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'AITA for telling my SIL I'm not responsible for her just because my brother ran off?'

'AITA for telling my SIL I'm not responsible for her just because my brother ran off?'


It can be very hard to lay down the law with a relative, especially if your heart wants to help but your pocketbook has some reservations.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for snapping at her SIL and telling her to stop asking for money. She wrote:

"AITA for telling my SIL we are not financially responsible for her?"

My (27F) brother (40M) has been married to my sister-in-law (38F) for the past 10 years. My brother is currently absent in his daughter's life and has been deported out of the country for theft (another long story). He has a long history of dr*g abuse and has not been employed for the last so many years. He is a huge narcissist and terrible father to say the least.

My sister-in-law had to carry the weight of taking care of their child (my niece) mostly which I am grateful for. We always buy my niece school supplies, clothing, shoes, anything she might possibly need even though my sister-in-law limits visitation from us to her daughter.

If you're wondering why she limits visits, it's because she is also a recovering addict and worries that we might take away custody of my niece (her daughter). Recently she asked for $300 due to her car being turned off if not paid in time, and says that since my brother has been absent from their lives that we should and have the obligation to pay for her vehicle or anytime she needs help financially.

I told her that I am more than happy to help when I can, but I told her that just because my brother has been absent in their lives that it shouldn't automatically fall on my mother's lap. My mom doesn't work and when she did she worked part time making minimum wage. I also work full time, but I also go to school full time and have to pay for my own expenses i.e., tuition, rent, etc.

I understand that my brother not helping out doesn't put her in a good situation but I also think that we shouldn't be obligated to pay for her every time she asks. She thinks I am TA because I told her we are not financially responsible for her. So, AITA?

Redditors jumped on with all of their thoughts.

Realistic_Head4279 wrote:

NTA. You are not financially responsible at all for your niece or your SIL, but it is good that you help when you can by providing things you know your niece can use. Personally, I would be very careful with ever giving SIL money since she too is a recovering addict. If you do ever decide to help her, make sure to pay the bill direct.

With an addict, you can never be sure what will actually happen to the money. Her limiting contact with your niece certainly is unreasonable and even suspicious to me.

ElManuel93 wrote:

I understand why you feel bad for your decision, but you are NTA in this situation. I hope for your niece that things turn out alright (maybe getting custody would actually be a good idea? If your SIL is still taking dr*gs 🙈)

OP responded:

I looked into this but in the state where I live I need an 18 year age gap between to be considered. We are only 12 years apart in age.

Kitastrophe8503 wrote:

"Recently she has asked for $300 due to her car being turned off if not paid in time,"

I'm sorry...her car being turned off? Is this AI generated?

OP responded:

No not AI generated her text message specifically stated "i need $300 if I don't pay for it today, they turn off my car remotely." I am not sure what situation this is, but that is what she told us.

FlatConclusion8847 wrote:

NTA. I'm so sorry you are being put in this situation. It's like she is emotionally blackmailing you by proxy. She knows you care, and it seems she is taking advantage of that.

Please know I am in no way whatsoever implying that she uses the money for school supplies or shoes for dr*gs, but you need her to stop thinking of you as her personal ATM, so I'd advise you stop giving her any money, but instead go buy the stuff for your niece, with your niece.

Since your mom is retired, and if she is able to, I bet you would gladly offer her to watch HER daughter while she is looking for the job necessary to finance her car.

Unless they live in a rural area without public transportation, or there might be some other valid concerns for their safety like due to racism, for instance, they can take the bus if she doesn't accept THIS kind of help. If I were you, I'd ask her point blank how she would support her daughter, finance the car, pay for her shoes if (God forbid!) something were to happen to you and your mom.

shrimpfajita wrote:

I've never heard that the obligation of child support goes from the father to the next on kin if he refuses. Plenty of single parents don't get sh*t, so she should truly be grateful for what you do contribute.


EyeRollingNow wrote:

It sound like she is eligible for government support. It also sounds like everyone is just getting by so it isn’t even possible to grant her entitled guilt inducing demand.

Overall, this is a really hard situation, and the person likely hurting most in it is OP's niece.

Sources: Reddit
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