Whether or not we want to admit it, sometimes we have hard times financially.
Asking for help shouldn’t have to be a shameful act but simply a realistic one.
But one woman and her partner were not made to feel that way, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The Redditor, who has since deleted her account, was ridiculed by family when she asked for financial help, which resulted in her giving herself some much-needed space.
But when the family doubled-down, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was at fault.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not being able to afford the family trip?”
The OP and her husband were planning to go to a family reunion.
“My partner (30 [Male]), I (28 [Female]), and our two young children are supposed to go away in three weeks to meet up with all of his family for a reunion.”
“When it was originally organized back in January, it was very ‘rush rush’ to say yes or no and to book accommodations as it’s a small town and there would be a lot of family going in and booking out. We were literally given a day and a half to decide.”
“At the time we had just had our 2nd baby, she was literally days old at the time.”
“Anyway, we said yes. Purely because of the pressure and also his grandfather and a lot of his family haven’t met our kids yet and we don’t really see them at all.”
“We ended up securing an Airbnb for us, my partner’s mum, sister, and nephew.”
But with money being tight, the OP and her husband needed help to be able to afford it.
“Time has gotten away from us and now the weekend is 3 weeks away and the Airbnb needs to be fully paid for this week.”
“When I got the notice, I realized quickly that we do not have the money at the moment to pay for it, so we asked my partner’s parents if they would pay for our share (they are paying his sister’s and nephew’s as well) and we said we would pay them back in a couple of weeks when we had the money or even pay it off weekly.”
When the OP asked her mother-in-law (MIL) for help, her MIL was furious.
“Anyway, his mum got very snappy at us and started to bring up our other finances and saying ‘if you need to borrow money from us, why do you have your kids in daycare if you are struggling? and why do you need a big house? etc’.”
“All of the examples were very irrelevant but she just went on and on.”
“My partner is very upset (he was reduced to tears) as we said we would pay them back in a few weeks or weekly, which we would have. But, they turned it into something even bigger.”
The MIL’s rant effectively changed the OP and her husband’s mind about attending.
“We turned around and just said don’t worry about it, we just won’t go anymore.”
“But now we are a**holes for pulling out and they are now saying they will pay for us.”
“We are good with money, we are just tight at the moment due to some big bills that we just paid.”
“Had we known things were going to be tight at this point in time, we would have just said no to begin with. But as it was a ‘need to know now’ situation, we felt pressured and said yes.”
“Anyway, Reddit community, are we a**holes?”
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 warned the OP to not go on the trip on the MIL’s dime.
“Sometimes it happens that big bills fly in with short notice or something big falls apart.”
“If not for these big bills, you would be able to pay on your own.”
“Now that you’ve pulled out they are willing to pay… To accept this and stay out of the trip. This is a trap.”
“If your family pulled such a stunt before the trip… How will they behave/react when you take them up on their ‘offer’ and accept them paying for your trip?”
“They’ll hang this over your head the whole time.” – Silvalirum
“The whole time? You will probably never hear the end of it. Don’t ever speak of your finances to your family again. If it comes up – and it will – grey rock.” – LuvMeLongThyme
“The hard thing with borrowing money from family is a lot of the time they use it as a form of control to wave over everyone’s head and say look what we did, aren’t we great, now do this for me.”
“My partner and I learned this the hard way and now we take nothing.”
“When they paid, we were expected to pay it back (which was fine). When we bailed them out of trouble for bills and groceries and when my sister needed a new car, we weren’t paid back until much MUCH later on.”
“OP NTA. All your points are valid and I can sense how sincere you are. I believe you would 100% pay them back but I don’t think it’s worth the emotional hassle.”
“You were put under pressure to make a big financial decision on the spot and now you can’t go. That’s okay. Keeping a roof over your heads and putting bills first will never make you an a**hole.” – Gracillar
Others understood exactly where the OP and her husband stood financially.
“NTA. Sounds like you manage your finances carefully and family are behaving badly. You’re still early in your careers and it’s not surprising money is tight. Your MIL needs to wind her neck in and remember how much help she probably got at this time in her own life.” – Ok_Smell_8260
“So I’m guessing that other people always remembered every bill they had or never had periods where it seemed like everything was due at once.”
“This is a young couple with two small children. They apparently have enough to cover their regular bills but emergencies can throw them for a loop.”
“It’s easy to point and say that they are irresponsible with their money but we don’t know their exact financial situation. If the trip was in the next two months or next year, they might be able to swing it but as of right now, they can’t.”
“OP, perhaps you need a better system to keep track of when bills are due. Emergencies happen and unexpected bills can show up and drain your emergency fund (no matter what anybody else says).” – BreuckelenWoman
“NTA. If they are paying for other members of the family, then this nagging about daycare, house, etc makes them TA. In the end, the money is theirs, but this fit was uncalled for.” – MariMariMari4
A few didn’t buy the “forgot about when the money was due” explanation, though.
“Waiting until the week the money is due to speak up is kinda shitty tho.” – Necessary-Suspect-31
“Yes! Not really getting all the N T A here, they made an agreement to go on the holiday (and therefore pay their end). To just forget and then be like oh shit we didn’t save up the money is pretty rubbish.”
“Appreciate bills can come up unexpectedly but you made a commitment to pay this bill also. If no one else was going, would you say to the Airbnb owner, ‘Oh so can you front me the cash and I’ll pay you back in a few weeks or whatever?'”
“ESH since mum then got shirty over it unnecessarily and are paying for the sister anyway.” – Klutzy-Oven
“This trip isn’t a surprise. Whether or not OP felt pressured at the time it was planned, a commitment was made and the amount known at the time.”
“Saying time ran away and, oops, now you realize you can’t pay is not fair on those who also made commitments. As is pulling out now last minute. The others will have to cover your committed costs.”
“It’s bad behavior on your part. But so is the attitude of your partner’s mother. That’s why I’m going ESH.” – ReceptionPuzzled1579
“Why do you need someone to remind you about the plans you made? Like, if you bought concert tickets would you need someone else to remind you to go?”
“(Legitimate question, I have ADHD & executive dysfunction so I 100% get needing external reminders especially if your coping mechanisms are outta wack. But, it’s still on me if I forget something important.)” – iseeisayibe
The subReddit was divided on this one in regards to who should be responsible for the OP and her husband backing out of the trip. On the one hand, the couple could have kept better track of when their bills were due, though surprise expenditures absolutely do happen and can blow a budget in the process.
But where the sub absolutely agreed was in the treatment of the couple. Making this about their entire financial history and how they live their lives was unnecessary. The MIL didn’t have to give them money, since it is hers to spend, but using the request as an opportunity to lash out was uncalled for.