Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Husband wants to be generous, but I don't feel that we should!

(45 Posts)
sweetpud Tue 09-Jul-13 12:18:31

All my family live 150 miles apart so we only see my S and her family about once a year, though we talk once a month on the phone. My B and SIL, we see about every two months or so, and I'm not too sure if you have seen my previous post, but we have asked many times to spend holidays and breaks with them but keep getting a blank response. Its as if we can be tolerated for a day or so, but thats it, even though they live next to my SIL's family and see them all the time, going on holidays and spending xmas etc, we never get asked or considered.

We live about 50 miles from my DH's family and see then a few times a year, but its mostly telephone contact, though I do feel a close bond to my SIL.

The big issue facing me now is that my DH is retiring in a years time and he will get a pay out, though not massive, it will be more than we have ever had and it has to last us and pay for things we have never been able to afford like home improvements etc. We have been married over 25 years and we have always had to manage or save up for what we have had, using an overdraft to tide us over each month.
He wants to go on a big family holiday for a week, with everyone invited and paid for, which will be 12 people altogether, and he is determined to do it.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that I don't want to spend so much money out, its not like having a massive lottery win. I don't think any of the family members would ever do the same and its not as if we will be rich by any means. I also don't think certain members should have so much spent on them, my BIL is one example as no one in the family has ever really got on with him and he has been mean in the past, especially to my late mum, who never forgave him for something he did. We have a simillar problem with my DH's BIL as he is a bad apple who has treated my SIL very very badly, and recently more things about him have come to light which are not good at all!

If you add all this to the fact that I have given up asking my DB to spend holidays with us, as at times it has made me feel really sad and not wanted, so I really don't fancy this family holiday at all. My DH has always been a generous man, even if he can't afford it, and I know for a fact that he will be offering to buy the drinks etc, once he has this money in his pocket. I have hinted at not wanting to do this holiday, but he got really annoyed and didn't want to discuss it. He did say that we won't invite the BIL's ( he doesn't care for either) but I don't see how we could possible do this. Opinions on this would be great please, as i'm sick of feeling this way and having a headache!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Jul-13 12:26:15

It's not 'his money' is it? I know it's connected to his work but it's still family money and, as such, you should have an important say in how it's spent. It's not even as though you're rolling in cash either. If you had plenty in the bank to pay for the home improvements and so on then maybe you could afford to indulge him. As you've spent 25 years basically scraping from month to month, I think he's being ridiculous as well as selfish to blew what sounds like a huge amount on something that's only going to result in a few photos at the end of the day.

Accepting that (for whatever reason) it's important for him to mark the occasion why doesn't he organise a party rather than a week-long holiday? Even if he paid for everyone to stay overnight at local hotels it would cost anything like as much.

MaBumble Tue 09-Jul-13 12:26:42

As you say this is not a lottery win. It's for his retirement. Ask him if (when) he runs out of money would any of them do the same for you.

Or, if he really won't budge, suggest that you invite everyone on a holiday - but do not tell them you will be paying for it. The ones who accept or show am interest will be the ones who actually want to spend time with you. So just pay for them.

Flyonthewindscreen Tue 09-Jul-13 12:29:17

I can see your point of view. From your description, it doesn't sound like family relations are warm enough to merit your DH spending a significant chunk of his retirement lump sum on an all expenses paid holiday for all. Could you persuade him to scale it down to maybe a dinner/overnight stay for everyone to celebrate his retirement? Point out all the home improvement, etc plans that need to be funded out of that money rather than it being you don't want to spend so much on people who don't seem that bothered about you and your DH.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Jul-13 12:31:01

" I have hinted at not wanting to do this holiday, but he got really annoyed and didn't want to discuss it."

Is there any particular reason why you only felt able to 'hint' rather than express your objection more assertively? Are you usually able to discuss differences of opinion constructively or is this annoyed, not discussing it reaction pretty typical?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 09-Jul-13 12:31:49

I think he would be a fool to do it.

The way prices are going, his pension will decrease in real terms every year. That lump sum could be all that sits between you and poverty in ten years time.

And what about doing some holidays just the two of you, rather than worrying about everyone else?

How much is the payout? Do you have any other savings?

Ezio Tue 09-Jul-13 12:33:55

I second not tellling them hes paying if he wants to do it, i know what greedy bastards people can be.

TalkativeJim Tue 09-Jul-13 12:36:07

Absolutely no.

No no no no no.

I can't think of a better way to ensure that you are BOTH left feeling that the money was worse than wasted.

It's a shame if your bro and SIL don't want to go on holiday with you, but, you know, that's up to them! If they spend more time with the other side of their family and/or just gravitate more towards them, that's their right. It's just the way it is and it doesn't mean that they don't like you. Even if it does, again, that's not WRONG of them.

But that's really a separate issue.

Here are all the things wrong with this holiday idea:

1. You don't want it. So for a start, it shouldn't be happening. It is really, really wrong for your DH to decide unilaterally how to spend such a large chunk of what is still FAMILY money, worse again to go ahead with spending it on something you have said you don't want to happen. Before anyone says a retirement chunk of money is different - I don't think it is; it's still money paid out for the work he has done, which has been facilitated by you too, if you have always worked as a team wrt running home, work and childcare. If this were me - I would simply refuse to go. I suggest you say that right now: if he ploughs ahead with this - not to bother booking you a place.

2. You are not rich. This is a nest egg. It's a totally foolish idea to spend it like this- you don't know what's around the corner. Your DH is clearly a bit of a fool when it comes to money?? - wants to play big man if he has a few pounds in his pocket? Not good.

3. They wouldn't do this for you. Clearly. Which is fine - few people would be silly enough to waste their retirement nest egg this way. But what that means is that it's FAR more likely that once the holiday is over (or probably, while it's on), your DH isn't going to be left with a warm glow of satisfaction and to be basking in the adulation and thanks from the family (this is probably the picture in his head). He's more likely to feel taken advantage of and start feeling like a mug. Because that's what it is - he's going to see them spending his money, but still feeling the same way towards you and him - they aren't going to magically change in attitude! It's going to leave him feeling stupid and ripped off and you feeling furious.

4. The holiday will be shit. See above, but also - you've outlined a group of people who don't get on famously, with a few shitheads included, who wouldn't and haven't chosen to holiday before. So there will be tension, boredom, irritations, and a sense of faux jollity. Wow, brilliant...not.

5. Post holiday. Renewed closeness in the family and everlasting gratitude to your DH? No, business as usual, perhaps the odd comment overheard by you both about how they all did pretty well out of your DH. Meanwhile, Remember The Fucking Holiday becomes a familiar refrain when you and your DH have a barney.

I'm sure you're going to have many similar responses - maybe get your DH to read them.

HeathRobinson Tue 09-Jul-13 12:36:44

What if you outlined a budget, showing what you've got to live on after he's retired and how this sum equals to x amount extra per year of his retirement?

If there's enough in the pot, then maybe he's got a point, if there are going to be hard years ahead, perhaps he'll rethink?

Show him the figures, or better still, work them out together.

And if you've got children - will you have funding for university for them, or would that be compromised?

QuintessentialOldDear Tue 09-Jul-13 12:39:26

How sad that your husband feels he has to pay his family to spend time with him. Bought friendships is never really worth anything.

nemno Tue 09-Jul-13 12:42:21

I would be really against this holiday and in fact any expenditure that doesn't recognise what this money is actually for ie a safety net for the fact that retirement is likely to be long and pensions are unlikely to be adequate.

dreamingbohemian Tue 09-Jul-13 12:43:09

I don't know if this is a common thing to do in the UK, but I would strongly suggest seeing some kind of financial advisor to help you plan for post-retirement. Basically you sit down with someone, you show them what you have and what your expenses are, and they help you work out a plan to make your payouts and pensions last as long as possible. It's incredibly helpful because it makes you realize that you don't have as much money as you think. Maybe it will shock your DH into awareness -- like, oh, I could pay for this trip or we could buy food for a year.

You really should put your foot down and not let him do this. It would be utter madness really.

cassell Tue 09-Jul-13 12:44:14

How about compromising and hiring a large cottage for the weekend somewhere nice and inviting all the family and ask them to bring either food/drink - that way he could have the family get together he wants, it wouldn't cost as much and you wouldn't have to spend as much time with people you don't get on with.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Tue 09-Jul-13 12:45:18

You're going to be talking about thousands if pounds by the time it's all paid for.

If these people wouldn't spend their own money going on holiday with you (which is fine, their choice) then I would cringe massively at the thought of trying to buy their company.

I feel genuinely sorry for your DH, that he doesn't realise that this is what he is trying to do.

Jubelteen Tue 09-Jul-13 12:47:57

Stop hinting, tell him you don't intend wasting a huge chunk of money on treating family who don't even sound very nice. I wouldn't even be throwing a party. would spend some of the money on a lovely luxury holiday for me and DH only.
My DH is also overly generous. But has realised that he's been taken for a mug a few times and people who would return the favour are few and far between. It makes me sad that he feels that people will like him more if he pays, then shit on him later.

CashmereHoodlum Tue 09-Jul-13 12:48:37

Your husband's idea is a terrible one. You will be sacrificing your future financial security for a brief holiday. When you have a lump sum upon retirement it is absolutely standard to invest it. Most people try go for growth, rather than income, when they invest their lump sums.

This is not a windfall, and shouldn't be treated as one.

cheeseandpineapple Tue 09-Jul-13 12:50:11

Your husband sounds lovely but can completely see where you're coming from on this. Can you suggest hosting/paying for a big family dinner rather than a holiday?

Have you got anyone to help you do some financial planning so you can spend some, save some and invest some to make the most of it all? That way you'll know realistically how much you've got to "play" with, it might help him see perspective too.

Assume he'll be getting a pension too and that this lump sum is on top of a reasonable monthly sum, hope that's the case, particularly at the moment when pensions aren't worth what people were anticipating.

AcrylicPlexiglass Tue 09-Jul-13 12:50:51

That sounds like a good idea, dreamingbohemian.

Maybe no one will want to come, sweetpud? I would do everything possible to get out of a big group family holiday, even if it was paid for! My family are lovely and my in-laws ok and all but I hate that kind of thing.

I think you need to tell him straight that you don't want to do it.

HormonalHousewife Tue 09-Jul-13 12:55:29

I agree with what everybody else is saying.

You havent won the lottery its a pension to last you till you die !

If he's determined, and he sounds like a lovely generous guy, then would renting a large cottage in the UK work. This might 'only' cost a grand or so and could be a good compromise ...

You have to be in full agreement together though or it will only go wrong.

Pootles2010 Tue 09-Jul-13 13:02:11

Even if you do decide to go ahead with this, be very careful. My dad did this with his pension pay out, booked cottage having checked everyone was free, he's since had 3 people drop out, so although I'm sure we'll have a lovely time, the reality is he's paid for a massive place which will be half empty.

I really wouldn't be suprised if your families end up doing this to you. I quite like earlier poster's idea of not mentioning it being free, and see who comes anyway.

ImperialBlether Tue 09-Jul-13 13:05:59

Just send an email to everyone saying, "Does anyone fancy going on holiday all together next year?"

If you don't mention paying for them I doubt very much whether any of them will be there.

And as someone says, immediately afterwards you'll be back to square one.

Personally I dislike big family holidays if not everyone gets on really, really well. Even then, I think they're a minefield.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Tue 09-Jul-13 13:13:43

Even wither people who like each other, big holidays can end up a bit Big Brother House.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 09-Jul-13 14:09:57

Strange how DH's idea of a good deed is almost designed to be the most upsetting for you. Harrowing as it is he may aim to lighten your life if this vexation over being sidelined has been a long-running sticking point . Maybe he thinks here is a final chance for one last bridge building effort or bust. I'd be inclined to do as suggested ^^ see who is interested in holidaying before the question of who pays arises.

Will this holiday eat up a massive chunk pf money? Will those family members even fancy going along?

sweetpud Tue 09-Jul-13 16:10:44

Thanks so much to all of you for the replies and it has certainly given me a few things to think about. I know for sure that if we just invited everyone for a family hol then most probably all would decline, half of those asked wouldn't have the dosh anyway. My DH is doing this because he is a very sociable person, is very kind hearted and I think he sees this as a way of treating the family members who can't afford a hol but he would also really enjoy a big get together. We differ there as I'm not that sociable really, but this isn't why I don't want to go ahead with this plan. I have made a few calculations and we would be looking at around 5 or 6 thousand pounds, even if we took an all exclusive.

I've tried to suggest that this hol isn't such a good idea, but DH gets annoyed and I have just let it lie, saying to him that we will have to discuss this soon as plans will need to be made. My DH is very stubborn, but will also feel very let down if I say no to this. I suppose I made the mistake last year when he first mentioned this idea and to be honest I didn't really say no then or give it much thought. It has only been lately when I have looked at facts and figures, and had time to think everything through, that I've realised it could be a big mistake.

When I mention the idea of taking me somewhere nice, he just says he doesn't know yet! I know its because he wants to treat his family and he will not appreciate me changing or stopping the plan, I know he will see it as a bit of a slur on his family, even though that sounds a bit drastic.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 09-Jul-13 16:29:25

sweetpud don't sleepwalk into the next 20 years now that DH is in sight of retiring. You'll face different challenges and start a new phase of life possibly 24/7 in each other's shadow so it might do no harm to look very carefully at your attitudes to family, finances, priorities. When couples get settled or marry they might consider the same sort of thing. How you deal with happy times and difficulties. How you reach decisions that affect you both. Now you've got years behind you but it might be when you have more time together that you start noticing changed opinions.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now