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Woman Upsets Her Unemployed ‘Dependent’ Partner By Refusing To Pay His Vehicle Repair Bill

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Moving in together is an exciting new chapter for a couple ready to take the next step in their relationship.

And while lovers cohabitating can be a wonderful thing, it requires work and mutual respect.

Redditor throwaway8375727 is a 28-year-old woman who realized she made a mistake when she made a promise to her 31-year-old male partner about a certain arrangement she no longer felt was valid and fair.

She visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for not wanting to pay my partner’s vehicle repair bill?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My partner and I have been together 5 years, cohabitating for 2.”

“At the start of the pandemic he quit his job due to stress. I said I understood and would cover our shared costs for as long as needed. Reddit, I feel like I made a mistake.”

“Nearly a year later and he’s still not working. I know his mental health has taken a huge hit, which was part of the reason he quit the job in the first place, but he hasn’t been doing anything to work on that.”

“Nothing I have said or suggested has made any difference there. He also hasn’t taken up a larger share of house chores or done anything to make up for his lack of financial contribution. I feel like I don’t have a partner anymore, I have a dependent.”

“Anyway, recently he damaged his vehicle. It was entirely an accident and just super unlucky. However, he doesn’t have the money to fix it.”

“I said that I would not pay for the repairs but I would loan him the money, seeing as he has repeatedly said he will get a job eventually.”

“He is ‘gutted’ and extremely upset that I wouldn’t just pay for it, claiming that in the past I would have done it no questions asked.That this is the worst thing that’s happened and he hoped I would be more supportive.”

“Honestly, I have paid for a lot of things in the past, or turned them into expensive birthday/christmas gifts, but this time I don’t want to. I want to be saving more money and I’m already putting so much financially into this relationship.”

“I get that it sucks to not have a vehicle but I don’t feel like it’s my responsibility to pay for this (I have my own vehicle and never have or would use his).”

“Reddit, AITA?”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

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

A majority of Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole.

“OP, I’m actually a disabled adult dependant. I can’t work and I completely rely on my parents.”

“A lifetime ago, I was the able bodied carer for a disabled relative.”

“This kind of dynamic changes a relationship. It strains it. It twists it, even when the carer is willing and happy to step into that role. It’s an unnatural thing, to be an adult dependant. It means that there is sickness or dysfunction present, and it’s a very heavy burden. Believe me, I know.”

“I understand some of what your BF is feeling. But I also know, for sure and certain, that this is unsustainable for you.”

“If your BF is going to be your dependant, you need to set reasonable, concrete, clear boundaries. Nothing so nebulous as ‘will get a job maybe one day.’”

“Can he work? If he can, he needs to be applying for x number of jobs per day/week, and also doing [list] of chores daily, and [list] of chores weekly.”

“If he can’t work, then he needs to apply for a disability allowance; practice good sleep hygiene; practice good physical hygiene; exercise x number of days per week (notice that this list is about looking after himself, the person); and also attend to [list] of chores.”

“In exchange for this, you will: do what? Buy groceries and pay bills? Give him an allowance so he can save for car repairs? What exactly are you willing to do here?”

“Make it concrete, and reasonable. It’s the only way this sort of arrangement can work without you burning out.”

“And NTA.” – diagnosedwolf

“The problem is that it doesn’t really matter how he got here, he’s here. The question is how he’s going to get out of the hole he’s in. That’s where the structured, considered plan comes in.”

“People can drown in a mess they made just as easily as they can drown in a mess that isn’t their fault. The real test will be whether he’s willing to pull himself out of it once there’s A Plan.”

“If he still sits there and refuses to do anything, that’s the point at which OP needs to leave. But until there’s been an attempt, neither of them will know if he’s been floundering or a malicious dead weight.” – diagnosedwolf

“I do need to add that while some dependents are dependent out of necessity, we shouldn’t ignore that some people become dependents because they want to be.”

“I think your ‘if he can’t work’ list needs to include, above all else, getting professional help. Mental health is real and can absolutely be disabling, but it’s not especially common for a stressful job to become a basis for long-term disability.”

“I think sometimes in an effort to be supportive of real and valid mental health needs, we feel like we can’t even question whether one exists, and refusal to make any effort to address the problem is often (not always! But often) indication that the problem is one of choice rather than anything needing treatment.”

“OP shouldn’t just assume their SO is using them, but they should also know that it’s okay to acknowledge and address it if there’s real cause to believe that’s the case.” – littlefiddle05

“NTA..honestly you shouldn’t of even offered to loan him the money unless he got a job…tell him this relationship is no longer equal and you view him as a dependent; you are sympathetic for his mental health but it is now draining yours and if he values this relationship it is time to work on it.” – VatoD92

“NTA – there are limits to how much you can support someone else unconditionally and you’ve reached yours.” – manofmatt

“NTA. You have been more than accommodating with your partner. He’s been out of work for almost a year, hasn’t made finding a new job a priority and as you stated has not taken on a larger role in chores in order to contribute to your shared household.”

“You need to start setting boundaries or this may become your life permanently. I think you offering to loan him the money was more than fair.” – Consistent-Leopard71

“NTA. Maybe you would have helped in the past because in the past you weren’t spending so much money on covering all of his expenses. You’re litteraly spending double what you should, while he pays nothing.”

“You’re not a wallet you’re a partner. If he doesn’t even put in the effort to be in an equal relationship on the day to day, regardless of money but just being engaged with you and doing his share at home, then how can he expect you to keep supporting him financially, like he is your kid?”

“It is never too late to put a stop to it. His financial responsibilities are not your responsibilities anymore if he has made no effort to get better and find a new job.” – SimonSpooner

“NTA. But, you need to take a step back and evaluate this relationship. From the outside, it appears that it’s very one sided.”

“In essence, your partner has turned you into an indulgent parent taking care of his every need while he skates along without any responsibilities. To me, this has become an unhappy and unhealthy relationship.”

“I’ve been where you are, and it’s wretched. The mistake I made was thinking that I had been with X so long, that breaking up would be bad. However, a relationship isn’t like a bank account where you invest and get returns on it. If you’re thinking that because you’ve been together for so long, that you’ve invested so much time, that yoy have to stay in it, please don’t do that.”

“At this juncture, nothing will change. Why? Because he doesn’t have to do anything, so why should he? You’re taking care of his every need. As long as you continue to take care of everything, he will not change.”

“I’d leave him if I were you. No relationship is worth it if you’re the one who’s doing 1000% of the work. He has and had a ton of excuses to not get off his butt. If you stay in the relationship and end up getting guilted into paying for his car repair, it will only get worse.” – tiredblonde

Overall, Redditors thought the OP was NTA and suggested she should re-evaluate their relationship if her partner isn’t willing to take initiative to change.

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