This man is at his wit’s end after his wife continued losing thousands trying to dig her ex-husband and their adult son out of trouble for years. Where does this leave them in their marriage?

Budgeting as a Married Couple

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OP (Original Poster) and his wife split their expenses 30/70 since his wife earns quite a bit less than him.

When it comes to vacations and big-ticket purchases like their house, the couple usually decides where to go and what to buy depending on what OP’s wife can afford. However, OP shared that he sometimes shouldered their vacations whenever there was somewhere he really wanted to go with her—even if his wife couldn’t afford it.

His Wife’s Past

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OP shared that his wife has a 23-year-old son from a previous marriage, and he lived with his dad for the most part.

When they just started going out, OP told his wife that he didn’t mind paying extra here and there until her son turned 18 so she could take care of him.

No Plans for the Future

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Sadly, OP said that his wife’s son didn’t have concrete plans for what he would do in the future.

In his post, he shared, “He decided against college or trade school and hasn’t expressed any interest in starting to figure out a plan for the immediate future, let alone his life. He floats from job to job, and his father is pretty much the same since the kid graduated.”

The Problem

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Because of his wife’s son and ex-husband’s way of life, they couldn’t find a stable income source that would give them security.

So, OP said, “Every few months, they’ll call her for a few hundred dollars here, a few hundred there, 20 bucks this week, 80 the next. Sometimes it’s her son calling for help; sometimes it’s her ex-husband.”

A Mom Giving In

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OP’s wife couldn’t say no to them. Their requests caused her to be short on funds for OP and her plans. Sometimes, she would also offer to cover things for them.

However, for OP’s wife, it was her responsibility to give them money—even if it was her ex-husband asking—because her son still lived with him.

Understanding His Wife

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Though it’s taking a toll on her finances and, in some way, their dynamics as a married couple, OP understands his wife’s reasoning—up to a certain point.

Their Vacation as a Couple

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Then, OP shared that he and his wife had planned to go on a vacation soon. He said it was nothing significant or fancy; they just needed some time away.

They had also agreed to split the bills for the trip, and all that was left for them to pay for were the hotels, car rentals, and some other reservations.


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However, before they went on the trip, his wife’s ex-husband called asking her to help him get his car out of the impounding area because their son needed the car to get to work. He refused to commute using the bus or ride a bike.

Her ex-husband also asked her to help them get caught up on rent.

$5,000 Later

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OP’s wife had already given around $5,000 to her adult son and ex-husband. However, now, his wife told him she couldn’t pay for her half of the vacation anymore.

I’m Canceling It!

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OP already had enough of everything, so he told her he would cancel their trip. His wife got mad at him, called him a “heartless a**,” and said she was only trying to care for her son.

I Didn’t Sign Up for This

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However, OP wouldn’t have it.

He said in his post, “They’re both able-bodied adults that keep making a series of life decisions that keep them at a standstill—like quitting jobs over little things, smoking, going out—and her always digging them out of their hole is starting to impact our lives more and more, and I didn’t sign up for that.”

Should He Continue With the Trip?

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Now, OP asks if he was wrong to cancel their vacation over what had happened. Should he foot the entire cost of the trip?

The Community’s Two Cents

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Redditors said that more than thinking about whether to push through with the trip or not, OP should think about his marriage with his wife.

A top comment went, “Why are you married to her, though, since she clearly puts her ex and grown son before you and your marriage? She’s enabling their financial irresponsibility, and that will never change.”

She’s Not Helping Him!

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People also wanted OP to help his wife understand that enabling her adult son is not helping; instead, she’s hurting him.

One said, “Can you get her into marriage counseling so she can understand that, in fact, she isn’t helping her son—she’s hurting him? He has the capability to work and support himself. He’s choosing not to because he doesn’t have to with her as his safety net. He’s already 23—the window to retrain is closing rapidly, and soon he will be a copy of his dad.”

You’re Right!

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Redditors are also commending OP for recognizing his wife’s wrongdoings.

One person shared, “You’re right that they’re both able-bodied adults, and they’re both choosing to be lazy because they know she will give them whatever they ask for; son could have continued working but didn’t because he didn’t want to ride a bus—that is a choice, not a need.”

What Are Your Thoughts?

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Do you think it was right for OP to cancel the trip? What would you advise him to do?

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