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'AITA for 'causing' my neice and nephew to fall into the pool?' UPDATE 7X

'AITA for 'causing' my neice and nephew to fall into the pool?' UPDATE 7X


"AITA for 'causing' my neice and nephew to fall into the pool?"


Happened today. My folks decided to host a barbeque because I guess that's what older people do. I declined because I really don't like my two sisters, their husbands or their kids (wife and I are child free). Mom then pressured the wife. Long story short, we went.

By the time we arrived there were about 20 people there. My sisters and their husbands were already solidly buzzed. My mom was spending 100% of her time trying to keep the nieces & nephews (ages 7 to 11) more or less under control. My dad had strategically retreated to the whirlpool part of the pool with small cooler full of beers.

Wife and I made small talk with miscellaneous people, ate food and had a frozen margarita. Sisters/BILs took turns criticizing us for being late, not being in our swimsuits and screwing up the vibe. Whatever. Typical suburban summer get together.About 45 minutes in two of the kids ran at one of the neighbor guests who was standing next to the pool and pushed her in.

She was at the pool steps, stumbled in but didn't fall so only got half wet. She was clearly very unhappy about it but she didn't make a scene, just went over to where the parents were, grabbed their towels, dried herself off and left. Sisters and BILs thought it was all great fun.

A bit later I was standing a few feet away from the pool chatting away with someone. I saw three of the kids running full tilt at me from the corner of my eye. Obviously I was next. Not that it's terribly difficult to outwit young kids but I just jumped out of their way at the last second. All three of them ran straight into the pool at full speed.

Most of the other guests (including my wife and me) started laughing, but their moms - who as I mentioned were pretty sh*tfaced - absolutely freaked out. Apparently two of the kids couldn't swim even though they were in swimsuits. Since I wasn't in swim gear I stepped back from the pool and let other people fish the kids out. The kids were bawling their eyes out like they'd lost a limb.

At that point all hell broke loose. The four parents were yelling at everyone in general and me in particular for 'nearly letting their kids drown' and also because two of the kids had been videoing the trick using their parents' iPhones, which were now at the bottom of the pool.

One of my BILs got into the pool to try to retrieve the phones but his BMI and BAC made that impossible. No one else volunteered to help, unsurprising given that my sisters were still b*&^hing at everyone.

I told my sisters it was their job to watch the their kids and that if anything had happened to them it would have been their responsibility, not mine. There were some pretty strong words on both sides. Wife and I left after the other BIL fell over and face planted while yelling at us. Now they're saying I should have let the little s@*ts knock me into the pool and have their fun (and ruin my phone).

So... AITA?

Side note: Dad, of course, never got out of the whirlpool.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the initial post:


NTA. The kids FAFO. IF the parents' phones got ruined in the process, that's on them for not controlling their little hellions. I can see why you avoid family get togethers. Hopefully, next time, your wife won't allow herself to be guilted into making you go.

The OP responded here:


That's probably the one positive thing that will come out of this. Wife is much more tolerant and forgiving than I am towards my siblings but based on what she was saying on the way home I think she's had it with them as well.


Maybe you and your wife can just have your dad over to your place next time? I’d party with him 8 days a week.


Dad was the smart one. He knew what was going to happen.


Dad was smart except he left it all on Mom to do the grandchild wrangling. Not that either of them should have to, but they were cohosts….


If they’re anything like my parents, the mom brings it upon herself, planning the whole thing and enabling her precious grandangels despite dad’s protests, then plays the victim when things go horribly wrong. Camping in the whirlpool is one giant “I told you so.”

Around a month later, the OP returned with an update.

"UPDATE: AITA for jumping out of the way when my niece and nephew tried to push me into a pool, resulting in them falling in?"


First off, my folks tell me that my nieces and nephews are all good swimmers and that they use the pool all the time. The 7 year old is still a beginner but he loves the water. My sister just said they couldn't swim so I'd look bad. To be fair, none of the kids are allowed in the deep end, which is where they fell in. It was the two 10 year olds and the 9 year old who tried to push me into the pool.

After we left the party ended on a pretty sour note. My drunk brother in law who face planted while yelling at me had to go to an urgent care place and get his face stitched up. He was too toasted to drive so Dad took him. Dad was very not happy about this. Later that evening, my sisters started a group text and said some really nasty crap.

Their husbands threw in a few comments as well. Wife and I blocked the four of them. My mom called me, she was pretty upset about what they said (she and dad were in the chat) and I don't blame her. Because of the texts my folks insisted my sisters / BILs come over the next day (Sunday) without their kids to 'get some things straight and lay down some ground rules' (mom's wording).

The result was a contrite if unenthusiastic apology from the siblings via my mom's phone. I'm glad my wife was with me when they called - her hard stares kept me from saying what I wanted to. I just told them thanks and that we felt no need to discuss it further.

Since I thought things were settled I unblocked them. That evening I got a text from one of the BILs telling me the phones cost $XXXX and asking when I'd be paying for them. WTF???

I replied 'Never', took a screenshot of his text and forwarded it to my folks with a note that we were done with this nonsense, were going no contact with sisters / spouses and not to invite us to any more holidays or get togethers if they'll be present. Then I blocked the sisters and their spouses again.

At that point the sh*t really hit the fan. Dad called them and ripped them a new one. Among other things he told them the grandkids were not welcome at his place indefinitely. Since my mom regularly provides free babysitting that got them pretty rattled. He also banned them from using the vacation house and told them my wife and I actually own it, not he and mom.

This completely freaked them out - both of my sisters' / families use the place a lot including having their friends up for weekend getaways. This was very much out of character for my folks. They'd clearly had it. And for reference, I never wanted my sisters to know we own the place.

We bought it for my folks; they'd always wanted a place in the mountains. Keeping the ownership quiet was just a way to avoid drama with my siblings. A couple of days later my sisters and their husbands came to our place unannounced to apologize in person. We were out to dinner and they left a note.

One sister also called me at work too, I sent her to voicemail. We've decided being no contact is the best thing for the indefinite future and haven't interacted with them for the last 3+ weeks. Personally I'm done, they can go pound sand.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this update from the OP:


They’re just really sorry now bc their free babysitting is gone and you own the cabin.


Remind me to thank my brother for how well he's raising my nephews, who have never tried anything even remotely close to this nonsense despite occasionally being little shits in their own right.


“We’re sorry”

“Now tell mom and dad we apologized so they’ll take the kids again.”


Love this outcome for you!! The effed around and found out. They’re only sorry because they no longer get free babysitting or a vacation spot.


100% this. Do we have the same parents???? My mom enables one of my siblings and their children to the detriment of literally everything else.


'One of my BILs got into the pool to try to retrieve the phones but his BMI and BAC made that impossible.'

lol NTA. they are lucky the neighbor they pushed didn’t get hurt, those kids sound terrible.


If this sub is the barbecue/pool party, then we’re all collectively the dad chilling in the whirlpool section, watching the drama unfold.

A month later, the OP surprisingly returned.

"Update #2"


Well, it's been an interesting last few days. I thought the sh*t had hit the fan before but it was more of a fart compared to what's happened this week. For this to make sense I need to provide some financial context.

My folks haven't ever been any good at saving money (I've been doing their taxes for years so I know pretty much everything about them moneywise). Their house is paid for and they have minimal debt but they didn't save much for retirement.

Both of them get Social Security, dad gets a solid pension and they have a bit of savings but there's no treasure chest in the basement. I bought their current car for them after they retired, a retirement present so they could have something nice to drive. It was the first car in probably 20 years they didn't lease.

My sisters are convinced the folks are dripping with money and that our parents will be leaving the two of them everything since I don't need more money, so they've never cared about saving either.

Turns out my oldest sister and her husband (they have three kids) have been living beyond their means for some time and are in financial straits. They've maxxed out their credit cards and are behind on their car leases to the point that one is about to get repossessed. He'd bragged in the past about making X per year but it turns out to be about half that.

She confessed all this to mom on Tuesday because they need a loan and because (and this was a WTF moment for mom and dad) for the last three years, instead of staying at the vacation house regularly, she's actually been renting it out once a month or so and pocketing the cash - we're talking $2000+ for a weekend and at least $4000 for a week.

With her being cut off from using the place she's had to cancel one group already. She's now worried they'll lose everything. My folks aren't in any position to give them a loan. My other sister was aware of her renting out the place but of course hasn't ever said anything.

I suspect she's done the same thing as well because I went up there once to drop off an ATV I'd had worked on and there was a family there who claimed to be staying there with my sister / her family and that they'd "gone to town for something". At the time I let it go - I figured she'd loaned out the house to some friends. But I've always wondered.

I found all this out through my folks who are pretty stressed out about it, mom more than dad, he's mainly just p*ssed off about it all. I know dad feels betrayed. And I imagine he's embarrassed that he's in no position to help his daughter out. He did reiterate that as long as it's up to him, the girls won't be using the vacation home anytime soon.

My folks let me know what's going on because they figured my sisters would put a full court press on me next. And they were right. On Thursday my sisters came to our place again (without husbands this time) and waited outside the door until I got home. I had to choose between fighting with them in public, them making a scene if I went in without them or letting them in so I let them in.

I got a bullsh*t story from the older sister with the younger one backing her up regarding why I needed to let them use the mountain place again immediately. They also said I've been a sh*tty brother and that I needed to "step up" and plan on paying for their kids' college tuitions since "that's what family does".

I let them pitch their story then called them out based on what my folks had told me. Things went to sh*t from there. There was denial, crying, cursing, yelling, you name it. I swear my ears are still ringing two days later. I won't lie - I said some really mean and sh*tty things to them but nothing that wasn't true. They finally left after about an hour.

After that, I took a shower and laid down. When I got up my wife was home and her first words were that she'd had to block more phone numbers because my sisters were blowing up our phones from new ones. Folks messaged me yesterday asking me to call. I'm sure my sisters have told them some bullsh*t version of what happened but I'm not up to rehashing it yet.

I'm usually a pretty energetic person but this drama has me beaten down. I had just enough energy today to drive up to the vacation house and padlock the entrance gate shut. I'm the only one with a key. I'm guessing that will be enough to ensure my siblings leave the place alone.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this unexpected update:


Wow, your sisters are sh*tty people. The whole "because family" statement is such a cop-out for shitty people. They believe it allows them the ability to treat you badly and still ask for money/help. I am not sure what your parents want to talk about. However, if I were you, I would not help your sister out money wise.

I think they need to hit rock bottom to jar them enough to pull their heads out of their a**es. The fantasy world they live in does not exist, and its about time for them to realize that. Hopefully, your parents don't try and press you to assist. I think that would just enable your sister and her family to continue to live beyond their means.

Honestly, if you were to give your sister money, you can expect to never see it again. Just reading all of your posts has made me tired. Haha, I hope for your sake that things start to slow down.


I get that this is about way more than a kids' prank. I know that. But dang, what an escalation that was from start to finish.


I hope he just sells the mountain house. The sisters will be coming at him—and his parents—for access to that place as long as there’s the tiniest sliver of hope. And renting it out like that without insurance? OOP has been carrying that liability for three years.


You just know that when he does finally sell that house, the sisters will be coming for the money. “For the kids’ college” or suchlike.


Cameras on the vacation property. Even just a Ring camera. They are absolutely going to try to get in. OP also needs to grow a f*cking spine- you know your sisters are trying to pick a fight, so you let them inside your house?!?!!? Nuh-uh! Make them meet you in public so they are forced to keep their bullsh*t toned down, or risk arrest.

And start a goddamn paper trail. Police reports, restraining orders, something, so that when they- inevitably- do something criminal, you can take them to task for it. Family who bullies you isn't family- it's just d0uchebags you have DNA in common with.

Two and a half weeks later, the OP returned with another update:

"Update #3"


Yet another update regarding the cluster f that is my extended family. Thought it might be time given what's gone on over the past two weeks.

After my sisters came to my place my mom and dad told me they were done with managing the vacation home. Sounded like the sisters had been pressuring them to let them use the place again.

Basically my folks handed the responsibility for place over to me and told me it was my problem from here on out. Up until then, they'd kept track of who would be using it when and they'd taken care of routine maintenance, replacing worn out items, etc.

In any case, they decided they didn't want to be in the middle of all this crap. While I don't blame them, I'm disappointed because the damn place was supposed to be something for them to enjoy and hang out in and they use it regularly.

Plus I've never cared that they let my sisters and their families use it, because really I've always thought that was my parents' call even though I technically own it. But now my folks are going to be in the position of not having access without me being involved and that changes the whole dynamic of the place. I've taken several steps to secure the place.

I already mentioned that I locked the gate, it has a heavy duty chain and the best lock I could find. I also did a full reset on all the door keypads and created all new codes. Security cameras got installed yesterday, which is actually pretty cool because the installer convinced me to put a high res one that looks out over the valley.

The system cost me way more than I thought it would but the peace of mind is worth it. The installer also put up signs on the property saying the place was monitored by video.

I also installed a heavy duty lockout for the water shutoff / drain valve. I hope to hell I don't lose the keys for it because if I do it's going to be a bear to try to remove. Haven't told anyone but my wife that the water is locked off and again, only we have the keys.

Last week I got separate calls at my office from both of the husbands trying to convince me to let them use the house "like they always have". The older one had gone up with some friends for a guy's hangout but couldn't get in because of the gate lock. He was pretty p*ssed and embarrassed about being locked out, I'm sure he would have broken the lock if he could have.

During his call he kept bouncing between pushy and victimhood. At one point he threatened to "rip that gate outta the goddamn ground". He also admitted they'd been renting it out to "a few friends." He said that they needed the money, I was ruining their "business" and that I should refund their guests' money (Me?? F that).

I should have recorded the conversation with him but I don't know how to do that from an office phone anyway. The other BIL just sounded like he was being made to call by my sister, he didn't really put up a fight when I told him not to plan on ever using the place again. In any case, I told them they can't use the place and not to ask again.

At this point I'm considering selling the vacation home. My wife and I won't use it enough to justify keeping it and it's not like there's going to be any family get togethers there anytime soon. I mentioned selling it to my folks, their response was pretty much "whatever".

I'd more than double my money by selling it, the place consists of three lots with killer views and is at the end of a private road. But I'll probably wait for a while to sell, doing so now would be an emotional decision. My sisters and I aren't currently speaking and I have no plans to initiate contact. I don't know what the status between them and my folks is and I don't want to.

On the upside, we spent an evening with my folks last week, went to a new restaurant that was nice. No one brought up any of this crap. My mom did update us on the nieces and nephews, she's spending time with them at their homes. Sorry this update isn't full of laughs or owns, that's just life sometimes.

Here were the top rated comments after this update:


Thank you so much for the update. I'll advise you to check with your adviser if renting your property would be worth while, after all this improvements, a conscious minded renter might give you a good buck for month, or year rental. Selling now as you said, may not be in your best interest.

About your pushy bil, I'll ask my lawyer to draft a letter of intent to sue for the profits from the rentals. Also include a change of missuse and any property loss or destroyed. Maybe do it for both. This will stop any further attempts, as they seem very entitled to your property and money. Good luck! Update us if you can or need more ideas.

The OP responded here:


I agree that my sisters and their families are very entitled. They're also in an extremely weak position in all of this. The place is a bit remote to rent as a long term home. Plus there are times during the winter the road is impassable, so staying there year round is pretty iffy.

There are a couple of permanent residents on the road who are at a lower elevation and relatively close to the year round public road but even they have to hunker down or bug out a few times each winter.

Regarding making it a vacation rental: doing so would be seen by my sisters as rubbing salt in the wound and would give them a reason to create more drama. And honestly we don't need the money. The place is paid for, it's in great shape, it doesn't cost much to keep the lights on, etc.

I did think about lawyering up and covering them with paper. It wouldn't even cost me much, a good friend is a property law attorney. But again, doing so would escalate things and give them reason to create family drama.

My primary goal at this point is to minimize my involvement with them and minimize any nonsense that causes my parents stress. I'm willing to take some short term flak and absorb some expenses like the camera system to keep things contained. It could blow up again but I suppose I'll drive off that bridge when I come to it.

I don't think we'll sell right away if at all, it's more of a last resort / personal fantasy thought than anything else. There's a good chance that come holiday season my folks will reset and want to have the entire family there.

Which is fine, we won't be going of course but I don't care if my parents have guests there. I intend to keep control of the place for the indefinite future though, which will be inconvenient at times because I'll be the only person with a gate key. But I can live with that.


I'm still amazed at this: HOW are you gonna tell somebody that YOU rented out THEIR property...without their knowledge or consent...and then demand that THEY, the rightful owner, reimburse the guests that YOU illegally rented to??? I need that level of audacity. I'd be Queen of the World by now. Good Lord! I'm sorry, OP.

Some relatives are best endured at arm's length. Your sisters and their husbands are definitely the arm's length variety. Your parents just chose peace and low-key threw you under the bus. By turning the property back to you, they don't have to deal with your siblings' shenanigans while making you the heavy.

I'm not really mad at them about that, your sisters sound monstrous, but you seem to have a titanium spine. Respect! Came back to add, I sure as shootin' wouldn't give them access to the property EVER again. If they were renting it out without your knowledge, they might decide to just move in and squat in the house and on the property. UGH!

The OP responded again here:


Yeah, the renting thing... I just don't have words. One of the harsh-but-true things I told my sisters was that they had risked my property and stolen from me and that made them no better than common thieves. They're response was that our parents hadn't told them they couldn't so it was OK. I just can't think that way.

Don't know about the spine but thanks. I think it's more that I just don't care that much for them and because of all this nonsense I'm now having trouble caring if they live or die. That might be unhealthy of me but I'm comfortable with my feelings.

I agree about the arm's length thing too. We're staying no contact with them all for the indefinite future.


Thanks for the update. Looking forward to the next ones if there is any. Also karma’s a b*tch!

One month later, the OP returned with yet another update.

"Update #4"


A couple of people have asked for an update, here you go. I hired a guy to manage / look over the vacation home. He lives in the area, takes care of his folks and manages a good number of properties. Some are vacation rentals, some are weekend places like ours. He has access to my camera feeds and does a physical check on the place every week or two.

I think he may have the best job in the mountains. He gets paid to drive around with his dog, walk around the properties and hangs out on people's decks whenever he feels like it. He also has a camera feed from a house near the start of the private road that takes still shots whenever a vehicle goes past it.

I'm paying him $450 per month plus he'll do basic maintenance and repairs on an hourly basis. He's friends with all of the sheriff's deputies too. Got a lot of peace of mind from doing this. And he sends photos from his walks to everyone once or twice a week.

I have to brag a bit on my parents (I got all this from them tonight at dinner). They were getting pressure from my sisters to demand that I open up the vacation house to everyone for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving up there had become quite the tradition for the family (not for me or my wife, we've gone once in seven years).

My dad refused to bother me about it because he knew I'd say no. They came up with what I think is a great plan, announced that they were organizing the Thanksgiving gathering and - if everyone split the cost in advance - they'd rent an Airbnb in the mountains. Otherwise they'd host Thanksgiving at their place or one of my sisters could host it.

This caused a fight between my sisters because my middle sister was all for doing the Airbnb but the oldest one doesn't have any money. The deadline to commit to the Airbnb has passed; looks like Thanksgiving will be at my parents' place. Regardless, we won't be there.

My parents have asked that we not sell the place for now, they decided they'd still like to use it occasionally but not until my sisters have come to terms with the new normal. And of course they'd probably like it if everyone could get together there again down the road, but that's just not going to happen.

I'd just as soon sell it and move on at this point but I can live with keeping it if my folks do use it now and again. Plus it will be worth even more down the road. My wife and I have stayed no contact with my sisters and their husbands.

Both of my sisters have called from new numbers (F you Google Voice) and left messages insisting that I meet with them "for our parents' sake" to work out how everyone can use "the family vacation home".

They called my wife too. I'm glad I was already in the habit of not answering calls if I don't recognize the number. I honestly don't know if they're delusional or if they think they can bully me into giving them access again. Don't really care.

My parents tell me that my oldest sister and her husband are getting out of the leases for their SUV and big stupid truck and are selling their jet skis and some other sh!!t they've never needed. That's going to be really hard on her, she's quite the braggart and won't like being seen in something older / smaller / cheaper.

My BIL's identity is very much wrapped up with his truck as well, he even has a small tattoo of the truck company's logo. Which frankly is one of the many reasons why he and I never hung out.

Several people have suggested I make the vacation home into an Airbnb. I don't plan to do so, at least any time soon. I know it would make money but it would cause an incredible amount of drama across the family and would stress out my parents.

They don't need that. It would also be a hassle to remove personal things my folks have there, that stuff has nowhere to go. And there would be wear and tear on the place. And I'm sure it would take some amount of time on my part even though I'd use a manager to do it. Just not worth it to me.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP resurfaced:


Let us use your vacation home FOR OUR PARENTS SAKE!!!


Thanks for the update OP. I find it quite hilarious that your Sisters still can’t handle the fact that it’s YOUR vacation home. That they went as far as to dub it “ the family vacation home”, and use you parents again for sympathy. They need to learn humility.

The OP responded here:


Yep, that line killed me. And they both used it in separate voicemails. They're trying hard to find any crack in my armor, kind of curious as to what they'll try next. Which will probably happen soon because another tradition is to meet up there right after Christmas for a few days. Sometimes for several days including New Years.

I'm pretty pleased that my dad has been firm with them on all of this. I've rarely seen him be that way, his nature is gregarious, friendly, good at getting people to cooperate, that sort of thing. He's also told me that he likes not feeling responsible for the place any more.


Look, man. You just need to think about your parents and let me use the vacation home. It’s really only affecting them to not allow me, a random redditor, use the home. Honestly, the amount of anguish you’re causing your parents over this is just insane. Just let me stay there, bro.


This type of delusion seems so freaking unreal.

A month and a half later, the OP returned with another update.

"Update #5... Crap."


Wrote most of this yesterday but decided to wait to post it until I wasn't so wound up. Waiting didn't work, I'm still wound up. Sorry if this rambles, so much has happened, hard to write coherently. Things have gone crazy. I really, truly did not think anything like this would happen.

Short version: My brothers in law broke into my vacation home and were arrested. They've been charged with breaking and entering, destruction of property and communicating threats, all Class 1 misdemeanors. I've refused to drop the charges. I might do so if I'm fully paid for the damage they caused. They were still in jail as of Saturday evening, I assume they're out by now.

Things had settled down, at least I thought so. Haven't seen or heard from my sisters in over six weeks. My parents went up to the house for a week and had a good time.

David - the property manager I hired - has worked out great, he's done a couple of repairs I asked him to do and I've given him a list that he's going to work on. He usually sends a photo or two of wildlife or a sunset to his clients every week, was kind of making me want to get up there.

Friday after Thanksgiving my BIL's went to my vacation home. They used an angle grinder to cut through the chain on the driveway gate and damaged the gate in the process. They tried to get in through the front door, ruined the lock set and gouged the door badly. They finally got in through the utility floor door and a locked internal door.

They also broke into the barn, I'm not sure why. When they went out through the front door where they were met by sheriff's deputies and David. David gets notifications from the camera system when there's activity, he saw what was going on and called the sheriff's department.

According to David the BILs tried to bullshit their way out of it but the deputies didn't buy it. Breaking into an empty house is a pretty serious thing up there, usually it's substance users who ransack the place and hock everything. When the BILs were arrested they freaked out big time, were saying how they were going to beat the hell out of me, etc... Not smart to do in front of cops.

David and the sheriff's office tried calling my wife and me to see what we wanted to do but we were spending the day with her parents and had left our phones in the car so we could be in vacation mode. So they booked the BILs on everything, which is what I would have asked them to do anyway.

BILs called their wives from jail who of course freaked out; they called my folks, tried to call me (they're blocked), tried to find a lawyer up there to arrange bail (not easy to do given that it's a rural area and was a holiday weekend). Older sister has zero cash and her cards are maxxed out so if they made bail my middle sister would have had to pay for both husbands. I know they were still in jail as of Saturday afternoon.

We didn't check our phones until late Friday on the way home from the in laws. There were a ton of calls and messages from my mom, dad, David and the sheriff's department. Talk about ruining a great day, I was in such a good mood til I looked at my phone.

My wife read through the texts and listened the messages, read them out to me and by the time we got home I had some idea of what was going on. I put my brain back into thinking mode, tried to get past my anger, failed. Called David and got the rundown on what had happened and how bad the damage was, resulting in more anger.

I ended Friday by calling the sheriff's department and telling them there was no misunderstanding, the BILs had absolutely no right to be on my property and I wanted to press charges. I didn't call my folks back. Barely slept.

I waited until Saturday afternoon to call my folks. They were both pretty rattled about it all, my mom in particular. My sisters had browbeat them into telling me I should tell the cops it was all a mistake and that I wanted the charges dropped.

I refused flat out, told them there was no way I'd do that until I spoke with an attorney and also not until I was paid in full for whatever it will cost to fix everything 100%. My mom was crying hard by the time we got off the phone which of course made me feel like shit. My dad suggested it was time for a complete start over but also said he thought they needed to pay for the damage.

I haven't gone up to the property yet. There's nothing I can do and I'll probably go nuts when I see the damage in person, the photos are bad enough. I'm hoping to tomorrow or Wednesday but my job isn't one I can just wander off from for non-emergencies.

I've left messages with two attorney friends asking them to recommend the right lawyer(s) to go after my sisters and BILs. I don't know what I can do exactly but I'm hoping to get restraining orders (I have all the texts they've sent me, that might help).

I'm strongly considering suing them for the money they made renting the place, I don't care about the cash but it will help make them as miserable as possible. The gloves are definitely off at this point.

A couple of side notes:

BILs had no idea I'd hired someone to keep an eye on things or that there are cameras there now. My parents knew but hadn't told them because they knew it would just give my sisters a reason to drama up. There are signs on the property stating it's being monitored with cameras and no trespassing signs though.

My wife has completely had it at this point. I don't blame her, she's been more than patient about it all but she reached her limit and was not shy about letting me know. She told me its up to me how I deal with this but that she thought they all needed to be taught a hard lesson.

Older BIL likely won't face any repercussions at his job over this but middle BIL has a security clearance so he might. I'm hoping that will be motivation for middle BIL to pay for the damages himself immediately.

David (the caretaker) has an interesting background. I knew he was friends with some of the deputies, figured it was because they were all locals. I was wrong, he was a cop in a big city for years, was shot on duty and afterwards decided to quit and move to where his parents had retired.

He has some PTSD over it all, his dog is a certified service animal and is usually with him. I know law enforcement people tend to hang together, I guess that's how they became his friend group. I don't want to see or speak with these Aholes for the rest of my life. I know this is in direct conflict with my overwhelming urge to make their lives as miserable as possible.

Here were the top rated commented from readers after this update from the OP:


Sorry this happened to you pal crappy situation all round but if you want a complete strangers opinion on Reddit I agree with your wife. Seems they won’t take the hints so a lesson will have to be learned here.

I know it will be a hard thing to have to go through family wise your sisters will get on at your parents and that will then get fed down to you, but your mum and dad bearing the weight of this isn’t on, it’s not their problem nor yours, your sisters and BILs made their bed and now they have to lie in it.

Do you know why they even broke into the house yet? Was it to just prove a point? Some drunken plan they made or were they going to steal and mess the place up? Sending best wishes from across the pond you’ll get through this.


Bro, make them regret being born. This some top tier level entitled BS and these type of people will never learn, but that should never stop you from teaching them a lesson.


I was really hoping it had all calmed down for you. I am so sorry for all you are going through.

At this point I would see a lawyer and go scorched earth on them, the air bnb money, everything.

Five days later, the OP returned with ANOTHER update.

"Update #6"


Didn't think I'd be doing another post this soon but a lot has happened over the past two days. Short version: I think the corner has been turned on this crap. Thursday afternoon I got a courier-delivered envelope at my office. In it was a signed letter from both my brothers-in-law and a cashier's check for $5000.

In the letter they made what I have to say was a really sincere apology. Among other things they acknowledged breaking in, acknowledged it was wrong, said the $5000 was to pay for the damage and that they'd pay more if it cost more than that. Also said they'd stay away from the vacation home unless my wife and I specifically invited them.

They also asked that I do what could to get the charges dropped as soon as possible because they both could lose their jobs and that they'd agree to a restraining order or whatever else it took for that to happen. There was more as well, all conciliatory, but that's the gist of it.

To say this was a shock is an understatement. It was (obviously) a total 180 from their past behavior. I'd already made an appointment with an attorney to see about suing my BILs over the damage and to try to get a restraining order. I called him and told him what I'd just received and he agreed to meet with me at the end of the day instead of next week. Told me not to deposit the check.

We met for about two hours. He ended up recommending the wife and I do a "settlement and mutual release agreement" with all four of them (sisters and BILs). He said if we went after them via a lawsuit that we'd almost certainly win but that it could take two years or more, there would be sizable up front legal fees and that we might never see any money.

He also said we could keep the $5000 free and clear even if we didn't let them off the hook. He's drawing up the agreement, it won't be ready until Monday. The agreement will include what's essentially the civil equivalent of a restraining order.

I'd already asked my property manager to work up a bid to get the damage repaired. I called him after the meeting and asked that he get me as close an estimate as possible ASAP. Got that Friday, he thinks it will take around $4000 to fix everything. Most of that is for the front door.

On Friday my attorney contacted each of the BILs, told them what we were proposing and advised them to get their own lawyers. They both agreed to it. The middle BIL told him they could afford to either pay for the damages or pay for a lawyer but not both and they figured a lawyer wouldn't make any difference given that they really had no defense for what they did.

His biggest concern was if the charges could be dropped. From what I can tell they're willing to do anything / sign anything to make this all go away. My attorney also called the DA's office on Friday to discuss dismissing the charges, got the name of the prosecutor and left them a message but has not spoken to them yet.

He thinks they'll dismiss the charges because the BILs are paying up and they have no priors, but then again he's not a criminal lawyer. Also said I should be prepared to drive up there Monday or Tuesday and tell the prosecutor in person that I want everything dismissed.

He's also advised me to continue to be no contact with sisters and BILs especially for the next six months and that it will be really important to follow the terms of the agreement when it comes to future interactions with them.

I'm guessing that the BILs change of heart is due to them having figured out what's at stake for them, what it's going to cost them in legal fees and fines and so on. There's also the (highly unlikely) possibility that they could go to jail for up to 120 days, and as I've mentioned one of them has a security clearance for his job that could be at risk. So this is their Hail Mary pass to keep their normal lives.

This isn't a perfect resolution to the situation, but at least it will get me past the legal and financial parts of the looney show that I've been in for the past few months. I doubt I'll ever have a civil relationship with any of them ever again and that's fine.

What I want most at this point is to close this off, get on with my life and never speak to any of them again. I'm exhausted from this. Wife feels pretty much the same way. Kind of a side issue but getting the written apology was, weirdly, a huge moment for me.

I wasn't expecting that ever but apparently it matters to me quite a bit. The money doesn't feel particularly important at this moment. I'll damn sure take it though. Also I'm pretty certain my middle sister and her husband came up with the money. The cashier's check is from the credit union of the company he works for.

Once things are signed I plan to make one more update, probably just an edit to this post. I'm sorry for being so pedantic. Writing these posts has helped clear my head and the feedback has really helped. I truly appreciate everyone's comments, insights, and support. And I really, really hope none of you ever have to go this kind of nonsense.

Here were the top rated commented from readers after this update from the OP:


This update is a Massive improvement. Make sure that they cannot contact you unless it is trough your lawyers also. They fked around and found out and now willing to do anything. Make sure your parents are in the loop about the proceedings also. That may help some overzealous entitled behaviour in the long run with your sisters.

Sincerely O.P. your Saga is incredibly difficult to deal with and you are doing it like a Champ! You and your wife are Incredibly affected by this nonsense and you both deserve to be done with this. But keep us informed we all are rooting for you <3


OP, please make sure that money didn't come from your parents first.


Is there any way your attorney can put in the agreement that if they, or any family member, attempt to coerce or manipulate your parents in an effort to sideline the agreement, then said agreement is null and void and you will take them to court for any and all monies they collected for their illegal side venture?

Five days later, the OP responded with what they say will be their last update.

"Update #7 - final (I hope!)"


Tuesday morning I met with my attorney went over the agreement. Changed a couple of minor things and he sent it to my sisters and brothers-in-law. It included a requirement that they pay my attorney's fee (about $3000). They weren't happy about that and tried to negotiate it away.

But he told them they either accept it as is or there would be no deal at all and we'd proceed with suing them for the money they got from renting out the place, wear and tear from renting it, repair costs from their break in, emotional distress, lost income from having to deal with this, attorney fees and whatever else we could. He also told them I would push hard with the DA's office to prosecute every charge.

Short version, they came in and signed. I wasn't there. I'm told it was a pretty tense environment, that the middle BIL appeared to have taken charge and that at one point he told both of my sisters to shut the hell up or he was walking away from the whole thing, making his own deal with us and the rest of them could all go to hell.

They provided another cashier's check for $2500, claimed that's all they had. It's close enough that we're going to accept it as the final payment. Attorney also told me that everyone was very cold and curt towards one another, but that they all managed to keep it together long enough to sign and left without making too big of a scene.

I drove up to the vacation house early yesterday to check out the damage and meet with the DA's office. Seeing the damage made my blood boil, it was so senseless. I was so angry that I was ready to eat the cost of repairs and do everything I could to ruin their lives. Tried walking it off, failed utterly.

Ended up calling a good friend who was kind enough to stay on the phone for over an hour letting me spew and vent. He eventually got me back to focusing on the bigger picture of putting this behind me and getting on with my life. Honestly I'm still not sure that's what I want to do but I settled down enough to get some food in me and I felt better.

After lunch I went he DA's office. Hadn't made an appointment and had to wait a while but got to meet with the assistant DA who's got the case. Short version is that since I don't want to prosecute and the BILs have already paid for the damages that they are willing to drop all the charges except trespassing, which in this case will be a class 2 misdemeanor.

The BILs will have to plead guilty and pay whatever fine the judge sets. I'm also told that if they fight the trespassing charge or ever so much as fart in public up there that it would go very poorly for them. It helped that the BILs didn't resist arrest, if they had none of the charges would have been dropped.

I also went by the sheriff's office to thank them for getting there so quickly and everything. Wanted to thank the deputies personally but only spoke to the dispatch person. And I tried to meet up with David (the property manager) but couldn't get hold of him.

A couple of notes: The agreement includes a no contact clause. Basically if any of them show up where my wife or I are (or the other way around) whoever got there last has to leave immediately. No contact except through attorneys or other "mutually agreed upon third parties".

They get to keep whatever they made from renting the vacation house (my big "give") unless I have tax consequences which they will be responsible for. And we release each other from all other liabilities up through the present. There's more to it than that but those are the high points. Wife and I will sign the agreement later today. After that I can't talk about most of this but I can talk around it.

I think this is my final update regarding all this nonsense but I'll respond to comments if I can. As I've said before, posting about all of this and reading folks thoughts and responses has been really helpful and has probably been key in my being able to handle this in a relatively healthy way. So thank you all again.

Here were the top rated comments from readers who stayed along for this entire saga:


This story got me through my last semester at school, I'm glad it wrapped up before the holidays. Although I won't complain if there's a holiday update, lol.


I have been following your story from the start and can’t believe how this all turned out. Your sisters and their husbands basically destroyed your family over their selfishness and pettiness. I feel for your parents as they are now caught in the middle and can never have their family together again for anything because of their daughters and spouses being so selfish.

I will say you are better than me because I would not have dropped the charges or made the agreement you did. They would have been sued by me especially after finding out they rented your vacation home without permission or considering the legality of it. I M usual a forgive and forget type of person but this went way too far for that.

I am glad that the legal aspect of the situation is starting to get behind but unfortunately this will never end due to the family dynamics it has created. I hope your parents stay understanding with and your wife in this situation as they have been in your previous updates. Best of luck to you and I hope for you and your wife’s sanity that this is coming to a close for you.


To think, this all started with kids pushing adults into a pool… what a family.

So, how do you think this escalated so quickly? How did it go on so long? Do you think the OP was ever being too harsh? Do you think they came out the winner?

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