November 2011 Weddings

IL Vent (probably will be semi-long)

I know I have posted about a similar annoyance before, but I am having the same issue again.

Obviously you all know we are looking for a house. BIL 1 has a townhouse which he couldn't really afford when he bought it with his then FI, and now really can't afford it now that he lost his job and had to take a lower paying one and he broke up with his FI. He is unable to sell it because of the market. BIL 1 (and really BIL 2 also) are not the greatest with financial decisions, but I won't go into that in detail.

All we keep hearing from ILs are that they don't want us to be house-poor and how maybe we should wait to buy a house, and how terrible it is to buy a house and then have an unexpected change where it causes problems financially. I want to shake them. First, I don't want to hear it. Second, H is their responsible child, and we have budgeted an overestimated amount for entertainment expenses because we don't want that either.

I'm not sure if it is just that they are negative all the time (which seems to be true) or that they are taking BIL 1's bad decisions out on H. Any idea of change or any undertaking involving any sort of risk, even the most minor amount, sets them into a tizzy. I am just not sure how to deal with my frustration. It is getting to the point where if I personally have to hear about it anymore, I might get a little rude about it. I am trying to avoid talking to them right now, but it is at the point where I don't want to involve them in any news.

Oh, and in other news, BIL 2 told H that he is saving up for a ring for his gf. They have been dating quite a long time now, maybe a year and a half? MIL's response "Well he is just saving. A lot can happen between now and then." Because that is a nice thing to say. Jesus.

So vent over, but if anyone has any tips for dealing with this?

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Re: IL Vent (probably will be semi-long)

  • I think you're doing the right thing by not bringing up the house issue with them.  I would try to leave them out of it from now on.

    If it does come up again, your H could try to reason with them that he's financially responsible and has learned from his brother's mistakes.  If that falls on deaf ears, hopefully they will be willing to agree to disagree.

    Look on the bright side, at least they're not trying to pressure you into buying that townhouse.
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  • fashionxfashionx member
    edited January 2012
    I think your H needs to talk to them and let them know while he appreciates their concern and advice, that he is not his brother and he has taken steps with you to ensure that you don't buy more than what you can comfortably afford, so that if the unforseeable does happen, that you can still make your house payments. And after that, he can gently tell them that he is an adult and while he appreciates the advice, he is going to make decisions about his life with his wife and not with his parents, and for them to please respect that decision. Then, don't even talk about it with them if they can't handle butting in with their own comments. Either they are negative or they just worry too much, but either way, it sounds to me like there are some boundary issues.

    My H and I have different relationships with our parents. We talk to them and get along well, I think we are pretty close to them; but we don't usually involve them in our personal decision making. Sometimes we may ask advice, but they let us to do our own thing. They respect our decision making, whether good or bad. They may offer their 2 cents, but after that they drop it unless we come to them. When it came to buying a house last year, we certainly talked to our parents but they were not involved in the search process, the financial process, or anything else.
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  • I should specify that H doesn't give a crap what they think and is in no way influenced by them. He ignores them and has for years, and is just used to how they are negative. I can tell it bothers him sometimes that they take out his brothers' mistakes on him, because that isn't fair. It isn't an H problem at all-we go about our merry way no matter what they say. We don't involve them in our decisions for advice, but we do chat about things when we see them and that is when I am having this problem. A good example: H wanted to take a woodworking class at the local trade school, because he is interested and the classes are cheap. He mentioned it in conversation to them and they said "Well that is a waste of money, why would you do that, etc. etc." And then he wishes he never brought it up.

    I guess my issue really is in spending time with them. I don't want to do it very much because it isn't fun and constantly negative. At the same time, I don't want to be the one who distances H from them, but I can also see that they are doing that themselves. He doesn't push for more time with them despite the fact that they are always trying to get more time with us. And I forsee a glaring inequality in the time we spend with them vs. my parents. My parents' response to the woodworking class? "Oh that sounds like fun! Maybe we will get a new chair for next Christmas huh?" You know, normal people.
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  • I guess I am struggling with my role as a DIL really. They are my family, but I don't feel the closeness. I feel obligated to try to be closer however, because H fits in so well with my family and I can tell he truly enjoys them.

    And does it ever become my responsibility to make sure H has time with his family? I guess maybe let him take the lead on how much he wants to see them is the answer.
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  • Yeah I can see how you coming from a nice normal family and going into his negative family (that even he is annoyed with) can be a struggle. I didn't know how he felt about his own parents but if he's having issues with them outside of just with you then that's something else. 

    I don't think you should worry about spending equal time with each other's families. Yes, in an ideal world you would, but you don't have to try to keep it balanced if you both enjoy spending time with your family, then do it. I think he can still talk to his parents and try to let them know that it's hard to be around them when they are negative about everything he is excited about -- from the house to the woodworking class to whatever it is. If he's already tried and it's a losing battle, he might just have to let it go, and just see them less often. Personally I would avoid saying anything as the DIL because you are exactly right, you don't want to be perceived as the one driving him away from his family.  I would avoid it to the extent if his family wants to get together they can set it up with him, and you can choose to go or not go, but don't feel like you need to initate the get-togethers or be actively communicating with them. 
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  • Juris: don't try to make it your responsability to make H's family accept you guys as a couple and love all your decisions, how you do things, etc. And definitely don't put the burdon on yourself that you need to make things happen. It sounds like your H enjoys spending the time with his family as much as you do. If you and your H want to spend the time with them, do it, if not don't. Don't make it stressful.

    We had the same issue with my H's family, except they wanted to run our lives and our schedule. At first H tried to make it work as far as still keeping in touch but after many failed attempts with his family still getting pissed at us he decided if they couldn't deal with our schedule and making plans with us like normal people, than we weren't worth the time. We live across the street from his parents and never see them. Part of me wishes I had an in-law family who loved me and accepted me the way my H gets along with and fits into my family but that just isn't how they see it. My MIL doesn't even call me her DIL, I'm H's wife, LOL.

    Just don't stress over it. If this is their personality and H knows that, than there isn't going to be anything you can do to change it.
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