Parents can be our master manipulators. The worst kind of parents actively wield their most basic job over us as leverage to try and squeeze money out of us, or love, or time.
Reddit user Rozay23455 was unfortunately the subject of some such parents. They tried to demand hundreds of thousands of dollars out of him for money to buy a house.
Having been the victim for too long, he was unclear about his reaction, and if he handled it reasonably. So he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” (AITA) to get some feedback, asking:
Our original poster, or OP, set up his relationship with his parents.
“Hey everyone! So I’m Indian-American and if you’re Indian-American you know that parents/relatives love purchasing expensive houses to flex on others even if they can barely afford it same goes with luxury cars, luxury huge houses, expensive clothes, gold.”
“So I’m 26M[ale] I work as an HR Administrator and I make around $60K USD after-taxes which isn’t much but I don’t mind.”
“I’m able to have basic necessities rent a nice apartment and have plenty money for my hobbies like gaming, woodworking, books.”
“My parents in general think I’m a failure and I’m dumb and I’m not successful. Long back they cut contact with me.”
“All the words and ways they treated me starting affecting my mental-health extremely bad resulting in numerous mental-disorders which I take meds for but still isn’t gone.”
“So since we distanced i’ve been feeling much better.”
He received an unexpected phone call from his parents.
“Recently they wanted me to come over to their house because they wanted to talk something important and it can’t be said over the phone.”
“So I came over and they made lunch and treated me nicely and then my mom and dad started talking nicely and both of them apologized to me and said that they love me and all.”
“They acted really friendly. I thought they actually changed for real. Because it’s been a few years since we came this close.”
And the real reason came out shortly thereafter.
“Then they cut to the chase and said ‘We want to buy a new house and it costs 500K.'”
“Then they showed me the pictures of the house they want and it’s a beautiful house it’s five beds, 5000SQFT, with a luxury gate and a huge land, pool.”
“I say ‘Nice house dad, but where will you get this type of money though? Loan or something? You retired and you don’t earn much as you used to and mom’s an housewife so 500K might be out of your range right?'”
“Then my dad said ‘oh no no. We aren’t going for loans you pay us 250K and I will put in 250K then I can buy the house.'”
OP got out of that situation quickly.
“Immediately when my dad said ‘you pay us 250K.’ I got shocked and just got up quickly and told them ‘Sorry dad i can’t afford 250K at this moment i don’t have the type of money, I don’t want to buy a house with you.'”
“I quickly leave and before I closed the door my dad said ‘I thought you loved us? Don’t you want your old parents to live in a nice home?'”
“‘I brought you to America, and now you’re leaving your parents’ (Mom starts fake crying).”
“And my dad is telling me ‘wow you’re leaving your old parents you should be ashamed of yourself, I knew you were a failure, disgusting (cuss words).’ Mom continues to make boo hoo noises and fake cries and she says her share of cuss words in Hindi.”
Shaken by that interaction, OP didn’t know what to do.
“I just closed the door and left. I have saved up a good amount of money around 100K USD from Job, Side hustles etc.”
“But I don’t plan on purchasing a home right yet because I’m not certain where i will be living permanently yet.”
“Plus with job layoffs and all, I don’t want to have all these responsibilities yet especially in this time. AITA?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors agreed OP had nothing to be sorry for.
“I graduated college magna cum laude in English with an award in Linguistics and my mom wouldn’t even take pictures with me at my graduation.”
“She spent the entire time talking about how proud her friend must be that her son graduated with a degree in Mathematics.”
“10 years later and I make more than he does. Not by a lot, but I still revel in it quietly. I’m a millennial who’s married with two kids, has a mortgage, owns two vehicles outright and will never make my parents proud.”
“If you measure your happiness by their approval then you’ll never be happy.”~FormerWindow
“Trust me, it’s not just the Indians. They have the exact same mentality in Morocco / Algeria.”
“I too was expected to lavish my dad with expensive presents I couldn’t even afford, even despite the fact that he treated me like sh*t. I said no.”
“I have my own family and I will not financially burden myself for people who just want to show off to others.”
“Your parents are ridiculous and extremely manipulative. They don’t need a huge house, how are they even going to maintain it?”
“If their ego and love for public appearances are more important than your future and well-being , then you owe them nothing. NTA.”~aFrenchyinEire
“NTA. I’m Pakistani and I understand it too. I just want you to remember that parents that love their kids, treat them like human beings with their own choices and all.”
“They’re gaslighting you and it was always about them. If they were really sorry they wouldn’t try to mend your relationship just for their own gain, which they’re trying to do.”
“And just because you disagree with their choice, doesn’t mean you love them less. Don’t go with what they want, it won’t get better for you, you’re doing well with not having to deal with them.”
“They’re adults, they can take the responsibilities for their own adult actions and not rely on their kids all the time. I wish you the very best of luck.”~BorutosMomHusband
“NTA, I am Asian and understand filial piety very well.”
“I had a different (more positive) relationship with my parents and I would still never do this, also my parents would never ask as they know I need to live my own life.”
“You are not your parents’ retirement plan.”~bahamut285
In fact, people are saying no-contact was the right way to go with OP’s parents.
“NTA and you know it. It sounds like you cutting contact was the right thing back then and it sounds like the right thing now. The only reason they contacted you was for money.”
“If your dad is able to put up $250,000, I’m certain that he can purchase a nice, but slightly smaller, property for him and your mother to spend their final years in.”
“I might have misread this, but what exactly is the benefit to you if parting with a quarter million dollars?”
“Are you expected to live in this house? Just expected to buy it for them and continue on your way with an empty bank account and eat dust for the next 25 years?”
“You’re not the arsehole and it’s time to go no contact with your parents. For your own peace of mind and sanity. Your mum and dad will be able to sort themselves out.”~Seelvor
“Given that the only reason they were trying to play nice with you was because they wanted money, I think it’s safe to assume that they’d be back to harassing and haranguing you the moment you signed the money over.”
“Might be time to cut them off completely, as they’ve shown their true colors enough times by now.”
“NTA-If your parents cut contact with you because they thought you were a failure and only came back into your life because they want your $$$, they are selfish a**holes.”
“Take care of yourself, and surround yourself with healthy people in your life.”~GrandpaJoeSloth
“NTA. Fellow Desi here. Totally get it about them wanting to flex. Your parents are nuts.”
“It’s not just the house- it’s also the property taxes, insurance and upkeep (repairs and the pool costs, etc.). Hold strong and don’t contribute to this house at all. It won’t end well.”~Huahuamama
Following that, there are more hidden expenses that come with a gigantic house.
“Correct! Depending on the house the utilities could be as expensive as a mortgage payment- I ran a small estate like this and utilities all in could be as much as 1500$ a month, depending on the season.”
“Once you give them any money at this scale, you never escape – they always want more for SOMETHING, and now you’ve literally invested, so they know you’ll capitulate eventually.”
“NTA – your parents do not respect or sound like they even like you, man. Invest in a new family that likes you, I’ve had to do it for different reasons, and it’s hard, but so worth it.”
“You are successful enough to be happy, don’t let someone else steal that from you for a dream that they themselves can’t even afford.”~ScheonTreaumer
“NTA. They distanced themselves from you when they didn’t need anything from you, but now they need money so they’re expecting you sweep it all under the rug and fall in line.”
“You made the right choice.”~OriginalMisphit
“NTA. Even if they treated you well, it can be tricky buying a home with someone that is not your SO.”
“Adding in the context of how they have not treated you well and negatively impacted your mental health, you definitely do not want to have something like a co-owned house with them that would make it hard to keep your distance from them as needed.”
“On a side note, where are you that you can get a gated, 5k square foot house for $500k?!?! And why would two people ever need that much space? That is crazy.”~RamenNoodles620
“NTA. Also Indian American here and this is some classic brown parent bullsh*t. It’s ALL for the flex.”
“They’re emotionally manipulating you, but probably telling all the Aunties and Uncles how great you are to one up their kids.”
“Don’t give them the money. Choose yourself. As brown kids we’ll always have love for them because of all their ‘sacrifices,’ but we gotta acknowledge toxic environments when we see them.”
“If you have any thoughts of this being a way to fix your relationship with them, forget it. The relationship will only mend once they’re willing to own up to their behavior.”
“I’m sorry they’re putting you through this, and I hope you focus on yourself and mental health. Man I’ve been there.”~ABigBrownBear
All agree with OP, he was right to remove himself from that situation.
Hopefully his life outside that of his parents is rich and fulfilling, and he will be able to one day mend that relationship. Until then, he is keeping himself safe by leaving them behind.