When family members need financial assistance, one always wants to try and help them if they are able.
But should helping out family members be an obligation?
The sister of Redditor WorldlyReading7199 certainly thought so, and she and her husband needed help with a very personal matter which was beyond their financial means.
She was quite surprised when her brother declined to help, and downright angry when she became aware of how he was spending his money.
Having second thoughts about his decision following his sister’s reaction, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
AITA for going on an expensive vacation and not helping fund my sister’s IVF?
The OP first shared the sad, very personal struggle his sister had been going through, and the expensive path she decided she needed to take in order to change it.
“My (30 M[ale]) sister(34 F[emale]) has been struggling to conceive with her husband for a few years now.”
“They recently went to a Gyno and were told they likely would be unable to without IVF.”
“Obviously she’s upset about it.”
“I don’t know their exact financial situation but she and her husband are both teachers at private schools.”
“They said their insurance doesn’t cover it at all and that they were told it would likely be about 25k all in with the medication and everything.”
“There is no guarantee of success and it could be 25k and no positive result.”
Aware that it was out of her and her husband’s financial means, the OP’s sister turned to him and her parents for help, and found herself surprised and disappointed by their responses.
“They asked me and my parents if we could help pitch in and my parents objected due to it being against their religious beliefs.”
“I’m not religious at all and don’t have any ethical objections but thats just a lot of money with no guarantee so it seems like a bad idea and I’m just not comfortable with giving that amount to a family member.”
“My wife and I work hard and we don’t want to potentially throw many away if it didn’t succeed so we told them no.”
“She was upset but left it at that (at the time) when we told her.”
Shortly thereafter, the OP and his wife made some exciting plans of their own, which his sister took as a direct slap in the face.
“Well my wife and I have always wanted to go to Europe, and now that travel is back on we decided to take a trip together.”
“I don’t use social media but my wife does and she got excited and posted on her story a confirmation of our flight being booked.”
“Well my sister saw that and then texted me saying how I was an a**hole for spending all this money on a vacation but not helping my own sister have a family.”
“At first I brushed it off as her just being upset at her situation but then today I got another mean text from her.”
Fellow Redditors weighed on 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 – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
While most of the Reddit community was sympathetic to the plight of the OP’s sister, they otherwise unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole by declining to give her money.
Just about everyone agreed that the OP was in no way obligated to put forward such a large sum of money towards his sister, and she had no right to be angry.
“It’s not your job to fund her dreams.”- Mis_Bee_Have.
“NTA: Her situation sucks but that does not mean you are obligated to help her.”
“That is a lot of money.”-Cortana_Echo
“Your dreams aren’t worth less than her dreams.”
“This is your dream and your money.”- Maleficent_Ad407.
“Having been through IVF myself, I feel for your sister.”
“She thinks you can help her and are choosing not to, and that must hurt her.”
“That said, your money is your money, she asked for help and you declined, what you do with your money isn’t her business.”
“So confronting you more than once already about your trip makes her TA.”-RecentRegister239.
“Her reproductive success/failure is not your responsibility.”- fargoLEVY13.
“You’re not obligated to give your money to your sister.”
“I feel sad she is having fertility issues, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation.”
“It isn’t yours or anyone else’s financial obligation to fund your sister’s IVF treatment since she’s the one who wants the baby.”
“And your sister is the AH for making you and your wife feel bad for spending your hard-earned money where and how you want to.”
“I’m sure you’re sympathetic to her and her husband’s plight, but if they are adamant about having IVF treatment, then they should find a way to make it happen and not guilt or berate people (especially family) into giving them money.”- Category-Some.
“NTA.. It sucks that your sister is going through this, but it’s not your responsibility to fund her IVF.”
“She’ll have to figure this out with her spouse.”
“You should not feel guilty for taking a trip that you’ve always wanted to go on.”
“She’s the AH for trying to make you feel that way.”-evilverdandi.
“NTA, it’s not your responsibility.”
“They can take out a loan, try to find a specialist who has payment plans etc…”
To those saying they can just adopt, adoption is also VERY expensive.”
“Surrogacy is even more expensive.”
“It’s cheaper (but a lot more work) to foster to adopt.”
“I have a lot of empathy for those who are infertile and have very personal experience with it, but it’s no one’s responsibility except for the couple who needs it.”- tander87.
“Your money, your decision.”
“You don’t owe anyone the gift of your money.”
“Your sister should stop trying to guilt you.”
“She’s being an a**hole.”
“Go enjoy your trip with your wife.”-countrybumpkin1969.
“How is that people feel entitled to your money? “
“This never makes sense.”-PinkFunTraveller1.
“Her infertility is her and her husbands issue and no one should be asked to fund that.”
“Take your wife on a great vacation with your hard earned money.”- fl55.
“NTA – it’s their decision, so it’s their responsibility.”
“They can choose to spend their money on what they want, just like you are.”-Valuable_Ad_742.
“It’s not your job to help her have a child.”
“She can ask her birthday gifts or and any other gifts be cash so they can put that in an account for IVF but they can’t ask you to fund their infertility treatments.”-Bakecrazy.
“You’re not required to put your dreams on hold for your sibling.”
“She and her husband, given their ages, have time to work on saving the money for this as well as looking into other options for starting a family.”- adlittle.
A few pointed out how if the OP lent money to his sister for an unsuccessful attempt, she might expect him to keep lending her money for more and more attempts after that.
“You do not owe your sister any amount of money to try and start her family.”
“If they want it as much as they say they do, they will make cut backs to their lifestyle, get extra jobs (tutoring if they both teach) etc.”
“Not expect family to pay for it.”
“First try fails, are you meant to pitch in for a second?”
“While putting everything you and your wife want and do on hold?”
“If it works and they are in the red with paying for it are you expected to then contribute towards the child?”
“Infertility sucks and I feel for them, but this isn’t a problem that you and your bank balance are responsible for.”-HunterDangerous1366.
“At the end of it all you’re not obligated to help anyone have a baby.”
“Family or not.”
“And many women have to do multiply rounds of IFV, is the 25k just from one round or multiple if the first doesn’t work?”- Chicka906543.
“Getting her pregnant is (thankfully) not your responsibility.”
“You are entitled to spend your money however you want with no excuses or explanations.”
My brother-in-law and his wife are going through this right now and they have already done 4 or 5 of these with no success.”- SilverQueenBee.
There were also those who, while still agreeing the OP was not the a**hole, did feel that the OP shouldn’t take his sister’s reaction personally, as she was clearly going through a lot.
“You’re entitled to spend your money however you feel!”
“Your sister expecting financial support is entitled and inappropriate but maybe try to let this one go, I’m sure it’s a very difficult time for her and her emotions are getting the best of her.”-emmacalgary.
One hopes the OP’s sister is able to find the means to cover an IVF treatment, or an alternative way to becoming parents.
And here’s hoping the OP and his wife enjoy their well, earned vacation.