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Redditor Accuses Cancer Survivor Wife Of ‘Leeching’ Off Their Salary To Make ‘Lavish’ Purchases

woman carrying multiple shopping bags
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A near death experience can have a profound affect on a person. This includes being diagnosed then recovering from a serious illness.

But while this may cause a person to reevaluate their life and make changes does it absolve them of responsibility to the others in their life?

A husband struggling with his wife’s response to surviving cancer turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

KeshiKeshiGomu asked:

“AITA for thinking my wife (post cancer) is leeching off me?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“Both late 20s, both have always worked full time. Me in a high paying job—£150,000 [~$190,730 USD]—wife in a lower paying job—£40,000 [~$50,860 USD].”

“Finances have always been mixed but then it was always easy—without really trying we’d be able to save £2-£3k [$2,540-$3,814 USD] per month.”

“Wife was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago.”

“All cured, caught early, oncologist said she would still be able to work. Instead she quit on the spot and made us move to the other side of the country to be near her family.”

“Since then, wife’s recovered well, and instead of doing the job she was trained to do she’s decided she wants to work 2 days a week as a librarian. And even that was at my insistence to get back into work really.”

“To be absolutely clear, medically she’s been absolutely fine for 18 months.”

“Our finances have taken a hit and on of top we are now paying more on rent than we used to and are paying private school fees for our kids. It all adds up.”

“I’ve stopped buying any luxuries but my wife refuses to adjust. She goes on overseas yoga holidays probably every 3 months.”

“So many new clothes. I haven’t bought any new clothes for myself in at least a year.”

“She will however happily complain about how expensive our kids’ lessons are but then go to the shop and buy herself an expensive bottle of champagne to cheer herself up.”

“I feel no better than an ATM to her, and I’m absolutely sick of it. When we were both working we had equal say in our finances—whilst I earned multiples of her salary we both put equal effort into our work and home life.”

“It seemed to work fine.”

“But she’s chosen to work 2 days a week and earn about £9k [~$11,443 USD] a year now and I can’t stop thinking to myself she’s choosing to sponge off me instead of going out and working.”

“This morning I had a notification from my bank saying £500 [~$636 USD] had left our account to an individual. I asked and when she denied knowledge I said ‘OK,  no problem, I’ll call the bank and tell them it was a fraudulent purchase’.”

“She then confessed that she bought herself a customised leather jacket.”

“I said to her I was sick of her spending habits, that she didn’t earn anywhere near enough to afford that kind of thing.”

“She told me ‘well your salary can go on the bills, and then I would have enough money to buy that jacket’. I said to her I wasn’t her dad, her salary wasn’t her ‘pocket money’, and that I expected her to contribute her own money toward our bills.”

“I never used to have a problem with her spending when we both worked equally hard. But I am really struggling not to be furious with her every time she makes a lavish purchase which only my salary (and my continued effort, working full time) could afford.”

“I feel that if she wants to earn less than minimum wage then she should act like it when it comes to spending.”

“I said this to her mother and I was told I was being an a**hole.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I told my wife she needs to stop spending lavishly when her salary cannot justify it, and that I feel like she’s leeching from me.”

“I never used to have this problem on her spending when we both worked full time and so it may well be me being an a**hole now in these different circumstances.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors unanimously declared the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. Your spouse has been through it but so have you and the kids. Endangering your financial security (present and future) won’t fix whatever trauma is roiling under the surface.”

“Get thee, and she, to a counsellor!” ~ EffPop

“Especially if the kids could learn from their mother’s current spending by habits. NTA.” ~ Dry_Championship5972

“Tell her she has to go into therapy. I think that her cancer diagnosis brought the inevitability of her demise to the forefront.”

“She is overcompensating with all the things you say she is doing. She can’t live like this. Good luck. NTA.” ~ Accomplished_Two1611

“I have a friend with Stage 4 who expected to die and has been decimating her savings. She found out she is tumor-free last week, and she’s freaking out about how she’ll afford to live now.”

“My dad got suuuuper into guns/his mortality after surviving cancer. My mom’s shopping hobby exploded after she had cancer.”

“A near death experience fucks with a person. Homegirl needs therapy.” ~ 247cnt

“NTA. This feels like escapism and distracting herself from trauma she’s probably avoiding dealing with. Even if it was caught early and she was cured, it’s still extremely traumatic to get that diagnosis and to go through treatment.”

“My mom went through something similar with cancer, and even with facing it more openly and honestly, still struggles with the psychological effects. Every little health scare brings it all back to the surface.”

“Have an open and honest conversation about her cancer and ask her how she’s doing.”

“Suggest therapy or anything else that might help her regain her confidence and help her be more present and open with you again, and hopefully back to feeling more in control of her own life again, which may bring back her desire to work towards her own goals and to be more of an equal partner in your relationship.” ~ AaronVsMusic

“And yet somehow millions of us get our sh*t together and get back at it. I worked DURING my immunotherapy for stage 3 melanoma.”

“Daily treatment and I still put in at least 5, 6 hours a day.”

“This woman needs to realize she’s got a family that relies on her and she needs to get her sh*t together by speaking to someone. NTA.” ~ MonteBurns

“As someone who watched my mother die from cancer as a kid and now as a mother myself, OP’s wife complaining about the cost of her children’s education pisses me off the most about this.”

“When my mum was diagnosed all she cared about was my future, she fought as hard as she could to be in it and when she couldn’t fight anymore she focused on what she could leave behind for me (cards, jewellery, goodbye video).”

“OP’s wife seems to be more concerned about living her life to her ideal fullest at the disregard and expense of her husband and children. She definitely needs therapy and I wonder why she wasn’t in it from the beginning.”

“I get her wanting to have her family support, but she did that by taking away her children’s support network.”

“Like I said, I was a kid when I watched my mum lose to cancer and my friends were my main support network because they never treated me differently (unless I broke down crying when it got too much).”

“The normality I got from them was more helpful than family constantly focusing on my mum’s cancer, it felt like all they ever wanted to talk about was mum’s cancer and how sad it was.”

“I was 10yrs old, knew what was coming and just wanted to keep my promise for my mum that I would ‘just be a kid and not let her diagnosis take away my childhood’. NTA.” ~ Environmental_Art591

“I have stage 4 cancer and I’m currently spending money on things I don’t need (and probably can’t afford) as a way to pretend everything is fine and my cancer doesn’t exist. I’m aware I’m living in denial.”

“I’m spending my own money though, not my partner’s. We have separate bank accounts.”

“Also, should I get the all clear and I’m medically cleared to go back to work, I will do so. If I fail to for whatever reason, because I am perhaps too depressed or traumatised by everything I have been through, I have made a plan to seek professional help.”

“My partner has stated they are fine with supporting me financially but I don’t want that if I can help it.”

“I think it is quite possible your wife is not over what has happened to her, or she is living in constant fear that her cancer will return, and this is her way of being in denial. Either way, I agree with other posters that your wife may need professional help.”

“Her behaviour is not OK and not fair towards you. NTA.” ~ MirSydney

While the OP’s wife may have a new lease on life, her husband and children can’t be forced to go along for the ride.

Hopefully these parents can find a compromise sooner rather than later.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.