In these tough times, generosity is more important than ever. But what should you do when someone takes your generosity too far?
That’s the dilemma Reddit user TheSputnikSw33thart faced when her brother-in-law took total advantage of her goodwill, to the point of what many would call betrayal.
So, she took her situation to the AITA (Am I The As**ole) subReddit to ask anonymous strangers if she was in the wrong for the way she responded.
The Original Poster (OP) asked her fellow Redditors:
“AITA for kicking out my BIL because he ate me out of house & home?”
The OP explained:
“My husband and I bought a cabin in the woods and have been living there the last two months to fix it up, while we were gone my brother in law & his girlfriend have been living at our house in the city because they recently moved to the area and wanted time to find a house.”
“In exchange for a rent free place to stay all I asked of them was to keep the house in order and to stay out of the cellar which is full of preserved food & a chest freezer stocked with prepared homemade food.”
“When we got back this afternoon I went down there to grab something to defrost for dinner but there was almost nothing because they cleaned out 75% of the freezer & most of the preserved food.”
“I don’t think they went grocery shopping a single time in two months – everything is open here and neither of them have any conditions that would preclude them from going out in public.”
“I can’t even put a number on how long I spent growing, fermenting, preserving and cooking this food – I absolutely lost it on them and kicked both out. My husband is smart and told his brother that what I say goes but now my MIL is on the case telling me I overreacted and am an as**ole because ‘BIL and girlfriend don’t know how to cook, cut them a break.'”
“I’m not down with this attitude, personally I don’t think I’m the as**ole in this situation. I want nothing to do with either of them until they apologize & pay for all of the food they ate – so AITA?”
Redditors were asked to place the blame based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Their verdict was decisive, and not at all close.
“Do they know how to order take-out? Know that the grocery store also sells fermented and prepared frozen food?”
“They got a place to stay rent free while they looked for their own place, so they certainly had the money to buy their own food. You specifically asked them to stay out of your stash and they cleaned your out anyway.”
“NTA, and your MiL can kick rocks.” —griseldabean
“Couple of thieves is what they are.” —Zykium
“…Your MIL doesn’t get a say in this dispute. She’s not the one who preserved all that food, and she’s not the one who violated the ‘stay out of the cellar’ condition. It’s okay to block her for a while. She has shown she has nothing of value to say to you, and she can get hold of your husband if it’s a real emergency.”
“Your BIL is clearly in the wrong here. He broke the one condition you had for him living rent-free, and now he has to handle the consequences. Send him a bill for the food and the time spent preparing it; your time is valuable too and you should be compensated for that loss as well. NTA.” —lschmeiser
“…BIL + partner don’t have any excuses for not respecting OP’s boundaries (after they graciously could live in OP’s and their SO house RENTFREE!!)” —ahnijetal
“I’m furious, and I’m not even OP. Can’t imagine how angry OP must be.” —Gabby_Craft
“I can tell you exactly what happened. They saw the cellar. They thought the first time, they would just do it that 1 time. OP wouldn’t notice. Then they kept doing it. ‘oh there is so much, no one will notice’ until one day, it was totally noticeable. This had nothing to do with not being able to cook and BIL is even worse because he ran to tattle to mommy.”
“I would go so far as to charge them rent, power, water, all the food, and everything else used. They broke the ONE request and should have to pay for all of that to make it up. As far as we know, OP and hubby may have budgeted entirely around that food and now are completely out for the winter…” —S3xySouthernB
“Not knowing how to cook isn’t an excuse. BIL and his girlfriend kept themselves alive before they moved in. This was pure entitlement and selfishness…” —followthepost-its
“You’re a lot nicer than me. They’d be banned until the 12th of Marember 304,721 AD.” —GilgameDistance
“NTA at all. You, very generously, gave them a place to stay with a tiny stipulation that they leave your food alone. They didn’t even respect you enough to follow that one request. F**k them both” —PedanticPlatypodes
OP dropped back in later with thanks for the advice and an update on the situation.
“Update: Thank you to everyone for convincing me I’m not unreasonable to be this pissed off over chicken pot pie & sauerkraut. My husband is now just as pissed off as I am and have agreed to not engage with his mother & brother any longer.”
“I have an written inventory of what was down there so we invoiced BIL and so far he isn’t responding which is not surprising – apparently my cooking is delicious enough to destroy your relationship with your only sibling 🤷♀️ so at least I have that going for me, which is nice.”
Let this be a lesson to all of us to not take advantage of the people in our lives who are willing to help us.