Personal space isn’t just about the little bubble of air around your body.
The desk you work off of, the room you sleep in and the car you drive are all just as vital personal spaces.
So, when we invite someone to share one of our personal spaces it can be an extremely personal decision.
What happens when the person we’ve invited decides to invite someone else along for the ride?
This was the problem facing Redittor and Original Poster (OP) Complex_Librarian_82 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions on her hypothetical “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA) question.
“WIBTA For refusing to allow boyfriend’s problem child move in with us?”
She began with the background.
“Going to keep it simple.”
“I (45 Female), a childless widow of less than a year, made a decision to ask my boyfriend to move in with me. I am the homeowner.”
“His children have always lived quite a distance away with their mother, with yearly visits.”
Everything was fine until…
“Suddenly, within a month of moving in with me, boyfriend expresses that his 13 Male son wants to move in with us, along with descriptions of the boy as being a major problem child.”
“Boyfriend’s circumstances are such that if he was not living with me, he would be unable to offer his son this option.”
“My opinion is that I did not sign up for this, am not ready for this, and I chose not to be a parent deliberately.”
OP was left to wonder.
“Would I be the a**hole if I say no, your son can’t live here?”
Having explained the situation, she turned to Reddit for some outside thoughts.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Many responses raised concerns for OP’s wellbeing
“I am so sorry for your loss OP. But it sounds like this relationship isn’t healthy and your boyfriend is taking advantage of you. If you’re not in grief counseling I would consider that.” ~ ExperienceSea820
“It’s never too late to take a step back. Get him out of your house and tell him you are still open to dating (or not, depending on how you feel right now).”
“His response will tell you a lot.”
“You can even pay a security deposit as a gift if you are worried about feeling guilty (this is for YOU, not for him).” ~LurkingOakleaf
Others pointed out that OP was blindsided in this.
“You are not comfortable living with his son and you are not obligated at all to do so.”
“Everyone seems to be saying that OP shouldn’t have moved in with a parent.”
“However, I am sure OP was under the impression that the kids were living full time with the mother and that was not going to change.”
“I bet the boyfriend didn’t tell her anything before moving in either.” ~ hakase4446
There were questions about boyfriend’s integrity.
“Why did he live so far from his son?”
“Is his son homeless and a ward of the state whom he is trying to reclaim?”
“This guy sounds extremely suspicious. I can’t imagine the lies he might try to pull when you say no.” ~AssinineAssassin
Responses even suggested ulterior motives on boyfriend’s side.
“I can’t tell you how many men find a woman JUST to get more custody of their kids.”
“Sometimes it’s so they don’t have to pay as much child support.”
“Sometimes they love their kids and just need someone to watch them or a better living situation.”
“Either way, I think this was always the plan for your new BF and I think moving in together this soon was a huge mistake.”
“You might want to SERIOUSLY rethink that.”
“I’m thinking his kids are going to be around a ton, and you won’t be able to get them out.”
“I’d have him move out before he has tenant laws to help him drag out being forced out.” ~ crystallz2000
OP did return with some updates.
“Slight clarification here – we have been dating for only 4 months, and I realize that moving in together after a short time may have been moving quickly.”
“Maybe it is my recent widowhood that has me feeling the need for love and companionship.”
“I am not necessarily saying that I would NEVER allow his son to move in.”
“It just seems that with only 4 months of dating, and 1 month of living together, it is far too soon to be having this conversation.”
“The possibility of any of his kids moving in here was not discussed prior to him moving in.”
“I was of course aware of the fact that in an emergency situation (i.e. demise of mother), the children would absolutely come here.”
“I fully expected an a**hole judgment for thinking even for a moment that my boyfriend should choose me over his child (although some commenters have expressed that view).”
“There is a lot of information I have not included here, and won’t now.”
“But those of you telling me that this is a bad idea, and he is possibly taking advantage of me have really made me think about some things, and I’m scared you might be right.”
“I’m not sure exactly what I will do at this point.”
“But I realize now that I have allowed my boundaries to be pushed over in a lot of different areas, and I am really questioning a lot of aspects of this relationship.”
“This was my first experience on Reddit, and I appreciate all of you taking the time to give me a different viewpoint. <3”
Personal space isn’t just about the area of air around your body.
The safe places we construct for ourselves in life are just as personal to us as any physical distance and deserve just as much protection.
Be careful with anyone who tries to push at those boundaries, just as you’d be careful with someone getting too close to you at a club.