Author Topic: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?  (Read 11508 times)

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« on: October 29, 2020, 07:17:32 PM »
Hi everyone. First post and it’s a doozy. It involves the severe enabling of my brother in law “Jeff”. It’s now spilled over in my personal life (some of it my fault)

A few facts about “Jeff”:
38 years old
Lives for free in moms basement
Zero friends
No attendance at family/holiday functions
Sometimes works, mostly not working
Drinks lots of beer, smokes lots of pot, cigarettes.
Has borrowed money or financed small purchases through my daughter (unknowns to me) grandpa had to pay her back.
Is at the family cabin all the time but contributes nothing
Is lazy, entitled, arrogant, throws hissy fits when things don’t go his way.
Nothing is ever his fault. Ever. Always someone else to blame.
Dad has since passed on and he is verbally abuse to mom. She has told us this. She doesn’t like going to the cabin with him. She has told me she is tired of him and no longer wants to support an adult child.

His enabling bothered me for years as I attended the family cabin, as I worked and chipped in financially to help out mom and dad. My choice. I can’t sit on a dock all day and drink beer while an 80 year old man works. Call me old fashioned. This went on for 8 years until he made a comment that made me realize I was not a brother, but just another employee at “hotel Jeff”.

No more cabin. Done. Not my cabin, not my business. See ya.

Dad gets sick, and passes. All the while no support from Jeff. In fact he is holed up in the basement the whole time offering no support to the family. To his defense he did attend the service.

Mom approaches us to “buy half the cabin” as she cannot afford the whole thing, nor can she do the work. This is where I take responsibility. I should have told no thanks , we cannot afford the cabin either. You should sell, and let us know how we can help. We (me,wife and daughter) come up with a plan.

Nope. I get a crazy idea to purchase 3/4 of the cottage. Let’s say 150k total compensation. 50k of that via interest free loan forgivable upon death. We pay cash and finance through mom. If she dies we are not burdened paying back an estate. Mom agrees to gift or “preinherit” my wife the other 25% in exchange for a life interest in the property.

Cabin collapses and will be 38k to fix. All we can do is 150k total so we revise the agreement to.... we will cover repair, and pay mom the balance up to 150k. Everything the same.

Her only concern is the other siblings be allowed when she dies to attend the cabin. Especially Jeff. We tell her that as new owners we are instituting new rules but so long as rules are abided by we will,allow siblings and their children to attend subject to availability.

I,write the cheque for 38k and the cabin is repaired. Wife and I get to work cleaning, etc. throughout the summer,I learn that Jeff has not made any friends at the cabin. He has been blasting music, flying,drones, discharging firearms, getting into arguement with neighbors, and feeding the wildlife. Nothing was ever done but they’d like it to stop.

I,confront Jeff about this and of course nothing is his fault. Rules,are meant to be broken, and he will continue to shoot guns because “nobody will control me”.

We institute new rules, including no firearms. Jeff is mad and tells me he will store them elsewhere and shoot them. “Nobody tells me what to do!”

As we close up for the season,Jeff tells me I cannot take the generator home (to service) as he will need it when he comes out in the winter. We don’t want him in the winter because he may burn the place down, and/or use up all the firewood as he won’t cut wood.

I tell him I will talk to his sister about it. “WHAT!! WHAT TO TALK ABOUT ? IVE BEEN COMING OUT HERE IN THE WINTER FOR 38 YEARs!”
I explain to him that he is a guest he loses it. “I’ll run this by mom and see what she says!” (We don’t legally own the cabin at this point. Cabin repair was paid for before paperwork to get things rolling). It’s called trust. It’s family right?

I have the lawyer draw up paperwork and we have a talk with mom. I explain my concerns and there will be newer rules. I call her son an ass@#$%.

Mom comes over Saturday to discuss some concerns and go over the paperwork. Awesome. Go through it and book lawyer appointment.

Mom opens up with a lecture about trust and how she doesn’t trust that Jeff will be allowed at the cabin. It’s not sitting well with her because he has a right to be there. He’s been coming out for 38 years don’t you know?

She then assasinates my character with trivial examples to justify her sons behavior.

She then waves “our deal” at us stating a smaller cabin has sold for more money than we are paying. We should be thankful. She mentions the interest free loan, and if she dies we are “getting something for nothing”. She’s asks me why I think I deserve such a deal and not the other,children/ in-laws.

She’s all over the map so I ask her outright what does she want? “I want to keep,10% and will it to,Jeff. I can always change it if he doesn’t smarten up. She gives several examples of how Jeff isnt a bad guy, and how he was starting to pay rent when he was working.

I tell her absolutely not. That wasn’t our agreement and I will collect my tools in the spring. She gets mad that me and says “see, when you don’t get your way you stomp your,feet. “

She calls me bossy, controlling, and a bully. My god “I can’t even buy a car without you bossing me around!” (She asked me,to,reasearch cars, and to come up with a,recommendation. )

She then said I was manipulating her and took advantage of a grieving widow.

She didn’t want us to buy a,cabin. She wanted us to give her money, and Jeff continue as normal.

Yes, never mix family and business. I should have walked away. Now she supposedly is paying me back the,38k.

So my question is how,so,I deal with mom? She attacked me because I was “attacking” her son by instituting rules at the cabin.

Now she’s insulted me. I’m mad, and hurt.

I realize she is being abused so I believe she wasn’t speaking from her heart. I don’t want to punish her but I also want to hold her accountable for her,actions.

If she wants to enable her son fine, but it can’t spill into my life. I need to,set boundaries. No more errands for her if her son is at home not working. Of course I’m not going to the cabin. Jeff can do the work. If he’s entitled to be there then he can do the work.

I reached out to her to let her know I believe she is being,treated,poorly and if she needs help she can reach out. She even used that against me as manipulation.

What would you do?

iluvzbeach

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2020, 07:35:03 PM »
Oh, I am so sorry you are in this situation. It sounds impossible.

Let her pay you back the 38K and walk away from the cabin. Minimize contact, but try to have an amicable relationship.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2020, 08:04:45 PM »
Cabin is history. I need to go next year and pick up some stuff, sell an outboard, and heater I bought for “our” cabin.

I’m done. Hey I get it, Jeff is “entitled” to go because he deserves that. Fine. He can be responsible for the costs, and associated work.

I don’t know if I can have an amicable relationship. She’s being abused, but she did swing a pretty big hammer out of desperation.

Jeff actually told her he’d rather her sell the cabin outright if he didn’t “get his slice”. If,he,can’t have a slice than NO ONE should get to enjoy it.

nalor511

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 08:11:45 PM »
At this point it may be healthier for you to only exchange pleasantries with mom, and not have a deeper relationship, grating though that may seem. Similar situation of my own, and over long, agonizing years, that's what's worked best for me so far

SunnyDays

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2111
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2020, 08:22:58 PM »
Your mom isn’t being abused.  She’s a willing participant in this dysfunctional relationship.  In fact, I would say that she’s a lot like her son and perhaps he has learned his behaviours from her.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Best approach is to get out of this deal, let your mom do what she wants with the cabin and stop giving your opinion about her relationship with your brother because she will only resent you for it.  There are other cabins you can buy if that’s what you want to do that come without stress and drama.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2020, 08:26:42 PM »
Ok, but how do I deal with mom? Write her off then?

Stop.doing things for her? (Errands, etc)

Like I said I don’t,want to seem like I’m being all sour,grapes, but I want to stop doing things for her. Is that petty ?

Do I confront her? Jeff also,has to stop using my daughter as a bank. Mom has to stop complaining to,us about her son

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2020, 08:53:12 PM »
Where is your spouse in all of this?  As I understand it, it's her mom, her brother and her family cabin.

OK, first things first.  You need to talk to your daughter about establishing boundaries with her Uncle Jeff.  If you don't understand enough about establishing boundaries to explain the need for them and how to establish them in a way that will get through to your daughter you need to read up on the subject (lots of books out there)  - it will help you too.  But your daughter needs to stop enabling Uncle Jeff because it will ruin her life if she doesn't stop it now.

Secondly, you need to establish your own boundaries with mom in law.  This will need to be a joint enterprise with your spouse, and will no doubt take a lot of working through the issues.  The ongoing issues you need to agree with your spouse how you will deal with are 1) getting back the $38k you spent on cabin repairs, 2) deciding what help you are going to continue to give her, and 3) how you are going to deal with what she says to you that upsets you.

On the money, what are the chances of your getting the money back?  Do you need a written agreement?  I would tell you not to rely on anything coming to you as an inheritance, either by way of repayment or otherwise: it's highly likely that your mother in law will lie to you about what's in her will, change it without you knowing, and/or leave everything to Jeff.

On doing errands, etc., the first thing to do is to stop volunteering.  Make her ask.   If she does ask, have some answers ready.  Your immediate answer is always going to be "We'll need to think about that, we'll get back to you if we can help, in the meantime is that something Jeff could do for you."

On being angry and hurt at what she's been saying, I'm not surprised, and I'm sorry.  Again, something to talk to your spouse about, to say how angry and hurt you are and that your priority is to not let your mother in law affect your spouse and your daughter and can your spouse be aware that she and your daughter are your priority and can she help with protecting the relationship between the two of you.

Best of luck.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2020, 09:28:41 PM »
Where is your spouse in all of this?  As I understand it, it's her mom, her brother and her family cabin.

OK, first things first.  You need to talk to your daughter about establishing boundaries with her Uncle Jeff.  If you don't understand enough about establishing boundaries to explain the need for them and how to establish them in a way that will get through to your daughter you need to read up on the subject (lots of books out there)  - it will help you too.  But your daughter needs to stop enabling Uncle Jeff because it will ruin her life if she doesn't stop it now.

Secondly, you need to establish your own boundaries with mom in law.  This will need to be a joint enterprise with your spouse, and will no doubt take a lot of working through the issues.  The ongoing issues you need to agree with your spouse how you will deal with are 1) getting back the $38k you spent on cabin repairs, 2) deciding what help you are going to continue to give her, and 3) how you are going to deal with what she says to you that upsets you.

On the money, what are the chances of your getting the money back?  Do you need a written agreement?  I would tell you not to rely on anything coming to you as an inheritance, either by way of repayment or otherwise: it's highly likely that your mother in law will lie to you about what's in her will, change it without you knowing, and/or leave everything to Jeff.

On doing errands, etc., the first thing to do is to stop volunteering.  Make her ask.   If she does ask, have some answers ready.  Your immediate answer is always going to be "We'll need to think about that, we'll get back to you if we can help, in the meantime is that something Jeff could do for you."

On being angry and hurt at what she's been saying, I'm not surprised, and I'm sorry.  Again, something to talk to your spouse about, to say how angry and hurt you are and that your priority is to not let your mother in law affect your spouse and your daughter and can your spouse be aware that she and your daughter are your priority and can she help with protecting the relationship between the two of you.

Best of luck.

Ok, daughter has been instructed to no longer lend him money, or finance anything he buys used from her (computer parts for example). She has also been told to notify us if he asks for money.

I believe she will pay me back. She has 20k in savings, and was going to get a loan for the balance. I have never, nor will I ever expect an inheritance from anyone. If she doesn’t pay me back I will contact a lawyer to explore options.

Definitely I will not volunteer anything. I like the “I will think about it, and get back to you if I can help out”. I will not “get back to her”

Spouse and daughter are pretty pissed at her. We were all buying the cabin together so she didn’t just place Jeff above me (understandable I’m not blood) but above her daughter and granddaughter.

She said if her mom ever sold the cabin she would disown her. If she sells because Jeff didn’t get her slice mom is done. We our offer was fair, and wasn’t an issue until Jeff became worried he may not be invited out.

My daughter believes this was a last minute attempt to,StrongArm us. I never felt good about this decision. It never felt like we were buying a cabin, but rather pumping money into Jeff’s clubhouse.

My wife defended Jeff early on but her narrative has changed. His recent “if I can’t have the cabin, no one will” has,revealed his true self. He doesn’t care about the cabin. She always had this “pipe dream” of her brother and I developing some kind of bond.

To date I’m the only person who has managed to get him to briefly come out of the basement and engage. I,have no use for the guy. None. I’ve given him benefit of doubt. I tried to get him involved at the cabin.

It’s sad because wife grew up at the cabin. She was a single parent and our daughter had a place to go as wife didn’t have any money after bills.

I really tried to make this work, but here brother is just too much. And trying to work with an enabled person if taxing.

norajean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 603
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2020, 09:42:09 PM »
 Cherish The Cabin!

plog

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 248
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2020, 12:15:24 AM »
Quote
What would you do?

I would shut up and disengage.  To play hindsight quarterback, I would have done this from the get go. 

I'm glad you use terms like 'mom' and 'dad' for your in-laws, but now your seeing where true family loyalty lies.  This was and is your wife's battle to be the leader of.  Your job is to be quiet and be supportive of your wife when she discusses this issue with her biological family.  Bitch all you want in private to your wife about the matter, but you cant tell a woman whose not your mother that her worthless son is worthless.

That was as big a mistake as buying into the deal to begin with.

BikeFanatic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 655
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2020, 04:33:48 AM »
The best you could do is set healthy boundaries for yourself, and it seems like your spouse has had rose colored glasses when dealing with her own family. And realistically who would not want to maintain ties with their siblings and mother regardless of how flawed they are. But your mother in law did you a favor by exposing who she really is and how her and her son are primary and you are other or very secondary. You are at least no longer being manipulated and strung along. Now you and your family can be a united front. No more favors, no more money, no expectations.

I do feel for you and your family, your daughter has likely lost her grandma, and you are hurt as well.
Space will help you heal, it is not a matter of right and wrong really. They are who they are, you see them as such and now your family can also. Even though it cost you a healthy sum, you are now saving years of drama and heart ache by separating now. They exposed themselves to your wife and daughter
Almost doing you a favor. With time and space and very strong boundaries maybe you can have a relationship in the future but on your terms and never as deep as you had before.

researcher1

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 466
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2020, 05:49:04 AM »
Where is your spouse in all of this?  As I understand it, it's her mom, her brother and her family cabin.
.
.
.
I really tried to make this work, but here brother is just too much. And trying to work with an enabled person if taxing.
It is interesting that you never really answered the primary question being asked...
Where is your spouse in all of this?

It is her family.  She should be taking the lead on this.
You have injected yourself way too much into the situation.
You seem to have a very unhealthy fixation with "Jeff".

ctuser1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2020, 06:11:18 AM »
I'd second (third? fourth?) the opinion that you need to let your spouse take the lead on this issue.

Given it is family, if I was ever in the same position then I would just write off any existing investments you have made ($38k? $150k? $38k+$150k?). Stringing this whole thing along will only cause further damages to the relationship. Given you are also at fault, at least partially, I would probably not demand money back from the situation - unless that money is tied to something critical like paying for your daughter's college etc.

In future, you may want make sure it is your spouse who deals with any contentious family issues on her side, and that you stay away from doing any kind of financial "transaction" or "business" with family.


Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7931
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2020, 06:35:35 AM »
I agree with everyone else here that you need to step back and let go quite a bit.

This is not your mother, it's your spouse's mother and your kid's grandmother. It's not up to you how involved they choose to be with her, you don't actually get to make that decision. You can decide how involved *you* want to be.

What I mean is, back off and let your spouse be the main person to deal with their own mother, to decide what to push on and what to back off on. To decide how much to help and when to say no. To decide their own boundaries with their own parent.

Have a very frank discussion as a couple about your expectations of being paid back, and let your spouse decide if they're willing to resort to involving a lawyer.

The mistake of dumping money into the cabin is already done. It was clearly a mistake from the beginning, especially giving money without any kind of financial papers drawn up, so you may need to brace yourself for losing that money if your spouse isn't willing to go after her mother for it.

Your brother in law is a mess, but his mom is entitled to enable him, moms have that divine right, and you really have no place challenging that.

You *are* absolutely entitled to remove yourself from any relationship with him though. You are also absolutely entitled to request of your spouse that she play interference to help minimize your interaction with him. But really, Jeff's just an asshole brother in law who shouldn't matter to you this much. He's only an issue for you because you let him be an issue for you, because you didn't have appropriate boundaries to begin with.

Don't get me wrong, you have rights here, and it is your spouse's responsibility to help manage her family. However, it is not your responsibility or right to insert yourself into her family drama.

Let your spouse take the lead from here on out.
Why haven't they up to this point??

DeniseNJ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 567
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2020, 07:17:39 AM »
I know you are sad. I would encourage you to consider Jeff mentally ill suffering from depression, and his mother as abused and trapped by having been his caregiver his entire life.  Forgive them, forget this incident. Get your money back. Be pleasant and gracious, even loving moving forward. Say happily, "We'll just take the money back and you should do what you want with your cabin, no hard feelings." Let them live their lives and you can still be happy for them.

BUT, don't do anything to offer any help financial or otherwise.  If anyone asks for anything you say, "sorry I wish I could help but I just can't now." Smile.  No confrontation, no hostility. Wish them the very bast and mean it.  And when she complains about anything, including Jeff, change the subject.

Move past this and pity them.

Laura33

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2921
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2020, 07:49:43 AM »
First, I'm sorry that your good intentions were met with disrespect and even vitriol.

Second, everything that @Malcat said.  The reality is this is not your problem to fix -- it's not even your wife's!  I hope this recent incident with your MIL has demonstrated that the "story" isn't this poor, helpless old lady being taken advantage of by a good-for-nothing abusive son.  She played a huge role in creating the dynamic, she continues to play a huge role in perpetuating it, and she does so because she gets something out of it.  Who knows what that is -- martyr?  Victim?  All the attention of people rushing in to save her?  You can't know, and in fact you don't have to know.  All you need to understand is that she created this dynamic and she will continue to choose it, every day, unless and until she decides she wants something different.  And all you can do for yourself is choose not to play your assigned role -- and expect your "reward" to be more distance and vitriol. 

You need to disengage mentally.  That means both stop trying to fix AND stop letting them get under your skin.  Because I guarantee they are going to act like toddlers:  if they can't get your attention in the nice way, they'll do it by throwing a tantrum, and they'll keep upping the stakes until they get the response they want.  Let your wife take the lead on all discussions.  Be polite in general social interactions.  If they call you directly to ask you for something, either say (nicely!) sorry, I can't manage that, or tell them that you need to discuss it with DW and will get back to them. 

As to the money?  Honestly, I'd consider it gone.  Your MIL can't afford to pay you back, and even if she could, it would just be another excuse to suck you in to the continued drama.  The most I'd suggest would be to talk to a lawyer to see if you can place a lien on the cabin for the value of the repairs you made.  That wouldn't interfere with their ongoing use, but it would prevent them from selling it (or giving it to BIL free and clear) before you get your $38K back. 

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7931
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2020, 08:37:57 AM »
First, I'm sorry that your good intentions were met with disrespect and even vitriol.

Second, everything that @Malcat said.  The reality is this is not your problem to fix -- it's not even your wife's!  I hope this recent incident with your MIL has demonstrated that the "story" isn't this poor, helpless old lady being taken advantage of by a good-for-nothing abusive son.  She played a huge role in creating the dynamic, she continues to play a huge role in perpetuating it, and she does so because she gets something out of it.  Who knows what that is -- martyr?  Victim?  All the attention of people rushing in to save her?  You can't know, and in fact you don't have to know.  All you need to understand is that she created this dynamic and she will continue to choose it, every day, unless and until she decides she wants something different.  And all you can do for yourself is choose not to play your assigned role -- and expect your "reward" to be more distance and vitriol. 

You need to disengage mentally.  That means both stop trying to fix AND stop letting them get under your skin.  Because I guarantee they are going to act like toddlers:  if they can't get your attention in the nice way, they'll do it by throwing a tantrum, and they'll keep upping the stakes until they get the response they want.  Let your wife take the lead on all discussions.  Be polite in general social interactions.  If they call you directly to ask you for something, either say (nicely!) sorry, I can't manage that, or tell them that you need to discuss it with DW and will get back to them. 

As to the money?  Honestly, I'd consider it gone.  Your MIL can't afford to pay you back, and even if she could, it would just be another excuse to suck you in to the continued drama.  The most I'd suggest would be to talk to a lawyer to see if you can place a lien on the cabin for the value of the repairs you made.  That wouldn't interfere with their ongoing use, but it would prevent them from selling it (or giving it to BIL free and clear) before you get your $38K back.

This is a great idea, but I would still leave it up to your spouse to determine what/if she's willing to do to try and recoup the money.

Unless you have totally separate finances, and this is *your* money you've lost and are determined to get back, then I would state your preference to your spouse if you strongly want it back, but still leave it with them to decide how to handle their mother.

You have a right to be heard, and right for your needs to be cared about by your spouse, but it's really not your place to go after your spouse's parent for money.

DH and I were in a similar position with my family, and lost a fair amount of money. However, a huge difference was that I protected my DH. I cleared every ounce of help I gave them with him, but advised that any money we loan could be permanently lost. He went into it with eyes open.

I handled all communication, I handled all of the ensuing disastrous conflict, and DH's job was to support me through it, and speak up when he needed emotional space and not to go to a family event.

It was very, very much my responsibility to deal with my parents, and to protect my DH. It was his responsibility to respect my relationship with my parents, and to give me the emotional support I needed to handle it.

At no point would it have EVER been appropriate for my mother to attack my DH, and believe me, I would have verbally eviscerated her had she ever done so. It would have also at no point ever been appropriate for DH to sue my mother.

The good news is, a year later and we're all getting along famously again.

You and your spouse need to really sit down and hash out your roles and boundaries. Do not misinterpret what I'm saying to mean that your needs don't matter. Quite the contrary. I'm trying to say that you need a strict code of conduct in order for your needs to be met appropriately, and you being overly involved with her family conflict is not the way for that to happen.

Sibley

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5376
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2020, 09:57:03 AM »
May I recommend the book Boundaries?

Otherwise, everything I could say has been covered, and said better than I would say it.

ericrugiero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 722
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2020, 10:35:02 AM »
As others have pointed out, your wife should be taking the lead on this.  Sit down with her and talk through your shared goals and what the new dynamic will be with her hopefully taking the lead. 

You made a mistake of getting overly involved in this without clear boundaries and expectations.  The $38K might be gone.  You and your wife need to decide what that money is worth to you.  Filing a lawsuit or a lien might work but would damage your relationship much further.  Is that worth it or should you just consider it lost and move forward with better boundaries?  You and your wife need to decide that together. 

Your MIL and BIL are both clearly messed up and at fault here.  But, you should realize you can't control them.  You can only control yourself.  Being mad at them and holding a grudge will only hurt you and your wife.  You need to accept that you overstepped your role and not hold that against them.  Moving forward, you can set whatever boundaries you want to protect yourself.  Best case scenario, your MIL gives the $38K back to you and you can have a cordial relationship with her while staying out of the family drama.  The cabin belongs to your MIL and she can do whatever she wants with it.  If it was me, I would try to have a cordial relationship with her and do what you think is right in cabin maintenance and helping out.  Don't do so much that you are enabling your BIL but also don't follow his lead in taking advantage of your MIL.  If she wants to enable her son, that's not your business, but you also don't have to participate. 

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7953
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2020, 10:52:18 AM »
Consider the $38K gone and the cost of learning an important lesson. If it was me I would be polite with everyone when I had to at essential family functions, but I'd skip anything beyond that. I would not be going to the cabin in the summer. Let them enjoy it and maintain it. You can rent a vacation property somewhere else if you want that experience without the family drama.

I have a defective brother. He shat the bed so many times and is just a poor human being so I stopped being involved in the drama. I haven't spoken to him in over a decade other than polite small talk the few times when we were both at a family function. My stress levels and general hassles dropped by 90%, which made it pretty clear to me how damaging having a relationship with him was for me. It's sad, but I am not going to change an adult's behaviour to the extent necessary to get to a good place so I did the next best thing and disengaged. When my parents, who are in their 90's die, I won't have anything to do with him again.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2020, 01:55:59 PM »
We have seperate finances. This was my money. It was not a gift, or a loan it was part of the deal.

My wife and daughter expect her to pay the money back. And they did defend me.

Hey I get it, she gave birth to him (I’m now pro choice ) and not me. I get it. I’m second fiddle. Wife and daughter are upset because she’s placed Jeff above them. The three of us were buying the cabin. Not just me. All,three,of us shared the same concerns about Jeff.

Some one brought up mental illness. We suspect that, (I actually suspect FAS ) but until he’s diagnosed, he’s just an entitled prick.

Yes I know some think it isn’t (or wasn't ) my place, but I was putting up most of the money. If I’m paying for dinner I absolutely have a say on what’s on the menu.

Moral of the story is never mix business with family.

I’ll leave it up to,her as to how to,treat her mom. As for the money, a,deal is,a,deal. Mom isn’t worth 38k. I’d rather have the money

Sibley

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5376
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2020, 03:15:30 PM »
OK, then given it was your money, discuss with your wife and then file a lean on the property. Hopefully you have documentation. A lawyer would be helpful. If it's repaid prior to sale of the property, great. But a lean will protect you.

Otherwise, drop the rope.

Letj

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2020, 08:50:55 PM »
I am afraid that what you see as enabling is likely mom helping out a disabled child. I could have written the exact description you gave of Jeff’s behavior about a close family member who has autistic spectrum disorder (high functioning formerly known as Aspergers). They often can only view the world from their perspective and can’t often see how their behavior affects others because they don’t have theory of mind.  A high percentage as high as 80% also have various comorbidities like anxiety, social phobia and crippling depression. They also do not know how to handle emotionally charged situations like death and may withdraw. I am speaking from my experience with individuals I know with Aspergers. I am willing to bet that mom knows something is wrong with him but do not know what it is. Ask your wife to do some research on ASD or Aspergers and she’ll likely see her brother.  Unfortunately, if he has what I strongly suspect, he is a lifelong problem for his mother. Most people with Aspergers go through life never knowing why they are so different and people dismiss them as weird, rude, quirky, etc.

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2020, 02:00:13 AM »
I am afraid that what you see as enabling is likely mom helping out a disabled child. I could have written the exact description you gave of Jeff’s behavior about a close family member who has autistic spectrum disorder (high functioning formerly known as Aspergers). They often can only view the world from their perspective and can’t often see how their behavior affects others because they don’t have theory of mind.  A high percentage as high as 80% also have various comorbidities like anxiety, social phobia and crippling depression. They also do not know how to handle emotionally charged situations like death and may withdraw. I am speaking from my experience with individuals I know with Aspergers. I am willing to bet that mom knows something is wrong with him but do not know what it is. Ask your wife to do some research on ASD or Aspergers and she’ll likely see her brother.  Unfortunately, if he has what I strongly suspect, he is a lifelong problem for his mother. Most people with Aspergers go through life never knowing why they are so different and people dismiss them as weird, rude, quirky, etc.
A child who is on the autism spectrum but has intelligence in the normal range will be quirky or even worse but also has the capacity to be taught, over the 18 years in which they are a child, not to be an entitled asshole

six-car-habit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 458
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2020, 02:37:45 AM »
Quote *** " Nope. I get a crazy idea to purchase 3/4 of the cottage. Let’s say 150k total compensation. 50k of that via interest free loan forgivable upon death. We pay cash and finance through mom. If she dies we are not burdened paying back an estate. Mom agrees to gift or “preinherit” my wife the other 25% in exchange for a life interest in the property.

Cabin collapses and will be 38k to fix. All we can do is 150k total so we revise the agreement to.... we will cover repair, and pay mom the balance up to 150k. Everything the same.

Her only concern is the other siblings be allowed when she dies to attend the cabin. Especially Jeff. We tell her that as new owners we are instituting new rules but so long as rules are abided by we will,allow siblings and their children to attend subject to availability.

She then waves “our deal” at us stating a smaller cabin has sold for more money than we are paying. We should be thankful. She mentions the interest free loan, and if she dies we are “getting something for nothing”. She’s asks me why I think I deserve such a deal and not the other,children/ in-laws." **** Quote


  When i read this yesterday , i was thinking the MIL was being unreasonable about the cabin purchase, but now that i read it a second time,  not as unreasonable as i previously thought.....
     
   A]. If she dies the day after the contract was signed, you may have paid only $100K for the property in total. Since her estate would not collect on the $50,000 she 'financed' . Nor would you have paid anything for the remaining 25% [another 50K] which was swapped for the 'life interest" and seems like an early inheritance.
  B]   She hasn't gotten any percentage of the property figured in for any other siblings, so essentially she has " written them off " in regards to them recieving any portion of the cabin property as part of their inheritance - maybe she is second guessing agreeing to this ?  Cold feet # 1.
  C] .   Its hard to say from your description if the $200K value for the property is below market value for the area or not . is it ?
  D]  How are the other siblings, besides Jeff,  guaranteed the right to visit and use the cabin after her death, as she stated was important to her? Was it spelled out in the contract ?    Cold feet # 2
  E ]   Mistake to say you were implementing new rules before - having a signed contract.
   F]  Also what were to be the rules for her "life estate - life interest " - if she wanted to have her Old Friend Wanda visit and stay the weekend, would she need your permission for Wanda to stay ?  If Wanda was ok, why not Jeff, or another child of hers.
       I can rent out a house to a tenant, and i can stipulate the maximum # of people who can  live at the house, and I can say that guests can only stay X number of nights, but as the landlord i can't really say my tennant cant have any guests, ever.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2020, 03:44:53 AM »
Quote *** " Nope. I get a crazy idea to purchase 3/4 of the cottage. Let’s say 150k total compensation. 50k of that via interest free loan forgivable upon death. We pay cash and finance through mom. If she dies we are not burdened paying back an estate. Mom agrees to gift or “preinherit” my wife the other 25% in exchange for a life interest in the property.

Cabin collapses and will be 38k to fix. All we can do is 150k total so we revise the agreement to.... we will cover repair, and pay mom the balance up to 150k. Everything the same.

Her only concern is the other siblings be allowed when she dies to attend the cabin. Especially Jeff. We tell her that as new owners we are instituting new rules but so long as rules are abided by we will,allow siblings and their children to attend subject to availability.

She then waves “our deal” at us stating a smaller cabin has sold for more money than we are paying. We should be thankful. She mentions the interest free loan, and if she dies we are “getting something for nothing”. She’s asks me why I think I deserve such a deal and not the other,children/ in-laws." **** Quote


  When i read this yesterday , i was thinking the MIL was being unreasonable about the cabin purchase, but now that i read it a second time,  not as unreasonable as i previously thought.....
     
   A]. If she dies the day after the contract was signed, you may have paid only $100K for the property in total. Since her estate would not collect on the $50,000 she 'financed' . Nor would you have paid anything for the remaining 25% [another 50K] which was swapped for the 'life interest" and seems like an early inheritance.
  B]   She hasn't gotten any percentage of the property figured in for any other siblings, so essentially she has " written them off " in regards to them recieving any portion of the cabin property as part of their inheritance - maybe she is second guessing agreeing to this ?  Cold feet # 1.
  C] .   Its hard to say from your description if the $200K value for the property is below market value for the area or not . is it ?
  D]  How are the other siblings, besides Jeff,  guaranteed the right to visit and use the cabin after her death, as she stated was important to her? Was it spelled out in the contract ?    Cold feet # 2
  E ]   Mistake to say you were implementing new rules before - having a signed contract.
   F]  Also what were to be the rules for her "life estate - life interest " - if she wanted to have her Old Friend Wanda visit and stay the weekend, would she need your permission for Wanda to stay ?  If Wanda was ok, why not Jeff, or another child of hers.
       I can rent out a house to a tenant, and i can stipulate the maximum # of people who can  live at the house, and I can say that guests can only stay X number of nights, but as the landlord i can't really say my tennant cant have any guests, ever.

A; this was to protect us,from a financial surprise. The,cabin,requires upkeep and upgrade. We weren’t hoping we sign the deal and mom dies the next day.

 B: none of the other,children,are in a position to buy. One child has her own cabin. We were approached

 C;: we are getting a good price. Mom was told “this is all we can afford”. We had cash, the. The “loan” from mom.

D: siblings,would be allowed if they followed rules. We would not put it in writing. We’re buying a cabin.

E: I disagree. The 38k was a down payment. Yes legally it’s not binding but I did everything at the cabin, made the phone calls, lots of work. Everything moved fast. I thought I was “doing the right thing”. If I waited for the paperwork, meetings, etc (everything is slower cause covid) the cabin would possibly still be on the ground.

F: life estate was for her only. It couldn’t be sold or transferred and expired on death. Her guests would have to be approved by us ( we didn’t even get to the point of spelling this out for her it all went south. ) we’d never deny guests. This was to protect us from Jeff back door if himself through “mommy”

Yes we were getting some benefits but so was mom. It was a win win and I thought pretty good considering I never wanted to own a cabin.

Bottom line was it was a deal that we all agreed on. When we first started talking I was carefull not to mention Jeff specifically. I refered to any potential problems down the road in a generic term. Mom even chuckled and said “ for Christ sakes let’s address the elephant. We are all talking about Jeff”

Bott0m line is,I should have just walked away. She wants her son to,get something (or she’s just afraid of him)

It wasn’t an issue until Saturday. It’s funny because he loves the place so much that he’s entitled to a slice, and defends his entitlement,because he was close to,dad and they spent so much time. It’s sacred, except if,he,can’t own it  then mom,should,sell it and no one in the family will enjoy the special sacred place. It makes,absolutely no,sense.

Anyways the issue at  hand is wife says I will get my money back. But she doesn’t want to talk about it. She,wants to,wait until mom talks first.

But if no one talks then that’s not good either. I’m trying to keep out of it. It’s my money so,downer told that give me a,responsibility to ask the mom? She’s said,she needs a few days. This was one week today. She’s had 5 business days.

Is she waiting for us to accept her hers terms?

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7931
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2020, 06:04:54 AM »
I'm sorry, because of all of the commas, I couldn't quite understand your last few paragraphs and who is asking who to talk and who is waiting for what?

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2020, 09:29:42 AM »
I am afraid that what you see as enabling is likely mom helping out a disabled child. I could have written the exact description you gave of Jeff’s behavior about a close family member who has autistic spectrum disorder (high functioning formerly known as Aspergers). They often can only view the world from their perspective and can’t often see how their behavior affects others because they don’t have theory of mind.  A high percentage as high as 80% also have various comorbidities like anxiety, social phobia and crippling depression. They also do not know how to handle emotionally charged situations like death and may withdraw. I am speaking from my experience with individuals I know with Aspergers. I am willing to bet that mom knows something is wrong with him but do not know what it is. Ask your wife to do some research on ASD or Aspergers and she’ll likely see her brother.  Unfortunately, if he has what I strongly suspect, he is a lifelong problem for his mother. Most people with Aspergers go through life never knowing why they are so different and people dismiss them as weird, rude, quirky, etc.
A child who is on the autism spectrum but has intelligence in the normal range will be quirky or even worse but also has the capacity to be taught, over the 18 years in which they are a child, not to be an entitled asshole

I actually suspected some kind of spectrum at first. Then I actually thought FAS. Then again maybe he is just an asshole. People can sometimes be asshole. He’s obsessed about guns, and if your job involves carrying a gun your his best friend. He kills squirrels, and chipmunks to feed the fox. He’s obsessed about feeding the birds at the cabin.

But he’s dumb, but not dumb. Dumb as in he didn’t understand cremation at dads funeral and thought there was supposed to be a body and casket, yet he’s obsessed about emergency worker radio. He has a scanner and knows everything and anything about radio frequencies, how the radios operate, how to fix them, etc.

I’d even put money on the fact he could sneak into some radio geek convention and he’d be able to hold his own.

And then the next week he tries to fix the generator pull cord (take handle off and cut where frayed....retie double knot) and he had to ask cottage neighbors how to tie the knot. Smart but dumb. I always thought it was just all the pot he smokes. Maybe there is some spectrum stuff.

There is a history of mental illness in the family. Mom is concerned he has it, and may harm himself but she’s ok with him sleeping with a loaded handgun.

I asked my wife if something bad happened to him as a child ( molestation etc) and she said no.

Wife’s grandmother had dementia and I know that’s genetic so it’s possible mom has it, which May explain why she acted how she did last week. Who knows.

Not my concern. Just coming up with thoughts

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4239
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2020, 09:56:02 AM »
This isn't your mom.  It'a not your family, which means that communication is always going to be a bit less clear. 

Going forward, have your spouse deal with her mother, not you.  I would work with spouse to come up with details, have her go to her mom and say that clearly you all weren't on the same page (and perhaps apologize for that, because yes, you guys do own some of the blame on this), and then say that she thinks the best path forward is that you have no involvement in the cabin going forward and to make that happen, you'd like to come to an agreement with her about repaying the $38k so you can be completely divested from the cabin.  Agree on terms (payment schedule, interest, whatever) and have it written up (perhaps include something about late payment penalties, just in case), and include terms that is is payable in full immediately if she passes, if the lawyer thinks that's appropriate. 

You say your wife doesn't want to talk about it.  That's something the two of you need to sort out, and is in many ways a separate issue.  That's a disagreement in your marriage and you two need to talk it out and compromise.  Wife wants to wait.  How long?  Perhaps you could agree to give it until the Jan 15.  If MIL hasn't done anything, then your wife agrees to talk it out until terms are agreed upon. 

Then be done.  If MIL wants to speak to you, just don't.  It's pretty easy to screen calls.  If you are comfortable still attending family events, do, but make it clear that there are things you won't discuss, if they are brought up. 

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2020, 10:30:39 AM »
This isn't your mom.  It'a not your family, which means that communication is always going to be a bit less clear. 

Going forward, have your spouse deal with her mother, not you.  I would work with spouse to come up with details, have her go to her mom and say that clearly you all weren't on the same page (and perhaps apologize for that, because yes, you guys do own some of the blame on this), and then say that she thinks the best path forward is that you have no involvement in the cabin going forward and to make that happen, you'd like to come to an agreement with her about repaying the $38k so you can be completely divested from the cabin.  Agree on terms (payment schedule, interest, whatever) and have it written up (perhaps include something about late payment penalties, just in case), and include terms that is is payable in full immediately if she passes, if the lawyer thinks that's appropriate. 

You say your wife doesn't want to talk about it.  That's something the two of you need to sort out, and is in many ways a separate issue.  That's a disagreement in your marriage and you two need to talk it out and compromise.  Wife wants to wait.  How long?  Perhaps you could agree to give it until the Jan 15.  If MIL hasn't done anything, then your wife agrees to talk it out until terms are agreed upon. 

Then be done.  If MIL wants to speak to you, just don't.  It's pretty easy to screen calls.  If you are comfortable still attending family events, do, but make it clear that there are things you won't discuss, if they are brought up.

We WERE all on the same page. That’s what’s so messed up. It’s only when I tried to set boundaries with Jeff (which we were on the same page) that mom became aggressive. I suspect he ramped up the abuse or played the dead dad cabin means so much to me card (except it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get a slice) mom said she was tired of him, scared of him, and wanted an intervention with the three of us (mom me and wife) to deal with him.

There is nothing I need to apologize for. I did nothing wrong and developed a plan that was agreeable to all parties.

I did everything that was asked, and did so  in a way that everyone’s needs were met. All except Jeff’s needs. Lol

I suppose I was also too honest and open. It’s no secret I don’t like him so I’ve never hidden that from mom. If your a lazy free loader you will be called out. I cannot tell a lie.

I hope I don’t sound a hostile to you. I’m not. I appreciate your response. The only blame I accept is not walking away from the cabin in the first place (like 10 years ago) when I realized something was “wrong” with Jeff.

I knew he was “off” I just didn’t realize how off he is.

Anyways, the wife is and always was a “just everybody get along and things will all work out” kinda person. Non confrontational, and doesn’t like conflict. I guess most people are like that.

It’s not just this predicatment that she’s being this way.

SunnyDays

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2111
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2020, 10:30:57 AM »
From your description, he could be on the autism spectrum, but you would think that he would have been diagnosed at school.  He's only 38, so the capacity would have been there 20 odd years ago.  I mean, if he can't tie a double knot, what other simple things can't he do and why were they overlooked?  Even now, it sounds like he should be assessed, but probably it's not going to happen, unless the mom pushes for it, then maybe.  It's really not your concern right now, but I would be thinking into the future - what happens to him when mom passes?  Is he now your problem?  Something for you and your wife to consider.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2020, 11:17:22 AM »
From your description, he could be on the autism spectrum, but you would think that he would have been diagnosed at school.  He's only 38, so the capacity would have been there 20 odd years ago.  I mean, if he can't tie a double knot, what other simple things can't he do and why were they overlooked?  Even now, it sounds like he should be assessed, but probably it's not going to happen, unless the mom pushes for it, then maybe.  It's really not your concern right now, but I would be thinking into the future - what happens to him when mom passes?  Is he now your problem?  Something for you and your wife to consider.

Believe me I’ve considered what happened when mom dies. His other sister is a teacher, and has dealt with spectrums. She says no, but sometimes when your close you don’t see things. This is my issue. I’m not close, I,see things, and I call them out.

The double knot I think might be lack of confidence?? Dunno. Dad did everything at the cabin and I think dad knew he was dying and showed Jeff how to “do things” I.e winterize pumps, water lines, but he doesn’t grasp “concepts”. Dad said to turn this knob, and shut it off this way. If you do it differently he panics.

As frustrating as he is I do feel for the guy. Pretty lonely life, mom and dad did him no favors.

It’s almost like I’m watching myself on a bad TV movie, and Jeff was stolen from the crib at birth, chained in the basement and given the basics of life and then 28 years later (his age when we met) unleashed into the world.

I,honestly thought the family was setting me up when I met him (wife said he was lazy) and he was to portray a lazy, obnoxious, doofus (think stepbrothers with Will Ferrel) to see what kind of reaction they could get from “the new boyfriend). At first I thought “crap.....this guy is GOOD”.

Then came the hissy fits, door slamming, yelling, drinking, pot, etc. you can’t make this,shit up

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2020, 11:45:30 AM »
And further more mom was only concerned at first about Jeff “getting his slice”, not that she was being bullied and manipulated. Her narrative switched only when we refused to “give him his slice”.

If he “got his slice” she’d be ok with me being a bully?

It’s him. He’s ramped it up on her.

“Hey we need to trust each other”
“I’m scared Jeff will be banned”
“He’s entitled to his slice ya know”
“Look at all the things you criticize him for ....you do them too ya know?”
“I’ve done you this huge favor, and all I’m asking for is Jeff’s slice”
“Oh?? You don’t agree with me? Guess I’ll have to sell then cause Jeff’ d rather me sell and screw you all”
“Btw you manipulated me into this deal”

Thanks mom, lol.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7931
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2020, 12:06:18 PM »
From your description, he could be on the autism spectrum, but you would think that he would have been diagnosed at school.  He's only 38, so the capacity would have been there 20 odd years ago.  I mean, if he can't tie a double knot, what other simple things can't he do and why were they overlooked?  Even now, it sounds like he should be assessed, but probably it's not going to happen, unless the mom pushes for it, then maybe.  It's really not your concern right now, but I would be thinking into the future - what happens to him when mom passes?  Is he now your problem?  Something for you and your wife to consider.

I'm 38 and no one in my cohort where I grew up was ever diagnosed with autism. My step brother in retrospect clearly, clearly was autistic, and never once was he tested for anything because his school performance was pretty reasonable. We had one kid who was diagnosed with ADHD, which was the first I had ever heard of it, and he had been diagnosed in England. I myself am dyslexic and they just tossed me into the "slow class" where we spent a lot of time playing with guinea pigs.
So yeah, he could easily have slipped through the cracks at his age.

OP, I don't think that given what you knew that you really did anything necessarily wrong.
People don't really get why people say not to mix money and family until they go through it themselves. It's almost something you have to go through to really understand.

Your bigger issue here, which is very clear, is communication with your spouse. Being on the same page is not the same as having good communication. You may have both been in agreement about a lot of things, but absolutely did not communicate sufficiently about this before going ahead, especially if you put your separate money towards this without really wanting too.

I would focus your energy on the communication with your partner above anything else in this situation, because if you try to recoup your money, things are going to get uglier, and you are going to need more capacity to talk about it than the two of you have right now.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2020, 01:01:20 PM »
Holy Cats! You've got some family issues there! And I say that because I've dealt my own fair share of family issues.

The best advice I can give you is that you join www.boundaries.me
It costs $81 a year and contains over 80 courses by Dr. Henry Cloud, well known author of the NYT best seller Boundaries. You can start with a free 14 day trial. I did that first and could tell right away that this is good stuff!

If I would have known then what I've learned since April, I know I could have dealt with my family issues better. I can now counsel my children when they call me about their own dilemmas because of his courses. He also has a podcast that airs every weekday, where he counsels people with all sorts of dilemmas.

Yes, he is a Christian, but does not beat you over the head with religion. In fact, he’s kinda ground breaking in his interpretation of the Bible. Your jaw will be dropped.

Here’s a quick list of the courses I’ve taken so far: (I'm a massive note taker and this is from my notes)

Toxic People
• 10 Laws of Boundaries
   • How to Say No
   • Safe and Unsafe People
   • Safe and Unsafe People Part 2
   • How to Handle a Narcissist
   • Facing Controlling Relationships
   • Entitlement
   • Emotional Abuse
   • Codependency
   • Codependency Part 2
   • Drama
   • Hope
   • Necessary Endings
   • Revenge
   • Forgiveness


Relationships
       • 10 Laws of Boundaries
   • Vision
   • Boundaries in Relationships
   • Boundaries and Trust
   • Listening
   • Forgiveness
   • Difficult Conversations
   • Marriage Maintenance

About someone on the spectrum. Boundaries are the best things you can have when dealing with someone that might be autistic. He might be a narcissist, an addict, have a personality disorder, or is just a self-centered jerk. Bottom line, you don’t have to deal with bad behavior! His behavior is his alone!

Take the courses, or start with the podcast. You will feel better about the proper boundaries you create! I know I’m in a much better place!

Thanks for that! I’ll have a lookie.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2020, 01:27:05 PM »
From your description, he could be on the autism spectrum, but you would think that he would have been diagnosed at school.  He's only 38, so the capacity would have been there 20 odd years ago.  I mean, if he can't tie a double knot, what other simple things can't he do and why were they overlooked?  Even now, it sounds like he should be assessed, but probably it's not going to happen, unless the mom pushes for it, then maybe.  It's really not your concern right now, but I would be thinking into the future - what happens to him when mom passes?  Is he now your problem?  Something for you and your wife to consider.

I'm 38 and no one in my cohort where I grew up was ever diagnosed with autism. My step brother in retrospect clearly, clearly was autistic, and never once was he tested for anything because his school performance was pretty reasonable. We had one kid who was diagnosed with ADHD, which was the first I had ever heard of it, and he had been diagnosed in England. I myself am dyslexic and they just tossed me into the "slow class" where we spent a lot of time playing with guinea pigs.
So yeah, he could easily have slipped through the cracks at his age.

OP, I don't think that given what you knew that you really did anything necessarily wrong.
People don't really get why people say not to mix money and family until they go through it themselves. It's almost something you have to go through to really understand.

Your bigger issue here, which is very clear, is communication with your spouse. Being on the same page is not the same as having good communication. You may have both been in agreement about a lot of things, but absolutely did not communicate sufficiently about this before going ahead, especially if you put your separate money towards this without really wanting too.

I would focus your energy on the communication with your partner above anything else in this situation, because if you try to recoup your money, things are going to get uglier, and you are going to need more capacity to talk about it than the two of you have right now.

We were all,on the same page. Me wife daughter and gramma. Someone at some point has to take control of a cabin. We made it clear that it wasn’t a Jeff issue exclusively, and that we’d never own a cabin with anyone.

Mom wanted to sell, and not put up with Jeff. We stepped up but with concessions I.e not pay full price, and special loan. We said we would institute rules and if they weren’t followed that there would be consequences. Not just Jeff but everyone.

All people at the table got some, and gave some.

Everybody won except Jeff. He would have to help out, not smoke pot in the buildings, respect the neighbors, and no guns. And he couldn’t expect to come out whenever he wanted. It was not his cabin.

Mom backed out last minute.

The only issue with my wife is she’s waiting for mom to make the first move. She’s disgusted with how I was treated, and more so given what I’ve done for her family in the past.

As far as I’m concerned mom left it at I’ll get your money, give me a couple of days. So I’m expecting my refund, daughter thinks gramma will accept our original offer, and wife just wants to wait it out.

In effect we are all on a different page on how to deal with the money.

As far as mom personally, I’ll let my wife makes the call. If she wants to keep the peace I will. I will happen to be busy when mom needs help of course. If she wants nothing to do with her mom, I’m ok with that too.

If mom asks for something from me.... “I’ll have to think about it. I’ll get back to you if it’s something I can help with” and I just won’t answer her back.

I’m glad I’m done with the verification to post

Jon Bon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1340
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2020, 02:49:03 PM »
Being an asshole and being on the spectrum are not mutually exclusive, just sayin....

If it was me? At this point, I'd likely just try to buy the entire cabin. I likely would have pushed for this at the start, but I understand why mom pushed to keep "A slice" Write a formal offer do it above board. This handshake deals are how you got into trouble in the first place. I've borrowed money from family, there is paperwork and documentation. Do you have any of that? MIL can have a lawyer or at least a family friend examine the contract. A few professionals paid per hour (not a commission!) to perhaps advise you and or MIL.

Is it still possible for you to buy the entire thing? That really cleans up most of the drama IMO. If you dont want Jeff there you simply do not allow him and call the cops if he is there.

I get you are pissed (I would be furious) your getting fucked over by your own family, which sucks.  Yeah I get your the in-law as others have said but you have been around for a while, its as much as your family now as it is anyone's IMO.


firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2020, 03:03:11 PM »
Being an asshole and being on the spectrum are not mutually exclusive, just sayin....

If it was me? At this point, I'd likely just try to buy the entire cabin. I likely would have pushed for this at the start, but I understand why mom pushed to keep "A slice" Write a formal offer do it above board. This handshake deals are how you got into trouble in the first place. I've borrowed money from family, there is paperwork and documentation. Do you have any of that? MIL can have a lawyer or at least a family friend examine the contract. A few professionals paid per hour (not a commission!) to perhaps advise you and or MIL.

Is it still possible for you to buy the entire thing? That really cleans up most of the drama IMO. If you dont want Jeff there you simply do not allow him and call the cops if he is there.

I get you are pissed (I would be furious) your getting fucked over by your own family, which sucks.  Yeah I get your the in-law as others have said but you have been around for a while, its as much as your family now as it is anyone's IMO.

Yes asshole and spectrum are not the same.

I think you miss understand. Our agreement was to take 100% legal ownership of the cabin. Always was. Mom would get a life interest, and we’d have to power to,rein Jeff in. Mom didn’t want to,do that. We were “bad guys”. Rule enforcers if you will. We can’t afford to outright buy the cabin. Thus the loan and life interest. Win win. Mom gets money, cabin stays in family Jeff has rules.

Nothing was written as we were under pressure to get cabin repaired. All on good,faith. This is the delema. How to collect money?

Mom at the last minute got scared (or threatened by Jeff) that Jeff would arbitrarily be banned when she dies. He,got drunk at the cabin this year and got into a fight on the beach that “he deserved to own part of the cabin”
Neighbors had to check in on her to,see,ifshe was ok

It was going to be “our cabin” with the intent of allowing the rest of the family to use it subject to,rule availability.

At this point even if Jeff got struck by lightning and became a decent hard working gosh darn it nice guy, I’d still not buy at this point. Mom has, said I manipulated her. I can’t make another deal  with those accusations.

And at this point she hasn’t said she’s not going to pay me back. She said she needs a couple days. It’s been a week.

Pushing for Jeff’s “slice” only happened last week after we started laying down the law (we wanted to close up the cabin and he lost his shit). We hadn’t signed any paperwork to this point other than the cheque. We were acting like owners. Mom was onboard the whole time.

That’s the delema is she being abused, or is she truly the enabler? Or both?

Had I,waited,for legal papers the cabin would be on the ground. I was “being the nice guy”< and “doing the right things”. I trusted mom. The very thing she is accusing me OFnot doing.

At this point I believe she will pay me back and try to “make a go” of,the cabin for dear Jeff. . This will fail

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2020, 03:40:59 PM »
A verbal agreement and a cashed check is enough of a contract according to contract law. That means that you could take this to small claims court and potentially get a judgement. I doubt that's worth your time though.
Personally I would assume the money was gone forever and walk away from the cabin. With the paperwork still officially in your mother-in-laws name this makes it easier to walk away.

You would be better off if you let go emotionally of the cabin. If Jeff burns it down, it's not your problem. You should not be worried about protecting a cabin.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7011
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2020, 04:06:25 PM »
If he has FAS then it’s his mom’s fault and maybe that’s why she babies him. It would explain his stunted emotional growth.  I would either get my money back or put a lien on the cabin. I wouldn’t want to go there anymore.

ctuser1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2020, 04:30:27 PM »
I’ll leave it up to,her as to how to,treat her mom. As for the money, a,deal is,a,deal. Mom isn’t worth 38k. I’d rather have the money

Are you sure your wife and daughter agrees with this bolded portion without being forced by you and on their own?

Dude, pardon my French, but you are now sounding like the a*sehole. You appear to claim that you place money over family, AND seem to be even forcing that decision on your wife and daughter (clue: wife is non-confrontational).


Letj

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2020, 04:51:17 PM »
I am afraid that what you see as enabling is likely mom helping out a disabled child. I could have written the exact description you gave of Jeff’s behavior about a close family member who has autistic spectrum disorder (high functioning formerly known as Aspergers). They often can only view the world from their perspective and can’t often see how their behavior affects others because they don’t have theory of mind.  A high percentage as high as 80% also have various comorbidities like anxiety, social phobia and crippling depression. They also do not know how to handle emotionally charged situations like death and may withdraw. I am speaking from my experience with individuals I know with Aspergers. I am willing to bet that mom knows something is wrong with him but do not know what it is. Ask your wife to do some research on ASD or Aspergers and she’ll likely see her brother.  Unfortunately, if he has what I strongly suspect, he is a lifelong problem for his mother. Most people with Aspergers go through life never knowing why they are so different and people dismiss them as weird, rude, quirky, etc.
A child who is on the autism spectrum but has intelligence in the normal range will be quirky or even worse but also has the capacity to be taught, over the 18 years in which they are a child, not to be an entitled asshole

I actually suspected some kind of spectrum at first. Then I actually thought FAS. Then again maybe he is just an asshole. People can sometimes be asshole. He’s obsessed about guns, and if your job involves carrying a gun your his best friend. He kills squirrels, and chipmunks to feed the fox. He’s obsessed about feeding the birds at the cabin.

But he’s dumb, but not dumb. Dumb as in he didn’t understand cremation at dads funeral and thought there was supposed to be a body and casket, yet he’s obsessed about emergency worker radio. He has a scanner and knows everything and anything about radio frequencies, how the radios operate, how to fix them, etc.

I’d even put money on the fact he could sneak into some radio geek convention and he’d be able to hold his own.

And then the next week he tries to fix the generator pull cord (take handle off and cut where frayed....retie double knot) and he had to ask cottage neighbors how to tie the knot. Smart but dumb. I always thought it was just all the pot he smokes. Maybe there is some spectrum stuff.

There is a history of mental illness in the family. Mom is concerned he has it, and may harm himself but she’s ok with him sleeping with a loaded handgun.

I asked my wife if something bad happened to him as a child ( molestation etc) and she said no.

Wife’s grandmother had dementia and I know that’s genetic so it’s possible mom has it, which May explain why she acted how she did last week. Who knows.

Not my concern. Just coming up with thoughts

All the obsessions you described are more evidence that he is likely on the spectrum. Trust me. He is suffering and doesn’t know how to articulate it. And yes his mom should be concerned about suicide. Not going to the cabin can indeed push him over the edge. ASD individuals have extremely high rates of suicide. Shockingly high. It’s the greatest health risk for them.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2020, 04:54:53 PM »
A verbal agreement and a cashed check is enough of a contract according to contract law. That means that you could take this to small claims court and potentially get a judgement. I doubt that's worth your time though.
Personally I would assume the money was gone forever and walk away from the cabin. With the paperwork still officially in your mother-in-laws name this makes it easier to walk away.

You would be better off if you let go emotionally of the cabin. If Jeff burns it down, it's not your problem. You should not be worried about protecting a cabin.

I never wanted to buy the cabin. They are poor investments. There is no emotional attachment to the cabin. I can and will walk away. My wife was the one with the emotional attachment.

Jeff too is emotionally attached so long as he owns a slice. If not mom can sell it, lol.

I’m hoping to not have to go through court.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2020, 04:56:38 PM »
I’ll leave it up to,her as to how to,treat her mom. As for the money, a,deal is,a,deal. Mom isn’t worth 38k. I’d rather have the money

Are you sure your wife and daughter agrees with this bolded portion without being forced by you and on their own?

Dude, pardon my French, but you are now sounding like the a*sehole. You appear to claim that you place money over family, AND seem to be even forcing that decision on your wife and daughter (clue: wife is non-confrontational).

Dude, business is business. A deal is a deal. A relationship with her will be done if I lose the money. You can’t make a deal and then screw anyone. Especially not family. You don’t do that to family.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2020, 04:59:52 PM »
I am afraid that what you see as enabling is likely mom helping out a disabled child. I could have written the exact description you gave of Jeff’s behavior about a close family member who has autistic spectrum disorder (high functioning formerly known as Aspergers). They often can only view the world from their perspective and can’t often see how their behavior affects others because they don’t have theory of mind.  A high percentage as high as 80% also have various comorbidities like anxiety, social phobia and crippling depression. They also do not know how to handle emotionally charged situations like death and may withdraw. I am speaking from my experience with individuals I know with Aspergers. I am willing to bet that mom knows something is wrong with him but do not know what it is. Ask your wife to do some research on ASD or Aspergers and she’ll likely see her brother.  Unfortunately, if he has what I strongly suspect, he is a lifelong problem for his mother. Most people with Aspergers go through life never knowing why they are so different and people dismiss them as weird, rude, quirky, etc.
A child who is on the autism spectrum but has intelligence in the normal range will be quirky or even worse but also has the capacity to be taught, over the 18 years in which they are a child, not to be an entitled asshole

I actually suspected some kind of spectrum at first. Then I actually thought FAS. Then again maybe he is just an asshole. People can sometimes be asshole. He’s obsessed about guns, and if your job involves carrying a gun your his best friend. He kills squirrels, and chipmunks to feed the fox. He’s obsessed about feeding the birds at the cabin.

But he’s dumb, but not dumb. Dumb as in he didn’t understand cremation at dads funeral and thought there was supposed to be a body and casket, yet he’s obsessed about emergency worker radio. He has a scanner and knows everything and anything about radio frequencies, how the radios operate, how to fix them, etc.

I’d even put money on the fact he could sneak into some radio geek convention and he’d be able to hold his own.

And then the next week he tries to fix the generator pull cord (take handle off and cut where frayed....retie double knot) and he had to ask cottage neighbors how to tie the knot. Smart but dumb. I always thought it was just all the pot he smokes. Maybe there is some spectrum stuff.

There is a history of mental illness in the family. Mom is concerned he has it, and may harm himself but she’s ok with him sleeping with a loaded handgun.

I asked my wife if something bad happened to him as a child ( molestation etc) and she said no.

Wife’s grandmother had dementia and I know that’s genetic so it’s possible mom has it, which May explain why she acted how she did last week. Who knows.

Not my concern. Just coming up with thoughts

All the obsessions you described are more evidence that he is likely on the spectrum. Trust me. He is suffering and doesn’t know how to articulate it. And yes his mom should be concerned about suicide. Not going to the cabin can indeed push him over the edge. ASD individuals have extremely high rates of suicide. Shockingly high. It’s the greatest health risk for them.

Ok so let’s assume this is the case. What can we do? She’s said she wants “help”. He won’t go to a doctor.

I’m surprised,he would slip through the crack. Most people have an issue, story, or confrontation with him. My nephew even came out to the cabin and immediately picked up that something was “off” about him.

Letj

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2020, 05:01:24 PM »
From your description, he could be on the autism spectrum, but you would think that he would have been diagnosed at school.  He's only 38, so the capacity would have been there 20 odd years ago.  I mean, if he can't tie a double knot, what other simple things can't he do and why were they overlooked?  Even now, it sounds like he should be assessed, but probably it's not going to happen, unless the mom pushes for it, then maybe.  It's really not your concern right now, but I would be thinking into the future - what happens to him when mom passes?  Is he now your problem?  Something for you and your wife to consider.
You would be surprised how easily kids can go through school and never get diagnosed. My close relative went through school and diagnosed herself at 20 after seeing a movie with an Aspergers person and realized she had all the traits including the OCD, obsessions, interest in food limited to very few foods, Crohn’s disease and other digestive system problems (70% of people on the spectrum have stomach problems), etc. Some people can easily be dismissed as shy/introverted and can easily mask.

firemoney

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2020, 05:09:52 PM »
From your description, he could be on the autism spectrum, but you would think that he would have been diagnosed at school.  He's only 38, so the capacity would have been there 20 odd years ago.  I mean, if he can't tie a double knot, what other simple things can't he do and why were they overlooked?  Even now, it sounds like he should be assessed, but probably it's not going to happen, unless the mom pushes for it, then maybe.  It's really not your concern right now, but I would be thinking into the future - what happens to him when mom passes?  Is he now your problem?  Something for you and your wife to consider.
You would be surprised how easily kids can go through school and never get diagnosed. My close relative went through school and diagnosed herself at 20 after seeing a movie with an Aspergers person and realized she had all the traits including the OCD, obsessions, interest in food limited to very few foods, Crohn’s disease and other digestive system problems (70% of people on the spectrum have stomach problems), etc. Some people can easily be dismissed as shy/introverted and can easily mask.

He’s well beyond shy and introverted. One cottage neighbor pegged him for an 8 year old. Neighbors daughter said,12-13.  And all along I thought I was just bad parenting and tons of pot/beer.

Any advice ? Not my problem? I mean if he’s just an asshole there’s really nothing to,be done, but if he is on some spectrum or something how would you go about it?

Does he know there’s something wrong? He’s told me he hates people and wished they’d all Fuck off. Again I though it’s,the booze/pot talkin....

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4239
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2020, 06:34:36 PM »
From your description, he could be on the autism spectrum, but you would think that he would have been diagnosed at school.  He's only 38, so the capacity would have been there 20 odd years ago.  I mean, if he can't tie a double knot, what other simple things can't he do and why were they overlooked?  Even now, it sounds like he should be assessed, but probably it's not going to happen, unless the mom pushes for it, then maybe.  It's really not your concern right now, but I would be thinking into the future - what happens to him when mom passes?  Is he now your problem?  Something for you and your wife to consider.
You would be surprised how easily kids can go through school and never get diagnosed. My close relative went through school and diagnosed herself at 20 after seeing a movie with an Aspergers person and realized she had all the traits including the OCD, obsessions, interest in food limited to very few foods, Crohn’s disease and other digestive system problems (70% of people on the spectrum have stomach problems), etc. Some people can easily be dismissed as shy/introverted and can easily mask.

He’s well beyond shy and introverted. One cottage neighbor pegged him for an 8 year old. Neighbors daughter said,12-13.  And all along I thought I was just bad parenting and tons of pot/beer.

Any advice ? Not my problem? I mean if he’s just an asshole there’s really nothing to,be done, but if he is on some spectrum or something how would you go about it?

Does he know there’s something wrong? He’s told me he hates people and wished they’d all Fuck off. Again I though it’s,the booze/pot talkin....

I think *YOU* are the wrong person to do anything.  Your relationship with BIL and MIL is extremely strained. You've burned any bridge that might have led to them accepting advice from you, and even without that, it mostly likely wouldn't have been well-received from an outsider, which you are.  But on top of that, under the guise of "honesty", you've said hurtful and insulting things.  There is almost no way they are going to hear anything they will consider or accept if it comes from you.  Talk to your wife, express your concern and suggest that *SHE* bring it up to her mother.  Then let her make the decision about her family.  This requires someone with tact, sensitivity, and a good relationship with the people who will be hearing a difficult message.  That's not you. 

SunnyDays

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2111
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2020, 06:40:05 PM »
If anyone wants to try for a diagnosis, the best bet is through his physician.  Even without the BIL's cooperation, you, your wife or MIL can call the doctor and voice your concerns.  No one can force him to do anything though, unless he is a danger to himself or others.  Although, getting into fights, verbally abusing his mother and sleeping with a loaded gun (in combination) may get someone's attention, if not the doctor's, then maybe the police?  Maybe your wife can have a private talk with her mom, as MIL has voiced fear of her son previously and raise the topic of getting him assessed in some way.  If you are all in agreement on this, it may carry some weight with whomever you decide to approach.

His alcohol and drug use is another possibly dangerous factor, but not uncommon with psychiatric disorders, where people try to self-medicate, usually against the associated anxiety.  Hating people and always feeling like things are everyone else's fault are common with autism diagnoses too.

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Enabling mother in law causes issues, how to deal?
« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2020, 06:43:12 PM »
If anyone wants to try for a diagnosis, the best bet is through his physician.  Even without the BIL's cooperation, you, your wife or MIL can call the doctor and voice your concerns.  No one can force him to do anything though, unless he is a danger to himself or others.  Although, getting into fights, verbally abusing his mother and sleeping with a loaded gun (in combination) may get someone's attention, if not the doctor's, then maybe the police?  Maybe your wife can have a private talk with her mom, as MIL has voiced fear of her son previously and raise the topic of getting him assessed in some way.  If you are all in agreement on this, it may carry some weight with whomever you decide to approach.

His alcohol and drug use is another possibly dangerous factor, but not uncommon with psychiatric disorders, where people try to self-medicate, usually against the associated anxiety.  Hating people and always feeling like things are everyone else's fault are common with autism diagnoses too.
Calling the police on someone with a potential mental health diagnosis who self-medicates with illegal drugs and is known to keep a loaded weapon on hand sounds like a good way to get him shot.