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Redditor Called Out For Refusing To Split Restaurant Bill Evenly With Spouse’s Large Family

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Paying the bill has its own set of rules. The safest bet is splitting the bill either equally or just everyone pays for what they eat.

But, when the family is involved, other rules come into play.

Redditor twistoffate4 encountered this very issue with their spouse’s family. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.

They asked:

“AITA for complaining about always splitting the bill perfectly evenly with my SIL’s larger family?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My spouse and I have a 3 year old kid.”

“When eating out, my spouse and I each order an entree, along with a kids meal for our toddler. Occasionally we might order an appetizer if there’s something unique or interesting, but not always.”

“Dessert is very rare.”

“My SIL and her husband have 3 kids: 16, 12, 10. Everyone orders an adult entree, as well as one or two appetizers. 2-5 desserts are guaranteed.”

“I’ll just add that my SIL’s family have hearty appetites and the BMI to match, while we are on the opposite end of the spectrum.”

“When it comes time to pay, my SIL always insists on just splitting the bill 50/50 to make things easier, and for the past several years I’ve always obliged.”

“Until last week.”

OP was done with the agreement.

“When the server came to pick up the check and the 2 cards, I explicitly mentioned to the server that she could split it along family lines.”

“SIL gave me an ugly look, and my spouse shot daggers at me with her eyes.”

“Later that night, my spouse said I was an AH for being so cheap with family.”

“The argument is that there’s no need to be cheap especially since while everyone makes decent money, I make the most money out of all of us. In addition, we always split 50/50 with my sibling’s family (they have two kids 7 & 2).”

“I said it’s not the dollar amount, it’s the principle of always paying way more than our fair share.”

“Also, my sibling’s family orders a comparable amount of food to us, versus SIL’s family who always orders significantly more.”

“So, AITA for not to splitting the bill evenly with my SIL’s larger family?”

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 not the a**hole.

“NTA, and I’ve never understood this ‘splitting the bill to make things easier’ nonsense. It only makes things financially easier for the people who want to eat to eat/drink more and spend less.”

“Good for you for standing up for yourself, as it’s obviously that this family has been taking advantage of you.” ~ MundaneJapan

“If he wants to make sure his wife doesn’t begin to resent it, he should also get separate checks when dining with his siblings.” ~ Alice_Alpha

“Yeah, I agree that would be more fair all around.” ~ twistoffate4

“Tell your wife this is the new norm. You are ALWAYS subsidizing them a substantial amount, every time you go out, and your salary is irrelevant.”

“At the start of EVERY meal you have with them, state the bill will be split along family lines when the server first comes. Keep doing so until it’s the norm, and start again if they try to go back to it if/when you stop explicitly stating it at the start. Don’t apologize or argue, just do it, and keep calm with your wife.” ~ Lexia_extreme511

“This – I agree. Tell the server at the beginning of the meal that each family is covering its own meal.” ~ throwawayact75

“I have to admit that the petty monster in me would just once run up that bill like no one’s business. Bottles of wine. The most expensive entrees. Appetizers involving shrimp and dessert involving stuff being lit on fire. A flight of port for after dinner.”

“Once the bill is heavily tipped in OP’s favor, he offers the usual 50 percent.”

“Oh but to dream. We know it never happens, and it would cost all the extra cash one gets in a month, but we can dream.” ~ marshmallow_spencer



Separate bills seem like the way to go.

“Just speak to the server when you head to bathroom or forget something in the car and tell them that what you order is to be on a separate bill. It’ll come out with two separate receipts and by then it’ll be ‘easier’ to just pay your own receipt then splitting it again 50/50.”

“It’s also common practice for servers to ask large groups in the beginning how the bill is to be split when you order so they can do it from the beginning.”

“You can also Apple Pay/Venmo or any other form of fairly easy electronic transfer to the SIL and tell them they can pay all of it and that you’ll send them the amount from your itemized receipt at the end which is technically ‘easier.'”

“Edit: sorry I wrote this with malicious compliance vibes.” ~ thesaltyberry

“And better for the peace at home. Otherwise, anytime your sibling orders a bit more food, or the steak and lobster, the argument will come back up again.” ~ HoldFastO2

“Exactly! When ordering just say, ‘Us three will be on a separate check.’”

“Let your sibling know ahead of time and why. Her sis is just trying to get a cheap meal out of you. I bet once you stop splitting the check they won’t want to go out with your family anymore.”

“If you don’t have the dinners in your calendar, go through and try to get as many as you can in there. Then, after 6 months, when they don’t ask to go to dinner anymore you can gently bring it up to your wife the difference and that why you stopped.” ~ CJSinTX

“I mean, it can be easier depending on the circumstances. When my friends and I go out to eat, 9 times out of 10 when just split evenly because we ordered similar amounts of food. If I end up paying more than my share, I don’t worry too much because next time I might be the one who order something slightly more expensive and it all pretty much evens out in the end.”

“However, in a circumstance like OP’s where one person or group is consistently ordering more, it’s unfair and not easier.” ~ math-kat

However not everyone was in agreement. 

“ESH. Them for always wanting to split the bill evenly, you for fat shaming.”

“That comment was totally unneeded. Added nothing to the discussion other than you getting in a dig at them.” ~ starthing76

“YTA. Not for wanting to split the bill fairly, but for catching your spouse totally off guard in front of people when youknew this would be a noticeable change that could impact the social situation.”

“And for making a unilateral financial decision without their input.”

“Why didn’t you discuss your frustration with your partner ahead of time so you could reach an agreement and make the change—or whatever compromise you would have settled on—gracefully?”

“Surely you knew this would seem very out of the blue after years of something different.” ~ PoopEndeavor

“ESH for not asking for separate checks at start of meal.” ~ Cayke_Cooky

“YTA. You held onto resentment for 2 years before doing anything about it.”

“And then didn’t speak a word with your wife.”

“Of course you are the a**hole.”

“You wouldn’t have been the a**hole if you spoke to your wife after it happened a 2nd time, not two f’king years later and who knows how many dinners just suddenly splitting the bill differently.” ~ TheRatKingZadrun

“ESH. It would have been N T A if it wasn’t for that part where your spouse mentioned you always split 50/50 with your sibling.”

“That’s double standards, even if it is more similar to your own family, you’re clearly giving them different treatment.” ~ Thannis86

“YTA for pointing out their BMIs as though it has any relevance to your story. Just some fat shaming.” ~ StreetofChimes

“ESH, if only for this line: ‘I’ll just add that my SIL’s family have hearty appetites and the BMI to match, while we are on the opposite end of the spectrum’.”

“Why does that matter?”

“Separately you’re the AH because you did this without warning your spouse first, who as the sibling of SIL will likely deal with the brunt of this and should have 50/50 say in your shared financial decisions.” ~ releasethe_mccracken

“YTA. Instead of talking to your family about the problem you were having, you surprised everyone with it.”

“If the principle is important to you, talk to them.” ~ Goth_2_Boss

“ESH. I was going to say NTA, because I have four kids (two teenagers) and there is no way I would want to just split the bill ’50/50′ with someone else because I know how expensive it is for us to dine out!”

“But then you mentioned that you follow the 50/50 rule with YOUR siblings. Yes, their kids are small, but they still have two kids and when that kid does get to about 9, it won’t be the kids menu anymore.”

“And you insisted it’s the principle, not the amount, so the same principle applies.”

“Since this was something that had become routine for you all, it would have been better to discuss with your spouse first, and then at minimum, announce it when the server was first taking the order so it was not a surprise.”

“Also, it would be fair that you follow that rule with YOUR sibling as well.”

“The BMI comment was also way out of line (YTA there). Zero relevance.” ~ hanmeeva

“Dude. YTA. I mean come on. I do not think you’re being cheap just rude.”

“If you no longer wanted to split 50/50 that’s reasonable but you absolutely did not need to bring in their weight. Additionally, an entree a person, 2 appetizers and 2-5 desserts for a group of 7 (or even 5 if you definitely never participate or share ) is pretty reasonable amout food.”

“I have gone to dinner when a group of 4 and have ordered more food than that. I mean I can only imagine that this has been a reoccurring issue for you but you just failed to express your frustration.”

“If you no longer wanted to split, it would have been very easy to have the conversation about it before the meal (especially with your partner). It would have also been easier to mention the split check before ordering food.”

“I’m sure the looks the ugly looks stemmed from the change in arrangements seemingly out of nowhere and with an understanding that you are in fact passing judgment on them.”

“How could they not, it is a custom amongst your family to split the cost 50/50. You have done thus far with not only them but with the other members of your family.”

“If it was just the principle of the matter you would continue to do this in all group meals not just with your partner’s family. I really do feel as tho you have an issue with the amount of food they eat.”

“I mean if they were a ‘smaller’ family in size and number, you’d have less of an issue splitting 50/50.” ~ Quirky_Charge_1290

“ESH. Your in-laws are rude for always ordering so much more than your family does and getting annoyed that you want to split by family.”

“You are TA for changing how the bill is split without talking about it with your spouse beforehand. Your behavior is even worse if you are not willing to split bills by family with your sibling’s in the future.” ~ BetterWithLatte

OP should talk to their extended family.

But they definitely need to speak to their partner.