AITA for suggesting to my son that we get rid of his 'pets' because my boyfriend is scared of them?

AITA for suggesting to my son that we get rid of his 'pets' because my boyfriend is scared of them?


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"So now I'm torn between the wants and needs of two men I love." Well... I mean, one of them is your child. So you're hopefully not THAT torn. YTA.


>if he’d be willing to sell his spiders so we could build a life with John “If Joshua has experience getting rid of pests, then he can help kill the ones in the future home we’d live together as a family!”


The most absurd part is that John isn’t even refusing to come over or hang out, he just won’t live there / stay over. Sounds like someone’s trying to get him to move in way too quick to combat impending empty nest feels


The tarantula is probably older than her relationship with John.


Well they can live between 15-25 years so it could well be older then Joshua.


TIL tarantulas not only can scare people but can play the long wait game and torture arachnophobes by waiting them out in the dark.. "soon... or maybe in 10+ years."


Welp Im living in eternal fear now


Nah. You can see them coming a mile away and they aren't nearly as venemous as people think. Some even have their own [pet frogs!](https://roaring.earth/tarantulas-and-frogs-are-friends-with-benefits/)


*Oh my god that's so cute.*


>pet frogs! I shouldn't have clicked on that link those pictures are fucking terrifying


> You can see them coming a mile away and they aren't nearly as venemous as people think. But they make you dance, and I hate dancing!


That's just Italian wolf spiders giving their larger and more hirtuse cousins a bad rep!


https://m.imgur.com/6mTPxgU This is by far my favorite picture. “You want a piece of me, punk? Mess with me, you mess with my big brother.”


Not nearly as velenemous, but they throw some mean hair.


Also much bigger so you can easily hit it with a shoe from across the room! ​ ​ /s just incase its needed, dont go killing people pet spiders.


I learn so friggin much on Reddit that I never even once thought about before seeing posts.


*Yes… good…* ::8


fucking OUCH




>I decided to ask Joshua if he'd be willing to sell his spiders so we could build a life with John. Because we all know resentment makes an amazing foundation to build a relationship upon..... Seriously OP, this is how you nuke not just John's relationship with your son, but also your own with him.


Correction: Son, get rid of all your pets so I can "build a life with a man" even though you're probably gonna move out in a year or two. So your life with my man is 12 months but whatever. Damn, it took me longer to pick out paint colors than OP is willing to wait to move in the new guy.


move out what a fancy way of saying he's gonna do it for a dcik


if she wants dick so bad she can stay over at his place where there are no spiders


josh loves things that other ppl don't.. sounds like someone who knows what that feels like and is looking for pets to relate to. I wonder if Joshua has much social support outside of this hobby. sounds like you're asking a kid who may or may not have issues as it is, to give up his beloved pets. why can't this simply be the impetus for implementing failsafes to ensure that they never escape again


I've been in the process of remodeling my kitchen for longer than that, and I can almost guarantee that OP and John will be done before my kitchen. OP YTA, prioritize your son as you should have been doing all along.


Also is there any reason to think that Josh wants to build a life with this man? Other than that OP is banging him?


Absolutely! And if John wishes to build a life with *you and your son*, then perhaps like you, he will need to come to terms with your son's pets and make some compromises himself.


And personally, I love spiders. Your bf could show good faith here and get therapy to help him so he can tolerate and/or even like your son's spiders. It is not your son's job to bend over backwards to accommodate your bf in his own home. That is between you and your bf and selling his pets is not the answer. YTA and you will lose your son if you continue down this path.


Son could always go live with dad or any other family member who isn't putting dick ahead of her own child for the foreseeable future. It will make it easier when he goes no contact later. Oh and I'm speaking from experience. It took me a while to realize that my mom was never going to put me and my siblings first. Haven't talked to her in 11 years thank God.


I'm four years into an estrangement that began 2 weeks after I graduated highschool. Ain't nothing sweeter than the lack of tension in my own home.




Yup! I’m 32 and still have no relationship with my dad, because he 100% chose my stepmom over me when I was young. She’s vile and he has no spine. I’ve tried to even make amends, multiple times, because the weight it has on my daily life is too much. I feel like I have zero trust in people subconsciously. If this story is real, Idk I can’t imagine being so blatantly uninterested in the pets your kid loves dearly for some new dick. They could make things work, living separately for the next few years until Josh moves out. People don’t HAVE to live together right away ffs. I hope they do what’s right and apologize to him, maybe take him to a pet supply shop and let him choose out a few new things for his pets. Parents are allowed to make mistakes, but how they act afterwards is the most important factor. Tell him that you care about (new boyfriend) but that doesn’t mean the relationship between them will change.


Listen to this, OP. 20 years ago, my Mom told me she didnt know who she would choose if she had to choose between me and my stepfather. If my mother was in a burning building and I had a choice between saving her or an absolute stranger, I know exactly who I'd choose and it ain't her.


My ex husband asked if I'd save my son or him if they were in a burning building. I told him my son and he wasn't happy with that. My now fiance asked me that, I told him that I'd save my son and he said he'd left me had I said him, instead of my son... I honestly don't understand how people can value someone over their own child. Didn't understand how my parents could do it to me and even as a mother, still couldn't fathom putting someone before my child...


Is this a normal question to be asked?


Maybe she met both at pyromaniacs anonymous.


It's an icebreaker question at those meetings


We don’t break ice at those meetings


We melt it




Do you think they have any firefighters at those meetings as undercover pyromaniacs? Just sayin, why am I supposed to save those I love from a fire and not a trained professional


It’s usually the inverse Undercover pyromaniacs getting jobs as firefighters. [It’s a thing.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefighter_arson)


Not in my experience. My SO and I always assumed the kids health and safety came first. I feel like that is normal. No need for grim scenarios or poorly constructed and unnecessary loyalty tests.


Was wondering the same thing... bc I have a grown child & haven't ever had anyone ask me this. Probably would have ended the relationship with them if they had


In my experience, people ask this question in a more roundabout way. My mum was always asked by partners things like "When will I be number one in your life??" to which she always replied "Never" lol. Lots of people simply expect romance to come above everything else.


It is at manipulative question and answer trivia time.


The biggest fight my ex husband and I ever had was if we would remain anonymous if we won the lottery. I said yes and he said no. We never play the lottery.


I’m on your side! Stay anonymous ! I also don’t play lotto


This hurts. My mother told me when I was a teenager to not force her to choose between myself and my father, because she'd choose him. Hearing that's not normal is.... Hard, to say the least.


There are schools of thought that TELL people to choose their spouse over their children “ because your children will leave you when they’re grown”. I definitely didn’t do that, but I’ve read relationship books that actually said that. Some churches say that too, so, while it might not be normal to people commenting here, it’s not rare. Still, it must have hurt to hear that. Hugs.


Your ex is an asshole, anyone who wouldn't be willing to give their life to save their own child doesn't deserve to have kids.


Exactly like I most certainly won't choose the child over partner or myself or parents and stuff so I won't have kids simple as that, why do these people even have kids


My girlfriend felt like her dad chose her stepmom over her. She has told me that if I was ever in a situation where I had to choose between my children (previous relationship) and her, she would bow out and make me choose my kids, because she knows how shitty it feels for a parent to make the wrong decision. I would choose my kids anyway but I very much appreciate her conviction that I always put my kids first.


And then you wife her.


Working on it


Yes exactly!! I also don't understand people who choose to stay with people who harm their children mentally or physically because they love them. You hurt my kid, you're dead to me


My husband and I agrees, that if the house burns down, we save our daughter. If one of us dies, tough luck, but at least our kid survives with one parents. This is the way.


I think that's pretty normal and the only situation I'd be pissed at my husband/SO was if he had to choose between me surviving childbirth/pregnancy or a potential kid surviving childbirth, if he chose the fetus. I'm sorry, but that one I want him to chose me. Luckily, he and the doctors agree that you try to save the mom first.


I can't imagine not saving my partner first, but both of us know that the right answer is "we both grab our cats first, then run".


>I honestly don't understand how people can value someone over their own child. Well those people do not need to become parents


This stranger says thanks for thinking about us. 🤣🤣🤣


There should never be any question about this. I'm sorry your mom said that to you :(


I feel like OP is NAH if she stops here. She asked Josh if he'd be willing, which isn't inherently an AH move. If she respects the no and doesn't push any further, then I think the situation is salvageable. It would only go into AH territory if she now forces Josh to remove the spiders


This is absolutely the correct response. NAH. I can't agree with you more. She's not the asshole for ASKING, but if she doesn't respect his wishes, she will be. Nobody likes the "I'm only asking to be polite, I've already made my decision" type.


I still don't understand the need to prioritize the new boyfriend though. I would have to say not enough information, because if this is how she sounds when she's trying to talk herself up, then there are levels of context we aren't getting.


To be fair to her she doesn't like them either. Think she is just using bf as ammunition to get the spiders out.


That's not fair to her at all though, that actually implicates her pretty harshly. If my parents when I was a kid, tried to get me to dump my life long special interest to the point of Basically An Expert, because it made them uncomfortable, I don't think I'd have been able to look at them the same ever again. My parents could be toxic af but they never once tried to crush my interests like that. Kid is essentially getting set up to be on a career path with these critters, not a casual hobbiest. Getting rid of the tarantulas would absolutely devastated that potential career path. Tarantula breeding is very lucrative, and becoming an entomologist is also quite likely.


Eh, I disagree. These are his pets. Swap spiders for dogs or cats or whatever pet you prefer, and you realize this is an unfair ask. OP wants her son to change his lifestyle to suit the needs of a man whom she brought into their lives. The son likely had little say in that. If either of my parents had asked me to get rid of my pets to accommodate their partners, I’d have immediately resented the partner. Even if the issue wasn’t pressed. It’s just not an okay thing to ask. Pets aren’t toys you can easily replace. They’re living creatures you take care of and bond with. Even if it is a *shudders* spider.


She's absolutely the AH for asking. She is an authority figure, there is an implied expectation in the request and because she has authority over his life, there is significant pressure to comply. YTA OP. You're asking your son to give up his friends because some man you like for now doesn't want to do lseepovers anymore. Do better.


I love how you’re simultaneously infantilising and invalidating OP’s adult relationship by mockingly calling it a “sleepover” with “some man she likes”, while calling a 17 year-old’s spider his “friend”. Peak reddit moment lmao


Replace spider with dog. You’d probably call that a friendship 🙄


Fair point, I agree with you.


It's not two men. One man, one boy. 17 is still a child.


this. this is your child, YOUR SON THAT YOU PUSHED OUT OF YOUR GOOCH YOURSELF I PRESUME, versus a man that you met about a year ago. they shouldn’t be equal to you.


Well... Because she wants the boyfriend to abuse and use her Gooch obviously.


I have a baby tarantula that costs more than some purebred dogs and is far, far more delicate. Not to mention the emotional attachment over years of raising this hairy leggy babe that will outlive most four-legged family members. I wouldn’t expect the kid to get rid of them but in his shoes? I’d be relocating the horde somewhere safe until I could follow out to an independent space. It takes one impulsive action to kill a beloved pet and (from a practical keepers perspective) a valuable investment.


Hmmm, the son she birthed and has loved for 17 years, or the dude she's been banging for one year? Decisions decisions.


and what if John was afraid of cats or dogs? Would you have Joshua get rid of them for John? Same thing. YTA


Well at least that spurred me to look up a great old crazy love song from 1976. Thanks for that -- been ages since I've even thought about that song. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xFB1yytGLRA edit and ick the same but different TOTALLY lol didn't mean to imply anything untoward at all...just the wording made me think of this song TORN


YTA your son's animals aren't causing john any harm and because he's a scaredy cat your son is supposed to sacrifice his pets for some man you MAY have a life with? YTA YTA YTA


Yeah um no choice here! A boyfriend is replaceable my son isn't smh.


I dunno, you can always make a new kid. You only meet the man of your dreams in a seedy biker bar once. ♡ /s


Best comment I’ve seen in a while 😂😂😂


Like, I am an arachnophobe, and would not expect a child to choose between me and a pet they had before I came into their life. OP can just wait. Her son won't be dependent on her forever.


Exactly this. If I'm coming into a kid's life with the intention of being a parental figure, the last thing I'm doing is forcing that child out of their interests. I'm coming to them, they're not coming to me


OP is absolutely the asshole for even bringing this up, but can we like not ridicule people for their phobias? If he really has one, then it‘s not just a case of ‚Eww, I don‘t like spiders‘, but legit terror, anxiety, etc. If he said some sort of ultimatum he won‘t continue the rs anymore, he‘s an ah for that. But if he simply said ‚We gotta meet at my house from now on and I will only move in when the spiders are gone (as in when the son moves out at some point) he‘s totally in the clear, imo.


It’s Reddit so of course they’re going to call out him as if he told op to have her son get rid of the spiders. All he said is that he won’t stay over.


Yeah absolutely fuck that noise. Spiders are scary for a lot of people and living with a bunch of them especially when one of them recently escaped doesnt sound like my idea of a good time. I would jump out the fucking window if that tarantula got in my room.


this exactly, i’m on the son’s side here but in my case spiders (tarantulas specifically) can legit cause me to have anxiety attacks. phobias are serious bro :/


Also OP should be encouraging her sons passion because it sounds like it’s a bit more to him than a pet hamster or something. This kid could go off to study entomology in the near future and he deserves to have his interests encouraged by his mama, regardless of the potential romantic cost to her.


Didn’t realize having a phobia makes a person a scaredy cat… you sound like a fucking asshole


> So now I'm torn between the wants and needs of two men I love. Well let's see.. one of those men is your minor son and the other is your boyfriend. This shouldn't be that hard. You choose your minor son. You're NTA for asking, but YTA for thinking there's an equal choice here.


There is no choice. Her kid comes first. Period. My Mother put the men in her life before me and my sister growing up and while my Mother and I are fine now, there was a lot of resentment and it took a lot of time and talking to get where we are now. There may be room for compromise, like keeping the creatures in a more secure location within the house or something like that, but that's it in my books.


Also, isn’t her son likely off to school soon? BF doesn’t have to move in immediately for the relationship to continue.


Not everyone goes to post secondary and not everyone moves out of their house to go to school. Not that it matters either way, op is still TA.


True. But it makes sense that the son may be about to leave within a few years anyway, whether for school or just to try to be on his own, and in any event, he NEEDS to live with her now whereas she just WANTS the BF to move in sooner. No one is gonna lose their true love over a few extra years of living separately to avoid spiders


I respectfully disagree. You have to be a pretty big AH to even think about asking this at all, therefore I contend that the actual act of asking clearly make her the AH as well.


I am of the opinion that mature and well balanced adults shouldn't ask of people to have to make these kind of choices. You have to understand beforehand that even asking is already outrageous.


I don’t necessarily think OP is torn between her son and boyfriend. She probably just hates his pets and between the insects and her boyfriend, wants to choose the boyfriend. If this were a dog or some other pet that people normally aren’t afraid of, I’d probably lean YTA, and suggest OP just wait a year before son moves out or goes to college. Since it’s creatures that a lot of people have a phobia about, I’m leaning NAH. Wouldn’t have a been a problem if the tarantula hadn’t gotten loose either.


She literraly wrote that she was torn between the two loves of her life?


Yta. You arent "torn between two men you love" Kid first woman.


I am divided between my children that I have known for 17 years or my boyfriend of 1 years mmhhhhhh how scary to be the son


Correction: I am torn between the kid I raised for 17 years and quite literally came out of my cooter or my boyfriend who acts like a child when a harmless spider gets loose.


correction: I don't know how to tell my son that I really like dciks and he doesn't understand the hint that when he turns 18 I'll throw him out of my house


Correction: I think my son is being a selfish freeloader for being underage and not wanting to get rid of his pets in exchange for me getting some dick Because let's be honest, the only reason why she posted this is because she thinks her son is the one being selfish.


she could literally just go over to her boyfriends place


The BFs mommy probably doesn't like him bringing girls over.


There's nothing wrong with him being afraid of spiders. I'm personally not but hey, phobias are a thing. The problem is only on OP, not on the bf for being scared.


Phobias are a thing, can we not insult people who are irrationally afraid of things, please? He's not acting like a child, he's acting like someone with arachnophobia. He's said he's not staying over UNLESS the spiders are gone, not "we're over until the spiders are gone".


Talk about *extra.* That's your **child**, OP.


I think your missing the point. Clearly that D*ck is on point


My Grandma used to say "If his dick's not made of gold, he's replaceable"


I like your grandma, she sounds like mine.


This is tough for me. I understand wanting to move in with your boyfriend, but I hate when parents make relationship decisions that negatively impact their children. You have only known this guy for year. Why the rush to move him in? Would it hurt to wait until next year when your son is old enough to go away to college or move out on his own?


Why does your bf have to be in your home? BF should have a home where you and your child can visit.


"Why the rush to move him in?" She's hoping to rush a ring and a proposal from him.


AITA just loves random assumptions about people lmao


this is a lovely point


This is the main issue. Waiting a year will make a huge difference for her son and should not be a big deal for two grown adults. Son leaves, bugs go with him, and then boyfriend can move in. This should not be so hard. Some accommodation might need to be made over the summers or if he has to move in after college for a while, but come on, boyfriend is an adult and it's not like he is allergic. He can just grow up a bit.


Once again a person choosing a penis over a Child. I think the child deserves a better mum. YTA


Smh always changing up whenever a partner is introduced. Like girl, the spiders have been here longer than this dude. Like he’s new! He should stay at his house! He’s the visitor😂😂😂


Also it’s because it’s a spider 100%. If it was a cute doggy nobody would’ve thought about it. So what John is scared of a spider... he truly came into the house later so spider should stay imo. Also, what will be next? Joshua? Because he then decides he is scared of teenagers?


Yeah not only should her son always come first, but even the spiders have been around longer than the bf. Even the spiders are higher in the pecking order of the house than homie


She also frames it as so they can build a life as a family together when she really means so she can have everything she wants. It’s not like she’s asking Josh to stop wearing his alpaca sweater because John’s allergic - that would be a small sacrifice that’s reasonable. Instead she’s asking him to sell pets he’s been caring for for most of his life. She’s so derogatory about it too calling them a collection of things no one else really wants to look at and calling them “pets”. There are entire fields dedicated to looking at these dope ass critters and people study them their entire lives. Even historically l, naturalists coveted each other’s collections of deceased ones and live creatures made you the hottest naturalist on the block. John Abbott is rolling over in his grave at the thought of this malarkey


Oh no.. you have a golden retriever? I'm super afraid of dogs. Why don't you just get rid of it so I can stay the night... What?!? A tabby cat?? No. No way. I've seen what cats do to hikers. It's got to go. Wtf.. OP YTA just go stay at BFs house. Leave your son's **pets** alone. That tarantula has more character than either of the adults in this situation.


That golden could cause some serious damage! One day he's retrieving tennis balls, next day it's baby legs. And don't even get me started on toxoplasmosis!


what... what do cats do to hikers...?


They snuggle up to their legs, which can be extremely traumatic to people.


>"I asked my kid if he was willing to get rid of his spiders after one escaped" > "OMG YOU CHILD WOULD BE BETTER OFF IN AN ORPHANAGE" fucking Friday night Reddit lol


YTA. Are you serious? Read the title of your post aloud to any decent human being.


YTA. Your son has been in your life longer, and lived there longer with his entomological interests. John has only been in your life for a year. I get John is arachnophobic, it perfectly reasonable, but your son needs to take priority over a relationship when it comes to this.


YTA. It’s a spider. Your BFs irrational fears are not reason to make your son get rid of his hobby which he loves. Your home is likely home to hundreds of spiders at any given moment but they like to stay out of sight. There’s no species of tarantula that can harm you more than a single bee sting. If it was a python who have been known to actually strangle children in their sleep then I might understand but the tarantula literally cannot harm you.


You have a higher chance of having skin irritation from them shedding or kicking hairs on/at you then you have of being bitten. Tarantulas usually try not to bite things they cant eat. Waste of venom.


Oh those hairs do indeed itch, but only for a little while :P It's nothing to be afraid of at all (unless you have the dreaded Stirmi living in your house). I've **never** been bitten, and one of my tarantulas literally hates my existence.


Not only a waste of venom, but also puts them at risk of harm! Most creatures avoid confrontation because they don't want to risk being on the losing side. Except for badgers. They're fucking crazy.


Not only hobby, but I'd say that the spider(s) are as valuable to the son as my cats are to me. So the op actually correctly worded them as pets and making your son get "rid of" your pets is just unreasonable.


Literally this. My spiders are as important to me as my cats are to me (and my dogs and all my other insects aha)


Tarantula keeper here! There are a *few* tarantulas that have 'medically significant' venom that can cause you a world of pain (sometimes for weeks on end), but they make up about 2% of all tarantulas you can currently buy. (Op specified her son keeps 'non-deadly' ones which I assume means the 'bee-sting' tarantulas.) There is no tarantula that is life threatening to a human! :) And youre right, T's wont bite unless you are literally trying to shove your hand on them to squish you (I have a pretty 'aggressive' T in my collection and have never been bitten). So yeah, definitely, TWBTA.


The idea of intentionally buying a pet that can/is designed to cause significant issue such as snakes and spiders with venom that's harmful to humans is a wild one to me! Do you know why people choose to do that?


YTA- Not another mom that is willing to throw her kid under the bus just to please her bfs


I’m someone who has been in this situation where pretty much the BF was chosen over the child (the child being me) so it’s super refreshing to see so many comments in here confirming that yes, that definitely was fucked up.


You asked and Joshua said no. Which was both your right and his. So NAH. You will take a massive leap into AH territory if you ask Joshua again or push him to get rid of the spiders. Because good luck trying to create a life as the 3 of you with John once you've pressured Joshua to give up pets he loves for the sake of your boyfriend.


This is Joshua's home much, much more than it's John's.


Sounds like it's not John's in the slightest tbh. No way should Joshua be pushed into giving up any if his animals to appease the bf.


One thing is that he wants to change something or one thing but we are talking about taking his pets from the son of op, I mean, he has only known him for a year and the son in addition to being his blood is 17 you see it possibly as if his spiders were furniture but no brother is like a cat or a dog they are asking the boy to sell his dogs for a guy who has not even 5 years knowing


Asking your kid to get rid of his pets for the guy you like is a surefire way to make that kid despise your bf, and also you to an extent. I know those are some strange pets, but insect collecting isn't easy, so people who do it tend to be very invested and care very much for their insects, taking that away would be such a big blow to him I'd imagine, especially if he paid for all of it himself, they are his, he decides what happens to them. Big YTA.


YTA Come on.


YTA Do you have any idea how much you'd alienate your son forcing him to sell his pets because a new man in your life is afraid of spiders? Personally, this would be something I'd remember well in to my adult life, would cause a rift between my Mother and I and I'd hate John. Your son and the spiders were there before he was. He entered a realtionship well aware your son collected these kinds of pets. I've already broken up with women over my pets.


I know you're torn here, but I'm going to have to go with YTA. At the very least, John is TA. I grew up with a serious phobia of dogs that I was pretty much born with, but I would never imagine asking someone to get rid of their pet for me. Thankfully I got over my phobia for the most part around 2 years ago, but at the time, everyone was usually willing to work around it for me by simply keeping the dogs away from me, or vice versa. Your son seems to be pretty good at keeping his pets away from you and John. One little incident shouldn't cost him his pets/interests/hobbies. It isn't fair for John to spring this ultimatum on you and your son, especially after you'd already made peace with it yourself.


According to the post, I would say that John is NTA. All he said is he won't be coming over until the spiders are gone. That is completely reasonable. He isn't demanding the spiders to be removed or declaring the "it's either me or the spiders" ultimatum. And all OP did is ask, unless she pushes Joshua into selling the spiders, then NAH.


Why is everyone coming for John? He stated he won't be coming over while there are spiders there. That's fair. He simply doesn't have to go there. The compromise would be for OP to go to his house. OP is for sure TA because she really asked her son to get rid of his pets for a bf she's known for a year.


Yta. Put your kid first. Always.


NAH Arachnophobia is definitely a thing! I think it would be possible to compromise with John and stay at his place. Your son is old enough to stay at home alone some nights. Though I empathize with your needs, bf and son… it’s really not that much longer. Your son will be 18 and on his way to college soon? There’s really no reason to get rid of his pets. I think it would be a good time to look into phobias so your some can understand it and be empathetic toward it.


I really appreciate this comment. I have severe arachnophobia. It seems like OP's partner does, too. I think I would be OK being in a house where spiders (tarantulas?!?!) were kept as pets, as long as they were contained and behind closed doors. But the minute I hear one got loose, I'm legit never going to that house again. Ever. Edit: YTA


Underrated comment!


YTA you choose your son over your boyfriend, always.


YTA -- Your SON is attached to and cares for his pets. The man your dating, who doesn't live with you, doesn't get to dictate what goes on in your house. Why stops you from staying over at his house? Why are you trying to guilt trip your son? "So we can build a life with him" - what's stopping you from that? Using that guilt tactic is super assholish and is how you lose your son's trust and respect.


I don’t think you’re TA for simply asking your son if he’d be willing to give up his spider family. If you just asked calmly, then okay, that’s fine. But he said No—angrily—so just apologize for upsetting him and reassure him that you’d never make him give up his spider family for anything because you love him and that he always comes first. (Although rereading your post, your choice of words wasn’t the best. “So we can build a life with him,” for example). Now, you *would* be the TA if you keep pushing it after he already said No. First and foremost, he is your son, and you should put him first in this situation before any boyfriend. You would also be TA if you’re struggling to choose between your son and boyfriend. Please always consider his feelings and talk things through with him calmly, don’t break his heart for a boyfriend. You’re literally his whole world, he came from you and will always stay with you if you respect and care for him. **Editing to add that** the man you love should also consider your son and be willing to show him love, too. If your son and boyfriend don’t get along, *what* is the point? That’s not your “dream man”. They are getting into a relationship with you *knowing* that you are a mother above all else and that you have a son. That should never leave their mind, and they should never, ever make you choose between your son and them. Your son was there *first* and that is *his* home just as much as it is yours and your boyfriend’s. Not to mention that the spider family that he’s built is *also his family*. You, yourself, probably know how attached people are to their pets — like dogs, for example. They literally consider the dog as part of their family and are so connected to the dog. Your son’s pets aren’t any different here, he has formed a bond with them. That is also his family. If you or your boyfriend have a problem, then you’re not a good match together. Or at least, you have to figure out a way to compromise peacefully and work it out. If there’s a sliver of a doubt, please just pick your son.


I despise and am terrified of spiders. But it would take a lot of nerve for me to go into someone’s elses house and start demanding they get rid of things that preexisted me and are important to them. YTA because these are your sons pets and he sounds very responsible with them. If your boyfriend doesn’t want to come over that’s his problem. This is Joshua’s house too. Also, is there a reason you can’t limit staying at the boyfriends place If he doesn’t want to stay at yours anymore? That seems like the most obvious solution here, not asking your kid to ditch all his pets for your boyfriend.


YTA and a terrible mother. I hope your son’s tarantula escapes more often.


I don’t solely because I can see there being an “accident” and OP will be back with “AITA for squishing my kid’s tarantula by accident”


YTA. Your kid should come first. I'm dating a single mom and I can't imagine telling her that her child had to change for me to stay over.


I’m sure this is going to get downvoted to hell but NAH. A) somehow a lot of commenters seem to be under the impression this is only keeping OP’s bf from moving in. She said he won’t “stay over anymore,” which means she’s giving up sleepovers at her house until the spiders are gone. Not knowing their schedules that could mean a big time sacrifice with someone she loves. B) it sounds like her (near-adult) son has a pretty large collection of insects and reptiles that she already wasn’t super comfortable with, and she’s only asking him to part with a small amount of them. C) everyone’s acting like it’s a given to always choose your kid over your partner regardless of what the issue actually is. There are degrees. If your kid loved peanut butter but your partner was deathly allergic, you’d make it a rule to not keep peanut butter in the house. And that wouldn’t make you a bad parent. This is not as clear cut as that but it’s also far from being a terrible parenting move. D) OP deserves happiness too. A year with a partner isn’t incredibly long but it’s not a brand new relationship either. People used to get married in that time frame for crying out loud and I imagine finding someone you love doesn’t get easier when you’re older and have a 17 year old kid. It’s understandable that if she loves her partner and wants things to progress with him, that she’d ask her (again, near-adult) son to sacrifice this for her. E) and in the end, I don’t blame her son for refusing, because he is still a kid in most ways and this probably felt like a wildly unfair request to him. But everyone shitting on OP seems to have not taken a moment to really think about how much this sucks for her.


I hope OP sees this and ignores all the other reactionary, extreme, nonsense. It's really not unreasonable to make the request, or to ask her son about it. People are really going to ignore how irresponsible it is to let a tarantula roam free and not paying attention to closing its container? There are lots of different ways this can play out, and most of them don't have to include OP losing a good man. You don't have to do everything for your kid all of the time like they're a living God who must always be coddled. It's totally fine to make reasonable requests of them, to ask questions, even when those questions involve something they may not want to do. This whole situation was caused by her son's irresponsible handling of his pet, before that the boyfriend was doing his best to deal with his fears. Sometimes it feels like this sub is full of children who've never lived in the real world. If I were to offer advice, I'd tell OP to explore all the avenues that are available to them. Stuff like helping her boyfriend get comfortable with spiders, it could even be a fun bonding activity with OP's boyfriend. She should also get her son into whatever training programs exist for taking care of exotic animals and make sure he's paying attention to safety.


This. And if the kid is heading to college, what’s happening to the critters? My dorm didn’t allow any pets. OP is afraid of them too. Probably not the best way to start, but these are conversations that need to be had.


Finally a reasonable comment


Agree! I was trying to figure out why everyone jumped on the YTA bandwagon and realized that the demographic here is probably all closer to Joshua's age than the mom's and maybe don't see her perspective. But the mom asked kindly and did not remove his spiders without permission, I don't see how she could possibly be seen as an asshole for just asking.


Thank you for being one of the only reasonable people not immediately screaming “YOU’RE CHOOSING DICK OVER YOUR SON”


Christ woman. It’s your KID and he’s being really responsible by handling it all himself. YTA. Your child comes first. Your bf accepts your child as he is, or hits the road. YOU accept and love your child as he is, or risk losing contact with him In the next couple years.


YTA. Never choose a “boyfriend” over your child.


Yta- your kid comes first every time


YTA. John’s fears ARE valid, but your son deserves to be able to have his hobbies. His insects escaping is not a reoccurring problem, and they are important to him clearly. I think it’s odd that you asked your son to get rid of something he loves before asking John to try to be more understanding.


YTA absolutely. 100%. Your child is your primary responsibility. You could make him get rid of the pets, but he would rightfully resent you and the bf.


NAH. You didn't say they HAD to go, you were asking a question. The way you quote pets means you don't have/don't understand the attachment your son has to them. You weren't trying to be mean asking him, you just don't get and thats fine as long as you understand he does have a strong attachment to them and you respect his feelings on the matter. Your son shouldn't have to give up his spiders and he doesn't want to so thats that. John is understandably freaked out (I happen to agree with him, spiders are creepy AF, especially tarantulas, and the possibility of it just popping up might be nerve wracking). I agree with these people saying your kid comes first(obviously) but that doesn't mean there isn't a compromise or solution to make john feel comfortable coming over without getting rid of them. I assume john has been coming over during the last year and its only because the spider got out that he is to scared to know. Perhaps you can get your son a strip that goes on the bottom of doors and ask if he minds keeping his door shut on the off chance an animal gets out again.


YTA. Why would you even think it's okay to expect your son to give up his beloved pets who haven't actually hurt anyone for **any** reason? If John thinks he has **EVER** stayed in a place without spiders in it he's delusional; the only difference is that these spiders are usually contained and in a known location.


I have to side with many others here - YTA but not as heavy as what others feel. for one thing - i don't think you meant the last line the way it's being taken. it's a turn of phrase, perhaps a poorly chosen one in a world of pure literal interpretation. the other is this - fear of bugs and spiders isn't that uncommon, and all fears are to some degree irrational. The "direction" of the fear is important here IMO. for example if you said my BF is afraid of spoons, or my BF is scared of my son's shoes, or some other neurotic phobia then I'd be like "tell the dude to suck it up and get some help" but a fear of spiders is pretty common, and isn't that unusual. it also probably was fine until "the escape". I would also say this - why do you always have to sacrifice? why don't the kids also have to bend sometimes to make a family work? but with all that said, and the fact that it's already been allowed in your house, you really can't go backwards on this one. BF is going to have to figure out some acceptable way to co-exist. Also, he's 17 - soon he'll want to find his own place, or whatever - go off to school, etc. You're going to have the problem there when he needs someone to take care of all his pets - that's not your obligation.


YTA... put between to men you love. No one is legally and financially dependent on you. The other is the man you currently sleep with. You put yourself there, when you should be on son's side.


YTA, your sons pets were there before you decided to move your bf in. Your son shouldn't have to sacrifice his pets for your bf. If your bf won't sleep over because of your sons pets then you need to go to your bf's place. Don't be that parent that caters to the needs of you're significant other over your kid. He's gonna grow to resent you and most likely ruin his somewhat nice relationship he has with your bf.


Oooh. I have severe arachnophobia. I guess I would say NAH. You asked, your kiddo declined. You would be the asshole if you pushed it though. A compromise seems possible - ask that Josh adopt no NEW spiders so that in like a year (I guess?? Idk what spider longevity is like) your boyfriend can safely return. In the meantime, go over to your boyfriend’s place instead and please don’t push your kid to give up his pets. They might be unconventional and incapable of loving him back but they make him happy and he’s committed to providing for them. It‘s sweet of him imo. Spiders play such a big role in our ecosystems and the world could really use a young man like your son.


YTA and I don’t think I need say why.


YTA I guess your son knows where your priorities lie. Your boyfriend knew your son had these pets. They rarely get out. As long as your son is a responsible pet owner, he shouldn't have to give it up for a man who doesn't even live in the house.


OP’s one of those parents. So scared to be alone she shits on her own kid for the new flavour of the month.


I’m going NTA here. everyone seems to be missing the point that this only became an issue when your son was negligent and let the tarantula escape. it’s perfectly reasonable for john not to want to wonder if your son will let more animals loose again. this isn’t a dog he’s had for years, he collects tons of bugs, it’s not he has an emotional bond. I would personally try to find common ground such as IF animals get lose again he can no longer keep them because he’s being irresponsible.


It starts with the stupid boyfriend asking you to get rid of the spiders, next it will be him asking you to get rid of/spend less time with your son...and it sounds like your dumb enough to consider it...YTA


John is the adult and the onus is on him to integrate into the family. If you were to coerce your son into getting rid of his beloved hobby, you would almost certainly alienate him and there will be a near zero chance of the both of you being able to "build a life with John". It would at best be a life built on a very strong sense of resentment and betrayal. He will never see John as family, but rather the man that destroyed his favorite thing. YWBTA.


YTA your child has his insect spider arachnid family and you're asking your child to give up family. Whether you're significant other has a phobia a fear or just a dislike he can work on all of those issues with a counselor. Also I would suggest while he's working on his issue that you go to your own counselor and work on what proper boundaries are.


YTA and you know it.


YTA >So now I'm torn between the wants and needs of two men I love. I hate spiders, absolutely detest them, but if there's even any sort of competition between your son and some bloke you've been dating for a year you're TA. John doesn't *need* you to get rid of the spiders, he just wants it. You can go elsewhere, to his house, or wait until Joshua moves out with said spiders if John can't get over it.


YTA. Stop pretending that your boyfriend and son are on the same level of importance. Your son and his pets are more important than your boyfriends feelings.


YTA. You NEVER put a man above your child. And it’s not both of you building a life with John, it’s just you. Stop being selfish.




YWBTA if you force him to get rid of them or try to guilt him into it. NTA for asking him once.


YTA. Your son's wants and needs come first. Period. How do you honestly not know that?! You shouldn't even has to ask this question. Your child always comes first!!!!


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Congrats on picking penis over your son. Enjoy the crappy nursing home your son will dump you in. And enjoy him barely speaking to you as soon as he turns 18. YTA


I'm terrified of snakes my step daughter has a snake in our house. YTA


You value a man you've known for a year over the pets that your son has been carefully taking care of for possibly much longer than that, pets that you obviously don't care for much yourself based on the "nobody else really wants to look at" comment. Joshua's right, you're an asshole! YTA. John's an asshole too--he knows exactly what he's doing with that ultimatum--but Joshua's your son. You're an asshole.


Just FYI, not everyone moves away for college. I live in NYC and both of my children lived at home while attending good, local schools. 2 of my youngest child's friends still live at home while attending local colleges too, just saying. Her son might not be moving out in a year or two.


YTA - those pets are his only defense against the a-holery of you and your BF