Anyone who has pursued higher education and had to take out student loans in order to continue taking classes can agree that the repayment process is nothing short of frustrating.
But we should hardly expect someone else to pay the way for us, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
When he received an inheritance from a distant aunt, Redditor treetop-octopus decided to put most of it toward his student loans.
But when his girlfriend was furious with him for not also paying off her loans, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was somehow in the wrong for using the money the way he needed to.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for ‘hiding’ my wealth?”
When the OP received an inheritance from an aunt, he used it sensibly.
“I (29 Male) recently got into an argument with my girlfriend (28 Female) about money.”
“About 2 years ago, I received a large inheritance from a wealthy aunt. Honestly, we weren’t very close, and I wasn’t really expecting to get anything.”
“She left behind a couple of million worth of assets, and most of that went to her kids. I was surprised to find out that she left me $50,000 (each of my siblings and cousins got the same amount).”
“When I got the money, I used most of it to pay off the rest of my student loans. Next, I bought a new computer and put the rest towards retirement.”
The OP’s girlfriend was furious when she later found out about the money.
“Recently, my girlfriend was hanging out with one of my female cousins when she heard about the money we all got.”
“This triggered an argument the next time we saw each other about why I was keeping this a secret from her and why I never offered to use it to help her with her own debt.”
“I told her that it wasn’t really a secret; it was just something I never really felt a need to talk about. I got the money and used most of it immediately. There was nothing really left to talk about.”
“She was upset at that, saying that I should have talked about it with her first and that the money could have really helped her back then.”
The argument continued to escalate.
“I was kind of baffled because when I got the inheritance, we’d only been seeing each other for a couple of months. Way too early for that kind of financial entanglement.”
“She got even more upset and said that I should use some of it for her now, but I once again told her the money was basically gone. All that’s left is in a retirement account, and I’m not touching that.”
“We argued back and forth some more, and I got the sense she didn’t quite believe me about the money and thought that I had more left than I said I did. Nothing I could say would convince her otherwise.”
The couple couldn’t seem to come to a solution.
“All I could do was emphasize that everything left from the inheritance was in a retirement account that I would not touch.”
“She called me selfish and left to stay with her sister.”
“We’ve been in a sort of cold war for about a week, and I can’t help but wonder if I did something wrong.”
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 thought the girlfriend’s reaction to the money spoke volumes about her character.
“Money exposes a person’s real character and , sadly for OP, the gf is extremely entitled. Back away now because she’s never letting this go.” – johnny9k
“NTA. It’s disturbing that she sees your windfall as community money. Has she ever used a substantial chunk of her income to pay your personal debt? That’s the only circumstance that would warrant expecting you to help pay her bills.” – Fantastic_Nebula_835
“NTA and RUN! Who asks for boyfriend’s money in the beginning of a relationship? Also finances should be kept separate even between the husband wife then how come a girlfriend or boyfriend is entitled to get the money from the partner for their own use?”
“Sounds like a gold digger to me! Even if she did not start dating because of money but looking at this situation she can definitely leave him because of the money!” – Cactus7979
“It sounds like she was trying to manipulate him at one point… Like, ‘Oh, that money would have been SO useful for my debt back then… But I guess you could give me some now and it might help a little bit…'”
“I can easily see her saying that to guilt OP into giving her some of it. Then add in the cold shoulder and ignoring him because, ‘He loves me, he’ll want me back, he knows that all he has to do s give me some of his money. Surely he’ll give in soon.'”
“Her confident ultimatum and the fact that OP IS questioning himself shows the power dynamic between the two.” – tkdch4mp
“I agree, everything said about GF is a huge red flag. Even if she was your wife, OP, an inheritance would not be considered a marital asset and she would not been entitled to any part of it. And she really thought that when you had been dating for a couple of months that you should use this money to pay off her student loans?”
“You were absolutely right not to tell her about your inheritance. She seems very greedy insisting that money, which no longer exists, should be used on her. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that she wants to use the money you put aside for retirement.”
“OP, I think you need to think long and hard about this relationship and the type of person she is. This attitude she has towards your money speaks volumes about what kind of she is.”
“It’s one thing for her to have heard about your inheritance and wished (to herself) that you might use some of it on her but she is going way past and demanding you give her part of the money (which no longer exists). She is not entitled to that money!!”
“This troubles you obviously, as it should, otherwise you wouldn’t be posting here. Trust that gut feeling and get out now; she’s not the right woman for you. Take advantage of her separation and make it permanent.” – Tobywillygal
Others pointed out that $50K wasn’t even that much money to argue about.
“$50k is in that, ‘A lot to owe, not much to have’ category. Like, it’d be a life-changing amount of money for a lot of people but only because it could take you from a shaky situation to a stable one. It’s not enough to guarantee it stays stable though.”
“You could maybe get a house that was $25k more than your budget would have otherwise allowed. That would make some difference in the $300k and under listings, but really not a huge one until you got under $200k.”
“In my market, that’s about adding functionality, not luxury. $25k could take you from a 3 br/1 ba to a 3 br/2 ba. Or it may put you in a slightly nicer neighborhood, but the first neighborhood is totally fine.” – SJ_Barbarian
“With $50k, you can put down a really good down payment for a house, but you still have to qualify for a pretty big mortgage on your own salary. You can buy a new car outright, but you can’t buy a big SUV or sports car. You can pay tuition for college, but not the full 4 years of tuition at a decently ranked state school.”
“It’s enough money that I’d be incredibly stoked for weeks or months to get it – but it wouldn’t make a material difference in my life or finances at this point. Not really. I’d probably take a really nice vacation, and then do what the OP did and put the rest into retirement savings, where it someday really will make a difference, with the compounding interest and 20+ years to work with.” – RishaBree
“Any amount of money is a lot of money. However, 50k is not life changing for about 50% of Americans today. The fact that she is taking umbrage to a smart move when they’re not married is a walk away to me.” – TheSportingRooster
“I was reading and saw the 50k and thought, ‘She’s fighting over 50k?? That she’s in no way, shape, or form entitled to?'” – Entire-Level3651
“I cannot understand her logic. The money’s gone. GONE! But she doesn’t get it no matter how many times OP tells her and thinks he’s hiding some sort of phantom money that doesn’t exist. Her throwing a fit won’t make more appear.”
“Also, what is the aim of this? Let’s say he DID have some leftover inheritance money (he doesn’t, but this is a hypothetical situation where he does). Who would decide, ‘He has money and I want some, let’s treat him horribly and moan and whine and even move out until he gives me some.'”
“What?? If you wanted to get money off others, wouldn’t you be dead nice to them or something? What is rudeness going to accomplish? Am I missing something here?”
“In short, the mental gymnastics of OP’s girlfriend baffles me.” – N0NameBoi
While the subReddit could sympathize with the girlfriend wanting to have her student loans paid off, demanding the money from her boyfriend was not the way to pay them off.
Rather, building out some sort of payment plan, perhaps even with her boyfriend once they were feeling more serious, could actually grow their relationship, rather than hinder it.