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AIBU to keep getting annoyed and upset about this bloody situation

(31 Posts)
DropYourSword Tue 20-Aug-13 06:16:04

I'll try to be as succinct as possible!

I married DH in December after 4 years together. Before I'd even met him he got caught up in a business venture that went tits up. It eventually left him in a huge amount of financial trouble as his business partner fled abroad and abandoned him to deal with it on his own.

DH jointy owned a property with MIL (his DM). He was forced into this at a young age when his DP's divorced and MIL was stuck. When he started his business MIL was aware of, and indeed cosigned papers that used the property as collateral for the business. When the business failed the property got repossessed, just about the time I popped up into DH's life.

Now, I have a huge amount of sympathy for MIL's situation. Although she wasn't living there she has lost her property and with it security for her future. She had never worked and lives on benefits, but the property was paid off when she was married. Now she had nothing because of her DS's mistake and that's awful. Sometimes I get extremely irritated that DH was so stupid to get involved in a business he had no clue about and risked MIL's future security. However, however irritated I get it is done now and we can't turn back the clock.

My problem is that family got involved and demanded he make it right, saying he should pay her back for her half of the house. We will never never never be able to afford to do this, so it was agreed that we would pay her back an agreed sum. This amount is more than my (and his, we earn roughly the same) yearly salary and it was decided we would pay her it within 3 years.

I know she deserves to be compensated, but this is affecting my life so much now. I wasn't around when these mistakes were made yet I now feel I'm paying the price. Between rent, bills and this repayment I have so little left at the end of each month. I'm so sick of not being able to afford anything nice when I worked and studied hard to get where I am right now. We got married on an absolute shoestring (and I truly mean that, registry office, back to my parents house for the reception, mum baked a cake etc).

I just checked my bank account this morning and I'm over drawn although I spent no money on nice things . It's all gone on petrol, insurance, registration and union fees. We are only 18 months in to the repayment and I just keep bursting into tears thinking how I can't even consider starting a family until this is over. I just feel like I'm paying a very steep price for something that was never my fault but I love my husband and he deserves support too. I just want this to be over with.

( For what it's worth, MIL is not a particularly nice woman.)

JeanBodel Tue 20-Aug-13 06:20:17

YANBU to be upset. Anyone would be upset. It's hard to be poor. If it's affecting your family plans that's even worse.

Is there any way you can lengthen the time over which the money is paid back?

If not, it is only 18 months to go. That must seem like a massive mountain to climb. But the quicker you pay back this money, the quicker you can begin your family.

FWIW I do think your husband should pay his mother some of the money she lost. Unfortunately this has a huge affect on you.

waltzingmathilda Tue 20-Aug-13 06:30:34

There is the moral ground and then there is this:

DH jointy owned a property with MIL (his DM). He was forced into this at a young age when his DP's divorced and MIL was stuck.

*When he started his business MIL was aware of, and indeed cosigned
papers that used the property as collateral for the business.*

Mil was an adult, presumably took legal advice and knew what she was signing. If she didn't her solicitor was negligent. Ditto your DH when he co-bought the property.

They have both used each other for financial gain.

My problem is that family got involved and demanded he make it right, saying he should pay her back for her half of the house.

Morally yes, I suppose so BUT the family - would that be DHs siblings - will be on the look out for an inheritance, at the moment the perception will be that DH has had it all.

DropYourSword Tue 20-Aug-13 06:40:14

Thank you Jean.. it really does help to hear that I'm not completely unreasonable. I get annoyed at myself for dredging up the same feelings again and again. And yes there is only 18 months to go, which isn't impossible, just feels endless when I'm desperate to start trying for children.

I also felt without any family pressure we had a responsibility to try and repay at least something.

Mathilda you are totally correct in pointing it she is an adult knew what she was doing. I think this is why I do get upset by this... She agreed to it at the time but when it all went wrong she played the ignorance card. She does seem to have an incredibly hard time actually listening to anything and processing information in any kind of 'normal' way.
Although DH does have siblings it wasn't actually them getting involved. It was MIL's brother. He also seemed to have very shady ulterior motives, but that's an entirely different drama story!

MothershipG Tue 20-Aug-13 07:20:34

YANBU to be upset, it sounds like you are in a horrible position, an awful combination of bad business and difficult family.

But even though it all happened before you met your DH you did know about it and you knew about it before you married him and joined your finances with his. You did choose to marry someone you knew was in 'a huge amount of financial trouble'.

My DH was getting involved in a financial arrangement with his parents just as we were getting together that I knew was a mistake (and gently tried but failed to dissuade him) so I do really sympathise but it looks like you are just going to have to push through this horrible time and look to the light at the end of the tunnel.

fluffyraggies England Tue 20-Aug-13 07:26:10

I think YABU to be wasting energy on being cross about all this happening 'before your time', and therefore it not being fair, etc. I can see your point but our partners come as a package. All their personality traits, good and bad, plus baggage, good and bad come from the past. In that respect forget about 'it shouldn't be my problem'. You've married him, so it just is now.

As for the debt. I agree that MIL bares the responsibility for signing over her assets into a situation with a risk. I don't think it is fare that DH be punished. Any compensation in the event of a loss should have been part of the agreement at the time.

How keen is DH to pay this 'debt'? What is MIL saying? Is it ALL coming from her DB?

I think asking to spread it out a little longer is one option - however, if you are wanting to start a family i would think it's best to get it out of the way asap.

How old are you OP? Remember it could take you a year or so to conceive ..... (or not, obviously) so perhaps it would be worth starting ttc in 6 roughly months time?? If a baby comes along you can ask for a lengthened period of time to pay the amount outstanding. Or ask for a break in payments.

BramshawHill Tue 20-Aug-13 07:38:10

Is it possible to tell MIL that it will actually take x amount of years to repay it, say 6 years, and reduce the amount you're paying? I do feel sorry for her for losing her property but she understood the risks when she co-signed, presumably wasn't forced into it and your husbands debt-repayment really is a goodwill gesture. No-one could legally force you to pay it.

i don't think you should be run into the ground trying to pay this off though, reduce the amount you (or both of you) are repaying so you have some left over each month and tell her "We are paying you, it just wont be 3 years, you'll have to accept that"

Runningchick123 Tue 20-Aug-13 08:13:50

Would you be able to get a loan from the bank and just repay the MIL in a Lump sum and then repay the loan over a longer period of time, making your monthly outgoings lower?

Bearbehind Tue 20-Aug-13 08:14:11

I'm with those who have said that you married him knowing all this so you really do need to suck it up for the next 18 months and then move on.

You can't dismiss anything that happened in his life before he met you just because it makes your life difficult now.

As for his mother being responsible for the debt as well, I'm guessing your husband didn't go into his business venture expecting it to fail. He probably made out it was a dead cert and maybe his mother felt obliged to help out by putting up the security as her son had helped with the mortgage when she needed it.

We'd all have more money if we didn't have to pay for our mistakes but life doesn't work like that. If he'd borrowed the money from a bank he'd either have had to pay it back or gone bankrupt, just because the debt is owed to his mother doesn't mean he can just wash his hands of it.

primroseyellow Tue 20-Aug-13 08:56:18

DH needs to get a second job so he is bearing the brunt of his mistakes and you are not being put in this position. Second job could be anything eg bar work, taxi driving, delivering/collecting hire cars, gardening at weekends in summer, shop work (eves/weekends). Tell him how you feel and that you cannot go on as you are. If he cares enough he will do this for you ... if he doesn't it does not bode well for your future together.

3ismylot Tue 20-Aug-13 10:01:57

Aside from the moral side a minute, You say that MIL is living on benefits?
So is the total repayment more than she is allowed to have stashed away before her benefits would be affected?
Is she declaring these savings?

May be worth pointing out to her that she is in danger of losing them!

DropYourSword Tue 20-Aug-13 10:50:33

Lot of interesting angles here, thanks.

Yes it could potentially affect her payments, but I'm not going to really let that concern me too much, as it is up to her if she reports our payments. I would have a good idea that she wouldn't to be honest.

Have had discussions with DH about taking a second job and he even did for a while. It's just very difficult for him to be able to do it regularly as he doesn't have normal working hours - he had irregular hours each week - so it's tricky for him to be able to commit to other regular work. I'm now looking into getting a second job to try and help out.

I do agree with those who have said I didn't go into this blind, it's part of who he is and I should just suck it up. I'd been paying this off for over a year before we even got married. I guess on the scale of things I'm not really in such a horrible situation, and mostly do get on with it but some days I just wallow in it all!

I also think because we are paying her money as a goodwill gesture rather than because we are legally obligated to it means we could really just tell her to like it or lump it if we reduce the payments, but that's not really my way. We have committed to this and are putting the pressure on ourselves to pay it off, even though it's a real financial stretch.

I really do wish it was just DH that was affected by this and not MIL. Going through bankruptcy is exceptionally difficult but at least we could have done that without affecting others.

When we pay this off I'll be 33. Granted not too old to start a family but I know it can take a while to fall pregnant. I'm tempted to start now, but I BET I'd conceive straight away! I always just assumed I'd own a house (well, have a mortgage) and have some savings in the bank to cover emergencies before we had children, but by the time we would have saved up a deposit on a house and a safety net it'd be years away. I guess it's true that there's never a perfect time to have a kid. It just terrifies me to think I might put myself in a situation where I can't provide for my family.

I am so tempted sometimes just to stop using contraception and see what happens. Tell her we will pay her what we can afford, but look, here's a wonderful grandchild! I know that she is actually looking forward to grandchildren, as are my parents. DH is sure that even when we are finished, there is nothing we could do to make it right by her. She's an extremely negative person and nothing we do will ever be enough. She tells her friends she got stuck with 'dud' kids who are a disappointment to her and has made many other similar hurtful comments.

glossyflower Tue 20-Aug-13 11:00:22

I'd have to agree with what mathilda says.

MIL knew and co operated with what was going on. Least of all DH stepped in to help her out of her own sticky situations - something that his siblings didn't do.

As for paying her the money back, yes it's probably morally right to pay her some money. But no I don't believe you should sacrifice and put your lives on hold to do so.

Sounds harsh but you guys are just starting out in your lives, she's lived hers. She made her own choices too and DH did not intentionally get the house repossessed.

Is this repayment legally binding? Did you go to a solicitor and make it legal?
If not I would talk it through with MIL say you cannot afford the repayments as it stands right now, that you will pay her just not the timescale originally agreed.

You having children is not an extravagance! It's your right to have a family of your own.

Good luck xxx

Have you spoken to your DH about how you feel? Does he know that you really want to start a family now? I also think that your repayments will/ should, if they are declared, affect your MILs benefits, in fact your DH has probably done her a favour in a roundabout way, if she had owned her own house she wouldn't have been able to live on benefits all these years, and would have no security at all because all her money would have been spent on just surviving. I feel very sorry for you, but I also think that you went into the situation knowing what it was so you have little choice between leaving, sucking it up or renegotiating the terms of the repayments, if your DH is happy with that. I wish you well.

primroseyellow Tue 20-Aug-13 17:13:40

I think it is a really bad idea for you to take a second job to pay your DH's debts. Could DH do overtime? Or adjust his hours for a period to enable him to take a second job? Or get a better paid job? Or at least a job with regular hours so that he can take a second job?
Surely DH can see that it is more his responsibility than yours. It just sounds as though you are trying harder than him to make it all work and jeopardising your own potential future family life. IMO it would be unwise to try and conceive without resolving the situation eg re-negotiating amount to be repaid and reducing repayments.

Don't take a second job.

Also try and extend the payment terms. Who demanded it should be paid within 3 years?? If I were you I would either extend the term, reminding MIL that it was partly her mistake, and no negotiation. You cannot get into a position where your overdraft just gets bigger and bigger!

LovesBeingOnHoliday Tue 20-Aug-13 20:06:30

You can reduce the payments and have this hanging around for longer, or both go flat out to pay it off ASAP and be closer to being able to try for a ba t or thirdly tell the witch to lump it she's had all she's getting from you

StuntGirl Tue 20-Aug-13 20:21:27

I think morally making some financial gesture was a nice idea but these were all adults who made decisions off their own back and took the risks that came with it. Your husband lost his business, his mum lost her house. They both knew what they were getting into. Why is your husband paying for his mistake and hers?

I'm going against the grain here but I would tell her that you've looked at your finances and you can no longer afford to keep repaying her, and since you were never obliged to anyway you are stopping it. Give her say three months notice so she can plan her finances if needed, don't just dump it on her. At the end of the day her finances are not your responsibility.

Start your family and move on from this.

edam Tue 20-Aug-13 20:26:56

I think you need to renegotiate. Dh and MIL were both adults who both knew what they were doing - or had every opportunity to get legal advice. They've both lost out but dh appears to be paying twice. And, depending what benefits MIL gets, you are right that this could be bad news for her as well.

Renegotiate the total amount and the period to something more payable. If you just stop, you will risk causing a breach with dh's family, which is something only you (plural) know how you could handle.

but, your DH used the house for his business so he should pay his mother back, how old was he when he set up this ill fated venture? how much money had he paid into the house?

BrokenSunglasses Tue 20-Aug-13 20:37:52

I don't think you can stop paying her, and I'm surprised anyone thinks. It would be ok to do that. You made the commitment, you have to stick to it.

She did make a mistake, but I think mothers can be very easily led into misguided belief in their sons abilities, and that's really what her mistake was. She trusted your DH, the price for that mistake shouldn't be complete financial ruin. Especially when your DH probably talked her into it while knowing that she had never worked so probably wasn't in a great position to make a sound business decision.

It won't last forever, you just have to keep battling through until its paid off.

StuntGirl Tue 20-Aug-13 20:43:28

I think renegotiation is the way forward definitely. Legally they don't have to pay her back. Morally they don't really either imo (all adults! all knew - or should have known - what they were doing!) It's a v. nice gesture that they have paid what they have.

When these 'repayments' are causing the OP to go overdrawn then they are unsustainable and need to be amended anyway.

I'm sure there are a million factors the OP hasn't gone into here but as the post stands, I don't think they HAVE to pay any more back and they shouldn't feel terrible if they decide not to.

parakeet Tue 20-Aug-13 20:46:04

Look, I'm sorry to be the voice of doom here, but from what you say you are either 31 or 32 and desperate for children. You shouldn't delay trying to conceive a moment longer.

If you go with this plan and the worst comes to the worst, you conceive straight away, and then you'll need to have a discussion with your MIL about reducing the payments.

If you continue with your plan and the worst comes to the worst...

StuntGirl Tue 20-Aug-13 20:48:31

My thoughts exactly parakeet. How often are women on here told to start trying for a baby nownownow no matter what the circumstances? And this woman is being told the opposite!

Steben Tue 20-Aug-13 20:51:08

I don't understand how you got dragged into this, surely it could have been his sole responsibility?

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