The problem? It's been complete a disaster for pretty much everyone.
And Reddit was frothing at the mouth to give their two cents on the family drama. You decide who the A-hole is:
I have 2 kids Owen (17M) and Bella (15F) with my wife. I also have another daughter Eva (14F). Just to be clear - since I know everyone is gonna accuse me of cheating - my wife and I broke up when Bella was born, we started dating again when she was 7 and married a year after that. I did NOT cheat).
Eva's mom had primary custody and they lived in another city until she passed away and Eva came to live with us about 2 months ago. The kids don't get along at all. Owen and Bella have been pretty mean to Eva and she is not helping the situation either by saying things she knows will make them angry.
At first we put a bed in Bella's bedroom for Eva but they kept fighting so much that we couldn't do this anymore so I gave the bedroom to Eva and told Bella she should share a bedroom with Owen. I put a curtain in the middle of bedroom so that they could both have some privacy but they were both mad at me.
The other problem is that I used to always bring all the kids back from school but they kept fighting in the car and I was worried about Eva because she is going through a very hard time so I had a talk with Owen and Bella and told them how hard it is for Eva to lose her mom and then go to another city to live with people who are like strangers to her and losing all her friends as a result.
I told them unless they start being nicer to her they have to take the bus instead. Next day they had another fight in the car so I told them that's it, you are both going home with bus and I'm only taking Eva. The last week I've only been taking Eva and we started to get an ice cream or something else after school and spend some time together.
Owen and Bella are angry and my wife thinks I'm an a-hole and showing favoritism. Last night she went to her parents' home and took both kids with her and said she'll be back after I start to treat them equally.
All three of them are at fault for the arguments yet you're punishing only two of them while giving the third a pass because of her situation. All that's going do is make her think she can be horrible and get away with it. YTA (you're the a-hole).
Yeah and the room situation seems like the worst possible way to handle this.
But coolifiparkhere isn't having it:
I've seen a lot of commenters saying this, but I'm curious about what a reasonable solution could be? There are 3 kids and 2 bedrooms, what possible combination could there be that would be better than the two OP tried?
AbbreviationsNo4968 has more sympathy:
NAH (No a-holes here). I think this situation is hard for everybody in your household. I understand that you are trying for Eva’s sake. She is the stranger in your house and it seems your family is against her. Is your wife helping with the situation somehow or is she just pointing fingers?
I think you need family therapy to navigate this and have someone neutral to explain things to all your kids. I don’t understand all the people who say that you are favouring Eva and she had you alone. She was with you once a month and you lived with your other kids.
And OP responded:
I feel like no one else is seeing my point. Eva is basically living in her bedroom. My wife and children have made it clear that she is not welcome here and I can't take away her safe space by forcing her to share with Bella again and by taking the bus they have to walk a part of the way.
I can't ask Eva to walk she is new she hardly knows the way what if she gets scared or lost? The two older ones have been here their entire lives they know how to get home and they have their friends in the same bus.
TamWings is on OP's side.
Reddit seems to think making your kids share a room is some sort of crime instead of a totally normal thing many families do if they're not swimming in money. I shared a room with my sister my whole childhood - did we hate it at time, sure - did it do us any lasting damage? of course not. It's only cruel to make kids share if one of them is being cruel eg. Bella.
I'd have even been like 'okay fine that's pretty fair' if OP was JUST driving Eva home from school while the other two take the bus. But her also getting ice cream and treats is what makes it unreasonably unfair to me.
YTA. This is not how you do it. I get your motivations, and I agree things are hard for Eva, but things are also hard for Owen and Bella as well. They suddenly have another sibling who is taking a parent's time away from them and constantly siding against them. They don't understand how hard it is for Eva to have lost all she's lost, and her mean comments that upset them only add to the conflict between them.
Eva has a lot of reasons to act up, but so do Bella and Owen. You also don't know what kind of crap they may be dealing with at school. There are lots of hard things in life besides losing a parent.
I want to thank some of you for your very helpful and supportive comments. Some of the comments and messages that I got were just unbelievable - wtf is wrong with some of you?
There were some people who said I should have made Eva take the bus instead? Like who does that? 'Oh sweetheart I'm sorry you are getting bullied if You don't want to be bullied anymore get out and take the bus' sounds good?
Some people told me I should let her go and focus on my real family. Wtf is a real family? She is my CHILD. What more real than that? Some people told me they agree with my wife and I should send her to live with someone else. 'Sweetheart I'm sorry you lost your mom. Now you should lose your dad because who cares about you? I have more important matters' sounds good?
Then Usrname52 shares some wisdom:
I don't necessarily want to say anyone is an AH because the whole situation sucks. Everyone's life was thrown into turmoil. Eva's most of all. Her mom died, she was uprooted, and she's now living with a father she doesn't know particularly well and half siblings who hate her.
Your wife and your other two kids suddenly have this teenager living with them that's a reminder of a really rough patch in which you and your wife were broken up, and their lives are being majorly altered as well. It causes logistic and financial changes.
I don't think there is any ideal way to deal with it. Definitely get Eva into therapy, and hopefully the others as well. Hope that in time, and not by forcing them, they will develop a better relationship.
You can agree or not about who the A-hole is, but we can all agree there are no easy solutions here. Be kind, everyone!