Redditor u/throwawayDILwater recently posted on the “Am I the Asshole” subreddit about an explosive encounter with her son’s girlfriend and asks if she was in the wrong about it.
The post garnered a lot of attention and comments from fellow Reddit users and really hit on the question of just what kind of relationship parents can have, and will have, in their children’s relationships to their spouses.
Let’s see if OP was a jerk to begin with by reading over her story.
OP has three sons; the eldest and his girlfriend hang around the house a lot and OP is a little sick of her.
My husband thinks I’m in the right, but my niece helped me make this post on here to see what other people think.
I (52f) have three sons ages ranging from 13 to 20. My oldest son (20m) has a girlfriend (19f) that hands around our house a lot… It’s a really small house and doesn’t have a lot of space. She’s a nice girl but gets on my nerves sometimes because she’s always over. I really don’t think she’s right for my son, either.
OP and the family use water bottles instead of drinking from the tap; she notes that it’s not cheap and the family knows to be courteous of others when using it.
Our tapwater has a weird aftertaste so I order gallon water bottles and use them to refill a big glass bowl with a tap.
It is not cheap to get water and other groceries delivered, so I tell my sons, husband, and the girlfriend to be courteous of the other people who live here and not use up the water, as it runs out fast in our big household.
OP caught the girlfriend using the jug water to fill a huge water bottle and told the girlfriend not to use up all the water. The girlfriend snapped back at OP.
Yesterday, I caught her filling up her big metal water bottle with the jug water, and I calmly told her that other people live here, too, and she shouldn’t hog the water all to herself. She was rather short with me and said something along the lines of: “Actually, this water bottle is big enough to hold all the water someone should be drinking in a day. I’m not hogging water, I’m just trying to stay hydrated.”
At this point, OP disliked the tone and told the girlfriend to leave — AND THE GIRLFRIEND DID NOT. Wow, the gall on this girl.
I found her tone to be disrespectful and ordered her to leave. She scoffed and went back to my son’s room. That’s when I really got frustrated. I opened their door and told her she has to leave.
The son got upset, they argued more over water and at how much the girlfriend was at the house and contributing nothing. She did leave without another word after OP really snapped at her.
My son got really angry with me and told me that my girlfriend didn’t do anything wrong and why is it a crime for her to drink water? I explained that I order this water for our family to use, not leeches who hang around all day rent-free. My son’s girlfriend got a little teary eyed and left the room and out the front door without saying anything.
The son was upset with OP and OP doesn’t see why.
My son told me that I was a major asshole and should have just minded my business. I think she’s just wasteful and a brat. AITA?
Reddit was quick to call out the YTA—but they did try to do so constructively.
Another user wrote, “There isn’t really a difference between “fills up bottle once with enough water for the day” and “drinks the same amount of water one cup at a time”. Bottled water does cost money, but if that’s a problem, asking her to contribute $ would be a more logical first step. YTA for pretending this is about the water when it’s not.”
Then OP added some edits — they noted that they spoke to their son and cleared up what the fight was REALLY about.
Edit: Thanks for all the comments. I have spoken to my son about the issue, and you all made me realize that it was deeper than just the water. I showed him this post and explained that it’s not her, it’s me. I think she reacted that way when I initially told her off for filling up the bottle because–and my son helped me realize this, too–I was never really nice to her to begin with, in the course of their three year relationship (in my defense, she only started hanging around our house a lot about six months ago because she got a license).
Then OP called the girlfriend and apologized for making a big deal out of nothing.
We called her on the phone this morning and I apologized for my reaction to the bottle. I explained I didn’t mean to make her feel bad about the water–it really wasn’t that big of a deal, and I feel silly for making it a big deal. She apologized for having an attitude and explained how she can feel a little defensive around me sometimes. I told her and my son that I will work on my attitude. My husband still thinks she was being disrespectful but I explained that I’m the reason she felt the need to act that way in the first place. It’s not my choice who my son decided to date and I need to respect his choice. I think she is a sweet girl, and I feel horrible for the way I have been treating her. Again, thank you to everyone for making me realize my mistake.
OP also looked into buying a Brita to save money — solutions for all!
PS: I have looked into purchasing a Brita pitcher to see if that is more cost effective. My son’s girlfriend now brings water from home–although I didn’t tell her to do that.