Having a blended family is hard. When this father is conflicted about his daughter and stepson, he asks the popular Reddit forum:
I am a widower. My first wife passed away 6 years ago from cancer. A few years after she passed, I reconnected with a former girlfriend of mine (We ended the relationship amicably, but lost touch over the years). We started dating again, albeit long-distance, and we married this past January and moved in together this February.
There has been a major hiccup in all of this though. My daughter has a pet rabbit, she has had him for almost 5 years now. His name is Basil. Basil lives in my daughter's room and currently enjoys a lot of space: we converted her walk-in closet into a bunny pad, he is litter trained and she often lets him run around the house supervised.
He honestly is more like a cat than what you would think a pet rabbit would be like. She has a little ramp for him to get on and off her bed and he will follow her around the house and everything.
Unfortunately, it seems my stepson is highly allergic to rabbits. It seems to be a pretty severe allergy. We've gone to doctors to try medicine, we tried banning Basil from the common areas of the house and had everything professionally cleaned. No dice on any of it.
Just walking down the hallway past my daughter's room causes my stepson's eyes to swell and his throat start to close. My stepson and wife are currently living in a hotel until we can make the house safe for him.
I told my daughter we will have to move Basil outside because him living indoors just isn't safe for her stepbrother. She is, understandably, very upset about this. I've tried to involve her in picking out and building an appropriate setup for Basil but she absolutely refuses to do so.
She is mostly not talking to me, and when she is it is screaming, crying, and saying every hurtful thing she can think up towards me. AITA?
YTA. OP said they’ve seen doctors but allergy shots have come a long way in terms of efficacy. It would take 3-5 shots a year to minimize the effects of the allergy. My dad is severely allergic to short haired animals and the shots help him not have his throat close so that’s a huge plus.
No, it’s not ideal, but OP should put their child’s need for this animal over the stepsons need for comfort, as the commenter said, live separately. Fun parenting tip: It isn’t about you. Also YTA massively for not having your child meet your wife to be and her kid prior to marriage.
Yta she's already lost her mother and now you want to move her pet away from her just because you have decided to get with someone else , she will end up resenting you and stepson, if his allergies are that severe him and his mother should stay at their own house and except the world doesn't revolve around their illnesses and if they want a sterile environment they will have go make one themselves.
NTA. This is definitely tough, but the world doesn't revolve around a pet rabbit either.
The best compromise would be to build place outside where the rabbit can be that is big enough for the daughter to spend time with the rabbit too.
You can't just up-end an entire family because of a pet. Paying for two houses because of a pet rabbit is insane. Take a fraction of that money, build a fancy place in the back yard, and move forward.