The grieving process after the death of a loved one can be different for everyone.
Sometimes people are ready to move on at a pace that feels “too fast” for other people.
But when does that difference become an issue?
Redditor movingon4 recently clashed with his late wife’s adult daughter, leading him to post on the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if he was in the wrong.
“AITA for making my late wife’s daughter move out so I can date in peace?”
The original poster (OP) explained the circumstances.
“My late wife passed away about a year ago. We were together 10 years but not married until she became sick about a year before that.”
“She has a daughter Beth who is 19 years old. Beth is taking college classes but they are 100% online so she has stayed at ‘home’ which is my house.”
“I’ve owned this before my wife moved in so it was never technically shared.”
“I’ve wanted to be supportive of Beth but don’t want her here indefinitely or until she’s done with college. That’s 3 more years and it makes dating super awkward.”
“I had a lady friend over after a dinner date last week and she was snarky towards her and later told me I’m moving on too fast.”
“I tried to have an honest talk about being ready to move on and date others but she kept calling me an a**hole. I’m just ready to move on with my life but her presence is making that difficult.”
“I told her I want her to move out at the end of this next semester which would be the end of May, so 5 full months to find a place. She flipped out and told me I’m abandoning her ‘to get laid’.”
“This isn’t really the case, I just want to move on to my life and don’t want to live with a 19-year-old any longer.”
“She’s still mad at me and is making living in my own home awkward. But she claims she can’t afford to go anywhere else.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
After receiving a healthy dose of “YTA” early on, the OP decided to clarify a few things about his relationship with his wife’s daughter.
“I did not raise or adopt Beth. My wife was VERY clear that she was not looking for a replacement father for her.”
“Beth never lived with me until 2 years ago when she was almost 18 when her mom moved in with me due to her being sick and needing more attention. I never played a fatherly role in her life.”
“Before moving in, she and her mom moved every few years for a while. Beth didn’t move in ’til her senior year of high school because her mom needed my help. Obviously couldn’t move the mom in without the daughter.”
“Before giving her notice to leave, I tried to have a talk about ground rules for staying here mostly including being polite to any guests of mine.”
“She then went off on me for moving on with my life. That is when I made my decision.”
“It wasn’t exactly your ‘traditional’ marriage. Before getting sick my late wife never wanted to get married because her parents had such a nasty one and her parents have been divorced a combined 4 times.”
“I’m not religious so never felt a need to get married either. When she got sick we realized her insurance was terrible while mine through work is much better.”
“So it was a practical decision to get married so she could be added to mine. Even then, she affirmed I wasn’t responsible for Beth.”
“I’m not just trying to get laid like many have said. I’m moving on and trying to have a normal adult relationship.”
Some weren’t ready to let the OP off the hook, even after his edits.
“YTA – wow, this is every dying parents’ nightmare.”
“OP’s belated edit isn’t changing anything about this YTA vote.”
“FINAL RESPONSE: I’ve read all the (self-serving) edits, and your responses. I’ve also conveniently noticed the lack of response when it comes to questions about your wife’s wishes on the matter or promises that were made before her death.”
“Wanting to find companionship does not make you TA, but the way you are going about it does.”
“The girl is grieving, there’s a pandemic, it’s the holidays, instead of just being alone, you have made her alone and *unwanted* YTA.”—bubbalooski
“YTA – It doesn’t sound like you’re being sensitive to the fact that she lost her mother.”
“You don’t have to let her live with you, but you’ve also known her since she was 9, so I’m surprised she’s not like a daughter to you.”
“It’s unfair for her to make you feel uncomfortable in your house but she’s relatively young and is probably hurt that you’d move on (quicker than her)”—burntcucumberxyz
“Yeah, something’s not right here… he was with the girl’s mom for ten whole years but he never got close to her daughter?”
“They only moved in together because of the illness… And now he’s moving on less than a year later, and kicking his late partner’s kid out while she’s in school full-time, grieving the death of her mom, in the middle of a pandemic?”
“What kind of relationship was this in the first place? I’m thinking OP is TA for a lot more than just what we’re reading here.”—Predd1tor
But others insisted the daughter has no right to dictate how the OP lives his life.
“Oh come on. So now we’re slut shaming people?”
“It’s been a year. I can tell you from personal experience when someone is terminally ill you begin the grieving process much earlier.”
“It’s not like she died unexpectedly in a car accident. He’s had over two years to process this.”
“He’s allowed to move on with his life. I wasn’t aware there was a mandatory celibacy period after someone dies. He’s ready to start dating again, and yes, adults have sex.”
“You’re allowed to feel one way or another about asking the 19-year-old to move out in 6 months, but you have no right to shame people for wanting a relationship, sexual or otherwise.
“He didn’t even say he ‘just wants to get laid’, you are the one that projected your motivations onto him. He’s allowed to date. He’s allowed to have loving sex, casual sex, no sex, whatever kind of sex he wants.”
“His step daughter is the one going out of her way to make nasty comments to his guests. He’s asked her repeatedly to stop. He doesn’t owe her free housing.”
“She’s an adult and it’s not her home. She didn’t grow up there and his late wife made it clear he is not a father figure.”
“He shouldn’t have to live like a priest until she graduates college and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be treated like sh*t in his own house.”
“If she can’t be civil then she can go stay with her Dad, relatives, friends, roommates, dorms, or get her own place.”
“Your attitude is completely uncalled for, I cannot believe it’s 2020 and people still think it’s okay to shame grown adults for having sex.”—DylanHate
“This. This this this this this. Jesus CHRIST op doesn’t owe SD anything, the fact that he’s giving 5 months notice is generous in and of itself.”
“She was almost an adult when he
met started living with her. There was no parental relationship. The dynamic right now is an older man living with a 19-year-old-girl pretty much as a roommate.”
“If you replaced SD with ‘roommate’ in this post, I know for a fact y’all would be n/t/a-ing all over the place.”
“She is actively being rude to guests *IN OP’s OWN HOUSE* (does she even pay rent? If not then all the more reason she’s TA. That would be entitled as hell).”
“She also has no respect for op it seems and is trying to dictate what a grown a** man does with his sex life. This is ridiculous.”
“Yes, she may be grieving, but if she is then she’s taking it out on op who obviously had to deal with the loss of his wife already. Grief is NEVER an excuse for lashing out.”
“SD obviously hasn’t worked through the loss of her mother and is reacting poorly to op’s having healed. She needs to go to a therapist.”—unapeelin
“NTA – if I am reading this correctly, you and Beth’s mother were involved for years but did not marry or live together until she became ill.”
“You were not a pivotal figure in Beth’s life. You don’t consider her a daughter and you don’t believe she considers you a father figure.”
“When your deceased wife got ill, you and she married – in part so you could support her. She and Beth moved into your home – that you already owned.”
“About a year later, your wife passed away. Beth was almost 18 at the time. After your wife passed away, and Beth stayed living with you for the next year.”
“You are now ready to date again – and it has been a year and Beth resents this. You do not want Beth to continue to live with you.”
“You supported your wife when she needed you. You helped Beth for over a year. You have done more than could have been reasonably been asked.”—RedditDK2
There was even an “ESH” verdict from someone who was over the behavior from both sides.
“ESH. She should be grateful that she still has a place to live, considering she only came into your house two years ago and her mother has been dead a year.”
“Instead of kicking her out though maybe talk to her about she has a home until she can move on campus, get an apartment etc… but in the meantime she doesn’t have the right to be snarky and sarcastic and judgmental.”
“Keep in mind her mother has died, and the father apparently isn’t in the picture. What about extended family?”
“She may be feeling very unsure of her place and her footing and lashing out. She shouldn’t be because right now you are her only haven.”
“But she may not have the capacity for logic right now. You are the adult, try to talk with her.”—dart1126
Despite the responses being a bit all over the place as the OP kept adding more information, in the end he decided to go with those who agreed with his actions, adding:
“FINAL RESPONSE: after this blew up overnight, even though the top comment says YTA, it seems everyone who actually read all the details has affirmed my view.”
“I feel much better about my decision. Thank you everybody.”
Whatever happens next for the pair, hopefully they can each move on in their own way.