Dating someone with a kid comes with its own set of emotional dynamics.
And in some cases, these dynamics don't go away when the relationship itself ends.
AITA for not wanting my ex's son at my Christmas?
Trying to be concise. I was with my ex for about 7 years (never married), lived together the last 4. Broke up 3 years ago. She has a 21-year-old son 'Shane' who is now going to college in a town I have since moved to.
His parents don't live there (about a 6 hour drive). We've moderately kept in touch since the breakup, mostly just when he reaches out to me.
I would have preferred a clean break from both him and his mom but have a hard time totally shutting people out. I have not seen Shane in person since he was 18. Anyway, I got married last year and welcomed my first child 6 months ago.
This will be my first Christmas with my wife and child. Shane was going to go visit where his mom lives now for Christmas but due to a pending storm, it's uncertain if he'll be able to travel there.
He called me last night and asked if he could spend Christmas with me. I was definitely caught off guard and told him while it's good to hear from him, it will be my first Christmas as a whole family.
I would prefer to keep it to just us and maybe her parents who will stop by later. Shane was very upset, told me I was replacing him. I tried to reason with him that this is just what happens when adults move on in life.
I said we could still keep in touch but I wanted Christmas just with my family since it is our first one.He hung up and then later sent me a long text saying some not-super-nice things.
My wife is glad I said no but at the same time says she empathizes with how he feels. She thinks I should apologize but not necessarily have him over, but she would support me if that's what I want.
AITA for not wanting him to come over for Christmas?
Addressing some common questions:
Shane's mother and I were never married.
Shane's father is actively in his life, he just is often out of town.
I had only met Shane a few times until he moved in during his high school years. He was very active in sports and extracurriculars so he wasn't actually home that much for us to spend time together.
Them moving in was supposed to be temporary after his mom got laid off and it just kinda dragged into them staying. His mother was very adamant that Shane had a father and she didn't want me to attempt to parent her kid.
While he lived at my house, I was basically an adult roommate. We got along well but it was never a father-son type relationship.
The internet quickly shared their thoughts, concerns, and speculations.
NAH: I think everyone forgetting there's another person involved here which is OP's new wife. If it's her plan to have Christmas with just her husband and child it's OP job to honor that.
Can’t believe the people that are voting “YTA.”
OP, you are NTA. You and your ex broke up years ago. You have your little family now. Yeah, the baby might not remember their first Christmas, but you and your wife will. Happy holidays!
I agree NTA. However, Shane seems to have seen you as a father figure OP. You say his mom didn't want you to be - and to her and to you - you weren't. Shane though, saw you as one, hence his insistence to keep contact with you.
You need to set him straight and tell him where you stand. Your limited contact even after your break up with his mom has lead to this. He feels you are obligated to host him because at one point you cared for his mother and in turn for him.
And since you stayed in contact (even if it was low contact) you still talked to him and engaged. So in his mind you still cared / care, hence the reaction.
Happy Holidays and enjoy your Christmas with your little family.
Yikes dude. He was your step-kid basically for 7 years. He's stranded for Christmas. Would it seriously hurt you if he came for Christmas? I am grossed out by this, NGL.
If virtually anyone I have a stable relationship of any kind with asked if they could come to my house for Christmas, I would say yes, because it's f**king Christmas. YTA.
The kid would have been 14 when he moved in with OP. Not 11 or 12. It sounds like from OPs updates that they had less of a father-son relationship and more of a roommate situation. NTA OP.
You have every right to spend Christmas with your family without it being imposed upon. It would be entirely different if you had an ongoing and consistent relationship with the ex's son but you don't. At best he is an acquaintance at this point.
Would it be kind of you to invite him to spend time? Absolutely! Does it make you the a**hole not to? Nope, not at all. And given how this adult child has responded to you saying No.
Claiming you are replacing him, sending you texts filled with hateful words, I would definitely say you dodged a bullet and do not allow this guy around your baby.
YTA but not for refusing to have him over but for letting this go on for so long after you left. When you divorced his mom he obviously still cared for you and saw you as a part of his family.
You let him contact you and you never told him to stop. Now you have your own kid so you dropped him like a hot potato.
This is something you should have done when you got a divorce, not years later, because no matter how you try to package it, he's right. You have replaced him and that hurts a lot because this is not a toy, it is a person.
You either make a clean break or you let him be part of the family. You basically choose neither and that is why you have this issue. You should have told him you were no longer a part of the family as soon as you signed those divorce papers.
It still would have hurt a lot but that is the proper way of doing things and not just because it is inconvenient for you now. The only good thing is he's an adult and this will give you the clean break you wanted even if it was the worst way to do it.
I dunno. This one's a toughie. I'm not going to judge this situation cause it's hard to know from one post, but I will give some sincere advice:
If you want to continue having a relationship with this kid and want him in your life, maybe reconsider. If he's sending long, aggressive texts, that tells me that on some level he still looks to you as a parental figure.
Your rejection of him has hurt him deeply. So if you want to keep seeing the kid, try to smooth things out, maybe include him anyways. Family is about more than just blood.
On the other hand, it sounds like maybe you never meant to keep the kid in your life and you two being around each other might do more harm than good in the long run.
If so, then it's time to have a rather earnest discussion with him and just let him down gently but firmly.
Ultimately, you need to commit one way or the other, lest you accidentally cause more damage to him in future.
This is one of the rare posts where the internet is truly divided.