Author Topic: Family Member Fails  (Read 33584 times)

Cassie

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #100 on: September 02, 2019, 02:31:54 PM »
Dicey, how nice that you set up a 529 for your grandchild. I think giving a physical gift is great also. Itís so fun at that age to watch them get excited over a gift.

Dicey

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #101 on: September 03, 2019, 04:38:44 AM »
Last Christmas, she was gaga over the just-her-size backpack we gave her. It was not pink and it came from a thrift store. She put it on over her pajamas and didn't want to take it off. Alas, her mommy and daddy live too many states away for us to be in the same place for every milestone occasion.

Sugaree

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #102 on: September 03, 2019, 07:50:15 AM »
Kids, cars:

Infants aside, I think most people who make a gift of a small bit of cash for a child have the idea that the child will actually be allowed to make some decision about how to use it. Perhaps the child wants to save it to buy a gift for their parent or a teacher? I remember using some birthday money once to buy a very small gift for my 3rd grade teacher. Another time I saved up some gift money and bought a Christmas present for each of my parents. Perhaps they want to blow it on candy? Or matchbox cars?

Regardless, the purchase decision is the child's decision for small amounts of money. That's the entire point! It's really a gift of a tiny bit of healthy autonomy for the child more than anything. Barring starvation level poverty, if a parent handles it another way, then to me that indicates that either the gift amount was too large (like giving a 2-year-old $100, which is silly and not age appropriate) or that the parent has serious control issues. If I found out that their parent was confiscating a $5 or $10 cash gift, then I would be pretty irritated with the parent, because the gift was to the child, not the parent, and I happen to think taking money from your children is shitty. Your mileage may vary.

Finally, I do recognize that some relatives have an unhealthy lack of boundary issues about what is a reasonable thing to do for someone's children. If Grandma has no common sense and goes way overboard with hundreds of dollars at a time for small children, for example, then I don't blame parents for intervening.

I do generally make my kid put half of any gift above like $5 in his savings accounts.  It's still his money, but he doesn't necessarily get to blow it all.  As a result, I probably give him a much higher allowance than is really necessary (he's six and gets $20 every two weeks).

BlueHouse

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #103 on: September 03, 2019, 01:36:09 PM »
Kids, cars:

Infants aside, I think most people who make a gift of a small bit of cash for a child have the idea that the child will actually be allowed to make some decision about how to use it. Perhaps the child wants to save it to buy a gift for their parent or a teacher? I remember using some birthday money once to buy a very small gift for my 3rd grade teacher. Another time I saved up some gift money and bought a Christmas present for each of my parents. Perhaps they want to blow it on candy? Or matchbox cars?

Regardless, the purchase decision is the child's decision for small amounts of money. That's the entire point! It's really a gift of a tiny bit of healthy autonomy for the child more than anything. Barring starvation level poverty, if a parent handles it another way, then to me that indicates that either the gift amount was too large (like giving a 2-year-old $100, which is silly and not age appropriate) or that the parent has serious control issues. If I found out that their parent was confiscating a $5 or $10 cash gift, then I would be pretty irritated with the parent, because the gift was to the child, not the parent, and I happen to think taking money from your children is shitty. Your mileage may vary.

Finally, I do recognize that some relatives have an unhealthy lack of boundary issues about what is a reasonable thing to do for someone's children. If Grandma has no common sense and goes way overboard with hundreds of dollars at a time for small children, for example, then I don't blame parents for intervening.

I do generally make my kid put half of any gift above like $5 in his savings accounts.  It's still his money, but he doesn't necessarily get to blow it all.  As a result, I probably give him a much higher allowance than is really necessary (he's six and gets $20 every two weeks).
My college boyfriend used to have to split every paycheck 3 ways:  1/3 to his parents for "rent" (even when he lived on campus...they were paying his bills, so), 1/3 to "tax" which just got him used to paying 1/3 in tax.  Not sure who kept the overage.  1/3 for his spending money.  He seemed to be pretty good with money and had been doing this his entire life, so I guess it worked. 

DeniseNJ

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #104 on: September 03, 2019, 03:23:59 PM »
My mom came to visit and gave my 19 yr old $200 "for college or to buy some things he needs."  But I pay for college and give him money.  I put money into his bank account weekly so he can use it when he needs it.  He doesn't work (reasons).  So he handed me the money and I put the money in my pocket and kept doling out money to him regularly as usual.  I guess I could say, hey that money I was going to give you anyway is from grandma this week, but he knows I give him money regularly which he blows on crap.

My daughter also got $200 and wanted to go to the mall with her friend.  I would never have given her more than 50 bucks, so I said, "Fine, here's the 200 gram gave you," and I let her and her friend roam the mall by themselves and spend what they wanted.

It really just depends.  If I give my kids money all the time then I guess I could say, and do say, this money is from gram.  But if I was going to give it to them anyway, then I think it's the same as me just keeping it.  But maybe that's bc my kids aren't on a fixed allowance--I just give them money as needed.  That was mistake number 1.

My mom gave the kids 10K a piece "for college."  But I pay for college, so I guess I could've kept it.  But it was so much money and it was after finding MMM, so I opened custodial accts for them with vanguard--Now they both have their own VTSAX accounts that I add too when I'm flush.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #105 on: September 03, 2019, 03:26:22 PM »
Re the dad who stole the kids college money:  If he paid for her college anyway, then I'm fine with it.  If she was on the hook for her college costs and didn't have gram's money, then that sucks. 

cari8285

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #106 on: September 05, 2019, 02:52:00 PM »
Am I the only person reading this thread that definitely did not get money as gifts until I was at least a teenager?? (And even then, it was like $20 from my grandma once every two years.) Definitely not complaining because my dad paid for my college and just about anything that I needed. But this whole concept of giving a child money for things like a baptism or whatever is very strange to me.. Maybe this is why I seriously sucked at finances until like last month. Sheesh.

That being said, my mom was super poor (divorced parents) as I was growing up and I barely got to see her because she worked doubles just to keep a roof over her head. If she had ever decided to use some of my gift money (had that been a thing) and it meant that I could see her more often, I definitely would've loved that.

The dad using all his child's college money when he got laid off though? That's shitty.

oldladystache

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #107 on: September 05, 2019, 03:33:25 PM »
Am I the only person reading this thread that definitely did not get money as gifts until I was at least a teenager??

Me too. I've been wondering the same thing. Is it "normal" to give kids money? My parents were generous and supplied everything I needed and much of what I wanted.  Paid for college, etc. But other than 50 cents a week allowance I don't remember any cash gifts.

ambimammular

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #108 on: September 05, 2019, 04:34:23 PM »
Grandma taped a dollar bill and a stick of gum in my birthday cards.
Can't chew gum without remembering my grandma.

jinga nation

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #109 on: September 06, 2019, 05:32:03 AM »
Ah the memories y'all brought up. All cash gifts to me went to my dad.
I didn't need much as a kid/teenager, and he provided the family with what we needed. Which is probably why I don't have impulse shopping urges.

SwordGuy

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #110 on: September 06, 2019, 06:41:47 AM »
There was a MASH episode where the rich, obnoxious doctor gave a present of a bunch of really nice candy to an orphanage, then was mad as hell when he discovered the candy for sale in the local marketplace.   He confronted the orphanage about it.

They explained the money they got for the candy paid for food and blankets and such.   Case closed.  They were right.

Some cases of spending the money by parents are the exact thing they should have done.  Others are stealing from the kids.   It just depends.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #111 on: September 06, 2019, 07:22:02 AM »
. But other than 50 cents a week allowance I don't remember any cash gifts.

Ha, that's bc you never got it.  lol

economista

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #112 on: September 06, 2019, 07:24:57 AM »
I used to get $1 or $2 in a birthday card when I was little but once I turned 18 I didnít get any money anymore period. Itís odd to me when I see people post that they are in their 30s, 40s, etc and their parents send them hundreds of dollars on their birthdays. In our family once you are 18 you are on your own 100%. I donít even get birthday gifts from my parents or extended family members. I get a text or a phone call that says Happy Birthday and that is it. For Christmas I usually get a gift if I go home for Christmas, but if I canít afford to go home I just get a phone call.

My younger siblings who are over 18 but still live in the area get birthday and Christmas gifts - I think it is really an ďout of sight, out of mindĒ thing. If you are around you get a gift, but if they arenít going to see you then you arenít going to get anything.

*Disclaimer - just because this is how I was raised, does not mean this is how I will be with my children*

TomTX

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #113 on: September 06, 2019, 04:32:47 PM »
I used to get $1 or $2 in a birthday card when I was little but once I turned 18 I didnít get any money anymore period. Itís odd to me when I see people post that they are in their 30s, 40s, etc and their parents send them hundreds of dollars on their birthdays.

I still get $50 from my parents for my birthday and Christmas, and I'm in my 40s. I really wish they would stop, but it makes them happy - so my pushback has been minimal.

Just Joe

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #114 on: September 09, 2019, 08:03:10 AM »
We still mail gift cards back and forth even for adult birthdays in my family. For my birthday, my parents gave me $40 and we happened to be sharing a meal at a family style restaurant. I spent half of the gift on the meal (paid for myself and my eldest to eat). So they gave me gas money and a meal. Fine my me.

mm1970

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #115 on: September 09, 2019, 11:12:23 AM »
We still mail gift cards back and forth even for adult birthdays in my family. For my birthday, my parents gave me $40 and we happened to be sharing a meal at a family style restaurant. I spent half of the gift on the meal (paid for myself and my eldest to eat). So they gave me gas money and a meal. Fine my me.
This is nice.  I've gotten a couple of emailed gift cards (Amazon) from my FIL that were sent to the wrong email address, or I just never got them.

The most recent one (from 3 months ago), I still don't have.  He says he paid for it, but I haven't gotten the email (or it went to junk mail and is long gone).

I told my husband let's just pretend I got it, because it's a PITA.  But no.  So, several emails back and forth, still nothing.  It would have been better to pretend I used it (I mean, not that I want Amazon to get free money, just that it's taking up my time and brain space and it's not work 50 bucks to me.)

ender

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #116 on: September 09, 2019, 11:47:34 AM »
I used to get $1 or $2 in a birthday card when I was little but once I turned 18 I didnít get any money anymore period. Itís odd to me when I see people post that they are in their 30s, 40s, etc and their parents send them hundreds of dollars on their birthdays. In our family once you are 18 you are on your own 100%. I donít even get birthday gifts from my parents or extended family members. I get a text or a phone call that says Happy Birthday and that is it. For Christmas I usually get a gift if I go home for Christmas, but if I canít afford to go home I just get a phone call.

My younger siblings who are over 18 but still live in the area get birthday and Christmas gifts - I think it is really an ďout of sight, out of mindĒ thing. If you are around you get a gift, but if they arenít going to see you then you arenít going to get anything.

*Disclaimer - just because this is how I was raised, does not mean this is how I will be with my children*

I think for my family (and my inlaws) this happens because others in the family are less well off and the parents want to be fair.

We're fine, have no need for money, it's nice but in many ways I don't like the "strings" associated with it. But I think the parents/inlaws feel like it helps some of our siblings, who are in much worse financial situations than we are... so I guess that is ok.

Imma

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #117 on: September 09, 2019, 12:01:22 PM »
I used to get $1 or $2 in a birthday card when I was little but once I turned 18 I didnít get any money anymore period. Itís odd to me when I see people post that they are in their 30s, 40s, etc and their parents send them hundreds of dollars on their birthdays.

I still get $50 from my parents for my birthday and Christmas, and I'm in my 40s. I really wish they would stop, but it makes them happy - so my pushback has been minimal.

We don't do Christmas gifts in my family but ever since I turned 18 I've received Ä50 for my birthday from my mother. I still also get her a gift for her birthday. She's super frugal so I like to get her a gift that she needs/wants but doesn't buy - often it's decent quality kitchen stuff as she loves to cook and the cheap crap she buys doesn't last.

I didn't know that was unusual until I graduated from college and friends asked what my graduation gift was - one got a KitchenAid, the other a trip for her and her partner. I graduated the same week as my birthday, received two Ä50 notes and considered myself spoiled. I actually opened the envelope, took out the Ä50, thanked her and wanted to throw away the envelope when she warned me that I should maybe check it again.

What I do feel a bit awkward about is that my inlaws gift me the same amount as they gift my s/o, but my family doesn't gift to children in law. Even though we couldn't care less about that Ä50 it feels a bit awkward - they also don't go to his birthday or special occasions. They really make a distinction between blood family and non-blood family that I feel uncomfortable about.

SwordGuy

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #118 on: September 09, 2019, 12:42:48 PM »
What I do feel a bit awkward about is that my inlaws gift me the same amount as they gift my s/o, but my family doesn't gift to children in law. Even though we couldn't care less about that Ä50 it feels a bit awkward - they also don't go to his birthday or special occasions. They really make a distinction between blood family and non-blood family that I feel uncomfortable about.

For the life of me I don't understand that crappy, heartless mindset.   My mom was the same way.   As far as she was concerned I never had children and she acted accordingly.   

Ignoring the kids was tolerable.  Didn't like it but that's their call.   Kids returned the favor so fair is fair.

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.

economista

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #119 on: September 10, 2019, 06:21:27 AM »

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.

This is the way it was with my step-dadís family a lot of the time. Sometimes they included me and my brother, and sometimes there were only gifts for my younger half brother and sister. And, there wasnít much of an age gap between us - each of us is 2 years apart.

SwordGuy

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #120 on: September 10, 2019, 07:05:37 AM »

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.

This is the way it was with my step-dadís family a lot of the time. Sometimes they included me and my brother, and sometimes there were only gifts for my younger half brother and sister. And, there wasnít much of an age gap between us - each of us is 2 years apart.

That would have happened once and once only.  I would have explained why that was unacceptable.  If they did it again,  I would have sent the presents back (without the kids knowing they ever arrived).  I would have included a note that referenced our prior conversation.   

I had to have a number of unpleasant conversations with my mom about a number of things over the years.   It was never fun but it was necessary to set boundaries and enforce them.

charis

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #121 on: September 12, 2019, 02:20:27 PM »
What I do feel a bit awkward about is that my inlaws gift me the same amount as they gift my s/o, but my family doesn't gift to children in law. Even though we couldn't care less about that Ä50 it feels a bit awkward - they also don't go to his birthday or special occasions. They really make a distinction between blood family and non-blood family that I feel uncomfortable about.

For the life of me I don't understand that crappy, heartless mindset.   My mom was the same way.   As far as she was concerned I never had children and she acted accordingly.   

Ignoring the kids was tolerable.  Didn't like it but that's their call.   Kids returned the favor so fair is fair.

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.

If I'm reading it correctly, Imma's post refers to her family not gifting to her husband, their son-in-law, who is an adult.  While it's still nice to treat everyone like family, I never expected my in-laws to give me gifts and celebrate my birthday with us. I recognize that some extended families are different and celebrate everything together.

SwordGuy

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #122 on: September 12, 2019, 03:12:46 PM »
What I do feel a bit awkward about is that my inlaws gift me the same amount as they gift my s/o, but my family doesn't gift to children in law. Even though we couldn't care less about that Ä50 it feels a bit awkward - they also don't go to his birthday or special occasions. They really make a distinction between blood family and non-blood family that I feel uncomfortable about.

For the life of me I don't understand that crappy, heartless mindset.   My mom was the same way.   As far as she was concerned I never had children and she acted accordingly.   

Ignoring the kids was tolerable.  Didn't like it but that's their call.   Kids returned the favor so fair is fair.

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.

If I'm reading it correctly, Imma's post refers to her family not gifting to her husband, their son-in-law, who is an adult.  While it's still nice to treat everyone like family, I never expected my in-laws to give me gifts and celebrate my birthday with us. I recognize that some extended families are different and celebrate everything together.
I'm pretty sure you mis-read her comment, especially since she says they gift her significant other, but doesn't gift children-in-law.

Imma

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #123 on: September 12, 2019, 03:31:15 PM »
Yes, @charis is right, I'm talking about adults. My in-laws gift to their son as well as to me, the daughter in law, but my family doesn't do that to children-in-law (my s/o).

In @SwordGuy 's case it's about kids and that's particularly mean. Sounds like in the end she got what she deserved from them.

In older generations in my families, the entire extended family celebrated everything together. It's not a tradition in my family to exclude the children-in-law at all. I remember my paternal grandparents and aunts at my mother's birthday with gifts every year.

In my own nuclear family (is that the right word?) this has never been the case. My parents are divorced and I am not really close to my dad anymore but as far as I know he used to ignore my sibling's s/o until they got a job where they could get him freebies. My mother acts nice enough to my s/o and will sometimes ask for tech support from him, but hasn't showed up so far when invited to birthdays or special occasions (she's in our area quite often).

It's not a personal dislike as she's like that with all our partners. At least that part is a relief. I just don't get it, it's not polite, these are the people we choose to spend our lives with and to ignore their birthdays and milestones is not something you'd do to an acquintance, neighbour or coworker. Why would you act like that to the person closest to your child?

We're not super close to my in-laws but they always get me a card and a gift which makes me feel welcome in their family. It's not about the monetary value of the gift, a card, even a text from my mother would be a big improvement.

Cassie

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #124 on: September 16, 2019, 12:40:58 PM »
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!

calimom

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #125 on: September 16, 2019, 06:39:04 PM »
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!

Could not agree more. When I married my late husband he came equipped with a seven year old daughter. My mother never skipped a beat in treating her exactly as her other grandchildren for birthdays and Christmas. She even ponied up a nice sum to contribute to DD1's junior year abroad in college. It's really not about gifts or money, but more about love and acceptance, which my family is pretty good at.

My MIL started a tradition of flying cross country for the month of August to help with the transition from summer to school year. It was a huge help when the kids were younger and I needed to work and daycare and camps had ended. But she still does it and it's welcome. She and my BIL have long had a budget of about $250 per child for back to school clothes and supplies. At first I resisted that but quickly shut up about it. MIL has patience I don't have for going to 5 stores for the perfect backpack or pair of shoes. This year I thought my 17 year old son would not be into this but he and MIL had a great day together shopping and having lunch. I'm grateful for my extended family and all the support over the years.

Sibley

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #126 on: September 17, 2019, 08:10:59 AM »
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!

Could not agree more. When I married my late husband he came equipped with a seven year old daughter. My mother never skipped a beat in treating her exactly as her other grandchildren for birthdays and Christmas. She even ponied up a nice sum to contribute to DD1's junior year abroad in college. It's really not about gifts or money, but more about love and acceptance, which my family is pretty good at.

My MIL started a tradition of flying cross country for the month of August to help with the transition from summer to school year. It was a huge help when the kids were younger and I needed to work and daycare and camps had ended. But she still does it and it's welcome. She and my BIL have long had a budget of about $250 per child for back to school clothes and supplies. At first I resisted that but quickly shut up about it. MIL has patience I don't have for going to 5 stores for the perfect backpack or pair of shoes. This year I thought my 17 year old son would not be into this but he and MIL had a great day together shopping and having lunch. I'm grateful for my extended family and all the support over the years.

^^^^
That is what family is SUPPOSED to be.

saguaro

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #127 on: September 17, 2019, 10:12:41 AM »
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!

Could not agree more. When I married my late husband he came equipped with a seven year old daughter. My mother never skipped a beat in treating her exactly as her other grandchildren for birthdays and Christmas. She even ponied up a nice sum to contribute to DD1's junior year abroad in college. It's really not about gifts or money, but more about love and acceptance, which my family is pretty good at.

My MIL started a tradition of flying cross country for the month of August to help with the transition from summer to school year. It was a huge help when the kids were younger and I needed to work and daycare and camps had ended. But she still does it and it's welcome. She and my BIL have long had a budget of about $250 per child for back to school clothes and supplies. At first I resisted that but quickly shut up about it. MIL has patience I don't have for going to 5 stores for the perfect backpack or pair of shoes. This year I thought my 17 year old son would not be into this but he and MIL had a great day together shopping and having lunch. I'm grateful for my extended family and all the support over the years.

^^^^
That is what family is SUPPOSED to be.

Agreed.  My aunt treats her DIL's 2 children from a prior relationship exactly the same as her son's child with DIL.  She considers them all her grandchildren. 

SwordGuy

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #128 on: September 17, 2019, 01:37:06 PM »
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!

Could not agree more. When I married my late husband he came equipped with a seven year old daughter. My mother never skipped a beat in treating her exactly as her other grandchildren for birthdays and Christmas. She even ponied up a nice sum to contribute to DD1's junior year abroad in college. It's really not about gifts or money, but more about love and acceptance, which my family is pretty good at.

My MIL started a tradition of flying cross country for the month of August to help with the transition from summer to school year. It was a huge help when the kids were younger and I needed to work and daycare and camps had ended. But she still does it and it's welcome. She and my BIL have long had a budget of about $250 per child for back to school clothes and supplies. At first I resisted that but quickly shut up about it. MIL has patience I don't have for going to 5 stores for the perfect backpack or pair of shoes. This year I thought my 17 year old son would not be into this but he and MIL had a great day together shopping and having lunch. I'm grateful for my extended family and all the support over the years.

^^^^
That is what family is SUPPOSED to be.

Agreed.  My aunt treats her DIL's 2 children from a prior relationship exactly the same as her son's child with DIL.  She considers them all her grandchildren.

Yay @Cassie , @calimom, @Sibley  and @saguaro!    You all rock!

My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't want her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order.     
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 06:59:15 PM by SwordGuy »

Zamboni

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #129 on: September 17, 2019, 02:29:06 PM »
My brother and his wife have adopted children and I don't think that either of my parents really got on board with my nieces and nephews being their grandchildren. They are different races from us and my Mom still refers to them as the "Chinese children" every time she mentions them rather than referring to them as her grandchildren or even "Fred's" kids.

Which is quite sad, really, when you think about it, for everyone involved.

caracarn

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #130 on: September 17, 2019, 02:40:17 PM »
If I found out that their parent was confiscating a $5 or $10 cash gift, then I would be pretty irritated with the parent, because the gift was to the child, not the parent, and I happen to think taking money from your children is shitty. Your mileage may vary.
This topic has likely come and gone in this thread, but I could write a literal book on the amount of things my wife's ex does to his kids.  The latest is he has had my step daughter's car for nearly two months.  At this point she had admitted to my wife her only option is to call the cops on him, but she still will pull the trigger because it is her dad.  This is a guy who has no job, does not work, mooches off whatever women he can get in his life and has borrowed cars for the last eight years I've known him and usually they stop running in about a year because he does not even change the oil and the engine just dies.  She's likely headed the same way and will be in a world of hurt with no car, but she cannot get to the point to hold her dad accountable.  He is the epitome of your definition of "taking money from your children is shitty" that I have ever come across. 

mm1970

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #131 on: September 17, 2019, 06:25:46 PM »
My brother and his wife have adopted children and I don't think that either of my parents really got on board with my nieces and nephews being their grandchildren. They are different races from us and my Mom still refers to them as the "Chinese children" every time she mentions them rather than referring to them as her grandchildren or even "Fred's" kids.

Which is quite sad, really, when you think about it, for everyone involved.

This makes me so sad.

Quote
My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order. 

This too.

My parents are both dead.  They divorced in my teens.  My mom remarried when I was in college to a lovely man.  As far as we are all concerned, he's the kids' grandpa (and my sister's and my brother's kids' grandpa too).  It's maybe simpler for us because he didn't have children, but still.  He's been to visit us on the opposite coast many more times than my husband's father, who hasn't been to visit since 2006.


My only family member fail is my brother.  Apparently, he's depressed right now (not judging that, he's getting help).  One thing that is making his life more difficult right now is that he's having some sewer issues (he's in a rural area) and has to have major work done on his property, to the tune of $10k.  (Which is about what our lateral replacement was just this year.)  He cannot come up with the money.  He's in his late 40s, and he cannot come up with $10k.  I realize that is typical of most Americans, but all I can think about is all that shopping, the constant exchanging of older vehicles for newer vehicles (many many times over just a few years).  I think his family probably just woke up a bit too late on the financial knowledge spectrum.

calimom

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #132 on: September 17, 2019, 08:47:31 PM »
@Zamboni that's terrible about your mom. It's just hard to put into words. @SwordGuy it's interesting to read what you said about social cues. I'm guessing she's from an older generation and has very firm ideas about 'family'. Glad that you are circumventing those ideas and will do as you wish with the family land.

An obnoxious brag about my MIL: Once, we were at a campground at the Grand Canyon with the kids. The retired couple in the next campsite had been friendly all day. Late at night when MIL and I were sitting by the dying campfire they came over with a bottle of wine and tthe 4 of us chatted for awhile. The wife said, "Oh it's so nice to see a mother and daughter spending time together; I could never imagine doing this with my daughter." Not wanting to overshare or give the gory details, MIL and I said something like we just get along well. Later we takied about it and MIL said she enjoyed having a daughter in that moment and it was very sweet. A few months ago she emailed and wanted to know my social security #. I'm guessing it's not to steal my identity but to put in her designated beneficiary some sort of account or another. I hope she lives a long time, she's a peach.

Zamboni

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #133 on: September 17, 2019, 09:18:28 PM »
That's sweet. She does sound like a peach.

My brother has finally told my Mom to just stay away from him and his family. Her comment to me was that she has done nothing wrong but that he is just "so controlling" about "those kids." She really just doesn't get it. And I'm not even going to try to explain any of it to her, because I'm not getting into the middle of it. Experience assures me that it just won't get through her thick skull anyway. I wish I had SwordGuy's gift for blunt and frank boundary enforcement.

SwordGuy

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #134 on: September 17, 2019, 09:23:19 PM »
That's sweet. She does sound like a peach.

My brother has finally told my Mom to just stay away from him and his family. Her comment to me was that she has done nothing wrong but that he is just "so controlling" about "those kids." She really just doesn't get it. And I'm not even going to try to explain any of it to her, because I'm not getting into the middle of it. Experience assures me that it just won't get through her thick skull anyway. I wish I had SwordGuy's gift for blunt and frank boundary enforcement.

@Zamboni ,   I had no gift for it at all.   

Practice.  Frequent practice.    Lots and lots of frequent practice, with lots of failed attempts as part of that process.  That's how I learned what worked.   

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #135 on: September 18, 2019, 02:27:56 AM »
Sounds like quite a few people have missed the difference between biology and family. Biology isn't worth anything. Family is worth everything.

saguaro

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #136 on: September 18, 2019, 11:47:05 AM »
Yay @Cassie , @calimom, @Sibley  and @saguaro!    You all rock!

My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't want her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order.

@SwordGuy , I am sorry that your mom viewed your kids this way.    I don't understand, seeing how this often goes in my family (another aunt treated her granddaughter's partner's children as her great-grandchildren btw), how someone could not consider her child's children (biological or not) as not being her grandchildren.    They are still your kids, you consider them as such, they consider you their dad, that should have been enough for her.  I don't have kids myself but if I did, I cannot fathom treating the kids from a spouse/partner's prior relationship as "not my grandkids".     But good on you for setting boundaries with your mother about it.

caracarn

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #137 on: September 18, 2019, 12:04:20 PM »
Yay @Cassie , @calimom, @Sibley  and @saguaro!    You all rock!

My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't want her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order.

@SwordGuy , I am sorry that your mom viewed your kids this way.    I don't understand, seeing how this often goes in my family (another aunt treated her granddaughter's partner's children as her great-grandchildren btw), how someone could not consider her child's children (biological or not) as not being her grandchildren.    They are still your kids, you consider them as such, they consider you their dad, that should have been enough for her.  I don't have kids myself but if I did, I cannot fathom treating the kids from a spouse/partner's prior relationship as "not my grandkids".     But good on you for setting boundaries with your mother about it.
Sadly I know all too well what @SwordGuy is talking about.  My parents are this way with my step kids (not theirs).  When I got married I got into some huge arguments.   They wanted to give my biological kids two or three times as many gifts on birthdays for example as the step kids and they said multiple times that "they are not my grandkids".  I very quickly has the discussion with them that they need to treat them all the same and if that means not giving anything, that is fine.  They still work to find ways to differentiate.  As the kids are getting over 18 they are all about helping one of my kids with college costs, but do not even talk to my step daughter about any help she could use.  At this point I have less ability to force the situation.

So @saguaro this is not a one off situation, and no amount of trying to get people to change ever works on some folks.

mm1970

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #138 on: September 18, 2019, 12:12:52 PM »
@Zamboni that's terrible about your mom. It's just hard to put into words. @SwordGuy it's interesting to read what you said about social cues. I'm guessing she's from an older generation and has very firm ideas about 'family'. Glad that you are circumventing those ideas and will do as you wish with the family land.

An obnoxious brag about my MIL: Once, we were at a campground at the Grand Canyon with the kids. The retired couple in the next campsite had been friendly all day. Late at night when MIL and I were sitting by the dying campfire they came over with a bottle of wine and tthe 4 of us chatted for awhile. The wife said, "Oh it's so nice to see a mother and daughter spending time together; I could never imagine doing this with my daughter." Not wanting to overshare or give the gory details, MIL and I said something like we just get along well. Later we takied about it and MIL said she enjoyed having a daughter in that moment and it was very sweet. A few months ago she emailed and wanted to know my social security #. I'm guessing it's not to steal my identity but to put in her designated beneficiary some sort of account or another. I hope she lives a long time, she's a peach.
That is so sweet!  I LOVE my MIL.  She's the best.

saguaro

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #139 on: September 18, 2019, 12:22:42 PM »
Yay @Cassie , @calimom, @Sibley  and @saguaro!    You all rock!

My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't want her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order.

@SwordGuy , I am sorry that your mom viewed your kids this way.    I don't understand, seeing how this often goes in my family (another aunt treated her granddaughter's partner's children as her great-grandchildren btw), how someone could not consider her child's children (biological or not) as not being her grandchildren.    They are still your kids, you consider them as such, they consider you their dad, that should have been enough for her.  I don't have kids myself but if I did, I cannot fathom treating the kids from a spouse/partner's prior relationship as "not my grandkids".     But good on you for setting boundaries with your mother about it.
Sadly I know all too well what @SwordGuy is talking about.  My parents are this way with my step kids (not theirs).  When I got married I got into some huge arguments.   They wanted to give my biological kids two or three times as many gifts on birthdays for example as the step kids and they said multiple times that "they are not my grandkids".  I very quickly has the discussion with them that they need to treat them all the same and if that means not giving anything, that is fine.  They still work to find ways to differentiate.  As the kids are getting over 18 they are all about helping one of my kids with college costs, but do not even talk to my step daughter about any help she could use.  At this point I have less ability to force the situation.

So @saguaro this is not a one off situation, and no amount of trying to get people to change ever works on some folks.

@caracarn , unfortunately I know these situations are not one off and FTR I wasn't questioning @SwordGuy 's experience with it.   I know that no amount of trying will ever work with some of those people either.   I personally just could not do that, and just wonder how some folks can live with themselves sometimes. 

It's too bad about your stepkids and that your parents continue to do the work around.  I agree there's not a lot you can do with them over 18. 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 12:25:30 PM by saguaro »

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #140 on: September 20, 2019, 07:06:14 PM »
If I found out that their parent was confiscating a $5 or $10 cash gift, then I would be pretty irritated with the parent, because the gift was to the child, not the parent, and I happen to think taking money from your children is shitty. Your mileage may vary.
This topic has likely come and gone in this thread, but I could write a literal book on the amount of things my wife's ex does to his kids.  The latest is he has had my step daughter's car for nearly two months.  At this point she had admitted to my wife her only option is to call the cops on him, but she still will pull the trigger because it is her dad.  This is a guy who has no job, does not work, mooches off whatever women he can get in his life and has borrowed cars for the last eight years I've known him and usually they stop running in about a year because he does not even change the oil and the engine just dies.  She's likely headed the same way and will be in a world of hurt with no car, but she cannot get to the point to hold her dad accountable.  He is the epitome of your definition of "taking money from your children is shitty" that I have ever come across.

This calls for a potato up the tailpipe (of the car, not the wife's ex although that too would be tempting). When the car stalls out and won't run, daughter gets the keys back from the deadbeat dad. She then de-taters the car, drives off, and lives happily ever after.

Cassie

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #141 on: September 22, 2019, 04:50:46 PM »
When I was 22 I remarried and had a 3 yo. My husband's family treated my son as their family from day 1. He had grandparents, aunts and uncles that loved him and treated him like all the other grandkids.  If my stepsons have kids I will be thrilled to be a grandmother.

iris lily

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #142 on: September 22, 2019, 05:55:46 PM »
 Just to play devils advocate, I can see a couple of reasons not to treat grandchildren and step grandchildren exactly in the same way.

In the farmland example, I am not sure that I would leave a large family farm in exactly the same shares to step grandchildren that I would leave to grandchildren. So many factors are at play in these situations. It could depend on when these children came into the farm family. What if they came into the farm family at the age of 18? 25? 40? Does that make a difference in how big a share they ďshouldĒ get?

Or what about dispensing family heirlooms and/or really nice and old and collectible fine Jewelry? What if you had the responsibility to dispense great grandmaís  stuff and your daughter has two daughters and your son who has been married four times has two stepdaughters. You have known the steps for about  five seconds and you suspect they will be gone in another five seconds. Are you really going to give those two step kids great grandmotherís  Cartier ring and the Clef and Arpels diamond bracelet? 

Of course for minor things such as family photographs and Christmas gifts and birthday gifts and etc. one would treat  children and stepchildren the same. Of course! But that is the little stuff.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 06:02:31 PM by iris lily »

SwordGuy

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #143 on: September 22, 2019, 06:20:53 PM »
Just to play devils advocate, I can see a couple of reasons not to treat grandchildren and step grandchildren exactly in the same way.

In the farmland example, I am not sure that I would leave a large family farm in exactly the same shares to step grandchildren that I would leave to grandchildren. So many factors are at play in these situations. It could depend on when these children came into the farm family. What if they came into the farm family at the age of 18? 25? 40? Does that make a difference in how big a share they ďshouldĒ get?

Or what about dispensing family heirlooms and/or really nice and old and collectible fine Jewelry? What if you had the responsibility to dispense great grandmaís  stuff and your daughter has two daughters and your son who has been married four times has two stepdaughters. You have known the steps for about  five seconds and you suspect they will be gone in another five seconds. Are you really going to give those two step kids great grandmotherís  Cartier ring and the Clef and Arpels diamond bracelet? 

Of course for minor things such as family photographs and Christmas gifts and birthday gifts and etc. one would treat  children and stepchildren the same. Of course! But that is the little stuff.

Kids who are members of the family are members of the family -- whether their parents continue to get along or not doesn't matter to me.
 

mm1970

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #144 on: September 22, 2019, 09:01:34 PM »
I came into a family when my mother remarried. My sibs and I were 26, 20, and 18.

We will inherit our stepfathers assets. I mean, he has been our family for almost 30 years. He is the only grandparent my kids have on my side. My mother died years ago.

Zamboni

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #145 on: September 23, 2019, 01:15:08 AM »
Or what about dispensing family heirlooms and/or really nice and old and collectible fine Jewelry? What if you had the responsibility to dispense great grandmaís  stuff and your daughter has two daughters and your son who has been married four times has two stepdaughters. You have known the steps for about  five seconds and you suspect they will be gone in another five seconds. Are you really going to give those two step kids great grandmotherís  Cartier ring and the Clef and Arpels diamond bracelet? 

It's just stuff . . . is stuff more valuable than people? How much do you want your son to feel like he is a valued as a member of your family? Those are the bigger question, I think. The type of reasoning in this devil's advocate post is exactly the poison that makes wealthy families so extremely dysfunctional.

I'd probably sell the extremely expensive jewelry and put the proceeds in a trust, then let each of the four grand daughters pick a piece or two of the remaining more sentimental jewelry from late granny's stash. You might be surprised to realize how much that type of acceptance means to your son and his children.

iris lily

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #146 on: September 23, 2019, 11:09:00 AM »
Or what about dispensing family heirlooms and/or really nice and old and collectible fine Jewelry? What if you had the responsibility to dispense great grandmaís  stuff and your daughter has two daughters and your son who has been married four times has two stepdaughters. You have known the steps for about  five seconds and you suspect they will be gone in another five seconds. Are you really going to give those two step kids great grandmotherís  Cartier ring and the Clef and Arpels diamond bracelet? 

It's just stuff . . . is stuff more valuable than people? How much do you want your son to feel like he is a valued as a member of your family? Those are the bigger question, I think. The type of reasoning in this devil's advocate post is exactly the poison that makes wealthy families so extremely dysfunctional.

I'd probably sell the extremely expensive jewelry and put the proceeds in a trust, then let each of the four grand daughters pick a piece or two of the remaining more sentimental jewelry from late granny's stash. You might be surprised to realize how much that type of acceptance means to your son and his children.

One size does not fit all when dealing with humans and their relationships. I like your solution for the situation where everyone shares your value of ďit is just stuff.Ē In that theoretical world hey wouldn't that be great.

It is when sentiment, appreciation of fine art objects, mercenary values, and grief intersect that it all gets complicated. Certainly there is no situation that will make everyone happy forever.


Kris

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #147 on: September 23, 2019, 11:29:54 AM »
I do not have children of my own. But if I did, frankly, I do not think I would change my perspective on this.

I have two stepdaughters. Assuming my husband dies before I do, I will leave everything to them, except for photos and sentimental memorabilia of my family that they would have no interest in because they don't know any of them. Giving those items to them would only be a burden, so I'll send them to my cousins.

If I had two stepkids and two bio kids, I would leave all financial assets to them, divided up equally by four.

SwordGuy

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #148 on: September 23, 2019, 11:43:26 AM »
I do not have children of my own. But if I did, frankly, I do not think I would change my perspective on this.

I have two stepdaughters. Assuming my husband dies before I do, I will leave everything to them, except for photos and sentimental memorabilia of my family that they would have no interest in because they don't know any of them. Giving those items to them would only be a burden, so I'll send them to my cousins.

If I had two stepkids and two bio kids, I would leave all financial assets to them, divided up equally by four.
You have the SwordGuy seal of approval on this. :)

Siebrie

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Re: Family Member Fails
« Reply #149 on: September 24, 2019, 03:48:17 AM »
Many years ago, my sister rented a house with her then longterm boyfriend. She was 19, and they had been dating for 4 years. For some reason, she wanted to be the perfect hostess; she served nibbles every time people came over. Not normal nibbles, but handmade ones, with posh ham, rare fruit, etc. As soon as they had my niece (3 years into the relationship) she would constantly buy her small gifts, let her ride endless rides on the funfair (paying every ride), went to every themepark, zoo, etc.

When they broke up when niece was 3, my parents found out that she had taken out a loan for EUR 12,000 to support this lifestyle. We were shocked. There was no need for that loan. We visited them because we wanted to see them and catch up; water and bread would have been fine. She had a job as a food-distributor in a hospital (in charge of the ward kitchen), her former boyfriend had a job as a junior technician. He did not know about the loan, and would have been against it, but would not have been able to stand up against my sister. Worst bit: she got the loan with a tv-add company, paying some insane percentage of interest.

My parents took over the loan, paid it off, and had an arrangement with my sister to pay off every month. Every first of the month, my father would check his bank account to see if she had paid yet, because he had told her the loan would become fully payable as soon as she missed one term. He still had to call her every other month to make a speed deposit....

She now has a husband who makes more money than she can spend....