Family Matters
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how to handle family situation?

DH had a big argument on the phone with his parents last night.  We are headed to their house for labor day weekend and I have a feeling it's going to be weird.  Does anyone have some suggestions for us?  Here is the background and what led up to the argument.

 About 3 or so months ago SIL came to DH and told him she would not be able to contribute to MIL's retirement gift that we were giving to her from the 3 of us (she had 9 months to plan for this up until this point). This incident started a conversation between DH and his sister as to why.  She admitted to being majorly in CC debt...probably about 20k and asked DH for help on how to pay this off and asked he not tell their parents (she lives at home and is 27).  DH agreed to not tell their parents and was working on giving her solutions on what she needed to do to get out of this mess.

Over the course of the summer he has had her open a savings account, start charging for the spin classes she teaches at the gym she goes to and giving her ideas to make some money.  There was a tentative plan to meet with her over labor day weekend to look at the cc statements go over he bills and work on a real plan to get rid of the debt and help her with a budget.  He also suggested to her a week ago she may need to find another part time job to help eliminate her debt.  He thought he was making a little headway with her and helping her.

Yesterday he finds out she's going to be out of town on a trip to the beach with her boyfriend for labor day weekend and that their parents had confronted her about her debt and the problem is being solved.  So now DH obviously wants to know why she didnt tell him this sooner and of course he's upset that he's been working on ways to help her and she's just blown him off and was probably not going to tell him anything unless he approached the topic.

He calls his parents last night to find out whats going on and they start yelling that it's not his business and the issue is being resolved.  DH gets mad at them and says she made it my business when she asked for help and told me not to tell you guys.  So this big argument goes on for about an hour and the end result is my In-laws went to the bank to see what SIL's options were about getting a personal loan to pay off her debt.  In-laws then tell DH it was wrong of him to suggest she get a part time job to pay off bills and that SIL was so upset at the things DH said to her about coming clean to her boyfriend about this debt.  She told their parents that DH said her boyfriend (almost finace) would leave her if he knew the truth.

DH is furious and so am I that his parents have chosen to take her side and not even listen to him.  I'm really mad that SIL only telling a half truth. DH has been very good giving her help during this time and was only suggesting how imoportant it is to be honest with her future spouse about this money issue.

Now his parents are mad at him and we have to go there this weekend.  Is there anyway to smooth this over?  I am really tempted to say something to his parents on my own since I've heard every converstion he and his sister have had and I know for a fact she's left out a lot of parts to her parents.

 Also as a side note In-Laws dont like to upset SIL bc they are afraid to upsetting her too much..I guess she has a little bit of depression and self confidence issues.

Re: how to handle family situation?

  • Why do you have to go? i would change your plans and wait till things cool off a bit. Maybe then DH and his parents can have an adult dicussion about this issue.
  • image newbeachbride:

    Now his parents are mad at him and we have to go there this weekend.  Is there anyway to smooth this over?  I am really tempted to say something to his parents on my own since I've heard every converstion he and his sister have had and I know for a fact she's left out a lot of parts to her parents.

    Jeebus, that would be the worst idea ever.  Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong.  As bad as things are they would only get worse if you started to horn it in matters that don't concern you.

    Okay, so it really sucks that he was trying to help her and now she's gone to her parents and they've come to some sort of agreement about how to handle it.  His parents are adults.  His sister is an adult too.  Let them all make their own decisions and you and your husband MYOB.

    And, next time she asks for help you have a built in reason to say no.  This is a pretty textbook example of why family and finances don't mix.

    image
  • Ditto Duckie. MYOB. If anyone could make an attempt to smooth this over, it's your H. HOWEVER, I don't think he needs to do anything in this case. I would make an excuse as to why you can't make it this weekend and do something else.
  • I guess the issue DH has is this is how all situations are handled with his family, and then everything will get swept under the rug like nothings wrong and he feels like he's the bad guy for everything.
  • Don't go on vacation with them. You don't have to.

  • I know if we don't go out this weekend they will flip out since this was supposed to be our daughters first visit to their home and meet the rest of the relatives.  It may make it worse.
  • Of course your DH is understandably mad about having invested so much in trying to help his sister just to have her basically ignore him. 

    But why on earth did your DH feel it was appropriate to drag his parents into this?  Why on earth did they spend an hour fighting over the phone about this?  This was between your DH and his sister........if sister doesn't want his help, that's it!  If his parents want to bail their daughter out, it's none of your DH's business.  Write off the time he wasted on counseling and trying to help her as a lesson learned and be done with it.

    But since he did get into a fight with them - you don't HAVE to go there this weekend.  Really, you don't.  Only if someone has a gun to your head do you HAVE to go.  So if it's going to be weird and awkward, stay home this weekend.  And for the love of God - DON'T you say something to his parents about it!  That's about the stupidest thing you could do.  Again - this was between DH and his sister, now it's between sister and her parents.  You and your DH both need to butt out now.

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  • image newbeachbride:
    I know if we don't go out this weekend they will flip out since this was supposed to be our daughters first visit to their home and meet the rest of the relatives.  It may make it worse.

    Them: "What?!  What do you mean you're not coming this weekend?!  What about seeing our granddaughter?"

    Your DH: "We had every intention of coming, but after our argument on the phone we just don't feel comfortable with the visit anymore"

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  • I think DH wanted to discuss the issue with his parents b.c he knew his sister was not telling him the whole story. And she would make him out to be the bad guty  He kind of feels like he got thrown under the bus by her since she wanted his help, when she didnt' like what she heard she went to her parents and made the story fit what she needed them to hear.  DH is also upset they will always take her side no matter what she does, so I think part of it is why will they not entertain all sides of the story.
  • image Maybride2:

    image newbeachbride:
    I know if we don't go out this weekend they will flip out since this was supposed to be our daughters first visit to their home and meet the rest of the relatives.  It may make it worse.

    Them: "What?!  What do you mean you're not coming this weekend?!  What about seeing our granddaughter?"

    Your DH: "We had every intention of coming, but after our argument on the phone we just don't feel comfortable with the visit anymore"

    this!

  • You don't have to go there this weekend. You don't.

    As far as this situation with the sister goes, it should have stayed between your DH and his sister. Your DH should not have brought it up with his parents, just as his parents should not have argued with him about it. It should have been talked about and resolved between the siblings.

    That said, if this is often the outcome when your H helps out his sister, he should seriously reconsider investing his time in saving her butt in the future. 

  • image newbeachbride:
    DH is also upset they will always take her side no matter what she does, so I think part of it is why will they not entertain all sides of the story.

    So what?

    Your SIL's debt really doesn't have anything to do with your DH - sure, he was trying to help her manage it, but really - it has nothing to do with your DH.

    I don't get what "side" he thinks his parents are taking, or why they need to entertain "all sides" of this story. 

    Of course sister threw him under the bus in favor of being bailed out of her debt by mommy and daddy.  Did your DH really expect differently?  Again, lesson learned - don't ever go out of your way to help sister again, because she's a bratty little nitwit.  Let them deal with bratty nitwit sister in their own way.......because again, it doesn't have anything to do with DH.

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  • Ditto Maybride.

    You guys are not beholden to them, nor do you need to feel obligated to bring your child into a situation that will be awkward and potentially volatile. Your best bet is to have DH gracefull back out (as Maybride suggested) and leave it at that. If they want to meet your daughter, they can apologize for their outburst and come to you. 

  • he has said he's done helping his sister, i think initally he wanted to help since they never had been super close and he thought this would help their relationship.  i guess not now that she did this.  his parents were always saying how DH never makes the effort to be closer to his sister, now this happens.
  • image newbeachbride:

     In-laws then tell DH it was wrong of him to suggest she get a part time job to pay off bills and that SIL was so upset at the things DH said to her about coming clean to her boyfriend about this debt.  She told their parents that DH said her boyfriend (almost finace) would leave her if he knew the truth.

    At first I thought that this was a little funny.  Why would parents want their daughter to enter into a marriage under false pretenses?  Then I realized, they want her to get married so that she will get out of the house and then she will be her husband's problem and not theirs.  So that is probably why they want your husband to butt out.  He's going to spoil their big plan to get rid of SIL!

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  • And this should show him what would probably happen if you were to go visit them this weekend. They'd never let him live it down and you'd have a horrible vacation.
  • image newbeachbride:
    I think DH wanted to discuss the issue with his parents b.c he knew his sister was not telling him the whole story. And she would make him out to be the bad guty  He kind of feels like he got thrown under the bus by her since she wanted his help, when she didnt' like what she heard she went to her parents and made the story fit what she needed them to hear.  DH is also upset they will always take her side no matter what she does, so I think part of it is why will they not entertain all sides of the story.

     

    Their response to their daughter to keep the peace is not that different from DH's response to them by not going.  At some point someone in this family needs to take a stand, say "this is crap, I'm not playing this game" and stick to what is right. 

    Do you really want to spend the weekend trying to convince them you're right?  And even if they say "you're right, we agree with you" there is no reason for them not to flip back when you two leave and she returns. 

  • DONT GO...very simple. But i have a feeling that wont happen since you HAVE to go!


  • DH is also upset they will always take her side no matter what she does, so I think part of it is why will they not entertain all sides of the story.

    So, the answer to this is that he needs to stop getting involved in situations where sides can be chosen.

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  • image blackfire5th:
    image newbeachbride:

     In-laws then tell DH it was wrong of him to suggest she get a part time job to pay off bills and that SIL was so upset at the things DH said to her about coming clean to her boyfriend about this debt.  She told their parents that DH said her boyfriend (almost finace) would leave her if he knew the truth.

    At first I thought that this was a little funny.  Why would parents want their daughter to enter into a marriage under false pretenses?  Then I realized, they want her to get married so that she will get out of the house and then she will be her husband's problem and not theirs.  So that is probably why they want your husband to butt out.  He's going to spoil their big plan to get rid of SIL!

    LOL you may be right!
  • First off, I can appreciate your DH trying to help. It does suck that SIL won't take the advice or isn't adult enough to let your H know what's going on... That being said, it honestly isn't your business - whether or not she made it your business - I would simply ignore it from here on out. She's old enough to make her own decisions and live her life the way she sees fit. I'm sorry that it makes you upset, but the next time she asks for help - then if you want to offer advice or whatever - do so... but there's no reason to raise your blood pressure over someone elses' mistakes.

    If you don't feel comfortable going, then don't. I'm sure they'll probably act like nothing happened anyway.

    image
  • image Starstruckchaos:

    First off, I can appreciate your DH trying to help. It does suck that SIL won't take the advice or isn't adult enough to let your H know what's going on... That being said, it honestly isn't your business - whether or not she made it your business - I would simply ignore it from here on out. She's old enough to make her own decisions and live her life the way she sees fit. I'm sorry that it makes you upset, but the next time she asks for help - then if you want to offer advice or whatever - do so... but there's no reason to raise your blood pressure over someone elses' mistakes.

    If you don't feel comfortable going, then don't. I'm sure they'll probably act like nothing happened anyway.

    Ditto to this!

     

    image 

  • I am feeling bad for the guy she is seeing!!!  If they end up getting married I am betting it doesnt last long!

     

  • Really none of this is any of your DH's business.  Yes your SIL asked him for help, but it seems like he way overstepped his bounds.  SIL is an adult and is capable of making her own decisions.  Even if they are bad decisions they are her decisions. 

    As far as getting into it with his parents, again that was your husband stepping over his bounds.  He had no right to confront his parents about his sister's plans.  Again, SHE IS AN ADULT.  Even if she is living at home with her parents, she gets to make the vast majority of decisions for her own life.

    Frankly I think this entire issue boils down to your husband being overly involved with his sister.  He really needs to stop that. If she asks him a specific question then I see nothing wrong with him trying to help, but he was trying to plan out her life for her.  I know it was in an attempt to help her, but maybe the best help that can be given to her is to let her fall on her face.

  • This just seems to be a classic example of a mountain being made out of molehill. 

    Your SIL has CC debt.   She asked for help from your DH.   He tried to help.   End of story.     That's exactly what your DH should say to his parents.   He shouldn't argue about it, or drag in any nonsense about them always being on her side, blah blah blah.    Here's what he should repeat, as many times as necessary, "She asked for help, I tried to help.    Period."   

    If that doesn't work, he can tell them it's none of their business what he and his sister talk about.   It's between them, and two adults don't need their parents butting in to keep the peace.  

    DO NOT SAY A WORD TO HIS PARENTS!   I cannot stress that enough.   They yelled at your DH to mind his own business.   I can't imagine how they would react to you butting in. 

     

  • I would not say anything. If your husband wants to discuss it further with his family fine, but you should really stay out of it.
  • Oh good g*d.  These people are tip toe-ing all around each other, pretending things are fine, telling half truths, keeping secrets and basically crossing their fingers hoping it ALL doesn't come spilling out.

    So be it.

    Your DH was asked... invested his time and expertise into solving the problems ... and told to piss off.

    Cut your losses.  These are grown adults.  If they want to put their heads in the sand and yell at the truth teller, so be it.

    Have a nice weekend.  Your SIL is not going to be there.  He can tell his parents that he heard them "loud and clear" and although his advise was sincere, he understands that it was not well received or wanted.

    So he's done.

    Good luck with SIL and her personal loan.

    He's done.  Please pass the BBQ.  And of course he won't get into it again if things don't go well with the loan and the current plan.  No need to create hard feelings.  Everyone is an ADULT and can sort it out without him.

    Really.

    And mean it. You were willing to help.  But your not willing to be dumped on.  Thanks anyway and you're welcome.  

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  • livinitup.....You are exactly right on everything you said.  the underlying issue with this is all his family ever does is sweep issues under the rug and pretend all is fine.  They do it with everything and DH is the only one not like this.

    We have cut our losses and have learned a hard lesson to not help out and never again mix finances and family, when asked b.c this is all it gets us.

    We are going to visit this weekend since not going will make it worse, i'm sure they will think we are withholding their grandaughter from them. DH's extended family has planned a cookout for everyone else to meet our daugheter who has not already done so we will go not to spoil everyone elses time with our daughter.  What we will do is if an issue does arise we will be leaving and coming home.  Hopefully if it comes to this it will send a clear message on where we stand with their issues.

    I am going to stay out of the issue unless directly asked something and DH supports this.  It's odd but for some reason his family puts more weight in what I say than what DH does, yes thats wrong of them but it is what it is.

    I hope we can at least have some sort of enjoyable weekend.

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