Wedding Woes

Your wife also has an entitlement, and parenting, problem. And now it's yours.

Dear Prudence,

My wife and I are at a crossroads. This is a second marriage for us both. All our children are grown. She was divorced and I was widowed. We both agreed to keep our previous assets out of our marriage—I have my business and she has her house (which we live in). We share all other expenses and savings equally. The problem is with her adult daughter “Lynsey.” She and her husband don’t make much money and are being squeezed by surging rent prices. Lynsey also wants a child but can’t afford IVF. My problem with Lynsey is that she has refused all reasonable offers of help (moving back home, us paying for career education or moving her to a cheaper area), and she whines about my children. Their grandparents (on my late wife’s side; they are very wealthy and she was an only child) have been very generous to them. They all have homes, good careers, and no debt. They enjoy the company of my wife, but have only a superficial relationship with her kids other than the occasional holiday (which my oldest son usually pays for). Lynsey can’t seem to get it through her head that she is not entitled to anything from my side of the family, let alone my dead wife’s family.

At my wife’s birthday, there was a discussion about the costs of remodeling and DIY. My daughter was talking about using reclaimed cabinets and tiles in her second bathroom, and Lynsey told her to shut up and stop playing as if she was actually poor instead of a spoiled little rich girl. A fight broke out  where Lynsey wouldn’t let up, and since she was staying with us, my children left. Lynsey refuses to apologize, and none of my children want to be around her anymore. Neither do I. I was willing to take on the lion’s share in the costs of helping Lynsey. There were plans to sell a majority share of my company and step back as a consultant, and the money would come from there. My wife told me I am being unfair and cruel to her against her daughter. I think Lynsey could be given everything on a silver platter and would whine she wasn’t given a silver spoon to go with it. I have asked why Lynsey doesn’t expect anything out of her father, other grandparents, or even her brother. And she refused any offer of therapy. I love my wife, but I am not budging on his. Help.

— Money Honey

Re: Your wife also has an entitlement, and parenting, problem. And now it's yours.

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