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Woman Refuses To Buy Husband Another Ticket To Visit Dying Grandma After Several False Alarms

Close up of a man holing airplane ticket, blurred background.

One of the harsh realities of getting older is the likelihood of losing our elderly family members.

We want to spend as much time as humanly possible with them as tomorrow is never a guarantee.

But when logistics come into play, our good intentions can be challenged.

A 32-year-old wife and mother to three children unsuccessfully dealt with such logistics involving her husband and sought the Am I the A**hole (AITA) subReddit for judgment.

Sea_Possibility7242 asked:

“AITA for ‘not allowing my husband to visit his dying grandmother’?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“Not my main, as this is quite personal and I don’t want my husband to find it. All names are fake.”

“I know the title makes me sound pretty horrible. Before you judge me, please try to understand my point of view.”

“My (32 F[female]) husband (34 M[ale]) , let’s call him Caleb, has a very close relationship with his grandparents (‘Marie’ and ‘Tom’) They raised him and his siblings because his parents were absent.”

“Obviously, Caleb sees them as his parental figures and loves them. So do I. They are wonderful, kind people and I will forever be thankful to them for raising my husband so well and treating me with such love.”

“Caleb’s parents live in Germany, and me and Caleb live in Canada (we moved for my job and better quality of life for our children (3F, 6M, 7F). The flight to visit them is around 9 hours, so visits are rare (once or twice every two years).”

“Unfortunately, in the summer of 2023, Marie (Caleb’s mom) got diagnosed with a tumour and started getting very sick.”

“We were all devastated and went to spend the whole summer with her in Germany. Her condition remained stable-ish for the whole time and we were hopeful we would have many more years with her.”

“In October, she had a heart attack and was hospitalized. We thought it was the end. Our whole family, and Caleb’s brothers and sisters went to Germany, preparing to say our good-bye.”

Fortunately, there was good news.

“Turns out she got better and was stable enough to go home. Of course everyone was estactic.”

“The same situation happened again this January and this March. Heart attack, hospitalized, it looked like it was over. But then again, she got better and we all went back home.”

“Each time, we buy tickets to Germany and back for our whole family, which is about 5-6K. Plus accommodations, plus having to take time off of work and school, which is difficult.”

“Last week, my husband got a call that Marie had another heart attack. I told him he could go alone, but me and the kids would stay and he would have to buy his own plane ticket (I am the main income earner).”

“Reason is because I can’t take more time off of work, and we cant afford to buy more plane tickets. I also find it difficult to say our heartfelt good-byes every time, only to repeat it two months later.”

“Caleb was outraged that I wouldn’t let him visit his dying grandmother, calling me all kinds of names, saying I was setting a terrible example for our children. After hearing Marie was okay this time again as well, he calmed down a bit but is giving me the cold shoulder and will refuse to talk to me or acknowledge my presence.”

The OP continued:

“I don’t know what to do. We are comfortable, but can’t afford to take plane trips every few months for who knows how long. And I am not ‘keeping my husband away from his grandmother’, I am just saying he has to pay for his own ticket if he wants to go.”


Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole (NTA) here.

“INFO: maybe I’m missing it, but why does Caleb see this as you preventing him from going? You staying home with the kids is not the same as saying he can’t go.” – Spare-Article-396

“I swear to f’king God, no one on reddit can use their f’king heads. she had spent 20k flying their family out there four times in the last nine months! stop accusing her of financial abuse because she won’t pay for another god damn plane ticket.”

“she has to think about her kids at some point people. use your f’king heads.NTA.” – fleet_and_flotilla

“Right? She also literally said that they can’t afford any more plane tickets, like right there in the post. I kind of think that this is a N A H situation, except for the fact that the husband called her all kinds of names, which changed my judgement to NTA.”

“Hopefully, this can be a wakeup call; OP’s husband has a right to be upset, but not to verbally attack his wife. They should maybe get some counseling and consider putting aside money for him to go visit the next time that he needs to.” – RunTimeExcptionalism

“NTA but damn… a tumour and 4 heart attacks in a year and still kicking it, what are they giving that woman.” – Podria_Ser_Peor

“NTA. Apparently all the people here that think you’re the a-hole don’t do math or are independently wealthy. You have spent over $20,000 in the last nine months to go see his dying grandmother who keeps getting better. I don’t blame you for deciding that he had to pay for his own ticket.”

“I don’t know the dynamics of your relationship other than you said he’s a stay-at-home dad and does side jobs. But he cannot keep expecting to spend that much money to keep going to see his grandmother and say his goodbyes for her just for her to get better. He needs to start being realistic.” – Winter_Dragonfly_452

“I feel like an angle people aren’t recognizing is how traumatizing this must be for kids that age- having to go through the grief of saying goodbye to their beloved grandmother and process her death before realizing she’ll live Four. Times.”

“That’s not a healthy cycle to keep bringing them into. I’m not saying keep them from her forever obviously but when the trip is specifically to ‘say goodbye’ for the 5+ time it’s actually a good decision to tell your husband he needs to go on his own this time.”

“Reddit has no real info on your budget and if you give your husband spending money AFAIK so all the outrage in the comments abt him being a SAHD without income is misplaced. You’ve spent $20,000 without complaint in 9 months. Anyone calling you financially abusive has never had a budget before because they are 14. (NTA)” – Cavewedding

“NTA. You already spent $20,000. Then let say you pay for him this time. Now you have to pay for daycare as well as other expenses. She get better. Then two months later it happens again.”

“So you supposed to pay again? Each and every time until she finally passes? That’s crazy. Money do not grow on trees, and you must think of the financial burden as of now and how it can affect the future.” – DaTruCre

“NTA and Caleb is also NTA. Your thinking is reasonable. Caleb’s thinking is emotional. No right or wrong here. Sorry if this answer doesn’t help.” – Becalmandkind

This is a tough time for Caleb to be going through, as it would be for anyone with a family member who is ailing.

The OP clarified a few things for us:

“My husband and I had a big talk last night and I essentially told him what the comments said. We (as a family) are not able to afford going to Germany every few months. I also told him that because I wanted him to be with his grandmother when she passed, I’ve decided to set aside money for him to visit her.”

“However, this would cut into his hobby expenses (he likes to occasionally golf with friends, go to concerts, etc).”

“A lot of people were confused with the financial situation, I’ve responded in the comments but will repeat it here. I essentially bring in 95% of our money. My husband lost his job a few years ago due to medical reasons.”

“We are hopeful he’ll be able to return in a few years after more therapy. He is now a SAHD [stay at home dad] but will do side gigs (mowing lawns, repairing things, etc). This is not to discredit him in the slightest, he works very hard and is an amazing father.”

“When I said we were ‘comfortable,’ I meant we had enough to spare a few grand a year (which we already blew on the last visits). We can’t afford him going to Germany for who knows how long without cutting into other expenses.”

“My husband looked relieved and thanked me. He said he’d try to pick up some extra side jobs to help more financially.”

“I know this is not a crazy update, but I want to thank everyone for their help. Hopefully, Grandma will stop having heart attacks and live for a few more years ❤️.”

But the OP has also done her best to accommodate the situation within reason.

There are no real villains here.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo