Knowing someone with a terminal illness is devastating news.
Redditor TAstressedout is a 27-year-old male whose girlfriend of the same age was emotionally distressed over a tragic diagnosis in her family.
Drama ensued when the Original Poster (OP) found her reaction to being unpleasant and confronted her about it.
He visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for telling my girlfriend she needs to get a job while her sister is dying?”
The OP wrote:
“My girlfriend Sarah’s sister (40 F[emale]) who she is really close to is dying. They found cancer and it is terminal and aggressive so she has 4 years max but more likely one or two years.”
“The news is extremely shocking and upsetting for me but it’s way worse for my girlfriend obviously.”
“She has not been working because she is doing a course and is only missing a few assignments. She sat me down and said that she was going to drop out and spend time with her sister.”
“I told her I thought spending time with her sister was a great idea but she needed to finish the course in the meanwhile and then I could support both of us for few more months instead of her getting a job right away (I make decent money) and she could spend that time with her sister.”
“Sarah got extremely upset and said that I was a materialistic person who just didn’t care or understood how upset she is and that she will not finish her course or get a job at any stage before her sister passes away.”
“I said I’d help her out and that she didn’t need to hand in perfect assignments, just the bare minimum to pass the course. I said she could even move in with her sister short term (sister lives alone and is divorced) if she wants and come home at the weekend.”
“Sarah’s plan of not working for the foreseeable future is dependent on me working a super stressful job with long hours and supporting her mentally and monetarily until her sister’s death and potentially beyond.”
“I’ve already been doing this over a year at this stage and I was aiming to move to a non managerial and less paid but less stressful job mid year because the stress is physically harming me (cannot sleep, hair falling out in chunks which is apparently unrelated to age, panic attacks) but I cannot do that if I am the only one working.”
“I was also trying to save my Christmas bonus but she keeps showing me clothes she wants and saying ‘my life is so upsetting, why can’t I have these pretty clothes?’ so I will buy them for her.
“I am trying to be understanding because I know she must be devastated but I also need to have an idea of when she will get a job again. Last night I sat her down and told her she needs to get a job, even just part time, by the end of the summer (course is finished in a few weeks) because I need to move to a less stressful job.”
“She said my work stress cannot compare to the stress of a loved one dying and that I am just being dramatic.”
“She also told me she’s planning a really expensive trip for whenever travel goes back to normal to blow off steam but she has no savings so I am expected to pay for the whole trip.”
“I told a few people and they said I was being dramatic and a few more years of the high stress job will not kill me, but other friends said that my gf’s demands are ridiculous and that she was not planning to work even before this.”
“AITA for telling my girlfriend she needs to get a job by the end of the summer while her sister is dying?”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Many Redditors sided with the OP as not the a**hole in the situation.
“Good lord, your gf is truly awful. Please end this relationship. You need to take care of yourself, especially since your gf apparently doesn’t care about your well-being in the slightest.”
“If she is really going to make her sister the center of her life, she can move in with her and help care for her, and let you take a less stressful job and stop losing your hair from stress.”
“Ditch the selfish girl, she has shown you who is she is” – Seeker131313
“his…hair falling out, panic attacks and she doesn’t care. You don’t matter to her, but your pocket book does. ‘Tell her you need a breather in the relationship’ as it is GREATLY affecting your health!”
“You could get a Doctor, therapist, or counselor to agree with you because it is true…if she needs to see it. Make her move in with her sister or back home, but you need to straighten out your life and your finances (so you can get the mental and physical help you need).”
“Then take the lesser job, and live. Quit paying her way, she is a parasite. My sister died of cancer, my Dad died of cancer. We took as much time off as we could, but we did not use someone. We worked. Actually working and keeping busy would help her. Kick her out!”
“PS They have linked some cancers with severe stress….like you have. Please, take care of you!!” – Feeling-Fab-U-Lus
“While that’s a lovely idea, OP, why is it your responsibility to fund it? Why are you even with her? I get helping people out, I do. I’ve helped put my exs many times, and I currently have a friend staying in my guest bedroom for the last 6 months.”
“But do you really love her? Do you really think she loves you? Or does she just see you as money bags? Really think about what’s best for you, and if maybe her moving in with her sister full time and you being single is it.”
“Because it’s one thing to support a loved one while they’re getting their life together. I have and I am doing that. It’s another thing to be taken advantage of.” – 9r7g5h
“This may make me a bit of a jerk, but something about this trip really doesn’t sit right with me. When people in their 40s haven’t been able to go travel somewhere that they have always dreamed of going, the reasons are typically that they worked a job where they couldn’t take the time off required and/or financial obligations.”
“It’s typically not that they just that they never got around to traveling there, unless they were someone who travels all over and it’s just a matter of timing, but the ‘always dreamed of’ language makes it sound like that is not the case.”
“I’m not GF’s sister, but I don’t think I would would exactly be thrilled to hear that my voluntarily unemployed sister is getting her boyfriend to bankroll the trip I always dreamed of and now can never do, but on a luxury scale, after my sick divorced self dies.”
“Admittedly, probably a lot of that feeling would be jealousy that she is being handed a dreamed-of opportunity that I did not have, but there would be a part of me that I would not be able to shake that wondered if the trip really was about memorializing me the way she claims, or if it is a good excuse to get other people to send her on the trip.”
“I don’t know, something about this just feels off to me.” – anglerfishtacos
“Maybe I’m just super cynical and distrusting… but everything the gf is doing isn’t sitting right with me. Like she is using her sister’s ‘sickness’ to get OP to buy her expensive things and drop out of school and not work and go on this expensive trip.”
“Does OP know for sure that SIL is actually sick or is this some scheme they are using to get money from OP? And since SIL has 1-4 years left, is gf just going to be this way until SIL dies??”
“That’s potentially a long time! If I had terminal cancer the last thing I would want is someone dropping everything they had to spend 24/7 with me… Maybe I’m just an a**hole for even thinking that lol” – rdweezy27
The general consensus was that the OP was NTA.
People have a right to deal with grief in their own way, and while Redditors empathized with the sister’s illness, many thought Sarah was being selfish.