This Woman Sold Her Late Husband's Car To Pay Her New Husband's Medical Bills, And Her Son Is LIVID. Now, She Wants To Know If She's An A**hole

·7 min read

If you spend wayyyy too much time on the internet, then you probably already know there's a popular subreddit called "Am I The Asshole" that people use to ask others whether they acted correctly in a particular situation. Well, one mom recently went viral in the group when asking about whether or not she should have sold her late husband's car, and I NEED your thoughts.

Giphy: vh1 / Via giphy.com

Here's the situation, as told by the mom, aka u/aitaclassiccarwoes:

"My late husband (passed away in 2013) was a classic car guy. He bought and sold them since he was a teenager as a hobby. After he passed away, I kept his favorite car. My brother-in-law would come by and maintain it for us and sometimes take it to shows. My son would often go with his uncle to shows and, when my son got his license, he was allowed to occasionally drive the car when either I, his step-dad (I remarried in 2017), or his uncle was able to go with him."

Giphy: OWN / Via giphy.com

"Unfortunately, the past 2 years were very difficult for us. My husband got very, very sick and was in the ICU. He almost didn't come back home. Between the medical bills and him being out of work, we have gotten into a substantial amount of debt. I told my son we would have to sell the car, and he did not take it very well. To be frank, he threw a temper tantrum bigger than any he had as an actual toddler."

Giphy: NBA / Via giphy.com

"He says I have no right to use his 'inheritance' to pay for my husband's medical bills. I explained to him that he doesn't get any inheritance until I die anyways, and that I wasn't going to let our family suffer over a car. Selling the car is what will allow us to keep the family home and help him pay for his education," she continued.

Classic car

"I apologized and told him if there were any other options I would have taken them, but this is just the way life works out sometimes, as sucky as that may be. He says that my husband and step-son are not his family and has since stopped talking to his step-father and step-brother completely, and I am lucky if I get more than a word out of him. AITA for selling the car to pay off medical debts and rebuild our savings?"

Oliver Helbig / Getty Images

After sharing her story, u/aitaclassiccarwoes added several important clarifications, including the fact that her late husband left no instructions on what he wanted the family to do with his cars after he passed and that she previously sold two of the three he left, leaving the most expensive as a keepsake until now.

Classic cars lined up
Different_brian / Getty Images

Voters ultimately labeled this mom an asshole, but not for the reason you may think. Most are OK with the idea of the original poster selling the car, but see fault in her labeling her son's outburst of emotions as a "temper tamtrum," and they don't believe she is taking the teen's emotions into consideration:

"I think YTA (you're the asshole) for downplaying your son's feelings as a 'temper tantrum.' You took away a link he had to his dead father, of course he'd be upset. You phrased having to sell the car as the right move for the 'family,' but your husband and stepson are your family, and you took something precious from your son's family to sustain your new family. As a third party adult, I understand why you made this decision, but if I was your son, it would take a lot of work to repair this rift."

u/Lola-the-showgirl

"YTA to dismiss your son’s feelings. I get that you’re in debt and this is your only option, but you’re acting heartless toward him. Imagine losing something that holds great sentimental value to pay for your mom’s new husband. It’s not a temper tantrum, he’s really hurt. At least acknowledge that."

u/sarilly

Looking further into the situation, one user felt u/aitaclassiccarwoes is overestimating her son's ability to put his true feelings into words and posed that perhaps he doesn't truly see the car as his "inheritance," but instead as a connection to his lost father. They even suggest she use part of the money to help her son find a therapist:

"I really wanna say you did what you had to do given the circumstances and that you are NTA (not the asshole).

However, I'm sorry but I can't help but feel for your son... Even if your new husband and stepson have nothing but the best intentions in helping to build a stable household, your son may have seen the marriage as you replacing his father. And now, something your son knew his father was extremely passionate about is gone for the sake of his step-father. He's going to feel resentment.

Yeah you might feel your son is seeing the car as his birthright because of its value. That's because he's upset and the unaddressed feelings he has toward you and how quickly you moved on from his father have boiled over.

He needs some time and possibly to see a therapist. He needs to have someone in his life he can speak freely to right now and help him work through his grief."

u/X-ile226

The other side of opinions in this "asshole" debate felt that this mom was just doing what needed to be done in order to keep her family afloat:

"If it's really an issue of losing the house versus selling the car – if you really have no other options – you sell the car. That's just the way it is. Give your son a heartfelt apology for selling something that has sentimental value to him; talk with him about his dad; and explain that sometimes all you can do is move forward and make the best choice available to you."

u/K-no-B

And some even think her son is the asshole, instead of her:

"A lot of people are hating on OP for ignoring her son's perspective, but the son is also kind of being inconsiderate. His mother is in a ton of debt, her house is almost at risk of foreclosure and there's a very big chance she could possibly end up homeless or bankrupt – but all he's thinking about is his inheritance. I get the car has huge sentimental value for him, but from the way it looks, it kind of seems like he cares more about the car than the livelihood of his mom."

u/No_Committee1127

But the true criminal, up-voters agreed, is the US healthcare system, which can put families in situations like these in the first place:

"Everyone is missing the real asshole here: the system that forces people to sell everything for medical bills and/or college education."

u/DisastrousMacaron325

Now I have to know — where do you land? Do you think u/aitaclassiccarwoes is an asshole for selling her late husband's car to pay for her new husband's medical bills? Do you think her son is wrong for expecting the car as a form of inheritance, or do you believe there are deeper feelings at play? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Is this mom the asshole?

    Correct

    Incorrect

    No, she needed to pay their debt.

    Correct

    Incorrect

    Yes, she should have considered her son's feelings.

    Correct

    Incorrect

    Not an asshole for selling the car, but she is an asshole for the way she treated her son.

    Correct

    Incorrect

    Her son is the asshole for being sensitive.

    Correct

    Incorrect

    No one is wrong.

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Is this mom the asshole?

  1. votevotes

    No, she needed to pay their debt.

  2. votevotes

    Yes, she should have considered her son's feelings.

  3. votevotes

    Not an asshole for selling the car, but she is an asshole for the way she treated her son.

  4. votevotes

    Her son is the asshole for being sensitive.

  5. votevotes

    No one is wrong.

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