Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Husband wants to be generous, but I don't feel that we should!

(45 Posts)
sweetpud Tue 09-Jul-13 12:18:31

All my family live 150 miles apart so we only see my S and her family about once a year, though we talk once a month on the phone. My B and SIL, we see about every two months or so, and I'm not too sure if you have seen my previous post, but we have asked many times to spend holidays and breaks with them but keep getting a blank response. Its as if we can be tolerated for a day or so, but thats it, even though they live next to my SIL's family and see them all the time, going on holidays and spending xmas etc, we never get asked or considered.

We live about 50 miles from my DH's family and see then a few times a year, but its mostly telephone contact, though I do feel a close bond to my SIL.

The big issue facing me now is that my DH is retiring in a years time and he will get a pay out, though not massive, it will be more than we have ever had and it has to last us and pay for things we have never been able to afford like home improvements etc. We have been married over 25 years and we have always had to manage or save up for what we have had, using an overdraft to tide us over each month.
He wants to go on a big family holiday for a week, with everyone invited and paid for, which will be 12 people altogether, and he is determined to do it.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that I don't want to spend so much money out, its not like having a massive lottery win. I don't think any of the family members would ever do the same and its not as if we will be rich by any means. I also don't think certain members should have so much spent on them, my BIL is one example as no one in the family has ever really got on with him and he has been mean in the past, especially to my late mum, who never forgave him for something he did. We have a simillar problem with my DH's BIL as he is a bad apple who has treated my SIL very very badly, and recently more things about him have come to light which are not good at all!

If you add all this to the fact that I have given up asking my DB to spend holidays with us, as at times it has made me feel really sad and not wanted, so I really don't fancy this family holiday at all. My DH has always been a generous man, even if he can't afford it, and I know for a fact that he will be offering to buy the drinks etc, once he has this money in his pocket. I have hinted at not wanting to do this holiday, but he got really annoyed and didn't want to discuss it. He did say that we won't invite the BIL's ( he doesn't care for either) but I don't see how we could possible do this. Opinions on this would be great please, as i'm sick of feeling this way and having a headache!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Jul-13 21:13:20

"he can also be very moody at times"

A man that sulks to get his own way was not worth all the pain you went through to get him back.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 11-Jul-13 21:09:03

Im torn. If he can afford to retire and has enough after the holiday then i dont see the harm as its probably something he will only get to do once.

Does he tell you how to spend your wage or savings? If so, then its not fir but if not you cant really tell him how to spend his.

sweetpud Thu 11-Jul-13 11:09:18

I am taking note of all the suggestions here and I am going to mention a meal or a party instead, along with a nights stay at a hotel. In response to the question asked by CogitoErgoSometimes, I understand why you asked but no it really hasn't anything to do with what has happened in the past as to why I have not said anything yet, its more to do with how upset DH will be when I change his plans. Though he is a kind and generous man, he can also be very moody at times and as someone pointed out, he can sulk at times and go quiet, so he is not going to be happy!

TDada Wed 10-Jul-13 20:12:31

Invite them over for a family dinner at your house but put away your nest egg for the future

makemineamalibuandpineapple Wed 10-Jul-13 20:09:27

Terrible idea. Perhaps limit it to a lovely meal somewhere and possibly an overnight stay if it was at a country hotel to make it a bit more memorable. That would reduce the costs hugely.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 17:10:32

Just read your post on another thread. I'm so sorry. Was this worth all the tears, huge rows, weightloss, debates and sleepless nights that it took to save your marriage when he was unfaithful? Are you frightened to speak out now because you think, if you complain, he'll up and leave?

buildingmycorestrength Wed 10-Jul-13 15:47:20

My husband and I have been like this in the past. Paying for people, generous gifts, sharing windfalls. When things got tight this year it was because we had not been sufficiently careful with our money. It really made me realise that

a) we had been trying to buy affection/friends
b) no one else does it for us
c) if we had been more careful we would have been much more secure
d) once it is gone it doesn't come back, but if you keep it, it will work for you.

My attitude to money has completely changed and I would say you must try to get your husband to think about the reality of the holiday rather than the fantasy he has ...probably involving everyone getting on and loving him and admiring his largesse.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 15:30:45

"I know for a fact he will feel resentful, and feel angry with me, but I need to bring this up as I am hating the idea more and more. "

The longer you say nothing, the more he'll be planning the idea in his head, mentioning it to other people and making it more difficult to back out of. You've delayed a lot already and I don't quite understand why you can't just tell him this isn't happening and he's to think again.

Does 'resentful and angry' mean your life will be made miserable for saying 'no'? You keep describing this man as kind, generous etc but you seem to be terrified of standing up to him.

Yogii Wed 10-Jul-13 11:06:32

Just work out the cost of the home improvements you need then he'll realise he doesn't have enough to squander - stuff like that always seems to cost me double what I thought it would. Factor it into a long term budget (the rest-of-life expense plan) and throw in a contingency figure, and if you're not going to be rich by any means, then I would guess this will start looking like a silly expense.

When one of you needs a new hip 15 years from now and the NHS quotes 3 years of waiting, a told-you-so might be involved.

I guess I am agreeing with the person above who said take financial planning advice, although personally I wouldn't go to an IFA as I hold the opinion that the majority of them are under-qualified and mis-sell stuff. Suggest he goes onto one of the popular money-related sites and discusses retirement planning. It'll soon dawn on him.

LemonBreeland Wed 10-Jul-13 10:43:47

It seems incredibly naive of your DH to squander this money on something frivolous and pointless.

My DH is similar with money in that he is very generous even when he can't afford to be.

sweetpud Wed 10-Jul-13 10:36:05

I have read through everything here and there are some very valid points, in fact I have been saying the word "yes" out loud, to some of your posts. DH defo has his heart set on this and I know for a fact that I have a difficult task ahead, he will feel bad because he has sort of mentioned this idea to a few people but hasn't actually asked anyone yet. I know for a fact he will feel resentful, and feel angry with me, but I need to bring this up as I am hating the idea more and more. Why should we pay out for everyone, its going to cost a few thousand, and its not like we are going to be rich by any means.

I know for a fact that no one else in the family would do this, for us or for any other family member for that matter. This doesn't mean that we don't get on generally, and as I have said in my previous post, I am quite close to my SIL.

I know for sure that I have to discuss this before it goes any further, I even feel like suggesting to DH that he can take his sister and his brother/SIL somewhere if he wants, but to forget
asking anyone else as I'm not prepared to do this big family holiday expense thing! He has set his heart on going abroad because of the weather, so I don't think he will agree on a cottage or simillar in the UK, and I'm not too sure about a party, though I think its a nice idea and as suggested we could pay for an overnight stay for the family.

I'm wondering about talking to either my SIL or DH's best friend and see what they think of this holiday idea, I know DH should be first though really!

yamsareyammy Tue 09-Jul-13 17:30:33

He is trying to buy his way in to the family group. It wont work.
They may well resent him afterwards too. Especially if it is too generous.

I do think though that you may need to do a compromise such as some of the ideas listed above. eg aall expenses paid weekend. That seems too much to me, but up to you both of course.
Partly because he has his heart set on it, partly because you didnt say no last year, and partly because other wise he may massively resent you if you say no.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Jul-13 17:30:15

I'm not getting kind-hearted from this either. I don't actually think that it matters that it's a holiday... it's the fact that he thinks it's perfectly OK to decide this unilaterally and not take your opinion into account. Is this the normal way decisions get made in your relationship? Him steamrollering them through and you not mattering? Do you think he's told people about this beano already and is worried about looking foolish?

MirandaWest Tue 09-Jul-13 17:24:10

He doesn't sound very kind hearted towards you tbh

TotallyBursar Tue 09-Jul-13 17:21:31

Totally with Hec here.

This idea is pathologically bad and you need to get a handle on this situation asap.

He won't discuss spending money that has to last for the next, what 30?, years and can't see past his own head. He's. chosen to squander family money on the thing that would be most vexatious to you but refuses to either discuss it or reassure you that he would like to do something with you as well. What in him is so flawed he needs to belly crawl until his family acknowledge him? And he really doesn't see that accepting after all those refusals has nothing to do with him, only the free holiday - what's he going to do when they head off together and ditch you at the resort or make plans to enjoy the free time but without the people they don't want to include? Sulk?

If dh announced this and planned to spend money that it's down right foolish to spare on putting his disinterested family over his wife - there would be no hints and he would have no choice but to bloody discuss it.

Get it straight now - don't wait until you are 10 years down the line and full of resentment but empty of pocket. You may love him but it sounds suspiciously like he actually has very little regard or interest in your opinion. And he's a sulker - letting him sulk is better than the precarious poverty he seems intent on inflicting on you. Generosity that harms your loved ones is not kindness - it's self serving.

Innacorner Tue 09-Jul-13 16:57:39

Your relatives wont be grateful. They'll assume you are absolutely loaded and will be unhappy with the generosity that you do offer, and will resent you if further acts of generosity aren't forthcoming in the future.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 09-Jul-13 16:56:53

Hes so very kind hearted that he wont allow you to discuss this with him and isnt interested in your concerns and wants to be seen as lord goodguy bountiful regardless how you feel?

ImperialBlether Tue 09-Jul-13 16:51:18

Can I ask you what proportion of the payout will be going on the holiday? Factor in all the expenses, including his buying them drinks for a week, if that's likely to happen.

Out of the 12 people, are any from your family?

Now out of the 12 people (obviously taking yourself out of the equation), how many have contacted him over the last year? How many times? Was it for favours or for a chat? Don't count turning up at his mum's at the same time - think about them choosing to call him for a chat.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 09-Jul-13 16:50:26

I don't think he sounds like a wet blanket at all.

I think he sounds very used to getting his own way and very stubborn, and very old fashioned in a 'it is my money because I've earned it' way.

When I mention the idea of taking me somewhere nice, he just says he doesn't know yet!

OP why don't you appear to have any say in the matter? Could you just go and book a lovely holiday for the two of you - what would his reaction be?

I think your husband sounds like a bit of a wet blanket to be honest. It takes a certain naivety to think that people he hardly sees will suddenly look at him benignly and adore him, because he buys them a holiday. Does he honestly think anything will change?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 09-Jul-13 16:29:25

sweetpud don't sleepwalk into the next 20 years now that DH is in sight of retiring. You'll face different challenges and start a new phase of life possibly 24/7 in each other's shadow so it might do no harm to look very carefully at your attitudes to family, finances, priorities. When couples get settled or marry they might consider the same sort of thing. How you deal with happy times and difficulties. How you reach decisions that affect you both. Now you've got years behind you but it might be when you have more time together that you start noticing changed opinions.

sweetpud Tue 09-Jul-13 16:10:44

Thanks so much to all of you for the replies and it has certainly given me a few things to think about. I know for sure that if we just invited everyone for a family hol then most probably all would decline, half of those asked wouldn't have the dosh anyway. My DH is doing this because he is a very sociable person, is very kind hearted and I think he sees this as a way of treating the family members who can't afford a hol but he would also really enjoy a big get together. We differ there as I'm not that sociable really, but this isn't why I don't want to go ahead with this plan. I have made a few calculations and we would be looking at around 5 or 6 thousand pounds, even if we took an all exclusive.

I've tried to suggest that this hol isn't such a good idea, but DH gets annoyed and I have just let it lie, saying to him that we will have to discuss this soon as plans will need to be made. My DH is very stubborn, but will also feel very let down if I say no to this. I suppose I made the mistake last year when he first mentioned this idea and to be honest I didn't really say no then or give it much thought. It has only been lately when I have looked at facts and figures, and had time to think everything through, that I've realised it could be a big mistake.

When I mention the idea of taking me somewhere nice, he just says he doesn't know yet! I know its because he wants to treat his family and he will not appreciate me changing or stopping the plan, I know he will see it as a bit of a slur on his family, even though that sounds a bit drastic.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 09-Jul-13 14:09:57

Strange how DH's idea of a good deed is almost designed to be the most upsetting for you. Harrowing as it is he may aim to lighten your life if this vexation over being sidelined has been a long-running sticking point . Maybe he thinks here is a final chance for one last bridge building effort or bust. I'd be inclined to do as suggested ^^ see who is interested in holidaying before the question of who pays arises.

Will this holiday eat up a massive chunk pf money? Will those family members even fancy going along?

WhiteBirdBlueSky Tue 09-Jul-13 13:13:43

Even wither people who like each other, big holidays can end up a bit Big Brother House.

ImperialBlether Tue 09-Jul-13 13:05:59

Just send an email to everyone saying, "Does anyone fancy going on holiday all together next year?"

If you don't mention paying for them I doubt very much whether any of them will be there.

And as someone says, immediately afterwards you'll be back to square one.

Personally I dislike big family holidays if not everyone gets on really, really well. Even then, I think they're a minefield.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now