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Husband moves in disabled siblings and nursing team without telling wife. AITA?

Husband moves in disabled siblings and nursing team without telling wife. AITA?


Marriages are built on love and compromise.

When you join a union, you also unite your own separate families. One woman was at a loss when she felt her husband was putting the needs of his disabled siblings over her own.

Husband [37m] moved in his siblings without even letting me [32f] know. All of our future plans have basically been thrown away, and I’m heartbroken.


Husband and I have been married for 5 years. For some context, his siblings (Twins, M, F, early 20) are underdeveloped physically and mentally. They can take care of themselves as far as wiping themselves, going to the bathroom and feeding themselves, but they are rather weak, having brittle and fragile bones.

Combined with their mental immaturity, which is similar to that of about a 12-13 year old, they have to be monitored, cooked for, assisted with going up stairs, moving around for long distances etc.

They can’t take care of themselves financially because of all this. All of this I knew while we were dating, but they were being cared for by a team of nurses and caregivers at that time, not in our home.

But a few months ago, the team was all fired. My husband told me that he was planning to move them in, and about a week or so later, they were moved in, along with a new team.

I had no say or even much of a heads up about any of it. The house suddenly became full of staff—someone was always there. Our privacy was basically snatched away.

My husband already has a busy schedule (he’s a doctor, on call a lot) and now I feel like we barely have time to ourselves. I’m competing with everything and everyone. We were about to start a family now that we were all settled, things were good between us, but now everything has been thrown into chaos, and I don’t know how to feel.

I feel almost a sense of grief. I feel like I have no control of anything. I feel like he just threw away our future and plans, as cruel as that may sound. We had a talk and everything was pointing toward a divorce, but I just feel so bitter.

I feel like he’s just giving up. He feels like I’m not being thoughtful enough. I love him more than anything and want to salvage our marriage if I can, before just making any snap decisions. Any advice is appreciated.

Edit: also I should say, his parents are estranged—I’ve never met them, not even before we married. He cut them off a while ago, for a very understandable reason.

Here is what readers had to say:


Divorce is the only option, he made a life changing decision without even discussing it with you. What happens when he fires the staff and expects you to take care of them full time?Don’t have kids with him and get out whilst you can.


He has two family members who are very vulnerable and will likely need assistance for the rest of their lives. You are complaining about “chaos” and “plans” have you looked at it through his eyes? His siblings were being abused and needed him. What would you expect from him if you or your child became incapacitated? Or if that’s different, why?


This would not be good for me

But I feel like there could be some sort of compromise, it all sounds expensive but also sounds like he can afford it. Can you do something where there are areas of the house no staff allowed? Can you remodel the whole basement with kitchen living room etc so you can have privacy.

I know that wasn't your only concern but surely there are families out there that are caretaking parents or other family members. Anyway maybe you can ask on the caretaker sub or something. Maybe you're right and it's all over. But personally I think if your marriage was good before it might be worth trying to figure this out.


You said he had a very good reason for firing the last staff. Probably he now feels he needs oversight before he can trust new staff. After some monitoring will he ever be comfortable leaving his siblings with staff outside of your home like before? Can he hide cameras, like he is doing now in your home? You need to know how permanent this situation is.

As you've said his parents were not trustworthy and are not in the picture, his siblings are his responsibility. Seems like legally, ethically and in his heart. If the actions of the old staff have made it impossible for him to let his siblings live separately, then you need to decide what you can live with.

You have said his siblings are mentally children and physically very fragile. Obviously they can't care for themselves. I don't think it is fair to say your husband willfully changed your situation.

He never wanted his siblings abused and his trust violated. He clearly didn't plan that! He is doing the best he can in a bad situation. There are professional guardians. That is something you can look into if you want your situation to change. Is there a safe institution they can be in? Is there a trustworthy guardian who can oversee their care and caregivers?

Also, your husband is responsible for his siblings, but you are not. You can look into dwellings that are adjacent but not shared, like a duplex or mother-in-law suite. Where your husband can be close and monitoring, but you can have a home and potentially children in your own space. Or you can leave him if his expectation is to live in the same home with his siblings and their caretakers forever more. Good luck.


He has made it clear your opinion doesn't count. Get a very expensive lawyer.


From your comments below there sounds like a bit of missing info- like his siblings were likely being abused in some manner in the previous situation, and he only just found out?

If that's the case it is still not okay to override your input, but he's likely dealing with both guilt and fear. I'd say you both need counseling to see if there is a setup he'll be comfortable with moving forward that you can also live with. Otherwise, he is likely going to decide that their care comes before your marriage, and you will have to decide if you want to stay in it.

Six days later, the OP returned with an update.


After taking everyone's thoughts into consideration and taking some time to myself to think, I sat down with my husband when he was off call and told him I wanted to talk about everything that's happened. He told me that he wanted to talk too, and we had a raw heart to heart about everything.

We discussed the main issue that I mentioned in my previous post--I told him that I felt hurt about him not consulting or even telling me about what was going on, and he sincerely apologized for it, telling me that he wasn't thinking about much else other than their situation, which I understood, even if it still made me feel a certain way.

But then he told me that he needed to be honest to me about something, and that he understood that it may affect things between us, but that the whole situation with his siblings and their previous care team made him realize it even more.

He became very blunt. He told me that while he loves me more than anything, he loves them more, and that he has to put them first from now on, above anything. He told me that he couldn't handle anything else happening, and that everything he's done (the cameras, moving in the staff) was necessary.

And while this of course hurt for me to hear (even though, I understand, like I have for this whole situation) I realized some things. He might have acted selfishly at first (even if it was understandable), but my reaction could've been better, I admit.

He was breaking down right in front of me, reliving trauma that reminded him of his childhood, and I was too busy in my own feelings to offer any true support. I felt awful about that.

I didn't mention much of it in the previous post, but his parents were truly awful people--their neglect caused the undeveloped/regressed state of the twins in the first place, and if he hadn't taken care of them while they were small, they possibly wouldn't have survived.

They're very attached to him, almost like a small child with their parent. As painful as it was, I accepted that I couldn't come before their relationship.I did know about his legal obligation before we became married, so I obviously knew they were important to him.

I have no bitter feelings toward the two--they're innocent in this situation and are very precious in their ways in general.

As far as our future plans, we agreed that we'd wait a few years (3 at the max) before truly deciding if we wanted to have a child or not (we were on the fence, but I was falling in love with the idea of motherhood perhaps more than I realized).

He was also very receptive about having designated areas that were 'staff only' and 'me' only. It's already been implemented a bit (with still more things to out in place) and I'm feeling a lot better about that already.

And lastly, I realize that this may seem like the fool's option to some (to the many who jumped straight to divorce) but now I know of all the facts and where he stands, so anything that may happen from now will be completely on me.

I feel hopeful in my decision, and am not wanting to give up. For him,and the marriage that I still value so much, I am willing to give it a try and try to adjust to our new normal. Thank you to everyone who helped me.

FINAL EDIT: Thank you everyone, I’m logging out from this account now. I appreciated some of the advice more than others, but everyone’s opinions were still read. Overall, I am content with my decision and am looking forward to seeing what the future might bring for us.

Whether we have children or not, with the resources that we have, I am sure we will work things out. We both know where the other stands, and what we’ve gotten into. That conversation we will revisit when we make our decision. We love each other, whether some choose to believe it or not. Thanks again!

After the final update, readers had this to say:


Well, I can’t even begin to imagine what your husband has been through, nor his siblings. I don’t have good advice since I can’t begin to comprehend how to handle this awful situation all around.

All I can say is, you can endure this as long as you can. But, if it comes the time where you feel unable to continue, you need to leave, for your own mental health. As sad as it might be, you can’t set yourself on fire to keep them warm just because you want to stay with him.

Sooner or later, there’ll be a moment where it comes between you or them, your husband already told you who comes first. I’m NOT saying to hold this over him or even feel resentful. All I’m saying, you gotta keep this thought at the back of your mind once/if the hammer drops.


It’s better that this happened before you had kids with him rather than after. It sounds like you should get divorced. It’s not ok that he made that decision without even talking to you.


I wish he thought of you as an 'US' working together taking care of his family instead of an afterthought where he just rushes in and does things without your input. I am concerned that he will be like this with your children if you have any, always with an explanation.

The OP responded:


Yeah that was the biggest thing for me. I felt left out. But our talk made me at least understand why, and that it wasn’t done maliciously. Fortunately it’s not a common thing he does and was very out of character…he’s always been a little yielding towards me in general.

But I told him that he needs to tell me about major things like this from now on, and not leave me in the dark. He gave me his word, but if it for some reason happens again, I’ll know what I have to do.


Just look out for weaponizing it or holding your feelings against you. Life for you has just changed forever. One day you’ll ask if he can take you on a date and he might say “how can you ask me for so much when you know everything going on!?” Don’t be led to feel guilty for wanting nice things out of your life and expectations of a marriage.

The OP responded:


Yes I’ll definitely make sure I’m getting nice things. I’m fortunate that he has the means to do so when it comes to vacations and such. We’re already in the early stages of planning a getaway for the spring. I told him that getaways are essential for us both, especially since he’s working such an intense job and everything. Thanks for you me input, I’ll definitely keep that in mind.


Your hubby threw away YOUR future. He had this plan all along. He just had to find the right sucker woman to be a caregiver for his sibs. You are the free help, my dear, nothing more. You got the bait and switch.

Go right to a lawyer and fire your husband soonest. He deceived you from the beginning. Don't let him try to convince you otherwise. If he had been an honest man, you would have been part of the discussion in their care. You were completely blindsided and that was very deliberate.


From reading your story i don’t necessarily think he doesn’t consider you - he just isn’t used to having help or being able to count on people to help with his siblings. As you said his parents are awful and they are the ones who should’ve stepped up and loved and cared for their own children but haven’t.

Your husband probably feels that he is the only person those “kids” have and they need him or they will be institutionalized- which your husband has probably seen first hand the way patients are treated there.

I know you feel like he pushed you away but he is truly between a rock and a hard place and if he can set the staff and house up where it is not horrible for you and he sees that you are an advocate for his siblings plus a partner to him then I think he will come around to tell you how much you mean to him and you are not in second place to the siblings.

Right now he feels his hands are tied and I so understand this I have a special needs child who is basically nonverbal and can not do many tasks- think goodness my husband is an absolute gem and we split it all 50/50.

But when we were working on our wills and trying to decide who or what to do if something happened to us it was very eye opening. I am sending you all good thoughts and prayers that everything calms down and you all come thru this happy and healthy and stronger!!

What would your advice be to this woman and would you take her side?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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