Family Matters
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H's family, money and ungratefulness

Every month, we get at least one call from my H's mom or sister to ask if we can give them some money. Sometimes they say it's a loan, but we always agree we don't expect the money to be returned. We never refuse to help. Not even when they assume things that they know they can't pay, and later on they call us to bail them. (My MIL is a dog breeder and made her dog get pregnant knowing she could not afford the expenses and we had to pay for everything. She's a widow, lives from deceased H's pension, my SIL is young but works and studies)

2 weeks ago we received a call at about 11 pm on a tuesday requesting for cash, and not only we give them, we have to take it all the way to their house (20 miles to go and return). My H refused to take the money that night because he arrived from work at 10 pm and could barely move from exhaustion, so he told them he would take it the next day. The next day, when we called to arrange the meeting, they did not answer the phone nor return the calls. So when we met them on the weekend, we gave them what they requested.

It's the end of the month. We're barely making it this month because of some expenses. However, we had such a rough week that we decided to go out and eat, a dinner of 25$ for two. We invited my MIL and SIL (God forbid they saw on 4SQ when H makes a check-in), knowing they already have their monthly cheques. My H made it clear to her that she was invited but that day, she had to pay for her expenses. She later called to cancel.

Then my SIL calls my H saying that we're cheap, how come we are not paying for MIL's dinner, why didn't we take the money to them, that the expense of the dinner was little money for us. My H is a calm person and yesterday he got fed up.

Bottom line: I told my husband that we should never refuse to help them, no matter how strangled we were on our finances. But now I feel our finances are being scrutinized and if we don't pay for dinner out, or give them a huge bill, they are thinking "how come they don't help us? they both work, they live nicely, they go on holidays". It's not easy. It's not fair to work so hard and feel that people are evaluating your expenses to see how much you can give them to bail them.

Of course I abide by Rule Number 1 of "Dealing with the In-Laws": always let your spouse handle his/her own family. But it made me so sad yesterday, we have helped them so much and we are being evaluated because we're going on holidays after two years of saving, so they think we are swimming on money, so they just assume we refuse to help.

Re: H's family, money and ungratefulness

  • FFS stop giving them money!!

    Who cares what they think of you?  They have made clear that you are in their lives because you provide financial assistance.  Why does the opinion of two selfish jerks matter to you?

    The 'dealing with the in-laws' rule means that your H should be the one to have the difficult conversations with them.  It does not mean that you don't get a say where your money goes.

    image Grayson's side-eye
  • Oh my God! You know OP- it would be one thing ...maybe.. if you could afford to loan or give them money. But you can't! Stop doing it.  Period.
  • Our financial asisstance is not that big. Maybe 2% of our buget every month. I know they love us, we love them, but my SIL made such a big deal out of it yesterday that I regretted going out to eat. I know I shouldn't, but it made me.

    H always always asks if we can give them. I am 100% confident in his honesty. But it does bug me that at least my SIL has given a hinch of a clue that she is thinking "how come they are going on vacations and they're not inviting her for dinner this time?". We paid four dinners out for her this month, because she does not get out of the house unless we make her do it.

  • Simple solution is to quit giving them money.  By continuing to do so, you have trained them to rely on you to support them and not do anything about resolving their situations.  Also, why invite them to dinner when end result is they are either going to insist you treat or they'll spend more money and therefore need to borrow more money.  And really?  Do you need to 'check in' everywhere you go???  That right there is ridiculous.
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  • The checkins on 4sq are just one of those geeky things I don't understand, but you know how one can get. Still, it does not give them the right to say "why haven't you told us to go?".

     Yes, we're reaching that point where we will stop giving money to help out. It feels sad to be unnapreciated. It's not our duty to help, we do it although it makes us adjust a bit. 

    Girls, don't get all upset and aggresive with me. It's just one of those days when I feel that even family can hurt. 

  • Good then keep giving them  money...keep being doormats....keep letting them manipulate you.....and keep being taken advantage of, but STFU about it then.

    You can't have it both ways. so, if you dont want to hear what a fool you are being, dont post about it.



  • image vanerv:

    The checkins on 4sq are just one of those geeky things I don't understand, but you know how one can get. Still, it does not give them the right to say "why haven't you told us to go?".

     Yes, we're reaching that point where we will stop giving money to help out. It feels sad to be unnapreciated. It's not our duty to help, we do it although it makes us adjust a bit. 

    Girls, don't get all upset and aggresive with me. It's just one of those days when I feel that even family can hurt. 

    I fully understand what the check-ins are.  What I don't understand is why one would feel it is necessary to check in every single place they go.  Especially when you now the consequences are a guilt trip that someone wasn't invited.

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  • image vanerv:

    The checkins on 4sq are just one of those geeky things I don't understand, but you know how one can get. Still, it does not give them the right to say "why haven't you told us to go?".

     Yes, we're reaching that point where we will stop giving money to help out. It feels sad to be unnapreciated. It's not our duty to help, we do it although it makes us adjust a bit. 

    Girls, don't get all upset and aggresive with me. It's just one of those days when I feel that even family can hurt. 

    No one is being aggressive, just honest.  You know what you're doing isn't working, you just don't want to face it.

    You can't make them appreciate the help, what you can do is stop giving them assistance they don't appreciate.

    Again, why do you give them money & why do you care what they think of you?  Not in a million years would I let greedy moochers stop me from enjoying a meal out that I'm paying for with my money.  You really need to figure out why you feel like you owe them & why your feelings are so wrapped up in their opinion.

    image Grayson's side-eye
  • image vanerv:

    The checkins on 4sq are just one of those geeky things I don't understand, but you know how one can get. Still, it does not give them the right to say "why haven't you told us to go?".

    Your problem with your ILs is much bigger than money. If discovering that you are at a restaurant without them prompts them to ask why they weren't invited, then they are overly enmeshed in your life. Are you and your H not allowed to go out together, alone?

    You and your H need to discuss what kind of boundaries you should have as a couple, and what is and is not acceptable behavior on the part of extended family. Your H needs to communicate this to them, and then you need to stick to your boundaries. If it is possible for money to get "tight" at the end of the month, then it sounds like you do not have the extra money to give to others, whether they appreciate that gift or not. You need to focus on saving for your future, building an emergency fund, and taking care of your own family (you and your H).

    image vanerv:
     

    Yes, we're reaching that point where we will stop giving money to help out. It feels sad to be unnapreciated. It's not our duty to help, we do it although it makes us adjust a bit. 

    Girls, don't get all upset and aggresive with me. It's just one of those days when I feel that even family can hurt. 

    I am absolutely not trying to be upset or aggressive. I have been in a somewhat similar situation in the past, when I was young and naive (my unemployed dad asking me to "loan" them thousands of dollars, and he needs it in the next 30min). Of course it was not a "loan," and while my parents' financial situation is still on the precarious side (and ours is not), I will not be loaning or giving them money in the future. Perhaps this makes me sound like a royal b!tch, but I have seen the strain that puts on our relationship. There are things they could do to improve their finances, but they are unwilling to do these things, and for that reason and many others, my H and I do not discuss finances with my parents, and we absolutely do not "loan" (i.e., give) them money. The fact that we work hard, save, and make responsible choices does not mean we should support their irresponsible ones.

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  • image vanerv:

    it does bug me that at least my SIL has given a hinch of a clue that she is thinking "how come they are going on vacations and they're not inviting her for dinner this time?".

    Okay, so answer the question.

    I'm being serious. You seem to have this foreboding that the answer is somehow sinister. Like you deserve to be yelled at or shamed.

    What is the answer? Maybe something like, "Well, we've saved for the trip and passed on a lot of other things we've wanted for the past 2 years. We've missed a lot of dinners out and treats like that. And since we work hard and save, we stick to a monthly budget and work hard to not go over. We'd like mom's company but her dish would have put us over. That's what responsible budgeting means. We don't have anyone else to bail us out when we over spend. So we don't. It's something you should learn to do so you can be independent, and even generous with other at times. Rather than always needing a hand-out from people like us."

    You may never say that to your SIL (although I hope you do) because she may be too immature to take it. But you should give yourself permission to really think through the "answer" that is honest and really reflects what's in your heart. Based on what you've posted, you are not a bad person for having some healthy boundaries with your time and money. They really are asking too much and in an obnoxious, entitled way. You have every right to spend your money however you wish and to not pour every extra dime down the bottomless hole of ILs. Your money is NOT their money, too.And you don't have to explain yourself to them ... but you should certainly spend some time to explain it to yourself.

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  • I'm baffled as to why you think you HAVE to help. Especially when they clearly dont appreciate it and clearly take advantage of it. 
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  • His family has no respect for either of you, takes advantage of you, and throws a fit when you don't give them what they want.  Why in the world would you put up with this crap?  That is a horrible way for family to treat family!  This is not "love", it is disrespect and using.   The worst problem is that by always giving in, you trained them to treat you like this.

    The money giving needs to stop now.  Who cares what they say about you.  They probably already bad mouth you anyway, at least on the days when you don't race over fast enouigh to throw money at them when they snap their fingers.  Go into it know that they will become very mad.  They will act like addicts who get their supply cut off.  They will insult you, call you names, and speak poorly about you to everyone they can.  You cut off their money train and they are going to have to start stainding on their own feet and they will not like it.  But, you need to stay firm.

    You think you're "helping" them.  You're not.  The best way to help them is to stop giving them money and let them learn to be adults properly managing their money.  Enabling them live like this is not help.

    Remember, you teach people how to treat you.  You have taught them to treat you like crap and have no respect for your feelings or household finances.  It's time to teach them a new lesson.  If you both don't put an end to this now, then you have nobody to blame except yourselves.

     

    One other thing to add.  What if they finally bleed you dry and you and DH have nothing left?  Will they be there for you?  Will they give you money when you need it?  You know, as well as we all do, is that the answer is no.

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  • image vanerv:

    Every month, we get at least one call from my H's mom or sister to ask if we can give them some money. Sometimes they say it's a loan, but we always agree we don't expect the money to be returned. We never refuse to help. Not even when they assume things that they know they can't pay, and later on they call us to bail them. (My MIL is a dog breeder and made her dog get pregnant knowing she could not afford the expenses and we had to pay for everything. She's a widow, lives from deceased H's pension, my SIL is young but works and studies)

    2 weeks ago we received a call at about 11 pm on a tuesday requesting for cash, and not only we give them, we have to take it all the way to their house (20 miles to go and return). My H refused to take the money that night because he arrived from work at 10 pm and could barely move from exhaustion, so he told them he would take it the next day. The next day, when we called to arrange the meeting, they did not answer the phone nor return the calls. So when we met them on the weekend, we gave them what they requested.

    It's the end of the month. We're barely making it this month because of some expenses. However, we had such a rough week that we decided to go out and eat, a dinner of 25$ for two. We invited my MIL and SIL (God forbid they saw on 4SQ when H makes a check-in), knowing they already have their monthly cheques. My H made it clear to her that she was invited but that day, she had to pay for her expenses. She later called to cancel.

    Then my SIL calls my H saying that we're cheap, how come we are not paying for MIL's dinner, why didn't we take the money to them, that the expense of the dinner was little money for us. My H is a calm person and yesterday he got fed up.

    Bottom line: I told my husband that we should never refuse to help them, no matter how strangled we were on our finances. But now I feel our finances are being scrutinized and if we don't pay for dinner out, or give them a huge bill, they are thinking "how come they don't help us? they both work, they live nicely, they go on holidays". It's not easy. It's not fair to work so hard and feel that people are evaluating your expenses to see how much you can give them to bail them.

    Of course I abide by Rule Number 1 of "Dealing with the In-Laws": always let your spouse handle his/her own family. But it made me so sad yesterday, we have helped them so much and we are being evaluated because we're going on holidays after two years of saving, so they think we are swimming on money, so they just assume we refuse to help.

    This bolded is just ridiculous. Helping a family member is one thing, but what you're doing is enabling them to make repeated poor decisions and to not take responsibilty for their actions/choices and their consequences. Yes, it is important to care for your family and loved ones, but not at the detriment of your own stability. They have huge feelings of entitlement, this is obvious from what you have written. They don't appreciate what you are doing, nor are they thankful. They think that you OWE them and they are taking advantage of your generosity. It's time to turn off the faucet. Stop contributing to their refusal to be adults.

  • I'm hard up this month, can I have/borrow $500?
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  • image +SMACE+:
    I'm hard up this month, can I have/borrow $500?

    Yes  FFS, I would've stopped giving them money a LONG time ago.  It's pretty clear that they don't appreciate the help and that you and your husband are being taken advantage of.  I would stop immediately.

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  • You're not helping them by giving them money, you're teaching them that YOU are responsible for their financial well being.  They won't learn to take care of themselves if you keep doing it for them.

    So quit giving them money.  If they say they need food, take them some spaghetti and a couple of jars of sauce.  It's spring, so it's warmer, so if the electric compnay threatens to turn off the power, let them.  I bet those two things get them to start looking at their finances, pronto.  Sometimes the best thing you can do to help someone is nothing at all--it teaches them to be self reliant.

    image
  • I can't help but sound like Dr. Phil in this instance.  How is your current approach working for you?
  • I dont get why you keep saying that you HAVE  to give them money. News flash: you don't.

     

    If you are tired of being so short on money, then stop giving it to them. You're doing them no favors by allowing them to mooch off you. And if your husband wants to cut off his family and you say no, then frankly you're being a bad wife.

     

    If you want to continue giving them money, then stop complaining about it and quietly accept the fact that they'll just bleed you dry until there's nothing left. Where are you going to turn if YOU need help after that? Them? They'll have moved on to another sucker by then, honey. 

    image
  • While it isnt traditional in American cultures to support your family it is in most parts of the world. Especially if your mother is a widow. It is an expectation not a gift. I can only guess from your post that supporting family is not something you find unusual. Though you dont mention your family calling you for $ just his. I am sorry you had a rough day. Hopefully dh will decide to sit down with them and let them know where the boundaries are...they sound like they have none and feel entitled.
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  • sure-go ahead-keep bailing them out. that's what they expect you to do and that's why they'll never stop asking.

    unless you say no.

     your money is not their concern or their business.

    if you dont want to be ridiculed about 4square block the posts to them. or block them all together. or dont post an update.

    stop being money giving doormats already.

     

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  • image MarynJoe:
     

    One other thing to add.  What if they finally bleed you dry and you and DH have nothing left?  Will they be there for you?  Will they give you money when you need it?  You know, as well as we all do, is that the answer is no.

    Very Well Said because it's the truth.  

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  • If your ok with sending her money all the time, why not just sit down and figure out a monthly allownance? And set up a bank acct you can transfer directly into. Then if so and so says why didnt you pay for us, you can just tell them thats what their allowance is for, right?

     

     

    the whole thing is kinda odd, but if your going to do it anyway, you might as well make it legit instead of random midnight runs.

  • What in the world - never refuse them money? Are you freaking kidding me?

     

    No more money - no more hand outs! Period. God people need to be responsible.

     Your enabling these people with their debt and irresponsibility is the same as giving an addict drugs.

    Them: We need money.

    You: we aren't able to help. 

     Tgem: Why - you're rich. 

     You: our finances are our business.  

     

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