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Mom Tells Husband To Leave If He Won’t Help Care For Her Elderly Mother And Disabled Brother

A woman helping a man in a wheelchair.
enigma_images/Getty Images

There comes a point where all of us will be obligated to help our family.

While some look at this obligation as a no-brainer, and jump into helping them out with no questions asked, others find providing this help as much more of a burden.

When the family they are helping out are not their blood relatives, but rather their in-laws, the weight of the burden can feel all the more heavy.

Redditor Tr0uble12312333 knew that at one point, she would have to provide extra help to her mother and brother.

When that time came a bit sooner than expected, the original poster (OP)’s husband expressed some concerns.

Concerns the OP simply would not hear, eventually throwing an ultimatum at her husband.

Worried that she might have gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITAH For giving my husband an ultimatum when it comes to my mom and disabled brother living with us?”

The OP explained why she felt the need to serve her husband with an ultimatum:

“I (35 F[emale]) and my husband (40 M[ale]) have been together for 15yrs off and on.”

“Married for 3 and we have two kids.”

“Since the beginning he has know about my older brother who is disabled (cerebral palsy, quadriplegic) and about my elderly mother.”

“I am the youngest of 4.”

“I have always been clear that there will be a time when I will have to care for them both.”

“My two older brothers will also take on the responsibility.”

“We will each care for them a few months out of the year so they are not a burden on any one of us.”

“Well, that time is approaching, my mom recently had a conversation with us 3 siblings about how she will need to start getting the help from us permanently as she is getting too old to take care of my brother on her own.”

“She is 74yo and currently live in our home country where she does have help from one of my cousins who lives with her.”

“He is the one that mainly takes care of my mom.”

“Now, the issue arises that since we will need to start taking care of them on a more permanent basis, my husband does not want to have them in our home for months at a time.”

“He and my mom have had their issues in the past but he does recognize that she has helped us a lot with the girls.”

“My mom took care of my oldest and did not have to take her to daycare nor pay for it as she would never charge us for watching her grandbaby.”

“He feels that we would lose our privacy and that my mom would nags us.”

“Now, my siblings and I do not want to put her and brother in a nursing home or anything like that.”

“I do recognize that I said that in the heat of the moment as this is not new to him.”

“He has always known that at some point I would be caring for them.”

“I even told him this before we decided to get married and he was on board.”

“My mom and hubby get along fine.”

“She does not mistreat him or anything like that.”

“She actually caters to him, especially when it comes to food.”

“Always makes sure I feed him…lol In the Latino culture, that’s how it is, make sure your man is fed!”

“My mom and bro are both US citizens so there is no issues with them traveling back and forth.”

“Also, the plan my brothers and I HAD was for a few years down the road.”

“As of right now my mom is still healthy and strong enough to be able to travel.”

“Back home she has someone who helps take care of my brother.’

“Financially we are all stable and she has a good pension so they would not be a financial burden on any of us.”

“We all live in the same hometown so we can all contribute to the care regardless of where mom/bro is staying.”

“It would be very detrimental to my brother’s health if we put him in an assisted living facility.”

“He is very emotionally attached to us and our family.”

“So AITAH for telling my husband that if he didn’t like it then he would have to leave?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

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

The Reddit community was somewhat divided on whether or not the OP was the a**hole for giving her husband an ultimatum.

Some felt that the OP was, indeed, the a**hole, as the concerns of her husband were valid, and giving an ultimatum was way out of line, as many issues needed to be addressed:

“Your husband has very real concerns that need to be addressed, not dismissed with ‘well you can leave’.”

“You need to make sure your mother never oversteps and undermines your children’s father (or you) again.”

‘You need to have a plan in place for if she slips.”

“And your husband needs to have a say (and feel he has a say) in what happens in your shared home.”

“It is as much his home as it is yours.”

“The ultimatum was where you stated otherwise and that is what tips you into AH territory.”

“Soft YTA.”

‘It is admirable what you want to do for your mother and brother, but you need to better consider its impact on your husband and children.”- candycoatedcoward


“Based off of your answers, you have been avoiding answering a lot of questions and when you do answer some questions, you don’t actually answer the question asked but just give a random answer that doesn’t fit.”

“With you being so shady on a post that you wrote, to paint yourself in the best of light, I can’t imagine how much worse it is in reality with your husband.”

“You have become an unreliable narrator.”- SmaugTheHedgehog

Others felt that there were no a**holes in this situation, feeling that the OP was right to fulfill her obligations to her family, but her husband’s concerns about the change it would cause in their lives were indeed valid:


“Just be prepared to lose your marriage.”

“Hope it’s worth it.”- Small_Lion4068


“As someone who is currently a caregiver, moving 2 people around to new homes every few months is going to get real old, real fast.”

“Not only that but it’s very disruptive to them.”

“You say home country; how far away is it. is the plan to move them permanently to the country you all are living in?”

“Are you going to move back home?”

“Are all of your homes set up to handle a quadriplegic AND an elderly woman who may have mobility issues?”

“If not, what will it take to retrofit them?”

“There is a whole host of other options between putting them in a nursing home and having them live with you permanently.”

“Everyone, including spouses need to sit down and be honest about what it’s going to take to manage their care and whether or not it’s actually feasible.”- terpischore761

“This is a tough one, but I have to go NAH.”

“I understand you wish to help with your mom and brother, and I get where you’re coming from with having told your husband this from the beginning.”

“But I also understand where your husband is coming from.”

‘You’re wanting to bring two more adults into the house for extended periods of time.”

“Adults that are both going to need care or assistance.”

“You already have two children in the house and you and your husband.”

“Do you have the space for two more adults to have their own privacy?”

“How much will this increase living costs in the household?”

“Are you and your husband going to bear the brunt of the cost increase?”

“If your husband’s parents end up needing help down the line, are you going to welcome them in as well?”

‘And I hate to ask, but one day down the line when your mother passes, your brother is still going to need care and it will then fall solely on you two.”

“There’s a lot to consider, this is a huge decision.”

“I don’t think you’re wrong for wanting to help, although the ultimatum was not very kind.”

“But I don’t think your husband is wrong for not wanting to give up his space to help caretake for two grown adults either.”- Fun-Rip-4502

Following the fairly divided opinions of the Reddit community, the OP later returned with an update, thanking all who took the time to comment, sharing some details of how she planned to proceed, and sharing a bit more light on her current situation:

‘I really appreciate everyone’s comments as they have opened my eyes to a future reality that I had not foreseen.”

“Who were we kidding!”

“I do believe the in-law suite option is great and one that my hubby and I have considered as well.”

“I will say that hubby and I are fine and words were said in the heat of the moment.”

“We will talk further and will have to come up with a better plan, especially have backup plans.”

‘Brothers do have significant others but no kids yet.”

‘Their SO are on board with taking care of mom/bro as this has always been a part of our family plan.”

“We have always known that when my mom is no longer able to care for brother we will step in.”

“This was not expected of us but rather a decision that we made and something that we are up front about when entering a serious relationship.”

“Hence why this was not a surprise to my husband, it was not something new.”

“We will clearly have to set boundaries with all parties involved.”

The most difficult element of situations like this is that there is simply no easy solution.

Sacrifices and compromises will simply have to be made by anyone involved.

One can only hope that the OP will find a solution that will work out in the best interests of her mother and brother, but will also make her and her husband happy as well.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.