Grieving Son Clashes With Mom’s Boyfriend Over Father Figure Role

Man with his chin down and eyes into the camera, looking angry.

Losing a loved one can be challenging to cope with, and dealing with grief can be a daunting experience for anyone. Everyone grieves differently and at their own pace.

A 23-year-old social media user recently opened up about his difficult situation with his mom’s new boyfriend.

The (original poster) OP’s father passed away suddenly about a year ago, and his mother has since started dating a new man with two daughters, ages 15 and 13.

Although the mom has stepped up to be a mother figure to the new children, OP struggles to adjust to the new dynamic with the boyfriend.

The mom’s boyfriend has also stepped into the family and become everyone’s favorite uncle, which makes OP feel even more uncomfortable. He feels like the boyfriend is trying to replace his father and is not ready for that.

Rules And Regulations

To make things worse, the boyfriend is now trying to set rules for OP, such as curfew and chores, that his father did not enforce because he thought they were ridiculous for an adult. The boyfriend argues that it’s only fair because OP has siblings now, but OP thinks it’s absurd because of their age differences.

Furthermore, the boyfriend is trying to get OP to share his stuff with the boyfriend’s children, even though they have everything.

OP lives in the basement of his mom’s house, and he has always had the freedom to come and go as he pleases.

However, he got home at 2 AM one night after driving his friends around, and the boyfriend flipped out. He lectured OP and threatened to take away his car privileges.

OP snapped and confronted the boyfriend, telling him he was not looking for a new father figure and that he needed to respect his autonomy as an adult. He also told him that their relationship wouldn’t be father/son for some time and that he needs to respect him if he wants to have a relationship with him.

However, the boyfriend told OP’s family about the confrontation, and they believed that OP was being unreasonable.

Now, OP is left wondering if he is in the wrong.

New Father Already?

Many social media users chimed in, with some calling the mom’s boyfriend controlling and unreasonable.

Most of the users agreed that the grieving son’s situation is a common occurrence in blended families. It is not unusual for children to have difficulty adjusting to new parental figures after losing a parent.

The grieving process is challenging, and having someone come into your life and attempt to replace a loved one can be overwhelming.

Step-parents must understand that they are not there to replace anyone but to support and love their partner and children.

This is exactly what CheekaBoomBoom said in response to the thread, saying,

“You’re an adult, so the rules shouldn’t be the same for you as they are for his teenage children. Your father recently died, and neither he nor your mom should be trying to push the stepdad role onto you. I completely understand why you’d lose it like that. It’s still too soon for him to be trying to take your father’s position. He probably means no harm, but he has to understand, given the circumstances and why you’d feel the way you do.”

Meanwhile, GlowInTheDarkSpaces added,

“You’re an adult and still grieving the loss of your dad. I would explain to your mom and ask her to think about the future. How can you ever accept him if he’s playing this strange game with you now?”

It is essential to acknowledge that grief takes time and cannot be rushed. The son’s grief may take years to process, and his mother’s boyfriend should not attempt to force his way into his life.

Similarly, some users focused on the importance of communication. Communication is vital in any relationship; the same goes for blended families. All parties need to understand each other’s expectations and roles in the family dynamic.

The mother needs to ensure that her boyfriend is not overstepping his boundaries and that her son is given the respect and space he needs to process his grief.

KeelleyGSD, commented:

“Perhaps a conversation between you, your mother, and this boyfriend needs to happen – especially expectations and roles. You are an adult, not a child, and you don’t “need” parenting. Your mom needs to reign him in and set things straight. He seems like he is trying to establish himself as “the man” of the house.”

Also, many of the users thought that OP’s mother’s boyfriend’s reaction to his arrival time and the threat to remove his car privileges were considered extreme.

In this regard, Lady_Groudon commented,

“This is doubly ridiculous if it’s his own car that he owns and takes responsibility for, as I suspect it is, and not a borrowed or shared car. When you’re 23, it’s not ‘car privileges,’ it’s having a car.”

Thedeafbadger‘s comment highlights the absurdity of the situation. The boyfriend is trying to establish himself as the head of the household and impose rules that are inappropriate for a 23-year-old.

“Seriously, he’s 23! A big lecture for being a designated driver for your friends? Sounds like OP is doing just fine, and mom’s boyfriend is trying to show off or something. This is ridiculous, he’s got ten years of parenting to go before his kids are in their twenties.”

The Verdict

It surfaces from the overwhelming majority of responses from social media users that OP is not to blame.

He is a 23-year-old adult who is still grieving the loss of his father. The boyfriend’s behavior is inappropriate, and he needs to understand that he can’t replace the OP’s father. The family needs to have a conversation and establish boundaries to avoid any further conflict.

It is important to remember that grief is a personal and individual experience, and everyone deals with it differently. It is essential to be empathetic and understanding toward those who are grieving, especially when it comes to family dynamics.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think OP from the social media post was in the wrong?

Featured Image Credit: VitalikRadko /

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.