I know from the title, it definitely sounds like I would be the asshole but please hear me out. I have an older cousin whose son, my nephew, is in his early 20s. My nephew is autistic and holds a part time job, but is significantly delayed in many developmental areas (I don’t know the specifics) and will never be independent according to his parents.
Recently, my cousin and cousin-in-law have been thinking about relocating to our state because of recent job opportunities, and we’ve hosted them in the past when they’ve visited. The first time they stayed with us (before my son was born), my nephew seemed to develop a strong attachment to my wife and always wanted to be near her. He drew a picture of a heart and picked some flowers from our yard and gave them to her before they left, saying he loved her. My wife thought this was sweet and gently handled his crush by telling him she would always love him as his aunt, but she was sure he would find another girl to fill his heart soon. He told her no, she was his girlfriend.
This weekend, they were staying with us again and my nephew again wanted to be near my wife every chance he got. His mom and dad noticed and told him that because my wife now had to care for our son, she couldn’t pay attention to him as much as before. He got upset telling us that she was his girlfriend and had a meltdown, which caused my son to start crying. When my wife got up to take our son to another room to calm him down, my nephew got up to follow and his dad had to forcibly restrain him from following them. I stood up to block the hallway into the separate room just in case he got away from his dad.
Once they calmed him down, they apologized for his behavior and said they would keep better tabs on him. Here’s the part where I may be the asshole. I told my cousins I didn’t feel comfortable with my nephew being so possessive of my wife, and I know for sure she didn’t, especially since he seemed to be so jealous of our son. I told them I couldn’t allow their son in our home until he learned to control himself and understand that my wife was not his girlfriend. I apologized but asked them to get a hotel room for the rest of their stay and not to visit us again unless they left my nephew behind with people they could trust and knew would care for him, while they searched for jobs in our state. They didn’t say anything but looked saddened and went to the guest room with their son to pack up their bags.
I guess they must have told my extended family what happened because my paternal grandmother called me this afternoon, telling me that I should’ve been more understanding and that I was wrong to ask them to leave.
Am I the asshole?
EDIT for added info:
Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment or private message me with their own experiences with family members who are/were autistic. There’s not nearly enough time for me to respond to each of the comments (which honestly surprised me when I saw how many had reached out to me), but I wanted to address some questions that had been asked.
The first one is that technically, my cousin is my second cousin. My dad is an only child so the cousin I refer to in my post, is the son of my own dad’s first cousin (my paternal grandmother and his paternal grandfather were siblings). I’m not sure if this is correct but his autistic son would technically be my third cousin(?). The reason I refer to him as my nephew is because he’s the generation after mine in our family tree and it’s less of a mouthful to refer to him as cousin-x-removed. A lot of people have posted that it’s not correct to refer to him as my nephew but to be frank, I don’t care, and my family’s never followed this traditional genealogy nomenclature. I apologize if it was misleading in my post. Without being specific, in the western state I was born and grew up in, it’s not uncommon to refer to even close (unrelated) adults as uncles or aunts. I call him my nephew because my cousin and I were close and I still hope to have a close relationship with him if at all possible (though I don’t know how after this situation).
Some have asked if I was jealous of my nephew calling my wife his gf. The first time, I thought it was amusing and was surprised that he had any romantic notions towards anyone, let alone my wife. Remember, in my mind he’s my nephew and I never thought of him as anything other than a large kid because of his developmental delays and normal (for him) childlike behavior. Regarding the situation that happened this weekend, I was only concerned for my wife and son’s safety. I didn’t know how he would react and followed my cousin’s lead, but wasn’t about to let him get near my wife and son once they left the room.
I don’t know what was said to my paternal grandmother but I don’t want to react in anger and want to talk to my cousin once we’ve both had time to process what happened and calmed down.
In my opinion when I know a film has a twist it makes its a lot less exciting because I know the story line isn't what it seems and often I can work out what the twist is.
A lot of questions here from people searching for a movie and ask what movie has a great twist, and people who suggest movies or comment 'yes I love the twist at the end! ' well I don't know how you look at yourselves in the mirror. You absolute beast.