This Redditor had had enough of his ex-wife’s manipulation. So, when she asked him to help pay for their son’s surgery, he refused. But is it worth risking his son’s safety and comfort?
One-Upped by His Ex-wife
When OP (Original Poster) divorced his ex-wife, she did all she could to take the “easy way out” of their financial arrangements.
OP got stuck paying for their son’s private school and extracurricular activities. On the other hand, his ex is responsible for their health insurance, medical bills, and nanny.
The Good End of the Deal
He’s bitter because, unlike him, his ex-wife didn’t have to pay much for coverage. Their son also didn’t need medical care—-until now.
Part of Growing Up
Their eight-year-old, “super cute” son had a tooth growing from the roof of his mouth, and it needed to be removed quickly. He explained, “Removing the tooth quickly had more to do with trying to get the procedure done before the holidays than medical necessity.”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a simple procedure because he needed to be put under anesthesia.
One Out of a Hundred
OP and his ex-wife also had to take their son to a pediatric oral surgeon. He explained, “Most oral surgeons will not do the procedure on a child.”
He and his ex eventually found an excellent pediatric oral surgeon. However, the issue was that the whole procedure would cost around $3,000.
OP wrote, “It’s that much because dental insurance doesn’t cover much, and an anesthesiologist is expensive. It had to be paid half for an appointment and half a day of the appointment.”
Splitting the Costs
Because of the amount, OP’s ex-wife asked him if he was going to help her pay half of it. However, OP adamantly refused.
He told her, “This bill is your problem, not mine. This is what you wanted, remember? You spent the last few years with so little childcare expenses that you got used to it.”
Then, his ex started arguing with him, saying she didn’t have that amount lying around. She also told OP that putting their son’s medical expenses on a credit card with interest rates didn’t make sense.
Just Get It Done!
Furious and adamant about saying no, OP told her he didn’t care if she had to “sell blood” to afford it.
He added, “I actually budget my money and could pay all of it, and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.” Even so, OP really didn’t want to concede to his ex-wife.
Her Way Out
In the end, OP’s ex-wife had to take out a loan from her credit union to pay for the surgery. Thankfully, it wasn’t too late.
OP wrote, “Our son was always going to get his surgery, and there was no delay.”
For people in the community, OP and his ex-wife couldn’t have been more immature!
A top commenter said, “Everyone sucks here. Your wife for trying to renege on the agreement, and you for sounding more interested in sticking it to her than your son’s welfare. I see the statement that his care was never in question and presume that you would have stepped up and paid if it really had been an issue, so partial credit. But for the sake of your children, you two need to start acting like co-parents instead of squabbling toddlers.”
Another person agreed with the top commenter, saying, “This. Because I was this kid once, and believe me, he knows about the squabbling and the fact that his dad said what he did, and so on, and it’s making him feel bad. Way to upset a kid who has to go through a scary procedure. OP, you’re right about the money. But you gotta take a deep breath and lose the vitriol. There’s no way it’s not affecting your super cute son. Please. Don’t put him through years of this.”
Set Your Priorities Straight
Though Redditors feel for what OP was going through, for them, it wasn’t enough of a reason to let his son suffer.
“Please, OP, think about what’s best for your son. This is not the way—to be squabbling about money right before an emergency. I’m glad everything worked out, though, and your son is hopefully just fine,” wrote one Redditor.
I Get His Point
However, some also think OP was correct to stand his ground. Some people had reason to believe that OP’s ex-wife would do the same thing to get out of her responsibilities the next time something like this happened.
A man pointed out, “Okay, but I’ve also been this kid, and I know where this would go if he’d given in. If he hadn’t ‘squabbled’ about money right before the surgery, then he would have ended up paying half, she would never pay him back, and she’d have precedent to continue relying on OP to cover her share of childcare expenses. This one ‘squabble’ happening on the first major medical expense probably saved the kids from having to hear this fight over and over again until they’re 18.”
The same person added, “Hopefully, she’ll do what she should have from the moment the divorce terms were finalized and set up a separate savings account for medical expenses so she’ll be prepared next time. If she’s honestly unable to afford this, then she can see about renegotiating the terms of the divorce.”
It’s All on Her
People also put OP’s ex-wife under the spotlight. For them, she should have been prepared for something like this to happen.
One said, “The real issue here is that the mom was unprepared to fulfill her own obligations to her children and was trying to manipulate OP into picking up her slack, not the tone OP used when fighting that manipulation.”
Find a Balance
While some Redditors argued that OP was being too much, some think it was only right for him to set his boundaries. Redditors also believe that OP’s ex was ill-prepared, which wasn’t something that OP should be burdened by.
One Redditor wrote, “Give an inch, she’ll take a mile. They both knew she was capable of paying with a credit card or a loan. She knew kids are expensive and need medical appointments, so she should always have been saving for it. The lack of planning on her part isn’t OP’s fault.”
Learn When to Accept Defeat
However, the bottom line for users is that OP, as a parent, should put his child first, regardless of how he feels about his ex-wife.
“He’s still a parent, and it’s still his job to step up if the child’s mother won’t. If she wouldn’t pay, then he absolutely should, regardless of how unfair it is to him. Fairness doesn’t matter when a child’s health is involved,” commented one Redditor.
A woman wrote, “Honestly, there’s no reason they can’t split that bill. It takes two to make the kid; it should take two to pay for the health expenses of said kid.”
What do you think of OP’s predicament? Do you think he went too far?
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This post first appeared as His Ex-wife Tried to One-up Him With Child Support. Now She Wants Him to Help Pay For Their 8-Year-Old Son’s $3,000 Surgery, but He Refused. Was He a Selfish Jerk? on Quote Ambition.