Shut up and think of the money?(160 Posts)
Dilemma here. MIL has recently come into a large sum of money. We usually get on although she can be controlling and likes to be the centre of attention. I overlook these traits and don't let them get to me.
We recently had a disagreement and to keep the peace I decided to accept responsibility so we could all move on. I thought she was rude and out of line but didn't say anything. As soon as I made up with her, she mentioned the large sum of money she has and I really get the feeling she is using this as a way to make us beholden unto her. She has offered to pay for things for our new house but I am definitely feeling that she is using this as a power trip so that we keep her happy and to use this is an element of control.
I don't want to get into MIL bashing but I am getting a little nervous at the prospect of being obliged to anyone for financial reasons. DH and I have good jobs but we have a mortgage and a new house so any contribution is helpful...I just have a feeling that MIL is using this as a power trip....should I just shut up, step back, keep MIL happy and think of the money. I'm afraid she will start to take over...I'm a very honest and authentic person and the thought of not being myself and sucking up to her just for the money makes me feel manipulative. Any thoughts?
Personally no I wouldn't have my parents pay for stuff for my house as an adult, but we are all different. I would politely say thanks but no thanks. Once you've accepted you are beholden, and there is an element of self respect there in terms of paying for your own home.
I really get the feeling she is using this as a way to make us beholden unto her
The only way to prevent this is not to accept any money from her I'm afraid. Unless you're in dire financial straits and really need it.
I'd wait, save up and pay for my own things myself if I were you.
You can't put a price on integrity.
Go with your instincts, they are there for a reason.
Despite my moral posturing, we are talking about thousands of pounds here...sums of money that really would make a difference not just a few new things, I should have been clearer earlier. It's tough as I don't want her money but then it really would make a difference to our lives. aaagh!
I would refuse any offers of money, you will feel so much better knowing you have dont things on your own
I think you are beholden to be pleasant and kind and 'dance to the tune' of people who are financing your lifestyle.
That's a choice for you to make.
Which matters more to you - having a lovely house that you enjoy living in, or not having to kowtow to MIL and put up with having it rubbed in your face for the foreseeable future?
Only you know the right answer for you.
I don't really understand the MN view on this. I don't think there's anything wrong at all with an adult receiving financial help from a parent. If the parent has more money than they need and their child would benefit from the support, then why on earth not?
Anyway, in your case, I would try to forget the money and behave exactly as if it did not exist. So, be polite / civil / friendly to your MIL (as you would with any family member who you don't get on with particularly well), but don't do any 'sucking up' or accepting the blame for something that wasn't your fault.
So polielty decline any money she offers! Say the two of you are standing on your own feet and will therefore decline the generous offer
But has she actually offered you the money explicitly?
I think you need to make your own mind up whether whatever things she's possibly paying for are life-transforming enough to allow you to live with the possible controlling relationship, or whether you're assertive enough to be able to say 'Thanks for paying for our new central heating/kitchen/whatever - but now butt out.' . Personally, I wouldn't even consider it, but that is possibly because DH and I will be supporting our parents for the rest of their lives, rather than getting any bequests from them, so it's hard for me to imagine!
Amber I think a lot of it comes down to intentions of both parties. The giver if they are intending to provide financially as a bargaining chip for control or power over a person, or if they genuinely see a need and are in a position to offer assistance.
The receiver in if they are enjoying a happy comfortable relationship with the giver before any mention of financial gain is entered into the situation. If you are barely tolerating someone before the dangling carrot of cash, then you are pretty unpleasant to manipulate them for financial gain.
Refuse all offers of money, you know how she'll use it to cause trouble.
If you don't want to have to suck up and be beholden and controlled by the money, then don't accept the money.
Im sure it would be nice, we'd all like someone to give us thousands of pounds with no strings attached, but you know this won't be the case with MIL.
So either suck it up and dance to her tune for the money, which I'm sure she'll never let you forget, or decline her hand out and pay for it yourself.
I don't want her money but then it really would make a difference to our lives
Given that her "hints" have already started, I've no doubt future manipulation could make a difference to your lives too, and not in a good way
My friend and her DH chose to live way beyond their means by "reluctantly" accepting handouts from her PILs. The issues it's caused are ghastly, but they're in too deep to easily back out now and simply watch the game-playing increasing
It has to be your choice in the end: a better standard of living, or hanging on to your integrity in only having what you can afford
I wouldn't take it. And I speak as someone who also could do with thousands of pounds and that sort of amount would really make a difference to me.
I can't stand the idea of someone trying to play me using money as a lure. Or of having to do things or behave a certain way towards someone because they'd given me money.
Money is only okay to accept from a family member who gives it freely. You already have a difficult MIL and you already know that if you accept money, this may make things more difficult. I wouldn't, and turned down a lot of money in a similar circumstance. But it is up to you. Although if you accept the money, you need to do so in the knowledge that you will have to accept the shit that comes with it.
I've just realised you didn't mention your DH's views on this ... ?
After all it's his mother, so how does he feel about it?
it depends if you want to sell your soul to the devil
I'm in a similar situation where mil offers to pay for work that needs doing on our house, it's a very dated property but perfectly livable and when we bought it we planned to update it as and when we could afford to, but mil came into a largish inheritance just after we bought and insists that she'd rather see her son enjoy the money while she's here than hold on to it until she's dead (she's already fairly well off in her own right so she'd just leave it in the bank otherwise).
We took the money. For me the easiest thing to do is to avoid any conversations where we'll have a difference of opinion, just smile and make polite conversation and change the subject when necessary.
A word of warning though, we were promised money for a particular job on our house, it wasn't something that we were really bothered about and it was expensive so we would never have paid for it ourselves but she was insistent we should have it done, she even organised the tradesmen herself. Then once it was completed she told us how much it had cost and asked how we were going to pay for it! We just had to keep saying that we couldn't afford it and eventually she paid as a 'surprise gift' so now we don't arrange any work until either the money is in our account or we could afford to pay ourselves if she changed her mind again.
So you're essentially prostituting yourselves for your MIL's money then? What's the difference?
What's to stop her from enjoying watching you and husband perform like a pair of sycophantic seals - and then still not give you the money when it comes down to it? Why prostrate yourselves at her feet?
If she wanted to give you the money, she just would. No strings. She obviously doesn't. What you do with that knowledge is up to you. <shrugs>
No, unless you're starving, don't take any money.
Although, she hasn't offered has she?
I would not accept the money if there are emotional conditions attached.
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