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Struggling Dad-To-Be Upset After ‘Generous’ SIL Gifts Pregnant Wife A Car And $50k For Baby

Pregnant woman holding cash
Mike Kemp/Getty Images

Content Warning: Mentions of Financial Abuse and Neglect

As much as dating and love are meant to be fun and are typically seen as major milestones for growing up, not every relationship is meant to last, and not every relationship is healthy.

And sometimes, it’s much easier for our loved ones to see that a relationship is bad for us than for us to realize it or accept it, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor GlumMushroom9804’s wife was the breadwinner in their household, but because she was struggling with a complicated pregnancy, she was currently on bed rest, and since he’d lost his job two years prior, that left them in financially dangerous territory.

But despite their needs at home, the Original Poster (OP) could not accept the help of his sister-in-law when she attempted to help get them back on their feet and to prepare them for their baby.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my wife to return it all?”

The OP and his wife were going through a rough time financially.

“My pregnant wife (26 Female) and I (35 Male) are really struggling at the moment as I lost my job (two years ago) and my wife had to quit her job as she’s suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. We’ve used up our savings and currently are living off our credit cards but I’ve got a job lined up, starting in March.”

“We’ve been together for five years and married for three years. I’ve had difficulties with employment due to my mental health, and my wife has always been the main breadwinner. So the salary difference at times has been significant, but right now, there’s no salary to speak of.”

The OP’s sister-in-law (SIL) was very protective of his wife.

“My wife is very close to her sister (31 Female), and a few days ago she confided in her that we are struggling.”

“Her sister has never liked me but has always been polite to me. She has always kept me at arm’s length despite my attempts at trying to foster a warmer relationship.”

“A few days ago, my sister-in-law came to visit while I was out with friends (only for a few hours), and she was appalled at the state of the house and the lack of baby supplies, as the baby room was bare bones and we hadn’t bought many baby things.”

“When I arrived back home, she gave me a lecture on taking better care of her sister and scolded me for not getting ready for the baby.”

The sister-in-law did what she felt the OP should have already been doing.

“The next day, she came back, and she had bought things for the house and the baby.”

“My wife also told her that we had to sell her car to pay off some bills and rent.”

“Again, my SIL had to show off, so she bought her a car.”

“To top it all off, on Sunday, she sent her 50,000 dollars and then texted her this: ‘This is your money and your baby’s. Do not use it on that man. If you need more, tell me, and I’ll send more. And remember, wherever I am, there’s a home for you.'”

“My wife was showing me the money her sister had sent and the text came in while I was looking at the banking app. Yes, I clicked on it to see what she wrote; she was right there with me and we are no strangers to reading each other’s texts.”

This led to an argument between the OP and his wife.

“I feel like her sister trying to make me look like a failure, and I expressed that to my wife.”

“My wife and I argued, and in a fit of anger, my wife said that I only feel like a failure because I’ve been failing.”

“She has apologized since, but I responded by telling her to return everything her sister gave her in the last few visits. I still stand by that as I feel like accepting her sister’s so-called generosity is a way to manipulate my wife into thinking I’m a bad husband and an admission of guilt on my part.”

“I just feel like her sister is such a man-hater! She doesn’t want us to be happy. She’s very manipulative and so doesn’t really come out and insult me to my face, but she always figures out a way to show her disapproval and my wife really values her sister’s opinions.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said they understood the concerns the SIL and wife both had about the OP.

“They’ve also been together for five years, since they were 21 and 30. They got married at 23 and 32. And then this 33-year-old man let his 24-year-old wife completely financially support him for two whole years while he ‘looked for work.'”

“The wife stopped being able to work five months ago. He’s only NOW getting a new job in MARCH. What’s he been doing this whole time? Why couldn’t he deliver food or something like other people?”

“No wonder the sister hates him. He’s older than she is (she being the sister), and can’t f**king support himself.” – An-Adult-I-Swear

“The SIL is the MVP here.”

“OP and his wife have a nine-year age gap and started dating in the wife’s early 20s.”

“OP hasn’t worked in two years. OP’s wife, the breadwinner, can no longer work due to pregnancy complications.”

“OP and wife (being generous with the ‘and wife’ part here) decided to sell the wife’s car, meaning the wife lost her ability to leave their home independently. OP’s wife likely has no savings left since they’re living on credit cards.”

“There’s nothing in the nursery, and they don’t have money to buy the things they need for their baby. Plus the pregnancy was unplanned.”

“OP is JUST NOW getting around to being employed. OP is not stepping up with keeping the house clean while he’s unemployed and while his wife is dealing with pregnancy complications.”

“If this whole list of problems (specifically OP’s wife not having any savings or transportation or a clean home environment while she’s on bedrest) isn’t setting off all the alarm bells, I don’t know what would. I just can’t imagine why the SIL would have any issues with her BIL (sarcasm).” – baffled_soap

“YTA if you make your wife return everything.”

“Good for you for having a job lined up for March. However, this is February. What are you doing in the meantime for income? Door Dash? McDonalds? Walmart cashier? What?”

“Saying you’re a ‘failure’ is harsh; however, from your post, it appears that you haven’t stepped up as the only provider for the family, and you need to. Once the baby arrives, there are no ‘givebacks’ and a baby’s needs come first.”

“In my opinion, your SIL was being very kind in not only providing things for the baby and the house (which you hadn’t) but also in providing transportation AND money. Instead of trying to find fault with your SIL, perhaps you should be writing her a sincere thank you letter, for stepping up and providing when you can’t.” – MissSuzieSunshine


“What a generous and caring thing your SIL did! She wasn’t asked to do that. She did it because she wanted to. She may not love you but she sure as heck loves her sister.”

“You need to thank your SIL.”

“Also, the only person who can make you feel like a loser is you! You have control of your own thoughts and feelings; therefore, you choose how you feel. Why didn’t you apply for unemployment benefits? Did you get fired? If you get laid off or downsized, you qualify for unemployment. If you got fired, you don’t. So which is it?” – BarnGodess

“I feel like the OP could be looking for ways to not let his wife leave, like selling her car instead of his, and the fact he demanded his wife return this safety net could also fit into that picture (because abusive spouses don’t like their victims having safety nets…).”

“Granted, it could also really just stem from a hurt ego, but either way, OP needs to swallow his pride here since the money seems to be without strings attached (as I’m sure he’d have included it if the sister had demanded any concrete action in return, but she only said not to spend it on OP, which is fair if it’s a gift for wife and baby), and seems to be desperately needed.” – Miro_the_Dragon

“There’s zero chance that she told her sis ‘not to share it with that man,’ without him earning the comment. He sounds financially abusive. He probably provides nicer things for himself than for his wife. He just sounds like the kind of guy who likes to take and take and take any happiness or security away from his wife because he’s a broken and empty vessel.” – flamingoflamenco17

Others urged the OP to also be more mindful of his wife’s condition and needs.

“Yes! Make her return everything.”

“I mean, why not? It’s not like you have no money, it’s not like your wife had to sell her car, it’s not like the nursery was bare, it’s not like the house was a mess (do you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum too? What’s preventing you from cleaning?), it’s not like you were completely unprepared for the arrival of a child, it’s not like you lost your job at the worst time, and it’s not like your sick and pregnant wife is feeling completely vulnerable and helpless…”

“I think you should go for it! And then be haunted by your YTA status forever!” – friedonionscent

“YTA. Time to put your ego aside and accept help, because you NEED it.”

“The sister is helping her family, not trying to make you look bad. You don’t need anyone else to do that for you. You’re doing a great job at making yourself look bad without her help.” – blueeyedwolf

“SIL is acting like a normal, loving big sister in this scenario when little sister needs help and her husband is doing the opposite of what he should be (removing the very necessary things she absolutely needs to raise his soon-to-be-here-baby).”

“Her normal behavior is showing up his very poor behavior for what it is and ‘making him look bad.’ That’s not on SIL; that’s on him.” – SamRaB

“I had Hyperemesis gravidarum when I was pregnant. The fact OP can’t f**king clean a house for her is not a good sign for their future. It’s absolute h**l where you are barely able to keep down anything, constantly weak, nauseous, and sick, nothing makes it better, and the only way to get rid of it is to have the baby.”

“She’s not going to be able to just go back to normal upon having a baby, either. Along with recovering from childbirth, HG takes a lot out of you, and while the puking may stop, you still have to recover from that, as well.”

“I ended up with 14 cavities after because all that puking actually messes up your teeth and causes a lot of other issues. I had been so undernourished for nine months, it took a long while to regain any sort of energy like I had before, and that was reflected in how I took care of my home, how I worked, and unfortunately, how I was able to mother my child in those early months. The wife isn’t going to suddenly not need the OP when the baby’s born; she’ll need him more.”

“Also, his wife shouldn’t be doing any of the deeper cleaning while pregnant anyway she doesn’t need to be near those chemicals. She really shouldn’t be up and around at all, even if she were cleaning with water! She’s supposed to be on BEDREST for a REASON.” – lysstheb***hcalore

“The OP initially omitted the fact that he hasn’t been employed in over two years. I’m sure that there is little faith in his ability to actually keep the new job and the sister is just trying to ensure his wife doesn’t get dragged down by the dead weight she’s been carrying for years.”

“The fact that he’s demanding she return it speaks volumes about his other behavior in the marriage. He doesn’t have too much pride to let his wife support him but blames pride for his resentment of this generous gesture.”

“I think he’s actually just p**sed that he can’t use the money himself and is playing the childish game of ‘if I can’t have it, you can’t either.’ I think YTA is just focused on his current behavior, but a rating of YAA (you’re an AH, period) seems more accurate.”

“Hopefully, the wife has a good head on her shoulders and tells him to back off with the controlling, selfish behavior, along with refusing to allow him access to spend the money on himself. I’ve got a friend with a perpetually unemployed husband who became extremely abusive, seemingly as a means to regain some feeling of control when he had very little as a result of his own preference for video games overworking, ever.”

“Hopefully, the impending lack of assistance with the newborn is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and she bails on this guy in the near future. It sounds like the house was probably in a bad state beyond just the lack of baby stuff, likely because his wife has been unwell and he’s not helping with domestic upkeep. He’ll probably avoid child support, but she’ll still be better off raising one baby instead of two.”

“It blows my mind when people come to this sub thinking they’ll find validation, exposing a lack of self-awareness and behavior that points to a narcissistic personality. Making everything about him and his image is just another symptom. If this guy has any sense at all, he’ll call the sister, thank her profusely, and offer to do his best to pay her back.” – Beatnholler

After receiving feedback, the OP shared a brief update.

“Okay, I get it, I’m the a**hole. I’ll apologize to my wife and sister-in-law. It hurt, but thank you for the brutal feedback!”

The subReddit was totally appalled by the situation the OP’s wife found herself in… a breadwinner who is unable to work because of a complicated and risky pregnancy, now surrounded at home with a mess and unprepared nursery when she should be resting.

The OP’s sister-in-law clearly saw the problems for what they were and wanted to provide the assistance she could for the sister and future niece or nephew that she loves.

We can’t force someone that we love to exit a situation that isn’t healthy for them, but we can give them tools to make that decision for themselves and remind them we’ll be there for them no matter what.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.