It’s nice when your family steps in to help you out.
Most of the time.
While we always want to acknowledge a nice gesture when friends or family provide a service.
However, when these same friends and family force this service on you without you asking for it, it can be difficult to show gratitude or appreciation.
Such was the case for Redditor xoAndreaxo, who came home from her honeymoon with her husband to discover his parents did a small renovation to their home.
One that not only did they not ask for, but which also wasn’t exactly a loving gesture, leading to some unfortunate tension.
Wondering if she and her husband were being ungrateful, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for refusing to pay a bill my in-laws stuck us with?”
The OP explained how she and her husband returned from their honeymoon to discover a slightly unwanted change her in-law’s provided to their home, which turned out not to be provided.
“I (31 F[emale]) and my new husband (33 M[ale]) are in a bit of a dilemma with his parents.”
“For context, our wedding was around 2.5 weeks ago and we immediately left for our honeymoon.”
“We provided both of our parents instructions on how to get into our home in case of EMERGENCY.”
“I will do my best to recount the story with zero emotion, from a neutral perspective, and stick to the facts so that I don’t influence your decision.”
“We returned from our honeymoon to a new garage lift installed on our home.”
“We did not need or want a new garage lift and it wasn’t even on our radar of things to fix.”
“The previous one in place worked completely fine, although a bit old.”
“His dad was super excited about it and we did find it to be a crossed boundary on its own, but then he handed us the bill and said it is due in a week.”
“We obviously did not budget for this and my husband told his parents that.”
“They did not care and told us to figure out a way to pay, even suggested using some of our wedding gift money to pay the bill.”
“About a week ago, his dad said that he understood where we were coming from, that it was his idea to do the garage and that it was a gift so he would cover the payment.”
“Please keep in mind that we’ve said NOTHING about the crossed boundary.”
“Last night, they called us on speakerphone and his dad asked if we had paid the bill yet.”
“We said that we had not as he told us he would pay.”
“His mom yelled ABSOLUTELY NOT!”
“The parents are going on a trip over Thanksgiving so in an attempt to get them to empathize with our situation, my husband asked how they would feel if we made a change to their home on something they hadn’t budgeted for or even needed while they were away and handed them the bill upon return.”
“His mom hung up the phone and has blocked his calls ever since.”
“She texted him this morning saying “you are RUDE!”
“Dad and I do NOT deserve this disrespect and we are DONE with you’.”
“Am I completely effing nuts or are we the a**holes?!”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed they 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 and her husband were in no way the a**holes for refusing to pay for the new garage lift installed by his parents.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s parents overstepped by installing the garage lift without consulting them first, and if they were the ones who installed it then they should be the ones who paid for it.
“A gift doesn’t come with a price tag.”
“They, the parents, made the purchase, they, the parents, are responsible for paying.”
“I would call the company that installed it and tell them you did not contract nor authorize this work.”
“They need to collect payment from the people/parties who hired them.”
“Which you do not do.”
“You are right, your husband’s parents have no perspective or boundaries.”
“The mother’s reaction when their son tried to illustrate their inappropriate behavior says it all.”
“Last of all, your should stay out of it.”
“You and hubby seem to be on the same page.”
“Let him deal with them.”- GarysCanary
“GIRL THE TRASH TOOK ITSELF OUT.”
“His parents but mother mostly did this garage install to assert her dominance.”
“So now you change the garage code, change the locks to your house.”
“I would go a step further and block her number.”
“See she is calling him disrespectful and rude and saying she is done with him to try to make him think he was wrong.”
“She hopes if she blocks him and says she is done with him that he will not only apologize to her but pay the bill.”
“See if he doesn’t do that, her assert for dominance in your home and marriage won’t work.”
“She is trying to create a precedent here.”
“Tell your husband to ignore her texts and put her on a time out for a month by blocking her number.”
“See the thing is if you rug sweep this attempt or allow her to continue her verbal assault, she will always pull this crap with you guys.”
“She needs to be taught a lesson!”
“CALL THE PLACE THAT INSTALLED IT AND DEMAND TO KNOW WHO AT YOUR HOME AUTHORIZED THIS?”
“WHY WASN’T PAYMENT TAKEN AT THE TIME OF THE INSTALL.”
“My guess is that they either paid for this with the understanding that their payment would be returned once the company received your payment.”
“OR It is a friend of theirs who they gave a sob story to.”
“I honestly think your MIL was at your house snooping around and messing with the garage opener and broke it somehow and did this to cover it up but didn’t want to admit she had been there or broke it.”- McflyThrowaway01
“Sorry, if I did not ask for something, never mentioned it and was out of town and someone came into my home without good reason and did something like that I would feel as it WAS a gift and I would not be on the hook for it.”
“ESPECIALLY if you did not budget for it.”
“That I think is the part that bothers me is that in today’s economy if it ain’t broke don’t fix it so if you were fine with what you had and it could be something way later on down the road and its off your radar now all the sudden you hand me a bill and say ‘pay this now’ I’d be like nope.”
“I did not authorize this.”
“I might as to go as far and call the company and say you came to my house, I am the homeowner, and made an unauthorized install, my in-laws called you and did not have my consent.”
“I would tell them that as a company they really should make sure they have the homeowner’s consent before doing installs and not just assuming the person calling is the homeowner.”
“Tell them I will not be paying this bill, as I did not authorize or give my consent, any further contact needs to be directed to them.”
“Your in-laws are being totally ridiculous here.”
“Yes, they were presumptuous to make un-asked for modifications to your house, then stick you with the bill?”
“Then say it’s a gift?”
“Then ask did you pay the bill?”
“By all means have a pet door professionally installed, maybe one of those expensive, motion-detected types, in their front door.”
“Especially if they don’t have any pets!”
“Then stick them with the invoice while loudly expecting gratitude.”- Justaf*kingegg
The OP later returned with an update, thanking everyone who took the time to comment, as well as clarifying a few details.
“It is such a weight off of my shoulders to have so many of you saying I’m not the AH.”
“Honestly, all I could picture is them sitting at home having the same conversation we’re having here but they think we’re the AH’s.”
“To answer some questions, the contractor is their very close friend.”
“It is his name, with our address, on the invoice.”
“Which could be why the bill wasn’t paid up front or immediately after the work was completed.”
“I’ve had a lot of questions about what I mean by a garage lift.”
“Truly, i don’t even know what it is but the box says lift master and it’s the square thing on the ceiling of the garage that lifts your garage door.”
‘Oddly, we have two and they only replaced the one side.”
“That one is much older than the other side.”
“There was zero rationale on why they decided to do this.”
“This is not new behavior at all.”
“They constantly cross boundaries and act angry/upset at our attempts at setting healthy boundaries.”
“Both sets of parents helped with our down payment, we bought the house just under a year ago, and it is my husband and my name on the deed.”
“In conversations about changes we would like to make on the house, his parents constantly say ‘we’ need to do this or ‘we’ need to do that.”
“For stuff that we hadn’t even thought about.”
“They have brought up the garage door lift before because it is old, but fully functional.”
“Sometimes I feel like they think it’s their house and that they have a say because of the down payment help, again, said it was a gift.”
“A similar incident happened this summer where his mother called a pool service for something we were fully capable of fixing ourselves and she knew we had it handled.”
“My now husband yelled at her and she punished him by ignoring his calls and texts for days.”
“It got to the point where HE apologized to HER!”
“I think I got everything but please let me know if there is any further context I can provide or questions I can answer!”
“I want to ensure everyone has a full picture of the situation!”
The silence on the part of the OP’s in-laws suggests that they may, indeed, know that they have overstepped.
And more importantly, know that they are the ones who should rightfully pay for the installation.
One only hopes they realize this before their relationship with their son and the OP becomes even more fraught.
Or before a lawyer comes into the equation.