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Woman invites 'shady' sister and kids into home after nephew's death. AITA?

Woman invites 'shady' sister and kids into home after nephew's death. AITA?


Helping out family members in need can be one of the most rewarding tasks one faces, and it can also be one of the most difficult.

In an ideal family, you know you have each other's backs when times get tough, and the cycle of help and care is reciprocal.

But reality is not ideal, and there are many cases where one family member takes on a heavier toll than others. This can prove extra difficult when the caregiving party is also married with their own nuclear family.

In a popular post on the AITA reddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for inviting her sister and kids into her home after a tragedy, despite the tension it's caused with her husband.

She wrote:

AITA for having my sister and her two kids stay with us after one of her kids DIED?

As the title states, my very young nephew passed away recently which came as a shock to my family.

*A brief background, I don't really talk to either side of my family due to their general scumbag nature and constant involvement with drugs, scams, general bull sh*t and them being indecent humans.*

When I first received the news, I got dressed immediately and as I'm walking out the door my husband says 'don't get involved.' When I arrived DCF/CPS, and the cops were there. Standard procedure when a child dies, I guess.

CPS takes me asides and tells me my sister can't be with her kids temporarily while the initial investigation is under way, and that she requested her two kids (a teen and a toddler) be placed with me because I'm the only sibling that has my s**t together.

I let them know I have to speak with my husband first.

*(Background) We just moved into our forever home about a month before this happened. We had a previous move ruined by him inviting his mother and brother to stay with us w/o asking me first, while I was going through a mental health crisis.*

I called and talked to him, and said I completely understand if he says no, because this is our house so I can not make this decision on my own, because that would be wrong. He asked what will happen to them if we say no.

I told him they will go to a foster or group home.

He then says he doesn't know why I called because he doesn't have a choice and that I will be mad and he will feel guilty for saying no. I told him that's not true, and that's why I called to discuss this with him.

They come to stay with us and a few weeks later their mother, my sister comes to stay too. Her place was a cesspool when her kid passed and once he found that out, it's been absolute chaos.

Her kids are noisy and have behavior problems and she really doesn't do anything to correct her youngest kids' behaviors. She kinda just lays in bed. I have gotten her to do more and be more present.

But I also understand she is depressed from losing a child. He's been nothing but hateful to both them and me the whole time they've been here.

He refuses to do anything except stay in the basement and play computer games all day. He only talks to our child with any type of decency. I understand his frustration and I didn't expect my sister and her kids to act like this.

I told him we can have them leave, but then he goes on about how everyone will call him an a**hole. Things are getting really bad between us and idk what to do. Am I the a**hole for trying to help my sister?

People online took time to weigh in with their thoughts on the complex situation.

imothro asked OP for some clarification:

INFO: Did CPS approve your sister moving in? Is the investigation concluded? This post doesn't make a lot of sense, because it sounded like you were supposed to keep her separated from her kids until you found out how her child died.

And how did her child die? I feel like the reasons matter here. If she's complicit in her child's death I can understand your husband's POV a lot better.

And OP answered with more info:

They cleared her after two weeks of initial investigation and felt it more beneficial to her kids for her to be with them. But she can not be unsupervised with them. I recently resigned from work, so I am home most of the time.

He died suddenly. The hospital said most likely from pneumonia brought on by RSV. He had medical issues since birth and recently started kindergarten.

WholeAd2742 wrote:

Unfortunately, going ESH for all parties. Taking in the kids is one thing, but moving the sister in would have been a complete deal-breaker, IMO.

It's also seriously questionable if she wasn't allowed to be with them due to an investigation. Your husband is being petty and an AH.

But I can also understand his anger at his home being completely flipped upside down due to the consequences of YOUR SISTER'S OWN BULLSH*T.

Your sister needs get her own s**t together without potentially destroying your own marriage. It's serious codependency to jump in and try and 'fix' her mistakes without recognizing the damage that YOU'RE causing to your home and stability.

She and her kids need to go. You said you already went through a similar situation with his own family. Stop trying to fix people who can't and won't fix themselves.

GundyGalois wrote:

I N F O, you asked him if the kids could live there during a temporary investigation. Did you also ask him about your sister living there and the kids continuing to live there after the investigation? That's quite different.

Edit: I'm not getting any more info, so I'll give my thoughts.

It's a tough situation, and watching the kids for say, a week, while an investigation happens is reasonable. His initial response was not good. I think he felt he should say yes, but I didn't want to.

He tried to blame you when he was understandably mad at the situation. He needs to communicate better. Your sister and her kids living there for a long period of time is not reasonable.

My guess is that there were no clear discussions, and it just sort of happened. Again, he's doing a terrible job of communicating and using passive-aggressiveness instead. However, he is probably doing that because he feels trapped.

You are hurting and perhaps ruining your family over this. It's nice to help your sister but not at such a great cost. Your own family comes first. It's not even clear this is helping your sister.

The enabling might actually be hurting her mental health. You need to realize this situation isn't working and ask her to leave without trying to make your husband the bad guy. ESH.

maroongrad wrote:

YTA. How could you NOT expect them to act like this? They're grieving AND out of their home AND have always acted like this. But YTA for bringing the sister too when you said it would only be the kids.

She needs to go stay with a different relative until she gets her s**t together, and you should never have let a neglectful drug user whose home was a cesspool into your home unless you AND your husband were 100% supportive of this.

Primary-Criticism929 wrote:

Not going to be popular, but ESH. Sounds like you had marital issues before your sister and her kids came to live with you. Your husband f**ked up by letting his family come and stay at your home without talking to you.

But he's right on the fact that if he had said no to taking the kids in and then asking your sister to leave, he will be the a**hole and you'll end up using this in every argument in the future.

I'm sorry about your sister's loss, but it's no reason to stop being a parent to the kids who are still here. You need to ask yourself what you want here. If you don't want to give your marriage a chance, let your sister stay.

If you want to work on your marriage, find a way for your sister and her kids to move out while making sure the kids are properly taken care of.

It seems fair to say that OP and her husband are in deep need of a serious talk, and revamping of the current hosting situation.

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