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Mooching FIL

Started by NewMama, March 27, 2012, 08:07:44 am

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I don't see too many FIL posts, but I was hoping you smart ladies could help me figure out what to say to my DH. Making off the cuff remarks is not my forte and I'm afraid I'm going to say the wrong thing. It's been an emotionally volatile month for me, my beloved GF passed away and I'm anxious about going back to work so I'm really afraid I'm going to handle this wrong (or I'm blowing it out of proportion).

I don't know my FIL very well, DH was always very strange about me meeting him (we had dated for 5 years before I met him). I met him twice before we got married, and have seen him a handful of times since then. When we would visit the city FIL lived in DH usually refused to tell him that we were there. I do know he constantly complains to DH about being broke, and has held a couple minimum wage jobs since I've known DH. He is over 70 and used to be a banker, and I don't know the circumstances behind him losing that job but he did and has held odd jobs ever since. Half his pension goes to MIL (they're legally separated) and he lost a lot of money in the stock market so his retirement savings took a hit. He doesn't have a lot of money, and he doesn't have the kind of money he thought he would in retirement. That being said, he just returned from his 3rd trip to the Caribbean in as many years, spends every weekend at flea markets and yard sales buying stuff (which he says he's going to sell but rarely does), and manages to wine and dine his GF. He also seems very entitled to other people's money - his brother and SIL recently came into a large inheritance from her family and he's angry because he feels they should just give him some of it. He also made a big deal about us getting a new TV (paid for using points) so DH felt bad for him and used his points to get him a gift card so he could get a new TV. He never used the card and wasn't planning on getting a TV, so when our laptop died, DH asked for the card if he wasn't going to use it. He wouldn't give it back unless we gave him cash for it.

We live in province A, FIL lives in province B (a 4 hr drive from here) and DH's cousin is getting married in province C in July. We're spending the wedding weekend in a cottage with a 3 night minimum stay (in peak tourist season, aka not cheap). FIL asked DH to book him a cottage as well, so both cottages are reserved under my DH's credit card. Here's where the problem started, a few years ago: he invites himself to visit us (ie I'm coming this weekend - no I'd like to come visit, can we work out a time), and says he's going to stay with us, knowing full well that we A) don't have somewhere for him to sleep, and B) DH will then book and pay for a hotel room for him to stay in. I found this somewhat annoying before, but we do ok so I never said much about it. He has no trouble booking and paying for his own hotel when he's going somewhere with his gf.

This issue now is I'm going back to work part time (so less $$) and now we have to pay for daycare (more bills).  Paying for this cottage is tight for us, and paying for two is not do-able without taking on credit card debt (which we're very careful about). DH is already talking about paying for FIL's cottage because FIL says he can't afford it. If FIL leaves the cottage without paying, they have DH's credit card. He told DH how much his latest Caribbean trip cost and it's was definitely more than the cost of this cottage for the weekend. I feel that if he chose to go down south instead of going to his niece's wedding, that's not our problem. If he couldn't afford the trip south and went anyways, I think that's poor money management on his part (which according to DH, he has a history of) and we shouldn't be on the hook for that either.

Am I being petty for not wanting to pay for this? Should I tell DH we're not or just let it go?


This is my two cents NM, so take them with a grain of salt...Lol.  I can say this, because I know my relationship with my DH and how we work.  I would most definately be telling my DH that I didn't want to pay for FIL's cottage and ask him to let FIL know that he was removing the reservation from his credit card.  There is no "my" money or "DH's" money in our relationship.  It's "our" money, regardless who makes it.  Now, we both are free to spend without asking, minor purchases but consult each other on bigger purchases before doing them. 

With everything you have said, FIL's history with the points/card/cash request, his trips, his spending...there is no way I would agree to this.  You have legitimate reasons, including day care and a tight budget.  I'm very easy going when it comes to spending money for DH's family as he is with mine, but they have to be willing to help themselves first.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

lancaster lady

New Mama :

I would also cancel his reservation on your credit card , as you know he has no intention of paying it .
I don't know how your DH feels about it , but last year I paid a whacking great hotel bill for a lot of
family members , some said they would get me the money ..........zero , zilch !
I feel a great resentment when I think about paying my CC bill .
So in one way it would only make your relationship worse if you did pay , and he didn't!
Be honest and let him know you can't afford it .


NewMama, I agree with LL and Pooh.

We also do not do "his" and "her" money regardless of who earns more.  And we have sort of an unspoken rule that I've heard talked about, the two yes/one no.  Meaning we both have to say yes to do something (whatever it is.)  And if one says no, then we can't do it.  It works well for us.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


My Take: He's a big boy. He needs to handle his own life...whether a cruise or the blues. You have your own lives. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


It seems that DH has conflicted feelings about his DF.  He won't visit with DF when in the same city, but gives him a gift card out of guilt and now will pay for a cottage you can't afford.  Unless DH is particularly naive, he knows his DF won't pay for the cottage.  Spell it out for DH.  Show him what kind of financial hole that you will be in if you end up paying for FIL's cottage.  If DH is stubborn about it - people can be particularly dense when dealing with relatives - you could offer to stay home from the wedding and let DH and FIL share a cottage.  I say that tongue in cheek, but given that people can have blind spots with loved ones, you want to ask yourself if the cc debt you would have for this cottage is more than the emotional problems that could arise between you and DH if you absolutely refuse to keep the cottage on your cc.  That goes both ways.  If you'll be deeply resentful, then DH needs to know that. 

Good Luck!


So sad to hear about the drama for something that is supposed to be a blessing!  My mom is like your FIL too.  She has a thirst never quenched and a hunger never satisfied.  If I give her money or pay for her way, she will run up the bill cuz, "I owe her" and "I am lucky to have the money to pay for things"  i often remind her that luck has had nothing to do with my finances. 

I am very practical, non materialistic and spend most of the extra money on events with loved ones and or my dear husband.  I live in a home I can well afford, shop at thrift stores and look for sales on everything I buy. I even shop and love the deals at Aldi's  I have kept a professional job with constant learning and evolution/ growth that has required a lot of flexibility.  I have had the ability to respect others even when I may not have the same in return and keep my mouth shut to get along.  I tool the "thank you sir, may i have another" approach and it has always been very hard. Luck?!  Nope!  Hard work, dedication and financial, persona; and professional responsibility has always been my luck.   

She will not even wait until the present treat is over b4 asking for a next time, when? or "can we book it now?" I have given money to her disasters in the past and I will not take credit for the donation.  I send cash or gift cards anonymously.  I must avoid the non stop money and time sucking with her.  Every event becomes an expectation for something better next time. 

My mom has blown through fortunes and cheated the system by running up dept even knowing she was going to file bankruptcy, twice!  She thinks she is entitled and deserves what others have and more but will not save or sacrifice.  gotta have it all and gotta have it now.  When she cries about being broke, I tell her we must examine her budget to determine the need and that I could never satisfy all of her wants.  This usually turns her off as she does not think it's any of my business.  fine with me:)  This proves that she wants money for wants and not needs.

I have held this relationship together for my entire life,  she is difficult , has her tantrums and can be hard to be with.  but thru it all, my son saw my unconditional love and respect for her and the rest of my elders and family members.  i taught him to respect family but for some reason it has not stick with him for anyone who does not live under his roof.

She takes resources intended for needy folks and it embarrasses me to no end.  She came to my home on Christmas eve and she insists on spending the nite as to not be alone on Christmas morn.  This is even when most holidays, she is with one of her kids and families for dinner.  just not good enough.  She wants the whole day. Then she complains about my siblings the whole time.  i have learned to shut her down when she starts the complaining.  i just say, "today we are together and will have a nice visit so we will not talk about what you do not have.  We will celebrate what  you do have and make the best of it." 

Last year, she came for Christmas eve and had a ton of presents with her.  She said, "look at what my friends gave me from church!"  When she unwrapped them one by one, my heart fealt a sting as I realized that the church "adopted" her for the holidays as many of the gifts were for someone who really had nothing and no one.  I thought, "Holy God, mom, really?!" i saved the judgement as it is not my role but holy cow was I amazed at her selfishness.   i just thought of the truly needy family that went without so she could cry poverty and get things not even needed!

Newmom, Talk w DH and work it out.  My take would be to say no. Explain that you cannot afford it and cannot take on credit card debt for him.  use the budget excuse and he'll back off.  hopefully:)  hugs!


I'm with luise on this one.  FIL sounds kind of like a jerk.  He has no problem taking advantage of others.  I'd have no problem saying, "I don't think so."  But that's me.

"When you allow life to flow... without struggle... your Soul is restored."   ~z2z~

Keys Girl

I'm going with sleezeball manipulative creep.

I would cancel the reservation for him and yourself (if you feel like it).  If money is tight you can send a lovely gift and not squeeze yourselves any further but go somewhere else for the weekend and have some fun. 

These kinds of relatives are like leeches, hard to get rid of but they know every trick in the book.

Watch for him to find someone else in the family, etc. to fill the gap if you aren't there.  I got stuck once in a situation like this by using my credit card for my boss, who then turned around and refused to pay up.  Never again.

You are right at the beginning of your relationship with these people.  Set them straight now that your credit cards aren't available to their use, or do them one over, cut up the credit cards, use cash and then they can ask someone else who has a card. (keep one card for emergencies, but keep that to yourselves).

You aren't being petty, you are being prudent.  Smart cookie.

"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown


I think you should give your FIL a copy of  Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover" and have the podcasts playing whenever he comes over!  ;D


I think this got resurrected by the spam poster, so I thought I'd give an update :)

FIL drove DH so crazy about the cottage it got cancelled and DH just left him to figure it out on his own because he was so mad. FIL kept calling and giving him the story about not being able to afford it (which very well could be true, but his history shows that it's also him being manipulative) and eventually asked DH to cancel the reservation (probably because we didn't jump at the chance to pay for it). DH was irritated and left him to find his own accommodations, at which point FIL called and requested we re-book it under DH's credit card again. DH said no, the reason we booked months ago was because it was peak tourist season and it's a popular spot, it's probably been reserved by someone else already, and to find his own hotel - which FIL finally did because we balked at paying. He was perfectly capable of doing it all on his own all along, but this is what he does to DH to try to get money.

The rest of DH's extended family are lovely, and quite fun to be around. I'm looking forward to a weekend away, and I'm not going to let him wreck it for me!


Good for you newmomma!  don't let anyone steal your joy!   :)

FIL should be ashamed and embarrassed but I don't think he is capable of those feelings and has no qualms about taking advantage of his own children for his own gain.

If it were me, I'd tell him the credit card has been maxed out or cancelled and that there is no more credit cards. (not that you owe an ounce of explanation).  No one besides you and your DH needs to know your credit card and/or your financial business anyway.  You & DH owe no one any explanations as to how you reserve your own accomadations in the future.  Then start afresh!

When manipulative folks start prying and being "busybodys", and they ask you a specific question re: credit cards or any other topic that will be unacceptable topics of discussion, you can reply with "why do you ask?"  and let the silence settle in after their response to that.  Then respectfully change subjects.    ;)

"When you allow life to flow... without struggle... your Soul is restored."   ~z2z~


Good for you on all points! Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Keys Girl

Good for you, he'll be back, and you can say "I'm so glad you brought up the subject of money, how much can you spare? we have a little leak in the basement!"

"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown