Dad-to-Be Slammed Over His ‘Ego’ for Refusing to Accept Financial Help

Internet users have criticized an unemployed father-to-be who refuses to take any financial help from his in-laws, but people are urging him to swallow his pride and do what’s right for his family.

In a now-viral Reddit post, user u/GlumMushroom9804 wrote that he and his pregnant wife are “struggling at the moment” after he lost his job. She is suffering from extreme morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, and she had to quit her job.

While the couple have been having to use their credit cards and savings to get by, the wife confided in her older sister about the difficult position they found themselves in. The sister was more than happy to help, and she bought them a new car and gifted her pregnant sister $50,000 to spent on herself and the baby. But this didn’t go down well with the Reddit poster and dad-to-be, who thought she was trying to make him look bad.

The post reads: “A few days ago, my sister-in-law [SIL] came to visit while I was away, and she was appalled at the state of the house and the lack of baby supplies, as the baby room was bare bones and we hadn’t bought many baby things. When I arrived back home, she had given me a lecture on taking better care of her sister and scolded me for not getting ready for the baby.”

The post continued: “My wife also told her that we had to sell her car to pay off some bills and rent. Again, my SIL had to show off and she bought her a car and to top it all off on Sunday she sent her 50K.”

An unemployed father-to-be has been criticized online after refusing to accept help from his sister-in-law.

Photo-illustration by Newsweek

The poster felt as though his sister-in-law was trying to make him look like a failure, by pointing out the problems and coming to the rescue. For this reason, he didn’t want to accept her help and got into an argument with his wife.

Some people can be very reluctant to ask for help, which may be caused by one of many reasons, according to licensed psychologist Dr. Deborah Gilman. She told Newsweek that it could be a sense of pride, fear of dependency, avoidant coping mechanisms, concerns about reciprocating the favor, fear of being a burden, or cognitive dissonance.

In any of these cases, Gilman, from Fox Chapel Psychological Services in Pennsylvania, said that people need to gain a deeper understanding of why they struggle to accept help, and address those underlying concerns.

“The man in this scenario may reflect on his upbringing and the values instilled in him regarding self-reliance and independence. Perhaps he was taught that asking for help is a sign of weakness or failure. By examining these beliefs, he can gain insight into why he feels uncomfortable accepting assistance, even in times of need,” Gilman added.

“The man can have an open and honest conversation with his wife and family about his reluctance to accept help. He can express his gratitude for their offers of assistance while also explaining his reservations. By communicating his concerns, he can foster empathy for his loved ones, helping to alleviate any tension or misunderstandings.”

If asking for financial help from friends and family is still difficult, Gilman suggests exploring alternative forms of support. Perhaps utilizing community resources for housing and utilities, while asking family to help with things like childcare and emotional support. “There may be other ways that friends and family can help without directly providing financial assistance,” Gilman said.

How Did Social Media React?

After the Reddit user confided in his wife about how uncomfortable he was accepting help from her sister, he said they should return everything and do it without her help, despite neither of them having a job.

“My wife and I argued and in a fit of anger my wife said that I only feel like a failure because I’ve been failing. She has apologized since, but I still stand by telling her to return everything as I feel like accepting her sister’s so-called generosity is a way to manipulate my wife into thinking I’m a bad husband,” the post continued.

Since this was shared on February 6, it has gained more than 5,500 votes and over 2,800 comments on Reddit, as many users were quick to challenge the poster’s behavior. Many people urged him to rethink his stance and stop being so proud. Following the “brutal feedback,” the poster added that he will apologize to his wife and sister-in-law.

One comment reads: “What sort of a husband are you if you want your wife to be without a safety net for her and your child just because it bruises your EGO that you cannot support them well enough?”

Another person posted: “Dude needs to humble himself, swallow his pride and tell the sister he’s grateful for her help, he knows he doesn’t look good in her eyes but he’s trying to do better (if he’s actually trying to be a better man).”

A third Reddit user wrote: “He is making his fragile masculinity a priority over his wife and baby.”

Newsweek reached out to u/GlumMushroom9804 via Reddit for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

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