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Guy Cancels Trip With Wife After She Spent Her Share Of Expenses Helping Ex And Adult Son

Woman crying over suitcase in waiting room.
aire images/Getty Images

When a friend or a family member is struggling financially, our first instinct is often to help them.

Unfortunately, giving people money can be a rather dangerous thing to do.

While some don’t take this generosity for granted and even pay back the loan with no time to waste, others might see this as a crutch of sorts and expect one loan to be the first of many.

The wife of Redditor cancelledvacation found herself constantly lending money to her adult son and ex-husband, both of whom were constantly struggling to find work and stay afloat.

While the original poster (OP) initially didn’t have a problem with it, his tolerance began to shrink with each loan.

And when the OP’s wife made lending them money a priority over their own personal finances, the OP felt there was only one way to teach his wife the lesson she needed.

Worried he had gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for cancelling a vacation because my wife can’t pay her share after helping her adult son and ex-husband?”

The OP explained how after his wife once again gave her adult and ex-husband another sizable loan, she needed to face the consequences for her actions.

“My wife(44 F[emale]) makes quite a bit less than me(45 M[ale]) so our joint expenses are split 70/30.”

“For the most part, things like vacations and where we bought a house are decided based on what she can afford, but there have been several times I’ve paid in full for vacations to places I really enjoy and wanted to share the experience with her.”

“She has a 23y/o son from her previous marriage.”

“When she and I got together, I told her I wouldn’t mind paying extra for things here and there until her son was 18 and working or in school so she could take care of him.”

“For the majority of our relationship, he has lived with his father.”

“He decided against college or trade school and hasn’t expressed any interest in starting to figure out a plan for the immediate future, let alone his life.”

“He floats from job to job, and his father is pretty much the same since the kid graduated.”

“Therein lies the problem: every few months, they’ll call her for a few hundred dollars here, a few hundred there, 20 bucks this week, 80 the next.”

“Sometimes it’s her son calling for help. Sometimes it’s her ex-husband.”

“This has caused her to be short on funds for our plans or things she volunteered to cover on more than one occasion.”

“Her reasoning when it’s her ex asking is that since their son still lives with him, she has to help him.”

“I get that to a point.”

“We were supposed to go on a vacation later this month.”

“Nothing major or fancy but just time away.”

“We had agreed to split the cost, and all that was left to pay for were the hotels, rental car, and some reservations.”

“Her ex-husband called needing help getting his car out of impound and getting caught up on rent.”

“Their son hasn’t been able to get to work without the car because he doesn’t want to ride a bike or take a bus.”

“Almost five grand later, they’re set up, but my wife told me she can’t pay for her portion of our vacation, so I told her I was canceling it.”

“She called me a heartless a**, that she’s just taking care of her son and we’ve been arguing over it but my stance is this: they’re both able-bodied adults that keep making a series of life decisions that keep them at a standstill (like quitting jobs over little things, smoking, going out) and her always digging them out of their hole is starting to impact our lives more and more, and I didn’t sign up for that.”

“She contributes 30% of her pay to our joint expenses: bills/utilities, emergency fund, retirement.”

“70% of her pay she keeps for her personal expenses and to spend or save how she wishes.”

“Dates, vacations, and fun things we choose to do together are budgeted and planned based on what we can afford from our personal funds.”

“Pool that money together than pay together.”

“AITA for canceling our vacation instead of just footing the entire cost myself?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for canceling their vacation.

Everyone agreed that the OP was teaching his wife the perfect lesson about managing finances, and also agreed that his wife was not helping her son and ex-husband by constantly lending them money but rather enabling them.


“All of these comments talking about a house fund like that solves the problem.”

“She has already established she can’t budget HER money, let alone something you contribute to as well.”

“What are you supposed to do when she takes from the house fund for her ex and son.”

“People are delusional.”- TophEsauruS


“Wife is supporting two fully capable adults who find it easier to get handouts than work a steady job or make reasonable decisions about spending.”

“It appears she will continue to do this unless she’s shown real-world consequences.”-extinct_diplodocus


“She has crossed the line from ‘helping her son’ and is well into ‘enabling her son AND her ex.'”

“You’re right that they’re both able-bodied adults, and they’re both CHOOSING to be lazy because they know your ex will give them whatever they ask for.”

“Son could have continued working but didn’t because he didn’t want to ride a bus – that is a choice, not a need.”

“Honestly, you should spend the time you would have been on vacation talking with your wife about learning the difference between helping and enabling; if she wants her son to live a full adult life, she has to accept that continuing to bail him out of unpleasant situations will hold him back.”-ProfPlumDidIt


“It would be different if your wife spent the money on her minor son (her son is a 23 y.o. adult) or a medical emergency, or any kind of emergency for her, you, or her son.”

“But it wasn’t.”

“If you keep footing the bill, you are subsiding her 23 y.o. son and ex-husband.”

“I wouldn’t be happy either.”

“Plus, it’s a vacation, not an essential expense.”- Iataaddicted25

“NTA, but this issue goes well beyond paying for vacations.”

“Your wife has clear boundary issues that must be addressed before they affect paying for necessities.”- DogSh*tBurger


“Why are you married to her, though, since she clearly puts her ex and grown son before you and your marriage?”

“She’s enabling their financial irresponsibility, and that will never change.”- ed_lv

“NTA At all.”

“You’re correct.”

“This is starting to impact your lives more and more.”

“You are under no obligation to subsidize their lifestyle.”

“And if your wife doesn’t see that by giving them money then expecting you to pay for things that she is supposed to be subsidizing them, she’s being willfully obtuse.”- rbrancher2


“Normally, I find it strange when couples are this hung up on who pays for what, but in this case, I’m with you.”

“Your wife isn’t taking care of her son. She’s enabling him.”

“It’s obviously going to be tough for her to turn the money faucet off, but she’s going to have to if her son is ever going to learn to be an adult.”- jmbbl

“I had a lot of sympathy for the wife until I reached the point where you said she dropped $5,000 for them.”

“She needs to understand that her enabling behavior is why this continues to happen.”

“And if you’re paying for more now, you’re subsidizing her charity and enabling her.”

“It sucks that the vacation is canceled, but honestly, ‘just hotels, rental car, and some reservations’ still seems like a lot.”

“NTA.”- Books-and-a-puppy


“She is wrong thinking she can give away her money and then be supported by you.”

“They are all adults and are not sick.”- bunnypt2022

“NTA, she should stop giving them money. They’ll just keep asking for more.”

“Also, I can’t afford a car, and I have to take the bus to work.”

“That’s just normal life.”- bluemercutio


“She couldn’t pay for her part of the vacation, which she agreed to a long time ago, because she’s choosing to enable bad behavior by grown adults.”

“The difference is that you’ve decided not to enable bad behavior by a grown adult (her).”-NorthernLitUp

It’s understandable that the OP’s wife would feel the need to help her son and ex-husband.

But as the saying goes, “money doesn’t grow on trees,” and if she wants to continue to lend her money to her son and ex-husband, she will have to make sacrifices in her own life.

Before she lends them any more money, she might want to stop and reflect upon the fact that she has continued to lend them money, yet their situation has yet to change one bit.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.