Sharing is an act of generosity.
While we are taught to share our belongings with others as children, that doesn’t mean we are obligated to share everything we own.
It is our decision, and if there are some things which are too valuable, or that we simply would rather not lend to others, it is our express right to say no.
The daughter of Redditor OnlyInQuebec9 found herself becoming increasingly frustrated when her twin cousins continued to take things from her bedroom without her permission.
But after they damaged something expensive that she had saved up to buy, the original poster (OP) felt that fairly drastic measures were called for.
Measures which the OP’s wife and brother-in-law did not appreciate one bit.
Concerned that they may have gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my wife the lock on my daughter’s door does not get removed til my brother in-law and his daughters are out of our house?”
The OP explained how after opening up their home to their brother-in-law and his daughters, their lack of respect for other people’s things resulted in the addition to their daughter’s bedroom door.
‘My brother-in-law, Sammy, lost his home shortly after his divorce 10 months ago.”
“He moved in with us and brought his twin daughters, Olivia & Sloane, 18, with him a couple of months ago.”
“His sister, my wife, and I have one daughter, Zoey, 16, and she and her cousins aren’t close but get along fine.”
“Olivia & Sloane have no respect for Zoey’s privacy, none.’
“They used to walk into her room and take everything they get their hands on.”
“Makeup, phone accessories, clothes, school laptop etc.”
“Zoey complained a lot and I’ve already asked the girls to respect Zoey’s privacy and stop taking things.”
“My wife and Sammy saw no issue with this.”
“After all, they’re girls and this’s typical teenage girl’s behavior.”
“I completely disagreed.”
“Last straw was when Zoey bought a 60$ m.a.c makeup-kit that looks like a paint set that she saved up for over a month and one of the girls.’
“Sloane took it without permission and ruined it by mixing shades together while using it.”
“Don’t know much about makeup but that’s what Zoey said when she found the kit on her bed, and was crying.”
“I told my wife and she said she’d ask Sloane to apologize but I got Zoey a lock after I found she was moving valuable belongings out of the house because of this incident.”
“Sammy and his daughters saw the lock and weren’t happy, the girls were extremely upset.”
“Sammy asked about it and I straight up told him.”
“He said ‘my daughters aren’t thieves!'”
“‘It’s normal that girls of the same age borrow each other’s stuff.'”
“He said Zoey could easily get another makeup kit for 15 bucks from Walmart and shouldn’t even be buying expensive, adult makeup in the first place and suggested my wife take care of this ‘defect’ in Zoey’s personality trying to appear older than she is.”
“He accused me of being overprotective and babying Zoey with this level of enablement.”
“I told him this’s between me and my wife but she shamed me for putting a lock on Zoey’s door for her cousins to see and preventing them from ‘spending time’ with her saying I was supposed to treat them like daughters, then demanded I remove it, but I said this lock does not get removed til her brother and his daughters are out of our house.”
“She got mad I was implying we kick them out and said her family’ll hate me for this. So I reminded her that I let Sammy and his family move in which’s something her OWN family refused to do, so she should start with shaming/blaming them for not taking their own son and nieces/granddaughters in.”
“If it wasn’t for her family’s unwillingness to help we wouldn’t be dealing with this much disturbance at home.”
“Everyone’s been giving me and Zoey the silent treatment and my wife is very much upset over this.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for putting a lock on their daughter’s door.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s step-brother and cousins were being beyond disrespectful to their daughter’s property.
It seemed a lock was the only way for them to stop taking her things without permission.
“This is a recurring theme here on Reddit, people do not consider themselves thieves.”
“They seem to be under the wrongful impression that to be a thief you have to wear a mask and carry a crowbar.”
“Theft is the taking of another person’s property or services without that person’s permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.”
“This is literally what they have been doing.”
“Taking stuff that wasn’t theirs.”
“And the rightful owner incurred a loss.”
“Sammy, who is your guest, sounds like an AH.”
“While this is probably true, it is none of his business.”
“And doesn’t change a thing.”
‘If you steal from a store then the store owner could just get more stuff, but nobody should consider that to be an excuse.”
“Instead of talking to his kids, he blames the victim.”
“‘We took her stuff because she shouldn’t have said stuff.’“
“‘It would be better if my kids had her stuff!'”
“Not only does Sammy refuse to teach his kids not to take other people’s things, but he also considers you to be a bad parent.”
“Even if you were incorrect in how you raise your kid, even if it would be better if your daughter shared her make-up, he is in no position to demand it, and his daughters, who are guests in your house, should follow reasonable ‘house rules’.’
“Your wife is choosing her brother over her daughter, and you, and hasn’t thought things through.”
“What if they next go through her things?”
“What if Sammy next goes through her underwear?!?”
“Where does it end?”
“Expecting people not to go through other people’s stuff is perfectly reasonable.”
“Sammy is an entitled a**.”- QWxleA
“Your daughter doesn’t feel like she has any privacy or respect in her own home and you gave her a lock to give her back her privacy.”
“You tried talking to your wife, your BiL, and your nieces and that got you nowhere if your daughter has to accept 3 additional adults living in her home, they need to accept her very reasonable boundaries of not taking and ruining her things.’
“Good for you showing your daughter you respect and support her.”- amyhenderson_
“Don’t back down.”
“You are the only one sticking up for Zoey.”
“If her cousins want to use expensive makeup, give them your wife’s.”
“I guarantee she won’t appreciate sharing anymore.”
“They need to start behaving like appreciative guests.”- riblz11
“Good on you for standing up for your daughter, your wife, BIL, and his daughters are TA.”
“Your wife’s argument that this is preventing them from ‘spending time’ with her is completely invalid.”
“They go into her room when she isn’t there and take her stuff.”
“Besides, they can ‘spend time’ together in the living room or wherever else.”
“Your BIL is ignorant, MAC vs Walmart has no comparison.”
“Calling your daughter a ‘defect’ is rich from a man whose adult daughters steal from a child.”
“Perhaps he should fix this ‘defect’ in their personalities.”
“Stand your ground, this means so much to your daughter, you cannot fathom.”
“Wife needs to stop enabling BIL/cousins bad behavior, she’s essentially picking them over her own husband and daughter, but I’m certain she doesn’t see that.”- silfy_star
“I think you need to think ahead with this situation.”
“You are your daughter are already uncomfortable in your own home.”
“Your wife is upset.”
“You need to do what is right for your immediate family before it puts even more strain on your relationship.”
“I think you need to get them to leave before it gets worse.”
“It doesn’t take much imagination to see how it could.”
“How uncomfortable do you have to be in your own home before something snaps?”
“This is not a tenable situation.”
“You have a right to feel safe /comfortable in your own home and anyone that militates against that is playing a dangerous game.”- Stoat__King
“Normal behavior is asking to borrow stuff and respecting a person’s decision if they say no.”
“You don’t walk into other people’s rooms without permission.”
“‘Borrowing’ without asking is stealing.”
“And good on you for standing by your daughter.”
“She needs her privacy and also needs a sense of ownership, her belongings are hers and those girls don’t respect that.”- MillieHillie
It’s fairly surprising indeed, the OP’s brother-in-law didn’t seem to see anything wrong with his daughters’ behavior.
Particularly after the OP and his family offered to share their home with him, when even his own family refused to.
One can only hope he’ll see the error of his and his daughter’s ways before it’s too late, or else he’ll need to find someone else generous enough to offer him a place to live.