Divorce is difficult. But the end of the relationship becomes significantly more difficult when you have a child involved.
If the parents want to remain involved, they have to make a lot of decisions they may not necessarily want to.
When Redditor homesituation was told his dad made a choice that would bring a dog into their home, despite the original poster (OP)’s severe allergy, he was understandably upset. But he wonders if he should have compromised on the situation.
To find out if he overreacted, he took his story to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to be judged.
The OP asked:
“AITA for telling my dad I’m not staying at his house anymore if he don’t respect my dog allergies??”
He laid out what happened.
“My parents are divorced and they have split custody of me (16M[ale]). One week with mom then next with dad.”
“My dad started going out with his girlfriend Carla over a year ago and he said they all want to move in here.”
“Carla’s son Jr. is 13 and they said he has anxiety or something like that. And he has a dog that helps him be calm.”
“I have a bad dog allergy so whenever he was with them he always made sure that he cleaned himself so no dog hairs came back. So when he told me they’re gonna move in I asked what’s gonna happen to Jr.’s dog.”
“My dad looks at me and says ‘well he’s gonna be coming too.’ Right away my dad says they’re gonna keep him separated from me and he’ll mostly be in Jr.’s room so that he’s not near me.”
“But I said no way that can’t happen. My dad’s place is small.”
“Like I literally start wheezing, my eyes get red and puffy if I’m even in a same room as a dog. Plus a nasty rash.”
“It’s f**king hell and this is why I never go to friends house if they have dogs.”
“My dad really thinks we can make this work though and they can be careful having the dog in the house but I don’t wanna risk it.”
“He tried having a dog that his friend gave him once and it didn’t work. My dad says to please give it another shot and they really want to make this work.”
“So I think I could be the a**hole here because I got mad and told my dad no. And if he’s not gonna respect how serious my allergies are then I’m just going to my mom’s full-time and not stay here.”
“That made my dad really mad too because he says it’s not fair to threaten him with not seeing me anymore when he’s just trying to be happy he found a loving partner an I’m not willing to compromise.”
“So was I an a**hole for telling him I’m not coming back?”
On the AITA subReddit, people are judged for the choices they make in their story. This is done using one of the following verdicts:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
It’s really hard to fault someone, a child no less, for not wanting to live with an animal they’re severely allergic to.
Because of this, Redditors voted that OP was NTA.
“NTA. It’s fair. I’d rather you stay with your mom than die.”
“There’s is NO DOUBT in my mind the dog ‘staying in the room’ will not work out.”
“It’s going to get out. Not to mention the hairs that will be on everyone. Doggo won’t even try to harm anyone, but just by being a dog it will roam and wander.”
“And if dad keeps the pup locked up, then he’s an a hole anyways.” – DippedChurro
“NTA. You have serious allergies. Just being in the same house as a dog means that you’re going to be dealing with fur and dander because keeping the dog in one room when you’re visiting won’t keep him from shedding all over the house when you’re not in residence.”
“Your father is being really unfair in using the guilt card on you. Don’t feel the slightest bit guilty for telling your father that you’ll be staying at your mother’s house from now on.”
“It’s great that he has a new relationship and is happy, but it’s not YOUR problem that he’s asked Carla and the kids move in, along with a dog. He chose to do that because it makes him happy and YOU are choosing not to visit because you don’t like to suffer 24 hours a day for a week.”
“Your father knew about your allergy and is now acting like you should just suck it up and suffer so that he can be happy.”
“It’s not a compromise if one party suffers while the other ignores that suffering. It’s a hostage situation.” – Mirianda666
“NTA. You being allergic and not wanting to be miserable is NOT proof that you aren’t willing to compromise.”
“Your dad is the AH here… your health, physical comfort, and well-being should be his priority, not his new girlfriend’s son’s dog. I think staying with your mom full-time is the compromise.” – lispoff
“NTA. Your father is making it impossible for you to live there. It’s not your choice that you can’t live with a dog, it’s a medical fact.”
“He’s the selfish one, introducing an allergen into YOUR home.”
“What is his plan if you were to come for your week there and you have a reaction, would he tell gf and jr to move out? Ask him that, you know he won’t.” – lincmidd
Being a teenager, though, it’s difficult to find an option that OP can take to fix this. His dad is apparently not happy with the fact OP doesn’t want to live miserably with a dog in the house.
The only person who can do anything is OP’s mom.
“NTA your dad wants you to sacrifice your comfort and health just to appease his new family. Let your mom know so if it changes things like child support.” – SmartassMouth89
“I haven’t told her yet but I know I’m gonna have to” – homesituation (OP)
“NTA, it might be worth getting your Mom involved now. She should be the one to advocate for you against your Dad. He is being very unreasonable.”
“He cant expect you to live there when you have such severe allergies.” – Squidjit89
“Yeah I’m gonna tell her” – homesituation (OP)
So that’s exactly what he did.
“Update: yeah I told my mom about this. She called my dad up and they had a fight.”
“Basically she’ll drag him back to court and get full custody if he even tried to bring a dog into the house and she knows they woulda sided with her after one word from my doctor.”
“He got mad too that he’s allowed to have custody of me but in the end he just gave up. So my dad talked to Carla and the move isn’t happening. For now they just gonna stick to what they already been doing.”
“My dad is still being pissy tho but I’m not talking to him either.”
Feelings are hurt all around, but there wasn’t really another choice for OP and his mother. The real issue here is why would Dad ever think this was acceptable?
Trying to make things work with someone new after a divorce is tough, but there are always going to be compromises to make. If dad wants to keep OP in his life, he has to understand that the compromise doesn’t come from his child, but from himself.