Internet Backs Teen Gifting Mom 'Book on Cheating' for Anniversary With New Man

The internet has sympathized with a teen who gifted his mom a book about "cheating" to mark her anniversary with her new husband.

The 16-year-old took to Reddit's popular Am I The A**hole forum, under username IGaveTheBook, to explain his family situation, revealing his mom, 35, cheated on his dad when he was 10.

He says his mom "had an affair and left us," and although he visited her, he admitted it was hard as he "hated her new family," as he explained she had more children.

Visits dwindled to big events, like birthdays, as he said: "She wants us to be close but I want nothing to do with her new husband so I've kept my distance."

In the U.S. thousands of kids live with single divorced parents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, citing the Current Population Survey (CPS): 2020 Annual Social and Economic Supplement report.

Published in 2020, it showed more children lived with their mothers than their fathers, with 4.4 million under-18s with their mom, compared to 1.4 million with their dad.

The teen claimed he was recently sent to stay with his mom as his dad was out of town, explaining: "And just my luck that my mom's anniversary with her husband was on Sunday."

The teen wrote he kept busy "doing homework" and "seeing friends" to get out of family activities, saying: "Cause it sucks seeing how lovey dovey she is with her husband and how they seem like the perfect family with their daughters."

The night before the anniversary party he says his mom tried to cuddle him "like before she left us," but her son revealed it made him angry and he stayed "frozen."

"I started crying cause of that and I felt angry and snarky and my mom majored in literature so I got her a copy of Anna Karenina for her anniversary.

"That book's about a lady who leaves her husband and son for her lover. I've never read it but I watched the movie with my girlfriend and I hated it," he said.

When he handed it to her mom he says she "seemed shocked" but said thanks, but later he heard her crying.

He wrote: "So I kinda eavesdropped a little and heard her saying stuff about that book and me and her husband trying to calm her. The next day at breakfast she left for work early before I woke up and her husband straight up called me an a**hole and other stuff for gifting them that.

"It's been a few days now and my mom has barely talked to me. Honestly I feel so wrong I made my mom cry but at the same time I don't want to be here and she knows that so am I really the a**hole?"

The post, entitled "AITA for gifting my mom and her husband a book on cheating for their anniversary?" shared on Wednesday, amassed more than 18,000 upvotes, and caused a stir on the site.

The teen, based in Canada, added a clarification after it blew up, saying: "I gave my mom the book to try and get it across to her that I hate being at her house and being around her family and that it hurts me to be there because I sympathized with the son from the movie not because I want a train to run her over—I do not want that to happen to my mom."

In the book, the protagonist commits suicide by throwing herself under a train. The teen also confirmed he didn't want his parents to get back together, as his dad now has a fiancée who he's "happy" with.

He said: "Yes I stopped visiting my mom cause I hate her husband but she had custody of me on weekends or breaks she could've forced me to be with her but since being with him or making him be with us whenever I did go to her was more important she never tried anything beyond the bare minimum of going to big events."

Commenting on the dilemma, Dszquphsbnt thought: "Definitely not the a**hole. For one, Anna Karenina is a classic and a great gift. For another, if the shoe fits."

Rachelvvvv wrote: "Nta. She wouldn't take it so hard or understand what you were implying if she didn't already feel that way."

Nutmegisme said: "Yep. I thought it was going to be a relationship book on cheating, but it's literally just a literary classic. A well-earned and scholarly burn, imo."

Avamarie commented: "Being happy is fine. Expecting a hurt child to join in and pretend that they are a part of that family is not going to end well. You haven't addressed that child's pain and all they see are how happy you are without them."

While Punkassjim added: "If you tell someone the truth about the consequences of their actions, and they are hurt by it, you are not hurting them. They've hurt themselves."

Although Saerabash wrote: "This is kinda immature. I get it, your mom cheated. But honestly? Your SISTERS (cause they are) are just as innocent in this as you. You're punishing innocent girls for what your mother did. This makes you an AH towards them."

Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy, is considered a classic and one of the greatest literary masterpieces. The novel is around 800 pages long and was initially published in installments between 1875 to 1877, and focuses on an extra-marital affair.

There have been numerous adaptions of the book on the big screen, one of the most recent is the 2012 movie, starring Keira Knightley as the titular character, alongside Jude Law.

Posters for Anna Karenina films.
Posters for Anna Karenina films. A teen claimed he gave his mom the book to mark the anniversary with her new husband. IMBD