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'AITA for being angry at a 13-year-old for snooping?'

'AITA for being angry at a 13-year-old for snooping?'


"AITA For Being Angry at a 13 Year Old For Snooping?"

Three years ago,I met and eventually married my current husband. He had 2 children and I had one. This pertains to the oldest daughter, who is now 13. My husband has 50/50 custody of his kids. When we got married, we opted to move into a house I already owned due conditions of the housing market. My house has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a large, partially finished basement.

My husband's ex has always been very manipulative and vindictive (we met years after their divorce, and they've been divorced seperated for over 12 years). His ex has even gone so far as to stalk me and become friends with my ex in order to gain more information about me. I recently found out my husband's daughter had "gone through" the house because her mom told her to try and find what we are hiding.

She stated she was looking for anything that might be illegal and even went on to describe the various spots she looked in and what she found. Areas such as a closet under the stairs, the attic, the woodbox, even going through some very personal boxes that contained extremely personal items from deceased loved ones.

My problem is I'm getting more angry about this. My husband thinks my reaction is overkill, as we had previously joked about her looking around, but we could never really prove anything. I chalked most of it up to curiosity, but a small part of me felt maybe she wasn't so innocent.

After I found out about why she actually was snooping, I explained to her it wasn't right; she shrugged her shoulders and said, well, do you have something to hide? This only pissed me off more,but I played it off as a joke as I didn't want to say what was really going through my mind.

My husband says he talked to her, but I'm of the mindset there should be some consequences for snooping around because their mom said to do so. Even at 13, that is old enough to know that something is not right.

We haven't given any of the kids reason to think we are engaged in any illicit activities (no friends coming around, no unexplained cash, no mood swings, we don't smoke, and rarely drink). The other child has stated she knows that is wrong and mom is very crazy in how she acts towards me. It doesn't even pay to attempt to communicate with his ex; she'll just deny it.

So, AITA for becoming angrier at the snooping child? I can't help thinking she may have taken stuff as well. I know she'll play clueless and start with the big crocodile tears, but I think she's more manipulative and the cluelessness is an act. Also, should I have expected my husband to have given punishment to her?


The daughter is enrolled in counseling. Dad did talk to her but i dont know what was said. And yes, I have cameras in the house (common living areas only) apparently this was not well recieved by the daughter and her mom.

2nd Edit: I did NOT approach or yell at the Stepdaughter when she randomly told me she had searched the house. I've had things come up missing, only for some things to reappear about a week after I mention that it's missing. ​ I considered it old age, but again, who knows.

I was really looking for ideas on how to handle this and if i should even tell the kid i was upset/angry or how to better convey that while i do love her, her actions are not acceptable. She IS a good kid, but i feel its important she understand how her actions (whether driven by others or not) can affect others.

3rd: I had cameras outside, not in my office or our basement. Everyone already knew there were cameras-I was a single mom.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

mifflewhat said:

NTA. I can't believe your 13 year old actually admits to snooping and your husband isn't upset by this? I'd be setting him up in a separate bedroom so that I could put a good lock on my door.

This is a massive red flag on your husband. If he is going to let your ex abuse and violate you through his weaponized daughter, you will have zero peace until she is out of the house, and she will grow up being twisted inside by what her mother is doing to her (and her father is permitting).

And it won't end with her growing up. He will want to see his grandchildren, but she will either end up hating both of you, or he will "save" his relationship with her by throwing you to the wolves & prioritizing her so that he can have continued access to her someday children.

ETA this is also failure to protect on his part, as weaponizing a child is abusive so him just standing there doing nothing while his ex does this to her is neglectful.

Gin_n_Tonic_with_Dog said:

Perhaps you should sit her down and talk her through all the things she was snooping through. Tell her about the people who are deceased, and why you store the items that you’ve kept as a memorial. Go through old photographs and tell her about the memories you hold from them. And on and on till she’s bored and doesn’t want to snoop any more.

Then ask her if she’d be OK if you had a look through her suitcase every time she arrives from her Mum, since you are sure she has nothing to hide, then by her logic she should be OK with this.

And use that as a kick-off point to discuss what privacy you would like with each other going forward as an adult-to-almost-adult relationship. NTA, but you need to work out a way to defuse your emotions, to make the situation easier for all three of you.

AMerrickanGirl said:

ESH. She’s being manipulated and pressured by her toxic mother and put in a very difficult position in the middle of her parents’ divorce. It’s not easy to say no to a parent like that, and 13 is not old enough to understand what’s going on. That can take lots of therapy. You and your husband need to take action to protect and educate his daughter on how to better handle her mother’s demands, not punish her.

B%tchbuttondontpush said:

NTA. As my father taught me "it’s nobody‘s business that I got nothing to hide." "Nothing to hide’ is gaslighting used to manipulate people into believing that the reasonable desire to have privacy automatically means you must have some big dark secret. It’s absolutely fine to not want people going trough your personal stuff and to be upset if this happens. Not all aspects of our personal lives have to be accessible to everyone.

Plenty-Protection-72 said:

NTA, she's 13 and she should know basic boundaries by this point. Your husband should also understand that this is wrong and this behaviour should not be allowed to continue as she is violating your privacy and going through some very personal possessions, which is never okay.

Icepack8247 said:

NTA BUT, from my own perspective who has grown up with an abusive parent, she is doing it only because she’s told to, because one of the people she’s meant to trust is indoctrinating her (for lack of a better word) to believe the she’s completely in the right for doing was she’s doing, and that unfortunately falls under the umbrella of disrespecting you.

I’m saying this because my mother told me countless times to lie to teachers and police etc. and that I should take her word for it and I did until I moved out and was able to think for myself.

Maybe I’m taking an extreme POV from my own history but you’re NTA but I’d advise a more diplomatic approach to her snooping as it’s being fuelled by second hand spitefulness. Losing your cool only confirms it to the daughter who will inevitably report that back for her mom to take joy from it. Dad also needs to support you too.

The opinions were slightly divided here, but most people were on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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