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Guy Baffled After Wife Berates Him For Having A Picture Of Her Son As His Phone’s Wallpaper

Thom Holmes/Unsplash

In every blended family, the relationship between step-children and step-parents often results in a hefty dose of anxiety.

All anyone can hope for is that step-parents will love their step-children like their own, and vice versa, making the adjustment to everyone’s new living situation as happy and seamless as possible.

With this in mind, one would imagine that Redditor Passive-Ad5744 would have felt extremely lucky that her new husband loved her son from her previous marriage as if he were his own.

But instead, his love for her son resulted in an unexpected rift in their marriage.

Questioning her behavior towards her husband, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:

“AITA for lashing out at my husband for using a picture of my son as his phone’s home screen-wallpaper?”

The OP did express some relief that her relatively new husband and son seemed to have a strong relationship.

“I got married to my husband 4 months ago, I have a 5 year old son from my previous marriage and my husband adores him.”

But on a recent outing, the OP made a discovery on her husband’s phone which left her outraged, resulting in a heated argument.

“We were out at the diner last night and I asked my husband for his phone to check payment options for our meal.”

“I unlocked the screen and saw my son’s pic set as the home screen wallpaper.”

“I asked my husband how long it’s been there and he said 2 months.”

“I got upset and pointed out that it was not wise of him to use a pic of my son as his home screen wallpaper for strangers to see.”

“He said pretty much, almost no one touches his phone so I shouldn’t worry about my son’s pic seen by strangers.”

“I told him they don’t have to touch his phone to see his iPhone home screen.”

“He said I should relax because it’s not like he posted it on social media and besides that he only used my son’s pic as his home screen wallpaper to be able to look at him all the time because he misses him when he’s at work.”

“I demanded he remove it but he said no.”

“I insisted and an argument ensued to the point where I got up, paid my part of the bill then walked out of the restaurant.”

“He decided to stay at a hotel because he was ‘overwhelmed’ and texted me about how deeply I hurt him and told me he removed the picture entirely from his phone if that would make me happy.”

“Then went on to say I overreacted and by the looks of it, he’s expecting an apology from ME after what happened!”

“Was ITA or was he?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in in 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 OP found little to no support from the Reddit community for her behavior in this situation, with just about everyone finding her the a**hole.

Some were surprised it took the OP this long to notice her husband used her son’s picture as his home screen, which everyone agreed was not something to be angry about.

“You’re his wife and it took you 2 months to notice his home screen.”

“What exactly are you paranoid about?”

“YTA and owe him a huge apology.”-PurfuitOfHappineff.

While many didn’t understand why she was so concerned about someone seeing her son’s picture, claiming it wasn’t really any different than if he were walking down the street.


“Did you steal this kid and don’t want someone to compare the picture to milk cartons?”

“Is this child allowed outside?”

“Do you yell at self checkouts for recording footage?”

“Sounds like you have some issues you need to work on is the issue people might think your new husband is the father?”

“Is other people allowed pictures?”-CoheeLundin.

“How is having the pic on his wallpaper any different from a stranger just…seeing your son in person as he moves about the world?”

“This makes absolutely NO sense.”


“YTA, this is gonna sound mean but no one cares about some random child on a screen saver.”

“Not one person.”-grandgrimes.


“I don’t even understand this… your child goes to school, the grocery store, plays in the park, etc… he are literally surrounded by strangers everyday, all day.”

“Why are you worried about a stranger catching a glimpse of your child on you husbands phone?”

“If you this is how you react to normal human events I feel terrible for your husband and child, you sound like a nightmare.”-keepthecrazyquiet.


“Unless there is some info you’re leaving out about your husband, there is no reason for this reaction.”

“Social media I understand completely, but this is his private phone and only people who actively look at his phone – you or him most likely – will see it.”-Kovu9897.

“YTA, why are you so worried about someone potentially seeing a photo of your son?”

“Does he have a hidden identity for legal reasons or something?”-RainbowFuture24.

“You overreacted.”

“What the hell is your problem.”

“Lots of people have pictures of their kids on the phone.”

“What do you think someone is going to do.”

“He must really love that kid.”

“Are you jealous for some reason?”- mcmurrml.


“Every parent I know has their child as their Home Screen on their phone.”

“It’s a completely normal thing.”-OkBullfrog7875.


“I have my nephew as my lock screen.”

“No issue.”

“Posting on social media?”

“Nope, not something I do.”

“In part because he’s not my kid.”

“His mother doesn’t want him posted online unless it’s the few photos she posts herself.”

“She also shares custody of her son so I understand her being more protective of what gets posted but a lock screen is not harmful.”-dontbcereus.

“Are you and your son in witness protection or something?”

“Why can’t people see him?”


“I’ve had pictures of family members…kids included…as my phone lock screen, and not a single person had anywhere near your reaction.”

“YTA, you did overreact, and you do owe your husband an apology for freaking out at him over something so trivial.”- The_Bookish_One.

Others felt that it was very sweet that the OP’s husband cared about her son so much to use his picture as his home screen, once again confused why such a gesture would make her as angry as it did.

“YTA – having a photo of a family member as a screen background is very very very normal.”

“Why are you so upset about him being close enough to his stepson that he wants to see his face when he’s not around him?”

“To me, that sounds very sweet.”

“I would be very upset with you about this if I were him.”- cday5.


“So you found out your husband loves your son to the point that he has him as his lock screen?”

“There’s nothing wrong with that, and you are being paranoid.”- andreaali04.

“I… I mean.”

“Strangers see your child every time he leaves your home.”

“When he goes to school.”


“If someone sees him on your husband’s phone screen they don’t learn where he is, or how to hurt him… they learn your husband has a kid he loves and wants to see during the day.”

Y”our husband having him as his home screen is just a dad thing.”

“I can’t imagine not loving that.” 


“YTA! “

“What are you even scared of?”

“Someone catching a quick glimpse of your kid?”

“Do you not let your kid out of the house too, because people can see him?”

“Social media is one thing, but this is just bizarre.”

“You should be happy to have married someone who loves your child!”- tiredapplestar.

“Oh wow, stepdad loves his stepson so much he wants a picture to look at.”

“Oh no, the evil man.”

“Major YTA lady.”

“Cope the fuck on.”

“Wtf I’d wrong with you?”-Downtown_Age9108.

“You owe him a huge apology.”

“You’re being extremely paranoid that somebody is going to see a picture of your child.”

“He loves and adores your son which is exactly what you should want from a man who is going to live in your house and be a crucial part of his life as he grows.”


Big time YTA.”- Smuff23

“The fact that his screen saver is a picture of your son is the sweetest thing in the world!”

“YTA.”- TruckPure6828.


“Would you care if your husband had a picture of your son on his desk?”

“Also, but demanding he take it off and not being open to any discussion, you made it clear to your husband that he isn’t a parent and that you won’t take his feelings in to consideration, including how he wants to do something as simple as appreciate your son.”

“You should apologize for demanding and not being open to a compromise and for storming out of a restaurant.”-mfruitfly.

“YTA you should be lucky he likes your kid.”- Hencox4.


“He loves your son.”

“It’s not like he pasted it on Facebook to the public.”-Katana1369.

A parent being protective of their children’s privacy should always be respected, and this might be a completely different story if the OP’s husband was sharing pictures of her son on various social media platforms.

But seeing as her husband merely used her son’s picture as his home screen on his phone, a sign of how much he cares for him, one can’t help but be rather alarmed by the OP’s reaction.

Here’s hoping that the OP and her husband can find common ground, and the OP will learn to appreciate how much her husband loves her son.


Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.