I Refused to Give My Ex-wife Money for Food for Her and Our Kids as I Discovered Her True Intentions

Amidst a plea for assistance from his ex-wife, a divorced father’s offer of sustenance took an unexpected turn. Little did he anticipate that a simple act of generosity would become entangled in accusations, revealing a clash of intentions that left him grappling with perceptions and principles.

Couple sitting apart after an argument | Source: Shutterstock
Couple sitting apart after an argument | Source: Shutterstock

In November 2023, an anonymous male poster shared his story on the “AITA” subreddit. He revealed that he and his ex-wife had divorced when their kids, now 15 and 12, were young, and after seven years of separation with 50/50 custody, his ex had remarried, ending any spousal support.

Around the time OP shared his story online, his ex-wife faced another challenge when her most recent husband left her. Indifferent to the specifics of their breakup, OP found himself uninterested in the details.

Despite the circumstances, he acknowledged that the departing husband didn’t strike him as a terrible person and left their house to his now-struggling ex-wife. However, OP remained oblivious to the financial intricacies.

Mother hugging her two little children | Source: Shutterstock

Mother hugging her two little children | Source: Shutterstock

The situation took an unexpected turn when she called him last week, desperately seeking assistance with food. She explained that she had exhausted her budget for herself and the kids. Agreeing to consider the request, OP asked for a moment to think before calling her back.

The fallout escalated with some siding against him, criticizing him for not providing the help she sought.

After a chat with his live-in girlfriend, OP, armed with a freezer full of elk, venison, wild hog, and a pantry stocked with beef, pork, and chicken, decided to lend a hand. Things took an unexpected twist when he called his ex-wife and offered her a sizable haul of groceries.

Woman holding stack of plastic containers with fresh vegetables for freezing at table in kitchen | Source: Shutterstock

Woman holding stack of plastic containers with fresh vegetables for freezing at table in kitchen | Source: Shutterstock

Instead of accepting the offer, she threw a curveball, requesting cash to order food. Holding his ground, OP firmly declined the request, asserting that he had two weeks’ worth of food ready for her, but cash for takeout was off the table.

Accused of expecting gratitude for what she deemed “scraps,” OP found himself labeled by his ex-wife. Unfazed, he clarified his intent, emphasizing the abundance of frozen meat, canned veggies, and fresh garden produce, and he planned to offer unopened pasta and rice bags.

Two young brothers playing outside | Source: Shutterstock

Two young brothers playing outside | Source: Shutterstock

OP stood firm and motivated by a desire for his kids to eat well, especially given their inclination for hunting and his older son’s culinary skills. Convinced he was fulfilling her request, he instructed his girlfriend to skip packing anything.

To confirm, he texted the kids, assuring them he’d handle any hunger concerns. Their response revealed that while food was available, it required preparation. “Both of them also said that if I was willing to spare some of the elk and hog roasts they would take them. I laughed and said I would take them over later,” explained OP.

Father and son fishing together from a boat during sunset | Source: Shutterstock

Father and son fishing together from a boat during sunset | Source: Shutterstock

Despite his genuine effort to assist, OP found himself at the center of controversy. His ex-wife, painting a different narrative, accused him of attempting to manipulate her into a “housewife” role while allegedly neglecting their kids’ food needs.

The fallout escalated with some siding against him, criticizing him for not providing the help she sought. Amid the uproar, OP, standing firm in his conviction, questioned if there was a perspective he might be overlooking.

Mother scolding her young son | Source: Pexels

Mother scolding her young son | Source: Pexels

OP’s story garnered substantial attention on the internet, with most commenters deeming him “NTA.” One user wrote, “Definitely NTA- there’s no reason to be giving her money. She asked for help with food you were readily willing to give her some of your food! But she doesn’t want/need help with food.”

“She wants/needs money. With 50/50 custody you shouldn’t have to give her any money. If she absolutely needs it she will have to apply for government benefits. She’s being ridiculous,” concluded the user.

Worried woman talking on her phone | Source: Shutterstock

Worried woman talking on her phone | Source: Shutterstock

“NTA. You used the same approach I use with panhandlers. I will buy food for them and give them the food, but I will not give them money. And it’s quite disappointing how few people will let me buy them a sandwich or a meal when they want money,” added another commenter.

“NTA, I’m confused on why she thinks preparing food for her kids is being manipulated into being a housewife… it’s called being a normal parent. Clearly, she’s nobody’s housewife anyways,” another user expressed.

Distressed man feeling doubtful about something while holding his phone | Source: Shutterstock

Distressed man feeling doubtful about something while holding his phone | Source: Shutterstock

In your opinion, was OP right in refusing to give money to his ex-wife? What would you do if you were in OP’s place?

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