When the Original Poster (OP) generously buys a second home in PA for his son, all seems harmonious until a sudden family clash arises during a pre-wedding barbecue. As the son’s future in-laws stake a claim on the house, OP is faced with a heart-wrenching decision that threatens to tear the family apart.
A Second Home
OP and his wife purchased a four-bedroom house in Pennsylvania, where their son resides. Their son attends Penn State, and they wish to visit him regularly and have a place to stay. The house becomes a symbol of family unity.
The Manhattan Commuters
Living in New Jersey, OP and his wife commute to Manhattan for work. They also have a teenage daughter who still lives with them and attends high school. OP is a lawyer, and his wife is a Department of Social Services administrator.
The couple juggles the responsibilities of two homes and two children. While trying to keep their family bonds strong, the couple’s lives seem hectic yet balanced for a while. They spend at least one weekend a month in Pennsylvania.
The couple takes care of the house’s taxes, services, and maintenance and allows their son to reside there full-time. Their son handles groceries and utility bills, establishing a sense of responsibility and independence.
After a few years, the son meets a girl and falls in love. As their relationship deepens, they decide to spend their lives together. Everyone is initially excited about the union, and the families choose to get acquainted over a BBQ at the Pennsylvania house.
Introduction at the BBQ
Everyone gathers: the son, his sister, fiancé, her parents, and sisters. The mood is pleasant and hopeful. However, after a brief gathering inside the house, OP’s wife and daughter come out visibly upset.
The Heartbreaking Revelation
OP’s wife and daughter quickly decide to leave for NJ, leaving OP in shock and confusion. Upon reaching New Jersey and after emotions simmer down, OP learns the unsettling truth. The son, his fiancé, and her family do not want OP’s family at the wedding, deeming them unfit.
Outraged, OP calls his son and confronts him about the exclusion from the wedding. He learns that the fiancé’s family feels OP and his family are an embarrassment and have thus been uninvited.
Reflection and Return
After a week to collect his thoughts, OP revisits the Pennsylvania house to have a talk with his son. Upon arrival, he discovers the fiancé’s family has seemingly moved in, further complicating matters.
Confronted by the in-laws and asked to leave, OP asserts his ownership of the house. He gives his son, his fiancée, and her family a 30-day eviction notice and decides to sell the house, making his intentions clear.
Upon learning of the sale, the son, under the impression he owns the house, confronts OP. This reveals a deeper misunderstanding about ownership and boundaries. OP firmly reminds his son of the house’s financial history, reiterating his previous ultimatum.
The Realtor’s Office
Determined to sell the PA house, OP visits a local realtor. He lists the property for sale, symbolizing a break from the past and a movement towards the future. The fiancé’s family, unaware of the house’s true ownership, contacts the son about the sale.
A Family Driven Apart
The confrontation and subsequent decisions have widened the rift in the family. The actions of the in-laws, combined with the son’s choices, have created a deep divide. Torn by emotions and his decisions, OP questions whether his strict stance was justified given the circumstances.
The Power Dynamics Shift
The story highlights the changing dynamics when new in-laws come into the picture. As OP and his family grapple with these shifts, they must determine where they stand in their son’s life. Is this a forgivable offense or one that marks a parting of ways?
Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts his story online for feedback and advice from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “What kind of people do they think you are? How was your son okay with excluding his whole family? Do you think your son’s been brainwashed by his fiancée? How did he think the house was his when he didn’t pay the taxes on it?”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “You don’t need a lawyer in 30 days, you need one NOW. I am unfamiliar with PA tenant laws, etc., but you need to follow everything by the book so they can’t contest anything.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “I find it hilarious he is so entitled to the house he didn’t even expect you to take it back after his actions. I believe this is exactly the reality check he needed.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “What did he think would happen if he let his in-laws try to kick you out of a house you own? Why would you let people who openly say you aren’t good enough live rent-free in your house?”