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Contractor Refuses To Chip In For In-Laws’ Anniversary After Wife’s Family Destroyed $70k Of His Equipment

Man driving skid loader
alacatr/Getty Images

Everyone needs help from time to time, sometimes with money or with borrowed items.

But everything should be borrowed with the other person’s consent, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor WallabyOverall3366 looked on as their family borrowed a skid loader from their brother-in-law, only to break it while using it improperly.

When the family didn’t pay for a replacement, the Original Poster (OP) watched while the repercussions unfolded years later.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my BIL to get over himself and to quit holding a 10-year-old grudge?”

The OP’s family insisted on borrowing their brother-in-law’s skid loader.

“My BIL (Brother-in-Law), married to my sister, is a general contractor. About 10 years ago, my dad and brother were building a deck at my parent’s home.”

“They asked my BIL if they could borrow his skid loader, but he said no. They prepared the ground as best they could without the skid loader but got to the point they couldn’t go on without it.”

“They went to my sis’s house to ask again but found out BIL went out of town. They talked my sis into letting them borrow it so she took them down to his construction lot and they hooked it up to dad’s truck.”

Borrowing it did not go as smoothly as the family expected.

“This next part, I’m not sure of since I don’t know much about towing, but from what I was told, dad’s truck wasn’t big enough or powerful enough to tow the skid loader on the dump trailer, so he lost control and wrecked.”

“The truck, trailer, and skid loader were totaled. The insurance was barely enough to cover the medical costs and the truck. There was none left over to cover BIL’s stuff.”

“When he got back to town, he exploded. He threatened to sue, and things just went downhill from there.”

“My parents are not rich, and he wouldn’t have gotten anything so in the end, my sis talked him into letting it go.”

“However, from that day on he wouldn’t have anything to do with our family. He doesn’t come for birthdays, holidays, or anything at all.”

The family still approached the brother-in-law for the next big event.

“Next month is our parent’s 50th anniversary, and we’re planning a big family gathering to celebrate. We’re also chipping in to send our parents on a cruise to Mexico because they’ve never been out of the country.”

“I spoke to sis about it the other day, and she said she’s coming with the kids, but BIL is not coming.”

“I was fine with that, but when we were discussing their portion of the cruise money, I heard him yelling in the background to deduct their portion from the cost of the skid loader and dump trailer.”

“That p**sed me if so after my call with sis, I called BIL and told him to get over himself. I told Dad and bro made a mistake, but that was 10 years ago and he needs to let it go.”

“He said he’ll let out go when they give him the money he lost.”

“I told him he’s an a** for holding on to a grudge and putting money in the way of a family relationship.”

The OP’s sister stood up for her husband.

“Sis called me a few minutes ago and said they’re not coming and that I was out of line. We argued for a bit, and that’s where it stands.”

“I don’t think I’m wrong for telling him to let go of the past, but they’re not coming to the anniversary party so now I’m not sure.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some were infuriated by the OP’s family and how they handled the situation. 

“The OP only cares now because they’re trying to get money out of BIL. OP you and your family are AH. YTA.” – thenexttimebandit

“In my experience, when people tell you to ‘get over it,’ that’s a pretty good indicator that they were in the wrong, but don’t think there should be any consequences and are angry that you actually want to hold them accountable. OP and the rest of her family are definitely AHs.” – Business_Remote9440

“These are people for whom ‘Family first!’ is a one-way transaction. If I’d f**ked over a family member through my own actions like this, you can bet I’d be eating bologna sandwiches and store-brand cereal until I could make it right.” – MattJFarrell

“They nicely washed their hands off their own misdeed and haven’t bothered paying a single cent back in 10 years. I understand they are poor, but that doesn’t diminish a sense of responsibility.”

“Instead of pitching in for a bloody cruise, they should all be pitching in to pay the BIL back and try to fix the relationship that they broke.”

“YTA, and so are OP’s father and brother and anyone else who enables their attitude.” – Greedy_Information96

“I think the sis somewhat learned her lesson since she decided to side with her husband this time instead of her family.”

“OP, YTA. And your father and your brother.”

“You don’t mess with someone else’s stuff that costs thousands of dollars AND his livelihood that brings food, shelter, and necessities to YOUR SISTER AND HER FAMILY. And then have the audacity to ASK FOR MORE MONEY for a non-necessity? Just imagine it happened to you instead of your BIL, I wonder how you would feel.”


“You yourself said YOUR DAD AND BROTHER MADE A MISTAKE. What in the heck did they do to try and make it right to your BIL? Your dad needs a truck to go to work? He should have bought a cheaper car or taken public transport while trying to pay off your BIL.”

“Obviously, BIL seems reasonable, he didn’t push through with his lawsuit, so he won’t allow your family to be homeless. But he is allowed to be compensated for something your FAMILY STOLE AND DESTROYED. And this happened 10 YEARS AGO? And not a single cent?”

“‘He doesn’t need it’ is exactly how thieves think. Let that sink in. Whether he needs it or not, your family is obligated to MAKE THINGS RIGHT.”

“You know what’s sad? I think if BIL saw your family showed remorse and did everything they could to make it right, your BIL may have forgiven this by now.”

“You’d be lucky if your sister and her family still want a relationship with you lot. In fact, I hope she goes no-contact because your family sounds tremendously awful. I wouldn’t be surprised if your family didn’t even apologize.” – donna2tsuki

Others were miffed by the BIL’s wife but understood she may have been cornered. 

“There’s a big difference between ‘she said sure thing, right away’ and ‘they talked her into it.'”

“Talking someone into something could mean anything from a puppy-eyed guilt trip to a blackmail threat to a two-hour lecture. If the sister was the one that convinced him not to sue, chances are she’s used to playing peacemaker.” – Ok-Procedure6647

“I suspect the husband realizes the extended family is manipulative AF and knew his wife was stuck between a rock and a hard place so forgave her.” – mama-toast

“Likely she showed some remorse and apologized for her mistake. It doesn’t feel like the parents and the brother did it.”

“And it wasn’t her who wrecked his stuff, and likely she assumed her father and brother know what they were doing and everything would stay in working order. So considering all that her husband likely had more reasons to forgive her than them.” – opelan

“I would say that the sister is easily bullied by this family. When I first married my wife, she was a pushover with her family. It was a weakness.”

“After 10 years of encouragement from me, she stands up for herself a lot better. The fact the sister is not coming on the trip and told the brother off is a good sign this is similar.” – badwolfrider

“First, I highly doubt that they didn’t know BIL was out of town when they just happened to decide to go to his house and ask him again.”

“Second, OP says they “talked my sister into” letting them borrow it. I have a feeling that there was a lot of guilt-tripping, a lot of ‘faaaaaamily’ kind of talk (especially given OP’s use of ‘I can’t believe you’d let a 10-year-old grudge get between faaaamily’), and a lot of ‘just trust us, it’ll be quick, and hubs will never even need to know.'”

“I also have a feeling that BIL forgave his wife because this incident finally opened her eyes to her family’s manipulation tactics.” – BelkiraHoTep

After receiving feedback, the OP did not agree with their ratings.

“Let’s get something straight. My dad and brother are not bad people. They are good people who made a mistake. They couldn’t pay back BIL because he wanted almost $70,000 and again, we’re not rich. Dad had to buy another truck because he needed it to go to work.”

“On the other hand, BIL had 3 other sets of skid loaders and dump trailers on his lot that day, so he could take the financial hit while my parents would be homeless. BIL and sis are way better off than the rest of us so while I understand your reasoning for paying BIL back, he doesn’t need it.”

“The cruise to Mexico isn’t some millionaire trip. The total cost is about $3,000, and it’ll take over 20 people to pay for that. Again, we’re not rich. We can barely cover $3,000 spread out over 20 people so there’s no way we can pay $70,000.”

The subReddit was furious on the brother-in-law’s behalf and could not believe the level of entitlement exhibited by the OP and the rest of the family, let alone their resistance to being held accountable.

If the family couldn’t save money over the course of ten years to help the brother-in-law get a new skid loader, they certainly had no business expecting the brother-in-law to save up for a cruise.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.