Respect is not reserved just for other people.
We respect boundaries, time, and feelings whenever possible.
So what happens when you open your space to someone and respect is not offered in return?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) rachel348756 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for kicking my BIL’s entire family out, which made them homeless, after they slowly destroyed my home?”
“My husband’s brother, 35m, his wife, 26f, and two boys (4 & 3) moved in with me and my husband (both 30) last month because they got evicted.”
“I never wanted them here in the first place due to past issues, but after speaking with my husband, we decided for the sake of the young children to give them a place to stay.”
“Before they moved in, we set some ground rules such as my BIL must be actively job searching and that they must RESPECT our space and clean up after themselves.”
“Unfortunately, in the past month, they have begun to slowly destroy my home and my space without giving two sh*ts.”
“First of all, my SIL is an extremely picky eater, so their family doesn’t eat with us.”
“BUT they never ever clean up after themselves, constantly leaving dirty dishes and pans, crumbs, food stains.”
“When I tell them to clean after themselves, they begrudgingly do, but it’s never a job well done.”
“Last week, one of the boys had peed on my very expensive couch, which I ONLY found out about after smelling piss when I was watching TV.”
“SIL is stay-at-home, but she’s more like stay-in-her-room, doing god knows what while her two children run rampant around my house.”
“In the last three weeks, her boys have 1) colored on their bedroom walls 2) trashed my living room with their toys 3) knocked over half of my plant collection.”
“Their whole family has turned my house into a f*cking zoo while contributing NOTHING.”
“I’ve not been able to comfortably live in my own space for the past few weeks.”
“My husband could sense my frustration, so he told me he’d have a talk with them and hire a maid to clean our house.”
The final straw.
“Things got a little better UNTIL…yesterday.”
“I get home early from work, and their family’s gone.”
“Good, I think, peace and quiet for a few hours.”
“I decide to go take a nap in our bedroom ONLY TO FIND THAT MY PRECIOUS VASE THAT MY MOTHER HANDMADE FOR ME WAS SHATTERED ON THE GROUND.”
“(I lost my mom when I was a teen, and it is one of the last handmade items I have from her).”
“I immediately knew it was the boys because there were toys inside my room, and their tablet was on my bed.”
“I was so angry.”
“I ended up calling my husband, explaining the situation, and told him that they would not stay another day in our house, no questions asked.”
“Then I went around the house picking up their dirty clothes, toys, papers, etc., and threw them outside onto our lawn.”
“When they came back, there was a huge confrontation between me and them.”
“I listed all the disrespectful things they’d done and that because they’d met NONE of the conditions outlined when they first moved in.”
“I wanted them off my property by midnight.”
“I called their kids untrained dogs.”
“They screamed back, calling me heartless, cruel, evil, saying I’d make them homeless.”
“Well, they did end up leaving after I threatened to call the cops.”
“Husband is fully on my side, but I can tell he feels a little bad. MIL called me, upset, asking me to take them back in after I ‘forced them to sleep in their car’ last night.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Boundaries and Consequences.
“MIL can take them in.”
“NTA, being family doesn’t entitle anyone to no boundaries and destruction of property.”
“They don’t seem capable of managing their lives or making an effort to. I’m glad your husband at least stuck by you.” ~ Fairmount1955
“They can’t reasonably say she and her husband made them homeless now.”
“The two adults made themselves homeless by refusing to meet very minimal requirements for their own conduct while they were guests in someone else’s home.”
“They FAFO, they don’t want to believe that their actions have consequences, and now they and MIL are trying to guilt-trip OP and her husband with the ‘you made them homeless’ BS.”
“(Edited to add: enabling them by giving in to this guilt-tripping emotional blackmail will not solve anything – it will just perpetuate their sense of entitlement.)”
“I do feel bad for the two kids suffering because of their parents’ irresponsibility.”
“And also for OP’s husband as he comes to the realization that his family thinks he’s somehow responsible for all of their welfare simply because he’s not a screwup like they are.” ~ OhEstelle
“If your MIL was that torn up about it, she should have raised a more respectful son.”
“It is not your duty to take care of them, and she shouldn’t berate you for it.”
“Second, if they were that concerned about being homeless, they should have stepped up and taken better care of your belongings.”
“I was put in a similar situation and ended up having to threaten to call the cops as well. It was stressful for a couple of weeks after, but life has gotten back to normal, if not better without them” ~ AITAnswer1227
A running trend.
“No wonder they got evicted from the other place.”
“They need to work on their issues and family. You’re not responsible for them and the upbringing the kids the right way. You’ve put up with enough here.” ~ Tina_bambina78
“How absolutely vile does a family have to be to take your generosity and just smash everything, and your mother’s handmade vase!!”
“I hope you’re able to repair it to some extent, but that’s not a replaceable thing, and I’d agree with the ‘untrained dogs’ commentary.”
“MIL can let them live with her if she’s so worried. They had ONE job… show a little respect… they couldn’t manage it.” ~ Magus_Corgo
The vase brought the thread together.
“You are NTA. If m-i-l is concerned, she can take them or buy a motel room.”
“They’ve sh!t all over your hospitality, and it is no coincidence they were gone when you got home.”
“They knew breaking that vase was gonna be bad news.”
“I am so sorry this happened to you. Definitely not the AH, but your m-i-il and husband are teetering into assholery. They need to support you in this.”
“Is there an artisan who might repair the vase or create something from the pieces?” ~ rigbysgirl13
“Maybe you could use some pieces in a mosaic frame around a pic of you & your mom? NTA, by the way.” ~ jenneybearbozo3
“This is a great idea. Consider Kintsugi.”
“Kintsugi is the process of repairing ceramics traditionally with lacquer and gold, leaving a gold seam where the cracks were.” ~ gretawasright
“I’d probably go feral if someone broke any of the items I have of my late parents. I’d just be heartbroken and see red.”
“You gave them a chance, didn’t ask for a lot, and they failed to keep their side of the bargain. Imagine being so entitled that you literally bite the hand that is feeding you….”
“And housing you. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves and as for mil…. Well, it’s easy to be righteous when you’re on the other side of the country.”
“I really hope you manage to repair the vase with the art mentioned, xxx” ~ pebblesgobambam
“Look up broken wedding wine glass keepsakes (or similar).”
“They might be able to help.”
“In Jewish tradition, we smash a wine glass at the end of the wedding ceremony. There are companies that specialize in putting the pieces together (spaced out) in like a solid acrylic case.”
“Google it & you’ll see what I mean. They might be able to do the same with your vase.” ~ KindlyCelebration223
Not everyone felt OP was in the clear.
“3 and 4-year-olds don’t know things like, ‘crayons are for paper only’ until they’re taught.”
“They also have a lot of energy.”
“It’s easy to forget that you (and every other child in existence) broke things, colored on things, etc. as a child, and somebody had the patience to not kick you to the curb a couple of weeks into that behavior.”
“It sounds like you maintain a pristine home that isn’t really suitable for a family with kids.”
“That should have been part of your consideration before you let them move in.”
“Others have said, ‘why don’t they go live with MIL?’ and that’s the transition plan that would have kept you out of AH territory here.”
“If you had said, ‘this isn’t working, let’s get you moved somewhere else’, you’d be in the clear.”
“But you let them in, then kicked them out with no notice and nowhere to go, apparently, if they had to sleep in a car.”
“I’m sorry about your vase, but blowing up and saying, ‘You’re out right now!’ makes you the AH.” ~ utter_fade
Kindness and patience are often what I talk about here.
I talk about understanding and believing in the best of people.
When a boundary is ignored, there can be consequences, and those aren’t always gentle on feelings.