Enforcing the boundaries we’ve created isn’t always the easiest thing.
Whether it’s how close we’re going to get in a relationship or how far we’re willing to travel, a firm set of boundaries can help keep everyone comfortable in whatever situation their in.
So what happens when an outside force changes those boundaries for one of you but not the other?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Lifeinstylez when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
In a now-deleted post she asked:
“AITA for not letting my boyfriend move in cause I don’t want his kids in my home?”
A little background.
“I (F28) has been seeing my bf(M30) for slighty over a year now.”
“He has two kids (F9, M7) from his past relationship and has them EOWE (Every Other Weekend)”
“We don’t live together.”
“He shares an apartment with his brother and I live alone in the apartment I own. I don’t like people in my space and kids even less so. My home is my sanctuary.”
A big ask.
“Recently my bf asked if he could move in with me.”
“He is normally a chill guy and I was sort of considering it. But I decided against it since he is a dad and wherever his home is, his kids would have a right to it too.”
“I don’t want kids messing up my home.”
A firm decision.
“I told him no.”
“But he started begging saying how his brother wants to move his gf in, they want him out and he cannot afford an apartment by himself.”
“He went ahead saying since I own my apartment he would be able to save up on rent as well.”
“I stood stern on my decision and told him while I understood his situation, I don’t want to open my home to kids.”
“He tried saying how its just 4-6 days a month and he will make sure they behave.”
“I refused to relent and now he is calling me AH cause of whom he will lose custody. (If he can’t find a good home his ex will sue him. )”
OP was left to wonder,
“AITA for not letting my bf move in cause I don’t want kids in my space and may cause him to lose custody?”
Having explained the issue, 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
Some were on OP’s side.
“He wants to freeload in your place to save money? Wtf. NTA, but I think it’s time to reconsider the whole guy for multiple reasons, most of which everyone else has already covered.” ~ AgonistPhD
“I caught that as well. He said he’s going to be saving on rent because she owns the place, so I took that as him saying he won’t pay rent.”
“I wouldn’t let him live with me, either. Not just because of the kids but OP says they’re not that serious to begin with.” ~ 4MuddyPaws
“It’s a huge increase on her expenses to have multiple people, including small children living in her place (water, electricity, wear and tear on the home and contents, the cleaning associated) with him openly stating from the top that he doesn’t plan to pay rent in order to save money.” ~ MoonShirtTA
Some questioned OP’s choice in partner.
“NTA because it’s generally your choice who moves into your home or not. But two things:”
“Why date a father, if you want nothing to do with children? Makes no sense, his kids are part of the package”
“Red flag: he wants to move in and not pay rent, bc you own your apartment, so he can save up on rent? That would be a red flag for me and an absolute nono!”
“A little edit after OPs edit: Even more NTA, since you both agreed you are not serious. He is in trouble and you are the easy way out of his financial problems.”
“DO NOT LET THE DUDE MOVE IN!” ~ MadameMimmm
“He should accept your no instead of begging”
“You’re also an AH for dating this long without even thinking of the long term plans. What did you think was going to happen when you date someone with kids?” ~ darkyoda182
“ESH, why are you even dating a guy with kids if you are unwilling to make some small accommodations for them for 6 days a month tops?”
“I mean it is a big ask from him, but what is your end-game, never living together because of his kids…?”
“Did you think you can avoid them forever…?” ~ Worldly_Bug_2487
“What’s with these AITA lately of people moaning their bf/gf/wife/husband has kids and the OPs don’t want them in their life?”
“DONT DATE/MARRY PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN IF YOU DON’T WANT CHILDREN IN YOUR LIVES.”
“It’s not f*cking rocket science people come on. If kids are a hard no only date/marry childless people.”
“NTA not for not wanting the kids in your home because I get that.”
“But Y.T.A for being in a long term relationship with a parent and not wanting those kids in your home.”
“What did you think would happen if the relationship progressed and you moved in together, that the kids would magically disappear”
“EDIT. yes, I get that OP has now edited their post to say they haven’t met the children and its casual. Info like that should be in the original post.” ~ Crafty-Gardener
“Nah you don’t have to let anyone stay in your home but it just seems like you’re trying to punish him for having a life before you.”
“Why get in a relationship with someone (even if it’s not serious) who has kids if you’re not into them?”
“That just makes no sense at all. What if something happened to the mother and he had to get full custody?”
“It seems like you’re bitter because you found a guy you really like but he already has kids..”
“Save yourself from any bad blood and just end the relationship because it doesn’t look like it’s going to end well..” ~ Bicstarlight3
Commiseration from our Community.
“I am a single mom with 2 kids (ages 9 &7), my BF of a year has no kids.”
“We’ve agreed for now that we are more comfortable separate, even though we really like each other.”
“If someone felt uncomfortable with my kids living in their home, I would NOT want my kids to live there.”
“It’s not fair to the kids or the homeowner.”
“I respect that you were honest, it would be cruel to take them in and resent the kids that don’t have a choice.”
“If I needed help, I can think of 5 friends/family who would all be better fits for my kids and me to stay with than my BF, and I have my kids 80-90% of the time.”
“And he is great and would probably be awesome with my kids… but it’s not that simple, and kids are a big deal.”
“We’re intentionally really slow on him being around them and totally meshing that part of our lives.”
“If someone is going to be in my kids’ lives, I need to know they are very ready for how serious that is, and to have them be on board with how I parent, run our household, etc.”
“I worked way too hard to have my own happy and peaceful space and little family.”
“My kids have already gone through so much and had enough change from their parents separation and divorce. My needs and wants come second to their well being.”
“Dad needs to be a grownup.” ~ Secondisthebest2
OP did return with some clarity.
“For everyone calling me out on having relationship with a man with children :”
“Its not a serious relationship.”
“Atleast I never considered it to be. He stays over 2- 3 nights a week at most. We have never talked about commitment, long-term or moving in before.”
“I had at the beginning told him I don’t want anything serious, and he has agreed to keep it casual.”
“I am not childfree.”
“I do hang out with kids. I have nieces and nephews I babysit at their home or take out for fun.”
“I haven’t met bf’s kids cause he said we weren’t serious and he didn’t want to bring random people into kids life. I accepted, cause we aren’t serious.”
“This asking to move in was out of the blue.”
“I don’t want kids in my apartment cause kids tend to be destructive and make a lot of noise.”
“I have seen what his kids have done to the apartment he shares with his brother. They have legit broken a Mac laptop of his. If they were teens or better behaved, I might have considered more.”
Boundaries have both needs and consequences.
The needs could be personal preference, reaction to prior trauma, convenience, or anything else.
A boundary doesn’t need a ‘good’ reason to exist – just a need.