A frustrated uncle turned to Reddit to ask if they were in the wrong for helping their teenage niece and nephew during a tough time but chose not to invite the older sibling.
A Visit Home
The Original Poster (OP) recently returned to their hometown for a two-week visit, primarily for work-related purposes. However, they also desired to surprise their nephews and nieces, as they had not visited in several years.
OP’s parents originated from humble beginnings and worked diligently to provide for their family. OP took advantage of the opportunities presented to them, completed his education, relocated overseas, and is now in a fortunate financial situation.
By choice, he does not have children and is single but earns a sufficient income to live comfortably. Despite having a large budget for travel, food, and socializing, OP maintains a modest lifestyle.
He Lives Comfortably
OP’s siblings have a reputation for being financially irresponsible, especially when it comes to spending money. One of OP’s sisters, in particular, tends to prioritize her wants over her needs, resulting in a constant state of financial struggle, regardless of her income level.
Unfortunately, her children have been affected by her actions, and they have gone without meals or access to running water due to their mother’s spending habits. It is unclear what she spends her money on, but it is evident that it is not being allocated in the best interest of her family’s basic needs.
He Indulges His Niblings
As the “cool uncle,” OP enjoys indulging their niblings during their visits, often treating them to experiences and activities that are beyond their typical means. These outings may include trips to restaurants, theme parks, and other fun destinations.
While OP may take such luxuries for granted, he recognizes the excitement and novelty it brings to their niblings’ lives. This is a fulfilling experience for OP, as he views it as an opportunity to motivate and inspire his niblings to dream big and aim for a similar lifestyle in the future.
Prior to their trip, OP learned that his nephew Dan (18M) had left his mother’s home after a verbal altercation. Despite being a good kid, Dan had to resort to staying with their uncle, whose living arrangements were meager, with a thin mattress on the floor serving as their bed.
He Wanted to Help His Nephew
This situation didn’t sit well with OP, who realized that they would be staying in a lavish hotel suite while their nephew had to sleep on the floor.
Upon landing, OP reached out to Dan and offered for him to stay at the hotel with him. OP selflessly suggested that Dan could have the bedroom while he would take the sofa bed, which would be more comfortable for Dan. This way, Dan could enjoy the comforts of OP’s hotel suite and feel at ease during a difficult time.
During his stay, OP’s niece, Samantha (18F), reached out to her twin brother, Dan, inquiring about his whereabouts. OP proposed that Dan could inform Samantha that he was with them and even invited her to join them for dinner.
He Invited His Niece Too
Over the course of the meal, Samantha confided in OP, sharing that she was a full-time student working to support herself through university. Despite her best efforts, she was struggling to balance her responsibilities, and her mother’s constant yelling and aggression at home only added to her stress.
As it so happened, Samantha’s school was in the vicinity of OP’s hotel suite, and OP generously offered for her to stay with them, sharing the King-sized bed with Dan. OP chose to inform his sister that her children were in his care to alleviate any potential concerns. The suite provided a peaceful and quiet environment for Samantha to study and take a break from the chaos of her home life.
His Oldest Niece Was Jealous
In the midst of their family visit, OP’s oldest adult niece, Bea (22F), expressed jealousy upon learning about the lavish accommodations and dining experiences being enjoyed by Dan and Sam.
Bea, who lives with her husband and young son, made comments insinuating that she was being excluded and unappreciated by OP. In an effort to make amends, OP offered for Bea to join them in the suite, sharing the king bed with Dan and Sam.
However, OP was hesitant to have a toddler in their personal space and didn’t want to be responsible for covering Bea’s transportation, food, and entertainment expenses.
Despite OP’s best efforts to accommodate Bea, she ultimately unfriended OP and left the family group chat after seeing photos posted by Sam on Facebook.
He Is Condlicted by the Choice
OP is struggling with conflicting feelings of wanting to help but also not wanting to set a precedent for financially supporting the entire extended family during visits. He is unsure if he could have handled the situation better or if his family members perceived them as a jerk.
Reddit users have commented on this situation. Many users expressed that OP was not in the wrong for helping his younger relatives, who were struggling and had nowhere to stay, while Bea has a stable living situation with her husband and child. They pointed out that there is a big difference between hosting teenagers for a few days and hosting an adult relative with a child.
Some users suggested that while the writer was not a jerk, he should try to understand Bea’s feelings and perhaps reach out to her.
However, others argued that Bea’s jealousy and comments were unwarranted and that OP did not owe her anything, especially as he did not want to share the space with a toddler. Some users also pointed out that Bea’s behavior could be a result of her difficult upbringing with their toxic and verbally abusive sister.
What do you think? What should OP do now?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / pathdoc. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.