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Man refuses to cover half of in-laws' assisted living costs; snaps at wife. UPDATED

Man refuses to cover half of in-laws' assisted living costs; snaps at wife. UPDATED


"AITA for telling my wife we’re not going to pay our fair share for her parents' assisted living?"

This whole situation has gotten way out of hand to the point everyone is yelling at everyone and I’m sleeping in the guest bedroom. My wife’s parents are at the point in their lives where they can no longer live by themselves. Their children decided the best place for them is an assisted living facility.

They started to look into different facilities and admittedly, I didn’t help because I figured the 5 adult siblings could handle it and I was never close to my in-laws. They found one that was perfect and my wife was very excited when she told me about it. I was less than thrilled when I found out our contribution will be roughly $3,000 upfront then $5,000 a month.

I immediately question why it cost roughly $15,000 upfront fee and $25,000 a month for 2 people in an assisted living apartment. I admit I sarcastically asked if their apartment is next door to Elon Musk’s parents.

She then told me that we’re going to cover the lion’s share of the costs because we make more than her siblings. That was the beginning of a week of texts, phone, and in-person arguments.

She argues that her siblings make less money combined than we do and some are single so it would impact them more thus so it’s only fair we pay more. She also argues that this facility is not the best or most expensive, it’s a mid-tier one with the best ratings. According to her, anything lower has bad ratings and could put her parents’ safety in jeopardy.

My argument is that there are 5 siblings so the costs should be divided equally between the 5 of them. I also argued that if 5 people can’t afford that place, they need to lower their standards. That started a circular argument for hours between cost and safety. I couldn’t take it anymore and in the heat of the moment, I yelled,

“We don’t make more than your brothers and sisters, I make more than all of you which is why you all want me to cover the cost for YOUR parents!”

That was the beginning of my nights sleeping in the guest bedroom. I know as a married couple I shouldn’t consider “mine” and “yours” income but realistically I do make more than all of them and I think it’s unfair to make me pay the largest portion. What do you all think?

Shortly after posting, OP added some clarifications.

I’m going to answer some questions. I assumed it was $25,000 a month because I assumed it was split 5 ways between the siblings and our share was $5,000 a month. It’ll be closer to $10,000 a month and our share is $5,000.

Her parents have assets including a house so I was told they don’t qualify for government assistance. I brought up the idea of selling their house but was shot down immediately. The siblings want to keep the house in the family because their great-grandfather built it or something.

I can afford to pay it but I don’t want to based on principle. Their division means I’ll be paying $5,000 a month while the youngest brother will be paying only $300 a month and will be living in the house. Their thinking is that he’ll be paying the insurance and taxes on the house so he can’t afford more than $300.

People had lots to say on the matter.

Zookeeper-007 wrote:

I’m pretty sure alimony would be cheaper.


BurnAfterEating420 wrote:

NTA. The fact that you were left out of the decision process and then expected to pony up the equivalent of a $700,000 mortgage payment is a really unreasonable ask. The cost should be split evenly. if it can't be afforded, then they need to find a cheaper place.

I would not be part of a family that uses 'just marry a guy who makes a lot of money and have him pay it' as their long-term parental care plan.

CallMeBaby__92 wrote:

NTA. Of course in a marriage there shouldn't be a mine/yours argument going on but the fact your wife agreed to pay more, knowing it's coming out of YOUR income isn't acceptable. It is not your parents. If the 5 siblings single-handedly cannot afford it, it IS too expensive. I could never imagine paying so much, and I also have 4 siblings. None of us could afford that, single or married.

Not your parents, not your problem. Either they find a cheaper option or they divide it equally under the 5 siblings, no spouses.

BetAlternative8397 wrote:

What can the siblings afford with everyone making an equal contribution? That’s the nursing home price you need to look at. Do your in-laws have any wealth? (House, investment property, savings, pensions?) those resources should be exhausted before anyone pays a penny.

If you overpay and your in-laws do have assets when they die, are the siblings going to give you a significantly higher inheritance? I think not. NTA.

KronkLaSworda wrote:

NTA, no. Jesus. My 3000 square foot house, car note, and all of my bills don't cost that much. Do not pay that much. If you still are willing to help, then tell them a number you are willing to pay and that's it. They have to find the rest of the money or lower their standards.

Your wife is WAY out of line demanding you pay this. SHE can start sleeping on the couch. You can't be asked to pay for your in-laws to live that far above their means. They made their choices in life.

And after receiving all manner of feedback, OP jumped on with another update:

I’m the only child to my parents. While they planned out their retirement, they worked their entire lives to put me through school and supported me through several degrees. I will be solely responsible for and will make sure their remaining days will be comfortable.

Per your suggestion, I asked my wife if we’re going contribute this much money to her parents, how they’re going to contribute to my parents when their time comes. She answered, “don’t be an idiot, that’s an entirely different situation.” I don’t want ownership of their house because it’s very old and needs major work. I brought up the idea of selling the house again and it was shot down again.

They’re not budging on it. None of us know the laws and regulations when it comes to this so I finally got her to agree for us to sit down with an estate attorney. Unless I feel up to it, this is probably the last update. I feel completely emotionally drained. I always knew my parents would get old but I never thought about it.

It sounds like this could be a deal-breaker for the marriage in general if they're not able to come to some sort of agreement. Hopefully, that's not the case.

Sources: Reddit
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