People make mistakes—and depending on the person and the situation—they deserve a second chance.
However, when it comes to cheating, Redditor AwayOlive5646 is unwilling to budge when she found out her son’s girlfriend was unfaithful.
She visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit after the way she responded to her son’s decision to continue the relationship backfired.
The Original Poster (OP) asked strangers on the internet:
“AITA For Being Honest About How I Felt About My Son’s Girlfriend?”
The 54-year-old mom wrote:
“I am a mother of two children who I love very much. Unfortunately, my son (28) was hurt after his girlfriend (26 f[emale]) cheated on him.”
“In my opinion, his first mistake was getting back together with her and the second was telling me the reason why they ended the relationship the first time.”
The OP explained why the act of cheating is very personal to her.
“Back in the 1980s I had an older cousin, who I loved dearly, and she put up with her boyfriend’s cheating and he gave her HIV/AIDS. She didn’t live long after being diagnosed and the sight of her dying in her hospital bed is still very vivid to me.”
“Since then, I’ve despised all cheaters and would never put up with it myself. Ask my ex-husband.”
“My son knows all of this and he still choose to tell me what his girlfriend did now expects me to act like nothing has happened because he wants the relationship to work.”
“I told my son I will never view or treat his girlfriend the same, and even tried to list the dangers of taking her back but he says he’s in love and wants to ‘work things out.'”
“Once I realized that it was useless I stopped being vocal about it but I kept true to my word about treating her differently. I’m aloof and distant when she’s around and try to speak to her as little as possible.”
“For the sake of my son I won’t be outwardly mean to the girl but he can’t force me to like her.”
“In the end I guess my attempts weren’t good enough because my son called me and asked me to go back to being the loving and warm person I used to be towards her.”
“I told him me not calling her a ‘filthy liar’ was as nice as I would get. I didn’t realize that I was on speaker or that his girlfriend heard me until I heard her crying.”
“Now my son is upset and wants me to apologize but I don’t feel like I should because A) She is a liar, B) I wouldn’t have said if I had known she was listening and C) Everyone close to me knows how I feel about cheaters and I don’t feel like I should have to lie about my views to appease others.”
“AITA for being honest with my son about how I feel about his girlfriend?”
Anonymous strangers passed judgment by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
People weighed in with their various judgments.
“NTA. The girlfriend is the main AH here for obvious reasons. Your son shouldn’t have put you on speakerphone when you believed you were having a private conversation, nor can he dictate how you should feel about a situation.”
“If he wants to forgive her then that’s his choice but he can’t tell you she did something terrible to him and expect you to pretend it never happened.” – TheJudgyWitch
“I agree with the verdict but I would say the main a**hole in this particular story is the son as the girlfriend isn’t actively cheating so this aspect, while still the catalyst to the story, is not the crux of the current event taking place.”
“Her son is the main a**hole in this story because he knows how his mother feels about cheaters, asked her to do something he knew she wouldn’t do but still put her on speakerphone without her knowledge.”
“That is deceitful so that is entirely on him as OP has done her best to bite her tongue in her company, which is as much as could be asked.”
“His girlfriend, while a cheater in the past (or possibly could still be but that’s completely unsubstantiated), does nothing in this active story accept overhear the conversation her BF wanted her to hear.”
“So she is certainly an a**hole to an extent as she kept the deception up by staying silent, but not the biggest a**hole, which is the son setting off fireworks in his girlfriend’s hand and then acting shocked she’s missing a few fingers.” – TPoppaPuff
“Her mindset indicates that she clearly doesn’t beleive prople can change, grow or learn from mistakes.”
“Her inflexibility is causing her to put strain on a relationship over something the two people involved clearly want to be adults about and work through.”
“She is being manipulative and childish and values her own sense of morality over her sons relationship and isn’t respecting their decisions as adults to try to work things out.”
“I don’t disagree with your post either, but I dont think the mother is blameless here. I think ESH.”
“No, the son and gf can’t dictate the mothers emotions. But the mother can and should try to be more understanding and accepting of people making mistakes. Using her own trauma as an excuse isn’t healthy either.”
“That’s how I see things with the information given because it is so vague.” – pheonix940
The thread sparked an interesting discussion as to what constitutes cheating.
“cheating is not about kissing someone. the physical aspect of it is really something I don’t care about.”
“Cheating is all about this huge amount of disrespect, sadness and hurt you KNOWINGLY, WILLINGLY and PURPOSELY are inflicting on the other person. The person that is supposed to be your no 1. The top person that you would never hurt.”
“It is different to cheat on your partner when you are 15, but it is different when you do it as a 26 y/o adult. cheating as an adult is not a mistake lol. It is an intentional action that you know very well with hurt the other person.”
“I know I am being harsh here but I am slightly interested in your logic how did you even come up with cheating = mistake (as an accident) lol”
“I am wondering how you accidentally cheat, especially in a monogamous relationship. I’m non monogamous and I have yet to have a partner ‘accidentally’ cheat.”
“I’ve had a couple of partners get cagey about them courting others and try to put limits on who I can see, but we talk it out and have set rules that everyone agrees to that are considered to be quite reasonable by general consensus.”
“ETA: I’ve accidentally been the other woman, but I ended things as soon as I found out I was the side chick.” – Educational_Toe2583
“I can only think about being too drunk and kissing someone GENUINELY thinking they’re your SO. But then, that’s not accidental cheating, that’s an accident.”
“Cheating requires intent.”
“It’s like you said, it is all about rules. In a non monogamous relationship they are rules you need to agree on, however the more traditional relationships – well, do we really need to have a rule ‘only kiss me’?”
“Not really a question for you, we both agree, just a rhetorical question to people saying ESH and YTA here.” – Blonde_Calculator
“A mistake is not inherently an accident. A mistake is an incorrect choice. So yes she made a choice that makes her an asshole but if she is taking responsibility and attempting to make ammends then that’s between her and her bf.”
“The mother is entitled to her feelings but if she doesn’t try to forgive the gf she may end up losing her son. And yes, speaker phone was an asshole move.” – Apprehensive-Jelly42
“This here. ESH. If the son and gf both want to work this out and Mom keeps being aloof then she is effectively pushing her son away too.”
“They are adults and may couples work through infidelity so OP should at least try to keep civil for her sons sake. Doesn’t have to like the girl just be polite when they are around. Otherwise they may be around a lot less including her son.” – MP3Daddy
“Manipulative? Because OP has a hard boundary?”
“Looking at some of the E S H, I can’t help but wonder how many people in this thread have bum a** parents who would eagerly accept someone back into their home after they hurt their child??”
“You hurt my mother’s kids and she’s done with you. And if we are stupid enough to take them back, we know that she doesn’t want anything to do it and we keep her out of our situation out of respect.”
“If OP was cool with this girl until she hurt her son, that sh*t seems perfectly reasonable.”
“As a grown a** adult, who made grown a** choices, the gf should be mature enough to acknowledge that actions have consequences. OPs son knew who his mother was, he knew the risk of that speakerphone.”
“The gf isn’t sorry she hurt OPs son, she just wants to be absolved from her guilt and she doesn’t care if OP fakes it as long she can feel better. When you cheat that sh*t is not about you or your feelings.”
“Also, how the f’k you gonna cheat on someone, and then be upset that people look at you differently?”
“Honestly, she sounds like a 14 yr old.”
“OP your son has every right manage his personal life the way he sees fit, and you have every right to not want it around you.”
“NTA, I saw a poster say you should be friendly… Once again, I question the bummery of some of these parents who could watch their children be hurt and just shrug emoji and invite that person back into their lives so willy nilly.” – Nomegusta111
The reactions remained mixed between NTA and ESH, but a good majority said the son is an adult who should be able to make his own decisions about his relationships and the mother is entitled to her own opinions.
Whether that makes either of them the a**hole was something Redditors couldn’t agree on.