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Help me to talk positively to DH about MIL's influence over our marriage

(74 Posts)
seoladair Tue 31-Dec-13 13:35:49

I've posted before about MIL's problems and estrangements with various family members. I have read toxic In-Laws but am still finding things hard going (probably exacerbated by having spent Xmas at her place.) Fear, Obligation and Guilt describes my husband's stance perfectly.

The carping, interference and manipulation are one thing, but a separate problem is that she is indirectly (or possibly directly) dictating where we live.

Our daughter is 2 and I have a very clear idea about where I would like her to grow up. I'd like to make the move before she starts school.

DH used to be positive about this in the early days, but since I have got serious about making the move, he won't do it for fear of his mother exploding with rage.

When I pushed the matter the other day he said very firmly "this is the best thing for all of us." When I disagreed, he said "I have to protect my inheritance". He agrees that our daughter would have a better quality of life in the place I want to go, but can't upset his mother.

He already has a guaranteed inheritance as before FIL died, he made MIL a life tenant of the house rather than actual heir (due to MIL having children from her first marriage - FIL wanted to be sure that his own son would inherit the bulk of the estate, not his step-children).

There are other bits of the estate which have been left to MIL but my husband will definitely inherit a huge house (with a hefty mortgage attached, but still a great thing to inherit....)

Part of me is distressed about the actual fact of where we live, but I also have a more general sense of having no agency IYSWIM, no control, that my plans for my child's life have no importance, and it's all about pleasing MIL.

seoladair Mon 06-Jan-14 00:55:10

Nannyogg it's not cynical like that - quite the opposite in fact; he loves his mother and is partly blind to her flaws whilst being aware of how difficult she is. By that I mean he always minimises her bad behaviour and makes excuses for her for the sake of an easy life.

Meerka Mon 06-Jan-14 10:37:35

HOw did it go yesterday seoladair?

seoladair Mon 06-Jan-14 12:21:56

I didn't call them. I think I'd have to tell my husband first as it would feel like betraying him if I spoke to his relatives without telling him.

diddl Mon 06-Jan-14 12:38:44

I had no idea that you could will a house with a mortgage!

Is MIL paying the mortgage then?

seoladair Mon 06-Jan-14 13:34:49

The house comes with land and she is life tenant of everything. PILs rebuilt and couldn't get mortgage due to age so used my husband to get mortgage but the land income pays mortgage.

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Mon 06-Jan-14 13:39:46

to be quite blunt

I would tell dh, that he can't fuck his mother

and move

and I mean it - not being glib in the slightest

he chooses right now - you and child or his mum

his inheritance is legally tied up - that is bullshit

move and your dh can visit whenever he likes

seoladair Mon 06-Jan-14 13:56:19

A few days ago, after I started this thread, I had a talk with DH, and said that I didn't really care about the inheritance, and that the house was a good thing to inherit, why not just walk away from everything else. He said he'd got it wrong, and he hadn't inherited the house, just the garden (about an acre).

I feel like a lightbulb is going on in my head. Why would he be confused about what he had inherited? Initially he told me he had inherited everything, then he said it was just the house, now he says it's the garden. I'm wondering if he has lied to me, as his mother was hoping to control us through the inheritance.

If his name was put on the mortgage a few years ago, wouldn't his name have to be on the deeds of the house?

Bogeyface Mon 06-Jan-14 18:31:58

As his name is on the mortgage he owns it (or at least a share of it).

He lying to you to control and manipulate you, just like his mother does.

So what are going to do now?

TheCatThatSmiled Mon 06-Jan-14 18:50:57

You can (I believe ) check who owns property with the Land Registery. For £15.

goonyagoodthing Mon 06-Jan-14 20:05:02

Something very fishy going on here OP and I hope it ends up resolved in a way to suit you and your daughter.

seoladair Mon 06-Jan-14 20:08:49

I don't know much about mortgages. Can someone clarify please?

His parents were too old to be allowed to re-mortgage a few years ago in order to expand their house. He agreed that his name could be used (nobody asked me about it!) although he doesn't pay that mortgage.

What rights does that give him? Does it make him the owner?

Bogeyface Mon 06-Jan-14 20:18:25

If he is the only one named on the deed then yes he is the owner, however he could have added his parents onto the deed later. My understanding is that as the mortgage is solely in his name he must be named on the deed.

This is a bit risky because unless he is personally responsible for collecting the land income and paying the mortgage through his account, his mother could just stop paying and although she will lose her home, he will be the one who is legally defaulting. This might be why he doesnt want to move as he is worried she may do this.

Something isnt right here. His father could not have given his wife the right to live there if he never technically owned the property in the first place, which says to me that there is far more to this than your DH is telling you. Either he (DH) gave her the life tenancy or there was never a life tenancy in the first place and he is lying to you about that too.

You need to insist on seeing the paperwork I think, and if he has one, a copy of his fathers will. I am sorry but this stinks to high heaven. A thought has just occurred, this property could be considered an asset of the marriage (he owns it after all and it was purchased after you married) so you could use that as a bargaining tool as I am sure neither of them want you to force a sale in the event of a divorce! Just mentioning it might be enough to get him to stop and think.

Bogeyface Mon 06-Jan-14 20:20:42

Another thought, if this wasnt bought with a buy-to-let mortgage then it will very likely affect your ability to buy another home if you want to move, especially if it would mean paying a higher mortgage.

TheCatThatSmiled Mon 06-Jan-14 21:30:41

You cannot (as far as I am aware) get a mortgage on property that you do not own.

Blu Mon 06-Jan-14 21:34:02

If FIL and MIL were married then surely he could only leave his half of the house to your DH, with your MIL allowed to live in that half, along with her own half, as a life tenant? Because surely as a wife she had a 50% stake in all the assets of the marriage - including the house! But then maybe the total assets were divided differently. I am not experienced inn wills, inheritance or anything legal. But surely the house half belonged/s to her anyway?

Also, although your MIL sounds incredibly difficult and often unpleasant, I do feel for her in the matter of the 'stolen wine'. So her DH was newly deceased, and while she is out of the house her DSD goes into her house and removes a load of wine, without notice or any other courtesy? And I presume this woman is your DH's sister? What a vulture!

Actually your DH sounds the only reasonable and kind member of this family, in expressing actual love for his mother and a will to care for her in her old age. Is it possible that he is actually having second thoughts about your plan to move the family away? How much of a mutual plan was it, and how far? In truth I wouldn't be keen if DP wanted us to move to somewhere I couldn't get to my elderly parents if they needed me.

I think you need to talk seriously with your DH, not just about MIL and the will but about everything that is important t you both - and listen to him, to.

seoladair Mon 06-Jan-14 21:46:05

Aaah it's all so complicated. DH is a good person: he just lets himself be bullied. I don't want MIL's house, I just want ddecisions over where our family lives to be taken by me and DH instead of MIL and DH.

At the heart of that issue is the threat of disinheritance. I don't care much about the inheritance
I do care about having a voice in my marriage.

Blu Mon 06-Jan-14 21:46:19

Though I do agree it sounds fishy that he is not giving you a straight story.

If his name is n the mortgage, surely he gets statements? Knows what he signed?

TheCatThatSmiled Mon 06-Jan-14 21:54:29

Could it be the case that he inherited and your MIL bullied him into mortgaging it and giving her the money?

Blu Mon 06-Jan-14 22:26:11

I think the OP has got to the bottom of it on another thread.

Which, if it is the case that he signed as a guarantor on the mortgage he would be held liable for the payments if MIL stopped paying for the out of the income, but would have no rights over the property itself.

And would explain why he is so keen not to cross MIL.

OP - I really do hope this is not the case. sad

Twinklestein Mon 06-Jan-14 22:26:14

I guess the house could be in FIL, MIL & his names which meant he could guarantee the mortgage, but it also means he doesn't own it outright. It may be that FIL left him his portion but MILs portion could be willed to anyone, or that FIL left his portion to MIL, in which case your husband is totally dependent on her good will to inherit.

It's hard to know whether MIL is playing games and changing her story and her will - it's a very tricky thing to get details of someone's will out of them. Or he's known the status quo all along and has lied. Obviously he knows how his father's will was left, but he may not know what MIL up to.

Either way I don't think it's worth staying near this woman for the sake of an acre of land.

Twinklestein Mon 06-Jan-14 22:27:57

Ah blu we posted at exactly the same time. Thanks for the update.

Blu Mon 06-Jan-14 22:29:10

Not for an acre of land, no- but what about paying a hefty mortgage payment every month if MIL starts refusing to pay it?? And if in no position to sell the property because he doesn't own it and / or she has life tenancy?

Being guarantor holds exactly those risks!

Blu Mon 06-Jan-14 22:29:38

We are doing synchronised x-posting!

Onefewernow Mon 06-Jan-14 22:37:38

Lying to your wife is not good.

Onefewernow Mon 06-Jan-14 22:38:33

But then, I wouldn't ring round the estranged family to stir the pot either. Your problem is with your H.

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