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Wife angry husband gave parents $10K for teeth; 'I didn't realize we were keeping score.'

Wife angry husband gave parents $10K for teeth; 'I didn't realize we were keeping score.'


"AITA for telling my wife not to worry about it when I gave my parents $10,000 for some dental work my dad needed."


I have been the sole breadwinner for my family since the beginning. I met my wife in university and she graduated but she decided that she wanted to be a stay at home mom. She worked for a few years untill we got married and she got pregnant. She worked until a couple of months before our son was born but never returned to the work force after that.

We have raised three kids together as a team. We have now managed to get the last through university and out of the house. My wife now spends her days gardening, walking our dogs or taking care of the house. Every weekend she takes her parents grocery shopping. My parents are still very independent and do not require my physical help.

She also subsidizes her parents grocery bill to the tune of $400-$500 a month. I know prices have gone nuts and they are good people and it doesn't affect our budget so I don't care. My mom recently told me that my dad has been putting off some dental work he needs because it is too expensive even with their insurance.

I gave them the money. Once again, it's not a big bite out of our savings and will not affect our budget. My wife had a problem with me gifting my parents the money. I told her to relax and that it wasn't a big deal.

She says it is a big deal and that we should have discussed it first. I asked her when we discussed buying her parents groceries. Or paying for her parents to come on vacation with us. She got upset and said that she didn't realize I was keeping score. I said I hadn't been until she brought up the money. She thinks "it's different." I don't think it is. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NTA. Normally, I'd say Y T A for not discussing major expenditures with your partner. However, between $500/month in groceries for years and paying for their vacation, she's easily spent that amount without asking you. So no, NTA. She's a hypocrite.


INFO: How long has she been subsidizing her parents groceries? Why did she pay for her parents to come on vacation? Of course she thinks it’s “different.” It’s a big lump sum, which therefore seems expensive. So I can almost understand her wanting to discuss it beforehand.

However, you said she didn’t discuss paying for her parents monthly groceries (which add up - 2 years of groceries at the prices you list are the equivalent of your father’s dental work). It sounds like there needs to be more communication but I’m going to go with NAH.

The OP responded here:


For about five years now.


NTA. Unless you are harboring some resentment that your wife has never contributed financially to the marriage. I’ve effectively been the sole earner for my family largely from the beginning. I substantially subsidized my wife’s parents financially for years. But I don’t hold any resentment about any of that.

And she doesn’t object to unilateral financial decisions I may make that don’t put our future comfort at risk. Not all aspects of the partnership of marriage are equal and in need of discussion and explicit agreement, so long as both partners agree they are generally equitable.

Your wife may be sensitive to the fact that maybe her current contribution isn’t quite enough, and inappropriately projecting that insecurity here.

The OP again responded:


Without my wife staying home to do the lion's share of the work we would not be where we are financially.


500x12 = 6000 a year. I think you are justified. It looks like you can afford the bills for both side. Therefore, there shouldn’t be any issues. You both are good people. Good luck.


NTA. Sounds like y’all help out her parents regularly and it’s no big deal so I don’t understand her problem with it. If anyone uses the term “keeping score” in an argument, it’s generally the person who’s had whatever advantage up until that point.

My guess is she wouldn’t have an objection if y’all lump summed her parents $10k for a medical issue. I think you should just discuss large expenditures moving forward just so everyone has an understanding.

So, do you think the OP did anything wrong here? What would you recommend in terms of advice to ease the strain on their marriage?

Sources: Reddit
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