in , ,

Mom Furious After Husband Uses His Own Face As Only Way To Unlock Her Teen Son’s New Phone

Photo by Hannah Busing/Unsplash

A step-parent relationship is difficult.

The dynamics are always up for questioning.

And making everybody feel comfortable all of the time is near impossible.

Case in point…

Redditor AITA_Face_Lock79 wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for being ‘ungrateful’ and returning the phone my husband gifted my 16yo son because he used his face as a lock?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (F[emale] 35) have been with my husband (M[ale] 37) for total of 3 years, got married a few months ago.”

“I have a 16 year old son from my former marriage.”

“My son took his time to get used to being around my husband, understandable, but my husband would rush things and then claim my son is shutting him out or not giving him a chance.”

“As you know teenage years can be hard to navigate and I already explained to my husband why my son might not find it easy to open up about everything.”

“Nonetheless they have a stable relationship.”

“My son broke his old phone a month ago and has been wanting a new one.”

“My husband decided to surprise him with a new one on his 16th birthday party.”

“My son was overjoyed and so was I.”

“However that excitement got ruined once I found out that my husband had used his face as the only way to unlock the phone.”

“He had set up face recognition feature to lock\unlock the phone, and so without him, my son can not use the phone.”

“I asked my husband why and he said he did this as a first concrete step towards having a parent-child relationship and move on from the friend-child relationship.”

“I said he had no right to invade my son’s privacy and have access to his personal stuff.”

“I returned the phone to him and he pitched a fit about how ungrateful I’m being because he just wants to strengthens his bond with my son.”

“And then accused me of treating him as less of a parent than he is, although we’re both in this together.”

“I told him he can keep the phone unless and until the face lock, his face lock is removed because this is ridiculous.”

“He got more upset and claimed that he’s doing his best yet my son and I keep treating him poorly and get mad and oversensitive for no reason.”

“He said I should go hear how other ‘fathers’ treat their kids and realize my son is lucky to have him as his dad.”

“I couldn’t stand the yelling so I went inside the kitchen.”

“He kept saying I should encourage him and be on his side for wanting to ensure my son’s okay but in my opinion this isn’t the way.”

“AITA for giving the phone back?”

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 NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. If he thinks that giving a 16 year old a phone that can only be unlocked by his stepdad’s face is a ‘concrete step towards a parent-child relationship’ he be smoking something funky.”

“Not only is it out of line, his response to you is also.”

“There’s a reason your son doesn’t like him, maybe now you’ll start to understand why.”  ~CrystalQueen3000

“You can, and should, factory reset the phone, but can you factory reset your husband?”

“Please let us know.”

“NTA, but you are walking a fine line if you let your husband continue to try to control your son.”

“This is not healthy.”  ~ ibrokemyserious

“Yeah… New husband is showing his stripes, and it’s not looking good.”

“The son is two years from being an adult.”

“Forcing a relationship is a no-go.”

“You’re not going to force ANY teen into accepting a new parent at that age.”

“Only if the teen wants to accept the new parent is there any chance of that happening.”

“Controlling and privacy invasion?”

“That’s definitely going to drive ANY kid away. That new husband doesn’t see that is potentially scary.”

“OP needs to ask son if there’s any more red flags or issues she doesn’t know about.”

“And probably should have asked that before getting married.”  ~ CSCasper

“I agree. I have two teenage sons and I don’t want to look at their phones; that’s their business.”

“I grew up with parents who regularly went through my room, read my diary, etc, and I would never violate my kids privacy like that.”

“For a step parent who entered their life when they were already a teenager?”

“Totally unacceptable boundary crossing. Not your kid, not your business.”  ~ biteme789

“If I had an award, I would give it to you.”

“This is very concerning.”

“He is so far over the line and doesn’t even recognize it.”

“Apparently, because his standard is any action up to actual abuse is ok in order for him to have control over his relationship with his step-son.”

“He isn’t respecting OP’s parenting and he is treating his 16 year-old step-son like a prize to be awarded rather than a human being to develop a relationship with.”

“And, how are the logistics of this plan actually supposed to work anyway?”

“One of the main reasons I want my kids to have a phone is so that they can get in touch with me and I with them when they aren’t with me.”

“NTA.”  ~ Electronic_Toe5282

“You are NTA.”

“Your husband needs to get over the fact that he will never be your son‘s real father.”

“He should try to build a good relationship with him instead of controlling him.”

“Taking away a 16 year olds access to their cell phone is a pretty controlling and awful move.”

“If this is how he treats your son no wonder their relationship is strained.”  ~ AgreeablePlace4439

“NTA. He sounds very controlling.”

“It makes me wonder what other red flags he waves.”

“And I know a lot of people disagree with this, but step parents aren’t parents until the child accepts them in that role.”  ~ YourTemporaryMom

“1000% agree And if the child never accepts them in that role, then that’s that.”

“It may suck, the step parent may grieve the relationship that they never had with their step kid, but there’s no forcing it.”

“Having a friend/child relationship is fine, as long as the child is still respectful and recognizes that the step parent is an authority figure (as much an authority figure as the establishing parenting dynamic determines).”  ~ GibberishHijinks

“I have 2 step parents.”

“Both of my bio parents and their respective spouses approached the step parent relationships differently.”

“My mother and step father basically let me decide if and when I would accept my step dad as a parental figure.”

“All he wanted was to be my friend and for me to accept him marrying my mom.”

“I now refer to him as dad and treat him as if he were biologically related to me.”

“I can honestly say as an adult he is one of my best friends.”

“I talk to both of them at least every other day despite having not lived with them in years.”

“My father and step mother tried to force me to accept step mother as a mother figure and referred to her as my mother.”

“I now call her my step monster and I haven’t spoken to either of them since I was 15.”  ~ digital-media-boss

“My parents divorced when I was 8, my bro was 6 and my sis was 4.”

“Then my mom met my stepdad.”

“And honestly, he did an excellent job easing into our lives as a parent.”

“He never really parented us outside of being the adult in charge when my mom wasn’t around.”

“He waited until we were individually ready (it took me almost 6 years before I really accepted him).”

“He also reassured us that he wasn’t there to replace our dad.”

“He took his time and built that trust in order to be called one of our parents.”

“OP needs to realize that this ‘man’ does not want a relationship with her son, he wants to dominate and control her and her son.”  ~ RCKitKat84

“Not just a weirdo, he’s…how to say this without breaking any rules?”

“Not particularly clever.”

“The son can only ever use the phone when stepdaddio is around.”

“Want to use the phone at school/with friends/at home alone?”

“Tough boobs, kiddo, stepdaddy needs to have his ego stroked, so you are out of luck.”

“OP, might I suggest exchanging your husband for one who does have enough brain cells to rub together? “

“And who doesn’t give ‘gifts’ with strings strong enough to hold up a bridge attached to them?”  ~ TheGrimDweeber

“NTA – this is beyond creepy.”

“Unless I’m misunderstanding the technology (I’m old), what happens when you son needs to use his phone, like to call you in an emergency???”

“Can he not call you for a safe ride home or to let them know he’s been hit by a train and is in the hospital unless your husband?”

“That is the main justifications to give a child a cell phone in the first place.”

“I think family counseling is in order here.”  ~ RNH213PDX

Sounds like Reddit wants to have a deep chat with OP’s hubby.

Hopefully she, her son and the hubs can calm down and make this situation better.

You can force a relationship.

Let the process happen.