The passage to adulthood is often marked by rites and responsibilities, but for an 18-year-old on the precipice of her future, a demand for rent from her conservative stepfather seemed to carry a sinister undertone. In the face of studying for high-stakes exams and a potential pre-med career, she finds herself juggling her academic future with navigating a complex family dynamic.
Happy Birthday, Now Pay Rent
OP is a young woman who recently turned 18 years old.
The day after her birthday, her stepfather demanded she start paying rent to live in his house.
It seemed like odd timing to OP, who was leaving for college in a few months and planned to spend the time studying for her exams.
Demands From Step-Dad Jeopardize Her Exams
Working to pay her stepdad’s newly imposed rent demands would cut into her chances of scoring well on the demanding STEM tests she would be taking.
And OP really needed to nail those scores if she wanted to land a spot in a good pre-med program.
He Has Ulterior Motives
But OP has her suspicions about her stepfather’s real motivation. She thinks it was pure spite because of her background.
He Knew She Was Divorced
OP’s stepfather is a very religious man, and he has always harbored some resentment that his wife was not a virgin when they got married.
To make matters worse, she was a divorced mother.
Children of Their Own and a Solid Marriage
Still, the couple has built a solid family life together, complete with 2 kids of their own over the 9 years they’ve been married.
For the most part, OP has fit in fine, and life has been good.
She Was a Constant Reminder He Hadn’t Had a Virgin Bride!
But OP knows she’s a constant reminder to her conservative stepfather that his wife is not as pure and chaste as he might have preferred.
So she thinks the rent demand stems from his lingering resentment.
She’ll Be Out on Her Own Soon Enough
It all seems like a moot point to OP, who will be on her own once she gets to college a few months down the line.
She’ll be taking out loans to pay for all her expenses, and she alone will be responsible for paying them back.
He Won’t Have to Spend Another Cent on Her
That means OP’s stepfather will be off the hook financially by then, anyway.
So why should he try and sabotage her study time over the summer?
Her Aunt Offered Her a Free Place to Live
OP’s aunt, who lives on the other side of town, agrees with her.
The older lady asked OP to move in with her, rent-free, until she leaves for college.
She Accepted the Offer and Upset Her Mom
Since OP’s school is right in the middle between the two places, she took her aunt up on her offer.
When OP told her parents she was moving out, her mother was very sad and upset to see her daughter leave home even earlier than expected.
She Explained Her Reasoning
OP’s dad wanted to know why she was leaving, and she told him it was so he wouldn’t have to pay rent.
Welcome to the Real World
He said he was just trying to teach her what it was like to be a tenant in the real world.
He Couldn’t Argue With That
When OP replied that she was pretty sure tenants had the right to move out, her stepdad didn’t have a comeback.
She Feels Bad Leaving Her Mom but Knows It Is the Only Way
Now OP feels bad that she’s leaving her mom early, especially since her stepdad is annoyed with both of them and will probably be hard to live with.
But OP still feels like the new living situation will suit her best in the long run.
Her Mother Should Have Stood Up For Her
Reddit commenters overwhelmingly support OP’s decision to move out and save her money. Most of them feel like her stepfather is just being petty. Many of them also call out OP’s mom for not standing up for her.
He Was Creating Unnecessary Hardship
Some even question how “Christian” the stepdad is being by creating an unnecessary hardship that could negatively impact OP’s future career aspirations.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / DV Edwards. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.