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AIBU to feel a bit aggrieved ?

(29 Posts)
poshfrock Wed 19-Feb-14 12:35:27

So I think I probably ABU but I still feel irritated by the following situation and just need some MNetters to make me see sense.

So about 4 years ago we helped out a family member by giving them my car. I was due for a replacement anyway and it just meant we brought forward the purchase by about 6 months. Obviously we lost the trade-in value ( about £1k) and we had to repay the outstanding loan so we could give it to them unencumbered ( about £1.5k) so there was a significant cost to us in doing this, but their need was greater than ours at the time.

A couple of months ago DH's car started playing up and we resigned ourselves to getting a replacement. This was about 2 years earlier than we had planned for but his commute has increased dramatically in the last 18 months so not surprising really that car has worn out. It would be a bit of a stretch to buy another car right now as we are still paying for mine and have another 2 years to go and so I posted on here about whether I would be unreasonable to ask family member for return of car ( they had since inherited another which is almost brand new and were no longer using the one we had given). The general consensus was that I was not BU.

Unfortunately before we contacted family member DH's car died and had to be scrapped ( garage told us not economic to fix). We had to go and buy a replacement car at short notice. I asked DH to contact family member (his side of family) to get return of car. We thought car may not really be suitable for DH but thought we would at least get something for trade-in and so be able to borrow less. DH was told that car has been sold. So nothing we can do.

So we take a loan and use all our savings to buy DH a second hand car.

Anyway, we are going on holiday with this family member soon and I emailed asking when we need to pay our share of holiday accommodation ( about £200). Family member calls DH to say that she and her DH will pay our share of the accommodation as thank you for giving them car and for other stuff that we have done over the years.

Now I know this is a really generous offer and I should be pleased and grateful but I feel really annoyed. It cost us £2.5k to give them the car and we did it gladly to help them out. But now they think that by paying £200 for our half of the accommodation ( we still have to pay our own travel) that we are in someway "even". They have just inherited £200k from the person who left them the car so I know they are feeling flush which is why they have done this but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I can't explain why. They don't know that the car still had finance on when we gave it to them but they must have realised that we would lose out on the trade-in. We have helped them out loads financially and practically over the years ( DH has given up countless weekends off, of which he gets very few, to go and redecorate their house which is a 6 hour round trip - they never even pay his fuel costs), he has laid laminate floor in their house on Xmas Eve because that was when they moved in and they wanted it doing on that day, he has landscaped gardens at 2 different properties, laid a patio, redecorated their hall, stairs and landing , the list goes on. The most he gets is a 4pack of beer.

I don't know why I feel like this. It's just that they are making it out to be some grand gesture they are doing for us ( they've told all the family) and part of me wishes they just hadn't. I'm sure IABU but I can't put my finger on why. Am I just woefully entitled ?

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 19-Feb-14 12:41:05

Well the you should never give more than you can afford. If you choose to offer your help freely I don't think you can resent it at a later date. If you feel the relationship is not reciprocal in anyway then the time has come to be less helpful to them.

lazyhound444 Wed 19-Feb-14 12:42:39

If you willingly gave them the car and helped out in various other ways, again, "willingly", you can't really go back on that now. It's not their fault you didn't explain the full circumstances of the car still having finance on it. Personally I think you've been over generous and you should have made it clear the car was on loan or you expected the finance to be paid back when they got on their feet.

Perhaps there's a part of you that liked being "Lady Bountiful" and you now resent the fact they have funds and you can't play that part anymore.

This isn't intended to flame or upset you, just for you to see another perspective.

If you feel you've been burned, don't help them out anymore and only help out when you can truly afford to never see that money again.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 19-Feb-14 12:43:29

Never do or give anything you feel resentful over.

You've given too much - it's your problem, stop doing it.

They likely don't know the trade in value, they didn't know about the finance so they probably think it is 'square'. They would never count up the practical help as in some families folks just do that - the issue is that you've given too much.

DarlingGrace Wed 19-Feb-14 12:47:28

we helped out a family member by giving them my car

Key word there - giving. You gave the car, you didn't loan it. You didn't place conditions on it.

As for the other stuff, it is normal for families to help each other out, again I find this a very English thing to expect your family to pay you for your time. Frankly if your DH didn't want to laminate, decorate or landscape, he should learn to say 'no'.

However, I fully understand why you are miffed, I would be too. But. There were no conditions or strings.

WhoNickedMyName Wed 19-Feb-14 12:49:42

Some people get a kick out of being helpers or rescuers or being seen as generous. You handed over your car, and your DH has given his time and you 'did it gladly' (in your own words). You chose to do that and never at the time made it clear that you may want the car back or want more payment than a 4 pack of beer for your DH's time. A PP has suggested that you feel a bit resentful that you don’t get to play that part any more… does that ring true with you?

It's a pretty cheap lesson learned really. Never loan anything that you can't afford to lose.

poopadoop Wed 19-Feb-14 12:50:49

maybe they thought you'd be giving the car away anyway so it cost you nothing? It is not good to give and then expect reciprocation, just give totally gracefully and without expectations, or not at all

WhoNickedMyName Wed 19-Feb-14 12:51:15

Or rather, never give anything that you can't afford to lose.

CaptainTripps Wed 19-Feb-14 12:52:29

Move on but learn from this. Never give too much. You have been more than generous but they sound like they don't fully understand the impact this has had on you. And why should they when you didn't tell them?

Be annoyed with yourselves rather than them. Suck it up and put it behind you. And be less available in the future.

WooWooOwl Wed 19-Feb-14 13:05:54


Give graciously or don't give at all.

poshfrock Wed 19-Feb-14 13:30:17

Thanks for the replies. I wasn't expecting DH to be paid for his time but he only gets one weekend off in three ( which they know and has been the case for 12 years) so family time is very precious. It also costs £80 in fuel every time he goes to help out. He spent 12 months going to PIL's to help renovate their BTL property. They made £100k on the sale ( I know as I do their tax returns) and we were left with a £1000 credit card bill for DH's fuel. DH doesn't like to say no because he genuinely wants to help and will give freely of his time and skills it's just the cash bit that we can't be quite so free with.
And I wasn't expecting anything back for the car. I had just written it off. I just feel annoyed that they have told everyone that they have "paid for our holiday" ( which they haven't as we still have to pay for the travel) and everyone is saying how great they are for doing it , how generous etc etc. We never told anyone that we had given them the car or what it cost us as we were trying to be discrete and not share their financial problems with the whole world. I would just have liked that discretion to have been reciprocated.

Objection Wed 19-Feb-14 13:43:11

Posh I can understand why you are fustrated, it must be difficult to hear people praising another for their genorosity when you have given so much more. However, you shouldn't and cannot be giving more than you can afford and, as PPs have said, you have "given" not loaned.
I'm afraid YABU on this one, but it is a lesson learnt.

Objection Wed 19-Feb-14 13:43:26


wowfudge Wed 19-Feb-14 13:45:38

poshfrock I understand where you are coming from. Let them pay for your share of the accommodation and have the holiday with them and enjoy it. It sounds as though you may be giving too much to other family members and you perhaps need to concentrate on yourselves - especially with your DH only at home one weekend in three.

If it will make you feel better you might consider slipping into conversation about still having outstanding finance on the car you gave them to the family member involved. In all honesty though, if you can't afford to do these things, then don't do them. You could have lent them some money to buy a second hand car cheaply, i.e. less than it cost you to pass on your car, pay off the finance, etc.

If you have no savings I would be wary of booking a holiday in case things become financially precarious.

emsyj Wed 19-Feb-14 13:48:33

"Never do or give anything you feel resentful over. "

Yes, this ^

Exactly this.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 19-Feb-14 14:01:22

Tricky. Do they know how much you spent on the car to give it to them?

I'm asking because my brother sold me his car for 1.5k, and it became clear to me that he still feels he 'gave' me a very good price - he didn't mention at the time, but it was a lot less than he'd paid for it not so very long before. I, OTOH, did not feel particularly pleased because I got a bill for over a grand for the MOT. So we were neither of us really understanding where the other was coming from.

Obviously it is different because you gave them the car, but depending how it went for them, it might be they didn't realize quite how much money you felt it represented.

lazyhound444 Wed 19-Feb-14 14:25:46

On reading your subsequent post, do you think it's such a good idea to go on holiday with them when you're harbouring resentment about (a) the stuff you've already given them and (b) the fact they're claiming they've "paid" for your holiday, when you feel that they haven't. Sounds like you might not enjoy your time away with them. I think you need to re-evaluate the whole relationship and address your issues with giving and receiving.

poshfrock Wed 19-Feb-14 15:24:14

Thanks again.

At the time we gave them the car we could afford it.

The holiday was booked in July last year and we are going in April. The money to pay for it has been ringfenced for a long time. In fact given that we no longer have to pay for the accommodation we now have £200 to boost our savings. We are not having any other holiday this year so want to make the most of this one. We have been on holiday with this family 3 times before and always had a good time so I'm not worried about us getting on. It's only for a week.

They didn't know about the finance on the car. I didn't want to lend them money because I knew they would have struggled to pay it back. We could only have given them about £1k in cash at the time and they wouldn't have got much of a car for that. At least by giving them ours (itself only worth about £1k) they knew its history and it came with almost a year's tax and MOT.

This thread has been very useful because it has made me realise that actually this isn't really about the car specifically I'm just upset that DH's family seem to take all the time without every reciprocating. In my family when we do stuff for each other we know that the favour will always be returned. And I don't mean on a " well I'll do this for you if you do this for me basis"; it's unconditional but I know I never have to think twice about asking for help. Whenever we've asked DH's family to help us out - babysitting, work in the house or on the garden or anything - there's always a reason why they can't do it. It irks me.

MooncupGoddess Wed 19-Feb-14 15:29:21

Surely you'd have had to pay the finance on the car anyway, so you've only lost the £1k value of the car itself?

You and your DH sound very generous, but you should maybe sit down and discuss how to handle helping people out in the future, to avoid feeling you've been taken advantage of. You can always say no if it's not convenient, you know.

Objection Wed 19-Feb-14 16:10:53

My car was £800 and that was 12 months MOT and tax. I still have it now, two and half years later grin defender of the old car

lazyhound444 Wed 19-Feb-14 16:20:48

I do "kind" of get where you're coming from, but fundamentally you're asking these people change and be more like your own family and reflect their values. It won't work though, you might as well ask them to grow a foot taller.

We had friends who were on the breadline and we helped them out a lot. Looking their their kids at the drop of a hat (even in the middle of the night), lending them our vehicles for weeks on end (returned with no petrol...thanks), giving them lifts whenever they needed them and donating anything we could to help out. Then I asked them to watch our dog overnight for one evening (they have a dog which I had looked after for weeks at a time) and the answer was a mealy mouthed "I'm not comfortable with that". I couldn't believe it. It effectively ended the friendship and we'd been on holiday with them frequently and had a great time but I couldn't reconcile how selfish and entitled they'd been.

So, after that ramble, I hope you understand that we can all get burned like this and it doesn't negatively impact your friendship too much.

Inertia Wed 19-Feb-14 16:43:34

You need to start saying no, you can't afford the time/cash to do all this stuff. If the car was a loan to help them out of a sticky spot then you should have made it clear at the time that you expected it back. If your DH cannot afford the time or the petrol to do someone else's house renovations then say so. Yes, you're being taken advantage of, but you're letting it happen.

Bluethirsty Wed 19-Feb-14 16:52:34

As mooncup said you didn't give them £2.5k but £1k, but it was still very generous of you. Maybe they are planning on further treats on holiday or they only received £200 for the car sp think of that as the amount they owe you.

Either way I think you have to try to accept that whilst you may have a generous nature other are not so. I understand that you feel aggrieved though.

Davidhasselhoffstoecheese Wed 19-Feb-14 17:02:36

I think they are taking all the time and not giving really. I think they should have paid the petrol for your DH's long distance trips to help them and also 1k towards the car when they received their inheritance. I think they are tights wads!! I think you could thank them for paying for your holiday but tell them you'll take it as a thankyou for all DH's time and petrol costs getting to them. Also do ask for the car back and say you need it to finance new car

poopadoop Wed 19-Feb-14 17:49:26

Maybe they didn't think of the petrol? It sounds like you've been a little over the top in helping them out, and while it is sort of understandable that you're annoyed - especially if they're parading their generosity maybe give them the benefit of the doubt, and decide they didn't realise how much your generosity was costing you but that in future you're not going to help them. Maybe your DH says to them that he really wants to help and they think they have to accept the help? But go on holiday and enjoy yourselves and just put it down to a learning experience!

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