It goes without saying that all divorces, including amicable ones, still come with a lot of pain.
As a result, keeping an ex as an active part of your life often brings back many of those same painful feelings and memories.
Even so, many divorced couples still do their best to stay on good terms with their former spouses, particularly parents, for the well-being of their children.
Redditor fluffllamapajama thought she and her husband had a strong marriage, which even a life-threatening illness from her husband couldn’t threaten.
Which is why the original poster (OP) was left heartbroken when her husband ended up leaving her for his high school sweetheart.
Upon learning that her ex-husband was in need of her help yet again, the OP found herself conflicted as to how much help she was willing and able to give.
Having some doubt and guilt about these feelings, the OP took to the subReddit “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“WIBTA for not having my cancer stricken ex husband stay with me through his treatment?”
The OP explained that after being her ex-husband’s primary caregiver during a cancer diagnosis, she was less than eager to do so again after getting divorced.
“For most of our marriage my husband (39 M[ale]) and I (37 F[emale]) had a very happy relationship.”
‘We had good jobs, decent money, two kids and loved each other.”
“Then he got diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and we went through years of painful treatments and recovery together.”
“We moved to a small house to be close to the research center where he underwent treatment.”
“His parents paid half of the down payment on the house, the other half was from our savings and investments.”
“In the divorce he gave me the house and took all of his medical debt.”
“We have been divorced a year, but now his cancer has come back and he needs treatment again at the same research hospital.”
“He wants to stay in what is now my house while undergoing treatment and his parents expect me to house him and look after him because he was generous in letting me have the house without taking his rightful share from the equity.”
“When we were married and he was undergoing treatment, it was new stuff that was expensive and also very physically draining on him.”
“We were lucky that both our jobs were supportive and flexible, but with his health issues, little kids and expenses, we had to downgrade our lifestyle a lot.”
“That plus the physical changes in his body made him very depressed.”
“Whenever he felt a bit better, he’d go stay in his hometown.”
“It’s a small town where most of his family and a lot of his childhood friends live.”
“I was doing all the care-taking of him, while also dealing with insurance complications.”
“I was also managing the kids, the entire household and my full time job.”
“We had help from friends and neighbors but it was very hard.”
“I wasn’t happy about him spending his healthy days away from us, but it was good for his mental health so I didn’t feel like I could object.”
“While he was staying there he had reconnected with his high school girlfriend.”
“A couple years ago he admitted to me that he was sleeping with her and I filed for divorce.”
“He had fully recovered from his cancer by then.”
“There are other aspects around the cheating that left me very heartbroken and feeling betrayed.”
“His giving me the house and taking all the debt was an apology of a sort.”
“His parents feel that I owe him for getting the house and should let him stay there for the 2-3 months his treatment is at the facility.”
“I do want him to be well and I don’t want my kids to lose a loving father.”
“But I can’t deal with having him around me, especially not if I end up being his nurse and caretaker again.”
“I am still very bitter about how our marriage ended.”
“A lot of people close to me are telling me that I should support him for the sake of my kids.”
“WIBTA if I say I can’t do that?”
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
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP would not be the a**hole for refusing to allow her ex-husband to move back into her house so he could get cancer treatment.
Everyone agreed that the OP had no obligation to open her home back to her ex-husband, even if his parents did help with the down payment, with many pointing out that his new girlfriend can be his caregiver this time.
“You received the house as part of your divorce settlement.”
“You could have gotten his retirement accounts or something similar instead of the house, if there were such assets to be had.”
“Stop thinking of the house as being ‘given’ to you.”
“It was awarded to you as part of the divorce settlement, not ‘given’ to you as prepayment for future caregiving.”
“But you getting assets from the divorce don’t entitled your cheating Ex to free housing, utilities, food, and caregiving.”
“Your Ex and his AP can find their own housing near a cancer center.”
“If it’s important to his parents that your Ex get care and housing, they can figure out how to help provide that.”
“He’s your Ex which means that it’s no longer your responsibility.”
“‘While I empathize with Ex’s plight, I won’t be housing nor providing care for him’.”
“‘Due to the circumstances of our divorce, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to provide those services’.”
“‘At this time, Ex needs the support of his family and close friends more than ever, and I am not longer either of those’.”
“‘I hope that Ex recovers from his illness quickly, and I’ll be praying for him’.”- teresajs
“Even without the cheating and whatnot, caretaking is a full time job and it’s very taxing emotionally, mentally, and physically.”
“You’re not his wife anymore.”
“You have no obligation to do this.”- justbrowsing086
“And for anyone saying you owe him, you paid your debt in full, by taking care of him and then by not raking him over the coals in the divorce, when he cheated.”
“You owe him nothing.”- Aspen_Matthews86
“Let his girlfriend take care of him.”- No-Dragonfly4661
“He cheated on you, you divorced when he was recovered, him being kind in the divorce should not mean you have to care for him.”
“Its a sad state of affairs, I guess he would like to be close to his kids while ill and going through treatment but at the same time, there should be someone else in his life who can care for and house him through this difficult time.”- B-owie
“Last time this happened you were married.”
“Now you’re not.”
“Your duty to him is one of a co parent, not a spouse, which means you just have to keep the relationship between him and the kids front of mind.”
“This doesn’t extend to you letting him into what is now YOUR home.”
“Further, when you did take care of him as your wife, he cheated on you.”
“Who knows what he will do when he is staying with you in the same position but only this time as your ex husband with really no duty to you.”
“If his parents are that concerned let them take care of him or at the very least fund that care themselves.”- Radiant_Composer_454
“Man has the audacity to cheat after you’ve been keeping the ship afloat and taking care of him and everyone else alone?”
“Sounds like karma is getting him now.”- joeswastedtime
“NTA, man is LITERALLY ENGAGED to his affair partner.”
“she can be his nurse and house him. he’s no longer ur problem.”
“May seem harsh but cheating after u sticking with him thru better or worse is more harsh imo.”- wwhatmushroom
“No, you are not his nurse, his cleaning woman, his secretary, or his chef.”
“He screwed you over when you were nothing but supportive and caring, under the guise of needing space for his mental health.”
“He’s an a**hole.”
“Did he give you the house to apologize or has he always thought he could run back into your life when he chose to?”
“You don’t owe him sh*t, and please feel free to let your former in laws know it.”- lyan-cat
Clearly, the OP cares about her ex-husband’s recovery and well-being.
However, after her husband betrayed her trust in the way he did after she made every effort to care for him, it’s easy to understand why the OP wouldn’t be eager to share a roof with him again.
One can only hope his treatment is successful.