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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.

Twinklestein Mon 06-Jan-14 22:49:55

To be the guarantor of the the mortgage he must own at least a portion of it. The property is security on the loan, so no ownership no security.

He may be a co-owner which would be a nightmare. It may be that his parents added him to the deeds to enable him to get the mortgage.

As the mortgage is dependent on the income from the property then MIL could stop giving him the money, but it wouldn't be in her interest as the provider could repossess.

myroomisatip Mon 06-Jan-14 23:12:23

This seems to be a horrid can of worms and if your DH cannot sit down and discuss this truthfully with you then I really do not know what you action you can take because of your lack of knowledge sad

For me this would put a massive strain on our relationship and without honesty it would be the beginning of the end.

Bogeyface Mon 06-Jan-14 23:40:41

I am sure that being a guarantor will affect his ability to pay a new mortgage if they want to move as they will want to know his outstanding commitments and until the MILs mortgage is paid off, that is one of them.

Cerisier Tue 07-Jan-14 00:02:16

There is no getting around this in a non-confrontational way. You do need to see the paperwork to see what his legal position is, and as his wife you have every moral right to see this (I don't know if you have the legal right).

However if he refuses to show you then I think you will either have to suck it up for the next thirty years or you will have to see a solicitor to see what your legal and financial position is. It might shock him into opening up.

How awful that your DH is being so secretive to his own DW. Shocking behaviour. Plus MIL is complicit (even orchestrating it). What a nasty family.

Bogeyface Tue 07-Jan-14 00:32:56

Hang on. If the FIL is so up on wills, inheritance etc, how come he didnt have life insurance to pay off the mortgage on his death? Seems a significant oversight for a man who was clearly not stupid when it came to planning for his death.

OP, are you sure that he didnt have this? Or could it be that he did and that your MIL hasnt bothered to tell your DH that the mortgage is now paid in full?

Bogeyface Tue 07-Jan-14 00:34:13

Or.....he did have an insurance policy that he intended should be used to pay off the mortgage and she has spunked it all on something else?

BillyBanter Tue 07-Jan-14 00:42:55

Have you ever got your DH to read toxic parents or whatever it's called?

The differing stories about what belongs to him is worrying too. I'd certainly check with the Land Registry. Is he lying now or was he then? Or has something changed? Has his mum persuaded him to sign stuff over to her?

Also the wanting to be near her so as to look after her in her dotage? Who will be doing that looking after? your DH or you?

Toecheese Tue 07-Jan-14 07:22:09

How far away are you wanting to move? Miles? Hours travel?

aaaaaaa Tue 07-Jan-14 07:39:27

A person does *not" have to be on the deeds, to be a guarantor on a mortgage

larrygrylls Tue 07-Jan-14 07:58:15

The inheritance thing is a red herring. If you move miles away, what would you do if your mil collapsed or needed regular care ?

Blu Tue 07-Jan-14 08:12:01

Bogeyface - if they took the mortgage out in their 70s I'm not sure a life insurance co would be keen to provide cover for a mortgage pay-off on death.

captainmummy Tue 07-Jan-14 08:51:54

Larry - what does that matter? If she has estranged her own children, that is something she will have to think about. DC are not 'legally obliged' to look after parents.

She will have to do what chlidless people do and sort it out herself.

aaaaaaa Tue 07-Jan-14 13:35:52

I am wondering if husband just doesn't want to move, and is using his mother as an excuse?

him not wanting yo move, is as valid as OP wanting to move, as they are equals in the relationship

I'm not dead sure, his reasons are all that relevant anyway are they?

CarriesPawnShop Tue 07-Jan-14 13:53:19

How long ago did FIL die? Have you applied for a copy of his will?
That with the land registry would give you some hard facts, because at the moment you don't know what you are fighting.

Twinklestein Tue 07-Jan-14 15:44:51

aaaaa could you clarify your above claim? Afaia that is only the case with a joint mortgage.

aaaaaaa Tue 07-Jan-14 17:41:36

My dad was guarantor on my mortgage for 2 years. He isn't and wasn't on the deeds

Twinklestein Tue 07-Jan-14 18:17:50

So you had a joint mortgage with your father, that's fairly common.

But that's not apprently the scenario here. According to the OP, the PIL were too old to get a mortgage on their property, thus the OP's husband got one instead. You can't do that without some interest in the property.

It may transpire that the mortgage is joint with MIL, perhaps she wasn't too old but her husband was, or joint with another family member, but that's not the information we have thus far.

aaaaaaa Tue 07-Jan-14 18:37:52

No, it wasn't a joint mortgage with my dad. He was a guarantor. He was removed after 2 years when my earnings had increased sufficiently that the lender would allow me to have the mortgage without a guarantor. It was a very simple removal process. I don't think that is the case if it is a joint mortgage?

the PIL could have a joint mortgage in their names, or just FiL name and husband could be named as a guarantor. So he is liable for payments if his parents cant/dont....but does not own the house.

i imagine though if he does male the mortgage payments he would have good grounds to claim against the property??

aaaaaaa Tue 07-Jan-14 18:39:31

Also, i think it is the case that if the mortgage is joint, then both names are on the deeds. Isn't it?

Seabright Tue 07-Jan-14 18:52:00

Hi OP,
You need to find out the true situation - owner, life tenant, guarantor before you can decide on a strategy.

PM me if you want me t help you look into it - my day job is a property lawyer.

Twinklestein Tue 07-Jan-14 19:04:42

A guarantor mortgage is a joint mortgage - parents often act often guarantee their offspring's first mortgage. You're jointly liable, but your dad guaranteed it. It's easy to remove the parent when no longer needed.

A joint mortgage doesn't require joint tenancy (ie both names on the deeds).

HoneyandRum Tue 07-Jan-14 21:37:28

A poster a page or so back said your DH seems the nicest one in the family. He reminds me of my SIL who is also a very caring person. However her mum and dad and extended family have all sorts of issues that of course no one talks about. I understand how my DH fits in their family dynamic (he is the Golden Son who can do no wrong) but I always wondered, what is the deal with my SIL - I can't put my finger on it. Last year her marriage fell apart, although her DH had an affair they also had been under tremendous emotional pressure for a long time from my MIL which I think really put the Kibosh on everything. SIL is now back home in the "heart of her family" living in one room with her two kids.

I think her role is the one her mum (my MIL) has assigned her, as the Caretaker. She is able to guilt my SIL into constantly rescuing and caring for her - I think your DH may be in a similar role. You ask if men can escape their mother's well obviously at least two of your DH siblings have escaped their mum and he has not managed to. Is he the youngest?

seoladair Wed 08-Jan-14 11:13:09

Thanks so much for your replies; food for thought!
Will reply properly soon. I only have phone internet for now, but am still checking.

MistressDeeCee Wed 08-Jan-14 13:11:37

Bloodyteenagers well, thats harsh - but you are oh so right.

I do feel for you OP. I dont know how you put up with it in fact, you may eventually get rid of this man, he is making a mockery of your marriage. One eye on the money?! There are no guarantees in this life. & he'd rather disappoint you than his mother. Says it all, really. You know who is most important woman in your marriage - and its not you. Do look after your emotional wellbeing as well as you can, wont you? Your situation sounds very stressful.

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