Ideally, parenting is a mutually supportive partnership.
But what happens when you think your partner is just plain wrong in the way they’re dealing with your child’s issue? How do you stick to your guns without causing drama?
A man on Reddit found himself faced with this dilemma, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for some input.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by Turbulent_Oil5760 on the site, asked:
AITA siding with my son about his piercings?
“(please excuse my terrible knowledge of piercings beyond lobe piercings, hope I made it make sense)”
“So my (46M[ale]) son (18) moved out shortly after turning 17, he did not get along with his mom and he didn’t want to live with her anymore. I made sure he had enough money for rent and bills and kept in contact with him.”
“I haven’t actually seen him for over a year, almost two. Now that restrictions have been partially lifted I invited him to visit and he accepted.”
“When he left home he was actually the only person in our house that had never gotten a piercing.”
“Both our daughters have their ears pierced (11F[emale], 15F), my wife used to have a navel piercing (now healed) and I used to have one of my ears pierced (now healed).”
“When my son arrived it was like looking at a different person (but in a good way), he looked happier than I think I’ve ever seen him. He also now had a few piercings and some tattoos.”
“He has a lip piercing, both lobes pierced, a few cartilage piercings on one ear, and (the thing that my wife took issue with) a microdermal piercing near his left eye/cheekbone (a piercing where one end is embedded in the skin).”
“I sat and talked to my son for a bit, he talked to his siblings, we talked about how he’s doing at uni, how his boyfriends are doing, etc… then my wife got home and sh*t hit the fan.”
“At first she was like ‘who tf is that’ and then freaked when I told her that it was our son. Dhe told him to either take out his piercings or leave.”
“He went to take out his lobe ones but she told him to take out the microdermal first. He explained that he kinda can’t remove that one, so she kicked him out.”
“I asked her why she did that and it devolved into an argument about me ‘condoning his lifestyle’ and how she doesn’t want someone like that around and influencing our daughters.”
“She thinks he’s TA for not informing us that he ‘looked like that’ and she thinks I’m TA for letting him in even after I saw what he looks like.”
“She’s now saying that we need to be a united front for our kids and blames me for the fight.”
“I think I’m TA because I let him in knowing she wouldn’t like it (I let him in because I invited him, I didn’t do this to spite my wife, I just knew, after seeing my son’ piercings, that she wouldn’t like it) so AITA?”
“Should I have taken him elsewhere or handled this in private?”
OP’s fellow Redditors were then asked to evaluate who’s in the wrong in this situation using the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And they were pretty much unanimously on Team OP.
“I would seriously review how you can be with someone who would treat your son like that.”
“Seriously. What example does it set for your other children? That their mothers love is conditional on whether they behave according to her standards? And that you will not fight for them?”
“Fu*k that. The only bad influence on your daughters is your wife.”
“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” —drawing_goblin
“Pretty rich also that she’s claiming they need to be “a united front for their kids” whilst simultaneously disowning their eldest child for being true to himself.”
“If I were in OP’s shoes I would file for divorce and full custody of the youngest two, citing her treatment of the 18M son as a reason as to why she’s not fit to be a parent.” —MissingASemicolon
“She’s worried about what your daughters will think, but what message does she think she is sending to your daughters?”
“If you don’t look and behave in ways I approve I will kick you out.” Not a message any kid deserves to hear from their parents.” —BrinaGu3
“NTA, though I am curious why she freaked at the piercings put not the tattoos, since they are more permanent.” —sendak_is_yellow
“Imma say it.”
“Mom is not upset with the piercings, per se. Mom is upset and being TAH because son is gay.”
“Phuck her and the people she rode in with. (Why, yes. Yes, I am cranky for a stupid, ignorant ‘reason’.)” —5pinktoes
Though some felt OP was definitely an a**hole, just not for the reason he thought he was.
“YTA for not standing up to your wife, letting her throw your son out of your house?”
“You need to do right by your son and stick up for him.” —magjoy72
“YTA for not standing up to your huge a**hole of a wife after you invited your son to his own home (or what SHOULD be his home, except that you let your wife run him off).”
“I feel terribly for this poor kid. Mother’s a homophobic a**hole and you’re a huge wuss.” —hivemind_MVCG
“I feel like we’re missing a huge chunk of story regarding why you’re still with your wife. By letting your son move out you were picking your wife over him. Now your wife is making you pick between them again. So I’m gonna go with ESH except your son who is clearly trying to keep at least one parental relationship despite having a dysfunctional family.” —MKAnchor
“ESH, except for your son. Your son felt so uncomfortable around his mother he left home as a minor. You really glossed over that part. And you just stood by and let this happen?” —Fleetdancer
Hopefully this family can find a way to better communicate and get along in the future.