Breakups and divorces have a tendency of being really messy and bringing out sides to people we didn’t know were there.
But sometimes there are exceptions when an ex-partner really needs help, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor CandyPopss decided he had no other choice but to help his ex-wife when she came into financially hard times.
But when his current wife completely disagreed, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was wrong for stepping in.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for buying my ex-wife a new car and helping her with some bills, which made my wife mad?”
The OP sympathized with his ex-wife’s financial situation.
“My ex-wife was a SAHM (Stay-at-Home Mom) during our 16-year marriage.”
“Since we got married very young, she has very little job experience and is now in her 40s.”
“She works at a diner as a waitress currently.”
“She no longer receives alimony from me since she remarried, automatically stopping the payments which were originally lifetime, due to the fact that she was in her mid-30s with no education or job experience.”
“Now that they divorced, she’s had to get a job, since unlike with me, she didn’t get hardly any spousal support from her last husband. But the thing is, she doesn’t make enough to really do much of anything.”
The OP wanted to help his ex-wife out.
“I have a lot of disposable income (likely more than people reading this would be willing to believe), and she has no disposable income.”
“She fell way behind on bills and reached out to me as a last resort.”
“So I asked my wife, thinking she’d say okay. She did not.”
“Almost immediately after this conversation, my ex and her car were involved in an accident.”
“She had a hospital bill which totaled 77k.”
“I paid that expense, along with buying her a new car, and I gave her e-money to catch up on bills, with extra to pay her monthly expenses until she gets back on her feet.”
The OP’s wife was furious.
“My wife was p**sed when she found out. She claims my ex needs to, ‘fend for herself.'”
“But my ex is only in this position because she had to drop out to take care of our baby and ended up just staying home.”
“When we split, she didn’t have the credentials to make a living wage.”
“I had quite literally no choice. I told her It would be cruel to watch the woman, who enabled me to get to where I am, suffer.”
“She lost it and now won’t talk to me.”
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 said the OP was incredibly kind of acknowledging his ex in this way.
“OP is being a stand-up guy by acknowledging that the ex is in this mess due to her past with him. I’d be proud of being married to a man who thought this way.” – psychotica1
“The wife wasn’t okay with him helping the ex, before the accident. He didn’t ask about the car or hospital bills because they happened after that conversation.”
“Obviously, he can afford to do it, and his current wife should be happy that she’s married to such a good man. If she hadn’t remarried, she’d have gotten lifetime alimony. I say NTA.” – Apprehensive-Bee-474
“I can see how your current wife might be bothered by this, but at the same time she’s the mother of your child and you had the ability to help.”
“Personally, I’d prefer my husband not to be selfish if this were a situation we were in.” – mercifulalien
“He acknowledged this woman took the short straw to drop out of college and the workforce to take care of their child.”
“He acknowledged that this left her at a disadvantage in life to be able to go out and support herself.”
“And in all that time, he was able to still go on to be successful, and he acknowledged that the sacrifice of her future was at least in part a reason for that.”
“AND he refuses to let her suffer when he can easily help her, because of those sacrifices she made that enabled him to get to a place where he can drop $100k without batting an eye.”
“This dude couldn’t be more of a stand-up guy in my book!” – Positive-Parsley-985
Others suggested the wife was more upset about who was receiving the money than what was spent.
“Unless there was something OP omitted, which I guess is possible because he didn’t really explain their current relationship with the ex, his current wife is an a**hole.”
“It also sounds like the ex didn’t reach out until she was truly f**ked and had no other choice. Nothing in the post even sounds like the ex has been close to greedy at all.”
“The wife really has no legitimate reason to dislike her besides pettiness over her being an ex or the mother of OP’s child, which means she can’t be his everything and the ex will always be around.”
“I still consider the wife an a**hole, at least as OP had described the situation here.” – letstrythisagain30
“She’s being not only unfair but honestly selfish and possessive. It’s not a good look.”
“That’s her husband’s child’s mother she’s in some nonexistent competition with. The fact that she expects OP to just forget about her is possessive and cruel.” – Ehgender
“Clearly, the money was a non-issue, his current wife just wants to stick it to the ex (with a heavy dash of ‘she should’ve pulled herself up by her bootstraps,’ conveniently forgoing the fact that the ex-wife had to saw them off to raise her children and let OP build his wealth).”
“If all shared necessities and responsibilities were taken care of, then each person’s individual income should be spent the way they see fit, barring any ethical, legal, or moral issue.”
“If my husband were to leave his ex-wife, and by extension his children, in a hard place when we were both comfortable enough to do something about it and it wasn’t her fault, I would be very disappointed in him.” – BadTanJob
“There’s a couple of ways I see this honestly.”
“OP was a little bit of an a**hole for going ahead and covering these expenses for his ex after his current wife had already said she wasn’t okay with it.”
“77k+ a new car is a LOT of money, and in a marriage, those kinds of financial decisions should always be discussed and agreed upon before action was taken.”
“He spoke to his wife, she told him no, he did it anyway, seemingly behind her back. YTA here.”
“OP’s wife, on the other hand, was a bit of an a**hole for not being more compassionate to his ex.”
“Whether she likes it or not, OP and his ex were married for 16 years and it sounds like they share children. Of course, he’s still going to care about her to some degree if things are amicable.”
“I can understand her being uncomfortable with his ex’s bills being so high, but to say ‘she needs to fend for herself’ is completely unfair. His ex was held back by a lack of work experience and was in dire straits.”
“Even if his wife was uncomfortable dishing out all that money, she could have at least been open to finding some other way to help and give support to the mother of her husband’s children. NTA here.” – leftytrash161
Concerned by how angry his wife was with him, the OP wondered if he was wrong for helping his ex-wife, but the subReddit urged him not to worry.
He had done the right thing by acknowledging his ex-wife’s life was a direct product of helping him out, not to mention being the mother of his child.
To not do something when capable is truly an example of being unkind.