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Man 'punishes' family by no longer doing birthdays, holidays, or vacations; 'Not after what my dad did to us.' AITA?

Man 'punishes' family by no longer doing birthdays, holidays, or vacations; 'Not after what my dad did to us.' AITA?

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When this man is upset with his dad, he asks the internet:

"AITA for “punishing” my family by no longer doing birthdays, holidays, vacations because my Dad screwed me and my wife over?"

When my wife and I were talking about getting married, my Dad said that he would give us a down payment for a home.

We were thrilled and kept that in mind. We would be able to afford a good starter home with his help, and we scrimped and saved to add to it.

Except apparently HE meant “a sum of money good for a down payment for a house near us” where the cost of living is low.

He did not ever mean a down payment for a home in Colorado, where my wife and I have lived since we were in college. He said he thought I would be “smart enough” to realize that we’d need to move somewhere with a lower COL than Colorado.

He keeps saying "move to a cheaper city." Our lives are here. Our friends, our jobs, our hobbies. You can’t exactly leave your house and be up on top of a 14,000ft peak in 6 hours where my family is.

I told him that we had never talked about moving back there, and we never would.

That we would rather be stuck renting for a while longer than be stuck somewhere we didn’t want to be, and the “move to a cheaper city” wouldn’t work for us. He said “so be it” and gave us the amount and that was that. I expressed gratitude and thanked him for the money. It is still towards the goal.

Well because of this shift in our finances, we have had to make a lot of changes to save up the rest of the money. We have had to cut out vacations, birthday gifts, holidays, etc. We won’t be traveling home for a few years. At our current rate, we should have an ok down payment by the end of next year (2025).

My Dad confronted us about this because we won’t come for a summer break trip and told me that I was being a selfish, entitled brat because I hadn’t gotten my way. That I was essentially punishing the rest of the family because we “assumed” what his gift would be.

I told him that I was grateful for the amount he gave us, but that it means we do need to buckle down and save every penny if we want to be able to afford a house anytime soon. Even townhouses around us are easily over 400k, and that’s for the sketchy ones.

But is my Dad right? AITA?

Let's see what readers had to say:

skyward93 writes:

NTA-I live on the west coast and my family is on the east coast. It is so expensive now to travel. People always expect you to go to them bc you’re an asshole for leaving but it’s really not fair. If you want to save for a house I get not wanting to visit. They can always visit you or offer to help pay travel expenses if they really want to see you.

emobop writes:

YTA for framing it as your dad screwing you over. He offered you a down payment for a home. You assumed it would be a certain amount. It wasn’t. But he still gave you a generous gift. And now you describe that generous gift as screwing you over.

Also, while you’re under no obligation to go on family trips, to cut out any visits to them for a few years after your dad gave you this generous gift because it wasn’t as much as you were expecting sends a message, whether you mean it to or not.

catapilla writes:

YTA because you seem to think he screwed you over because you assumed he was taking into account your area’s cost of living with that offer. He still gave you money. And yes, you are punishing them.

Because you could make a short trip and keep costs down. Especially if it is a low COL area you will be visiting. But that is up to you.

Just know that a lot of people aren’t lucky enough to receive any help with buying a house and you should be grateful. And you can send cards to people to let them know you thought of them on special occasions.

trasmith8im writes:

ESH. You assumed and therefore you made an ass out of you and, well, your dad. He’s right to a degree, you are acting a bit spoilt and entitled over a misunderstanding. He gave you free money and you’re saying you got “screwed over” because it’s not as much as you wanted?

Grow up. You resent the suggestion you should live somewhere actually within your means because you can’t be on a mountain at the drop of a hat?

Yeah, your dad’s kinda got a point. But if you are saving that hard for a deposit (though seemingly not to the point of cutting out your precious hobbies?) then fair enough that you’re not going to do family holidays etc and your dad should accept that.

weaselphantttt writes:

YTA, and obnoxiously entitled, your father saying he'd pay down payment isn't a blank check, it could be any amount his amount was based on where he lives which is logical, why would your dad factor down payment based on where you are?

It's nonsensical to assume he'd know that, and you could've let him know from offer how much you'd need in your mind but that doesn't mean he'd have give it. You weren't screwed over, he still gave you down-payment money. 20% down-payment in CO for a house worth 580k is like 120k.

That would be an insanely big ask, are you keeping that same energy with wife's family? How much did they contribute? It's weird that you are acting like you were screwed over, you weren't.

montwhiskkk writes:

YTA and your assumptions don't make any sense. The amount of a down payment depends on several factors: what type of loan you're getting (FHA or other), how much your house costs, and how much you *want* to put toward the down payment.

So the idea that you had some grand number in your head that your dad failed to meet is just ridiculous. The amount of ingratitude you have for getting money at all is astounding. You and your wife are both entitled AHs.

rayed writes:

YTA - You were given a gift of cash that you characterize as being "screwed over". Strike one. You stopped giving gifts only after you discovered you weren't getting a Colorado-sized down payment. Strike two.

You are actually in better shape than you were before but now, all of a sudden, you're scrimping and saving to buy a house? Where was all this frugality before the 'lowball screwjob' of a gift from your father?

I just left Denver about 18 months ago and my first townhouse - NOT sketchy in any shape, way, fashion, or form - just hit the $400k valuation mark. You strike me as greedy and entitled and looking to punish your father for not crippling himself financially just so you can get a nicer house.

You're in Colorado and 'live in the big city' so there's no doubt you're talking about Denver. Yes, it's flipping expensive buying real estate out there but you are, without a doubt, turning up your noses at perfectly nice neighborhoods because you just have to have a place in the 'right' area.

I was living in a nice townhouse (my second one, not the $400k first one referenced earlier) in West Colfax but could have had a 3,000 sq ft house with a yard for about half the price farther out from the 'trendy area' and that area is not sketchy, not in the least. You're being picky, greedy, and entitled from my perspective.

ssugreeen writes:

YTA. Dude gave you a big chunk of a downpayment for a house. That's more than most people get. Least you can do is give him some of your time. How much does it really cost you to visit back home once or twice a year? It's not like you are paying for a hotel and meals out.

It's also a bit entitled to think your dad should fund you living in a place with a much higher COL than he lives. I understand the idea of parents wanting the best for their kids, but that would be a level of altruism above and beyond what any reasonable person should expect.

You didn't give specifics, but it's possible a 20% downpayment for a Denver house is equivalent to most of the value of his own house. That's a lot.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Is he TA or not?

Sources: Reddit
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