As children grow into their later teenage years, their parents are hit with a major ordeal: how to let go and acknowledge the idea that their kid is now almost a full-blown adult person in the world.
One Redditor recently outlined that moment in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Ok_Moment_4559 on the site, kept the title vague and provocative.
“AITA for not going to dinner with my wife?”
OP kicked off with some key facts for context.
“My wife (50-year-old female) and I (53-year-old male) have a son (17-year-old male) together.”
“My wife is extremely over protective of my son and it’s put a huge wedge between them. She’s put trackers on all of the phones he has owned.”
OP expanded, noting that these measures weren’t easy to ignore.
“He is turning 18 soon and I told her no more trackers.”
“It’s basically destroyed our marriage and other family members have noticed her behavior.”
The tracker was at the center of a recent incident.
“My son told me privately that he was going out on a date and movie with a girl. He went to the restaurant with the girl and my wife saw on the tracker his exact location.”
“She starts yelling at me about how I could let son go out without letting her know.”
“She then proceeds to tell me that we are going out to the same restaurant and movie as them.”
OP was forced to choose his stance.
“I told her no, we are not going out and embarrassing our son.”
“She stormed off to our bedroom and slammed the door. She is now not speaking to me or son.”
“AITA for not going to dinner with my wife?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors agreed with OP wholeheartedly. In fact, many noted the seriousness of his wife’s antics.
“You wife needs therapy, Pronto. This is absolutely not healthy, for either she or her son. Therapy for her, is a must. Family therapy would help as well, because this is not in any way an OK life for anyone involved.”
“NTA. Get her some help.” — HopelessVetTech
“If her goal is to get your son to go completely NC with you once he’s out of the house, it’s going *great*.”
“NTA. I hope she gets some help for this.” — Jonny-Pasadena
“NTA. You’re wife is unnaturally possessive of your son. She really needs to back off or one day she will be wondering why he never calls or visits.”
“She really needs to go to therapy. If you want to stay in the relationship, go to marriage counseling. If she refuses, go for yourself. Your son will probably need therapy to learn how to deal with how his mother has raised him.” — Careless-Image-885
One person said as much in a lengthier comment.
“NTA HER actions are going to destroy your family. What she is doing is…really not healthy, and you’re right to protect your son from it.”
“Unless he has a history of running away or generally being super unsafe (and it doesn’t sound like he does since he was upfront about where he was going and what he was doing), then a seventeen-year-old doesn’t need to have trackers on his phone like that. Your wife sounds overbearing and, honestly, a little unhinged.”
“This is not healthy parental behavior, and she needs to talk to a professional before she utterly tanks her relationship with both you and your son. I understand that you love your wife and your son both, but he is behaving appropriately for his age, and she 100% is not.” — macladybulldog
Some passed along a common warning.
“NTA – your son is going to cut contact with your wife at some point, and you need to keep resisting this behaviour or you will lose him too.” — ConsciousCard
“NTA Your wife’s behaviour is troubling. She should maybe speak to someone professionally. Make sure your son knows he has your support.”
“That way, if things don’t improve and he goes no contact, hopefully he’ll still want a relationship with you.” — Affectionate-Rush570
“This is how your son will start going “no contact” with your wife the moment he turns 18. It’s all the hallmark signs of a super unhealthy parental relationship.”
“I don’t wish to be rude OP but your wife needs some form of professional help. This is far from normal behavior. NTA”
“Also your son told you about the date and where he’d be going. He did absolutely nothing wrong for a child of his age. Not telling your wife about it knowing how she’d react was a super smart move, otherwise I dread to think what would’ve happened…” — A-Purple-Lagoon
“NTA this is out of control behavior. He’s going to end up going no contact with her if she continues this and she and maybe even you won’t be allowed in his life, wedding, grandchildren etc” — Ok-Homework-582
And a few shared their own horror stories.
“NTA. My mother tried to go to my PROM. Literally, she asked her husband if they could just get dressed up and go to the hotel where it was being held so they could hang out around the ballroom and see if they could see me.”
“Very luckily, he said no. If he hadn’t, I don’t think she and I would have a relationship right now. Your wife needed to be stopped, in this situation. She’s in very grave danger of losing her son.” — stormywhethers321
“Of course you’re NTA. Playing along with with whatever “parenting” game your wife is pushing has no upside – you’ll damage your relationship with your son and only give your wife the false impression that what she’s up to is somehow effective.”
“My husband and son are of nearly identical ages to you and your kiddo, and while we do have a tracker on his phone (actually, all of us have one and the whole family can see one another), I can’t think of a single reason why I would want my husband to tag along while I stalk the poor kid on a date.” — RoamingAmber
For his son’s sake, here’s hoping OP can talk her down next time this comes up.