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Lovely ILs treating DH and SIL very differently - DH is starting to get upset

(12 Posts)
hidingidentity Tue 09-Jun-09 13:40:28

I don't want to make this an epic post, but a bit of background. SIL has always been a bit reckless with her money (and has married a DH who is even worse). DH has always been very sensible with money and has been very careful not to get into debt as he knew that his parents would pay it off, and he didn't think that that was right. SIL has one child, we have two. Both SIL and BIL work, as MIL provides free childcare. I am a SAHM to two children (childcare too expensive where we live) so even though DH has a good salary we have 4 on one income in an expensive area.

SIL and BIL have a lifestyle that we just can't afford (gym membership, new clothes, expensive hobbies, haircut and colour at salon, new furniture, holidays etc.). It turns out that they can't afford it either. But PILs bail them out at every opportunity. We know of very large sums of money that have gone to them to pay off credit cards etc. and BIL has told us in ear shot of FIL that he basically thinks of FIL as a cash machine. angry Part of this is that the ILs want to give their family money now, rather than leave an inheritance and not see the benefit of their cash while they're alive (fair enough). I know that it's their money, and if they wanted to leave it all to the Battersea Dogs Home then that would be their business. But FIL has just withdrawn an offer of money to us (to help buy a house) because we managed to strike a hard bargain and we have told him that while the money would be very welcome that he shouldn't feel obliged as we could sell off some investments (that were earmarked as university fees for the children). We feel as though fecklessness is rewarded at every turn, and that our care and thrift is punished.

Is there any tactful and non-greedy way of pointing out that DH feels that he is not treated as well as his sister?

hertsnessex Tue 09-Jun-09 13:43:02

get him to speak to him.

mumblechum Tue 09-Jun-09 13:44:42

Probably not, unfortunately.

I do know what you mean, my parents give shedloads of cash to my sister & her grown up daughter but I don't resent it as we're lucky enough to earn good salaries.

One way of squaring it up may be for the ILs to draw up a will giving your dh £x in recognition of a similar sum already being given to BIL, then the rest divided equally

2rebecca Tue 09-Jun-09 14:01:26

I think he should speak to them. They are of course free to spend more of their money on 1 of their offspring than the other if they wish, but may want to know that this is upsetting the one they spend less on and affecting the relationship. My parents have always been very careful about giving the same amount to all of us when they have spare money.

hidingidentity Tue 09-Jun-09 14:04:23

If you only looked at gross salary, then DH earns more than SIL, maybe that's part of the problem.

The other thing is that if we hadn't negociated hard with the vendors then we would have needed the money (or walked away from the deal). So we've just saved him thousands of pounds and he didn't even thank us!

mumsiebumsie Tue 09-Jun-09 14:08:00

Personally - I feel that it's your Inlaws money and they can do what they like with it.

My parents have purchased a house for my older brother (and provided thousands of pounds, yet to be re-paid) - and yet me and my husband are still renting and would love a house (obviously)! However I in no way mind. I'm proud to work for what I have and know that if ever we were in dire straights and asked my parents for money they wouldn't hesistate to give it to us.

They're under no obligation to provide money to each sibling equally IMO.

You guys should be proud to stand on your own 2 feet - you're setting a great example for your children, which your SIL and BIL are not!

mumblechum Tue 09-Jun-09 14:08:12

Hmm, not sure I would have expected him to thank you - after all, he offered a gift which was then not needed. Nothing to say he won't offer it again in the future.

These situations can be such a minefield, and it's so easy to upset people, I'd be inclined to leave it.

FabulousBakerGirl Tue 09-Jun-09 14:10:14

If your issue is them using your PILs as cash machines then it is a valid concern and your dh should talk to them.

If you feel put out as you aren't being given the same amount of money then I honestly feel it isn't any of your business.

And I don't really see you have saved him money as you had already pretty much rejected his offer of money to use your investments.

hidingidentity Tue 09-Jun-09 14:12:39

It is a minefield.

If anyone on SIL's side had any SN then I wouldn't mind.
If SIL and BIL lived from hand to mouth through no fault of their own, then I could understand it.

We are proud, by the way. That's why we didn't just grab the money with both hands. But I wonder if PIL don't realise that we make sacrifices to be finanically secure. Maybe he thinks that I like looking scruffy and never having my hair down or legs waxed. grin

hidingidentity Tue 09-Jun-09 14:15:09

We didn't say that we didn't want the money. We said that it was very generous, and that we'd be very grateful and that it would make a big difference to us. But that we didn't need the money. We felt that it would be dishonest to say anything else, as if we hadn't reduced the price then we genuinely would have needed it and that was the environment in which he had made the offer.

hidingidentity Tue 09-Jun-09 14:16:33

Sorry, I'm on a bit of a roll here, but I think that the fact that SIL and BIL take it for granted and aren't even grateful really grates for DH.

mumsiebumsie Tue 09-Jun-09 14:29:39

Then I think your DH should address with the parents the fact that he thinks his sister and her DH as taking his parents for a ride.

But personally as for them not giving you guys money - I wouldn't go there.

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