in , ,

Parents Threaten To Cut Off 18-Year-Old Son After Discovering His New Girlfriend Is 28

Julien L on Unsplash

Parents doing whatever it takes in their child’s best interests can sometimes come off as overbearing.

Redditor toothrowaway1199 is a parent who with their husband promised to pay for their 18-year-old son’s college tuition in addition to other means of financial support.

Recent events, however, made the parents reconsider extending a lifeline to their son.

Not sure of whether they’re doing the right thing, they visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for not supporting my son anymore because of his new girlfriend?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My son is 18m and we’ve promised to pay for his college, we gave him a car (my husband owns it though) and we’ve put some money away for him after he graduates to help get in his feet. And we support him when it comes to food and bills.”

“He moved in with his girlfriend a couple months ago and we hadn’t met her, we thought it was a bit weird and fast, but that was all, presumably, these were two teenagers we were talking about. Then we met her.”

“She’s 28 female. My son is very handsome, but also very much looks like a teenage boy, he’s often mistaken for a 16yo. No almost 30yo should be into him.”

“And that’s just his appearance, he acts like a teen boy too.”

“As soon as the situation was clear I told her to leave. My husband and I talked to him and told him she was too old for him, and that he was in a bad situation, but he got really defensive and left.”

“We’ve talked to him multiple times about it and my husband is ready to take action, we told him we wouldn’t pay for his education, withhold all his money, we took the car back, and stopped giving him cash/supporting him.”

“We hate to do this, and I’m not 100% sure we’re doing the right thing AITA (we)?”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Judgements were all over the place.

“So you’ve taken all his support and increased the likelihood that he will become financially dependent on this older woman. You have the right to withdraw funds. Technically, he is an adult.”

“However, by punishing him you’re just going to push him away. If this woman does turn out to be bad news he won’t have you to turn to for help if he finds himself in a bad situation that he lacks the maturity or resources to get out of.” – joanclaytonesq

“I would continue to fund the education but stop supporting some of the bills. That way they are not cutting him off completely, he is not dependent on the predator and at the same time there is a clear message that they don’t support his relationship.”

“I would even let him keep the car with clear instructions that if she drives it, it will be considered theft as she does not have their permission to drive their car.”

“Continuing to fund his education also tells him that while the parents are currently unhappy, they’ve not abandoned him and will be there should things fall apart with his gf.”

“In fact, I would explicitly convey this – that ‘we still love you and will always be there should you come to us, but we can’t honestly support this relationship because we are concerned that it is not healthy for you.'” – nutwit9211

“That big of an age gap between a teenager and a grown woman is suspect. I agree continue paying his education pay it directly to the school. If he has decided to move in with her and they’re having a relationship you can’t stop them but you shouldn’t financially support them either they’re grown-ups they wanna do grown-up things they need to pay for it.”

“But don’t give him the education money pay it directly to the school 18-year-old boys are gonna be 18-year-old boys.” – Dramatic_Chocolate53

“It’s a legit concern. Fortunately it’s an old one we know how to address – the prodigal son approach.”

“Keep contact with him, don’t alienate him – he’s not a bad kid or person, and you’re not forcing him to do anything; you just want what’s best for him. Stress incessantly – way more than you’d think necessary – that you still love him, he’s still your son, and you are ready to welcome him back with open arms, and continue your generous financial support of him, once he puts himself back on track.”

“Maybe we’re all wrong and it’s true love. If that’s the case, then the parents will (hopefully) notice eventually and thaw on their position (this is another reason to maintain contact with him, in case you’re wrong).”

“More likely he’ll come to his senses eventually and return to the very comfortable lifepath his parents envision for him, and this will become but a brief blip of memory that nobody gives much thought to.” – PabloPaniello


“You’re not an a**hole for wanting to protect him. He’s also not an a**hole for being in a manipulative, potentially unsafe, relationship. Unfortunately your actions are likely to alienate him and push him closer to her though.” – usernamefiend

“i would also say YTA for cutting off all support for a daughter in an exploitative situation. i don’t think they’re TA for not supporting the relationship, i think they’re TA for abandoning their son when they know he’s in a dangerous situation.” – Dry_Marzipan7811

“Keep paying for his education so he has a way to get a job if he needs to leave, his car so he can, let him have his money that’s his, and move to supporting him emotionally (keeping in touch frequently but not trying to convince him to leave) while putting the financial contributions he would have gotten into an emergency savings account.”

“If it is an abusive situation, OP has just told their son that he can’t come home or use their resources if he’s not in a good way. Their actions leave him more vulnerable to abuse and control.” – agoldgold

“I would still say YTA if the parents were forcing their 18 year old daughter to rely on a 28 year old man financially wtf. do you actually think taking away all support and severing that sense of trust will help the son (or daughter if roles were reversed) get out of this situation instead of moving further into it?” – badabingbadaboom3

“Their actions are likely to push him further into a dysfunctional relationship. They’re doing the exact opposite of what they think they are. What happens if he drops out of school because he can’t afford it, then ends up financially dependent on this girl?”

“Honestly… The ages are very suspicious, but they’re both consenting adults, and his parents need to stop trying to control him. The relationship, if it’s abusive, should be determined as such based on actions and not ages.”

“And for that reason, YTA.” – opinionreservoir

“NTA. If he can’t support himself with his girlfriend, then he shouldn’t have moved in with her. He’s still a kid with mommy & daddy paying his bills.”

“But slightly the AH for not paying for his education, if you are able to & after saying that you would. I would limit all of the other funding & keep the car, but still make payments to the school for his education.”

“ETA: While, yes, the parents are concerned about the age gap and that was what set them off, they are still supporting their son financially. If he wants to be an adult in an adult relationship, he needs to be supporting himself.”

“He moved in with her while his parents are paying for his living expenses. And they have a right to cut him off. If he was living with them, in a dorm, or in an apartment that they pay for, then certain ‘rules’ would apply. A paid for car, education, and living expenses are worth way more in the long run than a relationship.”

“My grandparents set aside certain rules for me and my siblings when they paid for our cars, education, and living expenses. So worth it and their “not approving of certain relationships” at the time.” – Purple-Mermaid-1967

“YTA you’ve now taken all of his financial support and he’s dependent on her…so this will turn out exactly how you feared and you may not even know it when it happens.”

“The reality is they’re adults and you agreed to support him, as long as he’s going to school then what’s the real issue? Support him the way you were, be open and if he gets himself into a situation you’ll be close enough to help him figure it out.” – QuitaQuites

“NTA. If you keep giving money, you lose. If you stop giving money, you may win.”

“Without your financial support, she may lose interest in him because she has to finance everything, so it’s the safest action to take.”

“Make sure to tell him he can always return home when this doesn’t work out.”

Overall, Redditors remained polarized over the debate about the age gap in the relationship.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo