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Redditor At Odds With Wife After Refusing To Let Stepson Bring His Destructive Puppy Indoors

A dog destroying furniture
Photoboyko/Getty Images

The idea of having a pet is a fun idea for many people and one that far too many have jumped into without proper research and consideration.

Unfortunately, in those situations, it’s the pet that suffers much more than the owners, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Redditor Shadowdrinkerx was all for his teen stepson getting a dog, but he was shocked when his stepson chose an exceptionally large breed that was destructive because of a lack of training.

When having the dog revealed weak spots in their relationship, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure how to proceed.

They asked the sub:

“AITAH for refusing to let my stepson’s dogs inside? My marriage is falling apart because of this.”

The OP had a pleasant relationship with his second wife and teen stepson.

“My wife and I have been married for over three years. We had both previously been married before to other people… My first marriage was 21 years, and hers was about nine.”

“We got married after dating for about a year. She had a 16-year-old son with her. I had a daughter of about the same age who split time with myself and her mother.”

The OP was supportive of his stepson getting his own dog.

“After my new wife and her son moved in and she asked if he could have a dog.”

“I had two small dogs with me at the time that I had owned for several years. I assumed he would get a smaller breed dog, considering we had a small house with a small yard and two small dogs…”

“Boy, was I in for a surprise.”

“He went out and got a dog that, as a 3-month-old, already towers over my two dogs.”

The dog was not properly trained for the home.

“The dog is nothing but h**l. He chews up anything and everything he can get his mouth on. I had a sound system with klipsh speakers and he destroys them. He ate a chunk out of my coffee table, and chewed up my $700 rug… It just never ended.”

“I had to let my two dogs go back with my ex-wife… which freaking killed me inside. My wife and stepson literally had nowhere else to go, and that other dog was terrorizing the much smaller dogs… I didn’t know what else to do.”

“I was very upset by all of this and even more upset when I caught her son setting his phone up to record me when he left the house… to make sure I wasn’t mean to his hellhound by putting him in the backyard. He would also take it upon himself to review all footage on my outdoor security system. My wife never said s**t to him about any of it.”

“I finally had enough and told them that the dog was no longer allowed in the house.”

The OP’s stepson decided that was a deal breaker.

“He got p**sed, moved out, and has rarely spoken to me since. He shows up to the house to visit his mom, but makes sure to bring the dogs (he went out and got another dog of the same breed, as well) and tells his mom he won’t come inside because his dogs aren’t allowed inside.”

“Granted, I did make the concession that, while he was over, the dogs could stay in the backyard… That’s not good enough, apparently, as he refuses to do that.”

“This is an ongoing issue that has been going on for three years, for the duration of our marriage.”

“He no longer lives with us and hasn’t for about two years. He still brings the dog every time, testing my resolve.”

The OP wasn’t sure what to do anymore.

“I love my wife very much, and I do not want her to leave. I tried very hard with my stepson… I knew this was a huge change for him. I bought him a truck, we would play video games together and we got along really well… until the dog came.”

“I assumed he would make a reasonable choice, and I was dead wrong. I guess I misread a lot of things. My heart is broken, and I don’t know what to do. The one thing I will not do is cave in and let that dog in. I don’t care anymore what the cost is. When everyone else chooses disrespect, I am forced to choose myself.”

“Now, after years of arguing about this, it has driven me insane, and I yelled at my wife… Now, that is framed as the reason for our difficulties.”

“She is getting ready to move out as I type this. What the f**k?”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some reassured the OP that his marriage problems went far beyond the dog.

“This marriage isn’t dissolving just ‘because of a dog.’ It’s more about mom not having the basic intelligence required to understand WHY the dog destroying everything in sight is a problem for OP, and/or lacks the backbone to have her son actually train his pet and be a responsible pet owner.”

“Either she’s too f**king stupid to understand the concept of, ‘I’m tired of having my s**t ruined by your son’s ignorance/laziness as a pet owner,’ or she’s willfully ignorant and babying her kid.”

“Either would have me viewing her moving out as a positive outcome. NTA OP, enjoy having your life and home back.” – dontbsuchalilb***hbb

“What’s bizarre is people can marry but not communicate. When asked if he could get a dog, nothing else was discussed? Never had more convos on the son’s behavior and his dog?” – HalloweensQueen

“You DIDN’T discuss what breed of dog a 16-year-old could get; you just assumed he would understand that you would want him to get a small breed? I have to wonder why your stepson felt that he needed to hide his phone when he left to make sure you didn’t ‘mistreat’ his dog.”

“If your wife is packing up to move out right now, it’s probably best to cut your losses and go your separate ways. ESH.” – Roylbex

“Ok, I wasn’t gonna go here, but here I am.”

“The son set up the phone to record OP’s interactions with the dog when the son wasn’t there. So either 1) OP was too aggressive when disciplining the dog and won’t admit it, making it reasonable for the mom to take her son’s side, or 2) the son was overreacting, and the mom was unreasonable in not letting OP train the dog.”

“The point, though, is it isn’t actually about the dog. It’s about the son not listening to OP, and mom taking his side, especially the bringing the dogs over when he visits and insisting they come in. Either he can’t leave them alone for a visit and has to bring them, so they should be outside, or he’s doing it on purpose to drive a wedge between OP and his mom.”

“So, yes, it ISN’T about the dogs. That just happens to be the fight that’s happening between OP and son. And if you think knowing which side is right will solve anything, you’re wrong. It will just be something else next. It’s about the mom and wife choosing her son over OP.” – JustehGirl

Others were certain that this was not the right household for this dog breed.

“OP ‘assumed’ the type of dog his stepson would get.”

“They never talked about the type of dog, the age of the dog, or the responsibilities of owning a dog such as obedience training.”

“This is a failure in parenting as much as it is a failure of his stepson.” – Ninja_Tortoise

“I cannot stand people like the son. They get a puppy and proceed to do nothing about training or socializing the dog. Dogs chew and act out when they are bored or need to burn off energy. You can’t buy the thing and say how wonderful you are and not exercise and play with them.”

“Get him tired out walking, running, playing. Play games stimulating the dog’s mind solving simple tasks like finding hidden treats. Every day, before you know it you have a good, happy dog.” – LittleBack6016

“Some people have mentioned obedience training, but it’s not just training! This s**t drives me nuts. If the dog’s energy expenditure needs (especially a puppy’s) aren’t met, all that energy and anxiety is going to come out as property damage.”

“Puppies need constant supervision and correction as they’re growing and learning if you want to have a well-adjusted, well-behaved adult dog.”

“They also need their own chew/teething toys, and you need to teach them that those items are theirs to chew on. So every time you catch them going to mouth something that isn’t a chew toy, you have to distract them with the thing you want them to chew on then reward them every time they’re using it instead of your property.” – Confident_North_3484

“This is not the right house for this dog. If they don’t have the energy to meet the need, don’t get that breed. I know I can’t do Malinois energy, so I don’t have a Mal! They’re great dogs… just not for me. Sometimes responsible ownership is in not owning.”

“(I’m closer to Bassett hound-level energy. Let’s go do stuff, howl at things, then go sit and watch the world go by.)” – IHaveNoEgrets

“Frankly, all three of them sound irresponsible. Did none of them discuss breed, age, needs for a puppy vs adult, etc? OP should have known all of this prior to a dog coming home. There should not have been an assumption made on size or breed without a discussion first.”

“When I got my golden retriever, my roommate was included in every part of the planning to make sure she was on board as well. Puppies are so much work and require constant attention and exercise. Even then, teething is painful and destruction of property can still happen.”

“ESH on this one. That poor puppy.” – mspeir

At the end of the day, the subReddit saw this situation as a perfect example of why communication is important in every relationship and family.

Not only were the dogs getting the short end of the stick in this situation, but they were being mistreated and not living the life a large breed needs to thrive, all because a few important conversations did not take place before their adoption.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.