Money is a difficult thing.
It’s a tool, a life jacket, a ladder.
What happens, though, when money comes between sisters?
This was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Throwawayysister when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subreddit for guidance.
“AITA for not helping my sister and husband pay for their IVF treatment using my inheritance despite having no immediate use for it?”
First, a disclaimer.
“I don’t know what all info I should provide so if I miss something that you might need please do ask me and I’ll answer asap.”
Then, the cast.
“So I am 25-Female and my sister, Ella is 31F. My husband = Tom and her husband = John.”
Now, the story:
“Ella is bisexual and our parents were religious af. So when she brought home a girlffriend in high school they kicked her out. She never got an inheritance when our mum died.”
“The both of us had cut contact with our parents but I still decided to accept the money because I figured it’s the one good thing to come out of our abusive life so why not.”
“The legal side of things were finalized a week ago. Ella and John came to see me while Tom was at work and told me they wanted to talk about something important.”
“They said that they had exhausted all of their ‘fertility’ money and didn’t have enough to try ivf again.”
“I could see where this was going so I just said ‘I’m sorry Ella, I understand. I was thinking about this as well and Tom thinks this is the right thing to do too. You should have half of the money, you deserve it’.”
An equitable arrangement?
“John tells me that’s not what they wanted to talk about but that they wanted all of the money. I’m a bit taken aback.”
“Apparently half won’t be enough.”
“I tell them that I was going to use my part (or if she didn’t want the half, all of it) for my daughter’s college fund and another fund for her to use for whatever she wishes during her teen years.”
“I remind Ella that we always promised each other our children will be financially well off because we never had that growing up.”
“Where I live college is extremely expensive so despite my daughter being only 3 Tom and I wanted to start this for her.”
“I tell Ella and John all of this and Ella is just very upset at this point. John is more willing to have a conversation though.”
“She comes back from the kitchen and says i’m rubbing the fact that I’m a mother in her face. I’m angry by this point because I thought she loved my daughter like her own.”
“Ella said I was sabotaging her and that I owed her for looking after me when we were kids.”
“John said since Ella ‘faced more struggles’ she deserved it all despite knowing full well our parents hurt me regularly as well.”
“I was just not prepared to fight, my daughter needed my attention and I wanted Tom to be on my side because Ella was acting aggressive.”
A tactical withdrawal was in order.
“I asked them to leave and called Tom. We discussed this again and agreed we shouldn’t give them the money.”
“Ella calls me and I pick up and she tells me she has to try again and that her relationship is rocky because they’re frustrated they can’t have a kid.”
“I told her I would not give her the entire amount and just hung up.”
“I feel guilty about all of this now but I don’t know if I should.”
Her resolve trembled…
“Maybe since I don’t have an immediate use for the money I should have given it to her?”
…OP just had to know:
“Am I an a**hole?”
So OP came to Reddit for the wisdom of the masses.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out Ella’s reaction was surprising.
” What. The. F*CK. You offered an equal split and she went, ‘Nope, I want it all,’ and is trying to pull out every emotionally manipulative tool in the book to get what she wants.”
“Seems she turned out more like her mother than she’d like to admit.”
“You’re NTA, and you should just flat-out tell her that if either her or John bring up wanting more than half ever again they’ll get nothing.”~SadCapybaraInSand
Others felt Ella’s greed should get her nothing.
“I’m petty as sh*t. I would have offered half because it’s the right thing to do. When sister said ‘No I want it all.’ “
“I would have asked her if she was serious and then laughed and said if she’s going to be like that she gets nothing.”
“The hubris to look at generosity and demand more astounds me. Sister should have been grateful for what was offered. Since she wasn’t, now she gets nothing. But like I said, I’m petty as sh*t”~SeattleTrashPanda
“Yeah if I offer you half and you ask for it all, you’re getting nothing. I don’t think it’s petty, it’s more like cutting off the bullsh*t before it begins.”
“You give the greedy one half, she’ll treat it like it’s nothing and show zero gratitude. If you have to put up with a hissyfit regardless, better to just keep it all.”~Mmmmustard
There was even a phone-a-friend:
“I just read this with my friend. She and her husband been struggling with fertility for 7 years. They have tried IVF 2x. I asked her what her opinion is and we both agree”
“She doesn’t have a Reddit. But she wanted me To tell you that she would have been extremely grateful for even half and also would never accuse you of mentioning saving for your child’s future rubbing in her face that you even have kids.”
“Struggling is hard and it hurts when you have so many people who are able to have kids but she said she enjoys getting to be involved with these kids’ lives.”
“For me, I also agree with her. I have children and I also have greedy siblings and family. If they pulled this with me I would honestly just have no contact with them for a while.”~lilly12000
There was even a response directly from someone who’d used IVF
“Hey OP coming from someone who will never have biological children without IVF you are NTA.”
“I did IVF twice and it didn’t work either time for me. It was really hard for us and we can’t afford to do another round.”
“We have the choice to wait and save and we’ve decided to do the adoption route. Your sister and her husband are being entitled jerks.”
“I know the feeling of desperately wanting a child and not being able to have one and it sucks so bad but it doesn’t excuse her actions.”
“You were incredibly generous to offer half and if I was her I’d be grateful to get anything that would help with this. I get she wants it now and hopes it will save her marriage but life doesn’t give you what you want all the time and it isn’t your responsibility to make that happen for her.”
“I know firsthand how infertility can cause strain in a marriage but instead of putting all in on having a baby she and her husband should be going to couples counseling and individual counseling with a therapist who specializes in infertility (yes they are out there).”
“Don’t give her all the money. And if she continues to be so ungrateful for even half I wouldn’t give her any at all.”~KayOh19
Money is a difficult thing.
Hopefully, OP holds her ground while still retaining her relationship with her sister.
Either way, we hope that their future is rich.