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Mom Catches Husband Sabotaging Their Son's Job Search So He'll Continue Caring For His Brother For Free

Photo: Salomé Guruli on Unsplash
dad sabotages son's job search so he'll watch his brother for free

A woman is being called "unhinged" by her husband for sending her son to live in his own apartment after discovering his dad has been sabotaging his job search.

In a post to the AITA subReddit, a forum where people try to figure out if they were in the wrong in a conflict, she detailed how the situation went down. In her post, the woman described how her family has been confused by her 23-year-old son Aiden's 100% rejection rate in his job applications.

She soon discovered why — her husband was trying to manipulate Aiden into continuing to care for their disabled younger son.

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Her husband was 'impersonating' their son and hacking his email to sabotage his job applications so he would continue to take care of his brother.

She writes that their son Aiden had recently moved back in with them after graduating college, living rent-free in exchange for helping care for their 16-year-old disabled son. When her son announced he wanted to find a job and income of his own, her husband was immediately against it, but it was decided to allow him to do so anyway.

But each and every application he sent went nowhere—"he'd just apply and they never get back to him," she writes. After an entire year of job hunting with no results, they all became confused until she realized her husband was behind it all.

When she confronted him, he justified it by saying he was "just trying to make sure that our younger son is cared for by Aiden" and that Aiden getting a job will hinder his ability to care for their disabled son. When she suggested they simply hire someone to help with their son, her husband refused, saying that their son was their problem and no one else's.

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Drama ensued when she tried to get her son away from his father.

She opted to rent an apartment for Aiden so he could job hunt without his dad meddling. Aiden was deeply hurt by the revelation of his father's sabotage, and the woman's husband was "livid" when he found out about the apartment.

He said she was "unhinged" and overreacting and accused her of driving a wedge between Aiden and his younger brother. He also said she was teaching Aiden "to become selfish and care more about a job than family" and called her out for making a huge financial decision with the money in their joint savings account without his input.

She was certain she'd done the right thing, but her husband giving her grief about it and calling her a "terrible mother" has made her unsure about her decision.

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Commenters on Reddit were nearly unanimous.

They agreed that she had done the right thing and that her husband has some major control issues. One person felt her husband's expectations of their son are inappropriate. They wrote, "your husband is right on one count...his son is HIS problem and HIS responsibility. Aiden is NOT responsible for his brother."

Another agreed, and praised her for the way she handled the situation, writing, "forcing him into that role will only make him resent both your husband and his younger brother. Good on you for giving him a way out."

Many also felt her husband's scheme was just a way to shirk his own responsibility. As one put it, "Your husband is deliberately sabotaging Aiden's life...so that he doesn't have to do anything."

Several called her husband's behavior abusive. One wrote, "you have one huge problem here — Your husband is controlling and emotionally abusive." They went on to say, "Your husband is blaming you for doing right by other people. This is classic non physical abuse."

Another summed the situation up bluntly, telling the woman, "you also need to move out. Your husband is crazy."

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It's not the son's responsibility to look after his brother, no matter the cost of paid care. 

Deliberately undermining a family member's professional trajectory in order to secure free childcare is not appropriate. While paying for in-home care for a disabled child undoubtedly presents financial and logistical challenges, resorting to sneaky career sabotage is both unethical and unsustainable.

Siblings should not be  burdened with caregiving responsibilities. Constructive communication and mutual understanding between the parents should guide any decision about the care of their children, without tactics that jeopardize professional standing and strain interpersonal relationships. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.