Families coming together into something new can be something so incredibly beautiful, they hardly saw it coming.
But when sacrifices need to be made, it can allow resentment to take root early, cautioned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor RoosterAlarmed4249 understood his daughter was upset when he forced her to move her beloved pet rabbit of five years outside.
But when his stepson developed allergies, the Original Poster (OP) thought his health needed to come first.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for making my daughter move her pet rabbit outside due to my stepson’s allergies?”
The OP started dating an old girlfriend after his wife passed away.
“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.”
His daughter had a pet rabbit she’d gotten after her mother passed.
“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, shortly after my wife passed. 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.”
But the OP was worried for his stepson.
“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 starts to close.”
The OP made a harsh decision for his daughter.
“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.”
The OP updated the post with answers to the most common questions he saw.
He shared thoughts about his stepson’s allergies.
“Hindsight is 20-20. I definitely see now that we should have made more of an effort to bring my stepson here before the official move-in date.”
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t an option for most of our relationship. My wife’s ex would not allow it. He lost his parental rights last year, and that’s when we decided we could finally move in together.”
“I’m definitely a bit of a dumba** for that one. I accept that.”
“And my stepson’s allergies weren’t super severe right off the bat. The first few days he was here, he was mildly stuffy. Then they progressed and became quite severe after 2-3 weeks living here.”
“Whenever we traveled to them, we always went with freshly laundered clothes and I assume that’s why he didn’t react to dander on us before when we visited.”
“It seems the constant exposure of living with the rabbit exasperated the situation.”
The OP further described the living situation.
2It is not an option for my daughter to live with grandparents or other family members.”
“Unfortunately, it is also not going to be feasible for us to purchase a second home or rent an apartment for my wife and son. They are in a hotel for a few weeks while I get the rabbit situation sorted and bring the cleaners back out.”
“So, I f**ked up. But what’s done is done now. My wife and stepson are family, too, and I have to do right by them as well as my daughter.”
“And seriously guys, I am NOT divorcing my wife over this. That is in no way, shape, or form an option.”
The OP also shared what he was trying to do for Basil.
“I am converting a shed we have on the property to a bunny barn. I’m working on getting it insulated and refinished.”
“I will have electricity run out to it so it can be climate controlled.”
“My wife is actually helping to finance the conversion. We all love each other and want to make this work.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some couldn’t believe what the OP was demanding of his daughter.
“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, he and his mother should stay at their own house and accept the world doesn’t revolve around their illnesses, and if they want a sterile environment, they will have to go make one themselves.” – alrighttreacle11
“They just got married and moved in with each other after doing long distance. His daughter already lost her mom, now she has to live with basically strangers, and finally, OP takes her rabbit away. I foresee a lot of resentment.” – Gullible-Squash
“I just wish there were a better solution. The girl has been through so many changes already. And that bunny is very important and special to her.” – barbie_farts_88
“I’m allergic to rabbits. I had no idea that I was until we got a house rabbit for our daughter. Thankfully it’s relatively mild and as long as someone else cleaned the litter and did feeding I was OK.”
“Didn’t stop me from petting or playing with the bunny, because I lose any instinct for self-preservation when smooshable animals are around. I paid for it every time. Totally worth it, bunny binks are awesome.”
“I am not allergic to the hay, but that is a very good point to remind people of so they have options. In my case, my allergy was to the fur/dander and thankfully only when I got in close enough to get it near my eyes/nose. Regular cleaning and making it someone else’s job worked for the most part in my case.”
“That bunny lived her whole life as a house bunny with me snuffling all the way. Sadly, she passed to the rainbow bridge 10 years ago.” – froggergirlieee
“OP is going to be on here in a few years like, ‘My daughter moved away and doesn’t speak to me because I got rid of one of her major sources of comfort after her mother died. AITA?'” – YeouPink
Others were also worried about what this would do to poor Basil.
“And from what I know about outdoor bunnies… they don’t live long.” – Plantsandanger
“Rabbits are VERY susceptible to heat. And there’s also a high chance of being attacked by a predator even if it’s in a cage.”
“Also, bunnies do not respond well to stress. You can literally give one a heart attack and kill it by scaring it too badly.”
“So if it’s used to being inside and regularly with the daughter and lots of room to roam around and nice comfy temperatures all. the. time. and attention, then I imagine it would be really stressful for the bunny as well. Not a great outcome.”
“Also, I know this information from a close friend who raises and sells rabbits from her farm.” – barbie_farts_88
“Also, I will add that having the rabbit outside like WILL NOT HELP if the stepson’s allergy is that severe. As soon as the daughter goes outside to spend time with her beloved rabbit, she will come back inside covered in rabbit hair and dander and it will almost certainly cause a reaction.”
“I used to have rabbits when I was young, and then I developed a severe rabbit allergy. I couldn’t even be in a clean classroom next door to a rabbit in an after-school program – the rooms shared a teacher’s bathroom, and a student who had been holding the rabbit went into the bathroom. I was close enough that it triggered a reaction that nearly sent me to the hospital.”
“This boy should absolutely not be in a household that has a rabbit, indoor or outdoor, full stop. This is unimaginably cruel to him, to her, and to the poor rabbit.” – ScroochDown
“And to add, rabbits that live outside I have much shorter lifespans, especially if that rabbit is going from having a ton of space to hop around to a tiny little hutch where it will just sit 24/7.”
“So not only are taking something special and important from her, but you’re shortening its lifespan. YTA.” – clashofcleo
“When my dad remarried, his next wife was allergic to cats and my dad forced my cat to live outside. The cat died within a couple of months. It took a long time to forgive him.”
“Children deserve to keep their pets close, especially when a new spouse comes into the picture.”
“It was really hard. That cat was the one steady and comforting presence in a sea of change and instability. She’d sleep on a pillow next to me, follow me around the house, sit on the toilet when I showered, eat popcorn from a bowl with me when I watched movies, etc.”
“She just started losing weight and refused to eat, and the vet said there was nothing physically wrong. I pulled her inside one day in my room, fed her, and she ate, but my father’s new wife threw a fit and that was that.”
“Like, it’s f**king tragic to a young person to go through that. It’s tragic for the animals too. There are no winners. Adults who do that to innocent kids and their pets have a special place in h**l.” – jackloganoliver
While the OP didn’t think there was anything more he could do but make a fancy shed for the rabbit, the subReddit wasn’t so sure. He had clearly messed up where family introductions were concerned, and if he were to follow through with this, the poor house rabbit would likely suffer right along with her young owner.