So this one’s a little different.
The issue here isn’t really about whether or not to help someone when they are in need.
Rather, is it okay to help someone when they’ve been nothing but cruel to you?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Otherwise_Leg286 when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for not taking in my in laws and not helping them with medical bills”
“I (24M) do pretty well for myself, have my own place a stable/boring job that doesn’t require much of my attention and pays well while I work from home, have plenty of hobbies, buy nice clothes.”
“Just in general, have a pretty comfortable life. My Fiancee (26F) moved in when we got engaged about two years ago.”
“Important context is that everything is in my name.”
“And she doesn’t pay rent, only bills specific to her (like buying the things she likes to eat with her own money) and helps with some of the utility bills.”
“About 10 months back my father-in-law (56) was diagnosed with a pretty curable case of lung cancer, since he had an early-ish diagnosis.”
“But my in-laws don’t have the best financial condition, and these months of medical bills and other expenses might see them homeless and father-in-law without money to stay on his treatment.”
“My in-laws have always treated me like sh*t, and were always openly against my relationship with their daughter, to the point where they’d explicitly tell her not to bring me to family gatherings and invite her ex.”
“Things of this nature, and yes, she had my back and stopped attending said family gatherings, but she still loves her family and they mean a lot to her, so she asked if we could take them in and help her father with his treatment.”
“To which I said no, without thinking twice.”
“She asked if I can’t think on it for a few days and I replied ‘if I think on it for a few days I’ll only be more sure of my already obvious conclusion, they’re not setting foot here and I don’t care what happens to either of them.'”
“She replied saying something along the lines of us having the income to spare (and that is true, but around 70% of it is my income, not hers) and space (also true).”
“And asked me if my hobbies and spending money on myself (that kinda got me annoyed since I spend a lot of money on US not just me, although yeah, I have a few hobbies I spend on) was really more important than her family to which I simply said ‘yeah, it is”. ‘
“Now, my Fiancee didn’t blow up at me or anything. She’s not one for conflict but she called me an a**hole and has been staying last couple of days over at her parents, still calls me before bed every night but is still clearly pissed at me.”
“Very, very pissed.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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: NTA
“If fiancée isn’t paying any bills other than her personal ones, she should have a fair amount of disposable income that she could leverage to help her folks. Certainly no responsibility of op’s.”
“The in-laws have made it abundantly clear that they don’t consider him family, so it’s quite rich to now turn around and expect what would be considered a familial obligation.” ~ tdotcitygal
“That’s what gets me she is asking HIM to cut back on his hobbies to pay for HER parents that [treated him] like absolute garbage.”
“And you know that once they are in his house, they will not treat him better.”
“They will be entitled. They will demand the master bedroom because they need more space for medical sh*t, and he needs to be more comfortable because he is sick.”
“They will complain about when he wakes up.”
“They won’t respect quiet time while he is trying to work from home.” ~ babygirlrvt75
OP’s fiancee was not spared judgment.
“Sadly, she ‘should’ have a sizable savings. Maybe this will be a good wake-up call for her to save for a rainy day.”
“She doesn’t seem to respect and appreciate all you’ve done for her, and that would be the dealbreaker.”
“Her family should understand that all you have done for her was also helping them this whole time…and you still don’t get any credit.” ~ DetentionSpan
So she didn’t/couldn’t save money?!? Bc not judging, it’s her money?!?
“You saving money and paying the bills AND giving some to people who were or are hostile she calling you an ah is on you?!?”
“A life could be very long when she depends only on you while earning money and still spending it all” ~ Shnipi
A few dissenting opinions.
“Your in-laws are horrible people, but your fiancée loves them and is asking you to help bc she loves them.”
“You just told her that your hatred for them is not only more important than her love for them but also your love for her.”
“She has had your back and stopped going to events where her family has disrespected you.”
“Have her back and help them in some way bc she loves them. Do it for her.”
“She is asking for help. Your in-laws will always suck.”
“You aren’t helping them for them.” ~ Meredith_mmm
“Her parents are AHs too, don’t get me wrong.”
“But you’re just doing tit-for-tat retaliation like a child.”
“You have a chance to be kind, caring, and better than they’ve treated you for the sake of your relationship with your fiance, but you’ve chosen to be a selfish AH instead.”
“You’re refusing to help the other people in her life that mean the most to her besides you.”
“All these other people saying otherwise must be just as shallow.”
“If you really love your fiance, you would do this for her, but I’m sure she is now seeing where she stands with you.”
“Don’t expect her to stick with you while her parents become homeless and possibly die. Wow. ~” MarketingManiac208
OP returned with some additional context.
“Since a lot of people asked and some pointed out it could be important INFO, I come from a Japanese family, and she, her family and her EX are all African-American.”
“Also, another frequent question is if I know why they dislike me, I don’t, they won’t say anything to my face ever but have disliked me from day 1, and I know that they argued with my fiancee because of me several times, especially in the earlier days.”
“Well yesterday FIL and MIL where at the doctor’s the whole afternoon, so my fiancee came over for a talk and said she understands why I refuse to help them.”
“And said that being at their place just over a few days reminded her I was completely in my right to not care as even in bed with cancer, her father won’t shut up about her breaking up with me.”
“She apologized for having even asked in the first place as they don’t deserve it even if I was willing (her words).”
“She also said that while she was angry at the way I spoke about her parents possibly dying/being homeless(as many of you suggested, I apologized for the way I spoke).”
“She was angrier at herself for being just as financially irresponsible as they are a not having any money to help them herself.”
“I pointed out a bunch of issues with her financial decisions that she agreed had to change and she asked for my help with teaching her to be more financially responsible.”
“She asked if I felt used for her not paying that much around the house.”
“I said no, but if it’ll make her feel better and help her make better financial decisions, we have a couple more bills around the house she can pick up.”
“But told her to only worry about that after her father is done with treatment and for now just keep helping them with her money.”
“Then I spent a whole bunch of time explaining to her all the different resources, social programs, financial aid, and charities her parents could reach out to (like a lot of you suggested as well, thanks).”
“So they can stay afloat while FIL gets his treatment and just gave her some general financial advice.”
“I also found a buyer for their house, below market, but still, they get the money they need and can move into a cheap-ish rental that fiancee and her parents can split the rent for now.”
We’ve all heard the golden rule: treat others as you’d have them treat you.
The lesser-known inverse of that is that others will treat you in the manner you’ve treated them.
Be mindful of who your words and actions hurt.