Author Topic: Long-term leech in-laws  (Read 8493 times)

mstache67

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Long-term leech in-laws
« on: January 09, 2018, 11:43:34 AM »
My husband and I have been married for 7 years. He always made a great income, 100k+ since college and 200k+ for the last dozen years, and 600k+ for the last 5. However until we got engaged and he let me take over the finances he had NOTHING to show for it except 40k student loan from 25 years ago, 12k home equity loan from a house he hadn't owned in over a decade, 10k IRS back taxes, etc.

He's 50. He started at negative net worth when we were married and since then has gotten to 0 debt, no mortgage, and $2.4M net worth. Maxes 401k and HSA every year, and I'm setting up a profit sharing plan for our business to be able to contribute higher pre-tax. I have showed him how thanks to these changes, he can retire comfortably in 2 or 3 years. (He enjoys his work and most of his friends are business contacts, so he wouldn't mind working occasionally after retirement.)

The only monkey wrench in this plan is his family. His parents retired at 65 with no savings except a 200k annuity, and a 200k mortgage. Now 15 years later, the annuity is gone, they have 0 savings or assets, and the house is a couple grand underwater still even though they've been paying the mortgage all this time. (Bought in 2006.)

He's been sending them cash monthly for over 12 years. Until we got married and I insisted, his mother was actually a co-owner on his checking account and would just withdraw money. He has paid all their household bills (verizon cable package, landline phone, cell phone, utilities) for the same amount of time, plus one-off items like a plumbing fix, new ac system, property taxes, always something.

It's a pattern in his family too--his brother "borrowed" 5k from us last year that's yet to be repaid, his sister "borrowed" 2k for a car repair. These are forty-something college educated people who work sporadically (aka when they choose to take a job) and make $250k ish when they're working.

His family came to our house for christmas 2 years ago and his mother insulted our neighborhood that we'd just moved in to and were very happy with ("this is ugly"), and me ("You dont know how to make a bed properly, what good are you other than to clean HIS house?")

I sat on the front stoop of my own home, crying. When I came back inside, his mother was in a bedroom with the door shut, gossiping on the phone about me.

I told him he had to stop supporting them immediately or I'd divorce him. But here we are, 2 years later, and nothing has changed. He applied for elderly housing for them, and I think his mother throws the correspondence away and doesn't answer their phone calls, because she "hasn't heard anything."

Also for background these are people who spend maybe 300 a month on cigarettes, buy lottery tickets regularly, etc.

I would like to adopt a child, but it makes me anxious to do so when we're supporting 2 households. His mother's response when my husband said we were thinking of adopting? "You're too old." I even offered to have his parents move in to our home (after the nightmare christmas) and his mom said "no, can't have 2 women sharing a house." I offered even though his dad smoked inside after we asked him not to, and threw cigarette butts all over our patio.

WTF to do?

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Frankies Girl

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 11:53:05 AM »
I am so sorry you're in this situation.

Unfortunately, it seems like you knew he was like this going in, and still married him? In that case, you should have adjusted your expectations going in, or run away since he was unlikely to change at that point.

As he is still doing this despite the fact that his parents are rude to you (his wife), you don't actually have an inlaw problem... you have a spouse problem.

And you do need to decide if the relationship itself is enough - without expecting him to change in any way - for you to stay.

You've used the threat of divorce to try to goad him to change and he hasn't so you technically have your answer: stay and put up with the situation as it stands with a husband completely enmeshed with his parents/siblings and putting his wife and own life second, or leave him and go do the things you want to do like adopt a child.

I'd suggest getting some counseling to help you work through this. If you can get him to go with, that would be great to see if he is open to changing to save his marriage, but honestly I think this would be a deal breaker for me, and I would just need the counseling to work through how to leave and getting my head straight for the divorce.
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Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 12:10:44 PM »
This is a tough one.

How is your relationship otherwise? How often have you spoken about this in the last couple of years? Did he take your response to that awful Christmas seriously? Did you follow up on it or just say it the once? How has your relationship dealt with other issues when you have different opinions or conflicting values?

How are your finances? Do you work? Do you combine all your finances? Do you have any of your own accounts or savings?

How much are your household expenses and how much are the in-law household expenses? Is the money causing you hardship or is the issue that you are giving favours and spending time with awful, rude, ungrateful people?

I sympathise, this is a shitty situation that you are in. If you want to commiserate you can check out my tale of in-law woe here.

This seems like a relationship problem rather than a money problem. I prescribe some work on boundaries with the in-laws and serious conversations with the husband and a therapist. Captain Awkward is my go-to resource for useful scripts for setting boundaries with people who are awful to you.

Best of luck.

mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 12:26:02 PM »
I am so sorry you're in this situation.

Unfortunately, it seems like you knew he was like this going in, and still married him? In that case, you should have adjusted your expectations going in, or run away since he was unlikely to change at that point.

As he is still doing this despite the fact that his parents are rude to you (his wife), you don't actually have an inlaw problem... you have a spouse problem.

And you do need to decide if the relationship itself is enough - without expecting him to change in any way - for you to stay.

You've used the threat of divorce to try to goad him to change and he hasn't so you technically have your answer: stay and put up with the situation as it stands with a husband completely enmeshed with his parents/siblings and putting his wife and own life second, or leave him and go do the things you want to do like adopt a child.

I'd suggest getting some counseling to help you work through this. If you can get him to go with, that would be great to see if he is open to changing to save his marriage, but honestly I think this would be a deal breaker for me, and I would just need the counseling to work through how to leave and getting my head straight for the divorce.
Thank you for the thoughtful answer. I knew when we got married that he occasionally "helped out," which to me means picking up a big grocery bill and having it delivered because they're older, or adding them to the phone bill, or things like that. Not paying the mortgage indefinitely and sending a fixed amount of cash every month that is "required."

He has said he recognizes he needs to stop and agrees with me, and he has told his mother that it has to stop, but he says he has to wait until they get into some sort of subsidized housing program or they'll be foreclosed on eventually.

He was told last year they'd be in a program by now.

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Frankies Girl

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 12:37:32 PM »
I am so sorry you're in this situation.

Unfortunately, it seems like you knew he was like this going in, and still married him? In that case, you should have adjusted your expectations going in, or run away since he was unlikely to change at that point.

As he is still doing this despite the fact that his parents are rude to you (his wife), you don't actually have an inlaw problem... you have a spouse problem.

And you do need to decide if the relationship itself is enough - without expecting him to change in any way - for you to stay.

You've used the threat of divorce to try to goad him to change and he hasn't so you technically have your answer: stay and put up with the situation as it stands with a husband completely enmeshed with his parents/siblings and putting his wife and own life second, or leave him and go do the things you want to do like adopt a child.

I'd suggest getting some counseling to help you work through this. If you can get him to go with, that would be great to see if he is open to changing to save his marriage, but honestly I think this would be a deal breaker for me, and I would just need the counseling to work through how to leave and getting my head straight for the divorce.
Thank you for the thoughtful answer. I knew when we got married that he occasionally "helped out," which to me means picking up a big grocery bill and having it delivered because they're older, or adding them to the phone bill, or things like that. Not paying the mortgage indefinitely and sending a fixed amount of cash every month that is "required."

He has said he recognizes he needs to stop and agrees with me, and he has told his mother that it has to stop, but he says he has to wait until they get into some sort of subsidized housing program or they'll be foreclosed on eventually.

He was told last year they'd be in a program by now.

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Ah, that sucks too. He wants to change things, but he has no idea how because he's so enmeshed he feels trapped and it's a never-ending parent/child situation that he has to break out of.

I'd still strongly recommend counseling (and it may take you both a few tries to find a good "fit" with a decent counselor), but for reading if he is open to the idea: Susan Forward's "Toxic Inlaws" and "Toxic Parents" along with her book, "Emotional Blackmail" might help him start finding the words to stand up to his parents/siblings and break the bad relationship dynamics that are currently in place.

It really is about him taking a large step back, telling his parents they are on their own and understanding that he is not in any way responsible or beholden to them just because they are his parents. He can still love and care about them, but he needs to separate the love from being conditional or trained to obey as a child would. He is an adult and it is okay to tell them no, and they can accept it and keep the relationship, or throw fits trying to manipulate him and alienate him in the process. But ultimately he should not feel his relationship with his family is dependent on how much he does for them - that is wrong. Oh, and he absolutely should be telling them to knock off any slurs or nasty behavior towards his spouse (you). You are supposed to come first in his life and he should be defending you and telling them off if they treat you poorly.

It is so easy to say, but in a sick family dynamic, very difficult to internalize.*

Good luck and I do hope you're able to find your way forward together.




*I have lived through both a terrible family situation with very screwed up manipulative parents/siblings, and have also dealt with a passive spouse and screwy inlaws too. Counseling, figuring out boundaries and enforcing them, cut offs and all that jazz...

« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 02:48:50 PM by Frankies Girl »
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mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 01:01:16 PM »
This is a tough one.

How is your relationship otherwise? How often have you spoken about this in the last couple of years? Did he take your response to that awful Christmas seriously? Did you follow up on it or just say it the once? How has your relationship dealt with other issues when you have different opinions or conflicting values?

How are your finances? Do you work? Do you combine all your finances? Do you have any of your own accounts or savings?

How much are your household expenses and how much are the in-law household expenses? Is the money causing you hardship or is the issue that you are giving favours and spending time with awful, rude, ungrateful people?

I sympathise, this is a shitty situation that you are in. If you want to commiserate you can check out my tale of in-law woe here.

This seems like a relationship problem rather than a money problem. I prescribe some work on boundaries with the in-laws and serious conversations with the husband and a therapist. Captain Awkward is my go-to resource for useful scripts for setting boundaries with people who are awful to you.

Best of luck.
Thank you. The link to your story didn't work on my phone, I will try it on the computer when I get home.

Otherwise, the relationship is great. He's my best friend, and I really don't want to get a divorce.

I always had my own income, but I started helping him with his business before we got married and was able to grow that a lot, and this works out well for us. We are 50/50 financially and all accounts except retirement are combined.

I handle everything to do with finances because I have more of an interest in it. He just sort of gradually passed everything off. If I want to make a change, I present all facts and info I can find, then we talk about it.

We spend roughly the same on our own personal household bills as we do on his parents' household bills.

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lbmustache

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 02:41:07 PM »
Are you, or your husband, by any chance Indian? This sounds so familiar...

Anyway, you truly have my sympathies. What an awful situation to be in. I think step 1 is having a serious talk with your husband. Some of this may be cultural, HOWEVER your husband really should be standing up for you and telling his mother to cut out the catty comments.

Serious talk needs to happen with the siblings as well. Are they otherwise OK aside from the random leeching? It may be a family pattern and a talking to may get them to stop, or maybe if you bring up needing to save for adoption, etc.

Maybe your husband is comfortable with an ultimatum for the parents? Either they stay where they are BUT things need to change for your husband to continue to give them money, or they move into a retirement home.

Dezrah

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 02:49:13 PM »
Dear sweet heaven, do not let these people move in with you!  It's like your MIL is so petty that's she's come full circle and is doing you a favor.

You sound like an awesome person. 

The adoption issue really stands out to me.  How important is this for you?  Right now, you are not in a place to have a child with your husband.  He really needs to show some progress before you bring a child into this situation.  How long are you willing to wait? 

From a strictly factual standpoint, you have all the financial resources you'll ever need to have a good life.  Time and emotion are your most precious commodities right now.  By and large though, the world is your oyster, so don't ever let yourself feel trapped.

Captain Awkward is fabulous.  Definitely skim through her archives and read the stuff that resonates with you.

I will also suggest Reddit's Just No MIL subreddit.  https://www.reddit.com/r/JUSTNOMIL/  These women (and some men) do an amazing job validating and supporting each other.


mozar

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 03:51:03 PM »
I don't see how your relationship with your husband can be great if he let's his mother abuse you. Those 2 things don't go together.

I really doubt he's ever going to stop giving his parents money. I think you need to change the conversation to what your limit is if you want to stay in this relationship.

Either way, I think therapy (by yourself ) is most important.
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SwordGuy

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 05:03:29 PM »
As he is still doing this despite the fact that his parents are rude to you (his wife), you don't actually have an inlaw problem... you have a spouse problem.

All of Frankies Girl's advice is spot on, but the above summarizes it quite nicely.

Your spouse isn't doing his job.  My mother was an ass to my fiancť.  An absolute, unmitigated, beyond-the-pale horses' ass.

I made my position very clear.   Treat my fiancť in a civil, polite manner or you don't have a son any more.   


The money situation is a pain in the ass, but they aren't eating much given your income.  You could set an amount you're willing to give them and, given your income, cover the whole amount in less than a year.   It's a pain in the rear, and would annoy me to no end to sacrifice to help such hateful, ungrateful people, but I could swallow that if my spouses family were in need.

But the boundary lines need to be set.   If your spouse won't set them, then you should. 

It wouldn't be surprising if anything less than packing their bags, calling a cab and sending them to a hotel will suffice.

And, for the record, I've had to be pretty damn blunt.  For an example, my parents were visiting us over the Christmas season and we had bought him a very nice scroll saw.   He unwrapped it, saw what it was, and then went on to extol the glories of the scroll saw he had bought for himself a month earlier.   I waited until the store was open and we took the saw back to the store.  I returned it in front of him.  And didn't buy him a replacement gift.   Didn't have that kind of problem again.

mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 05:56:34 PM »
Are you, or your husband, by any chance Indian? This sounds so familiar...

Anyway, you truly have my sympathies. What an awful situation to be in. I think step 1 is having a serious talk with your husband. Some of this may be cultural, HOWEVER your husband really should be standing up for you and telling his mother to cut out the catty comments.

Serious talk needs to happen with the siblings as well. Are they otherwise OK aside from the random leeching? It may be a family pattern and a talking to may get them to stop, or maybe if you bring up needing to save for adoption, etc.

Maybe your husband is comfortable with an ultimatum for the parents? Either they stay where they are BUT things need to change for your husband to continue to give them money, or they move into a retirement home.
Lbmustache, no not Indian.

My biggest issue w the siblings is not even their own occasional mooching, it's that my husband is expected to be both financial support and time/general support for the parents. The two siblings live in Los Angeles, we live in Florida, the parents live in Buffalo NY.

My husband flies a lot on business and often has 10 hour travel days, but guess who's expected to get on a plane when the parents need help w something in person? I've asked him before since we provide financial help, why can't one of the other two get on a plane (if they don't want to buy a ticket we'd be happy to get one on points like we do when he goes). He says they "don't have time."

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mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 06:23:38 PM »
Dear sweet heaven, do not let these people move in with you!  It's like your MIL is so petty that's she's come full circle and is doing you a favor.

You sound like an awesome person. 

The adoption issue really stands out to me.  How important is this for you?  Right now, you are not in a place to have a child with your husband.  He really needs to show some progress before you bring a child into this situation.  How long are you willing to wait? 

From a strictly factual standpoint, you have all the financial resources you'll ever need to have a good life.  Time and emotion are your most precious commodities right now.  By and large though, the world is your oyster, so don't ever let yourself feel trapped.

Captain Awkward is fabulous.  Definitely skim through her archives and read the stuff that resonates with you.

I will also suggest Reddit's Just No MIL subreddit.  https://www.reddit.com/r/JUSTNOMIL/  These women (and some men) do an amazing job validating and supporting each other.
Yeah that's the really strange part. We live in a nice house on the water in Florida with tons of community activities within walking distance and gorgeous beach at the end of the block.

My husband's dad loved it and sat on our dock for hours fishing but MIL kept saying, "We hate it here."

They are homebound except for taxis, basically watch TV all day. The only relatives (cousins) left in their area live about an hour away from them and don't visit often.

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debbie does duncan

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2018, 06:26:52 PM »
/https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/comments/3davsm/tip_setting_boundaries/

GOOD LUCK!

Spiffy

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2018, 06:31:18 PM »
Good Lord, you make so much money, you could easily pay them to just stay away from you! Money well spent. That's sort of a joke, but seriously. You could give them more every year than most people make and not be hurting at all. And if the sibling also make a lot when they are working, let them help out, too. Mind telling us what business he is in?

Zamboni

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 07:13:40 PM »
Dezrah, the MIL reddit is priceless. Priceless!

OP, sorry you are having to deal with this. Obviously the whole thing is totally dysfunctional and MIL sounds like a real pill . . . no wonder FIL wants to get away down to the dock and fish all day?

Oh, dear baby Jesus, when my own children grow up & meet partners, let me always treat them and their partners the way I would prefer to be treated. Amen.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2018, 08:37:18 PM »
I am really sorry about your situation.  That's tough. 

Sadly, this type of topic is fairly common here on the forums.  A few thoughts:

1.  Read this book, Boundaries (link/referral).  You'll see others recommend it as well.  You may have already read it - I wasn't sure - but if not, or if it has been a while, it's worth another read when in the midst of a situation like yours. 

It's one thing to know these truths, but it's another one to live them, and especially in an environment where (apparently) your spouse struggles with boundaries and you're constantly seeing poor examples. 

2.  Get counseling along with your husband if he's willing.  And maybe separate counseling for a while too.  It sounds like you can afford it without strain, and if you're talking divorce, it would be well worth the time + money investment to work on these things.  Even though you have a tough road ahead, I'm actually optimistic for your situation based upon what you have told us.  But you need someone to walk through this with you who can help with relationships - one-on-one and in person.  None of us here can do that.  And there's no shame in bringing someone in to help.  (Nobody every thinks it's shameful to hire a CPA, so it's sad that a few people do perceive it as a failure when you hire a marriage counselor.  Instead, it's often a wise move.) 

3.  Stop using the D word: divorce.  Or issuing ultimatums.  That's something to address and work through in counseling.  It's great to communicate your feelings, and how strong they are, and why they are that way.  But you want to be extremely wary about threatening to leave; that causes significant and separate damage to a relationship.  You may be addressing one severe wound by causing another deep one. 

Having said that: please, don't hear me say what I'm not saying. I'm not saying not to value yourself, or not to remove yourself from a situation temporarily to protect yourself, or that your feelings and desires aren't valuable.  I am saying opposite, in fact.  And that's what the book above is about: learning to value yourself - and put in boundaries to maintain your own health and sanity. 

What I am saying is that there are other, more productive ways to assert those things than by threatening divorce.  Men, especially, typically don't respond to that well (even when they seem to), and there are ways for you to communicate what you want to communicate - and need to communicate (and probably have waited too long to communicate) that will work better for you.  By threatening divorce, you may get what you want (and maybe even what you *need*), but you are doing so at the cost of your relationship over the long term.

Now, with all of that said: I really am optimistic that you can bear with your husband through this - you've come this far - and that the two of you can work through these things.  It will definitely take time - remember that it took your husband decades to get to where he is today - and he has to learn boundaries to, but none of us here, nor you, nor anyone else can *make* him do that.  He will have to choose it.  And it will take time.  Still, I am optimistic. 

At the end of the day, you can draw a circle around yourself: that's what you can control.  I think the more you can work on yourself - you can only control YOU (as I remind myself constantly) - the better you will be in responding to the situation, addressing it, caring for yourself, and asserting your own boundaries in ways that will be productive for both you, your husband, and even your in-laws. 

And good for you for jumping on this now, in earnest, and for seeking help with it.  That's the necessary first step, and also the hardest one - to get some help and then stick with it.  The longer you wait, the harder it is.  You have some hard conversations ahead of you but they will hopefully be productive ones.  I am optimistic for your future.  Best wishes to you and your husband.

GoConfidently

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2018, 09:58:24 PM »
You said ďour businessĒ so Iím assuming you receive a salary. If not, get yourself on the payroll ASAP. Separate your finances 50/50. Stop managing his personal money. You have no mortgage, no debt, and while you didnít mention your own retirement savings Iím also going to assume you have that as well. His salary pays for his part of your shared expenses and whatever else he wants to spend it on. Yours does the same. Donít even look at what he gives away and refuse to discuss it.

Also, therapy. Not for money problems, but for elation ship and communication problems.

MayDay

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2018, 06:34:22 AM »
I wonder if you could get your husband on board with setting a firm budget.

At your income, giving them some amount of money monthly is not a huge burden. Seems like as long as he sticks to it, you can easily afford it.

I don't know why you would want them to live with you.that sounds horrid.
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ooeei

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2018, 06:56:00 AM »
Immediate counseling. Your husband cares more about keeping his leech parents from experiencing consequences for their irresponsible and rude behavior than he does about his wife crying on the porch and talking about divorcing him.

Then again, you made a threat (divorce) that you aren't willing to follow through with, so now your bargaining power is severely diminished. You guys both need to work on confidence, communication, and setting boundaries. Your whole post sounds somewhat scattered, as does he. You're both trying to just power through things the easiest most convenient way possible at that exact moment without thinking about long term consequences. You offered to let someone who insulted you and made you cry MOVE IN with you because you were so concerned with some specific issue at the moment. He keeps giving his parents a huge disincentive to finding their own housing by paying all their bills because he doesn't want them to guilt trip him when he cuts off the flow of $$$.

People who are scattered and make emotional short term decisions are like candy to manipulators (and guess what kids are? Manipulators). Both of you fall into that right now. Seek therapy immediately so a 3rd party can make you both talk through your decisions and their consequences. You both have to be able to set boundaries and actually stick to them, but make sure you CAN stick to them (ie. not divorce if you aren't really going to do it). These are crucial skills for parenting as well. Right now if you had a kid I imagine it would end up an extremely spoiled brat, because that's what your in laws are and you both keep caving to their every whim. They are supposed to find housing, they don't, and his response is sending them more money every month. They are complete assholes to you telling you that you're awful and they smoke in your house, and your response is to offer to have them move in with you.  If you raise a kid with that same attitude it will be a disaster.

You both need to grow up and grow a pair. You have literally all of the power in this situation, and are being controlled by the broke people you're giving a shitload of charity to as if they're your boss.

I have a pretty firm rule that any time I help someone with money, they better be working harder than I am, or at the very very least doing everything they can. "Help those who help themselves" and all that. Someone who didn't even bother trying to find housing asking me for money would get laughed at and the door slammed on. Now if they were really on top of everything and needed help navigating the system, sure I'd help, I'd also probably help them out with some $ if that were the case. I helped a friend do her taxes last year, and we've sent her some occasional $ to help out. She works her ass off so I'm okay with it. 

As is they are insulting you and basically flaunting that they don't have to do shit and you'll keep giving them money. The flow of money and help should be completely cut off until they start trying to help themselves. Once they do that you can SUPPLEMENT their own efforts, at most. Based on what you've posted here that won't be for a long time. Maybe they do get foreclosed on. If they do that's THEIR fault, not yours. They need to experience some negative consequences, insisting that you stop anything bad from happening to them puts them in the driver's seat.

edit: And all the same goes for the siblings. Anyone who makes/can make 6 figures is 100% off of my "I need financial help" list for life.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 07:15:28 AM by ooeei »

mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2018, 08:10:35 AM »
Immediate counseling. Your husband cares more about keeping his leech parents from experiencing consequences for their irresponsible and rude behavior than he does about his wife crying on the porch and talking about divorcing him.

Then again, you made a threat (divorce) that you aren't willing to follow through with, so now your bargaining power is severely diminished. You guys both need to work on confidence, communication, and setting boundaries. Your whole post sounds somewhat scattered, as does he. You're both trying to just power through things the easiest most convenient way possible at that exact moment without thinking about long term consequences. You offered to let someone who insulted you and made you cry MOVE IN with you because you were so concerned with some specific issue at the moment. He keeps giving his parents a huge disincentive to finding their own housing by paying all their bills because he doesn't want them to guilt trip him when he cuts off the flow of $$$.

People who are scattered and make emotional short term decisions are like candy to manipulators (and guess what kids are? Manipulators). Both of you fall into that right now. Seek therapy immediately so a 3rd party can make you both talk through your decisions and their consequences. You both have to be able to set boundaries and actually stick to them, but make sure you CAN stick to them (ie. not divorce if you aren't really going to do it). These are crucial skills for parenting as well. Right now if you had a kid I imagine it would end up an extremely spoiled brat, because that's what your in laws are and you both keep caving to their every whim. They are supposed to find housing, they don't, and his response is sending them more money every month. They are complete assholes to you telling you that you're awful and they smoke in your house, and your response is to offer to have them move in with you.  If you raise a kid with that same attitude it will be a disaster.

You both need to grow up and grow a pair. You have literally all of the power in this situation, and are being controlled by the broke people you're giving a shitload of charity to as if they're your boss.

I have a pretty firm rule that any time I help someone with money, they better be working harder than I am, or at the very very least doing everything they can. "Help those who help themselves" and all that. Someone who didn't even bother trying to find housing asking me for money would get laughed at and the door slammed on. Now if they were really on top of everything and needed help navigating the system, sure I'd help, I'd also probably help them out with some $ if that were the case. I helped a friend do her taxes last year, and we've sent her some occasional $ to help out. She works her ass off so I'm okay with it. 

As is they are insulting you and basically flaunting that they don't have to do shit and you'll keep giving them money. The flow of money and help should be completely cut off until they start trying to help themselves. Once they do that you can SUPPLEMENT their own efforts, at most. Based on what you've posted here that won't be for a long time. Maybe they do get foreclosed on. If they do that's THEIR fault, not yours. They need to experience some negative consequences, insisting that you stop anything bad from happening to them puts them in the driver's seat.

edit: And all the same goes for the siblings. Anyone who makes/can make 6 figures is 100% off of my "I need financial help" list for life.
When he has brought up them finding more affordable housing his mother starts crying on the phone and says something along the lines of "What do you want me to do? Find a job? I'm 80." I follow what you're saying "help those who help themselves" with everyone else in my life, but what would that look like in this situation? I have suggested to him asking them to rent out the spare bedroom to a responsible college student which could probably bring them $700 a month to put toward bills until they get into elderly housing. Or pet sitting from their home (MIL loves dogs).

With his siblings, when brother-in-law asked for money, husband says "He needs it for rent. If I don't give it to him, he'll never speak to me again." Same with his sister.  He also says if he stops sending his parents money, his siblings won't speak to him. Last I heard his brother is paying all his sister's bills but he can't pay us back because then he won't be able to pay her rent. This is a woman who consistently made over $200k a year and spent it on dry cleaning her dog's sweaters, etc.

The siblings are closer with each other than with him, and he doesn't see how sad it is that every time we see the siblings they suggest going to one of the top restaurants in town because they know he'll pick up the tab. If he's in their city alone on business, they do not see him except suggesting one of these restaurants at $500 a pop or so. My own sister does the same thing, but I just suggest making dinner and eating on the deck instead which is what I honestly prefer no matter who pays.

We wouldn't be manipulated by a kid and I'm not manipulated by anyone else. My own mother has intoned that husband treats his parents "beautifully" and she "deserves the same." I said no.

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albireo13

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2018, 08:14:03 AM »
My suggestions:  (after dealing with my own family dysfunction).
 

1. go to couples counseling.  Your husband needs to have your back in all this.  This is the most important piece.   Your MIL sees she has her son's allegiance
(unleash the guilt trips, etc) and feels she doesn't need to be nice to you at all.  She loves to split you too apart I bet.
You and your husband need to bond together and make your relationship your toppest of toppest priority in your life.

2.  Take the offer for them to move in with you OFF THE TABLE ... NOW!   
   Sounds like your MIL likes to walk all over you.  Your home is YOUR castle and sanctuary.

3. Work out a budget where you pay yourself first (cover retirement savings, etc) and settle on a fixed amount per month that you are willing to offer to them for support.
Make it very clear, a fixed number that is reasonable.  They need to grow up and handle their own spending.  Don't let them drag you down financially.
I think this is fair.  They do have other sons and daughters don't they??
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mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2018, 08:17:12 AM »
You said “our business” so I’m assuming you receive a salary. If not, get yourself on the payroll ASAP. Separate your finances 50/50. Stop managing his personal money. You have no mortgage, no debt, and while you didn’t mention your own retirement savings I’m also going to assume you have that as well. His salary pays for his part of your shared expenses and whatever else he wants to spend it on. Yours does the same. Don’t even look at what he gives away and refuse to discuss it.

Also, therapy. Not for money problems, but for elation ship and communication problems.
I receive a salary, and he receives a salary both from our business, and they go into joint bank account. We have separate retirement accounts. Our finances have been combined since we got married. How does it help in this situation to separate them?

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ooeei

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2018, 08:24:20 AM »
When he has brought up them finding more affordable housing his mother starts crying on the phone and says something along the lines of "What do you want me to do? Find a job? I'm 80." I follow what you're saying "help those who help themselves" with everyone else in my life, but what would that look like in this situation? I have suggested to him asking them to rent out the spare bedroom to a responsible college student which could probably bring them $700 a month to put toward bills until they get into elderly housing. Or pet sitting from their home (MIL loves dogs).

From your first post:
Quote
He applied for elderly housing for them, and I think his mother throws the correspondence away and doesn't answer their phone calls, because she "hasn't heard anything."
How about taking responsibility for finding elderly housing? How about a part time job? How about not being complete assholes to you when they come visit?

Quote
Also for background these are people who spend maybe 300 a month on cigarettes, buy lottery tickets regularly, etc.

Maybe not buying lottery tickets? Cooking at home? Trying to compromise even a little bit about anything?

Quote
With his siblings, when brother-in-law asked for money, husband says "He needs it for rent. If I don't give it to him, he'll never speak to me again." Same with his sister.  He also says if he stops sending his parents money, his siblings won't speak to him. Last I heard his brother is paying all his sister's bills but he can't pay us back because then he won't be able to pay her rent. This is a woman who consistently made over $200k a year and spent it on dry cleaning her dog's sweaters, etc.

The siblings are closer with each other than with him, and he doesn't see how sad it is that every time we see the siblings they suggest going to one of the top restaurants in town because they know he'll pick up the tab. If he's in their city alone on business, they do not see him except suggesting one of these restaurants at $500 a pop or so. My own sister does the same thing, but I just suggest making dinner and eating on the deck instead which is what I honestly prefer no matter who pays.

I'm not sure why he cares if they ever talk to him again. He's like those people who stay in abusive relationships because the other person threatens to kill themselves, only in this case it's just that they threaten to never talk to him again. I know he sees it as "well I'm not going to never talk to them again to save $XXXX/month, our relationship is worth more than that." What he hasn't realized is THEY are the ones giving him the ultimatum, they put the value of talking to him at $XXXX.

If he cares that much about talking to someone who only talks to him for payment, then you're trapped paying them. I'd be furious if anyone I knew pulled that shit on me, and even more so with the salary history they apparently have.

Quote
We wouldn't be manipulated by a kid and I'm not manipulated by anyone else. My own mother has intoned that husband treats his parents "beautifully" and she "deserves the same." I said no.

You're both currently being manipulated by 3 people into giving them shitloads of money while they buy lottery tickets and work when they feel like it. Parenthood is a team effort. Even if you aren't manipulated (which I think you most definitely are), your husband definitely is, and with kids you can't only have one parent enforcing boundaries.



My post wasn't meant to be mean, but it was meant to be harsh and tell you how I see it. You're both paying thousands of dollars a month to people who threaten not to talk to you if you stop, make you cry at your own holiday dinner, and smoke in your home when you ask them not to. Then you invite them to move in. You should be PISSED THE FUCK OFF. 

Bad shit will happen to them (the parents and siblings), because they are making bad decisions. They need some bad shit to happen to them. Brother needs to get evicted and be forced to actually work. Parents need to run out of money and be a bit hungry once in awhile and get foreclosed on if they're blowing money on lottery tickets and not caring about finding housing.

If you're not willing to let bad shit happen to them, they will control you forever because you apparently care more about them being safe and warm and well fed than they do.

If you absolutely can't stand the thought of any of them being evicted, pay them exactly their mortgage/rent payment every month and let them figure out the rest. I'd be furious with all of them and would cut off the money hose immediately though.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 08:28:14 AM by ooeei »

mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2018, 08:36:54 AM »
I guess the big question I want to know from people is, would this be acceptable to you long term if it's not technically hurting us financially? I'm not a witch, I'd be happy to pay a couple bills monthly, but just the fact that it's 100% of their bills, they have 0 savings/assets to draw on, and they're elderly so could possibly have 15 years left of unknown medical costs and home upkeep if they stay in their underwater house. The bank tried to do a mortgage modification for them last year but they were denied because the actuary said they technically should be able to pay all their bills with only social security. (He was not even told that we help them at all.)

But on the other hand, giving them $30,000 a year out of $600,000 income doesn't prevent us from reaching any of our goals. We live on about 30k a year and save everything else after taxes. Husband comes from the school of, "if you can afford to help family, you do it." He seems to think they'll pass away within 2 or 3 years so what's the point. I have told him there's a good possibility they'll be around 15 more years. What would you do?

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Jon Bon

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2018, 08:39:24 AM »
As he is still doing this despite the fact that his parents are rude to you (his wife), you don't actually have an inlaw problem... you have a spouse problem.

All of Frankies Girl's advice is spot on, but the above summarizes it quite nicely.

Your spouse isn't doing his job.  My mother was an ass to my fiancť.  An absolute, unmitigated, beyond-the-pale horses' ass.

I made my position very clear.   Treat my fiancť in a civil, polite manner or you don't have a son any more.   


The money situation is a pain in the ass, but they aren't eating much given your income.  You could set an amount you're willing to give them and, given your income, cover the whole amount in less than a year.   It's a pain in the rear, and would annoy me to no end to sacrifice to help such hateful, ungrateful people, but I could swallow that if my spouses family were in need.

But the boundary lines need to be set.   If your spouse won't set them, then you should. 

It wouldn't be surprising if anything less than packing their bags, calling a cab and sending them to a hotel will suffice.

And, for the record, I've had to be pretty damn blunt.  For an example, my parents were visiting us over the Christmas season and we had bought him a very nice scroll saw.   He unwrapped it, saw what it was, and then went on to extol the glories of the scroll saw he had bought for himself a month earlier.   I waited until the store was open and we took the saw back to the store.  I returned it in front of him.  And didn't buy him a replacement gift.   Didn't have that kind of problem again.

This is awesome. 100% agree with this.

Spouses come first (and second) kids come third, families should be a distant forth. I would start there.  He has got to be 100% on your team and with you.  I think you need to start small with him, and he inturn needs to start small with them. There needs to be very clear expectations and boundaries.

An example would be like:
"Here is $3,000 to in moving money, it is all I can/will give you, you need to find a place, rent a truck etc etc but that is the extent of help I can give you" Then you just have to be done with their living situation, if they get foreclosed on that is on them. Sounds like he has been enabling them for so long they are unlikely to change.


Honestly this feels like a binary outcome either things stay the same or he cuts his family out completely.  I feel like you also have a binary outcome, stay... or go. I guess you have to at least try?




ooeei

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2018, 08:43:04 AM »
I guess the big question I want to know from people is, would this be acceptable to you long term if it's not technically hurting us financially? I'm not a witch, I'd be happy to pay a couple bills monthly, but just the fact that it's 100% of their bills, they have 0 savings/assets to draw on, and they're elderly so could possibly have 15 years left of unknown medical costs and home upkeep if they stay in their underwater house. The bank tried to do a mortgage modification for them last year but they were denied because the actuary said they technically should be able to pay all their bills with only social security. (He was not even told that we help them at all.)

But on the other hand, giving them $30,000 a year out of $600,000 income doesn't prevent us from reaching any of our goals. We live on about 30k a year and save everything else after taxes. Husband comes from the school of, "if you can afford to help family, you do it." He seems to think they'll pass away within 2 or 3 years so what's the point. I have told him there's a good possibility they'll be around 15 more years. What would you do?

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I'd tell them to pound sand and donate the money to someone who actually needs it instead. But then again I don't tolerate wastefulness, complete disrespect, and entitlement very well when someone asks me for money (or in general).  If they need money for food, I'd tell them I donated to the local food bank so it should be well stocked.

At the very least if I was sending them $30k/year I'd expect them to behave like perfect model citizens when they talk to me and come visit.

To me the big issue isn't with the money. It's a relationship and boundaries issue with you and your spouse, and I hope you seek therapy to help with it.

Also, his brother and sister presumably will live far longer than 15 years. The parents dying won't solve your problems.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 08:47:19 AM by ooeei »

mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2018, 09:29:46 AM »
As he is still doing this despite the fact that his parents are rude to you (his wife), you don't actually have an inlaw problem... you have a spouse problem.

All of Frankies Girl's advice is spot on, but the above summarizes it quite nicely.

Your spouse isn't doing his job.  My mother was an ass to my fiancé.  An absolute, unmitigated, beyond-the-pale horses' ass.

I made my position very clear.   Treat my fiancé in a civil, polite manner or you don't have a son any more.   


The money situation is a pain in the ass, but they aren't eating much given your income.  You could set an amount you're willing to give them and, given your income, cover the whole amount in less than a year.   It's a pain in the rear, and would annoy me to no end to sacrifice to help such hateful, ungrateful people, but I could swallow that if my spouses family were in need.

But the boundary lines need to be set.   If your spouse won't set them, then you should. 

It wouldn't be surprising if anything less than packing their bags, calling a cab and sending them to a hotel will suffice.

And, for the record, I've had to be pretty damn blunt.  For an example, my parents were visiting us over the Christmas season and we had bought him a very nice scroll saw.   He unwrapped it, saw what it was, and then went on to extol the glories of the scroll saw he had bought for himself a month earlier.   I waited until the store was open and we took the saw back to the store.  I returned it in front of him.  And didn't buy him a replacement gift.   Didn't have that kind of problem again.

This is awesome. 100% agree with this.

Spouses come first (and second) kids come third, families should be a distant forth. I would start there.  He has got to be 100% on your team and with you.  I think you need to start small with him, and he inturn needs to start small with them. There needs to be very clear expectations and boundaries.

An example would be like:
"Here is $3,000 to in moving money, it is all I can/will give you, you need to find a place, rent a truck etc etc but that is the extent of help I can give you" Then you just have to be done with their living situation, if they get foreclosed on that is on them. Sounds like he has been enabling them for so long they are unlikely to change.


Honestly this feels like a binary outcome either things stay the same or he cuts his family out completely.  I feel like you also have a binary outcome, stay... or go. I guess you have to at least try?
Yes. When I met him was making 400k, 500k and literally had to keep a very careful Excel budget because he only had like 2k left to his name after crazy expenses. He lived very close to his parents when we met, then we moved to Florida because we could live anywhere and run the business. When he lived close by them (next street), he spent like crazy on them. Bought his dad a car that he totaled. When we were dating I asked why he couldn't just cash flow paying off the 25 year old student loan or the 10 year old equity line, and he said "I can't afford it, I have to support my parents."

I checked our credit reports after the Equifax breach and for the first time found out that he actually cosigned a personal loan for like $800 with the parents' credit union back in the early 2000s. He was making at least 300k at the time, and he doesn't see how taking out a $800 loan is ridiculous at that income, let alone for someone else.

As I'm writing this I'm realizing maybe husband is beyond hope. :(



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jezebel

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2018, 09:38:08 AM »
Why would be acceptable to give someone $30K a year who doesn't do anything to help themselves (like applying for lower cost housing) and treats you like crap?  Do you think that is acceptable?

You husband isn't supporting his parents, he is paying for them to live well beyond their means.

civil4life

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2018, 09:53:10 AM »
I think everyone here has provided really sound advice.

I think counseling at minimum for yourself no matter what else you do would make a big difference.  Like many have said you can only control what you can control.  Working with a therapist they can help you set boundaries so you are taking care of yourself first.  Anything beyond that is a choice you are making.  I have been in therapy a long time.  Learning boundaries especially dealing with my parents was huge.  My dad can be very mean.  If he gets that way on the phone with me I give him a warning that I do not want to continue with the specific dialogue.  If he continues, I hang up.  Although I am choosing to make changes to my life, it has an impact on theirs as well.  Over time I have noticed small changes in their behavior because of me holding my ground.

It sounds like you are willing to compromise and you really just want respect and even gratitude for your help.  You mentioned you think the MIL is sabotaging the housing issue.  They should be in the housing by now.  An ultimatum that you may consider would be - we help with housing expenses for 1 year since that is how long the process is expected to take.  There you are giving them a warning and some time to get there.  Then in a year if it has not happened you can follow through with the dropping the assistance.  As someone else suggested limit the assistance to just the mortgage and necessary utilities.  If they cannot budget the rest of their money then they get stuck eating ramen noodles.

Sometimes it takes hitting a rock bottom before someone will learn from their mistakes.  My brother got 3 DUIs in less than a year.  My parents hated watching him go through it and the other impacts like work and finances as well.  He is now on the upside of the situation.  It happened in his early 20s he turned 30 yesterday.  He now has a good paying job, owns his house (mortgage), GF, pets, and has turned himself around.  I am really proud of his progress.  He still has room to grow.

As others have said this is really not a financial problem, but a relationship/emotional problem.  You know what it is now is your opportunity to making changes.  I wish you luck.
Givling - Payoff up to $50k in student loan or $25k on mortgage - referral code SG229715

frugaliknowit

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2018, 10:15:03 AM »
I think everyone here has provided really sound advice.

I think counseling at minimum for yourself no matter what else you do would make a big difference.  Like many have said you can only control what you can control.  Working with a therapist they can help you set boundaries so you are taking care of yourself first.  Anything beyond that is a choice you are making.  I have been in therapy a long time.  Learning boundaries especially dealing with my parents was huge.  My dad can be very mean.  If he gets that way on the phone with me I give him a warning that I do not want to continue with the specific dialogue.  If he continues, I hang up.  Although I am choosing to make changes to my life, it has an impact on theirs as well.  Over time I have noticed small changes in their behavior because of me holding my ground.

It sounds like you are willing to compromise and you really just want respect and even gratitude for your help.  You mentioned you think the MIL is sabotaging the housing issue.  They should be in the housing by now.  An ultimatum that you may consider would be - we help with housing expenses for 1 year since that is how long the process is expected to take.  There you are giving them a warning and some time to get there.  Then in a year if it has not happened you can follow through with the dropping the assistance.  As someone else suggested limit the assistance to just the mortgage and necessary utilities.  If they cannot budget the rest of their money then they get stuck eating ramen noodles.

Sometimes it takes hitting a rock bottom before someone will learn from their mistakes.  My brother got 3 DUIs in less than a year.  My parents hated watching him go through it and the other impacts like work and finances as well.  He is now on the upside of the situation.  It happened in his early 20s he turned 30 yesterday.  He now has a good paying job, owns his house (mortgage), GF, pets, and has turned himself around.  I am really proud of his progress.  He still has room to grow.

As others have said this is really not a financial problem, but a relationship/emotional problem.  You know what it is now is your opportunity to making changes.  I wish you luck.

+1, but ANY ultimatums MUST come from your husband, not you (probably after counseling...).

Roadrunner53

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Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2018, 10:17:58 AM »
1.  As far as the In Laws moving in with your NO WAY! There is no way you could live with that abuse day in and day out.

2.  Maybe consider buying a home with a separate cottage to house the In Laws. Have them sell their house and put some towards this new arrangement.

3. OR, pay off their house and then do a home equity conversion mortgage so they have a source of income. If possible, sit them down and tell them this money is all they money they will have and no more money will come from their son. Maybe you could suggest a budget but they sound like maniacs with money. See a lawyer that is an expert in elder law and tell them the situation. Maybe they will be able to determine that they are incompetent to manage their own money and a judge may allow you to pay their bills etc. from the equity money.

4. Find senior housing and bring them to it. Tell them the gravy train is ending and they have to cut their expenses. Offer to pay utility bills and a stipend for food.

5. If you can find out what their actual monthly bills are and can afford to keep paying, only pay those bills. Don't give them cash to spend willy nilly for cigs and lottos.

You have got to put a plan together. I would say first see an elder lawyer and get your ducks in order. These people are out of control and you and the son should not be held hostage.

As for the other relatives, write them a letter now, keep a copy, tell them you are no longer their piggy bank and no longer will bail them out. They are grown ups and not children. Let them figure it out like the rest of America does. Maybe even tell them the 'loans' are forgiven but there will be no more ever. You know you will never get the money back so might as well use it as a guilt trip in your letter.

Your hub needs to put his big boy pants on and practice the word NO, NO, NO! He is a nice guy who is getting used. If not for you, sounds like he would be broke.

Write out 3 scenarios for the parents. (1) Equity line of credit for them, (2) moving them to a lower income senior place, (3) buy a new property for you and the hub with a separate cottage on it. I think number 2 is the best situation. You need to be firm and tell them they have to move and if they don't they are not getting more income. If they have a fit too bad.

I hope you don't think I am too harsh but just the thought of these people expecting your Hub to be their personal bank really irks me! Please keep us updated on your situation. Good luck!



terran

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2018, 10:35:26 AM »
But on the other hand, giving them $30,000 a year out of $600,000 income doesn't prevent us from reaching any of our goals. We live on about 30k a year and save everything else after taxes. Husband comes from the school of, "if you can afford to help family, you do it." He seems to think they'll pass away within 2 or 3 years so what's the point. I have told him there's a good possibility they'll be around 15 more years. What would you do

I was right there with everybody saying this is crap. I'm of the belief that parents are obligated to support children who truly can't support themselves (this coming from someone with a disabled sister who's father does less than he could/should), but children have no such obligation. To me it's all about choice. You choose to have children and take the risk they'll always need to be supported, you don't choose to be born to messed up parents who can't support themselves.

BUT, when I read the above something clicked for me that makes me think maybe all this isn't so bad in your specific case. Even if you said you were going to supply enough to pay the $30k of your in-law's expenses indefinitely, using a 4% withdrawal rate (IMO high for an early retiree, but reasonable for older people), that requires $750k. Back of the napkin math (well, taxact tax calculator) says you probably pay around $200k in taxes between income and self employment taxes, so with $30k of your own expenses, and $30k in parental support you should be saving $340k/year, so we're talking a little over 2 years for you to save that up. That's certainly a significant amount of time, but people work a whole lot longer for a whole lot less than being able to fully support their parents. So if (and it's a big if) your husband thinks that's a worthwhile tradeoff I think it could be ok for you to support his goal. Then again, if you put it in terms of total dollars and years of life, maybe he'll decide it's not worth it and stop or cut back.

That said, how your mother in law is treating you is not acceptable and your husband needs to stand up for you here. If he doesn't know all the crap she says to you, you need to tell him instead of crying by yourself on the porch, and if he does know then he needs to man up and stand up to mommy and make it clear it's not acceptable.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2018, 10:35:34 AM »
It is abuse your living with I hope you understand that.  If anyone talked to my wife like that there ass would be out on the street and no money in the world should make you settle less for being treated right. My advice it start buy putting in a hard-line with your husband and holding him to it.  And for sure getting counseling because as much as it bothers me the way he is , it bothers me that your allowing it. I mean no disrespect by that but more out of you long term mental health.
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Sibley

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2018, 11:00:13 AM »
OP, I'm a fly on the wall over on the JustNoMIL reddit page and very grateful I'm not a poster. This situation is not without hope, and neither is your marriage.

Your husband needs counseling, because he's enmeshed with his parents. Likely mostly his mother. And he's complicit in abusing you by allowing his mother to abuse you.

You need counseling, because you're being abused by your MIL and by extension, your husband (spouses are supposed to protect you from their family, if they don't, that's abuse).

You need couples counseling to repair your relationship which has been damaged by your MIL's abuse and the failure of your husband to put a stop to it.

You and your husband need to jointly decide what to do about his family, then HE needs to implement it. It's his family, not yours. You can support, and you need to agree, but he needs to implement.

If all that gets sorted out and you're still married, then you can decide if you want to have child(ren) and take appropriate steps to implement your decision. However, be aware that if you DO have a child (either biologically or via adoption), that may cause a whole new set of problems with your MIL.

Good luck.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2018, 11:07:01 AM »
(1) I would also see if the In Laws income was low enough for a tax credit (home taxes) thru your town.
(2) See if they are eligible for Food Stamp (Snap).
(3) See if they are eligible for any kind of Welfare subsidy.
(4) See if the State has a program to help pay for Medicare Part B.
(5) See if they are eligible for low income housing for seniors.

Contact your local Senior Center. They have all sorts of resources. Counselors can guide you on what low income things are available for them.



Jon Bon

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2018, 11:12:07 AM »
(1) I would also see if the In Laws income was low enough for a tax credit (home taxes) thru your town.
(2) See if they are eligible for Food Stamp (Snap).
(3) See if they are eligible for any kind of Welfare subsidy.
(4) See if the State has a program to help pay for Medicare Part B.
(5) See if they are eligible for low income housing for seniors.

Contact your local Senior Center. They have all sorts of resources. Counselors can guide you on what low income things are available for them.

Sure, this is all decent stuff. But it does NOTHING to help the OP's underlying problem.

1. They are leeches
2. OP's Spouse allows them to be leeches

The In-Laws obviously cannot even make it on the massive gravy train they are on, let alone the much more limited federally assisted one.




Roadrunner53

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Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2018, 11:29:46 AM »
It does help the underlying problem. The more assistance they can get is less the OP has to pay if they decide to still supplement the in laws income.

Yes, agreed they are leeches and this is where a plan needs to be put in place, and like children, tough love needs to be used here. The in laws need to be told the gravy train has come to a screeching halt. The plan needs to be put on paper and followed thru. They can take it or leave it.

The thing that gets me is that they do not appreciate what they have been given. Like spoiled rich brats of movie stars. Think they entitled. That in itself would make me stop coddling these users.

hops

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2018, 11:33:28 AM »
I guess the big question I want to know from people is, would this be acceptable to you long term if it's not technically hurting us financially? I'm not a witch, I'd be happy to pay a couple bills monthly, but just the fact that it's 100% of their bills, they have 0 savings/assets to draw on, and they're elderly so could possibly have 15 years left of unknown medical costs and home upkeep if they stay in their underwater house. The bank tried to do a mortgage modification for them last year but they were denied because the actuary said they technically should be able to pay all their bills with only social security. (He was not even told that we help them at all.)

It would not be acceptable to me long-term even if it wasn't a financial burden. My wife and I spent a lot of time discussing these issues in premarital counseling because she's about to start earning big money and her parents are leeches. It isn't just money they'll take, like most users they'll also drain you of as much time and emotional energy as you let them. That is why it's critical to set and maintain boundaries. It's something they're forcing us to do because otherwise, as ooeei noted, they'll control us forever. I would also note that as terrible as they generally are, personality-wise, some of your in-laws definitely have them beat.

In the future we could provide them with substantial financial support without it hurting our bottom line. We decided that's mostly irrelevant. Sparing them the consequences of their own behavior and continually absorbing the blows ourselves does nothing to help them. Our checking account might not notice the difference, but emotionally and behaviorally it's a different story. They'd never be grateful (which means something to my wife) and nothing would ever change. That's not the type of people they are. We wouldn't be family taking care of family -- we'd be patsies. What we'll probably do is set money aside, creating a kind of parental assistance investment fund similar to what terran mentioned. Whatever we gave them now would be wasted on unnecessary trips, frivolous shopping, and nightly restaurant dinners. Better to set it aside for the boring, practical stuff like nursing home expenses that probably await.

My in-laws are younger than yours and I think my wife's stance might soften as they age. It took years of therapy, and the belated discovery that they'd helped themselves to her money in the past, for her to finally begin to stand up for herself (something that seems so elementary to many of us but is exceedingly hard to do when you've been manipulated and emotionally abused by your caretakers). It doesn't sound like your husband is interested in confronting the toxic dynamics in his family for his own sake. If he's equally unwilling to confront them for yours, you're going to have a lot of hard decisions to make.

Jaayse

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2018, 11:57:27 AM »
I guess the big question I want to know from people is, would this be acceptable to you long term if it's not technically hurting us financially? I'm not a witch, I'd be happy to pay a couple bills monthly, but just the fact that it's 100% of their bills, they have 0 savings/assets to draw on, and they're elderly so could possibly have 15 years left of unknown medical costs and home upkeep if they stay in their underwater house. The bank tried to do a mortgage modification for them last year but they were denied because the actuary said they technically should be able to pay all their bills with only social security. (He was not even told that we help them at all.)

But on the other hand, giving them $30,000 a year out of $600,000 income doesn't prevent us from reaching any of our goals. We live on about 30k a year and save everything else after taxes. Husband comes from the school of, "if you can afford to help family, you do it." He seems to think they'll pass away within 2 or 3 years so what's the point. I have told him there's a good possibility they'll be around 15 more years. What would you do?

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The money, as you say, is not the problem in this situation.  No one here is trying to be heartless by saying no, you shouldn't support them.  The problem is the lack of boundaries and the treatment of yourself and your husband by his family. 

Counseling for yourself, and hopefully your husband, will do wonders for helping you with this situation.  I wish you the best of luck, it is not easy to be in the middle of these kind of family relationships.
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BabyShark

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2018, 12:21:54 PM »
I second (third??) the JustNoMIL And JustNoFamily reddit suggestion, this sounds a lot like some of the things I see posted there. I don't believe your husband is beyond hope, I just think he doesn't realize the gravity of the situation. Y'all need to get on the same page about his parents before anything else can hapen.

sjc0816

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2018, 12:29:53 PM »
Under these circumstances, I would have NO problem giving my in-laws $30k per year....to keep them out of my life. I would absolutely divorce a husband who allowed his mother to treat me like a pile of dog shit.

Financially, you can help them find more affordable housing...which will bring down the amount that you need to subsidize. But other than cutting them off completely (which I doubt your husband will ever do)....you're kind of stuck helping them.

My in-laws were/are terrible with money. My FIL passed away two years ago and left MIL with nothing. My DH is the most successful in his family (also the oldest) so he feels the pressure that is looming with his mother's finances. But she has champagne taste on a beer budget and will NEVER change her spending. Therefore, DH and I have agreed that we will never give her monetary help....EVER. We make a lot less than OP, though....and have kids to put through college. If we made more money, we might help out occasionally with a home repair or new tires for her car....but never a cash hand-out for her to blow on frivolous things.

mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2018, 01:03:39 PM »
Yes we talked about setting aside a lump sum for them to basically have a budget and draw SWR income from, but that would REALLY open us up to pressure from other family members.

And honestly it would break my heart to see him set aside a large lump sum. This is a "good guy" as someone else said. He started working at like 12 helping the school janitor after class and gave every dime to his parents. They were evicted a couple times when he was little and he'd have to entertain the younger siblings, try and make a game out of packing things in garbage bags, etc.

So when I met him and he was broke and planning on working til he died (his words) you can see why I became sort of protective.

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mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2018, 01:29:44 PM »
I guess the big question I want to know from people is, would this be acceptable to you long term if it's not technically hurting us financially? I'm not a witch, I'd be happy to pay a couple bills monthly, but just the fact that it's 100% of their bills, they have 0 savings/assets to draw on, and they're elderly so could possibly have 15 years left of unknown medical costs and home upkeep if they stay in their underwater house. The bank tried to do a mortgage modification for them last year but they were denied because the actuary said they technically should be able to pay all their bills with only social security. (He was not even told that we help them at all.)

It would not be acceptable to me long-term even if it wasn't a financial burden. My wife and I spent a lot of time discussing these issues in premarital counseling because she's about to start earning big money and her parents are leeches. It isn't just money they'll take, like most users they'll also drain you of as much time and emotional energy as you let them. That is why it's critical to set and maintain boundaries. It's something they're forcing us to do because otherwise, as ooeei noted, they'll control us forever. I would also note that as terrible as they generally are, personality-wise, some of your in-laws definitely have them beat.

In the future we could provide them with substantial financial support without it hurting our bottom line. We decided that's mostly irrelevant. Sparing them the consequences of their own behavior and continually absorbing the blows ourselves does nothing to help them. Our checking account might not notice the difference, but emotionally and behaviorally it's a different story. They'd never be grateful (which means something to my wife) and nothing would ever change. That's not the type of people they are. We wouldn't be family taking care of family -- we'd be patsies. What we'll probably do is set money aside, creating a kind of parental assistance investment fund similar to what terran mentioned. Whatever we gave them now would be wasted on unnecessary trips, frivolous shopping, and nightly restaurant dinners. Better to set it aside for the boring, practical stuff like nursing home expenses that probably await.

My in-laws are younger than yours and I think my wife's stance might soften as they age. It took years of therapy, and the belated discovery that they'd helped themselves to her money in the past, for her to finally begin to stand up for herself (something that seems so elementary to many of us but is exceedingly hard to do when you've been manipulated and emotionally abused by your caretakers). It doesn't sound like your husband is interested in confronting the toxic dynamics in his family for his own sake. If he's equally unwilling to confront them for yours, you're going to have a lot of hard decisions to make.
When he stands up to them, he says  something to me afterwards along the lines of "They're not going to like me," "They don't like you, they think you're cheap." So he does confront them, it's just that they know he has this need to be "liked" and they know how to dig into that! If being "liked" is tied to writing blank checks, I can't afford to be "liked" by very many people!

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mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2018, 02:09:30 PM »
(1) I would also see if the In Laws income was low enough for a tax credit (home taxes) thru your town.
(2) See if they are eligible for Food Stamp (Snap).
(3) See if they are eligible for any kind of Welfare subsidy.
(4) See if the State has a program to help pay for Medicare Part B.
(5) See if they are eligible for low income housing for seniors.

Contact your local Senior Center. They have all sorts of resources. Counselors can guide you on what low income things are available for them.
Yes they have SNAP cards but MIL has told husband she's embarrassed to use it so idk if they actually use it. The low income senior housing is what husband applied for for them almost 2yrs ago and they still haven't gotten in. He was going to stop by the office last time he was there to try and get straight info from someone in person but the woman was out of the office and he had to catch a plane. He called last week--no call back. I will ask about the property tax credit or medicare part B assistance.

Someone previously suggested a reverse mortgage..They bought the house at the top of the market and have been smoking in it for 10+ years / not doing basic maintenance, so at BEST they have maybe 2k in equity. Not enough to draw on unfortunately, and with fees it would probably be negative equity. They got the mortgage modified into a new 50 year term. (They're 80!) The interest rate was lower for 2 years to provide lower payments while they qualified for elderly housing, but those 2 years are almost up.

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hops

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2018, 02:15:45 PM »
Quote
When he stands up to them, he says  something to me afterwards along the lines of "They're not going to like me," "They don't like you, they think you're cheap." So he does confront them, it's just that they know he has this need to be "liked" and they know how to dig into that! If being "liked" is tied to writing blank checks, I can't afford to be "liked" by very many people!

Totally agree. My MIL has a tendency to make passive-aggressive comments about me any time my wife shows some backbone. (Little does she know, I have nothing to do with it most of the time. She assumes that because she rarely heard "no" before I came along, I must be the reason. But therapy had way more to do with it than anything else.) At first it irritated me but what it ended up ultimately doing was highlighting to my wife how manipulative MIL was being. And that made her angry, angry enough to venture far outside her comfort zone and start setting limits. But it also made her extremely sad. The emotions were so complicated, and enveloped so much of her former and current relationships with her parents, that it's something we never could have worked through entirely on our own. She needed professional help. Your husband does, too.

What makes your story so outrageous to me is that it goes far beyond your MIL shit-talking you behind your back: she's cruel right to your face. If that's not reason enough for your husband to forcefully overcome his discomfort with being the bad guy, what is?

GoConfidently

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2018, 05:00:32 PM »
You said ďour businessĒ so Iím assuming you receive a salary. If not, get yourself on the payroll ASAP. Separate your finances 50/50. Stop managing his personal money. You have no mortgage, no debt, and while you didnít mention your own retirement savings Iím also going to assume you have that as well. His salary pays for his part of your shared expenses and whatever else he wants to spend it on. Yours does the same. Donít even look at what he gives away and refuse to discuss it.

Also, therapy. Not for money problems, but for elation ship and communication problems.
I receive a salary, and he receives a salary both from our business, and they go into joint bank account. We have separate retirement accounts. Our finances have been combined since we got married. How does it help in this situation to separate them?

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You threatened divorce, and if you decide to go through with that in the future, separate bank accounts can be a protection (I.e. he canít give away your money while youíre trying to separate). Iím not saying heís a bad guy, but you already told us heís bad with money.

If you never go through with the divorce, you have the ability to put up your own boundaries and divorce yourself from his family. You donít have to know what he gives them, and you shouldnít because it causes you stress and anger and sadness. You donít have to socialize with them, and you shouldnít because they sound like nasty people. You think heís bad at setting boundaries (and it sounds like he is), but youíre not sounding much better in that area TBH.

The hard truth is that he is unlikely to make significant changes. Heís 50 years old. His parents are in their 80s. Heís never stood up to them (according to your stories) and heís chosen their happiness over yours. Therapy may help you two communicate and understand each other better, but it canít change him into a different person. You have to let him be responsible for his choices regarding his family and money.

Roadrunner53

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Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2018, 05:15:11 PM »
Things CAN change if you put a plan together and stick to it. Whatever the plan is. Your Hub has to get a spine and big boy pants. I know how hard it has to be for him. I am an only child, my Dad died at age 66 and Mom was stubborn and would have starved before asking for help. Fortunately that didn't happen. She managed with her small income and paid off her mortgage after she retired. It was hard after Dad died but she did it. She was so stubborn she had an IRA worth $100K and left it to me! She would die before she touched it. She always said it was for me. I would have preferred she spend it on herself but she made it on her own terms. I just can't fathom this couple that could care less and will take and take and take. Sickening. If at least they would show appreciation it would make all the difference in the world! My Hub sometimes would bring something to Mom's house like lets say a new shovel or salt for her driveway. She would run to the front porch to try to pay him for this stuff. He would tell her to give him a glass of wine as payment. She had a hissy he wouldn't take money! Sometimes she would stuff money into his jacket anyway. She was a tough person! Miss her so much!

mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2018, 05:28:13 PM »
She assumes that because she rarely heard "no" before I came along, I must be the reason.

YES!! (Don't know how to quote only 1 line)
I wish she truly understood, Your son was literally barely making ends meet on 600k a year in income and his plan was to just keep grinding to stay one step ahead. Now he has no worries in the world and can work or not work as he chooses, and pretty much do whatever he wants. Your evil cheap daughter in law did not brainwash your son into thinking that a life free from financial worry is a good thing. He reached that logical conclusion on his own.

When we were dating one time I heard him mention his IRS payment plan to his mom, and she said "Life is hard, it's hard to get by." NO IT IS NOT, NOT WITH SOMETHING CALLED MATH.

I would be interested to hear from someone who grew up low income because I think there's an element of even if you make it "out," you're more comfortable spending to look successful than saving. It seems to be an insecurity thing.

He was very insecure about status-consciousy material things when we met. Wouldn't drive to a nice restaurant in my Prius lol. Now he needs a replacement car for his Maserati coming off lease and I asked what he was thinking of and he said, "A Chevy Bolt." I was shocked and asked why and he goes "The electric range, and Chevy makes really amazing cars now. There's no used ones which sucks but I can probably get last year's model for a pretty good price especially after the federal tax credit. If not I'll get a used Volt. I really like those too." I told him if he wanted to buy the Maserati I wouldn't care, he deserves it, just write a check for it. "No. I don't want to pay for gas anymore. Plus why would I buy an eighty thousand dollar car that doesn't even come with a backup camera when I can get a really nice used Volt for like ten grand with a backup camera and get like 200 mpg? The Chevy comes STANDARD with a backup camera!"

It's funny when he tries midrange stuff and thinks it's the bomb and his own personal discovery. Aldi ("I LOVE this place"), Great Clips ("I used to pay $90 for a haircut. I just got my hair cut for $9.")

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mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2018, 06:19:48 PM »
Things CAN change if you put a plan together and stick to it. Whatever the plan is. Your Hub has to get a spine and big boy pants. I know how hard it has to be for him. I am an only child, my Dad died at age 66 and Mom was stubborn and would have starved before asking for help. Fortunately that didn't happen. She managed with her small income and paid off her mortgage after she retired. It was hard after Dad died but she did it. She was so stubborn she had an IRA worth $100K and left it to me! She would die before she touched it. She always said it was for me. I would have preferred she spend it on herself but she made it on her own terms. I just can't fathom this couple that could care less and will take and take and take. Sickening. If at least they would show appreciation it would make all the difference in the world! My Hub sometimes would bring something to Mom's house like lets say a new shovel or salt for her driveway. She would run to the front porch to try to pay him for this stuff. He would tell her to give him a glass of wine as payment. She had a hissy he wouldn't take money! Sometimes she would stuff money into his jacket anyway. She was a tough person! Miss her so much!
Aw your MIL sounds like she was such a sweetheart, I can see why you miss her!

I think that's the thing that upsets me most about this situation is their lack of caring that he's expressed he's NOT okay with it. He's tried to bring up a conversation with them of "Can we put together a plan of what the next 5 or 10 years look like" and his mother starts crying and sobbing "We just want to die."

They are 80 and husband says they're not able to do any of the phone calls or paperwork themselves that something like elderly housing applications entail. I can understand that, it's a huge stack of paperwork! But then he has to get information from his mother for the various applications and she starts crying or saying jokingly "Why don't I just get a job" etc. She'll sporadically send documentation snail mail after the deadline has already been missed, etc. The crying gets my husband off the phone real quick. And then he feels guilty that he's "made her cry."

The issue with cutting out the money he gives that goes to FIL's cigarettes (~300 a month) is that my husband says he's seen his dad get violent with his mom if he's refused a cigarette. (FIL has some degree of dementia.)

Someone suggested senior center help w like a counselor or something, somebody to help shepherd the applications and talk to them about options bc husband is too close to the situation. I'll tell him that idea.

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mstache67

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Re: Long-term leech in-laws
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2018, 06:22:35 PM »

Apparently now they are a little more receptive to the idea of elderly housing because as MIL told my husband "There are a lot of Puerto Ricans moving onto our block. It's overrun."

Yeah. As if she wasn't charming enough, I forgot to mention that my mother in law is a very vocal rascist. She found out after we'd been married a couple years that I'm half Jewish, and said "Oh it makes sense now."

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