When parents split and find new partners, it can be extraordinarily difficult for their kids to deal with–especially when the new partner and the kids don’t really get along.
For a teen on Reddit, this situation got extra sticky when he asked his father to keep their annual dad/son camping trip just the two of them, without his dad’s girlfriend. He wasn’t sure about how he’d handled it, especially since the girlfriend got offended, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by unsturrquestion on the site, asked:
“AITA for not wanting my dad’s girlfriend to come on our camping trip with us?”
“We have this thing every year with my dad and me (16m[ale]) where we do a guys camping trip. Ever since I was 5. Before my parents split even my mom wouldn’t come cause it was meant just me and him.”
“We haven’t been spending much time anymore cause he moved further so it’s like every other weekend. He’s been with his girlfriend 3 years. I don’t really like her but that’s cause whenever I’m there if we’re not doing something she likes she in a bad mood.”
“Doesn’t like going hiking, bike riding, or going to shooting range but we do and she complains the whole time if we can leave yet. Then it just became doing stuff she likes anytime I’m around them. And he includes her in everything so never been just me and him.”
“Except for our camping trip obviously and I wanna keep it that way. But he saying she wants to come with us. Literally last camping trip we did in December we had to leave early because she wanted to go home.”
“It’s always been guys only trip too. She kno I don’t want her to go and she been extra nasty for not accepting her into the family. My dad says he knows our trip matters to me but it would be nice to let her come cause she really wants to.”
“His Gf thinking I’m an a**hole now cause I still keep saying I don’t want her coming with us. AITA?”
OP’s fellow Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this conflict based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
NTA. Both your dad and his Gf are though. Her for naghing to be included in everything and then ruining it and him for having no spine and not telling her no. She wants to drive a wedge between you two. He needs a spine and she should get over herself.
“NTA. Give her sugar water in a bug spray bottle and push her air mattress out into a lake while she’s sleeping” —LuckStrict6000
“NTA. Both your dad and his Gf are though. Her for naghing to be included in everything and then ruining it and him for having no spine and not telling her no. She wants to drive a wedge between you two. He needs a spine and she should get over herself.” —Mera1506
“Your Dad is the A**hole here – and his girlfriend too … but, mostly, your Dad.”
“I’m really sorry you’re going through this.”
“Is there a way to just sit down and explain that this has been a guys’ thing since you were 5 and you want it to stay that way and respectfully ask that that be respected?” —Kill_The_Dinosaurs
“‘Dad, she’s interrupted a lot of our time together. I see you only during every other week, and this is time I want to spend with YOU. Not her. Sure, it’d be nice if she came, but I don’t want her there.'”
“‘This is something we’ve done together, just you and I, and I want to keep it that way. I can forgive a lot of the other things we did together with her, but this is the one thing I want to keep the same.'” —Snoo_68114
“NTA and if I were you I wouldn’t go. Your dad has made the trip about her and you know she’s going to ruin it, so why bother? Tell your dad you’ll wait for the next trip when it can just be the two of you.” —PuppyPavilion
“But you do need to have a conversation with him where you express why you would like it to be just you two. You don’t even have to bring your dislike of her into the conversation (even though I totally understand and I wouldn’t like her either).”
“You need to tell him that you miss your time with him and that it’s important to you to keep this tradition between the two of you so you can always have these memories of the two of you. You can also tell him that you feel distant from him because he’s moved further and you don’t have as much time with him anymore.”
“If you find it necessary, you could suggest other things that the three of you can do together as a way to show that you’re trying to include her (even though that’s not your responsibility at all but may be a selling point to not let her come on this trip).”
“You can explain that it’s hard to do things you enjoy with your dad because she has different preferences and you can even say you feel that she, and her preferences, are being prioritized over you especially when it comes to spending time with your dad.”
“It’s tough to have these conversations, but to get anywhere, you have to clearly communicate your feelings and needs. Practice to yourself before you go into the conversation and no matter what, keep calm.”
“Don’t point fingers, just express how you feel and leave it at that. If your dad (or her) gets upset, continue to keep calm and let both of them know you’re trying to have an adult conversation and would like your dad (or both of them) to contribute in an adult manner and not crazy emotional reactions.”
“I hope he sticks up for his relationship with you and sets the boundary with her that this trip is only for the two of you. I believe in you and wish you the best of luck!” —messywhitegirl
Hopefully OP’s Dad can learn to better manage father/son time in the future.