The Internet is divided over whether a man was wrong to call his stepson a “f**king loser” after he lost his fourth job before turning 21.
The original poster (OP) shared his story of desperation bashing his stepson on the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole. Posttitle “[Am I the A**hole] For calling my stepson a loser and telling my wife ‘if I had this he would be out of the house’?”, u/P**sedstepdad46 with over 3,500 upvotes and seven hours Got 800 comments.
He says he is 50 years old who married his second wife in 2019. She had two boys in her previous marriage, who are now in their late 20s, and she says they are both successful and married. His current wife, on the other hand, has a son, “Kevin,” 20, and lives at home. Unfortunately, Kevin and u/P**sedstepdad46 don’t get along very well because they don’t have much in common.
u/p**sedstepdad46 wrote, “He never really saw me as a father and I never really saw him as a son. But I take that for him because he lives with us.” “
Kevin, as the OP says, isn’t really a go-getter. He dropped out of college in his first year, and has been through four jobs since: Target, which he quit when his boss yelled at him 20 minutes late; Starbucks, which Kevin left instead of taking any morning shifts; a grocery store, from which Kevin was fired because his boss thought he was high on work; And finally, his last job with a landscaping company from which he had just been fired.
OP’s friend runs a landscaping company, and Kevin embarrasses his friend by refusing to come and let him be on his phone.
“When the boss (my friend) corrected him, Kevin said he had no right to be told what to do with his property,” wrote u/P**sedstepdad46.
This was the last straw for the OP, and he did his best to ignore his stepson. However, he overheard Kevin talking with his mom – whom OP calls “the most amazing woman I’ve ever met” but says is very soft on Kevin. He says she was “doing her normal ‘It’s OK sweetie’ routine,” when he spoke.
“I screamed ‘No, that’s not okay. He’s a f**king loser’. I’ll admit I raised my voice,” wrote u/p**sedstepdad46. “Then I said ‘Kevin you’re lucky I love your mom with all my heart, because if it was up to me, you’d be out of this house'”.
When his wife defends their son, Opie tells her that Kevin is too old to be this aimless—and that Kevin should spend a couple of weeks with his son, who “will be in his a** shape. “
This caused Kevin to cry bitterly and tell OP that their wedding day was the worst day of his life. Although the OP’s wife was still upset, she says that Kevin has started applying for work again, “so I guess my grudge worked.” But his wife still wants him to apologize.
in a comment to newsweek, u/P**sedStepdad46 clarified that although he has lost his temper, he cares for Kevin a lot.
“Kevin was generally a good kid when his mom and I started. We didn’t really have a problem before college. Got good grades and got into a good school. So no, he hasn’t been like that for the rest of his life. I Love her, and want the best for her. That’s why I reacted so harshly,” he said.
Although it can be a difficult blending family, a stepparent is still a parent. However, it appears that u/P**sedstepdad46 was trying some “tough love”, which can sometimes backfire. While they meant well, MedicineNet urged step-parents to come to an agreement on discipline before confronting the child. The site also warns against crossing boundaries, as this could lead to resentment in the child.
MedicineNet also urges step-parents to look more for potential solutions—which u/p**sedstepdad46 has already tried by hooking Kevin up with a landscaping gig. Mental health company BetterHelp says that “tough love” should be used in cases where someone is hurting themselves or others – but also recommends that putting the stepchild into therapy may be a better solution. could.
While most Redditors agreed that there were indeed people in the wrong in this situation, it was unclear whether anyone was actually right.
,[Everyone Sucks Here], To treat you like a**hole. Kevin for being a**hole. Enabling your wife a**hole,” u/HIOP-Sartre wrote in the top-rated comment, earning 10,700 upvotes.
“Agreed. This sounds like a strong ‘you’re not wrong, just a s**hole’ moment from the OP,” wrote u/stumbleios, invoking a famous line from the film. The Big Lebowski, “Mom needs to stop enabling though. Do parents like her always want to take care of their adult children?”
,[Everyone Sucks Here], Me to OP: See what happens when you live in your anger without talking?” u/Adnelg266 wrote. “Me to wife: do you really think the best way to prepare your son for the real world way?
“Me to Kevin: No. I only talk to adults,” he said.
“You love the problem. He’s wonderful and wonderful but capable and coddling. Your wife loves her problem. He’s her son, she’s wonderful, but obsolete and immature,” wrote u/Macinodreams. “I feel for you in that situation. It’s a [Everyone Sucks Here] current situation, but the main [a**holes] You have a wife and Kevin.”
,[Not the A**hole], The child is about to lose. He needs a kick in a** as a reality check. But he is focused on getting mad at your words and not the message you are sending. Because now he’s totally defensive of his feelings and moms. Not what you were trying to achieve,” u/FluffyOrphan wrote. “But he’s still 20, not 30. So it can change. I think you should suggest a ‘family therapist’ as some rules and limits need to apply. Obviously your wife will not impose them and you are trying to do that which creates tension with them.”
,[No A**holes Here] So I am that mother, and my husband was that stepfather, and my 23[-year-old] The son was Kevin. With a job but social anxiety and depression (for which he refused treatment). First, the mother must decide that her lack of action is actively preventing her son from maturing. Then she has to take steps (yes it will take time) that she feels she can follow,” wrote u/TimesLikethese7377.
“what makes [you the A**hole] Calling the child a loser. There is no excuse for that. And you should apologize for that,” u/lapsteelguitar wrote. “To point out problems, makes you a responsible parent, or at least you’re trying to be.”
,[You’re the A**hole] But maybe it was necessary. i rarely call anyone [the a**hole] Truth to be told, so congratulations on being the exception that proves the rule. That said, I think it’s fair, while I think you’re kinda [a**hole]you are one [a**hole] straight with their priorities,” wrote u/imgradojjo.