Warning: this story contains upsetting content regarding the death of a young child.
One dad was infuriated when his brother-in-law got into a fight with his sister and insisted that he be paid back for the portion of money that he gave for their son's funeral. Truly a warning, this story is very upsetting and discusses the parents' devastating loss.
19 years ago, our toddler boy was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. I’ll spare all the details over the next 3 and half years but it plays out as you can expect. He died in his mommy’s arms on the same day he would’ve started kindergarten.
The last 2 years of his life were full of drama, complexity, hope, lost-hope, and disappointment. Dealing with all this put us in major financial setback. We had no idea how we were going to afford a funeral.
My wife’s three older brothers stepped forward and offered to pay for their nephew’s funeral. They were all three doing well at this time with their respective businesses and it wasn’t much of a sacrifice for them to do this.
They literally told us, this is a gift from them to us. We were beyond grateful and expressed that on numerous occasions.
My wife is the youngest of five with 3 older brothers. Sibling rivalry like no other! And my wife, as the youngest, was always playing peacemaker. The youngest brother is the most contentious. It’s like everything is a competition with that guy.
Thanksgiving 2021 is when things came to a head. He was there at her folks’ place with everyone else. He got into a discussion with my wife that soon escalated into an argument where he threw out that we “never paid him back for his part that he paid for (our son’s) funeral.”
Everyone in earshot was in shock he brought that up. My wife in surprise asked, if he always felt he was supposed to be paid back. He belligerently told her that was exactly what he was saying.
Evidently, he had never intended to help pay for the funeral and felt forced into it by the older two brothers. I had enough and said, “You know what……since you feel so strongly you have been wronged, as soon as we get home, I’m going to write you a check for $5K so you can consider yourself paid in full, and with interest.”
Then he got defensive, like he wasn’t THAT serious. We’re “blowing it out of proportion.” Then we gathered up all of our brood and left. That next Monday, I wrote him out a check for 5K and sent it certified mail.
I wondered how long it would take him to cash it. He received it on Tuesday around noon and he cashed it that afternoon.
My wife would’ve totally written him off as a brother if not for the nieces and nephews. She never could stand him. I just flat refuse to be around the guy or any association with him. Not being around him since 2021 hasn’t really been much of an issue. Until this week.
Her family is doing a big Easter thing this weekend and wants everyone to come. And he’s going to be there. I don’t want to go. I’m not going to be social with that guy. My wife says I’m being the a**hole and ruining the weekend and should let it go.
Anyway, things are a little tense between the two of us right now as she thinks I need to let it go. She’s preparing to leave out with the kids on Friday, without me. AITA?
I have gone something mildly similar and let me tell you something. You are in no way shape or form the AH. I am so deeply sorry for you loss, a loss that in no way anyone can comprehend.
Your BIL got pushed into paying for some part of the funeral... Take it up with the two brothers that pushed him into it. What did they do tie him up, gag him and force him to the cash machine. No! That is a grown man who made a decision based off guilt and his regret is absolutely not your f&£king problem.
He sounds like a nasty piece of work, uncaring, unkind and a narcissist. I don't blame you in the slightest for not wanting to ever see him again. If your wife still wants to see him that's fine, you should support your wife with the other children and go.
But let it be very clear to your wife that you will support her and maintain a relationship with her family but you do not want any form of a relationship with him. It's a hill I'd die on to be honest.
NAH, but I feel like you're just a hair of being the AH. Clearly, you BIL is an AH, but are you really willing to write off interacting with your wife's whole family just to avoid him? Can't you show up and just avoid him?
Everyone is entitled to their own feelings, but in a relationship/family you have to take others into account. And this really feels like it is going to negatively impact your wife and kids. Again, I won't say you're an AH but it wouldn't hurt to be the bigger person for your family's sake.
YWBTA if you stay home. Go to the party, and just stay away from this guy. If your wife goes by herself, it sounds like she’ll have to deal alone with any drama he might choose to start.
NAH. Your wife gets to make her choices and you get to make yours. But she has a right to want to make decisions as a family that will impact how family holidays are spent.
If you brought up your decision like 'this is what I'm doing' without consideration for how this would impact family holidays, then she has a right to feel a bit like you are making a big decision without talking to her about it. But at the same time everyone gets to decide what is best for them individually.
NTA. Your wife can forgive if she wants to, but you have no obligation to hang around someone so contentious.