Losing a parent is one of the hardest things a kid can go through.
And, even if you get an amazing stepfamily they can never truly take the place of the person you lost. But you can learn to live with the grief and make space for other people in your life.
But Redditor aitaclassiccarwoes encountered an issue with her son. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment on a hypothetical question.
“AITA for selling my late husband’s classic car instead of gifting it to my son?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My late husband (passed away in 2013) was a classic car guy. He bought and sold them since he was a teenager as a hobby.”
“After he passed away, I kept his favorite car. My brother-in-law would come by and maintain it for us and sometimes take it to shows.”
“My son would often go with his uncle to shows and when my son got his license he was allowed to occasionally drive the car when either I, his stepdad (I remarried in 2017) or his uncle was able to go with him.”
“Unfortunately, the past 2 years were very difficult for us. My husband got very very sick and was in the ICU. He almost didn’t come back home.”
“Between the medical bills and him being out of work—we have gotten into a substantial amount of debt.”
“I called my BIL and gave him first option to buy the car. He declined to purchase but said he would put feelers out and see if he could find someone. He did.”
“I told my son we would have to sell the car, and he did not take it very well. To be frank, he threw a temper tantrum bigger than any he had as an actual toddler.”
OP’s son took it personally.
“He says I have no right to use his ‘inheritance’ to pay for my husband’s medical bills. I explained to him that he doesn’t get any inheritance until I die anyways and that I wasn’t going to let our family suffer over a car.”
“That selling the car is what will allow us to keep the family home and help him pay for his education. I apologized and told him if there were any other options I would have taken them, but this is just the way life works out sometimes as sucky as that may be.”
“He says that my husband and stepson are not his family and has since stopped talking to his stepfather and stepbrother completely and I am lucky if I get more than a word out of him.”
“AITA for selling the car to pay off medical debts and rebuild our savings?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was the a**hole.
“I know how hard medical debit can hit a family, it must have been terrible. But from your son’s perspective you got rid of his father’s prized possession to pay off your new husband’s debt.”
“I don’t know how you thought your relationship with him (or moreover his relationship with his stepdad) was not going to suffer.”
“I think YTA for downplaying your sons feelings as a ‘temper tantrum.’ You took away a link he had to his dead father, of course he’d be upset. You phrased having to sell the car as the right move for the ‘family.'”
“But your husband and stepson are your family, and you took something something precious from your son’s family to sustain your new family. As a 3rd party adult, I understand why you made this decision. But if I was your son, it would take a lot of work to repair this rift.”
“To everyone saying ‘so you’d have them live in the car, be homeless, on the streets’ etc… I never said that she should have kept the car and lost the house. I said she’s an a**hole for dismissing her son’s grief.”
“And that as an impartial adult I may understand why she had to sell the car, but I doubt a grieving teenage boy would and their relationship may very well be damaged by her actions.” ~ Lola-the-showgirl
“Going on the ‘pay for your education’ comment too, I’m assuming the son is not yet 18 and therefore still has college to pay for in the future. To dismiss a literal child’s feelings in such a way is abhorrent.”
“It’s an incredibly difficult situation but she’s completely dismissed her son’s feelings and the fact he’s lost his father and the main sentimental link he had to him.” ~ ausernamebyany_other
“She actually emptied his entire college fund already. One his father presumably contributed to. So I don’t know how she’s claiming she’s paying for his education when apparently they’re still in a position where they’re going to lose the house.” ~ AmbiguousWeariness
“What the hell? She spent her kids college fund on her new husband AND sold his dad’s car to pay for her husband too?! I know medical bills are a problem in the US but this is ice cold. Would not be surprised if mom doesn’t hear from her son once he turns 18.”
“I knew American health care debt was bad, but you’ve opened my eyes as to just how truly sickening the problem is. I still stand by the opinion that OP could’ve handled talking to her child better so NAH is my final conclusion, other than the American health care system which is the biggest a**hole of all.” ~ ausernamebyany_other
OP added some edits.
“Since a lot of people have asked – No. My husband did NOT have any specific instructions for what to do with the car. He had a bit of a revolving door of cars.”
“Bought and sold one a year it seemed. We had 3 at the time of his death. 2 were sold right away and kept this one because it was the most valuable and the one my husband had held onto for the longest.”
“This will probably be the last I post on this thread. Seems that judgements are mixed. Lots of YTAs and NTAs.”
“I feel like shit about it, I hate that my son is hurting. However, I don’t believe that anything I did was a real true a**hole move.”
“We were/are in a tough spot. Life happens and we did what we needed to do.”
“FWIW, when I referred to my son having a ‘temper tantrum’ that is my own personal venting about his reaction. I have NEVER let my son onto those feelings of mine.”
“To give a clearer picture of the financials: I have been on disability since my son was 3. I am physically incapable of working more than part time (which I do) and I get a small disability payment.”
“Yes, we have health insurance, however my husband’s medical bill is literally in the SEVEN. FIGURE. RANGE. We owe a shit ton and will be paying it off for years.”
“The big problem has been being with so little income for so long, we had living expenses, attorney fees, insurance premiums and the like. Stuff that needs paid NOW.”
“We were hoping that my husband’s disability claims (and the back payments) would have gone through before home foreclosure loomed.”
“We would have been able to catch up and pay back some from the savings we had to borrow from (our emergency fund, retirement, and college funds). Still waiting on that to come through (thus the attorney fees).”
“Either way, husband will be getting back to work soon. We are keeping our home. We have a plan for both kids so their college will be paid for. We will be OK.”
“My son previously had a good relationship with his stepdad and stepbrother.”
“I will be speaking to my son about going back to speak with his grief counselor/or doing some family therapy to work through this.”
“I am sure we will all get through this with time.”
Seems like OP should’ve had a longer conversation with her son before the car was sold.