In the aftermath of a lengthy divorce, the Original Poster (OP) finds himself entangled in a fresh conflict with his ex-wife over a generous gift he bestows upon their son.
Seeds of Past Dissension
OP and his ex-wife have been divorced for almost five years following a 14-year marriage. Together, they share an 18-year-old son who lives primarily with OP.
OP’s son takes on a heavy workload at home and at school. In addition to excelling academically, he has stepped up to care for his two-year-old half-brother due to OP’s current wife’s difficult pregnancy. He also holds a weekend job with aspirations of purchasing his dream car.
The Graduation Gift
Noticing the tireless effort of his son, OP decides to surprise him with a graduation gift. He purchases the car his son has been working and saving towards, a significant expense but a well-deserved reward. This joyful moment for the father and son unknowingly sparks a fuse with his ex-wife.
The Unexpected Confrontation
Out of nowhere, OP’s ex-wife bombards him with messages. She’s angry about the car purchase and claims he should have consulted her before such a big decision. OP responds, stating their son is a legal adult and he didn’t need to ask for her permission.
Escalation of the Conflict
OP’s ex-wife doesn’t take his response well and accuses him of being an incompetent parent. OP, not wanting to entertain her rage further, chooses to ignore her. Unbeknownst to him, his decision to disengage only fuels her wrath.
Fueled by her anger, OP’s ex-wife threatens to take legal action. She argues that as the mother, she has rights regarding significant decisions in their son’s life. A surprise to OP, he realizes he might be heading back to a courtroom.
The Son’s Dilemma
The conflict reaches their son, who, distraught, is torn between his parents. On the one hand, his joy over his graduation gift is tainted by his mother’s anger; on the other, his loyalty to his father and gratitude for the gift push him over the edge.
OP’s Newborn Arrives
In the midst of the growing conflict, OP’s wife gives birth to their second child. He had originally hoped that the car would make this transition easier for his son.
A Surprise Ally
OP’s son decides to stand by his father, stating he appreciates the gift and sees no wrong in his father’s actions. This unanticipated show of support widens the gap between mother and son.
Legal Battle Commences
The ex-wife follows through with her threats, and legal proceedings begin. OP now finds himself fighting on two fronts – at home with a newborn and in court with his ex-wife. The struggle intensifies the already strained relationships.
The court proceedings drive a further wedge between the ex-wife and their son. He feels betrayed by his mother’s actions and begins to distance himself from her. The fallout begins to seep into all their relationships.
A Shocking Revelation
In the midst of the battle, a shocking piece of information surfaces. It’s revealed that the ex-wife has been facing financial struggles and was hoping to use their son’s savings from his weekend job for support.
OP doesn’t know what to think. All along, he was trying to reward his son for his hard work, all while his mother was using him for financial gain. He feels at peace with his decision to get his son a much-needed vehicle.
Was Buying His Son A Car Without Asking His Ex Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Sure, it’s a little dumb to get a barely 18-year-old an expensive car, but obviously, you trust him with it, and he’s done something to earn that trust.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “The kid is 18, he is an adult, lives with Dad, and he doesn’t have to check with Mom before accepting a car either.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “Your ex is jealous and controlling. Ignore her.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “Communication on big stuff with a co-parent is just what you should do if you guys are on ok terms.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.