When a divorced or widowed parent finds a new significant other, it can be a hard adjustment for their children.
Particularly when the new partner begins enforcing rules and regulations on the child, who isn’t legally or biologically their’s.
Redditor swissbrunch’s widowed father recently entered into a new relationship, and tensions began to rise when his new girlfriend began enforcing rules which made her annoyed, if not flat out uncomfortable.
This behavior eventually led the original poster (OP) to lash out at her father’s new girlfriend, landing her in serious trouble.
Upon reflecting on her actions, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for calling my dad’s girlfriend creepy?”
The OP first shared that she wasn’t against the idea of her father finding love again.
“So I (16 F[emale]) live with my dad(40 M[ale]) and his new girlfriend (GF)(35 F[emale]), as my mother passed away at a young age.”
“I didn’t really know my mom that well, so I don’t consider myself bitter over my dad moving on, adding this just incase anyone thinks so.”
But the behavior of her father’s girlfriend prevented the OP from forming a close relationship with her.
“My dad’s GF gets really clingy and obsessive over us.”
“Me in particular for some reason, as she’s always breathing down my shoulder basically.”
“Calling me constantly to the point I have to shut my ringer off.”
“Texting to make sure I’m ‘safe’ despite me just being at a friends house, and I can go on and on.”
“She gets uncomfortably close to me at times, feeling up my hair (I’m a redhead, so I kinda.. am used to people touching my hair without my permission), throwing out any clothes she deems inappropriate (Basically my skirts.), grounding me for not giving her ‘daily hugs’, and much more.”
“She even sometimes tries to make me call her mom.”
“So safe to say, we’re not really close, well, a one-sided relationship where she thinks we’re close.”
Tired of being constantly scrutinized by her father’s girlfriend, the OP finally let her frustrations be known, and found herself facing consequences for it.
“I kinda had enough of it eventually and I just snapped and called her creepy and obsessive, and to just stay away from me when she tried making me hug her and touch my hair.”
“Well, she told my dad and now I’m grounded until I apologize and ‘realize that she only wants the best for you’.”
“I haven’t apologized so far as I think I’m not in the wrong, but I’ve been feeling kinda bad as maybe that’s her way of showing affection?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believe 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 – Everybody Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed the OP’s behavior was justified, and that she was not the a**hole in this scenario.
Just about everyone agreed that the OP’s father’s girlfriend was most definitely crossing a line with her behavior, which some even found abusive. and it was important for her father to notice this.
“NTA- she is being pushy and boundary stomping with her desire to instantly have a relationship with you.”
“This is definitely a ‘her issue’ and not a you issue.”
“When talking with your dad (to keep the conversation from shutting down) focus on how you feel and avoid comments that could be insulting to her.”
“Things you could try in conversation with dad:”
“That you are happy he has someone in his life.”
“You hope to build a relationship with her.”
“But building a relationship takes time and her pushing is actually delaying this.”
“That even if the you grow to have a wonderful relationship with her and grow to truly love her she will never replace your mom.”
“Remind him that you are 16 and not 6 – some of the things his gf is wanting/pushing is no longer age appropriate.”
“If you have other female adults in your life let him know that you lean on them for wisdom in these area.”-FLKaren.
“Grounding you for not hugging her??”
“You’re not required to hug ANYONE parent or not and she isn’t your parent.”
“NTA but you need to talk to someone like your school counselor or nurse about this.”
“Imagine for one moment a mother’s boyfriend insisting on unwanted touching.”
“NOT OK.”- SpeakerCareless.
“Whether or not she wants the best for you is, frankly, immaterial.”
“She is touching on you without your permission.”
“That is nasty.”
“You have to just calmly tell her that you do not want anyone touching you or your property without your permission.”
“It is a violation of your privacy and property rights.”
“You should tell them both this at the same time so she cannot misrepresent your words to your father.”
“It is not a competition.”
“She just needs to know that you are with your father and she is with your father and there is no parenting you expect or need from her.”
“Your father has done an admirable job for years already.”-MonkeyMagic1968.
“She’s not showing affection she’s indeed creepy and controlling.”
“And your dad should have stepped in and stop her a long time ago.”
“Throwing away stuff that belongs to you is abusive in itself.”
“So is forcing you to call her mom or have physical contact.”-
“Neither him nor her have your best interest at heart.”
“I’m so sorry for your situation and hope you can get away from this ASAP.”-SuccessValuable6924.
“I’m going to say NTA, but you really do need to discuss this with your father.”
“You’re 16, not 8.”
“But more importantly, it’s wildly inappropriate to punish someone for not hugging you.”
“You owe no one physical affection, at any age.”
“And from one red head to another, you’re very much allowed, and even encouraged, to tell people that you aren’t comfortable with them touching your hair.”
“Boundaries are important and it really sounds like this set up needs them.”-theoddestends.
“Her violating your personal space, throwing out your property without your permission, and punishing you for not acquiescing to her demands for physical contact are concerning.”
“Even if she is doing this out of some sort of misguided attempt to force herself into the role of new mom instead of for some more disconcerting reason, this behavior shouldn’t be tolerated.”
“Your personal space and property is yours to enforce, not hers to do with as she pleases.”
“Have you talked to her or your dad about your problems with this before, or is this the first time you’ve voiced concern?”
“If not, then you need to start doing it every time she does it.”
“Not aggressively – you can definitely handle it better than you did this time going forward – but you should strictly yet politely enforce your boundaries.”
“Makes it harder for anyone to view her as being reasonable (which, to be clear; she isn’t).”
“Also, why is your Dad backing her instead of you?”
“You’re his daughter, she’s just the girlfriend.”
“She’s an AH for violating your personal bubble and property, but he’s a bigger AH for letting it happen.”
“You need to sit your dad down and have a serious conversation about this.”- Seraphim676
“No honey that’s not affection.”
“That sounds like controlling behavior.”- Zibellina.
“Its weirdly inappropriate bordering on sexually abusive behavior.”
“All that touching stuff.”
“You can report her if she gets worse.”
“Also throwing out your belongings can be considered abuse and you can report these events.”
“If you have to.”
“Start documenting in case things get really crazy.”
“Your father is letting a non-relative take liberties with his underaged daughter.”
“This is not a good look for him or her.”
“Let them both know you find this to be inappropriate, but do not threaten.”
“Record where legally permissible, depends on state laws.”
“Do not be afraid to report really restrictive behaviors to the school counselor, they can come in handy if a report needs to be filed later!”-Educational-Food9471.
“Unwanted touching, stealing property and policing your wardrobe, and punishment for a lack of physical affection are all serious red flags.”
“This woman clearly has a problem with boundaries and your dad is making it worse by allowing her to continue inappropriate behavior and to exert power over you.”- RadioFace9779.
The OP eventually returned to thank everyone who took the time to comment, as well as give an update as to her plans on how she’ll handle this moving forward.
“Thanks for all of the advice!”
“I’m planning on trying to have a one-on-one conversation for the last time, and if he decides to not listen to me again, I’ll just tell my school’s counselor about my issues at home, so hopefully it all goes well.”
“Still grounded currently, so that sucks.”
“Aunt and some relatives on my dad’s side have also been kinda pressuring me to apologize, so I don’t know if I can rely on them.”
This girlfriend’s behavior doesn’t sound particularly maternal, but does indeed seem rather possessive.
Here’s hoping this might change after a discussion between her, the OP and her father, for the sake of everyone involved.