Divorced parents always want to show their children that they are still loved, and still their top priortiy.
Even, or in most cases especially, when they have a new romantic interest in their life.
Making this easy for them is that the new partner will often also go out of their way to earn the child’s approval.
As they understandably think that even the tiniest thing might set them off.
The new boyfriend of Redditor Some_Eye_7848 was, like them, a single parent.
Thankfully, the original poster (OP)’s new boyfriend seemed to get along well with their two children, and the OP seemed to have earned the approval of their boyfriend’s 13-year-old son.
This all came to a rather startling halt, however, after the OP spent a weekend with her boyfriend and his son, resulting in the boy not even saying “I love you” to his father.
Wondering if they were responsible for this outcome, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not letting my boyfriend’s son sleep with us?”
The OP explained how a recent weekend with their boyfriend seemed to not only put them at odds with the OP’s 13-year-old son but also cause a rift between the boy and his father:
“I met my boyfriend’s son (13 M[ale]) two months ago.”
“He’s a great kid and treats my kids (10 F[emale] and 11 M) really nicely, which I’m grateful for.”
“It’s my ex-husband’s week with the kids, so I’m staying at my boyfriend’s place.”
“I found out they have a tradition of watching a horror movie a night in October until Halloween.”
“His son lies in bed with him but will go to his room when it’s over.”
“Well, last night, they both fell asleep before the movie was over, so I turned it off and tried to fall asleep.”
“It felt weird having a teenager in the bed with us, so I shook my boyfriend awake and asked him to tell his son to go back to his room.”
“He told me he understood and woke up his son, who wasn’t as understanding.”
“He begged to stay but lost the battle and went to his room.”
“I felt like I had messed up whenever he didn’t say ‘I love you’ back to his dad.”
“I understand he was upset, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing a bed with a teenager.”
“This morning, he wouldn’t talk to me.”
“I assumed my boyfriend told him why he was kicked out, so now he’s pissed at me.”
“My boyfriend and I took off today, so we both went to drop him off at school, and like last night, he didn’t respond to his dad saying, ‘I love you.'”
“He just said bye quietly and got out of the car.”
“Like I said, I felt uncomfortable, but was I right to do it?”
“He’s a teenager and probably doesn’t snuggle with his dad often like that, so I’m afraid I ruined a moment.”
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 was generally in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to allow her boyfriend’s son to sleep with them in her boyfriend’s bed, but many still had sympathy for the OP’s boyfriend and son as well.
Many felt that the OP had every right to feel uncomfortable sharing a bed with her boyfriend’s son, but also rather understood why the boy was so upset and thought perhaps she should have volunteered to sleep on the couch or in another room.
“I dunno if you’re necessarily an AH, but it’s not even your place, dude.”
“If you were uncomfortable, you could have gotten up and slept on the couch.”
“I think you shoulda just let them sleep.”
“NAH but I do think you were in the wrong.”- BigBigBigTree
“He’s being a kid, dad’s being a dad and a boyfriend, and you’re being uncomfortable with sleeping in the same bed as a teen.”
“I don’t see anybody really wrong here.”
“He’s engaging in a bit of teenage angst about it.”
“You probably didn’t ruin the relationship with kiddo. He probably realized some natural changes are taking place and doesn’t like it.”
“Big feelings.”- HankThrill69420
“I probably would’ve removed myself once the son started begging to stay just because he was probably frightened by the movie, but I don’t think you meant any harm.”
“It’s an odd situation to find yourself in.”- Realistic-Pin-4617
“It’s totally reasonable not to want a 13-year-old boy in bed with you for MANY reasons.”
“But beyond that, OP’s boyfriend agreed his son shouldn’t sleep in the bed with them, and the tradition, according to OP, is NOT that his son sleeps in the bed with him. It’s just that they watch the movie in the bed.”
“OP was on board with continuing the tradition.”
“Both the adults agreed he should go to his own bed, and children don’t get to make the rules in a household.”
“Children who call all the shots grow up to be entitled adults.”
“That’s pretty much parenting 101.”- anti_hero_123
“I understand why you weren’t comfortable with him there, but I understand why he’s upset too.”-GothPenguin
There were some, however, who felt the OP was clearly not the a**hole, believing their boyfriend’s son was too old to share a bed with their parents and their behavior afterward was equally immature.
“As someone who has had step-parents and has previously navigated that as a child BUT has no kid of their own, I would say NTA.”
“He’s 13, that’s 8th or 9th grade, and I think he was taking the opportunity to be dramatic about it since you only met two months ago.”
“To be honest and fair, I very likely would have done the same at 13 because not many people will try to confront you about it since you’re still young, but now as an adult, if I was your boyfriend and my partner asked me to ask him to go to his own bed I would without a second thought.”
“His son is young, yes, but he’s not at the age where sleeping with his dad and his dad gf is integral to his development, especially since it was in his (the bed you share, I’m sure) bed and not in a shared room like the couch in the living room.”
“I’m not sure why everyone is saying that you should have slept on the couch when his child has his own room, especially with no note of how long you and your boyfriend have been together.”- No_Patient_8369
“You’re fairly new in this kids’ life, and everyone is adjusting.”
“What you did was ‘normal’.”
“You didn’t feel comfortable and reacted.”
“But in the moment, you didn’t think about him and how he feels.”
“It sounds like he’s had his dad all to himself, and now he has to share.”
“I’d have his dad sit down and talk to him about his feelings.”
“Stay out of it for now, and only talk to him after his dad talks to him.”
“For now NTA.”- Tall1SF
“It’s not appropriate for you to sleep with this boy.”
“His dad shouldn’t have you spend the night if the have traditional plans that include him having his teenage son sleep with him.”- Artistic_Tough5005
“I would not sleep in the same bed with a teenager that I am not related to and also do not know very well.”
“If I were a mother, I think I would be upset to find out my teenage child’s father allowed his new girlfriend to sleep in the same bed as them.”
“I think many of the y t a are from families who are used to co-sleeping, there is nothing wrong with it, but that’s not normal for everyone so maybe don’t their opinions too seriously.”
“Definitely have an open discussion with your bf about it, especially since emotions are so high.”- x4eyesez
“It is weird, awkward and uncomfortable for a teen to sleep the night in bed with a parent and their new dating partner. Image it we change the change 13 yo boy to a girl of the woman with a boyfriend staying the night!”- Krazzy4u
“These comments are…odd.”
“Your relationship is still fairly new, and the son has his own room.”
“You’re technically a guest.”
“Telling a guest to sleep on the couch is kinda a dick move.”
“I wouldn’t think too much into it. His son is probably a bit grouchy that their dynamic is changing with you in the picture and that he was inconvenienced.”
“Bf should try to talk to his son, and maybe together, you all can sit down and reach an understanding.”
“I know everyone’s family dynamic is different, but imo 13 is old enough to sleep on his own.”
“Very inappropriate for you to sleep in the same bed as him.”
“Besides, if he’s gone to his bed in the past after a movie, something tells me it’s less to do with his dad telling him to leave for his room and more to do with you in the picture.”
“At least imo.”
“I think you guys can work it out and move past it.”- zanlowe
It’s understandable why the OP didn’t feel comfortable sleeping in the same bed with her boyfriend’s son.
Whether the OP should have woken the two of them up and forced the boy back to his room, or left them be and sleep somewhere else, however, is debatable.
Even so, by age 13, the OP’s son should know that holding a grudge seldom pays off.
Hopefully the passage of time will bring on some much-needed forgiveness.