To think dh should have a word.

(32 Posts)
fluffypacman Mon 06-Jun-16 11:03:27

My PIL are getting older, past retirement age but still dabbling in a bit of work. They are asset rich -ish and cash poor. Health is gradually declining. They've always been very careful with money and have managed to squirrel some savings away. These are being depleted by their youngest daughter who was made redundant a few years ago and has been trying to set up an art business. She's struggling to fund her lifestyle and pay the mortgage. PIL and the entire family it seems have a habit of burying their heads in the sand and wish to avoid conflict. Their savings are running out and they've already sold some assets to fund their daughter. Daughter half heartedly applied for 2 jobs with a regular income in this time. Still wants the art to work. We're now 6 years down the line. PIL are lovely but quite naive. They're now considering selling part of their business to continue bailing out daughter. Dh has told them daughter needs to support herself and they should stop. He's not worried about inheritance or anything like that. PIL won't have the conversation, they just moan about how they're running out of money to dh. I have gently suggested dh have a quiet word with his sister but he won't. They're not that close. It's not his battle really but I think sis is taking the piss and needs to be told. It's hurting their parents. None of my business which is why I'm not saying anything direct, should I press dh further. His parents are being taken advantage of Imo.

WorraLiberty Mon 06-Jun-16 11:07:49

We're now 6 years down the line.

No, they are.

If they're not that close, I can't imagine your DH having a word with her will do anything other than cause conflict.

I think this is your PIL's decision, no matter how much it annoys you.

BeautyQueenFromMars Mon 06-Jun-16 11:12:46

I agree with Worra. It's up to your PIL what they do with their money, and if they want to keep bailing their daughter out then it's entirely their prerogative. Difficult to accept when you feel people you care about are being taken advantage of, but you are just going to have to put up with it I'm afraid.

fluffypacman Mon 06-Jun-16 11:19:34

Yes. It annoys me. It annoys dh. It annoys PIL. No one says anything though. Yes it's their decision. But they aren't decision makers and aren't terrible well equipped to deal with this. FIL has a condition which impacts on his cognition but has never liked making decisions and still has capacity. I guess not making a decision is a decision though as they're going to go with the flow until they're destitute. It's financially abusive at one extreme as she's playing on their good will and unthinking at the other. Drives us all bonkers (and I've got pmt so finding it harder to say 'they're adults, let them get on with it!').

fluffypacman Mon 06-Jun-16 11:20:47

They don't want to keep on bailing her out, they just can't have'the conversation'. That's the sad thing.

fluffypacman Mon 06-Jun-16 11:25:42

Going around in circles. I was erring on leaving it but so sad to watch them not want to support daughter but do it anyway and gradually whittle down all their hard earned assets. It's going to stop at some point. I think selling the house will be the final straw although I guess there's always equity release......

clarrrp Mon 06-Jun-16 11:34:36

If I were you I would find it very hard to keep my mouth shut, and if my partner wouldn't say anything to his sister then I would. I know it wouldn't be my business and I'd probably be crossing so many lines, but I hate seeing people be taken advantage of.

You mentioned your SIL is paying a mortgage too? and isn't even trying to find employment while she's half heartedly setting up a business. I'm sorry but that is just totally taking the piss.

diddl Mon 06-Jun-16 11:37:05

"They don't want to keep on bailing her out, "

Yeah, but not enough to actually stop doing it!

diddl Mon 06-Jun-16 11:38:39

Does your husband think that his sister is bullying/abusing them in some way?

Onlyicanclean10 Mon 06-Jun-16 11:42:07

Think it depends on how long you have been married and how close you are to your inlaws.

If my sil was acting this way I would tell her straight. However I have know them all for 30 years.

I feel for you. She sounds selfish

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 06-Jun-16 11:42:32

The thing is that you could have a word with her but if she is the type of person to happily allow her aging parents to slide into old age with no assets and savings in order to fund her half baked aspirations it's likely to have little effect.

Have your PIL's got expectations that their DD will physically look after them in their old age? In your shoes I'd simply make the odd comment that with debt comes obligation. She sounds like the type to run a mile.

RB68 Mon 06-Jun-16 11:47:04

She needs a burning bridge (ie no support) to either make or break the business. Often it is only when their back is against the wall that arty businesses start to take the business side seriously - I speak from plenty of experience here. It is difficult to make them work and they are slow burners but they can work but they do need a decent business head as well as the creative side in there.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Mon 06-Jun-16 11:54:12

This could be my parents. They moan at me about "having" to do everything for two of my sisters, but they still do it. They are still paying out every time my oldest sister fucks up and they are now well into their 70s. I've never had a penny from them and they expect me to run around after her too, despite me saying no.

You have to accept that they are allowed to make crap decisions. You can't protect them, much as you would like to. I would feel no guilt about tearing shreds out of the SIL though. It won't do any real good and you have to be prepared for her to go running to her parents to "tell on you" but you might feel better for having stood up and said something.

JustHavinABreak Mon 06-Jun-16 12:17:21

I'm not sure from your posts if this has already happened but have either you or DH clearly stated to PIL that it's ok for them to say no to SIL? Perhaps their moaning about money is their way of trying to open the conversation. They could be testing the waters to see if they would be unreasonable to put themselves before her? While that might sound very obvious to you, they may feel guilty for not "looking after their little girl". I say this because I couldn't understand why my own DM was allowing an adult sibling to run rings around her to the point of being quite EA. When I had a chat with DM she was so relieved that someone else could verify what she feared...that she was being used. It have her the courage and freedom to just put her foot down and they now have a much healthier relationship.

MunchCrunch01 Mon 06-Jun-16 12:20:24

i guess this is a pattern repeated in families over the land, of one adult child that is perceived to require more help than others. I don't think your DP would be being unreasonable to have a word with SIL but think you're on a hiding to nothing, if she's happy to have them asset-strip themselves to fun 6 years of her dream so far, she's not going to care what he says. I'd try and move on mentally.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Mon 06-Jun-16 12:21:43

What happens when they run out of funds. Will they start looking to you and your DH for the help?

blindsider Mon 06-Jun-16 12:23:52

Oh and it's always about the money...

BabyGanoush Mon 06-Jun-16 12:25:49

They are bailing her out because they want to.

They also want to the moan about to your DH

But really, it is nothing to do with you (or even DH)

My PILs bail out DH's brother constantly, just bought him his second flat (he ended up giving his first flat to ex-partner). He is 40. It will never stop. Not our business.

TwatbadgingCuntfuckery Mon 06-Jun-16 12:38:43

OP I am in the arts and tbh, If your SIL hasn't made it after 6 years doing whatever she is doing she needs to suck it up and get another job. When I say 'made it' I mean making a regular income.

For the first 3 years of my arts based business I was also doing other work on the side to make ends meet. Even now I have to take on unrelated work when my regular income is going through a rough patch.

Also I have watched my grandparents bail out their youngest daughter. They sold their house and moved in with them. their daughter made life unbearable so grandparents moved out and now they can't afford to live and their daughter wont sell the house and return their 100k investment in the house.

I know for a fact your DH doesn't want the above to happen for his parents. Its hard to watch.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Mon 06-Jun-16 12:41:07

What TreadSoftly and Munchcrunch say.

There are a lot of threads which boil down to this on MN - one adult sibling enabled in financial and often other types of dependency by parents of that adult, and siblings frustrated and possibly resentful - both human emotions, all very saintly to rise above them but it is human to be frustrated and a little bit resentful about your parents heavily indulging one sibling over the others whilst the others take the brunt of the moaning about it, whether you are 15 or 45...

I think there is often a lot more going on behind the scenes, with parents unable to stop because one or both of them convinces themselves their adult child still needs them, and this gives them a slightly martyred kind of pleasure or fulfils an emotional need, so to some degree it is a co-dependency. There is also often a family mythology around that one adult sibling being in some way emotionally fragile for some real but historical or blown out of proportion reason... Always there is the family culture of not "rocking the boat" by talking about things that could upset people even if they clearly need talking about...

If you or your DH talk to your sister you will achieve nothing except possibly sending her running to her parents like a child who's brother has called her farty pants, and might even end up with your in-laws telling your DH to apologise for upsetting her her, leading to another AIBU not to encourage DH to apologise to his sister just to keep the peace...

I think you probably have to keep out of it unless you just want to clear the air once and for all, accepting that the end result will be no change in the financial draining and you and your DH nudged further to the outskirts of the extended family and given a bit of a cold shoulder for breaking unwritten rules about what not to talk about...

If you can be zen about it then hats off to you, but you and your DH would be only human to be frustrated and cross about it...

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Mon 06-Jun-16 12:42:16

*your SIL sorry not your sister

Goingtobeawesome Mon 06-Jun-16 12:44:12

Maybe it's time for your DH to tell his parents if they are moaning about it then maybe they need to think about stopping helping this adult out. If they don't want to stop helping then why are they moaning and he doesn't want to hear any more.

MeridianB Mon 06-Jun-16 12:47:30

I would say nothing unless..... you and your DH will end up with financial responsibility for them (including housing them if they sell theirs).

If that is the case then I'd probably suggest DH says something to his parents along the lines of 'What is your plan - will you sell your house?' and see where that leads.

If they refuse to discuss it or stop bailing their DD then you and DH have to decide whether you are prepared to house them at the end of it all.

Very tricky.

shovetheholly Mon 06-Jun-16 12:55:19

I was going to write something but Schwabische said everything I wanted to say in more detail and with more clarity than I would have been able to manage.

I have only one thing to add which would be to talk to the PILs in practical terms about the very real prospect of them having to sell their house and move in future (mention nothing about the SIL, but make sure they are aware that this consequence is staring them in the face). They may actually be quite shocked.

I think it's important for you and your DH to come to terms with the fact that you're somewhat excluded from their 'nuclear' and dysfunctional relationship. This is far harder than it sounds.

fluffypacman Mon 06-Jun-16 13:00:26

She has a toddler and school age child, so does little to help PIL. I don't think there's any malicious intent to sisters involvement with them around finances she's thoughtless and can't see a way forwards. They help out with occasional childcare. Most of the running around falls to other siblings for hospital appointments etc. I think she just can't face up to the art dream not working out. Some months are better than others so I think it gives false hope. If they think they can come to us for financial help once the PIL have dried up, they can take a running jump! She needs to support herself and has been given more than enough opportunity to do that.

Seriously it's not about the money for my dh (I do think it's unfair on dh and his siblings though but that's me) although I suppose it's about the money that they are losing for them to support themselves that he's worried about.

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