No matter the circumstances, when parents get divorced, their relationship with their children becomes different.
Seeing them only temporarily and not on a regular basis as before, will forever change their dynamic, even if there is absolutely no love lost.
Things can become even more complicated when step or half-siblings are thrown into the mix, often provoking jealousy and insecurities.
Redditor roomthrow33 initially adapted well to their arrangement with their divorced parents, even seeming to get along well with their stepmother and step-siblings.
Until the original poster (OP) arrived at their father’s home for their usual summer stay and made a somewhat shocking discovery.
Prompting the OP to never want to sleep at their father’s house again.
Wondering if they overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for refusing to visit my dad after my room was converted to an office/bedroom?”
The OP explained how a certain change their father made to his house dampened the OP’s excitement to ever stay there again.
“I’m going to be 15 in a few months.”
“I used to visit my dad most weekends and all of summer.”
“He recently got remarried to someone I actually have a decent relationship with.”
“I also have two stepbrothers who are younger and who I don’t really interact with.”
“My dad has a four bedroom house.”
“So all the kids have a bedroom.”
“When I went to visit last month, I was ‘surprised’ with a renovated room.”
“And by renovated I mean it was converted to an office with a couch that pulls out to a bed.”
“It did look nice I suppose.”
“Apparently my stepmother works from home and needed an office.”
“I didn’t cry or throw a tantrum.”
“I slept in the room that weekend and have refused to stay the night since.”
“I was really hurt and felt like I didn’t matter.”
“My mom tried to convince me to go back but gave up after I told her I was old enough to decide.”
“My dad is stressing out and has apologized and said he’ll change the room back but honestly, I’m done.”
“This was the final thing that sealed the deal for me.”
“I told him that as well.”
“I told him I’ll come for day visits and we can have dinners but I won’t be staying overnight anymore.”
“Was I the a**hole?”
“He did cry and I feel really sh*tty about it.”
Fellow Redditors. weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to sleep at their father’s house after he changed their room.
Everyone agreed that it was insensitive for the OP’s father to fully convert their room into an office, particularly considering their age, with many impressed by the OP’s restraint and composure.
“”You should have a bedroom.”
“All summer in an office is not fair.”
“You are 15.”
“You need privacy.”- lost_things90
“You’re only fourteen, but you handled this with more tact and patience than most adults have.”
“Your father and stepmother didn’t deserve that, but I want to personally commend you on your restraint.”
“Your pain is justified.”
“Though your father seems to have expressed genuine remorse and has promised to give you a room in his house again, there’s no simple way to repair the damage he’s done to your relationship.”
“Taking away your room ostracized you from a family unit you may already feel it’s difficult to fit into, and ultimately conveyed priority for his other family over you.”
“Your wording also makes me believe this isn’t the first instance in which he’s acted without your best interest in mind.”
“In the meantime, I would express thankfulness to your mother for caring so much about your relationship with your father, but ask that you be given the freedom to decide how, and if, you want him involved in your life.”
“Deciding to keep him at arms length and keeping your expectations low is a fair response to his careless and thoughtless actions until he’s committed to your relationship with him.”
“I’m sorry you had to be the adult in that situation.”
“I just saw your reply about the amount babysitting you’re doing.”
“While I don’t feel it’s out of line to ask children to watch their siblings here and there, having you fill in as a sitter for a whole summer has crossed a line.”
“This is parentification.”
“It can impact children well into adulthood, and some go so far as to call it emotional abuse.”
“You wouldn’t be out of line to tell him you’re not okay with doing that again.”
“If he wanted kids, he can raise them.”- polichomp
“I don’t understand how at 15 years old you’re expected to be okay with a pullout couch when you stay with your dad 3/4 weekends a month and all summer.”
“Like damn.”- luckbealady1994
“How did stepmom and dad think it was going to work out when you are there half the time.”
“Had they talked to you prior and came up with a solution it would be different.”
“They effectively kicked you out, and are treating you like a guest and not part of the family.”-S1039861
“NTA this is classic ‘let me make a second family because I f*cked up my first one and pretend everything is business as usual’ bs.”
“Also a lot of custody agreements require the child to have their own bedroom and at 15 you’re still a child.”- yogifit111
“You shouldn’t be made to feel like a guest at your dad’s house.”
“That’s your house, too, even if you don’t live there full time.”
“When it comes to custody agreements, you should have a dedicated bedroom in both homes.”
“It’s messed up and your dad should absolutely change it back.”
“Your stepmother’s need for an office doesn’t supercede your need for a private space.”
“What were they going to do when you were living there all summer?”- xcarex
“NTA considered you’re a minor.”
“If you were over 18 it would be different, but you’re not and they’ve made you feel unwelcome in your dad’s house.”- DinahDrakeLance
“You mention this being the last straw.”
“They basically stamped ‘GUEST’ on your forehead.”
“Not sure why dad would’ve thought you’d be thrilled your room, a symbol of family membership, was given away.”- Splatterfilm
“He didn’t stop at any point to consider how it would make you feel to show up and find out that you no longer have a room? “
“Did he honestly think that you would be happy at being surprised at having your living space taken away?”
“That’s just dumb on his part.”- our100thcaller
“Oh hell to the no.”
“NTA you deserve your own room just as much as anyone else.”
“Even if you aren’t there all the time.”
“And your stepmom can go shove it.”
“She can have an office in her bedroom or convert some other part of the house.”- Gooseberrypeach
“I have stepkids and making them feel like our home is their home is important.”
“I would never give my son’s their own rooms and then show my stepchild a pull out sleeper sofa and gush about how nice the room is.”- MsMissy116
“I am a stepmom to a 12 y/o female and would not consider doing that.”
“We actually just moved into a larger home so all the kids could have their own room.”
“If you were 18+ and off at college, ok thats not the end of the world but should still be discussed.”
“But yes it does seem like they left you out, and you should let your dad know that hurts.”
“At 14 you need your own space and definitely don’t need to be sharing it with stepmom.”
“If they change it back and they are sorry then continue visits, your dad loves you.”- PerfectWorld3
“When I went away to college, my parents were in the beginning stages of figuring out they were going to divorce.”
“When I came home for Thanksgiving the first year, I discovered that my dad had taken my bedroom.”
“I was expected to sleep on the couch, not a pullout, just a regular couch, in the living room for the entire week.”
“I decided instead to stay at my boyfriend’s house, as he lived in my home town.”
“My mom was upset at first, but I pointed out that it was extremely rude to not even set up a cot for me.”
“I haven’t stayed over the night since and don’t plan to.”- Deathbydragonfire
It’s understandable that the OP’s stepmother might need a home office, particularly in this day and age.
Yet the OP really should have thought more carefully before completely changing their child’s room, at the very least leaving a bed, and not made the OP feel like a guest in his house.
The apparent visible regret of the OP’s father hopefully means that he will never let a day go by without the OP knowing how much he loves, them.