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Guy Threatens To Take Wife Off Joint Bank Account If She Won’t Stop Supporting Disabled Sister

Husband arguing with wife holding baby
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Dynamics with siblings-in-law are often rife with complications.

Redditor No-Dirt-6358 has a sister-in-law who, while lovely and enjoyable, is a bit financially dependent on him and his wife.

This has caused some tension in his marriage, ultimately driving the Original Poster (OP) to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

He asked:

“AITA for telling my wife to stop being a pushover or I would take away her spending privileges?”

He went on to explain.

“My wife [25-year-old Female] of 5 years has a sister [20-year-old Female].” “

She’s somewhat disabled, and while this may sound contradictory, she has a condition which makes working difficult but not entirely impossible unless she is under stress (neurological condition, loses muscle control, makes her hit/throw stuff, fall over).”

“I have no problem with her sister. She is sweet and nice to have around, and my wife loves her more than anything. She basically raised her and stepped in when her parents wouldn’t or couldn’t.”

“This has led to a relationship closer to mother-daughter.”

“My wife would constantly be paying for stuff for her sister, and this made sense to me when she was a minor and was doing much worse health-wise.”

“Recently though, this has increasingly been getting under my skin. I am the sole provider for my household right now since my wife was pregnant and only gave birth recently.”

“We’d spend a lot to buy her sister gifts for holidays, which she would never return the favor – even with something cheap with thought (or no thought) put into them.”

“We’d always take her out to events or dinner and pay for her every time. She would never even pick up the bill for herself.”

“Again, wasn’t entirely an issue until she became an adult – and now I’m fed up with it.”

“She expects my sister to do things like pay for her to go to the doctor or invites us out to lunch and then expects us to pay.”

“She doesn’t even schedule her own appointments, my wife takes her wherever she asks, even if she has the ability to do it herself, and we live 45 minutes away.”

“She always talks about how she’s freelancing and is making money, but then somehow has no money whenever she needs or wants anything.”

“I did not have an issue with this either, really. I thought my wife was being a pushover, but it’s ultimately her money. Until recently.”

“Now she’s spending my money on her, and it’s really getting me angry. I want to spend my money on my daughter, but we’re spending money on this financially irresponsible leech.”

“I explained this to my wife in a much nicer way, but we ended up in a fight where I called her sister some pretty messed up things.”

“I ended the conversation by telling her I would take away her access to our joint bank account until she contributes again if she doesn’t tell her sister to grow up and that she is not her mother and she is no longer a child.”

“She cannot be dependent on people forever. I think it’s an important lesson for her to learn.”

“If she doesn’t learn it, she can get back to work and continue supporting her until she’s 40 with her own money. Not mine.”

“She honestly thinks this is an end-of-the-world situation, and I think it’s quite clear this is for the better.”

“I think she’s scared of hurting her sister, but at this point, she’s crippling her by allowing her to do nothing.”

“EDIT: I should have worded it better in my post. I just meant having the debit card and using our money on her sister.”

“Not taking away all her access to money but setting a limit or giving her cash so she can’t just get suckered into paying for stuff.”

“A lot of the criticism still stands despite this, but I want to clarify I’m not taking away her access to all the money entirely.”

“I also understand the comments about my wife being a homemaker means she is putting in equal work, so my money is her money, but we are on a single income, and we can barely afford our family’s needs.”

“I can’t give her half my salary so she can spend half of that on her sister. A majority of it goes to keeping us paycheck to paycheck right now.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“ESH – oh dear. Her “spending privileges”?!”

“I get not wanting to spend all that money on someone who seems to be almost taking advantage, but this is not how you frame this situation.”

“Edit – OP is 24. Stop with all the comments asking.” – jrm1102

“Cutting her off after one conversation sounds controlling to me.”

“The relationship between wife and sister has followed the same pattern for 20 years, and you think she’s going to reverse course after one talk?”

“I understand that you have a child now, but did you have conversations with your wife about your feelings leading up to the birth of your daughter.”

“It sounds like a switch flipped, and you suddenly felt no more handouts and then got angry when your wife didn’t instantly feel the same way.”

“I would apologize and try this conversation again. Adding that your daughter (and any future children) need to be your and your wife’s priority.”

“Instead of spending money on your sister, you should be setting up a college fund. With your wife, I would make a list of all the ways she supports her sister, then start figuring out how to outsource it.”

“Since she is disabled, there is likely social security money she can apply for. And there may be programs in the community that can help her get to appointments.”

“Set goals for getting sister independent and work towards it. YtA for exploding in her face when you suddenly felt different. Your wife’s TA for enabling her sister.” – Desperate-Tip-4730

“YTA. I get why you’re upset about your wife spending money on her sister, but you are using the fact that your wife currently does not have her own income because she just gave birth to your child in order to control her, which is an a**hole move on a whole different level.” – morgaine125

“So this sister, that is “somewhat disabled” but “not entirely impossible to work” (as long as she isn’t under stress when she literally loses physical control and can hurt herself) is someone you have “no problem” with and find nice and sweet …”

“Yet a few paragraphs later is suddenly a “financially irresponsible leech”?”

“Did anyone else get a whiplash from this change in tone?”

“Honestly, forget about the disabled sister, who your wife has as a dependent since before you were married.”

“You had an argument with your wife, who recently gave birth, and you literally threatened to cut her off your joint finances if she doesn’t do what you want or ‘she starts contributing again.’”

“And that’s why, for me, YTA.”

“She isn’t contributing because she was pregnant with your child and is now post-labor caring for it.”

“Please calculate how much would this child care cost 24/7 for the period since your child was born until the child was, let’s say, 2.”

“Can you afford to pay this out of pocket? Cause this is what your wife is contributing with right now to your household.” – atealein

“ESH. You are the TA on pulling the “my money” since I’m the breadwinner and being controlling to the point of financial abuse in cutting off joint account access.”

“Her – for continuing to enable her sister. If she can work, why on earth are you two footing the bill for allllll her own medical appointments and then social events with you two?”

“A few things – each spouse should get some money that’s theirs for discretionary spending without judgment from the other. If she wants to fund her sister out of that share, so be it.”

“Your wife needs to grow a backbone. If the sister is inviting you out, she needs to pay for her own share at a minimum.”

“It’s super tacky to expect others to fund a social life that you can’t afford.” – Snackinpenguin

“YTA because you think your wife not working after giving birth is spending ‘your’ money.”

“I’m betting your wife is doing the majority of the parenting and home duties – that’s her contribution and she’s entitled to have equal access to the money.”

“Of course, there should be agreement on large spends, regardless of who’s making the money, but you’re not entitled to her free labor and child gestating abilities.” – Elleketel

“ESH You have a very chauvinistic view towards gender roles in your marriage. Your wife isn’t taking a vacation or being lazy. She is on maternity leave for giving birth to your daughter.”

“Whatever money is coming into the household should be shared equally. Having said that, you and your wife’s primary responsibility is to raise and support your new daughter, not her sister.”

“If her sister is capable of working, she should. Where are your in-laws in this? Why can’t they help her and drive her places?”

“Your wife is setting you all up for financial ruin supporting a grown woman for the rest of her life. Why wasn’t this discussed or addressed prior to your marriage?” – pixelated_fun

Best of luck to the OP and his family.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)