“My house, my rules.”
Does that parental mantra have an expiration date?
Or a situational bias?
It often feels like a lot of parents can never let that one go, in any situation or timeframe in life.
That can be problematic for some.
Case in point…
Redditor Thrill-Ville1304 wanted to discuss his story for some feedback. So naturally he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for enforcing my house rules on my wife’s brother?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My M[ale] 30 brother-in-law M[ale] 20 ‘Sean’ moved in with me and his sister after my father-in-law passed away few months ago.”
“He is the private type and keeps to himself.”
“He goes out and never says where he’s going or how long he’ll be out, eats at random times during the day, wears earbuds while me and the kids are sitting with him.”
“See, all of these are uncool behaviors and a bad influence on my children.”
“I’ve already talked to Sean about certain house rules I have, and how he was violating them, maybe because he didn’t know but now he knows, and still nothing’s changed.”
“Last night, he came home late at around 10pm.”
“I wasn’t thrilled with that because he knew the rules but he said that he was an adult and I shouldn’t be policing him, but it’s not about that.”
“It’s about the fact that he’s repeatedly disrespected the homeowner and the rules.”
“So I told him this: ‘If he won’t respect the rules which are: Being home at 8, not eating at random times, and not using his electronics just like my kids aren’t allowed when the family is gathered to spend time together.”
“He ranted about how he wasn’t a child, my child, and called me unreasonable to treat him this way just because he lives under my roof.”
“I told him it’s not hard to show respect really but my wife went off asking what was wrong with me to be giving Sean who’s still grieving, ultimatums and treating him like a child.”
“I explained to her that I’m just making sure the kids won’t be influenced by her brother’s reckless behavior and she laughed asking if I think Sean being on his phone was reckless but that is besides the point.”
“She called me a control freak and told me to get off her brother’s back and leave him alone.”
“I replied that she’s just saying this because he’s her brother but she said I overstepped and should back off and stop trying to control her adult brother.”
“I asked her if she was happy with him coming home late and she said she was sick of arguing then went upstairs.”
Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors declared our OP WAS the A**hole.
It’s a tricky situation.
Let’s hear some thoughts…
“YTA. Your wife is right.”
“Why on earth should a 20 year old have a curfew and have his eating times policed?”
“Also, you made a unilateral decision about your wife’s brother without even consulting your wife?”
“You sound already like an overbearing parent, and this is towards an adult who isn’t your kid.”
“I feel horrible for your wife and kids.” ~ PotentialityKnocks
“Those children must fear this man. He is policing everything about their life.”
“There is a difference between parenting and policing.”
“What OP is doing is going to lead to a lot of anxiety and resentment on his children’s part.”
“Also, this will likely negatively impact his marriage.”
“How will his wife feel when she knows she failed her brother when he needed her the most?”
“And to know that it was because of her stubborn husband.”
“OP you really need to reevaluate your views on parenting and as a partner or it will likely come back and bite you in the a** in 10 maybe 20 years.”
“Divorce (or fractured marriage) and alienated children will likely be in your future if you do not reevaluate and improve as a person.” ~ Usonvaslurmimin
“OP is a classic morally righteous person.”
“They are the people who have a specific and narrow field of morality and if ANYONE goes against that in anyway shape or form, they are wrong and that’s the end of it.”
“OP needs to take a breath and look at his own behavior, holding others to some extremely subjective sense of morality is only going to alienate OP more from his own family and people he encounters.” ~ seasonz12
“YTA- 8 pm curfew for a 20 year old?”
“When you said that he came in at 10 I was wondering what he had done wrong.”
“With everything that you said that he did I was thinking, ‘What did he do wrong?’”
“You are a control freak with no respect for anyone other than yourself.” ~ Otaku-San617
“My immediate thought was that sounds like prison.”
“At 20 I was working jobs that kept me out past 8, I couldn’t imagine having to be home by then. In the summer it’s still light out until 8:30.”
“If OP is so concerned about the kids wanting to stay out as late as their uncle, all he has to do is explain the difference between being a grown up and a child.”
“The ear bud thing I kind of agree with.” ~ biteyourfriend
“It’s the grief part of this that hit me sideways this morning.”
“I lost my mom on Jan 1. I’m in the process of making arrangements and just dealing.”
“I am not myself right now. How could I be? I don’t know what normal will look like 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years from now.”
“His behaviors aren’t ‘uncool.'”
“They are typical 20 year old behaviors. My 17 year old daughter has less restrictive rules than he does.”
“Never mind that I expect her with the nature of her job to eat and care for herself when she works weird hours.”
“1) because she’s almost an adult and it’s time to learn these things and…”
“2) because I’m not her maid.”
“You work late? Figure out dinner.”
“I make sure there is a ton of easy options but I am not trying to make my life or hers harder. Food is not something we control in our house.”
“Finally, you said you’re worried about the example he’s setting for your kids. I want to offer another perspective.”
“You are setting a terrible example for your children when it comes to empathy.”
“This is a real teachable moment for an impressionable mind about how to deal with someone who is hurting and how to actually help them.”
“And quite frankly you’re f**king blowing it big time.”
“And if in your head you think that you’re being magnanimous enough to allow family to move in then I would really consider where you set the bar for yourself.”
“Because for me that’s a real low bar to clear.”
“YTA. A really big f**king a**hole!” ~ danamarye
“If OP thinks that coming in at 10pm, eating freely, and using one’s phone in the house are ‘reckless’ behaviors, then it’ll be interesting to see how he feels when one or more of his kids inevitably rebel against his controlling behavior and actually goes wild.”
“I feel bad for OP’s wife and kids, and if he acts this way towards his wife I hope she takes this for the red flag it is.” ~ oliviamrow
Looks like OP got a strong answer to his question.
It also sounds like it’s not going to be the answer he was hoping for.
Let’s hope everyone involved can find a way to navigate this situation.
Family is hard. And grieving with family can be even harder.