The story unfolds around a family of four, particularly focusing on the fraught dynamics between the OP and her two daughters, Ava and Heather. The financial favoritism shown towards Ava years ago culminates in a crisis when Heather requests assistance for a down payment on a house, sparking an intense debate between OP and her wife. As a possible solution emerges in the form of a piece of unused land, the tension escalates, leaving the family on the brink of a decision that could alter their relationships forever.
A Family of Four
OP and her wife have two adult daughters, Ava and Heather. Ava is settled with a family and a house in their parents’ neighborhood, a gift from her parents. On the other hand, Heather is a sensitive and caring free spirit, moving around and exploring different places and careers.
When Ava got engaged twelve years ago, OP and her wife made a generous gesture to purchase a house for Ava and her husband. Not just that, they also paid for Ava’s extravagant wedding. This major financial support was feasible because of their stable finances at that time.
The Wandering Daughter
Heather has lived a nomadic life, shifting cities and exploring different interests. The parents offered to buy a plot of land for her in their neighborhood. But Heather, unsure of her future location, declined the offer.
A Land Bought in Vain
Despite Heather’s refusal, the parents bought a plot of land in their neighborhood, hoping she would one day use it. Heather thanked them for the gesture but never made use of the land. The land remained untouched, a silent testament to their anticipation.
Now, Heather came to her parents with a request. She wanted their help with a down payment for a house in the city where she was currently residing. The request was made with the understanding that the parents might be unable to help.
This request sparked a disagreement between OP and her wife. Their financial situation had changed significantly, and they were on the cusp of retirement. The prospect of such a big expenditure made OP uncomfortable.
A Question of Fairness
OP’s wife argued that Heather had asked for little compared to Ava. She highlighted that Ava had received a house and an expensive wedding from them. The wife believed they should make sacrifices to help Heather.
OP believed being open about their current financial situation would help Heather to understand why they couldn’t finance her now like they could have ten years ago. The wife disagreed with OP’s approach, wanting to find different alternatives to support Heather.
The Land as a Solution
The wife proposed selling the land they purchased for Heather. She saw this as a way to generate the necessary funds that Heather had requested. However, OP was reluctant to take this step for several reasons.
OP feared that selling the land might be a decision Heather would regret. Heather had mentioned occasionally that she might want to move back home eventually. Selling the land, which had significantly appreciated in value, could close that option permanently.
The Question of Blame
Caught in a dilemma, OP wondered if she was wrong for not being able to provide Heather with the down payment. This question was compounded by the guilt of having been more financially generous to Ava. The parents’ love for their children and the desire to be fair was tested.
OP revealed some unexpected health issues within the family that had strained their finances. Both her parents and Ava’s children needed medical care. These unexpected costs further diminished their ability to help Heather financially.
Considering All Options
OP’s wife continued to believe that selling the land or transferring it to Heather would be the right solution. OP was not convinced. The challenge remained of how to appease their slighted daughter without causing her to feel undervalued.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posted her story online for advice and feedback. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “If you can’t afford it now, then you can’t afford it. I believe if at one point you could afford to give a gift of hundreds of thousands of dollars to one child, you should’ve made sure you had the same amount for your other child.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “You ignored Heather telling you that she didn’t want the plot of land and bought it anyway. Now your wife is telling you to sell it to use the money to help her in the way she wants to be helped. That doesn’t make any sense.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “You are punishing Heather for not wanting to settle down at the same time and location as her sister. If she had wanted to purchase 12 years ago, the same time as her sister, you would have divided the funds allocated to help your children between your two daughters.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “You can’t give one child hundreds of thousands of dollars and the other ten thousand and believe you are doing the right thing.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.