Should people who do not respect other people’s boundaries be given a second chance? Especially, when they don’t really feel they’ve done something wrong?

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for telling my wife the lock on my daughter’s door does not get removed till my brother-in-law and his daughters are out of our house?”. Let us know what you think in the comments section!


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The Original Poster’s (OP’s) brother-in-law (Sammy) lost his home shortly after his divorce 10 months ago. He moved in with OP’s family and brought his eighteen-year-old twin daughters (Olivia & Sloane) with him a couple of months ago.

“His sister (my wife) and I have one daughter (Zoey 16) and she and her cousins aren’t close but get along fine.”, says OP.

The Problem Currently

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Olivia & Sloane have no respect for Zoey’s privacy, none. They used to walk into her room and take everything they got their hands on. Makeup, phone accessories, clothes, school laptop, etc.

Zoey Complained

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Zoey complained a lot and OP has already asked the girls to respect Zoey’s privacy and stop taking things.

“My wife and Sammy saw no issue with this. ‘After all, they’re girls, and this’s typical teenage girls’ behavior’. I completely disagreed.”, says OP.

What Was The Last Straw?

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The last straw was when Zoey bought a $60 m.a.c makeup kit that looked like a paint set that she saved up for over a month and one of the girls, Sloane took it without permission and ruined it by mixing shades together while using it.

Don’t know much about makeup, but that’s what Zoey said when she found the kit on her bed and was crying.

“I told my wife and she said she’d ask Sloane to apologize but I got Zoey a lock after I found she was moving valuable belongings out the house because of this incident!”, says OP.

The Drama after that

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Sammy and his daughters saw the lock and weren’t happy; the girls were distraught.

Sammy asked about it, and OP straight-up told him. Sammy said, “My daughters aren’t thieves!!! It’s normal that girls of the same age borrow each other’s stuff”.

He said Zoey could quickly get another makeup kit for 15 bucks from Walmart and shouldn’t even be buying expensive – adult makeup in the first place. He suggested OP’s wife take care of this “defect” in Zoey’s personality trying to appear older than she is.

Sammy accused OP of being overprotective and babying Zoey with this level of enablement. OP told him that’s between him and his wife.

How Did OP’s Wife React To The Whole Thing?

Tired of everyday household mother sitting on floor with hands on face. Kid playing in messy room. Scaterred toys and disorder. Happy parenting
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OP’s wife shamed him for putting a lock on Zoey’s door for her cousins to see and preventing them from “spending time” with her, saying OP was supposed to treat them like daughters.

She then demanded OP to remove the lock, but OP said this lock does not get removed till her brother and his daughters are out of our house.

The Chaos Continues

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OP’s wife got mad that he was implying they kicked them out and said her family would hate him for this. So, OP reminded her that he let Sammy and his family move in, which is something her OWN family refused to do, so she should start with shaming/blaming them for not taking their own son and nieces/granddaughters in.

If it weren’t for her family’s unwillingness to help, they wouldn’t deal with this much disturbance at home.

“Everyone’s been giving me and Zoey silent treatment, and my wife is very much upset over this.”, says OP.

Now OP wants to know if he is the jerk.

Don’t Back Down

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“Not the jerk. Don’t back down. You are the only one sticking up for Zoey. If her cousins want to use expensive makeup, give them your wife’s. I guarantee she won’t appreciate sharing anymore.

They need to start behaving like appreciative guests.”

Good For You For Showing Up!

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“Not the jerk. Your daughter doesn’t feel like she has any privacy or respect in her own home and you gave her a lock to give her back her privacy.

You tried talking to your wife, your BIL and your nieces and that got you nowhere – if your daughter has to accept 3 additional adults living in her home, they need to accept her very reasonable boundaries of not taking and ruining her things.

Good for you for showing your daughter you respect and support her.”

Basic Respect Should Be Expected

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“Not the jerk. All teen girls don’t steal each other’s stuff and ruin it because they’ve never been taught basic respect. Only jerk teen girls with jerk parents enable them to do this.

They are guests in your home, you haven’t adopted them. Even if you had, basic respect should be expected.”

There’s A Difference Between Borrowing And STEALING!

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“Not the jerk. The cousins aren’t borrowing. They are stealing. Borrowing is when you ask permission for something and then return it in the same condition in which it was given.

Saying that your daughter should not be spending so much money on makeup is just a distraction/deflection from the fact that they took her property and ruined it.

As far as the lock…it is not keeping cousins from spending time together because clearly, they are entering the room when your daughter isn’t even there.

These are all deflections from the fact that his daughters are thieves.”

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