used to want to srew you was somehow important to you.

I think you really need to examine why that is.

You don’t think you have a crush on him, but I think that you were feeling possessive and that you giving this speech was a way of subconsciously lashing out at the bride for “taking” him away from you.

But yes. YTJ. No matter how cool everyone is about him having had feelings for you in the past, NOBODY wants to hear about that crap on their wedding day. Nobody. Nobody wants a literal speech reminding them that their groom, the love of their life, used to want to screw a now mutual friend. On their wedding day. JFC.

What you did was disgustingly self-centred and rude. Good luck spending time with him in the future now that Victoria rightfully hates your guts.” linerva

2 points (4 votes)
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Beads1912 3 weeks ago
If that were me I would have kicked your arse out of the building!!! Who the jerk does that at someone's wedding
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7. AITJ For Wanting My Niece To Take Better Care Of Her Grandma?

“My niece, let’s call her Jane, is 26 years old. She is the daughter of my sister who passed away 4 years ago after an illness that lasted more than 15 year.

Jane is a great girl, she really is.

Smart, intelligent, she had a very rough childhood because of her mother’s illness and took care of her until the day she passed away, for which I am very grateful. She also took care of the administration after her death and kept on taking care and helping her grandmother (who is my mother).

My mom and Jane have a great relationship. Jane studied at university and found a job in her university town, 1,5 hours away. She still kept on visiting my mother every weekend, even staying from Friday evening till Sunday evening, even taking days off when she had to go to the hospital to take care of her, help her pay her bills, took her dog in when she was in the hospital, arranged help at home for my mother, etc.

I live 10 minutes away from my mother, but work at night, so in the daytime, I sleep. I also have 2 sons who are 20 and 22, so they are a bit young to help their grandmother.

2 years ago, Jane met her partner Daniel (30M). Last year, in November and December, my mother often felt alone, cried a lot, was in and out of the hospital. When she felt sad, I asked Jane to call her or visit her because I didn’t have time for that (as said, I work at night and sleep during the day).

Jane also had to take care of my mom’s dog when she was in the hospital because, again, I work at night) I also asked her to bring my mom to the hospital during the day a few times because I had to sleep.

Anyway, since a few months, Jane does less for my mother, and for me. She no longer runs all the errands, when my mom doesn’t feel great and I call her early in the morning, she doesn’t immediately stop by to pick the dog up but asks to see how the situation goes, she no longer runs my errand either when I can’t.

Now she only visits one time a week (for example after work) and no longer on weekends it seems, instead of calling my mother each day, she only calls every other day.

I now am in in a situation where I have to do A LOT for my mother, I run errands, I sometimes pay her bills when there are some, sometimes I even need to change plans for this, and to be honest, I don’t think it’s fair.

I don’t think this fair on me, nor on my mother, because it’s not her fault that her daughter passed away.

I would like Jane to step up more and stop being selfish.”

Another User Comments:

“YTJ – I lean towards trolling here because it is seriously hard to believe what I am reading – but am responding to call out your to pathetic louse type behavior in the event that it may be true.

Such misogynistic infantile tones are here throughout your post.

Jane took care of her mother at the same age as your sons now but they are too young? No, they are adults. Are they babyfied by any chance? Or is it because they are boys – they have more important things to do? Hmmm, maybe they need to learn some caring for elders because who is going to take care of you when the time comes? You haven’t mentioned a wife, nor being a widow so I am guessing your wife left you.

You work at night and sleep during the day…guess what…she works during the day and sleeps at night. It’s the same amount of time working – that’s not a pass. Get over it.

She no longer runs all the errands? She is 1.5 hours away – you are ten minutes.

What about this is not fair? You are your mother’s child. This is on you. Not Jane, but you.

Jane has gone above and beyond. Even takes care of the dog – jeez. You on the other hand have been selfish, not Jane, YOU are the selfish one.

Don’t be surprised if Mom has left everything to Jane. I guess that won’t be fair either.

You simply do not want to be bothered about your Mother. Nice job, Son.” zeusmom1031

Another User Comments:

“YTJ.

I am just baffled at the insane entitlement you have here, feeling that somehow the responsibility for your mother belonged to your sister and because she has passed away, that responsibility falls to her daughter.

That niece has done way more for your mother than you ever have, you need to pull your head out of your ass and step up. Taking care of your mother is not “women’s work”, she is your responsibility not your nieces.

Your niece works in the day and sleeps in the night, so she is just as busy as you, and your sons are by far old enough to help out, you are just a misogynistic jerk who thinks it isn’t the man’s responsibility.

I hope your niece goes completely NC with you, continues to help your mother, her grandmother as she sees fit, and does not allow it to rule her entire life, as her own mother’s illness already has done.

She is fully entitled to live her own life and not help at all.

She is not responsible for your mother’s bills etc, that’s on you jerk.” Calealen80

Another User Comments:

“YTJ.

When I read the title, I knew it was YTJ, but your post, not only confirms it but also makes you YTJ the size of Jupiter.

You are a selfish person who has absolutely no consideration for anyone but yourself. You did not even consider that your niece, may have been tired of being a caregiver. She did her part for her family yet that is not enough for you.

What is worse, is that there are 3 adult men who are too dam lazy to get up and lift a finger to help out. Instead, they rather push the responsibility off on her.

I do not care if you are working a full-time job. And your 2 sons are old enough to go over and help out, be it walk the dog, run errands and sit with their grandmother, taking care of her.

So why do you and your sons get a pass, and why is it her responsibility to do YOUR JOB?

Don’t tell me how tired you are and how hard it is. Guess what I did it for 8 years.

My mother had Alzheimer’s, and for 2 of them I was the primary care giver, and I worked a full time job. I was beat when I came home, but when I got home, it was my shift and time to take care of my mother, her house, and her affairs.

And I did it without a break.

So suck it up buttercup, get you and your sons off your lazy butts and start doing the work and give your niece a break and credit for having done it already.

Let her have her life and freedom.

If not, what is going to happen is one day she is going to no longer be there, and she will block you. You will hear from some distant relative, or through social media that she got married and you and your sons never got an invitation. She is already there, push again and she will disappear from you.” JCWa50

2 points (4 votes)
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Bruinsgirl143 3 weeks ago
You're a jerk piece of garbage miss my grown jerk adult son are too young shut the jerk up with your BULLSHIT EXCUSES and get over your lazy selfish jerk and do something and on your kids are lazy because you are aer a better example #youreadouchebag
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6. AITJ For Refusing To Be A Step Mom?

“I know that sounds terrible but hear me out. I’ve been newly married for around 6 months and my husband has a 15-year-old son, Jason. My husband is only 32, so he had him EARLY.

it has just been the two of them until I came into the picture two years ago. His kid never liked me, which I get. I made the duo a trio and he misses just his dad.

That said, my husband really wants to do the whole family thing that his kid didn’t get growing up. He has a lot of guilt about his mom, who hasn’t been in the picture since like, his birth, and wants him to have a stable relationship to look up to like his parents.

Now, Jason and I aren’t openly hostile but it’s uncomfortable, uncomfortable enough that I decided to sit him down and ask him what he wants from me. The immediate answer was, you’re not my mom, your not my parent, don’t act like it.

And I said okay. That took him by surprise and I asked if, by any chance, I could at least be his friend. At the time, he said he wasn’t sure and I told him that was fine and to just tell me when he’s ready what he wants from our relationship but until then I won’t try and parent him.

That little talk did wonders. He avoids me less, talks to me more (he actually initiated a conversation with me the other day and I almost cried, lol), and even will watch movies with me (ie I’m watching a movie already and he will sit with me and I’ll restart it, not much talk but presence!)

My husband noticed and was initially happy until he asked Jason what changed and he didn’t like the answer.

He confronted me about it and said I should have talked to him about the relationship I was trying to have and that me being a friend is inappropriate and I need to be a parent, that’s what I signed up for.

It put him in a bad position of not being able to use my input for future childcare choices and I’m sabotaging being a mom. And here’s where the AITA is, I said, I’m never going to be his mom, he doesn’t want me too, so I’ll do whatever I can to make him at least not hate being around me.

That made him cry, and he said it felt like I already gave up before I tried. (Jason was not present for this fight btw and my husband isn’t a yeller, think emotional convo but not mean.)

That kid is his life, and I know he just wants the best but I think this is the best.

But I may have overstepped here by going over his head and straight to Jason. Aitj?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. I can understand why his dad wants that kind of relationship for him from an idealized POV, but I can also completely understand why your stepson doesn’t want that kind of relationship.

And your feelings are valid too, OP, about not wanting to step into a role where you’re not wanted and/or that you might not want.

I became a step-parent at 25. I was really unsure of what to do or how to do it.

Their biomother was still in the picture, as was her partner, and I just didn’t know where I fit. So I talked to one of my professors, and she suggested that I look into stepparenting relationships as a paper for my course.

And I found one of my favorite academic articles ever!

According to Svare, Jay & Mason, there are at least four different styles of stepparenting that most people fall into, and they’re all perfectly valid and perfectly healthy.

For some, the stepparent takes on the role of an absent biological parent; this is called a Replacement parent, and this sounds like it is what your husband wants for you. That does not work for every family, tho.

For others, they might want to be what’s called a Third apparent: they’re an important person in the kid’s life, they take on some parental aspects, but they don’t try to replace the bio parents, often because the bio parents are still in the picture.

The next kind is called an Assistant parent; in this structure, the biological parent is the primary parent, and the stepparent is more of a helper. The stepparent helps the kid, and helps the parent, but does not actually take on a parental role at all.

It kind of sounds like this might be the type that both you and your stepson are leaning toward.

The last kind has to do with Extended families & a lot of times that includes grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and stuff like that, so I don’t think that applies here.

But the important thing is, these all can be incredibly healthy family structures. You, and your husband, and your stepson need to decide what works best for all of you. That might be a bit of a balancing act, but it starts with listening to each other and respecting everyone’s perspectives.

Hopefully, you all will figure out what works best for all of you soon.” Beesindogwood

Another User Comments:

“Definitely NTA. You’re building a trusting relationship with Jason. At some point, this friendship might grow into an actual mother-son relationship (in name), but you’re already building trust between the two of you.

He will come to you for advice. He will spend time lovingly with you and Dad as a “family.” He probably envisions a mother being one to lay rules down and discipline. However, he will fare way better being a young boy growing up seeking advice and love that his dad can’t provide, and everything you give to Jason will mostly encompass that of a mother figure.

One other thing. The alternative toxic relationship would likely end up affecting how he treats women. Having a trusted adult female to guide him in life will be worth way more than forcing the parent-relationship your husband is seeking.

Also, you can teach him grown up/life lessons and hard truths w/o being the “parent”. Dad makes the rules, you all have to abide by them. Instilling ethics, compassion, maturity, logic, and many other aspects of growing up is way more important than being a literal parent.” buttgers

Another User Comments:

“I haven’t read all the responses, so I apologize if this is repetitive, but speaking as a mother of 2 (20f and 17m), I think you’re doing exactly the right thing.

When it comes to a parent-child relationship, of any sort (step, bio, adoptive, foster), the child needs to learn to trust the parent before a bond can happen. Trust is established by the parent repeatedly demonstrating they will care for the child, but also by demonstrating that they will listen when the child expresses themselves and will respect what the child says, even if they can’t always give them exactly what they want.

I think it’s easy to overlook the importance of the second part when our relationship with the child begins at a very early age because as the parent we view what we’re doing (feeding, cuddling, changing diapers, etc.) as caring for them, not necessarily hearing them out when they express themselves.

From the child’s perspective, though, that’s absolutely what we’re doing. They express hunger, fear, discomfort, etc. in the only way they know how, and when we address those issues for them, we’ve demonstrated to them that we’ve listened to them.

This establishes trust, which can then lead to a bond. We sometimes do things they don’t like, like giving them medicine, but we can still demonstrate we’ve listened when they express they’re upset, by comforting them instead of brushing them off, thus making the trust and bond stronger.

Your husband was able to establish trust with his son at the easiest possible point because his son’s needs were so simple when their relationship was being established. So the bond likely happened pretty quickly.

You, on the other hand, are establishing trust with his son at arguably the hardest time because his needs are incredibly complex. Just being a teenager alone, let alone one trying to navigate a new family dynamic, makes life confusing.

He still needs to know, though, that a) you’ll care for him (you demonstrate this with even simple gestures like restarting a movie when he joins you – incredibly sweet, btw) and b) you’ll listen when he expresses himself (which clearly you are doing) before trust is established.

So definitely NTA. You are listening and he’s demonstrating he feels heard and appreciates that. This is the first step to a strong bond.” needs-a-nap

1 points (1 votes)
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sissy84 2 weeks ago
I gained a "step parent" as a teen....I had had my real parent, I didn't need another parent. I needed a friend I could seek neutral advice from and be a buffer when me and my actual parent were butting heads. So that's what kind of relationship we had, we started as tentative friends and I grew to trust them and consider them as close as family. I never called him Dad, only ever used his first name, and though he and my mom never actually married, that's my step father.

But it started just like you are with your husbands son....it started with becoming friends and gaining trust
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5. WIBTJ For Deducting The Cost Of A Damaged Item From My Friend's Housesitting Pay?

“My friend of 3 years, Bex, house sat for me this past week. I agreed to pay her $50 a day to do so. She was home with my low-maintenance dog and stayed in the guest room.

Or so I thought.

Bex hurried out when I got home, telling me to PayPal her the amount once I’d settled in. When I got into my room, it became very obvious that Bex slept in the master bedroom – my bed.

I was quite put off by this, because I have a guest bedroom with a Queen bed which is more than sufficient and I told her to stay out of my bedroom. Yes, the master bedroom does have a King, but that’s not what I offered her.

I immediately took the sheets off as she was packing up and as I did, I noticed that there was something on the duvet cover near the bottom. It was nail polish. I called and asked her what the heck, she’d said she’d fallen asleep on top of the duvet with nails that weren’t quite dry.

I asked why she didn’t tell me and she said because she could flip the duvet over, she didn’t think it was a big deal.

It is true the duvet has two “good” sides, but now my duvet has a bunch of red nail polish on it on one side.

My duvet was around $250, and I have a receipt for it. I want to take the cost out of the pay I was going to send her, with a copy of the duvet cover receipt.

I told Bex I didn’t think it was fair for me to pay the full housesitting rate ($350) when she had ruined something expensive of mine ($250) in an area I’d set as off-limits (my bedroom).

She says this was “a risk I took having someone stay in your home” and “she really can’t afford to have me underpay her” and she even said that she would tell our mutuals I had stiffed her if I don’t pay her the full amount.

I told her I felt I was only obligated to pay her $100 ($350 minus the $250 duvet), and she told me to screw right off and to think carefully about my choices and hung up on me.

Personally, I would cover the duvet cost if she had wrecked my guest suite’s duvet. That one was $75, and it’s where I told Bex to sleep. But she ignored me, slept in MY bed, and ruined MY stuff, without my permission to be there.

She wrecked my duvet cover she should have been nowhere near.

I will absolutely never have Bex housesit again. She also smoked pot in the house (I have a covered patio with a sofa and it was nice weather all week) and she NEVER walked my dog (the doorbell camera never has her leaving with the dog).

I don’t think I really want to be her friend after this, so I wonder if that’s biasing me in not wanting to pay her in full after she wrecked my duvet.

So, WIBTJ if I deducted the duvet cost from her pay?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ for reducing her pay to offset your loss.

You had an agreement for Bex to housesit for $50/day in exchange for her staying in the guest room & taking care of your dog, which included taking your dog for walks. Bex breached that agreement when she failed to walk your dog, stayed in your room & damaged your belongings.

However, the amount Bex owes you for the duvet would be the cost to restore it to its condition at the time she started housesitting, not the original retail price. Further, if you can get the duvet professionally cleaned to remove the stain, then that’s the amount you should deduct from Bex’s pay.

Editing to add that I am an attorney, not a dry cleaner. As such, my comment above was not intended to suggest that a stain of this nature would or would not be removable.

I was merely stating that if the stain were capable of being removed (which I cannot personally speak to one way or the other), then OP should deduct the cost for said removal as opposed to the original purchase price of the duvet.” SunnyBunnyHopHop

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

But there has to be middle ground. E.g. can your duvet be cleaned, the polish removed, and the stain removed. Deduct that cost and maybe something for your time.

Consider it this way. If you went to court for small claims, what would happen?

I’d assume a judge would order her to be paid in full, but with a counterclaim to make you whole also.

So if your duvet can be cleaned that would make you whole versus the cost of a brand-new replacement. Unless the duvet is actually ruined and can’t be fixed to its prior state I wouldn’t say you were owed a new one, just cleaning it.

The rest of her house sitting, using the room, not taking walking the dog you might just have to eat and call a loss. She’s “gonna tell your mutuals”, you should tell your mutuals about how unreliable she is and messing things up and not doing what she was contracted to do, you might not even explain it as her to begin with, just someone not doing something as expected and trying to get paid, whatever it is, then say “oh btw, that was xxxx who did that to me, you still think she shouldn’t get paid? “.

We have duvets, but we use duvet covers, sheets that go over the duvet like a giant pillowcase. Certainly makes things easier. Wash those weekly because a duvet is too large/heavy/bulky for a standard washing machine.” Sirix_8472

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

I would however think about how to de-weaponize her threat by letting mutual friends you care about know about the situation so that you don’t have to be on the defensive if you think this might be an issue.

Paying her $100 under the circumstances would be more than generous considering she damaged property that she had NO BUSINESS using as there was no need for her to have been in the master bedroom.

It wasn’t as if the damage had occurred in the guest room or any of the common areas. Heck, it wasn’t even as if the dog had caused damage in the master bedroom because the door was open and he had gotten in there for some reason – I had a dog who once peed on someone’s pillow because she had pretended she would walk him to get him to do something and hadn’t – he was a very smart dog and obviously a bit passive aggressive and petty.

I don’t know the circumstances but I find it a bit odd that you actually had to pay a friend to dog-sit in your home. I did this twice for a friend as a favor.

It looked upon it as a bit of a mini-vacation. I packed a bag like I was going to a hotel. I fed her dog – hardly a huge big deal. She had a nice fenced yard so I didn’t have to get dressed early in the morning or late at night but just opened the door for the dog.

Yes, I took him on walks but it was not a horrible onerous responsibility to go for a walk once a day in new surroundings. And I had the fun of playing with her dog who I really adored.

I think she gave me a gift of some kind when she returned but I wouldn’t have dreamed of charging her just as she doesn’t charge me if she drove me home when my car needed servicing or similar mutual favor that friends do.” Jujulabee

1 points (3 votes)
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Beenthruit 2 weeks ago
NTJ. She should not have been in your room to begin with. Plus she tried hiding it from you. She's completely in the wrong.
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4. AITJ For Asking My Male To Female Trans Brother To Be My Bridesmaid?

“My (27 F) brother “Jake” (fake name; 25 M) transitioned from female to male three years ago. I was and am completely supportive of him.

I am getting married next year, and I’ve been gathering my bridesmaid team.

My twin sister is going to be my maid of honor, and it was also important for me to have Jake with me at the alter. So, I asked Jake if he would be my “bridesman” and be part of my side of the wedding party.

I didn’t think it would be an issue at all, but Jake freaked out.

Jake said that he should be a groomsman for my fiancé because he doesn’t want to be seen with my bridesmaids (all 3 of whom are girls) because people will just think he was a girl.

He accused me of asking him to be a bridesman because I still thought of him as a girl, which isn’t true.

I explained to him that it didn’t make any sense for him to stand by my fiancé because they’ve only met a handful of times, and my fiancé already has the budget-approved number of groomsmen.

And besides, Jake is MY brother, and I want him to stand by and support me during the wedding. Plus, before Jake transitioned, I always planned to include him in my wedding. So why should his gender change anything about that?

I see his argument that it might make him feel dysphoric, but having bridesmen is becoming a more common tradition.

Besides, he has a beard and he’d be wearing a suit, so there’s no way anyone would think he was a girl.

Jake and I fought back and forth for a while, and I finally snapped and told him he couldn’t be in the wedding at all if he didn’t want to stand on my side.

He called me a jerk, and it made me feel awful. I guess I needed to vent about it to strangers, so AITJ?”

Another User Comments:

“Trans guy here.

To a point I can understand the dysphoria it might give him, but to immediately jump to accusations of transphobia definitely was bit much.

If he was bothered by the notion could’ve kindly said “I want to support you but I feel like that would give me dysphoria.” And you could’ve said, “That is not what I intended, but I understand if it would be too much for you.”

Personally, I wouldn’t be bothered by this and I would’ve been honored to be a bridesman at my sister’s wedding, since I’m not really big on the whole traditional wedding rules.

Plus, the idea of only girls on the bride’s side and only men on the groom’s side is slowly becoming not the norm anymore. When I get married I’m going to have both a best man and a best women.

But not everyone is like that.

Overall I’m gonna go with NTJ, but I’m hesitant to call him a jerk if he’s put up with a lack of acceptance from his family in the past because that can put someone on edge, always wondering if the acceptance is real or just to keep the peace.

I think your best course of action here is to explain that you didn’t mean to cause harm by putting him what is usually perceived as a traditionally feminine role, and you support him fully and simply want him there to support you.

If he refuses to accept that and see it in any way other than the way he currently is, then that’s on him.” deaddlikelatin

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

I totally get why you would want them on your side as a bridesman and it sounds like you tried to do it in a very gender afirming way.

But 3 years is still pretty early on in transition and can leave you feeling extremely sensitive towards gendered positions (speaking from experience).

INFO: How has your family/other attendees treated him during transition? If they haven’t been supportive or made comments I can see that as being a big factor as to why he is uncomfortable being a bridesman as that can just give them more to talk about.

I would be happy to be a bridesman for a friend but would probably say no for a family member because I would have to deal with my family talking behind my back about how I wasn’t a real man.

I’ve been out and learning how to handle commentary for 9 years, but often remove myself from family situations like this because of how emotionally taxing it is.

It’s your wedding and from what you’ve posted it doesn’t sound like you’re being transphobic at all, just trying to accommodate in a way that lines up with your wishes for the day.

If you want maybe have a gentle conversation with your brother about what about it is making him uncomfortable and maybe apologize for snapping and not realizing how much of an issue this was going to be.

Transition is rough and lots of things can trigger some pretty intense emotions. That being said it’s not an excuse to demand changes in other people’s plans. This is your wedding not his.

Congratulations and best of luck.” PrinceofGeek

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

Maybe a small he’s a jerk for blowing up like that and refusing to hear you out but as a trans person when you’re still early in your transition (and yes, 3 years is still early) you’re prone to a lot more dysphoria.

Unfortunately because of the scrutiny, we tend to face people do tend to be a little over-defensive the first few years because it can be hard to navigate who is and isn’t saying something with hidden meaning because people will do that.

I want to say the way he reacted is in no way acceptable and I think you two should try and sit down to talk. Of course, if he really did freak out you’re under no obligation to reach out first as that was a terrible reaction but it wouldn’t hurt to remind him you see him as a man and this is all because you want him to be there for you and not your fiancé.

I assure you a lot of trans people calm down over the years. I’m around 8 years into my transition and while at first I flipped my crap I see now a lot of it was dumb.

It’s just scary. I’m not trying to justify what he did though and he should definitely be apologizing to you. I’m just trying to provide some insight to where his head might be. Even sometimes I get paranoid my family still views me that way but I know that’s irrational. I’m sure he’ll get there too.” rk800s

1 points (1 votes)
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sissy84 2 weeks ago
Maybe see if your brother would be more comfortable doing this for you if you and fiance could compromise....he add a groomsWoman to his side by including a female relative or friend on his side ....that way y'all would each have a non traditional attendee, making him feel less of an oddity. You just want you brother by your side, he probably doesn't want to stand out or have his past life remembered....
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3. AITJ For Telling My Brother He Shouldn't Have Eloped?

Mistakes happen.

“The problem isn’t my brother’s choice of bride. She is great and our family adores her. It’s the fact they eloped and didn’t have a proper wedding with the families there.

My met his girl in university.

They have been together for 3.5 years now. They moved together after they graduated university in 2020. Six days ago my brother and her disclosed that they were married. Last Tuesday they took the VIA train to Belleville and got married there and came back the next day.

The told everyone they got married on Thursday. They picked that random Tuesday to do it because it was the first time since his girl started working that she had 2 days off in a row (she began working as a nurse in a hospital in 2020).

They said they don’t want gifts and won’t be having any other wedding stuff or going to any parties on their behalf because his girl is still being cautious with seeing people due to her job.

The backlash and anger was so bad that my brother has blocked me and every other one or our relatives. He told us if anyone says a word to his girl they will be permanently cut off.

My parents have talked to his girl’s parents and apparently, their family feels the same. The issue isn’t her family not liking my brother or vice versa. It’s that they eloped. We’re Mexican and her family is Italian.

Both families are huge and it’s traditional in both cultures to have big weddings. Everyone is so disappointed in them. I know that when my parents met her parents they started talking logistics because when they moved in together it ruffled some feathers but recent years made a wedding impossible anyways.

I told my brother he screwed up massively. He had knew there would be backlash and fallout. When they told everyone they said they decided to elope the same morning they got married. They don’t even have rings and my parents were horrified that he proposed without giving her one.

I understand she can’t wear a ring at her job and neither can my brother but the symbolism is still important. My brother lost it on me and he thinks I’m the one who is wrong.

If you think about it both families are large and not one person agrees with them. Also even though I’m not religious either a church wedding is important to both families. It’s not just me.

Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt and uncles are all furious about it. AITA? I was only telling him the truth and there is no way he didn’t know this would happen.”

Another User Comments:

“An elopement is, in fact, a “proper” wedding.

Doesn’t matter what the “tradition” is, the wedding and marriage are fundamentally theirs. If they don’t want a big ceremony and reception, they’re not obligated to do so. If they don’t want to tell anyone until after they’ve done the deed, they’re not obligated to do so.

If they don’t want rings, they’re not obligated to have them.

Adults get to make their own decisions in such personal matters. Other adults may feel a little hurt or left out and that’s okay, but ultimately they respect that.

I cannot help but notice that you left out what was involved in this “anger and backlash”. Just elided any details entirely.

Your whole family needs to grow up if you ever want contact with him again.

He’s not spiting you by cutting you off, he’s protecting himself and his wife. Not his partner. You can’t even handle that basic level of respect.

YTJ, and so’s the rest of your family. No wonder they didn’t want any of you involved.” PinkNGreenFluoride

Another User Comments:

“YTJ.

You have two big families here, all being jerks.

Your brother and his wife made a choice about their lives that was right for them. It involved solemnizing their promises to each other, becoming legally wed, in a challenging time, and having their promises (not the rings or the party) take center stage.

If their extended families had any sense, they would cry, congratulate them, and send them consumable gifts (delivery gift certificates, cake from a local bakery, wine if they drink…) Instead, y’all complaining because you didn’t get to put the couple through three days of expensive crap they didn’t want, with infectious disease risk.

If your moms want a family reunion, they should throw a darn family reunion.

Simmer down yourself and give the families a week or two – bet they come around sooner rather than later.” eaca02124

Another User Comments:

“YTJ, and your families are all jerks.

Do you know what a tradition is? It’s a line of people stretching back through time, doing what that other person did. Why? Because that other person did it, so it must be right.

You, and all of your relatives need to develop an imagination. Imagine a world where you get to live your life, have your wedding, explore things your way. Not how other people tell you.

Grow up dude. Your brother got married. All you can do is be angry he didn’t do it your way. Try being happy that your brother has a partner he loves, and quit trying to tell him how to crap.” kevwelch

1 points (1 votes)
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Jigsaw1988 2 weeks ago
It doesn't matter if a million people disagree with them. They're adults, and they did what was right for them. No wonder they eloped! Both of your families sound dramatic and overbearing! Hopefully they just ignore the drama until the rest of the family decides to grow up
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2. AITJ For Refusing To Pay For The Rest Of My Daughter's Wedding Expenses?

“I (52M) have three children with my ex Tracy (50F), Michael (28M), Linda (25F), and Victoria (23F). We split because Tracy had an affair with Stan (55M) to whom she is now married. We never shared with the kids the reason for the divorce as I didn’t want them to blame either of us.

This backfired as the kids saw their mom move out of the house, into a small apartment, and me keep living in the house and remarry two years after the divorce. So they saw me as the bad guy.

Stan and Tracy let them pretty much do whatever they wanted and I had to be the disciplinarian who made sure homework was done, appointments were made, and deadlines were met.

My two oldest eventually came to realize that I was not the bad guy.

My son when he found out that his mother had put nothing away for college for him as outlined in our divorce decree and she told him to take out loans. My daughter when she realized that her grades were going to keep her out of her desired program in school.

My youngest never came around. So it was a surprise when her man asked for my blessing to ask for her hand. When I expressed that I didn’t think she’d care about my blessing he said she insisted on it.

She began spending time with me, being polite to my wife, and it felt wonderful to have my daughter back. I went with them to book the venue, and they’ll be getting married next summer.

I paid the deposit and the first installment.

I noticed that she was becoming less communicative again recently, ignoring my texts or giving one-word replies, and not coming over as much. On Monday, my son sent me a post from Instagram.

My youngest had an engagement party this weekend to which I was not invited. One of the photos was her with Stan and it read, “Anyone can be a father. It takes a real man to be a Dad.

This amazing guy has been my dad for 15 years even though he didn’t have to be. I am so blessed to have him walk me down the aisle next year! #daddysgirl #futuremrsx”

My kids wanted for nothing their entire lives because I never let them go without.

Even when they wouldn’t talk to me, I made sure their needs were met. I texted Tracy to ask why I was not included. She replied that Victoria didn’t want my wife there because she wanted a drama-free day.

My wife has literally never started drama in her life. I asked if Stan and I would both be walking her down the aisle. Tracy didn’t respond, but Victoria called me up demanding to know what my problem was.

I repeated my question and she replied that no, Stan, her dad, would be walking her down the aisle. I told her that if that’s what she wanted I would be fine with it.

I told her to let Stan know the next payment for the wedding is due in November.

Stan and Tracy do not have the finances for this wedding and think I’m being a jerk. Linda says if I do this, Victoria will never speak to me again.

Michael is on my side.”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

Once you finish paying for the wedding, she’s not going to talk to you anyway. Unless she needs bucks, of course. In a twisted sense, you won’t be able to buy your way into her life, but lord knows she’d happily dangle that carrot to her benefit.

Pretty rich of your ex to call you the jerk, too, when, I assume, keeping her infidelity a secret was to protect her from the kids turning against her. It seems likely that she used that silence to try to turn them against you, with varying degrees of effectiveness.

No one else can tell you how to fulfil your role as her birth father; it seems you take it seriously, but in your youngest’s case, it’s now a matter of how much you’re willing to let her take advantage of you.

I suppose there’s no shame in providing what you can, just as there’s no real harm in looking like a bit of a sucker for her sake when you know better, but, I wouldn’t expect a happy reunion or ever really ‘getting your daughter back’.

She’s taking that option away, not you, and maybe it’s just a matter of how long you want to hold out hope, or how many small injustices you’re willing to suffer to try to get there.” IUsedTheRandomizer

Another User Comments:

“NTJ.

She manipulated you into paying for the deposit and the first payment and the minute she no longer needed you anymore she went low contact again. Have some self-respect and stop being her piggy bank.

No amount of bucks will fix this relationship. The minute the wedding would be over she would drop whatever temporary relationship she would have with you.

I would tell your two other kids about what happened with your ex-wife but telling Victoria at this point would not be productive because she probably won’t believe you anyway.

Unfortunately, there is no good solution for this problem. I don’t agree with some posters suggesting getting a refund on current payments and canceling the venue. That would really come off as vindictive. I do agree that any further payments are unnecessary.

I would also make it so that if they are unable to pay for future payments for the venue that any change that you gave would return back to you if they gave her a refund and not back to your daughter.

PS. It also seems like that Instagram post was a personal attack.” jayhalleaux

Another User Comments:

“Instead of simply withdrawing the bucks, you need to sit her, just her, down and have a conversation about why and how hurt you feel.

Sit her down and ask her, why would she want to hurt you when you’ve done nothing but be there for her in every way you can despite her mom and you not being together.

Express your feelings in a vulnerable way. See what she has to say. If she says because you abandoned her then ask her if, since she’s an adult getting married herself now, she knows why you left her mom.

Tell her you wouldn’t encourage her to stay through dishonesty because you wouldn’t want her to be hurt and put herself second. You wouldn’t want her going through that kind of pain, and she shouldn’t want that for you either.

Now, I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with your kids. You didn’t mention anything about your emotional support of them. While it is manipulative of her to rekindle a relationship only to get your financial support, please also self reflect and make sure before you throw stones you have been as present a father for them as you should have been.

It’s a pretty big deal that she’d say he’s the father he didn’t have to be if you were close with your kids and didn’t just throw presents at them instead of your presence.

If you were a supportive dad in all ways, and this is coming from her mom, stepdad, and her being manipulative then let her know exactly why you left. Talk to her regardless about her why and how hurt you are.

Continue with withdrawing funds if you see fit, as she doesn’t view you as a father. I think you need to have a vulnerable heart-to-heart with her to get to the bottom of the why here. NTJ.” Puzzled_Juice_3406

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jojow 3 weeks ago
NTJ time to tell the kids the real reason for the divorce. Also. Time to sue your ex for the part of the college education she was supposed to pay for.
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1. AITJ For Not Cooking Dinner For My Family Since My Mom Keeps Buying The Wrong Ingredients?

“Ok, so to start I’m a 24F that lives at home with my parents. I have a job and pay rent, I just cant feasibly afford an apartment where I currently live by myself with my current job.

Into the issue at hand, my mother for YEARS will buy the wrong or “healthier” version of something that we need for cooking or eating. IE, sugar-free Nesquick, margarine instead of butter, fat-free versions of anything that don’t need to be fat-free.

I have one heck of an alfredo sauce recipe, it’s delicious and I love it. Is it healthy? No, not in the slightest, but not everything needs to be healthy, especially when none of us in this household are unhealthy/overweight.

Mom wanted me to make it for dinner and asked what I would need to make it, so I told her. I would need 2 cups of HEAVY cream, a bag of shredded parmesan cheese, a stick of butter, flour, spices, and pasta water.

All she needed to buy was heavy cream, and a bag of shredded parmesan cheese, and some butter, everything else we already had. I told her this recipe doesn’t work/taste right without these specific things, and not to substitute anything or I wouldn’t be making dinner.

What does she come home with? A gallon of 2% milk, and a container of reduced fat grated parmesan cheese, the kind you would sprinkle on spaghetti, and a tub of smart balance butter spread.

None of these things were what I needed to make dinner with.

I asked if the store was just out of everything, and she told me no, but these will work better?
I have tried to make this with half and half and grated parmesan cheese before.

It’s not a fraction as scrum-diddily-ishus compared to when it’s made with heavy cream and shredded cheese.

I told her that I needed everything that I said with no substitutions and that I wouldn’t be making it, and she flipped.

She said she didn’t have anything else to make for dinner and that she doesn’t know how to make it like I do… Yet, she couldn’t follow simple instructions.

Before any of you say “why didn’t you go to the store?” I didn’t go because she said she would get everything and promised to not substitute anything and just get what I asked for.

I didn’t care the brand of anything she got, it could be the store brand stuff for all I care, I just needed heavy cream, BUTTER, and a BAG of shredded parmesan cheese.

She’s now calling me ungrateful and uncooperative along with a multitude of other things that imply that I’m stupid and have something wrong with me, and threatening to kick me out if I don’t make dinner.

So, am I the jerk for not making dinner because my mom bought the wrong ingredients?”

Another User Comments:

“NTJ. First off, cooking is chemistry, and certain ingredients have particular physical and chemical properties necessary to produce the desired outcomes of certain recipes.

This is an especially important consideration with ingredients that have fats in them: substituting ingredients with different fats, or fewer fats, or no fats, can produce very different undesirable results.

Second, your mother promised she was going to buy the ingredients you asked for and not substitutes, on the understanding that you needed these ingredients to make the meal you were planning that she also wanted to have.

She broke that promise. It’s a breach of trust and moreover, she is setting you up to fail (see above).

Third, it’s bad enough to have orthorexia oneself. It is extremely irritating and even potentially traumatizing to impose it on other people, especially one’s own children, even if they are adult children.

It is indeed a serious matter and since you are in a position to put your foot down and set boundaries, you should do so.” HanaBothWays

Another User Comments:

“ESH. She sucks for buying substitutes when you expressly told her not to.

And if she’s actually threatening with kicking you out over this, then she’s a jerk.

You suck for being petty enough to refuse to make dinner over this issue, and for implying there is something wrong with your mother because she can’t cook this sauce herself.

Also, you are indeed benefitting from living at home because you said yourself you cannot afford to live alone, I don’t think making dinner once in a while with ingredients that you wouldn’t pick would kill you.

If it’s so important to you to have the right ingredients, either go to buy them yourself or refuse to cook instead of putting conditions to it. You knew this would happen and set it up for failure.

But you’re both petty AF so clearly the apple fell right by the tree.” Jolly_Tooth_7274

Another User Comments:

“ESH.

If your mom doesn’t want to get the ingredients you need to make dinner, and you’ve clearly communicated this, she needs to have something else in mind or be prepared to order take-out.

But I feel you skimmed over a point that would give us a different perspective: “not everything needs to be healthy, especially when none of us in this household are unhealthy/overweight”.

Would your mother agree with this? Your mother’s history of buying sugar-free and fat-free ingredients suggests that she has it firmly in her head that this is a health issue to her father or to herself, and you are dismissing her concerns and refusing to accept their preferences.

She may even believe she’s communicated clearly that she feels everything, in fact, does need to meet certain nutrient criteria, and you blow her off and tell her “just go shopping and buy me this stuff your doctor told you would clog your husband’s arteries and kill him!”

You may be unempathetic here, and need to try to really listen to her.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a question of who is medically right or wrong (spoiler: you are), but what your parents believe. And when people have been following a diet for years and believe that it is best for their health, they aren’t going to want to switch because their kiddo says so.

So. To keep the peace, I suggest going into the kitchen now, looking around, and trying to find something that you could reasonably cook for dinner with ingredients on hand. Or just cook your Alfredo sauce with what she bought, and add about 1.5 T flour per cup to thicken the milk – stir it with the Smart Balance spread to thicken (roux) then add the milk slowly to avoid lumps.

It won’t be your expected Alfredo Taste Bud Festival, but it will be dinner.

Going forward though, sit down with your mom and explain you want to cook for the family, but what’s the issue with the substitutes? Encourage her to tell you if she’s uncomfortable eating something, even for just one meal. Perhaps sit down and discuss menu choices and pick a few recipes you’re both comfortable with.” DevilSilver

-2 points (4 votes)
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Theflamazing1 3 weeks ago
Anyone saying OP is a jerk probably can't cook well. OP was going to cook a specific dish for her mother. You don't whip up a delish Alfredo with 2% and smart balance . I'm not sure what those ingredients would make. Mom is a jerk.
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