Internet Slams Parent for Not Defending Son From Younger Brother's Bullying

A parent went viral online after saying that they never pick sides when their two sons argue and recounted a recent fight that ended in their eldest son threatening never to visit again.

The viral post was published by an anonymous user who goes only by u/Lim-the-Bunny to Reddit's popular "Am I The A**hole" forum. The post received more than 11,100 votes and 2,800 comments since it was published Monday afternoon.

Psych Central noted in an article that parents often don't feel the need to intervene when siblings fight because it is seen as a "natural" behavior. When the bullied sibling feels that there is no support from a parent, some decide to cut all contact with the sibling.

A recent study from Cornell University found that nearly one in 10 adults are estranged from at least one family member, including a parent or sibling.

In the post, the Redditor explained that their son Ben, 24, came out as bisexual a few years ago and that most of the family accepted him. The parent wrote that while Ben disliked some of the family's actions when he came out, the family "tried to be as supportive as we could."

After coming out to the family, Ben introduced them to his boyfriend. The Redditor described Ben's boyfriend as "a really sweet guy" who "clearly loved our son."

About a year ago, the Redditor's other son James, 22, apparently spread a rumor that Ben's boyfriend used to be a woman.

"We didn't believe it but eventually Ben confirmed that his boyfriend was trans, and I admit it was quite shocking and hard to process," the Redditor wrote. "This also kinda ruined the relationship between our sons."

The post explained that on Sunday, the family of four decided to get together for a meal. The Redditor said they ate a great meal and had a great time talking, but that they did notice there was tension between Ben and James.

"Then I decided to ask Ben 'what is [his boyfriend] doing now?' to which James replied 'yeah, what is she doing?'" the post read. "This immediately angered Ben, so they started insulting each other. Luckily I managed to change the subject and tell them to calm down before they started an actual fight."

The Redditor said that after James left, Ben confronted them and said he was angry that they did not come to his defense or say something to James about the comment.

"Now, I agree that what James said was rude, but it was Ben who insulted his brother and worsened the situation," the Redditor wrote. "So I don't think it would have been right for me to defend or pick a side. But he didn't see it that way, he told me that 'either you do something or I won't visit again.' Which hurts me a lot."

The Redditor said that since the gathering on Sunday, they have not talked to either of their sons directly. They also wrote that other family members are "choosing sides" and that Ben is very angry at them.

"I understand why he was angry at his brother I think he is being unreasonable with me," the Redditor finished off the post.

More than 2,800 users commented on the Redditor's post and the Redditor was officially voted "the a**hole" by users in the forum.

"James isn't 'rude' he's transphobic and homophobic. YTA. raise your son better," one user commented and received more than 36,600 votes.

"'Not picking sides' = sons arguing about what tv show to watch, what pizza to order, what music to [listen to in the car]," another user mentioned. "It is NOT remaining passive when one son is bullying, dehumanizing, and exerting power over another. The transphobic/homophobic son is not doing this innocently."

Other users called out the Redditor for remaining passive during their son's fights. One user also said the parent lacked self-awareness and should take responsibility.

"It's amazing how OP acts like the whole thing has nothing to do with them. And the whole thing happens in their own house, between the children they raised," the user wrote. "They even see themselves as an innocent victim."

"This isn't arguing, this is one son bullying the other," another user added in the comments. "What a dreadful parent you are in not supporting your son. By not shutting down your bully son, you are tacitly agreeing with him and creating a hostile environment for your other son."

Newsweek reached out to u/Lim-the-Bunny but did not receive comment in time for publication.

Father and son arguing
A Redditor was blasted online after saying that they never intervene when their adult sons argue, even though users thought one son was bullying the other. fizkes/iStock