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'AITA for telling my son that we don't have room for him so he needs to live with his dad.'

'AITA for telling my son that we don't have room for him so he needs to live with his dad.'

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Co-parenting is super complicated, and it only gets messier when the kid wants to switch things up.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a mom asked if she was wrong for telling her son she doesn't have room for him in her house.

"AITA for telling my son that we don't really have any room for him right now so he needs to live with his dad and stepmom."

My ex-husband and I divorced when my son was ten. My ex had found someone new. We went for 50/50 custody but he still had to pay some child support. I went back to school at that time. On the weeks his dad had him buckled down and did nothing but schoolwork. When he was with me I made sure I had time for him before and after school.

I did expect him to help around the house but nothing excessive. Mostly just cleaning up after himself and helping with cooking and laundry. His dad's house was more fun. I tried to make my home welcoming. I bought a used PS4 and I got fiber optic internet. It wasn't enough for him. When he was 14 he and his father got the court to award my ex primary custody.

I did fight it but my son made it clear he would run away if I didn't give in. Counseling didn't help. I tried everything. It was devastating having my son decide I wasn't someone he wanted to spend time with. He started skipping visitation. When he did come he would leave the house and not come home until it was time to sleep. During this time I started a relationship with my current husband.

He helped me through this. He wasn't on my radar romantically, nobody was, so he got close by being an amazing friend. I asked him out and we got married six months later. We had known each other since I went back to university. Six months after we got married I got pregnant. By strange coincidence so did the woman my ex was cheating with. Not the woman he left me for. A newer model.

I had sold my house and my husband and I bought a condo together. Just a two bedroom apartment with a tiny den. We made the den into a nursery and consolidated our offices into the second bedroom.

My ex moved in with his new girlfriend and she isn't a fan of my son. His stepmother doesn't want him there if his father isn't there, so my son is also in the new house with his dad, his dad's pregnant girlfriend and her mom. My son is sixteen now and he called me to see if he could stay with me. I said I didn't really have any room. He asked me what I did with his room. He didn't even know I sold the house.

He is very upset. He called me a b#$ch for not having a place for him to stay. I said he could stay in our living room on the couch. Not acceptable. I talked to my husband and we have enough money from the sale of my house and his old bachelor pad a well as our condo to buy back into the market. We were waiting for interest rates to fall. And we were going to move to a more reasonably priced city.

I told my son if he could take the living room for now we could have a room for him in six months. He moved in with his grandparents. He isn't happy there. At least his dad got him a car so he can drive to his same school. My son is pissed that I prioritized my new baby and my work over him. I had no expectation to ever need to house him again.

My ex called me and told me to make our office into a room for our son. I told him that our son's circumstances were his fault not mine.

People had a lot of comments and questions to add.

aj_alva wrote:

ESH. Your son made his decision, and he got what he wanted. It's not cool that he is now facing the consequences of his fathers infidelity (again), but this decision is legally bound. It is your ex's responsibility to care for your son - by his own doing. With that being said, as a mother, I think you are letting an opportunity to rekindle the relationship pass.

He is sixteen, and it was probably really hard to reach out to you and ask for help. There has to be a more creative solution that can get you both under the same roof, while also giving everyone their space during such a transitional stage.

OP responded:

I'm literally buying a house so he can have a room.

curi0us_carniv0re wrote:

"I'm literally buying a house so he can have a room."

I don't think you should do that unless you really want a bigger house. He wanted so little to do with you that he didn't even visit enough to know that you sold your house.

Now he wants to live with you because it would benefit him. IE: He's using/taking advantage of you. Also calling you a b#$ch for not having a room for him is very selfish and entitled. I get that he's just a teenager but I don't see anything good coming of letting him move in, especially with a new baby.

Do you want your toddler to see him talk to you like that? I think junior should stick it out with his grandparents for the time being and do a little growing up first. I feel like by bending over backwards for him you're just setting yourself up to be a doormat.

OP responded:

We got the condo because we were planning on it being just us. We need a bigger place. And our daughter deserves a yard. And I want my son back.

Jayn_Newell wrote:

But you have a minor child from a previous relationship, even if he wasn’t living with or even visiting you at the time. From your timeline as presented you bought a two-bedroom house knowing he wouldn’t have space to come back if he changed his mind.

I know it’s been a hard situation emotionally but you’re the one denying him Space in your life right now, even if you are trying to fix the situation. Is it possible to have the baby room with you and your spouse until you get a bigger place? I know it might not be but an infant doesn’t need personal space the way a teen does.

OP responded:

I wasn't planning on getting pregnant. We had a room for him.

akzcinzow wrote:

Honestly. NTA. People are upset saying you should have held a place for him but you'd previously been doing just that only to have the son not want to have anything to do with you. It's a lose-lose for you here, unfortunately. If you'd kept pushing the issue despite the son saying and showing he wanted nothing to do with you, they'd have called you a boundary-stomping AH.

It's perfectly fine for you to have found a new love. It's perfectly fine for you to have another child or however many more you two wish to have. That doesn't make this a "do-over" child like someone else stated and you aren't replacing your son.

It was fine for you two to downsize to accommodate the lives you CURRENTLY HAD. Your son didn't want to be with you until he realized he wasn't a priority with his dad anymore. Yes, he's a child. But he and his father both made the choices they made and that just isn't working out for him now is it?

It's lovely you and the current husband are looking for homes to accommodate him, truly, it is. But I think that the relationship between you and your son could use some counseling before he comes back to your house and s**ts all over you, your husband, and the baby. But look, I ain't nobody. Don't let me f**k your life up girl.

MikeDropist wrote:

I do not for the life of me understand why OP is being ripped apart here. She did everything she could,including counseling,to keep him in her life and he allowed himself to be more or less bought by his father.

Needless to say, Dad is the biggest AH in this whole scenario because it is HIS responsibility to make sure his son has a home-exactly like the son chose it-but was mom supposed to just keep a room for someone who stopped talking to her for no good reason other than being less fun?!? NTA.

Pale_Cranberry1502 wrote:

Also, calling her the "B" word is totally unacceptable. I don't care how parentally alienated he might be. He needs to genuinely apologize for that before anything else. This is beyond most if not all of us. She needs professional help to guide her in dealing with this.

disconnected2121 wrote:

There's a lot to unpack here... I work at law office as paralegal. divorces are messy, especially for the kids who are often being manipulated by one parent and pitted against the other. He was 14 when he wanted to change custody agreement and stay with his dad. Still very much a child and in very vulnerable moment of his life.

He's 16 now and he realized neither of his parents want him. He's still very much a kid. a teenage kid, but still just a kid. The way you wrote: "I had no expectation to ever need to house him again" makes me think you never really wanted the custody, just wanted to stick it up to your ex.

I wonder if he felt the same when he wanted full custody. You have a chance to have a relationship with your son. Take it or leave it. It's up to you. Visit him. Talk to him. Introduce your husband to him. He needs to realize new family dynamic should he move in with you. ESH TBH.

giantbrownguy wrote:

This post is super weird, particularly so many of the comments that paint OP as a complete villain. I’m going with NTA here. Admittedly, as the boy’s mother, she has responsibility to him. However, there are some important points that weigh into my judgement:

Son and ex worked to remove any custody from OP, to the extent that he was able to refuse to spend any time with OP as a way to get back to his dad’s. Yes, he was 14 so very much a child, but that doesn’t completely remove any responsibility from him. He went to a point that was intentionally hurtful to get his way.

From what I gather, in 2 years he hasn’t really done anything to rebuild his relationship with OP.

This is all stemming from his stepmother not wanting him around and his father prioritizing his wife over his son.

EDITING TO ADD: Someone pointed out that stepmom is kicking him out after father dumped her for another woman he got pregnant. So, fair, the kid has no one, but he's still acting entitled and demanding without justification.

He has an alternative living arrangement.

In spite of everything, he’s still not making amends, only demands. He still doesn’t care about OP, he wants a space of convenience. He didn’t even know she sold their old house.

In understanding that OP REASONABLY did not plan for him to move back, because by all accounts he still refused a proper relationship, he now has a tantrum because he realizes she never planned for him to need to come back.

His reasoning for coming back seem entirely selfish. His stepmother doesn’t want him, so he feels he’s entitled to space with his mom, after working overtime to destroy the relationship.

I do agree that OP has a responsibility to him, and she is now buying a bigger home within their economic means.

She has offered him a couch as an INTERIM measure (this point seems lost on many commenters). OP doesn’t owe him a private room. Is it preferable for a teenage boy? Absolutely. But he also worked very hard to ensure he didn’t have to have a relationship with OP. She planned according to the life she had, not the life she wanted (i.e., with her son). There are consequences to the choices people make.

The son made some sh**ty ones and relied on a parent who was superficial and obsessed with winning. Once he won, the son was no longer a priority. Responsibility isn’t absolute. Choices and behaviour have consequences. Some of those include not immediately having a bedroom when you refused to live with your mom. OP has a younger child to think about now.

That child doesn’t need to be negatively influenced by their big brother. I also noticed some people made a point that the baby doesn’t need its own room. I fully disagree with that. First, not every kid sleeps well with parents. Secondly, even if the baby did, they need space for all the stuff that comes with being a baby. The baby doesn’t need to suffer the consequences of the son’s choices.

Clearly, this post inspired some spirited discourse from commenters.

Sources: Reddit
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