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Man won't let cousin live in college son's 'free room'; aunt tries to pressure him.

Man won't let cousin live in college son's 'free room'; aunt tries to pressure him.


Parenting doesn't end when a kid turns 18 and leaves the house, it's a lifelong duty and there are many ways to continue parenting even as your children usher headlong into adulthood and all of its independence. One of the most obvious ways to signal that you'll always be their parent, is to keep their room ready for any visits and return stays.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for refusing to give his son's room to his cousin who is living with them. He wrote:

"AITA for refusing to give my son’s « free » room to my cousin who is living with us?"

Me (M36) and my partner (M38) have 2 kids Luke (M18) and Jay (M15). Some background info: We took the boys under our care when they were 8 and 11. Before they came with us they had been in different families/ group homes for over a year. It was hard for Luke to understand that they were with us for good and that he had his own bedroom and family.

Me and my partner know that he stills sometimes has insecurities about it and a recent one was about him leaving for college. We explained to Luke that even if he was 18 and leaving the house he would still have a room and place at home, be it now or in 10/25 years. That he would still be our kid at 40 and we will always be here for him. Now the issue.

My cousin (F42) recently broke up and needed somewhere to live for her and her two boys (M16/M12). Me and my partner have a house big enough and we agreed to host them free of charge for 6 months until she gets her bearings back. For the house, me and my partner have a kind of master bedroom with our bedroom, bathroom, and office.

Our boys have their own room and they share a bathroom and my cousin’s boys have the guest room with a bathroom. My cousin has a room on the ground floor, it’s not big but she has the space for a bed, a desk, and a wardrobe. Last week we got the keys for Luke’s flat and we started the process of furnishing it, he will officially move in next week and will start uni the week after.

This weekend my cousin asked when Luke’s room will be empty. I told her that it will not be, that he will only take his clothes, books, and decorative items…basically his room will stay the same and he will take only what he wanted. She then asked how she will be able to move in the room with all his stuff still there. I told her she won’t, that it will still be his bedroom. He will still come home on some weekends, holidays.

She then complained about the fact that she was living in a « storage room », that she was the only one without her own bathroom, and that it was unfair of us to have an empty bedroom in our house and not give it to her.

My partner and I were very firm in our decision but my mom and aunt called and told me that it was a bit unfair of us to not offer proper accommodation for my cousin and that Luke could do without a room for a few months now that he has his flat for the school year.

I disagree, for me it’s more than a bedroom it’s what it represents. It’s his own place for him in our home and it’s something I want him to have for as long as possible. I’ve been called selfish and that I was coddling him too much over this so I would like an outsider perspective.

The internet quickly weighed in.

HairyDowntown wrote:

NTA. You're a better man than I. Soon as she started involving other family members, I would have told her to pack her s#$t up and get out of my house. The boys would still be welcome to stay if she chooses. They didn't do anything wrong. But mom's gotta go. You have been more than accommodating.

lady_rain_was_here wrote:

NTA. Your cousin is being ungrateful and entitled. She is getting a place for her and her kids rent free for six months (let's face it, probably more). It's much more important for your son to keep his room than for her to have a big room. She can have the big room when she's paying for it. Shut down this conversation once and for all. You didn't promise this room to her and make sure she knows that.

Impossible_Rain_4727 wrote:

NTA - Give a mouse a cookie and they will ask for an ensuite bathroom.

Your cousin should move in with your aunt if your accommodation options are not up to her standards. She should be more grateful for the roof over her head.

ThisIsTheCaptain wrote:

Absolutely NTA. You were kind enough to allow your cousin and her kids to live in YOUR home for FREE. And she has the gall to COMPLAIN? A person on the receiving end of such generosity shouldn't be complaining, you've already gone out of your way to accommodate them. And your aunt?

Hey, how about the woman who raised such an entitled person doesn't have room to criticize how you parent your own child. The kid was essentially told no one wanted him for the first 8 11 years of his life! God forbid you love the crap out of him. If she doesn't like it, she can move in with your mom or aunt. The nerve of some people...

DesertSong-LaLa wrote:

NTA - She cops attitude instead of showering you with gratitude. She has free housing for 6 months! This is astounding and shameful on her part. You did not put her in an aluminum shed in the backyard with no electricity. Her life change does not equate you change your commitment to your sons.

I'd sit down every person in the house and explain your decision. It will not matter if they agree. Remember, your youngest is watching so a 'public' confirmation would be more cement in your relationship. And please, clarify they'll be with you for the holidays and moving in February or sooner should mom find a place.

Your mom and aunt can either host these relatives or stop their noise. You are preserving something critically important; security, a sense of safety, and unconditional love for your son; an 11-year-old who did not know these things existed until he met you. Do not waiver on your decision. Best to you and may he rock his 1st year!

OP is most certainly NTA here, but his cousin and aunt, well they're another story.

Sources: Reddit
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