A teenage girl is being backed for refusing to apologize after criticizing her polyamorous parent’s partner for trying to discipline her.
The teenager, u/AITA_polyparents, shared her story on the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole, earning 12,000 upvotes and 1,800 comments in six hours for her post, “[Am I the A**hole] for refusing to apologize to my parents’ poly partner? »
The original poster (OP) states that her parents became polyamorous four years ago and have both been dating “Maddison” for three years. Maddison moved into their house two years ago, and although the OP describes her as “overall a pretty good person”, she takes issue with Maddison’s attempts to be the “cool mom”.
“My parents’ relationship with Maddison is very serious, both of my families know it and while not everyone accepts it as a ‘real’ part of their marriage, they are okay with it too. For me, She’s more like a roommate my parents love than a parent figure or someone I have to listen to (my dad is okay with her trying to discipline me, but my mom is not.)” writes u/AITA_polyparents.
Maddison’s attempt to become a parent to OP recently caused problems when OP and her boyfriend were hanging out in the kitchen, chatting and watching videos. When Maddison came home at that time and saw the OP and her boyfriend, she “started acting really weird” and started watching them pretending to be on her smartphone.
OP’s boyfriend was uncomfortable having an audience and took his leave. Once they were alone, Maddison told OP that being alone with a 16-year-old boy was unacceptable and she shouldn’t do that again.
“Honestly, I was shocked, my parents know my boyfriend pretty well and more than that they know me, and I would never betray their trust by doing something I’m not allowed to do yet just because I I was alone,” she wrote.
As Maddison tried to continue to explain, the OP interrupted her to tell her that she was not his parent and had no right to try to raise him. When Maddison said she was only trying to help, OP said she could talk to her “REAL parents” and they could raise any issues with her.
“Just because she was dating them doesn’t mean she was a mom of two,” u/AITA_polyparents recalled when telling Maddison.
The next day, OP’s father confronted her. Maddison had spoken to both of OP’s parents that evening, and although OP’s mother agreed that Maddison had overstepped, OP’s father agreed with Maddison and told her that he wanted to know when OP was alone with her boyfriend. He added that she could apologize to Maddison, but said he was “disappointed” when OP refused.
Polyamory is when one person has romantic relationships with multiple people. Sometimes that’s called having an open relationship. Polyamory can take different forms. Some people, like OP’s parents, form a “troupe” or romantic unit where all three people have a romantic relationship with each other.
In some relationships, one person may have a romantic relationship with another, but have a non-romantic relationship with their partner’s partner. This non-romantic partner’s partner is called a metamour, according to Everyday Feminism.
Although, like any relationship, polyamory can be tricky, MeetMindful.com says honesty and boundaries are the most important aspects for it to work. All the rules of the relationship, set by all the partners, must be clearly stated – so that there are no gray areas that could cause heartache – and respected. There should be no secret partners unless one of the people in the relationship explicitly says they don’t want to know what their partner is doing with their other partner.
Redditors sided with the teenager.
“[Not the A**hole]your parents decided to be polyamorous, you didn’t decide to be polyparental,” u/Strange-Tip-1897 wrote in the top rated comment with 24,500 upvotes.
“Not to mention what I call the ‘in-law rule’ – If they’re not old enough to give birth to you, they’re not old enough to be a parental figure,” u/arachnobravia added. . “Maddison was 11 when OP was born, she’s not allowed to be anything but an older sister figure. [Not the A**hole] OP, please explain this to your father.”
“You should tell your mom your dad told you that. You don’t need to warn you’re hanging out with your boyfriend in the living room. You can tell she’s in her twenties by the way she acts , she doesn’t understand you’re not 3,” u/plscallmeRain wrote.
“[Not the A**hole] not ok for you to be with your [boyfriend] at 16 but 9 years later is it ok to move in with a whole couple** and start trying to tell their child barely younger than you what to do?” u/BazTheBaptist wrote.
“[Not the A**hole] Do not apologize. If your parents understand that she overstepped why are they asking you to apologize? Why are they coddling her, a woman of nearly 30, but forcing their teenage daughter to step in and be the bigger person? Total BS. She needs to apologize to you,” u/MoldyRadicchio wrote.
Newsweek contacted u/AITA_polyparents for comments.