A man turned to Reddit for advice following a heated argument with his girlfriend and her younger sister, who’d been living with them. He’d tried to endure his sister-in-law’s inconsiderate behavior but reached a breaking point when she damaged his cherished vinyl records. He lashed out, causing his wife to be upset with him. Who’s in the wrong?
The Original Poster (OP) starts by explaining that he’s been living with his girlfriend, Sarah, for two years. Sarah has a younger sister named Tara, and they both have a troubled relationship with their parents. Tara usually lives with their parents but has started staying over at OP and Sarah’s apartment.
OP’s Started Feeling Uncomfortable
OP’s always felt uncomfortable about Tara staying there, predominantly because Sarah lets her skip school to spend the day at their apartment. Her justification is that it’s better than Tara being on the streets, but OP remains uneasy about it nonetheless. However, that’s far from OP’s main concern…
OP’s biggest problem with the current setup is Tara’s behavior and lack of respect. For some reason, she doesn’t like OP, and her actions reflect that. She trashes the apartment, treats his belongings awfully, eats their food despite them telling her not to, and frequently takes things from the apartment.
OP’s Frustration’s Mounting
OP’s at breaking point. Tara’s actions have pushed him to his wits’ end. He’s tried to discuss the issue with both Sarah and Tara, but the conversations haven’t gone anywhere. Sarah just makes commitments she doesn’t fulfil, and Tara remains indifferent or “just disinterested in [his] feelings.”
He Finally Snapped
The situation finally boiled over last Friday. Sarah had left Tara alone in the apartment, and when OP got home, he found it in a complete mess. That wasn’t the worst part, though. The thing that made him furious was that Tara had used his vinyl records, damaged them in the process, and left them out carelessly. He confronted her about it, but she showed zero remorse or gave no explanation for her actions.
It Ended In Tears
OP lost his composure. He told her how he really felt about her behavior, calling her “selfish, ungrateful, lazy, and downright unpleasant.” In the heat of the moment, he also told Tara he understood why her mom and dad don’t want her in their house. Taken aback by OP’s outburst, Tara started crying. OP didn’t stop there, though. Still livid, he kicked her out and said she shouldn’t come back.
Sarah Wasn’t Happy
Then it was Sarah’s turn to lose it and they ended up arguing. Their relationship’s “been pretty cold” ever since. Sarah even talked about moving out. However, the same thought had crossed OP’s mind. Something recently happened that altered his perspective, though.
Sarah and Tara Had a Deal
Sarah revealed to OP – for the first time – that Tara had attempted to run away from home the previous year. Apparently, she’d made a deal with her. Tara could use their apartment as a safe space to stop her from running away again. OP admits still feeling like that doesn’t justify Tara’s behaviour. But the new information’s definitely made him feel bad about how he’d responded.
What Did Reddit Think?
OP turned to Reddit for a fresh perspective. What did other people think? Did they agree that Tara’s behavior was inexcusable?
Reddit Was On His Side
Overall, people on Reddit came to OP’s defence. According to them, he wasn’t in the wrong. Instead, Tara and Sarah were the problems. The top comment said:
“Your girlfriend didn’t tell you that she was declaring your home a ‘safe space’ and did nothing to encourage Tara to behave like a guest rather than a squatter. Tara needs more than just a “safe space.’ ‘Safe space’ doesn’t mean ‘you can trash the place’”
Sarah Needs to Set Better Boundaries
Another common theme in the comments related to Sarah’s obligations. If she wants to welcome Tara into their home like that, then she needs to set stricter rules around her sister’s behaviour. One person wrote:
“Sarah needs to realise that by declaring their apartment a “safe space” for Tara she has taken away OP’s safe space. He can’t trust now that his things won’t be ruined or stolen while he’s out, he never knows what he’s going to walk into when he gets home and he has to be on guard at all times. This should have been discussed at the very start and clear ground rules set up IF OP agreed.”
What Do You Think?
What’s your perspective on OP’s story? Should he have handled the situation with Tara differently? Or was she entirely in the wrong? What do you think they should do to solve the problem? Drop a comment with your thoughts.
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