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Parent Refuses To House Homeless Ex-Wife Who Abandoned Their Kids To Be An Influencer

Woman looking out of the window of camper van.
Cavan Images/Getty Images

Some decisions require much more careful thought than others.

As sometimes a decision doesn’t merely impact your own life, but the lives of many others as well.

As a result, one decision which you might think is no one’s business but your own, might end up costing you your relationship with a beloved friend or family member.

The ex-wife of Redditor Background-Rise958 decided she wasn’t happy with the life she was living with her family, and decided to leave them to pursue her dreams.

Unfortunately for her, her dreams didn’t quite turn out like she hoped they might, eventually seeing her turn to the original poster (OP) for help.

Much to her surprise and anger, however, the OP refused to oblige their ex-wife’s request.

Wondering if they were being unfair, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for taking in my ex’s dogs but not my homeless ex?”

The OP explained why they were unwilling to help their ex-wife when she turned to them for help.

“My wife left me and our kids a couple of years ago.”

“She wanted a different life than what we had.”

“She bought a converted van and tried to become a ‘vanlife’ influencer.”

“She got some followers but not as many as it takes to be able to live off of it I guess.”

“She is in the city right now and her van needs repairs.”

“We are in the middle of a heat wave and she needs a place to stay for a week or two.”

“This is only the second time in two years she has bothered to see our kids.”

“I have done my best to make sure that they know that even though their mom is gone it isn’t because she doesn’t love them.”

“I said she was working far away.”

“Even after the divorce I made sure she could have all the visitation she wanted.”

“She doesn’t want to stay with her parents because they are very critical of her choice to leave.”

“She doesn’t want to stay at a hotel because it will be a dent in her budget.”

“I don’t want her in my house because I don’t want the kids to freak out when she leaves again.”

“It’s best if they see her in a neutral location.”

“I volunteered to take her dogs so she could stay at a hostel.”

“She said I was an a-hole for not letting her stay in a house she helped pay for.”

“I bought out her equity when we divorced.”

“It wasn’t that much.”

“My parents said I should have let her stay.”

“The woman I’m seeing said that she would have understood if I let her stay.”

“I just know what it would do to my kids.”


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
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to let their ex-wife stay in their house.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s reasons for not allowing her to stay were more than valid, and their ex-wife needed to accept the consequences her decision had on her family.

“NTA, you’re being the best parent you can.”

“She’s abandoned her children and has no right to impose on them and you.”

“She’s not there to see them, she needs a cheap place to crash.”

“It might be traumatic for your kids to have her leave again, and that just isn’t worth it, for you or for them.”

“You bought her out, and she’s used that equity to pursue her new life.”

“She doesn’t want to stay with her critical parents, too bad.”

“Dent her budget, then where’s the child support?”

“Ask your mother to speak to your ex in-laws or your mother can offer to host her.”- vt2022cam

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the consequences of her own actions knocking at her door.”

“For some reason, I have exactly zero sympathy for wannabe influencer grifters.”

“NTA.”- mencryforme5

“She isn’t homeless.”

“Her home is in the shop, and she doesn’t like the options her choices led her to.”

“OP, you are such a warm and good person.”

“Absolutely NTA.”- happylukie


“What a shame she has the choice of staying with her parents or renting a motel room.”

“The choice she doesn’t get is squatting in your home till her van is repaired.”- NanaLeonie


“Don’t f*ck with your kid’s head in that way.”

“Even if they are told she’s leaving, they will hope she won’t. They’ll dream she won’t and then watch her leave them while she takes the dogs with her vs them.”

“Don’t.”- After_Kangaroo_

“NTA, you’re right to protect them from that and are generously taking in the dogs.”

“This isn’t a negotiation. This is the favor you’re doing for her.”

“Period.”- Always_Anxious_710


“She needs to take ownership of her decisions.”

“You’re focused on your children.”- Potential_Total_257


“Your wife may need a place to stay, but she doesn’t ‘need’ your place to stay.”

“Her parents are available, but she doesn’t want to stay with them.”

“She can afford a hotel, but she doesn’t want to pay for a hotel.”

“I don’t know how old your kids are, and that’s probably relevant INFO.”

“But as it is, you don’t seem to be withholding from your kids’ mother anything she actually ‘needs’.”

“Only what she ‘wants,’ and she’s not entitled to get what she ‘wants’ from the family she abandoned.”- Em-Teshian


“Do not let your kids get used to your ex being around for two weeks just to disappear on them again.”

“They need to come first.”

“Your ex had options – she needs to pick one of them.”- RedditDK2

“Even if she didn’t have other options, NTA.”

“The emotional labor of giving your ex, who isn’t even a good co-parent, a place to stay in a lot, even if you’re in a happy relationship now.”

“Also, I’m sure the dogs would appreciate not living the van life.”- ExternalRip6651


“She essentially has abandoned her children.”

“Of course, you don’t want to completely upheave their lives by allowing this uncertainty of their Mom ‘maybe’ coming back home.”

“She has no right to stay in YOUR home, but she’s trying to manipulate you with a guilt trip that she helped pay for it (while conveniently forgetting you bought her out).”

“She doesn’t sound apologetic or like she has grown too much as a person, and you are being prudent to draw firm boundaries with her.”- neoncactusfields


“She would rather traumatize the kids AGAIN than face criticism (of choices that DESERVE to be criticized) or spend money.”

“She only cares about herself, and that is something you need to keep far away from your kids.”-ProfPlumDidIt


“Tell her, like her parents, you are also critical of her choice to leave.”- fixfoxfax


“Her staying will only hurt your kids in the long run.”

“Her financial stability is not your responsibility either.”- HyenaShot8896


“HELL NO to the ex staying, but glad you took in the dogs.”

“She made her choice. Let it put a DENT in her budget to get a hotel!”- Comfortable_Bear_643


“She left her family.”

“Then taken in as a visitor?”

“Really, p.”- Sonadormarco

“She’s the a**hole.”

“You don’t have to like and subscribe to that sh*t show.”

“And the fact that she’s chasing followers and neglecting her kids…like, I’d f*cking lose it if I so much as heard her say ‘hey fans…’.”

“Her parents aren’t being critical; they’re just telling her what’s up… she’s a deadbeat.”-CrikeyNighMeansNigh

“Take the damn dogs. She’ll hopefully realize later you were helping as much as you could.”

“You’re fully correct. It’s not good for the kids to see her there, get attached and then have her leave again.”

“But even if that wasn’t the problem, it’s still YOUR choice who you want to have to stay in your home.”

“You can help her as much as possible without disrespecting your boundaries.”- madkatara

“NTA, it just will confuse and upset your children.”

“She made her bed and now has to lie in it.”- Kukka63


“Don’t let her stay.”

“She didn’t wanna see her kids ’cause she indeed doesn’t love them.”

“Bringing her around and acting like the loving parent then abandoning them once again will do more harm than help.”

“This woman is selfish, and you should protect your kids by keeping her away even if it’s their mother.”

“I don’t know how old your kids are, but when they’re old enough, you should explain and tell them the truth cause what she’s doing is not selfless but selfish, to live a lifestyle abandoning the kids.”

“They should know instead of holding onto false hope that she’s a loving mother when she is not.”-Enviest0

The OP’s ex-wife decided to put her career ahead of her children, while the OP kept their children as their top priority.

And the OP knew it would be good for their children for their ex-wife to come to stay with them only until her van was repaired so she could take off again.

As the OP’s ex-wife supposedly made the choice to bring children into this world, perhaps she should think about how her future decision might affect them going forward.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.