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Debt-Ridden Couple At Odds After Wife Reaches Out To Husband’s Kids To Help Pay For Thanksgiving

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/GettyImages

Redditor ToneAcceptable2240 is a 47-year-old woman who was torn about Thanksgiving plans.

Her 55-year-old husband, to whom she was married for 16 years, recently suffered a major health setback and is thankfully on the mend.

Every year, the couple hosts a major Thanksgiving dinner, but this year, there was one problem that was going to disrupt their annual tradition.

When she upset her husband about their holiday plans, she visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit

“AITA for reaching out to my stepchildren to help pay for thanksgiving?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I f47 have been married to my husband m55 for 16 years.”

“I have no children of my own but have developed a close relationship with my stepchildren (obviously pseudonymous) Jane 28 and John 25. Including assisting to support them through college.”

“My husband and I were established middle class professionals until my husband got severe Covid earlier this year.”

“My husband spent four months in hospital in critical care several weeks of that on a ventilator.”

“When he got home he had to go through intensive rehabilitation to be able to walk and breathe normally again. He’s only recently been able to return to work.”

“The long period off work (including time I’ve taken off to care for him) coupled with enormous medical and rehabilitation bills has decimated our savings and left us with a pile of debt.”

“Now that we’re both back to work we are hoping to pay it off and rebuild our savings.”

“We host thanksgiving every year for our families and it’s always a huge party.”

“Unfortunately we just aren’t in a financial position to afford that at the moment.”

“I asked my husband if we might scale it back to just us and the kids but having almost died he really wants all of his family there and for it to be the same big event it always was.”

“As Jane and John are successful in their own careers and doing well financially I brought up asking them to help pay for some of the expenses.”

“My husband was adamant that we not ask them.”

“I know them very well and knew that Jane in particular would be upset that we would not be honest with her about our financial position.”

“I reached out to them against my husbands wishes and explained the situation.”

“They were both happy to know the truth and offered to help before I even asked.”

“John works in finance and even offered to look over our situation over the holidays and try and help us build a better plan to get back on track.”

“My husband was furious when I told him. He said it wasn’t my place to meddle in their relationship.”

“I’ve never seen him this angry in all the time we’ve been married and I’m really starting to think I did the wrong thing.”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Redditors weighed in with the following judgments:

“NAH – 1st. I’m so sorry you and your family have suffered this. That must have been an awful time.”

“2nd. Its lovely you have such a great relationship with the stepkids.

“3rd. You asking them isn’t ‘meddling” with their relationship with their father – its odd that he isn’t referencing you as part of that family unit – you’ve been a part of their family for over half their lives!”

“4th. Your husband’s demand put you in an impossible situation. I understand where his demand is coming from, though – he wants things to be back to normal- but they’re not normal.”

“I wonder if he’s received any trauma counseling considering what he has suffered.” – TeepShow76

“NTA your husband’s pride is hurt but that is no reason to hide how bad off your financial situation is.” – smartsassseahorse

“NTA. Firstly, I’m so sorry for what you and your husband hand gone through; that’s awful. Having said that, your step children are adults and you’re showing respect for them and your relationship by being honest with them.”

“Your husband shouldn’t have said you meddled in his relashionship with his kids because it implies you’re not part of that relationship, and that you don’t have your own relationship with the kids.” – EatLePie

“NTA. You can’t have the cake and eat it, too. I share the sentiment with others; your husband probably feels hurt that he can’t ‘provide for the family’ like he used to and asking for help is like admitting defeat.”

“There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. He almost lost his life, of course he’s going to need help getting back on his feet. Did he not need help during rehab? How is this different?” – VorionLightbringer

“NAH. John and Jane are adults, and a. wouldn’t want you and your husband to be struggling and b. would be used to pitching in for shared events, rather than expecting daddy to pay for anything, unless they have been totally spoilt.”

“Not ideal to have got into a position where you did something your husband explicitly didn’t want to happen – but you two do need to have serious, honest conversations about money, and what your real position is.” – Ok_Smell_8260

“NTA. I understand him wanting everyone there, but considering that about roughly half of the US is still unvaccinated and he was *on a ventilator*, a big party might not be best for his health at the moment.”

“Your idea of just the kids is an excellent idea…especially since it sounds like he was not vaccinated and he or anyone else can catch another variant of Covid quite easily if another visitor in your house is asymptomatic at the time and infects everyone.”

“Having had Covid does not protect him against the other variants floating around, from what I understand (this doesn’t stop people from suing WA and OR on the mask and health care front line mandates though. Their argument is natural immunity, completely missing the fact that they might have immunity to one, but not all).”

“As for him being mad…you *didn’t* ask for help. Your stepchildren offered to help. If my parents were struggling, I’d help as much as I could too, as would many other people on this sub. He’s more likely embarrassed about the fact that you have a lot of medical debt at the moment and didn’t want to tell anyone, even his own kids.” – Waterbaby8182

Overall, Redditors did not identify any villains in this scenario.

However, one Redditor did point out the real problem here.

“Tbh, the real a**hole here is the healthcare system that has left you in a pile of debt.”

Hopefully, the husband will look past the drama and will be able to enjoy spending the holiday with the company he was wanting to have over.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo