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Mom lets son call BF's parents 'grandma' and 'grandpa'; it goes badly. Updated!

Mom lets son call BF's parents 'grandma' and 'grandpa'; it goes badly. Updated!


New update from OP at the bottom of the post.

'AITA for introducing my boyfriend's parents as 'Grandma and Grandpa' to my son?'

This last Thursday I (29 F) went over to my boyfriend 'Jay's' (25 M) house for Thanksgiving and brought my son (4) with me. I and Jay have been together for a year and a half now, and he is the most amazing man in the world. He's been amazing with my son (his bio father is not in his life) and I can genuinely see him as 'the one'.

Jay's parents came over as well. It's not that I don't get along with them, it's just I have only ever seen them 3 times before this Thanksgiving. I have not had any time to really bond with them I guess. They had never met my son in person either, but they both knew about him.

By the time I arrived Jay's parents were already there and helping him finish up dinner. We greeted each other and Jay's dad asked 'And who's this little guy.' I introduced them to my son and then introduced Jay's parents as 'Grandma and Grandpa' to my precious boy I didn't notice at the time, but all three of them became quiet almost immediately.

I ended up waiting in the living room alone for almost half an hour before dinner and things just were incredibly awkward for the rest of the night. My son did end up calling his parents by grandpa and grandma and I quickly noticed both of them would be very disingenuous and awkward about it over dinner but they did not say anything to me about it.

They didn't stick around for long after either but when they left both were very cold to me.

I asked Jay what was their deal and he lost it at me. He claims I put him in an incredibly awkward position. His parents apparently didn't think we were 'that serious' yet and began to question him if I was only using him as a 'replacement daddy.' He said that it was way out of line to introduce them that way without even talking to him beforehand.

I think it's ridiculous. If one day he's going to be my son's stepdad then why go through this formal nonsense? He claimed that's 'not the point' and we ended up fighting till I stormed out.

We have not talked since and I have simply been waiting for an apology. I talked with my sister about it last night and she said she was mortified to hear this. Saying she also didn't get the read that we were all that serious and she never felt like Jay intended to take on a 'Dad' role. This has got me questioning if I was wrong.

Here's what advice people had for OP:

TheAshenDemon4 writes:

YTA. You basically made the decision that Jay and his family are now your son’s family all on your own, with no discussion beforehand, and THAT is why everyone is upset. While I’m sure no one is AGAINST the idea outright, the “formal nonsense” is a very necessary step when it comes to merging families.

And to be honest, you probably need to have a serious discussion with Jay about where this is heading sooner rather than later if both his parents and your sister did not think you two were that serious.

What if he does not actually see himself as a father to your child, or does not see the relationship that seriously either? THIS is why we need the “formal nonsense”, and talking it through with everyone involved.

TheLovelyMadamToh writes:

Wow wow WOW YTA. How EXTREMELY awkward.

Also, did you think for half a second how devastated your son will be WHEN you guys break up and 'grandma and grandpa' are no longer in his utterly confusing for him. You didn't think about anyone but yourself and your childish fantasy. YTA big-time.

Character_Bed_1205 OP responded:

I know now in retrospect how bad it looks. But I genuinely thought that Jay was fine with it. My son sees him as basically his father figure even though we don't live together yet. Jay has been nothing but an angel to my son as well, so I guess I misread the entire situation.

Kris82868 writes:

YTA. That's a major leap to introduce them with those terms when they don't fulfill that role. And the fact that he may one day be stepdad doesn't mean he's Dad unless you had a serious discussion about if he will take on that role.

Character_Bed_1205 OP responded:

Jay's always been so amazing with my son though. It might not be a 'Dad' relationship by name, but my son loves Jay with all his heart, and Jay's never given any indication he's not ok with this. We never sat down and talked about it, sure, but he never said anything else. I really regret doing this now though.

DrMamaBear writes:

YTA- ah OP. I had that conversation with my own parents when I was pregnant. They have the right to choose what they are called. They chose unconventional nicknames rather than traditional. What you have done is an even bigger conversation than that. It’s a profound assumption.

Aside from whether that’s where your relationship is you need to ask how they want to be called. Sigh. Oh goodness OP. You need to be the one to apologise.

MageVicky writes:

I wouldn't be surprised if OP's relationship with her boyfriend cools down a bit for a while, because this was a major overstep on her part.

Updates from OP after reading the comments on the post:

I genuinely thought Jay would be ok with this. Jay has always treated my son so well, I guess I misread treating him kindly as being ok with being his father figure. I'm pretty sure I ruined this for myself, but most importantly I hurt my son through all this. I called Jay and apologized.

We're going to be taking a break. I'm going to look into making sure I didn't scar my kid with this.

Update from OP 2 weeks after the original post:

I thought I would update everyone on what happened. Immediately when I realized I was in the wrong, I called Jay and apologized for what happened. He told me he needed some space and wanted to take a break. I ended up calling his mother as well and apologized profusely.

His mother forgave me and after I explained my reasoning said she didn't hold it against me. However, in retrospect, I think she was only being nice to me knowing her son was going to end the relationship.

Speaking of, Jay ended the relationship. I decided to take the advice given here about sitting down with Jay and getting on the same page about our relationship. I also saw some of the comments here about taking a break = relationship ended, so I called Jay and told him that I wanted to talk sooner rather than later about this.

We met yesterday, and while I feel our talk went well, It was really obvious to me that Jay was done with the relationship. He said that, while he always knew that me and my son were a packaged deal, he had not decided at that point if he was truly going to take on the 'dad' role for my son.

He felt like my interpreting his niceness and acceptance of my son as a fatherly role was a red flag for him overall, especially because we had never talked about it at all. He said that the real problem he had was me deciding that his parents were grandma and grandpa, without even talking to him about it.

My original refusal to apologize and expecting him to as well were part of it as well. There are other things he brought up that I feel are beyond this issue anyway, so I'm going to leave them out. Many of the criticisms left on my original post lined up with what he said, so I can really say for certain I messed up big time.

I apologized, But I knew there was really no hope of saving this so I didn't push when he said he felt like we should end the relationship. Overall, my last post made me realize that I really need to work on my own expectations for my partner and how he will fit into my son's life. I also really need to work on my own communication skills.

Here's what people had to say about the update:

DesertSong-LaLa writes:

WOW -- You did some hard work and I applaud you for this. Our personal mistakes can inform us and you are making the most by self reflecting and setting future goals. As a frequent contributor to this sub I want to thank you.

We rarely hear how our words or perspective positively impacts others. I'm certain you will find the right loving partner to welcome into your life. Best to you.

EmeraldBlueZen writes:

I agree 100%. OP, good for you. You're learning and growing, which is the best all of us can do. Kudos to you!

b2bsleep writes:

Yep, I cringe sometimes when thinking of some of the stuff I said as a youth.

Being legit called out in retrospect, was some of the best things that happened to me even if it stung at the time. I'm still learning, and find something new always from these posts.

BitOCrumpet writes:

Sh*t, I cringe over stuff I said last week.

DrWhoop87 writes:

I can't imagine dating as a single parent is easy. OP made a mistake that cost her, but in the end we're only human. I hope she has better luck next time.

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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