When our loved ones turn to us for support during trying times, we can find that we don’t always have the same idea of what “support” means. When one woman’s attempt to help isn’t well received, she asks on a popular online forum; is she the a**hole for getting her daughter an apartment?
The OP (original poster) explains that her daughter Mallory has been married for three years and has two young children who are two years and six months old, respectively. Unfortunately, the OP says that Mallory’s husband recently left.
“Recently, her husband revealed he’s been cheating on her and is leaving her for another woman. They rent a house, but due to my daughter having no credit at the time of moving in, only his name is on the lease. He is giving her 30 days to move out,” states the OP.
Of course, this news is distressing for the OP’s daughter, and the OP does her best to help. The OP says, “Mallory is understandably distraught. I’ve been doing all I can to comfort her.”
She continues, saying, “Mallory asked if she could move in with me, explaining she’d have the kids every other week. Mallory assured me she isn’t looking for childcare, and both kids are in daycare. She offered to pay rent and chip in on groceries.”
The OP, however, doesn’t see why that would be necessary. She explains that she has raised her children to be independent, stating, “I didn’t kick them out at 18, but I did encourage them to start doing things on their own.”
Wanting to continue fostering the independence she has instilled in her daughter, the OP offers a different solution to her housing issue. The OP says, “Mallory said she could reasonably rent. I offered to pay the first month, last month, and a deposit, along with six months’ rent.”
The offer isn’t what Mallory wants from her mom, though. The OP says, “She said it’s not about the money. She’s not wealthy by any means, but she does well for herself. She just wants emotional support.”
“I told her I could do that with her living in her own place. She started to cry and said she just needed her mom right now. I told her she was going to be okay,” says the OP.
This response gets more than just the OP’s daughter upset, as she adds, “My sons are pi**ed with me. They pointed out I have plenty of room, and Mallory has offered to pay rent. She’s also not the type to shrug off the responsibility of the kids, and the toddler is well-behaved. They called me heartless.”
So the OP asks, is she the a**hole here?
The reactions from commenters were mainly against the OP. One comment bluntly states, “YTA (you’re the a**hole). Moving in with you for a few months while she recovers is not going backward. And maybe if you weren’t so hung up on pushing her to be independent, she wouldn’t be married and divorced with two kids by age 24. It might be time to rethink your priorities.”
“YTA. You are 100% entitled to your own space and boundaries, but your daughter is asking for help. She even specified that she wanted emotional help. Her entire world has just been flipped upside down. The way you say you handled this makes you sound heartless,” adds another person.
The OP wasn’t entirely without support, though. One user sympathizes, “I could not handle three additional people living in my house, particularly small children, no matter how well-behaved. I just could not. If that’s OP’s reason, that makes sense to me.”
“She doesn’t need to have her adult daughter and grandchildren live in her home in order to be loving and supportive,” agrees a second comment.
A third person adds, “She’s not a bad person for maintaining her own mental and emotional health.”
Others were on the fence. One user remarked, “This one is really tough. You are willing to provide support which is great, but you’re avoiding what she’s actually asking for. She’s made it clear that it’s not about money but emotional support which she feels needs physical closeness to get.”
What do you think? Should the OP have let her daughter move in with her? Is she being heartless by offering to pay for an apartment? What would you do in this scenario?
This article was inspired by this thread and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cents + Purpose.