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'AITA for making my teenage son homeless after I caught him cheating on his GF?" UPDATED

'AITA for making my teenage son homeless after I caught him cheating on his GF?" UPDATED

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Man catches teen son cheating on his girlfriend and kicks him out of the house.

AITAthrowaway123344 writes:

I (40M) have a son, 'J' (16M). We live together alone. His mother is not in the picture. I have done my best as a single parent since she disappeared on us when J was 4. My son has always been my best friend. I'll admit that I'm not very good at taking an 'authoritative' role.

He hasn't ever given me much reason to. He's always been the kind of kid who just needed a guiding hand in the right direction. He's smart, level-headed, and generally a very caring person.

J has been dating a wonderful girl, 'E' (16F), for the better part of 2 years since they met in freshman year. She's nice and respectful, and they seem to get along well. About 2 weeks ago, they were spending time in the living room and got into a pretty heated argument.

E came to me and asked me for a ride home; I let J know and asked if he's OK. He said he's a bit frustrated, and maybe some space would be a good idea. So, a quiet drive to her home, she thanked me, and I went back home.

I asked J what happened; he explained the situation (not gonna put the business out there, just a common argument in couples), and he said he would talk to her once he had a more level head. Everything sounded reasonable.

3 days ago, J told me he had a friend coming over. I said no problem and just let me know if he needs anything. I was beat from overtime and knocked out for a bit. I wake up, and I hear a woman's voice downstairs. I come downstairs to J kissing an unfamiliar girl.

I asked J if he could help me with something quickly. He says sure, and we head to the garage. I close the door and ask who that is. J says she's 'Just a friend.' I ask what's going on with 'E.' He responds, 'Well, maybe this will get her to pull her head out of her a&%.'

I said, 'Alright. That's not how I raised you; you know what you're doing is wrong.' I explained, 'If you don't tell E, I will.' This didn't seem to register with him; he shrugged me off and walked off to spend time with his 'friend.' I called E's father and let him know what's going on.

J is then on the phone getting in an argument. E breaks up with him; he approaches me, gets mad at me. I tell him to accept responsibility; he refuses. I yell at him to pack his stuff and that until he can learn, he owes E an apology and accept responsibility; he will be staying with his aunt.

I take his car keys, my sister picks him up, and he leaves pissed. It's been 3 days, and my sister tells me he's still angry, and J refuses to reach out to me. I spoke with my friend about the situation, and he told me I should have let it be. J knows I don't condone cheating, but maybe my buddy is right. AITA?

OP provided an Update:

While my son knows my feelings about cheating, very explicitly so, telling him to leave to live with my sister was, in fact, a poor choice. I shouldn't have reacted that way; this is his home and always will be.

I just got off the phone with my son, and he apologized for crossing a line 'I had drawn in the sand' by his words. I apologized to him and said while I don't condone cheating, I shouldn't have made him feel like his home is something that can be taken away from him.

I expressed that no matter what stage of life, he will always have a place to land on his feet here in our home. I told him I won't interfere in his relationships any further; however, if he chooses to do the wrong thing, do not do it in our home.

We had a long conversation, and I think we have a better understanding of each other's boundaries and roles now. My son will remain my 'best friend'; there's no one else I'd rather fish with or spend the afternoon talking to. That's not gonna change.

His 'friend' was unaware he was in a relationship, and she's giving him sh%t for using her, and he did apologize to E, but she's obviously very upset, and we will see how things turn out there. J understands that what he did was wrong and is obviously upset facing the consequences of his actions.

I should have put more thought into what I was doing at the time. I still refuse to allow cheating in my home, but a home is not a possession to be taken away from a person. It's his as much as mine, and I never want him to feel like it's off-limits to him again. My sister is, of course, giving us both a bit of grief in her light-hearted way.

Here are the top comments from the post:

zerostar83 says:

I think you overreacted. At that age, your kid should never have home taken away. Your kid is 16 years old and obviously not going to settle down with E. I totally agree with the argument, calling E's dad, and setting some sort of punishment over that behavior is necessary.

What that punishment should be? I don't know. That's the hard part about parenting. ESH, but you most of all for forcing your kid to stay elsewhere. The punishment outweighs the crime.

ScottlovesAtticus says:

YTA (You're the A^#@ole). You went from non authoritative to chucking him out over a teenagers bad choice . That’s a massive escalation and over reaction He needs you as his parent, but even in the non authoritative role.. how is this helpful to him? How is this helpful to his learning?

As a child who was chucked out of home at 15 and has had a horrible on and then off and then on then abandoned again relationship with my parents I can say at age 48 and now totally non contact I do not thank them for their abandonment of me. I learnt hurt, I had low self worth and learnt that love is conditional.

I’m fine now, lots of growing up, therapy and great friends. I needed parents to help me, to not threaten abandonment. You made a bad parenting call . Do better You’re the adult, he’s a teenager.

Specific_Yogurt2217 says:

YTA, which is weird because you sound like a great parent other than this incident. You son has to learn his own dating lessons, you can't teach him those. Also, throwing him out of the house has now caused a rift between you that you will never be able to heal, and he'll likely never feel safe and secure in your home.

What do you think? What should OP have done in this situation?

Sources: Reddit
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