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Mom disowns son after his GF tells her what their relationship is 'really like.' AITA? UPDATED

Mom disowns son after his GF tells her what their relationship is 'really like.' AITA? UPDATED


When this woman is upset about her son, she asks the internet:

"I disowned my son. AITA?"

Not even sorry about it, and I don't need advice on him or his situation, but the complete fallout that has happened with the family. I will try to be as clear on everything as possible.

I (42F) have a son, (22M) and he has a gf, (21F). I wasn't super close with her as we didn't have a lot in common, but I liked her as a person and welcomed her into the family. They had been together for just over a year.

Over the past 6ish months, I had noticed a change in her behavior. Her and my son usually came over at least every 2 weeks for a family dinner. I knew they were having some money problems and financial stress so I chalked it up to that.

They came over last Christmas for dinner, along with about 7 other close family members (all vaccinated and negative tests for covid).

She was quiet the whole dinner. Afterwards, I was catching up on some dishes and clean up, prepping desserts, and she joined me in the kitchen and asked if I needed help. I gladly let her come in to help me with the pies. She seemed skittish so I asked her if she was okay.

She looked at me like a deer in headlights and then started crying. I thought it was about money, when finances are tight the holidays can be hard. I pulled her in for a hug and told her if they needed help, they just had to ask, and asked her if there was anything I can do.

After a few minutes of sobbing she was able to stop and she just blurted it all out. My son was abusing her. She showed me the bruises on her arm from him grabbing her. Told me how she couldn't talk to her family without him present.

Told me about how he controlled all of her money, and had her move in with him and made him the main holder on her bank account. She cried and said he wouldn't even let her buy tampons and told her rolled up toilet paper was enough.

There was so much more to it. I stood there in shock as she told me all of this and more. Finally she stopped and took a deep breath. "I dont know how to get out. I'm scared."

I wanted to kick him out of my house then and there, but having been abused by my son's dad, I knew that would make things worse for her. I told her, go out there and act normal. Don't say anything. Keep your head down and do what he says. I told her I'd get her out, as safely and soon as possible.

It took a few days but we did just that. She is staying with me while we get everything like her bank account (which he has almost emptied) and living situation sorted. I also told my son he is no longer welcome in my home, and he is no longer my son.

Maybe it was an extreme reaction, but I'm not asking if I'm an AH here. I would do what I did over and over again. The issue is, what little family I do have, on my son and on my son's dad's side, are outraged that I'd "choose her over him".

Damn right I did and I'll do it again. How on earth can I get these people to see my son for who he is, and be able to repair and maintain relationships with my family without allowing my son in my life again?

TL:DR: found out my son was abusing his gf that I wasn't super close with, and I chose to disown him and welcome her into my home until she got back on her feet.

My family is outraged about this and anyone who is speaking to me, just yells and tells me I'm a bad mother. How do I repair and maintain the relationships with my family members? AITA?

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

gag7 writes:

It's so wonderful to see a parent do what you're doing. As a woman who has also been in an abusive relationship- thank you for believing her and taking action to help her. It's so common for parents, especially mothers, to think/say that their son would never abuse a partner because he is their sweet little boy or whatever.

I unfortunately don't really have solid advice for you, other than just be honest with people and don't let them make you feel bad for doing what is right. If the roles were reversed and this girl was your child who was being abused by her partner, nobody would take issue with what you're doing.

They'd applaud you for it. Just because the abuser is your child/relative does not mean you need to support them. So many people have this toxic "family over everything" mentality; to me, whether someone is your family or not, you do not owe them your time or affection if they are a garbage person and actively hurt others.

someoneure7 writes:

There's no way answer here. But I commend you on helping this girl and putting her safety and well being, physically and emotionally, first. You can't control what others think she how they perceive what you've done.

But you did the right thing and see helping someone who found herself in a situation where help is often difficult to impossible to come by. I would hope that perhaps with a little time some of your family will come around on this.

Perhaps you'll have the opportunity to talk it through and make some progress as time passes. I wish you the best and thank you for looking out for her.

oldelderberry writes:

Oh, this would break my heart. I love my sons to death, but I very much hope that I would be able to do the same thing if I were ever in your shoes.

My experience with domestic abuse is that these days, most everyone talks a good game, but when it actually actually happens in the family, it's the same as it ever was. Tons of sympathy and excuses for the abuser, tons of blame for the victim, lots of glossing things over and how it's not really that bad.

People will say domestic abuse is bad, but what they mean is "when some stranger who I look down on does it". When it's someone they know and love, or even someone they don't know but look up to or admire, there's always a reason, it's never that bad, bitches be lying, etc.

I don't know that there actually is anything you can do about it - people are very, very good at not seeing the things they don't want to see. I admire you greatly for not giving into that, because seeing the flaws in our own children is one of the hardest things to do sometimes.

I want to ask you to please look for ways to help yourself while you're also helping her. This has to be traumatic for you and it seems like you can't rely on your existing family as a support network for yourself.

You may also need counseling or resources or just a nonjudgmental person to talk to. You've been very strong already, but I wouldn't be surprised if sustaining that takes a toll on you, and you deserve support too. Please take care of yourself.

knapridge writes:

OP, I am both sorry for what you went through previously, and for what this girl has gone through at the boy's hands (phrasing is a little awkward I know, because there is a word I am trying to avoid using there).

Family so often back and support the family member who is in the wrong, and blame/shame the victim of abuse. Family members who condemn and yell at you without trying to first hear your side of the situation are, frankly, not worth either the effort to talk to them, or the energy expended to try and show them how and why they are wrong.

It can be distressing if all or most of the family members who, up until a few days or weeks ago, seemed so nice and supportive suddenly turn out to be people who support abusers and condemn victims simply because "family loyalty".

But if we do not hold our own family members accountable for their actions and see to it that they face the consequences of those actions, then how can we expect to have the right to hold people outside the family accountable?

If you want to do something to try and convince the family members, then write a letter. As in, an old-style letter, on quality paper, with a pen and black or dark blue ink, signed at the bottom, and popped in an envelope with a stamp on the outside.

One copy of the letter and one envelope to each person you want to try and convince. Tell them what the girl told you, tell them what she showed you (the bruises and her terror of the boy), tell them about the bank account and what the bank have said.

Finally, tell them that if they are going to support and condone his actions, then they are dead to you and that they are not welcome to call, email, contact, visit or have any interaction with you.

That you are holding the boy accountable for his actions, and holding them accountable for their willingness to defend him, and sign it. It would be a good idea to draft the letter first, then set it to one side, read it a little later and see if there is anything you want to or need to add.

Once you are satisfied witht he draft, write the actual letters. Letter into envelope, addresses and stamps on the envelopes, stamped and addressed envelopes in the nearest post box.

Then (if you really want to control the narrative, at the expense of publicly humiliating the family members in question, which will definitely not repair the familial relationships,

but it might shine a light on them and allow people to reflect a bit more), give it a couple of days after you have posted those letters (or however long it should take for the letters to arrive),

and post on social media with the same text, tag all the people you have sent the letter to, and blast out a public update. Be prepared to block them en masse. Do not let them get out there with some alternative version where you have thrown the boy out for nothing simply because a girl threw you a sob story and a couple of tears.

mindtaker7 writes:

You are old enough to be capable of understanding a few unfortunate truths. Every member of your family taking the side of an abuser is a piece of shit. Period. Them being "Family" is irrelevant and for what years you have left on this planet, to waste an ounce of time with them is ridiculous and stupid.

To try to mend fences is to say their actions are acceptable. They aren't. To care what they think about you is to say that people who support abusers opinions matter. They don't.

You don't try to make them see your son for who he is, they know who he is. They like who he is. To try to prove that is just going to make you look like a fucking crazy person.

You don't have to prove shit. They have to justify why an abuser is more important to them then anyone else in the family. That isn't on you.

You also just have to accept the consequences of being a good person, and it is and will always be, at the cost of the people in your life that are not good people.

How you do it if you actually want to for whatever reason. Is you shut the f up about it. You do what you are going to do, you disown your abuser son, and you say NOTHING to them.

Fighting it, makes people think "She doth protest to much" and all that other bullshit idiots use to justify their shitty choices.

But what speaks volumes, is not wasting one fg second on it or them. You did what you did, you own what you did, and you move forward without them.

He will do it again. He will do it to someone else, and when it happens to one of them or one of their "Friends". Just don't say "I told you so". Stay on the high road, own your choices and take the consequences with class and stoicism.

This is the burden you chose and you are a good person for choosing it, but it comes with loss of family and friends who would rather protect an abuser then an innocent woman. Which if you ask me isn't much of a loss.

And now, OP's update:

It has been just over 2 weeks at this point and she is doing well, as well as anyone in her situation. She has been slow to take care of things, some days all she can do is lay in bed.

I know how she feels so I indulge her in that regard, and try to support her to take care of at least one thing a day. I have her making a daily to do list, and put on it even the most simple of things like "update resume" and "take a shower", because crossing something off a list can feel fulfilling.

Her ex, my son, showed up at her work. Her work was not very understanding of her situation and she went home early that day and then put in her letter of resignation. She is college educated and has been working on finding another job, and dabbling in the idea of going back to school for another degree.

She is still living with me, that likely is already obvious from what I have said so far. I told her she is welcome to stay with me as long as she needs.

I was once a struggling single mom but once I got my Master's things were better financially, I k ow what it is like to struggle and barely get by, I don't want that for my kids and they are always welcome to stay with me rent free. When she is ready I told her I would help her in finding a place of her own.

She did end up filing a police report simply to have the paperwork to be able to get her bank account fixed and possibly some of the money returned that he drained. This isn't guaranteed and can take a long time, possibly have to go to civil court for it.

As I knew it would be, the report was frustrating. Like they always do the police basically told her/us that there wasn't anything they can do about it at the moment, and that there has to be a pattern of behavior to prove she needs a PPO. Tomorrow we go to the court to file paperwork for a restraining order as long as they accept it.

As for his family and mine that were bashing me for being a bad mom and abandoning my son, they got a reality check. My son snapped at one point and went on social media, completely verbally bashing me and her. Some of the things he said.... it was horrible.

He was calling me the "C" word (don't know if profanity is allowed in posts here) and her names one calls a "lady of the night". Talking about how he knows better than a woman does in what is good for her, that she is a spoiled brat who needed to be put in her place, and violent threats.

Made a bunch of people start to see that aide of him. The posts were screenshotted and printed to add to the stack against him.

So, there we go. Thank you everyone for the support. We are still fighting this uphill battle but we are gonna win the war.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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