Relationships are complex, and what might be a dealbreaker for one person may be a simple annoyance for another.
But sometimes dealbreakers don’t reveal themselves until it feels like it’s too late, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Already married to her husband and living in the home he purchased pre-marriage, Redditor Emil536775 thought everything was okay when she began working from home.
But when he demanded she pay for using his space to work in, the Original Poster (OP) began to question what they were doing.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to pay my husband to use a room in the house for my work-from-home (WFH) job?”
The OP was okay with her husband calling their house “his house.”
“I (32 Female) began working from home two months ago.”
“My husband bought the house we live in before we got together. He calls it his property, which is fine by me. The house is small and has only two bedrooms, one of which used to be empty until I started using it as an office for my work-from-home (WFH) job.”
But then he wanted to charge her rent to work there.
“All was going fine with my job until he sat me down last night, saying he’s expecting 30% ‘profit’ from whatever I get from my job since he ‘provides’ the office for my work.”
“I was completely caught off-guard by this, and I asked if he was serious.”
“He went on about it being his home and how he could be using this room for his own purpose since it’s ‘his property.'”
“I said no and called him unreasonable, which led to a blowup. I yelled at him, saying he won’t get a penny.”
“He pitched a fit and accused me of ‘taking full advantage,’ even though there’s no mortgage to be paid. I do all chores in the house as well as share pay the bills in half.”
The argument continued to escalate.
“He got his family involved in this and they’re split.”
“His mom thinks I’m being difficult and that 30% is not a huge amount and that this room is providing ‘stability’ for my WFH job and so my husband should get some sort of benefits.”
“AITA for putting my foot down and refusing to pay a penny?”
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 were appalled by the husband’s mindset about his own marriage.
“I’d be rethinking my marriage if my partner expected me to pay rent on a space that is our shared home.”
“I think most things can be worked out, but this ask is just unreasonable period and the fact he got his family in on it to try and bully her into a price gouge of rent when he does already benefit from her income is what tipped me in favor of rethinking the relationship.” – Pro_Choice_Pagan
“With him constantly calling it HIS house, I would seriously be rethinking this marriage as he’s already at Strike 2.” – ConsequenceLaw5333
“NTA. Soooo many huge red flags here. I would be out of the marriage if it were me.”
“That’s an extremely toxic way of thinking he has. You two are supposed to be partners who support each other and have each other’s backs. Sounds like his primary purpose is looking out for himself.” – rbslmilch
“The husband getting his family involved in this is another indication of the flimsiness of the marriage.”
“The only two people who matter in this discussion (as with any marriage matter) are OP and her husband.”
“In particular, his mother (OP’s MIL) has exactly zero standing to opine on this. She should keep her yap shut, and if she’s incapable of that, OP should give whatever she says exactly zero weight.”
“This indicates, unfortunately, that husband is still tied to mommy’s apron strings.” – Boeing367-80
“Your husband is being unreasonable and is clearly signaling to you that the house you live in is not your home. That is not a situation I would want to be in, personally.”
“Does he charge you rent for use of the bathroom and shower? Do you charge him for sex?” – whorfin2022
“NTA. Honey, he will always hold that he owns the home over your head. You’d be better off moving into a tiny cheap bedsit or a house share and saving for your own place than paying him 50% of bills and then an extra 30% of your wages.”
“That he is discussing stuff with his mum isn’t good, either. A third of your wages is a huge amount. All the housework, too? Oh, honey.” – Which_Pudding_4332
“NTA, oh my god, just go. He’s a transactional nightmare and it’s not your home, he can kick you out tonight and you’ve got nothing. He’s using you, and you do all the housework?”
“NOPE, please make sure to not have a child with him, I can’t imagine how much worse it will get.” – whatsmypassword73
“Tell him you’re going to go start going back into the office to work so he can stuff that 30% malarky. Unless he somehow thinks he deserves that as well.”
“Also, since it’s his property, he can d**n well do all the chores himself.” – 003b6f
“Oftentimes, abusers like OP’s garbage husband don’t show their destructive nature until the jaws of marriage have clamped down on their spouse. Abuse isn’t always screaming and yelling out the gate. Most of the time, it creeps up like poisonous gas slowly filling a room.”
“It breaks my heart every time a woman posts here about the outlandish way her husband is trying to profit from her and it’s so obvious she has no support system to rely on.”
“Like hun; he’s not going to change. He’s not going to ‘come around.’ He’s not going to grow up and realize he was asking something wildly inappropriate of you and apologize and promise to do better and then build bespoke shelving in that empty room so you can have a more efficient home office.”
“He IS going to grumble and emotionally punish you by way of withdrawal. He’s going to sic his family of flying monkeys on you and be passive-aggressive and criticize your capabilities as a wife.”
“He’s going to start bargaining with you and demand you do more housework to compensate for what you refuse to pay him. He’s going to potentially tamper with your work, sabotage and bully you until you feel like a tourist in the home, and then migrate back to your office in town.”
“The more enmeshed you get with this guy, the harder it will be to leave. OP, take this as the pace car now and just leave him.” – addisonavenue
Others urged the OP to financially separate from her husband immediately.
“Time to immediately stop paying bills and doing all the housework. Move into your office. If he wants to treat you like a tenant, act like one.”
“Do not combine your money with his. Pay him the going rate of the tenancy.”
“Start looking for a new place to live because this marriage is over. It’s just a financial agreement to him.” – tatersprout
“I’m thinking a HUSBAND asking for 30% of profits from a room that was empty prior already has gone nuclear.”
“I would never be married to a man who charged me rent in a home he had no mortgage on. I would go rent an office or, better yet, move out and get an apartment on my own.” – TBdoggies
“Consider separating finances as soon as possible, because it seems your husband might be desperate for money (gambling? overspending? pending job loss?) or the marriage is one of convenience for him (like a financial arrangement?).” – Such_Invite_4376
“This is financial abuse.”
“Get your financial ducks in a row (get copies of every financial document you can think of), keep all your decisions to yourself, and move out of his house as fast as you can.”
“Start interviewing divorce lawyers who specialize in high-conflict divorces, and be specific about the financial abuse. Document it all!”
“Good luck, and be safe OP!” – exlibris1214
“Give him a bill for all the chores you do around the house and make sure it adds up to more than your 30%. I’ll bet he changes his tune.”
“It’ll show him that if he wants this to be a transactional relationship, then you’re happy to make it one.” – randyjohnson_seagull
“OP should get her own checking account without his name on it and start saving all she can.”
“He doesn’t like her getting her financial independence. Once OP pays her half of the bills and gives him the 30% salary fee for the spare room, she has nothing left. This is how OP’s husband wants it.”
“OP should not let herself be put into that situation as he will further abuse her.” – cloudsitter
“NTA. Divorce him and take half the house. See if he thinks that is fair.” – PotatoLover-3000
“Is he charging you for using the kitchen? The bathroom? The living room? So why the heck should he charge you for the empty spare room?”
“Also, if you do all the chores, what does he do? Try telling him that you’re going to start charging him for the laundry or the dishes to provide ‘stability.’ NTA.” – Ksanral
“NTA. You’re his wife, not a tenant. There’s something very controlling about this, and it gives me the creeps. What does he need or want the money for?”
“If you save your profits, then you can contribute financially if you move to a bigger property. If you give the money to him, then you wouldn’t be able to contribute (as much) and he’ll always be able to hold it being his property over you.” – geordiehippo
The subReddit was concerned for the OP and her living situation, as they increasingly believed that this was a transactional relationship for the OP’s husband rather than a romantic one.
They hoped that the OP would make other arrangements for herself going forward, because this clearly wasn’t the best place for her to be.