As a parent, it can be tough to tell when the bank of mum and dad should shut.
You don’t want to be stingy and harsh, but at the same time, there have to be limits to your generosity sooner or later.
One father is dealing with the fallout of putting his foot down over a family holiday, saying he won’t pay for his son’s boyfriend to join them because his son has a habit of changing partners at speed.
He’s taken to Reddit forum AmItheA**hole to ask whether he’s truly being unfair.
The poster detailed how they ‘went all out’ for a special summer holiday this year.
‘I rented a houseboat for five days,’ they wrote. ‘It cost about $22,000 [approx £17,300]. We are celebrating my wife’s 50th birthday and our 30th anniversary.
‘It is a huge houseboat, and we have been planning this for a while. All the kids are coming and bringing their SOs and family. I am flying my son and his wife over from the Philippines for this.
‘My youngest son attends university on the East Coast, and he has a new person in his life every few weeks. He is staying out there for the summer, but I am also flying him in for the party.’
When this son asked his father to include his boyfriend in the festivities, things got a little complicated.
‘This is news to me because when he lost spoke to me in July he had a girlfriend. He changes partners more often than he does laundry,’ the poster quipped.
‘I said his boyfriend was more than welcome to join us but that he would have to pay for his own flight. The girl he was dating wasn’t going to come because she felt awkward being at a family party after only dating for a month, so I wasn’t going to buy her a ticket.
‘My son says that I’m being homophobic and an a**hole for not bringing his boyfriend out. I pointed out that his sister and her wife of two years would be there.’
It seems that didn’t go over too well.
‘He hung up and called his mom,’ the father wrote. ‘She thinks I should just pay.
‘I probably will, to keep the peace, but I think it’s stupid to pay for a vacation for a kid I will never see again. And he is going to be in family pictures forever.’
People in the comments are largely on the poster’s side, with one person writing: ‘He didn’t even properly introduce you to his new bf or give you and the family a chance to get to know him yet. I wouldn’t pay for the flavour of the month either… It’s not homophobic.’
‘This has nothing to do with him being with a guy,’ wrote another. ‘It’s about him only being with this person for a month. Who in their right mind would expect a person to pay for a vacation for a complete stranger?!’
‘Have him take all the family pictures,’ joked someone else. ‘Problem solved.’
On the subject of paying to have your children’s partners on holiday with you, Alicia Ortega, a marriage and family therapist, previously told Metro: ‘It’s a topic most families hush down in their living rooms. And let’s be real; introducing partners into family dynamics, especially on holidays, can be like trying to mix oil and water – it either blends or totally doesn’t.
‘In many cultures, it’s a gesture of goodwill. It screams: “Hey, you’re one of us now!” But is it normal? That’s like asking if pineapple on pizza is normal. Some will give you a high-five, and others might consider it an unspeakable act of culinary blasphemy. In my experience, if parents are genuinely comfortable and see a long-term bond brewing, they sometimes make that financial gesture.’
‘Long-term’ being the operative phrase here, it seems.
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