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With inflation on the rise, this might be something more parents do. Should an 18 year old pay rent to help out and learn some real-world responsibilities? Or is Step Dad being spiteful in asking for $120 per month?
This stepfather wants his 18-year-old stepson to pay rent while in his last year of high school to help prepare him for the real world.
The Rental Agreement
The original poster recently came to Reddit to find out if he was being unreasonable about his expectations for his final year at home before going to college. OP says that he doesn’t expect to live rent-free forever but feels that his step-father is spiteful because his step-father and mother had 2 kids in 9 years of marriage. OP is not his blood. It’s clear he’s a reminder that his wife was a non-virgin divorced woman before she met him.
OP feels that he’s being treated like a guest, and his mom is allowing it because she thinks the sun shines only on her husband. OP said his stepfather doesn’t need his money, but he wants $120 per month. OP said that he is taking exams for the final few months of school and that he is trying to ace all of them so that he can get accepted into a good 4-year school for medicine and that this will require many long hours of study and will leave very little time for him to get a job to pay the rent his step-father is enforcing on him.
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OP is moving out in September to go to school and feels like his stepfather is being vindictive. That he knows that OP is trying to save the money he has left from his last job and that paying him $960 over the next 8 months when their family doesn’t need it feels spiteful and like he’s punishing OP and making his life harder for just being born.
OP also went on to say that recently he spoke with his aunt (mother’s sister), who isn’t fond of OP’s stepfather said he was being ridiculous and told OP to come to live with her. OP said her house is an hour away, but his current school is in the middle, 30 mins from where he lives now and 30 mins from his aunt’s place. His aunt offered a guest room for free so he could save his money for college, and because this benefits him, he took her up on the offer.
OP said his mother has been crying that he’s leaving already, and his stepfather is annoyed. OP said they got into an argument, and his stepfather said he’s just treating OP like a tenant to prepare him for the real world, that OP is hurting his mother, and that he is taking resources from his aunt because OP is “too entitled” to pay rent.
Reddit Weighs In
Redditors gave their opinions on whether the OP was in the wrong or not.
One Redditor had this to say, “NTA. Actions meet consequences. Your stepdad tried to flex on you…and his powerplay backfired. Your mother may be crying, but she LET HIM DO IT. That house is half hers, and so is the decision to charge you rent. She is not blameless here. Your aunt’s “resources” are none of your stepdad’s business. OP, move out without another guilt pang, okay? Work hard to crush your exams, be super-considerate and make yourself very useful in your aunt’s household (shovel the walk, do dishes, walk the dog, whatever is needed — and if you don’t know, ASK). Please don’t come back to this house to visit if your stepdad is home. Ever. Your mom can darn well find her way to your aunt’s house, WITHOUT Mister Flex on her arm.”
A second Redditor said, “ You are a dependent child, still in school, getting straight As, and going to post-secondary in the fall. Your stepfather wanted to steal your money and still crow about how generous he is to let you keep living there.”
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A third Redditor said, “NTA, your mom is upset that you aren’t bowing down to stepdad. Not your monkey or your circus. He was mad that you used his “I’m treating you as a tenant to prepare you for the real world” against him and when you hit him with the facts that a tenant has the right to leave and you don’t have a written or verbal lease for him to lock you into he got more frustrated.
He is mad you outsmarted him. And now he has to deal with a dewy-eyed wife.”
Another Redditor said, “NTA. Go live with your aunt.”
Tell your mom you don’t want her to be sad, and you don’t want to leave. But you are trying to save for school, and paying $960 to live for the next 8 months is not something you can do- you don’t have the time to study AND work; it’s better to invest your time in studying so you can get a good career and good income. Tell her no matter what stepdad’s excuses are, you’re very aware of how the real world works, and in the real world, acing your exam, getting scholarships, and getting a good degree will help you a LOT more than some ‘tough love’ life lesson that leaves you with worse grades and worse education. And while you wish she’d stand up for you, you understand she’s in a tough spot and wants to keep the peace in her new family. So she’s doing what’s right for her. You gotta do what’s right for you. That’s just how life works. You’ll always love her, and she’s always your mom, and you’ll see her when you can.
Then turn around and leave and go live with your aunt and ace that exam and have a great career. And when you get your degree and career, you can look back at your stepdad and be glad you’re not a small petty man like he is.
Redditors determined the OP was not wrong, and the stepfather and mother should probably figure some stuff out.
What do you think? Should the OP have stayed and paid the rent? Or did he make the right choice moving out?
This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Motherhood Life Balance.
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As a full-time working mom of three, I know what it’s like to feel like life is out of balance and out of control.
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