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Man Tells Wife To Either Get A Job Or Her Children Would Have To Start Paying Rent

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Man and woman eating breakfast together

When a man's adult stepchildren became too much of a financial burden, he opted to give his wife an ultimatum that has driven a wedge between the couple.

After five years of marriage, he had reached the end of his tether — and the bottom of his wallet — due to her kids racking up living costs.

He thinks his wife and her kids should get jobs and start contributing to expenses in the home.

Sharing his story to Reddit's r/AmITheA–hole subreddit, the man explained the reasoning behind his ultimatum. 

His wife has two children from a previous marriage, a 22-year-old son, Jason, and a 19-year-old daughter, Carla. 

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“When we married, my wife still had 50/50 custody of her kids and she wanted to move into my house,” the man wrote. 

He wound up converting his attic into another bedroom so that both of the kids could have their own space. 

However, he shares that he has never been an extremely significant figure in his step-children’s lives.

“Their father is present in their life so I was pretty much designated the guy that married their mom and I'm fine with that,” he wrote. 

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After his step-children moved in, the man realized the financial impact of bringing up teenagers.

“I sorely underestimated how much having two teenagers in the house would increase bills,” he admitted. 

“When I was single I could do my mortgage and bills fine on my own. Post-marriage everything but the mortgage has gone up, not including spending money for the kids and their extracurriculars.” 

Although the man’s wife received child support payments from her ex-husband, he still found himself dipping into his savings account to support his step-children. 

In the meantime, his wife was not working and could not contribute financially. 

“It was really important to my wife to be a stay-at-home mom until they graduated,” the man wrote. “It was tight but we made it work.”

When Jason graduated high school, he wound up moving out of the home to attend college out of state. Carla on the other hand chose to stay at home and take a gap year before applying to colleges. 

She is currently not in school or working. 

Recently, the man overheard a phone conversation between Jason and his wife that concerned him. 

“I go into the kitchen and my wife's on the phone with Jason and she told him that he was more than welcome to move back in and she was excited to see him when he got here,” he wrote. 

“After she hung up I told her that she should've run that by me first so we could discuss it. I wasn't opposed to it but told her he should know what he'd be expected to contribute if he's moving in.” 

The man was aware that Jason moving back in meant more financial demands. 

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However, his wife disagreed.

“She responded that she had always told her kids that they would always be welcomed home whenever they wanted and not have to worry about expenses,” the man reported. 

He told his wife that if Jason moved back in he would be expected to pay rent and pitch in for utilities and grocery costs and that his sister should begin doing the same now that they were adults. 

His wife believed that her kids should not be expected to pay to love at home.

“I told her if she felt that strongly about her kids not pitching in now that they're adults, she could go back to work,” the man offered. 

Since giving his wife the ultimatum, she has been sleeping in Jason’s old room and has gotten her parents involved, who are telling her husband that he is in the wrong. 

“My whole thing is - they're not kids anymore. When they're 40 they'll still be her kids but that doesn't mean treating them like minors,” the man pointed out. 

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Redditors sided with the man and believed that he made a fair deal. 

“Funny how their father is off the hook for support now, but YOU are still paying through the nose to support his kids,” one user noted. 

“They absolutely should contribute,” another user commented. 

Other users criticized the man’s wife for not pulling her weight and contributing to bills. 

“Your wife clearly does not want to or intend to, ever work again. Insisting on being a stay-at-home mom while children are in high school is ridiculous, and they are years beyond graduation at this point,” one user mentioned. 

“I'm not sure what "stay-at-home-parent" means when your kids are in high school. They're probably gone like 75% of the day...so what is there to do at home every day that couldn't be done while also holding a part-time or full-time job?” another user commented. 

“I bet if OP [original poster] talked to the father, he'd find out at least part of the reason they divorced is the wife never wanted to work,” another user suggested. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.