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Parents treat siblings inconsistently; eldest says they can 'buy' his 'forgiveness'.

Parents treat siblings inconsistently; eldest says they can 'buy' his 'forgiveness'.


Can money buy back love?

A groom-to-be gave his parents a symbolic bill showing the disparity between his treatment and that of his younger siblings. It didn't go well. So, he came to Reddit to ask if that was a dick move.

AITA (Am I the a-hole) for telling my parents I am willing to sell them my forgiveness?

Professional_Rub4448 writes:

My parents expected me to be independent the minute I turned 18. They gave me the money they had saved up for my education and they started charging me rent.

I was lucky enough to have a partial scholarship and I found a job in the city my university was in, so I moved there before the school year began.

With my parents money, my scholarship, and my wages I was able to scrape by. I rarely if ever spoke with my parents. I was kind of busy.

I guess they decided that they didn't want that kind of relationship with my younger siblings because they were not presented with the same option. They both lived at home all through university and even afterwards.

I am 34 now with a decent job and a great girlfriend whom I will be marrying this summer. I sent my parents and siblings an invitation. They called me to ask why they were not involved in the wedding.

I responded that they hadn't really been part of my life in 16 years and that I was being nice by inviting them.

They said that they acknowledged that they made mistakes when I was young but that it was in the past and that I should get over it.

But OP didn't do that. Instead...

Against my fiancee's advice, I sent them an itemized bill for everything I paid for myself that they freely gave my brother and sister.

I said if they wanted to be a part of my life they had to ante up.

They said that they cannot afford that because they are in debt still from helping my siblings out. I laughed at that and said I hoped that I would see them at the wedding and hung up.

My family are all getting ahold of me to let me know how much I'm hurting my parents. The thing is that I don't want their money.

And I don't want anything from them at all other than their attendance at my wedding. If they can't do that then I'm fine with our yearly phone call. AITA (Am I the a-hole)?

Here's what Reddit had to say...

Huntokar_Goddess wants to know:

I don't see where the resentment comes from. Maybe I am jaded from Reddit, but they gave you money to help out with your higher education, and I don't see anywhere that OPs parents wouldn't have helped him out if he had lost his scholarship or needed additional support.

OP wasn't destitute or living in the streets, and OP chose to go low contact with them, with the 'I was kind of busy' excuse. Other than the parents charging rent, were they otherwise abusive or neglectful or...? Was the rent they were asking too high?

OP asks in return:

Have you ever been a full time student who only got a scholarship as long as his marks stayed high while working two jobs? If not then perhaps you have never been busy.

throwawayztvb needs more info:

What kind of rent were they charging? Was it something you obviously couldn't afford (even when they gave you money) or a fairly reasonable amount? That information determines whether or not they basically kicked you out at 18, or just wanted you to understand finances a bit better.


They gave me $5,000 for school but then wanted $500 a month for rent. I wasn't planning on working while I was in university. So they would have gotten their money back in under a year. They did not make my siblings pay rent and they helped them with loans for their education. I got a job and have been paying my own way since I was 18. One of my siblings still lives at home rent free. He is 26.

MargaretGrissom says:

Wow you are an awful person. The fact they gave you any money for your education was a gift you should be grateful for and you're not. Sending them an itemized bill for things they did for your siblings but not for you. Your parents didnt owe you a thing. Not for your education or a thing else.

You are an adult acting like a child. What they did or did not do for your siblings is none of your business. You were not around and hadn't seen your parents for 16 years. They don't owe you a thing.

Your siblings were around your parents, not you, so ya your parents don't owe it to any of you. I would do more for kids in my life than I would for a kid I havent seen in 16 years. Do something that in your parents best interest for once. Stay away.

OP's response:

I have no problem with them staying away from me.

But Sensitive_Web_5839 sticks up for him:

Turn everything you said around because it applies both ways. He didn’t want the money it was a petty jab, he doesn’t expect them to pay for it. THEY hadn’t seen HIM in 16yrs HE doesn’t owe THEM anything THEY were the adults HE WAS the child and they decided to stop providing for him.

Which fair enough he’s s legal adult, but they can’t be surprised when they burn that bridge. They seemingly blind sided him. They’re the ones who started complaining that’s they weren’t apart of the wedding. He didn’t even have to invite them but they tried to demand more.

Certain-Data-5397 writes:

Well considering they’re broke now maybe you can see why they treated you the way they did. They didn’t/don’t have the money to do what you ask. The only reason your siblings are getting better treatment is because you disowned your parents and now they’re choosing to be broke instead of risking your siblings disowning them.

OP clarifies:

I didn't disown them. I had no time for anything except work, me, and school for four years. Then I started a demanding career I enjoy and was spending my time with people I like. They made very little effort to see me either. Call it conscious uncoupling.

Poetry-dreams says:

NTA (Not the a-hole). Maybe the itemized bill was a bit much, but I imagine it was cathartic for you. Your parents haven't been around in a decade and a half. They have a lot of nerve to ask to be involved. Not being involved in your wedding is just reaping what they sowed. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

busyshrew agrees:

The crux of the matter is the unfairness of treatment between OP and his siblings. It's not really the money. Presenting the bill was really giving the parents a big ol' serving of humble pie, clearly OP doesn't really expect or hope that his parents would make financial amends. NTA.

So, what do you think?

Are there multiple a-holes here, or just one that deserves the ultimate title?

Sources: Reddit
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