While it’s wonderful to imagine everyone having all the money they will ever need to afford anything they could ever want, that is not the reality we live in.
And it’s easy to feel jealous when someone obviously has more disposable income, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor ThrowRa49953s was struggling with explaining to his children from his second marriage that he would not be able to afford to send them on the expensive trip that his two children from his first marriage would be going on because of his ex-wife’s income.
When she refused to change her spending habits to make him and his second family more comfortable, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to think.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for asking my ex-wife to stop making my kids jealous and flaunting [her wealth]?”
The OP and his ex-wife led financially very different lives.
“I’ve (38 Male) been divorced from my ex-wife (35 Female) for 10 years. We have two kids together (12 Male and 10 Male).”
“I remarried a year later while she was still single. I have three further kids (9 Female, 7 Female, and 3 Female).”
“I have my sons over every weekend. About four years ago, my ex-wife opened up an online business and she’s been making six figures per year while my wife is a stay-at-home mum and I make 30k to support our family.”
“So you can imagine how this difference has affected our households.”
“They live in a gated community, she drives a 2022 RSQ3, and she and our sons go on two extravagant holidays a year.”
This recently became an issue in the OP’s household.
“My sons came over this weekend and started telling me and the girls they’re going on a Disney concierge cruise in the summer.”
“My daughters started crying, saying, ‘Daddy, we wanna go,’ and when I looked online for the prices, they’re priced at $5k per person.”
“It’s all they’ve been talking about non-stop. I feel like their wealth is being shoved down our throats when we can barely afford our heating bill this Christmas.”
The OP and his ex-wife could not come to a compromise.
“It’s hard not to be hateful, but I sent her a long text, saying to stop trying to make us feel less than.”
“I also told my sons in private to please not mention holidays or gifts around the girls.”
“She replied by saying it’s not her problem how we feel, and when she does nice things for the boys, my wife and I are the last people on her mind.”
“Am I reading into this too much?”
“Am I the a**hole for saying she’s spiteful?”
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 confirmed the OP was the AH for accusing his ex-wife of being spiteful.
“Holy mother of projection, Batman.”
“Your ex-wife is doing well for herself and wants to treat her children well, and you aren’t part of the equation here. Stop being spiteful of yourself and be better for your kids.”
“YTA.” – Glittering_Cherry909
“YTA. She is doing NOTHING wrong.”
“‘My wife and I are the last people on her mind.’ Of course you are. What else would you expect?”
“She is good to her kids. Good parenting. YOU are no concern to her, except that you are a parent to her kids.”
“‘Am I the a**hole for saying she’s spiteful?’ YES, you are.” – Motor-Business483
“This guy is a real prize.”
“OP, YTA. You chose to have five children. Your ex-wife works hard and can afford nice holidays. Children talking excitedly about an upcoming holiday is not constantly shoving their wealth down your throat. They’re children and they’re excited.”
“Not sure how you’re supporting a wife and children on your salary. You say you can barely afford the heating bill. So you have some choices: get a better-paying job, or your wife could get a job. Grow up.” – BoudicaTheArtist
“The OP: ‘HOW DARE SHE BE SUCCESSFUL AND DRIVE A NEW CAR IN A GATED COMMUNITY?!'”
“Hmm, I can’t imagine why they ever divorced.” – WholeAd2742
“Honestly, I think this is just an ego thing and not an I-can’t-afford-my-kids thing. There are too many jobs out there that pay more than 30k a year.”
“I think he is jealous of her ambition. He’s getting paid 14 and some change an hour, which is way too low to take care of his kids and have his wife at home. They must be on welfare or something with that wage.”
“It can be possible obviously as where I was living before. I could take care of my two making 13 and some change but it just sounds like a lack of ambition and jealousy. He needs to get a better-paying job rather than focusing on her so much.”
“FYI, I am still single, have 2 kids (as a single mother), and make over 70k a year. He can do far better.” – Dotty_Ford
“Probably why he is jealous of his ex-wife is because had he not left her for his affair partner (aka current wife), he could also be on those trips.” – thr0ughtheghost
“He’s somehow surprised she’s not thinking about him and his probable affair partner. Like, why would she be? It’s been ten years!”
“I guess she was supposed to be sitting alone, staring longingly out the window, eternally pining for OP since he’s clearly such a winner. Egocentric much?”
“YTA, OP. You’re envious and projecting.” – MonOubliette
Others were proud of the OP’s ex-wife for doing well for herself and prioritizing her sons.
“My favorite part of this post was when he pointed out she’s still single. Like that’s the worst thing he can come up with for her. I’m sure she’ll be sobbing into her Disney cocktails.” – emccm
“I love how he adds that he had three more children with a new wife, while his ex is still single as though it’s a trophy of some sort.”
“Obviously, he had more children than he can afford and is now blaming his ex for his bad decision-making…” – TumbleweedLoner
“She obviously focuses more on raising and supporting the kids she already had. Good for her.” – bekalc
“Good on the ex. Living well is always the best revenge, and it sounds like she’s nailing it.”
“He should be thankful she’s doing so well. If not, he might be financially responsible for his other two kids in addition to the three new ones and stay-at-home wife he can’t afford.” – Sweet_Artichoke_65
“In my personal experience of being divorced and seeing others go through divorces, there seems to be a trend that I’ve observed where you can definitely look at the trajectories of the two parties after the marriage and kind of extrapolate backward from there.”
“Usually, the ‘problem’ person in the relationship completely crashes and burns, makes stupid decisions, or ends up with a life of complete mediocrity while the other party ends up excelling and leaving the problem person in their dust. I can see the OP and his ex in this.”
“I’m sure there are many many exceptions here, but I’ve seen it play out at least twice now and it’s kind of fascinating to watch.” – SigmaStrain
“My favorite part is where he most likely cheated on his ex and got the affair partner pregnant and left the ex. Ex’s youngest is 10, they divorced 10 years ago, and he has a 9-year-old… so he left his wife with a newborn baby.”
“Now he’s upset because he realizes he was the one holding her back. This is the karma we live for. I don’t know ex-wife, but I want to give her a high-five.” – NenetheNinja
“Toxic men (before anyone attacks me, I’m saying toxic men, not all men) place value and worth on a woman based on if she’s in a relationship or not and in extension to that, if she has kids. It’s disgusting. I could rant about this all day.”
“A person does not matter less or IS less of a person if they are single (by choice or not). That is not what defines them and that is not their identity!”
“I have been attacked before and had people tell me that I am going to live miserably for the rest of my life because I’m over 30 and I’ll be stuck alone with my dogs and cats. Animal rescue is my passion and it always has been, man or no man.”
“I would also rather be single and even painfully lonely than be in a bad relationship or one that wasn’t right for me or where I was treated badly. That’s also why so many people (all genders) settle and sometimes have bad marriages. They settle because marriage is ‘the thing to do’ and they don’t want to be alone. And then they are stuck.”
“I’m going on a rant here, but you get my point. My value is much more than my relationship status. That goes for everyone. And definitely the OP’s ex-wife.” – youreyesmystars
“He’s got the new model stay-at-home wife while his ex has the new model Audi, the home in the gated community, and concierge vacations. What beautiful revenge.”
“I don’t blame his ex, I would absolutely rub his face in it. The tears in those Disney cocktails would be due to my laughter…”
“I don’t mean to sound wholly vindictive. But this ‘man’ likely caused her a lot of pain. A lot. I’ll bet there were plenty of tears with no Disney cocktails anywhere to be seen, while she was taking care of his newborn and toddler.”
“So if he wants her to feel sorry for his broke a** now… YTA.” – Sweet_Artichoke_65
Not only did the subReddit call the OP out on accusing his ex-wife of being spiteful, but they were actively rooting for the OP’s ex-wife to continue succeeding so she could take care of herself and their sons.
While they would have loved to see something better coming the OP’s daughters’ way, too, the OP would need to make some serious decisions to make that happen.