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Mom Accused Of Being 'Heartless' After Refusing To Let Her Extremely Ill Ex-Husband Come Live With Her And Their Kids

Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock
upset couple sitting far apart from each other on a couch with their backs turned to each other

A woman is questioning whether she should let her ex-husband come live with her after finding out that he is terminally ill.

The woman took to Reddit to explain that she and her ex-husband don't have the best relationship, and she is on the fence about allowing him to come and stay with her during his illness.

She was accused of being 'heartless' for refusing to let her ill ex-husband live with her and their kids.

In her Reddit post, she explained that she and her ex-husband separated four years ago and their split was not amicable. Together, they share three children, a 25-year-old daughter, a 23-year-old daughter, and a 22-year-old son. 

"We separated after he said he was tired of seeing my old face every day and wanted to find someone younger (his words to my face when asking for divorce). The divorce was a mess, he tried in every way to take everything I had and I even had to take on half of his debts," she admitted. 

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After their divorce, she never spoke to him again and only communicated with him through their lawyers for anything related to the care of their children.

A few months ago though, she found out through her kids, who all live with her, that he was diagnosed with cancer and it was advancing rather quickly, leaving it almost impossible for him to recover. She didn't have a strong opinion about the entire thing, but for the sake of her children, supported them and was there for them when they needed it.

One day, her kids sat her down and informed her that their father could no longer work due to cancer and chemotherapy. That meant he couldn't stay in his house by himself and he had nowhere else to live. They asked if he could live with them during the final months of his life so they could care for him and watch over him.

Mom Called Heartless For Refusing To Let Dying Ex Live With Her Photo: Monkey Business Images / Canva Pro

"I immediately said no and that I felt offended that I had even been asked that question knowing how much he and I dislike each other," she continued. "They started to argue saying that our house was his last option, because his relatives couldn't and they didn't want to leave his father without a home and that I should think about them."

She questioned who would be responsible for caring for him while they were all out at work, or who would cover all of his financial and medical expenses too. Her children didn't have a concrete answer but explained that they would divide everything between the 3 of them so that she wouldn't have to take up any of the burden herself.

She argued that while she valued their opinions on anything related to their home, this matter was hers to decide alone and she didn't want her ex-husband living with her at all. Her children immediately accused her of being "heartless," and that she should allow their father the opportunity to be in peace during his final moments on this earth.

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"They're still pressuring me to change my mind, especially with their father only having 15 more days in his house, but I can't feel anything other than offended that they asked that knowing how much the divorce messed with [my] depression and anxiety," she added. "My ex got in touch on my personal number, asking to rethink and leave the past behind just in these last moments. Funny that he asked me, but not his exes much younger than me."

She concluded her post by questioning if she's actually being too "petty" by refusing to let him move in with her and their kids, or if she's made the right decision.

People agreed that she has every right to put her well-being first, especially since it's her house and she doesn't have a great relationship with her ex.

"The audacity of your ex-husband and the unfair pressure from your children is completely unjustifiable. You are not a rehabilitation center or a forgetful sanctuary just because he now faces his mortality," one Reddit user pointed out.

Mom Called Heartless For Refusing To Let Dying Ex Live With Her Photo: yacobchuk / Canva Pro

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"You shared a life once, but that bond was severed through his own doing. Being in need does not automatically qualify him for your compassion or your home, especially not at the expense of your peace of mind."

Another user agreed, writing, "Your kids are probably getting a lot of psychological pressure from their dad, but they should be old enough to recognize that it's unfair and manipulative and should not be putting this to you at all. Shut this down and if they try to guilt you, offer to help them find a place."

"There’s a line between being compassionate and being a doormat, and it's one you have the right to draw. Your children mean well, but their sympathy should not erase the history that led to this point nor impose an obligation on you to set aside your well-being," a third user chimed in.

This mom should not feel pressured to invite her ex-husband into her house because he is sick.

It's incredibly tragic that this woman's ex-husband is suffering from an illness that has cut his life short, but all she can do is provide her children with emotional support as they deal with the impending death of their father.

However, she is under no obligation to allow him into her home, and therefore back into her life. She no longer has to care for him through sickness because those vows don't apply to them anymore.

There are also a plethora of other options that their children can provide for him, including hospice. They can all pool their money together to make sure their father is receiving an adequate amount of support through this illness, and they can even move in with him and take over payments on his house throughout the remaining months of his life.



Trying to guilt their mother into housing her ex-husband, is not only unfair, it's manipulative.

While the situation is undoubtedly heartbreaking, and this woman clearly takes no joy in turning away her dying ex-husband, her choice to prioritize her well-being is valid and deserving of respect.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.