Some of us take our birthdays very seriously, from the cake to the party to the gifts.
And of course, if we receive money or gift cards, we put extra special thought into how to spend it.
This is no exception on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor 6193017 found herself wanting to do something special with the money she received for her birthday, despite other things going on in her household.
But when she was criticized for it, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was being selfish.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to use my birthday money to help pay back bills?”
The OP was financially independent.
“I have been the breadwinner in my household for 4 years. I’m 29 [Female].”
“My BF (boyfriend), who has severe depression, is always quitting every single job he starts within a 2-week time frame and has been for easily a year and a half. He can’t get medicated because he has no job to pay for a [prescription], and he hasn’t seen a therapist, and he blames it on no insurance.”
When she received a gift from her mother, it still meant a lot.
“My mom has been in and out of my life since I was 13. I pretty much raised myself. I lived with her but she was literally never home.”
“I haven’t received a birthday gift from her since I was 11. So when she showed up on my doorstep on my birthday and handed me $300, it meant a lot. Like a sentimental lot.”
“I haven’t touched the money, which sounds stupid, but oh well.”
“But with that said, my BF knows I haven’t touched the money and have no plans on what I am going to use the money for.”
The OP’s boyfriend was struggling to pay his bills.
“Now, my BF is an internet junkie. He is always playing online video games or watching TV.”
“I never do. I am always reading a book or writing in my little nook. I don’t care for tv. I don’t even have a social media, as I deleted that probably 3 years ago.”
“Well, the internet was shut off today. The only bill he is 100% responsible for because like I said, I don’t use it.”
“He went to his job interview 2 weeks ago but is unemployed. He picks up odd jobs twice a week to cover his bills.”
“So he was about to go to the bank to put money in so he could pay the bill and asked for my wallet so he can take some cash for the electric (all other bills are split 50/50 and yes, he works enough to cover his portion).”
“I gave him my wallet but ONLY after I took that $300 out that Mom gave me.”
The boyfriend didn’t agree with the OP on withholding the money.
“He called me from the bank and said, ‘Where’s the rest of the money?'”
“I asked what he was talking about, and he said the $300 that my mom gave me.”
“I told him that wasn’t going toward bills.”
“He then told me that in order to do his online seminar for work, the internet needed to get turned back on, and he couldn’t cover it because we had a late fee for the electric from last month. The internet bill is almost $110.”
“I told him sorry but he would have to pick up a shift somewhere to cover it because that money, again, is not going toward bills, especially not his.”
“He hung up on me. When he got home, he said that I was being childish and that I’m the one who clearly needs therapy if I truly hold sentimental value to a wad of cash when we need to pay things off.”
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 the money belonged to the OP, plain and simple.
“NTA. He’s not working but expects you to use the money YOUR mom gave you for HIS benefit? That’s just greedy and selfish.” – katieroo3
“NTA – If I had a crumb of the audacity your bf has for guilt-tripping you to give up your birthday money to pay THE ONLY BILL he’s responsible for paying, I imagine I could run the world. Unless he’s truly amazing in every other way, give yourself another birthday gift and dump him.” – MamaofTwinDragons
“NTA. 100%. It’s your money, period. Would it be kind of you to pitch in to cover his bills? Yes. Are you morally obligated? No.”
“My husband and I share all of our finances, but if one of us gets money as a gift, it belongs to that person entirely.”
“I know you’re not necessarily looking for relationship advice here, but I’d have some concerns about being with a partner who feels entitled to your gifts, especially enough to get angry about it.” – TibbyMomma94
Others questioned the quality of the relationship and suggested dumping the boyfriend.
“NTA – And that whole ‘you’re being childish’ thing is just straight up gaslighting. There is absolutely no obligation on your end to use your gift to bail him out.”
“I understand he’s depressed, but he sounds absolutely toxic to be around, and at some point you need to put yourself first. I hope he gets the help he needs, and if not, then I hope you get out with your own mental health intact.” – Wellfudgeit
“NTA. It’s not his money, was not given to him, earned by him nada. He has no say over what it’s spent on.”
“The internet is literally pretty much his only full on responsibility. There are so many different options he has with severe depression to get help with work. It’s literally considered a disability now. He’s taking advantage at this point.” – Clarysx
“NTA. I feel like you’re being used by this person, and you put up with it for some reasons that should have you going to therapy yourself, friend. It’s okay to love yourself and draw boundaries, and if people don’t support you they’re not important to your life.”
“Tell him thanks, you will use that money for therapy. It’s a nice present from your mom.” – deadlyhausfrau
A few also cautioned the OP to watch out for her money.
“NTA. You have every right to keep that money to use for yourself. You called it right: your BF needs to turn of the video games (not hard with the internet shut down), do the responsible thing, and earn some money.”
“I hate to say this, but keep a close eye on that money. If he felt entitled to use it for his share of the bills, there is a good chance it will go missing in the near future.” – bamf1701
“He’s leeching, and he doesn’t care. If you used that money for his bills, you’d just be enabling him more. His childish lashing out over not getting his own way really shows how little he actually cares.”
“Please hide your money somewhere safe, I’m afraid this won’t be the last time he tries to take it.” – JtheE
Though the OP might feel reluctant to not help her boyfriend, the subReddit agreed the OP was under no obligation to help. With so few bills to cover himself, and a rarely received gift from her mother, the OP had every right to use her gift how she wanted.