Each of us has those sentimental items that we would never want someone to harm or to take without asking.
Some of us would go so far as to throw someone out of the house, just to protect those items, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor ObligationHarry5666 could think of nothing else she could do against her stepson in the midst of her reinspired grief.
But after being criticized, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she overstepped.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for kicking my stepson out to his mother’s house?”
The OP gave her son mementos from her late husband.
“My first husband died when my biological son (14 [Male]) ‘Chris’ was 7.”
“I kept a box of precious mementos, including his class ring, that I gave to Chris. It means a lot to him and he always wears the ring on a necklace, only taking it off at night to sleep.”
“I eventually remarried when Chris was 10 to his stepdad ‘Martin,’ and he gained a brother, ‘Torin’ (16 [Male]).”
Torin didn’t particularly get along with the OP.
“Martin has joint custody with his ex, but Torin spent more time with us after the marriage.”
“Now Torin and I don’t have the best relationship.”
“Try as I might, he’s never taken to me and has never really liked me, and he’s told me to my face that I can’t replace his mom, and sometimes he’s rude to me.”
“Things aren’t that great between him and Chris either, as they’re always arguing and Torin likes to pick on Chris.”
“There have also been a few times Torin was supposed to make sure Chris got home from football practice, but instead ‘forgot’ and left Chris stranded without telling anyone, and he’s been forced to walk home a few times because of it (luckily we don’t leave too far from the school, but its still almost an hour and a half walk).”
“A lot of the times, Martin lets these things slide and tells me it’s just a normal brother things or that Torin is still getting used to me, and I usually leave it alone, until recently.”
It escalated when Chris lost his dad’s class ring.
“In the last week, Chris lost his dad’s ring. We looked for it everywhere and couldn’t find it.”
“Chris has been in literal tears since he lost it.”
“Today after school, Torin and his boyfriend were hanging out outside and it was getting late, so I went outside to tell him it was time for his boyfriend to go home.”
“Torin looked shocked when I came outside, and I immediately noticed why.”
“Torin’s boyfriend was wearing my late husband’s ring.”
“Torin had apparently stolen it and given it to his boyfriend.”
“When I confronted them, his boyfriend didn’t even know it wasn’t Tories, as Torin had told him it was his dad’s.”
It was the final straw for the OP.
“P**sed, I couldn’t deal with this any longer, and since his dad wasn’t home to deal with him (Martin’s away on a business trip), I told Torin to pack his things, and I dropped him off at his mom’s house.”
“His dad called an hour ago, saying I was being too hard on him.”
“His mom thinks I’m overstepping and doing more than necessary.”
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 said the OP didn’t do enough.
“I think that was the perfect reaction for that situation. She didn’t overstep her place at all. She didn’t even say it was a permanent kicking out (though it should be). If Torin doesn’t respect her authority, he shouldn’t be living there while his father isn’t home.” – penni_cent
“OP, what does your husband want you to do in this situation then? Your stepson pretty much admitted to you that he doesn’t see you as a parental figure, yet you’re at fault somehow for safely bringing him to his mother, so she can parent him instead?”
“Your husband should’ve gotten involved long ago and he only has himself to blame for the fallout that will ensue.” – WrongBee
“It’s not just about the authority figure part, he literally stole from Chris. If she didn’t take him to his mother she’d taken him to the police.”
“(I would have, since his dad doesn’t see anything wrong with his behavior, is refusing to act like a parental figure and teach his son, and is probably someone that will say,’ it’s not stealing/bullying since they’re siblings’ to excuse it.)” – dreamingzombie
Others agreed and recommended getting Chris a lockbox.
“I don’t think you went far enough. I would have gotten the police involved.”
“P.S. please keep that box of precious mementos secure in a safety deposit box or something, in case Torin decides to ‘retaliate’” – PrideofCapetown
“I think it better son has a lockbox/safe in his own room so he doesn’t feel it’s not his home, if that makes sense? Not being able to keep his father’s things with him might make him start thinking about when he gets his own place/stop thinking of where he is at a homely place he can relax.”
“Obviously living with someone who’s bullying him is already a problem, and having to lock valuables away won’t help, but at least he’ll have them near him and be able to look whenever.” – PhDOH
“‘Please keep that box of precious mementos secure in a safety deposit box or something, in case Torin decides to ‘retaliate’’ – if you’re at this point, then this isn’t working. Torin needs to go.” – dwfmba
Some suggested throwing the whole relationship away.
“OP has stood by as this guy has tormented and bullied her son, accepting the flimsy excuses her husband has made for far too long. If anything she’s underreacting here.” – -TheOutsid3r-
“I’m starting to think OP should start asking herself if either the husband or the son should be in her house since the husband is clearly an enabler in his son bullying OP’s son.”
“Her son has had to walk an hour and a half home (after sports practice!!!!!!) and she let it go. That’s on top of the other bullying behaviors and now stealing something that’s priceless to her and her son.”
“She needs to reorganize her priorities and put her son’s wellbeing back at the top, above ‘not rocking the boat,’ and that might involve sending the enabler husband on his merry way.” – firegem09
“Don’t bring him back, he needs to stay with his mom. If he disrespects the majority of a house, he shouldn’t be allowed in, regardless if a parent lives there or not. He has a home, and clearly, the house with OP and her son isn’t it.” – Boredread
Though Torin’s biological parents were against it, the subReddit agreed that the OP did the right thing. She didn’t just kick him out on the street, and she made sure he was safely at his mother’s house, who he does see as an authority.
Some wondered if this was enough, however, and if the relationship was worth salvaging, after the domestic bullying Chris had already gone through, and the enabling Martin had already done.