This user has had no contact with her son for years, but when they reconnected, he only wanted her to pay for his college. She couldn’t help him, so he disowned her.
A Full House
OP (Original Poster) was a 43-year-old woman who served in the military for 18 years. She had three children: a 25-year-old girl, a 23-year-old boy, and a 17-year-old boy.
Trouble in Paradise
Over the last few years, OP noted that her 23-year-old son was growing more distant. He was upset with OP because she had used up her GI bill and couldn’t help him pay for college.
A Helping Hand
For those unfamiliar, OP noted that in the military, you can transfer the balance of your GI bill to spouses or children. You had to wait a certain amount of time, and unfortunately, she had exhausted her GI bill by accident.
The Only One
OP said that her other children showed no interest in college, and her son’s grades weren’t the best. Once he had moved out after high school, their contact was minimal because their relationship remained strained for a long time.
A Difficult Connection
As her son got older, it became harder and harder for them to connect. She hoped she wasn’t the only parent with this experience, but she tried to get along with her son, and it didn’t work out.
A Message Out of the Blue
OP had no contact with her son for two years until he messaged her. Instead of asking how the family was doing, he wanted to tell her that it was her fault he couldn’t get financial aid to go to school because of their combined income.
You Could Help
Her son also told her that she could transfer her GI bill to him, which would solve the problem. She told him it was no longer available and that he could speak to a recruiter, which is when he told her she should’ve been saving $50 to $100 a month for their college their whole lives.
How Dare You
OP summarized the conversation as her calling him entitled and saying that she didn’t owe him anything since he had moved out. After that conversation, OP had no contact with him for over a year until he messaged again, asking her how she used up her GI bill.
The Same Thing Over Again
OP again told her son he could speak to a recruiter about the GI bill and everything, which he ignored. No matter what she said, it always ended up her being irresponsible for not having a college fund for her children.
A Rough Start
Before OP joined the military, she was a single mother at 17 years old and made less than $11,000 a year. She joined up when she was 25 and never had the money or was in a position where she could save any money for her children’s college.
Laying It Out
She had done her best to raise her kids and knew she would never win “Mother of the Year.” She apologized to her son during both conversations because she knew she had “made mistakes along the way.”
Harsh and Hurtful
OP knew her mistakes had hurt her son, but what he said next took her off guard. When the call ended, he told her that he didn’t consider her his mother, blocked her on everything, and said she was “nothing more than an egg donor.”
If That’s How You Feel
Since it had come time for her to renew her life insurance and update her will, she considered removing him from both. She wasn’t sure if that was a good idea, so she came to Reddit for advice.
Redditors Chime In
There were a lot of Redditors on both sides, some calling her out and others siding with her.
The most upvoted comment was, “Do it. Your son can’t cut you out of his life and then demand that you give him something later. Not the a**hole. He can’t have it both ways. If he wants money for college, he can talk to a recruiter, get a loan, or pay his way. Or get a scholarship, just like I did.”
Other Redditors weren’t so favorable to OP, with one saying, “You’re the a**hole but not for what you asked. You’re the a**hole for not taking the time to figure out the full extent of your benefits. Ignorance of it and saying ‘I didn’t know’ is not an excuse. There were plenty of ways to get this information: senior military members, career counselors, school counselors, etc. But not the a**hole for disowning him because it’s too late, GI bill-wise, and you cannot go back and change it.”
No Happy Endings
Many Redditors thought that OP was wrong, not for the situation, but overall. Some even pointed out that children rarely disown their parents unless there’s a lot more going on.
One comment was, “I think the parent is probably impossible to speak with. Kids don’t cut their parents out of their lives, but the fact that you are now considering retaliating against your child, which will most certainly cause even more grief once you pass, is truly sick. Even if you have a minimal relationship, when you die, and people find out you cut out a kid, people will always say the parent was the fault. Don’t do it.”
Is there more going on here than OP had let on? What would you do if you were in OP’s or her son’s shoes?
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