Blended families offer unique challenges to parents.
Blended finances offer unique challenges to couples.
When those challenges collide, the result can be explosive.
A husband dealing with his wife, stepson, son and earmarked money dealt with one such explosion. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for perspective.
Redditor 309___3011 asked:
“AITA For blowing up on my wife for spending $8k on a motorcycle for my stepson?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I Have been with my wife for over 6 years. I have a 17 year old stepson and a biological 22 year old son.”
“The family had ups and down just like any other family.”
“My son is getting married in Feb. I have put some money aside to help him out as a gift from me for his wedding.”
“My wife quit her job over 2 years ago. I saved up the money myself, but she didn’t have a problem with it.”
“It was her choice to quit—she quit after her father passed away. I took over and started handling finances.”
“She has access to my account and uses the money for things we need on a weekly basis. I made it clear the $8k were specifically saved for my son’s wedding.”
“I’ve already talked to him about it and he and his fiancée said they appreciate it very much. My son deserves it because before his mom died he took over her care and spent nights at the hospital with her.”
“He cried many many times because his mother’s death broke him. I’m glad he found happiness again.”
“My stepson is a motorcyclist. It started off as a hobby.”
“He has posters of all kinds of motorcycles, pictures of famous racers and motorcyclists. He has a group of friends he calls brothers and they ride together and wear some kind of bracelets that represent the group.”
“He always does 3D arts and logos which I find stunning to be honest. He’s talented no question about it.”
“Anyway, before Christmas his mom told me she wanted to get him a motorcycle as a Christmas gift and he’d love it so much. I told her I can’t afford it.”
“And that maybe she should think of another gift for him.”
“Everything was fine until Christmas day while we were exchanging gifts. My stepson received a small box from my wife that had a key in it.”
“We were confused. She told him to go outside and we all followed and then I saw a brand new motorcycle in the driveway.”
“I started wondering where she got the money, but I didn’t bring it up right there and then. I waited a bit.”
“I asked my wife and she told me that she took $8k from the account to buy the motorcycle. I effing lost it.”
“I blew up on her and asked if she was kidding me. $8k—that’s the money I put aside for my son’s wedding.”
“She said that I needed to calm down because the money was already gone. My son showed up and asked what was wrong.”
“I couldn’t tell him his stepmom took the money that was meant for him to buy an expensive motorcycle that I’m sure my stepson will throw in the garage just like he did the old ones in a very short time.”
“So far he had two motorcycles that ended up being damaged. Those motorcycles cost us so much money other than paying for spares and parts that needed repairing.”
“I told my wife she has two days to return the motorcycle and get the money back and she defended herself saying she can’t do that because it’d be devastating for my stepson and that he’ll resent me if he knew I made her return the motorcycle.”
“I told her that I was ready to talk to him and explain if that’s what it takes and she started crying saying I was okay with my stepson’s spirit crushing like that.”
“I told her it was her fault for taking money in the first place without telling me. She went upstairs and stayed there the entire night.”
“I haven’t even talked to my son yet and it’s so exhausting since my wife says I’m being cruel to my stepson.”
“Problem is she says my stepson will resent me if I return the motorcycle.”
“The money had another purpose and she disregarded that it was my son’s wedding gift from me to him.”
“Just so you know I support my stepson. I’m a fan of his art and I’m always there for him whenever he needed help.”
“I’m not sure about how he will react if we return the motorcycle but $8k is a lot and I worked hard to put the money together. Besides, my son’s wedding in approaching and there’s no way I’ll be able to save again.”
“She put me in this stressful situation from the beginning even though I was honest and told her I just can’t afford that much on a motorcycle.”
“I understand my stepson’s feelings but that’s unfair to my son.”
Redditors weighed in 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 decided the OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. Here’s the thing—if someone gave me an $8,000 gift and I found out it was using someone else’s money, I would be angry that the gift giver stole from someone else—I wouldn’t resent the victim.”
“Take a good minute to think about that—if your stepson had any decency, there would be no chance he’d resent YOU.”
“Don’t feel bad about insisting on your wife coming up with the entire amount back somehow—I doubt you’ll get the whole amount back from the motorcycle.” ~ compassionfever
“It sounds like the wife is already planning on framing it as though it’s OP’s fault and that’s why she’s using the ‘he’ll resent you’ manipulation. If I were you OP I would talk to stepson.” ~ Emeraldme
“And, if I was OP, stepson’s resentment would feature at precisely zero on my list of concerns.” ~ dftaylor
“That’s where I’m at. OP’s stepson will be angry about the return of the bike and will almost certainly lay that blame squarely on OP, but OP should not let that sway him.” ~ Sensitive_Raccoon_07
“Unless step son is an empty husk of a human, they’ll probably be more upset at mom.” ~ dftaylor
A couple with shared finances needs to communicate about major purchases. It sounds like the OP communicated clearly, but his wife did not.
Disagreements over money are one of the leading causes of divorce. Hopefully the OP found a way to work this issue out with his wife.