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'AITA for not letting my in-laws live in our vacation home after they sold their house?' UPDATED

'AITA for not letting my in-laws live in our vacation home after they sold their house?' UPDATED

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To help, or not to help, that is the question that lingers when it comes to in-laws.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for refusing to share her vacation home with in-laws after they sold their house without consulting her. She wrote:

"AITA for refusing to share my vacation home with my in-laws for six months after they sold their house without consulting me?"

Background: My husband (35M) and I (33F) have been married for five years. We own a beautiful vacation home on the beach that we built ourselves and use throughout the year. My in-laws (60s) have always been welcome guests, visiting for a few weeks here and there, and contributing financially towards maintenance costs.

Last month, my in-laws suddenly announced they were selling their house to "downsize" and move into a tiny condo. Apparently, they've been secretly harbouring this idea for months, never mentioning it to me or my husband. They plan to close on the sale in two weeks and then...move into our vacation home for six months while they "figure things out."

I was floored. This house is our sanctuary, not a retirement home extension. We use it frequently, have friends and family booked to visit throughout the year, and rely on the income it generates during peak season. My in-laws, on the other hand, haven't lifted a finger on the property themselves and contributed only minimally. My husband, bless his sweet heart, is more understanding.

He feels bad for his parents and believes we can "make it work." His in-laws, sensing my resistance, are now guilt-tripping us, claiming they have nowhere else to go and offering to pay "significantly more" than their usual contribution. AITA for refusing to let them move in? On one hand, I feel obligated to help family in need, but on the other, this feels like an outrageous imposition on our personal space and finances.

Redditors had strong opinions on the situation.

Living-Highlight7777 wrote:

NTA - it is outrageous. You'd be well within your right to say no. But I'm curious, how is your relationship with them otherwise? How is your husband's relationship with them? What other options do they have? Again, you have every right to say no and it would not make you the AH, BUT is it worth the damage it could do? In other words, are you okay with whatever fall-out occurs?

If you end up deciding to let them stay, I would be very clear about how upset and disrespected you feel and that if they ever pull anything like that again, you are gonna have MAJOR problems.

And OP responded:

My relationship with them is strained because this is not the first time they have grossly overstepped. This had led to many a fight between my husband and me. My husband sees no wrong in their behavior and thinks we should just help them. Every time they're at the vacation home they've commented on how much they love it and would love to live in a place like this at retirement.

So I feel this was a very intentional move on their part. not letting them stay will create conflict in my marriage but I'm pretty positive that they will never leave if we let them move in.

Ok_Play2364 wrote:

No f'n way! They SHOULD have had things figured out BEFORE they sold their house. How do you know if they even plan on moving out? Where is their furniture going? This would be a marriage ending decision for me.

And OP responded:

It's getting there for us. My suspicion is that this was their plan all along and they'll never leave once in the house.

Ok_Play2364 wrote:

Are you absolutely sure your husband had no idea about this?

And OP responded:

I don't think so. His parents have pulled similar stunts previously. So this is right up their lane.

Ok_Play2364 followed up:

OK. Now I gotta ask, what else have they done?

And OP elaborated:

On our first marriage anniversary they gifted us a chicken. We lived in an apartment at the time. On Valentine's Day the second year they showed up at our house mid afternoon because they thought it would be special to spend the night with us.

On the birth of our daughter my mother in-law refused to leave the delivery room until I had the nurse drag her out and then she sobbed obnoxiously loud in the hallway outside the room. When COVID happened she ordered us cases and cases of beans and other canned food to help us prep for the apocalypse and then sent us the bill.

My mother in law demands all holidays with them and shows up unannounced to my parents who are four hours away each holiday we spend with them and forces us out of my bedroom and we sleep on the pullout sofa the whole visit.

My mother in law demanded my husband go to her house last year to fix something on our daughter's birthday and then kept him there till after the birthday party was over and then had a birthday party she planned for my daughter at her house the next day.

Our second daughter's birth was similar where she sobbed and. Instantly FaceTimed my husband since I refused to let her into my delivery room. She sent a mixed nuts package to my parents at Christmas this last year knowing my dad is deathly allergic to tree nuts. I could go on and on.

whiterice2323 wrote:

NTA. "We already have paid tenants set up during that time so the house is unavailable. In the future, if you would like to use it, please give us whatever amount of notice at whatever cost you charge and we would be happy to entertain the request". Shut it down and set a precedent for the future.

If it's a large chunk of your income, treat it like a business transaction, because it is. Guilt or emotional family whatever has no place. No need to be rude about it or anything, just business-like.

A few days later, OP jumped on with an update.

I'll give a quick update while I wait to get the kids from school and answer a few questions I saw pop up. We co-own the beach house. We bought it in 2020 when interest rates were super low before houses sky rocketed. The in-laws have helped us with projects and pay for a few things but so do my parents. So we have never thought of their contribution as anything but help from parents.

They had their annual "old farts Christmas party"(their words not mine) there this past December and had the place for a week free of charge for them and all their guests. So they definitely have gotten plenty of use of it. We had a come to Jesus moment yesterday and I was the AH to my husband.

I told him I was done and I wasn't even entertaining them staying there as it's our business and this is bad business. I basically told him I was over his mom and it was at the point I'm about to peace out because I can't handle her s#$t anymore. Previous to this I was no contact with her and would entertain them when they'd come to visit.

They never stayed at our house as we live relatively close to them. He still has no clue if they're truly selling their house, if they're upside on bills or they're just aAH but I honestly don't care. My parents are immigrants and own a restaurant and have worked their a$$es off to create a fantastic life for me and my siblings. They also taught us the value of money and working hard for the things we have.

The vacation home was bought cheap but 90% of the renovations were done by me during my free time. Renovations are my true love. Nursing pays the bills ( I love it too but it doesn't fill the creative cup). I told him he'd lose the house to his parents over my dead body and if he feels the need to financially set them up he can do so with extra money he earns from picking up shifts (also a nurse).

Basically I told him their failure was not an emergency on my part. They have always kept up the Jones' and spent exorbitantly. So they might be broke and again I don't care. I have barely tolerated his mom for the past few years. I'll be cordial because I was raised well but I'm over tolerating their nonsense.

I will say he does see all this crap she pulls but he was raised that mom knows best. He's Puerto Rican so this is partially cultural. But, I'm done. I worked yesterday and busted my a$$ and then drove the kids to the beach house last night and picked up dinner and we are there and I just thought f#$k no.

So time will tell but he called his parents and on speaker phone told them they couldn't stay but the offer to condo hunt is still open but he needs to know the price range and all that jazz. His mom cried and I flipped the phone off. So as of this moment it's not happening.

I also told him if it's a problem he can quit claim deed the beach house and I'll cover the expenses and manage it myself. Cause momma don't play.

Redditors were fully invested in the update.

skyeguye wrote:

Damn, she took no prisoners at all, huh?

Good for her - the MIL kept pushing the envelope. The audacity to declare, not ask, is astounding - even putting aside their relationship, its absurd.

fauxfurgopher wrote:

I love this. I love strong women who know when to say NO. I was raised in a family of keep-the-peace, people pleasing women, so I formed this opinion early on. I’m a very nice and generous person, but I think it’s important to say no when people act like your kindness is weakness.

Lythieus wrote:

MIL is a monster, and husband has been taught all his life not to rock the boat. He needs therapy badly.

SageTracee wrote:

Change the locks on the holiday house before they make a move. Highly likely they’ve got keys so be proactive.

nejnonein wrote:

For god’s sake - change all the locks and get proper security cameras/alarms there! That B has zero boundaries. If my hubby had facetimed someone during my labour that I didn’t want to see during my most vulnerable time and didn’t hang up, that facetime would turn into a colonoscopy for him.

OP is clearly NTA, and it sounds like she's laying down the law in the necessary ways.

Sources: Reddit
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