Husband Threatened To Take Away Wife's 'Spending Privileges' If She Didn't Stop Taking Care Of Her Sister

His request has sparked a debate on financial and familial boundaries.

Man and woman upset by finances fizkes/Shutterstock; Reddit via Canva

A man got into an argument with his wife over how they’re spending money in their currently single-income household — so he took to Reddit’s “r/AmItheA--hole” (AITA) subreddit to ask people whether or not he was in the wrong for what he threatened to do.

His wife has a disabled sister whom she likes to spend money on, and because she’s been disabled their whole life, she’s basically raised her and taken care of her whenever their parents couldn’t, but her husband doesn’t think that’s a good enough reason.


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The man threatened to take away his wife’s ‘spending privileges’ if she didn’t stop being a 'pushover.'

To open his Reddit post, he provides some background information on his 25-year-old wife of five years and her 20-year-old disabled sister. “She’s somewhat disabled, and while this may sound contradictory she has a condition which makes working difficult but not entirely impossible unless she is under stress.”

He claims that her condition sometimes causes her to lose control over her muscles, and since she’s been disabled her whole life, his wife has been the main one taking care of her. “She basically raised her and stepped in when her parents wouldn’t or couldn’t,” he wrote.


Reddit AITA postPhoto: Reddit

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“This has led to a relationship closer to mother-daughter,” he continued. “My wife would constantly be paying for stuff for her sister, and this made sense to me when she was a minor and was doing much worse health-wise.”


Now, however, he believes things are different. Ever since he and his wife had recently gotten pregnant and gave birth to their baby daughter, he’s been the only one bringing in any income — claiming they have to live paycheck to paycheck now.

“She expects my sister to do things like pay for her to go to the doctor, or invites us out to lunch and then expects us to pay,” he explains. “She doesn’t even schedule her own appointments, my wife takes her wherever she asks even if she has the ability to do it herself and we live 45 minutes away.”

They buy her expensive gifts, take her to events, and buy her dinner, all for nothing in return despite her claims that she’s making money from freelancing — and he’s gotten tired of it. When he explained to her how he felt during a fight (and calling her sister some “messed up” things), she still wasn’t on his side.

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She claimed to be afraid of hurting her sister if she were to stop spending money on her.

“I ended the conversation by telling her I would take away her access to our joint bank account until she contributes again if she doesn’t tell her sister to grow up and that she is not her mother, and she is no longer a child,” he wrote.

Although he got a little rude and even threatened to take away her “spending privileges,” he claimed that his wife was doing more harm than good, saying “She cannot be dependent on people forever.”

Reddit AITA post commentsPhoto: Reddit


Everyone in the comments seems to think that everyone here is in the wrong. The man who made the post is wrong for the way he framed the situation, his wife is wrong for spoiling her sister with money that they don’t seem to have, and her sister is wrong for taking advantage of this woman’s kind soul.

“I get not wanting to spend all that money on someone who seems to be almost taking advantage but this is not how you frame this situation,” the top comment reads. Someone else replied that “While I agree that the wife needs to create some boundaries with the sister, I'm never going to condone financial abuse.”

Restricting her financial freedom is considered a form of financial abuse, and while he did clarify that what he meant was not to take it away entirely, it was still wrong of him to threaten that — and even a limit can be considered abuse.


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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.