A DH Needs Advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2009
A DH Needs Advice
Mon, 11-30-2009 - 12:19pm

Hi everyone. I have been reading this board for a while, and find the advice given very interesting and informative. I wasn't sure if I could join because I am a DH, but I have an issue I'm dealing with and need unbiased advice. First off, my wife is incredible. She is my best friend. She is very responsible with money; we share all accounts, have emergency savings (3 mo.) we are still building, and discuss all financial issues in detail. We have a mortgage, credit card (cards since cut up) and student loan debt; no car loans. We are using the snowball method to pay off everything sooner. I feel that I am making sacrifices now for the best future for our family. My wife is making the same sacrifices; she buys just the basics and pay cash for everything. We live below our means, and know what comes in and what goes out. We rarely disagree on money issues except for this...

My sister-in-law has borrowed money from us repeatedly and never paid back a dime. My brother-in-law (DW brother) has been in and out of work since I have known him. He doesn't have a H.S. Diploma, and is adverse to using education as a tool for earning money. They have kids (so do we), and she leans on my wife every time they need money. I have already told them not to ask, but she had another "crisis" that put them in peril. When my DW wired her money recently I was furious. I could see if it was a one-time occurrence, but we will loan $500 or more and never see it again. I feel that my BIL and SIL are very manipulative. I feel very resentful to the point that I would much rather not deal with them. I just feel that if you are healthy, you can work. No job is beneath anyone when there are mouths to feed. My BIL doesn't share in these beliefs.

Am I being a jerk and should I have more compassion? I just feel that we are being taken advantage of even when we visit. The amount of money loaned/given is in the several thousands. It makes me very angry, and I have voiced this (loudly). This ongoing issue has caused a wedge in our communication. I am hoping that the wired money was the last time. Sorry about the length of this letter. Please, if I need to take a chill pill, let me know. Thanks for any advice.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2006
Mon, 11-30-2009 - 1:01pm

Of course you are welcome, I think there may be another guy or two on the board! I am fairly new but just wanted to welcome you.

Avatar for sohappilyme
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 11-30-2009 - 2:29pm

Welcome! We let guys play here. =c)

I would absolutely, 100% put my foot down. This is a pattern and I can't think of a single reason why it would ever change. Your ILs probably dig the free cash and your wife, who sounds like a wonderful person and is probably too big-hearted for her own good in this case, isn't likely to cut them off. I imagine she'd feel really guilty if she did, and trust me, I'm the queen of inviting guilt. It stinks, and I'd rather kill myself helping someone than live with myself when I don't. HOWEVER, they are totally taking advantage of you guys!

I'm a numbers person. If there's anyway you can figure out exactly how much you've given them (or can estimate to a degree that she can't argue with), set up a mock investment as an example. "Look, honey, we gave them $3,000 last year. If we invested that and had a return of X%, we'd have $X after one year. If we gave them that amount each year, look how much we'd have!" Then pull out the big guns. "That would pay for college for the kids / Pay for a great family vacation / Mean we'd have to work less and be together more" etc. (There are calculators online that will spit those numbers out for you.)

As someone who will do without so others may have, I can tell you that the only way to sucker punch me out of helping people who take advantage of me is to show me how I'm not helping my own family in the long run. Yes, it's great to help someone when you can. BUT those relationships tend to cross a line, and that line has long faded from your rear view. Put your foot down! (Right on your wife's check writing hand or her PIN punching ATM finger - it's time for a change!)

BTW, kudos on your progress! You guys rock!


Baby Names - BabyNamey.com Name Badge Ticker

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
Mon, 11-30-2009 - 2:41pm



"Patience is the best remedy for every trouble"- Plautus

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Mon, 11-30-2009 - 3:13pm

I don't think I could say it better than the previous posters. (guys welcome btw!)

This will not stop. They will keep asking. If you are still in CC debt then realistically you don't have money to give them. Would they even ask if they knew you were in debt? They should feel a little shame I hope.

You sound like you are off to a great start. Keep going and take care of your own family. Its not your responsibility to take care of theirs.

Oh yea, the wife......this will be tricky but you have to stay firm! Tell her you are not completely unsympathetic and offer to watch their kids while they work another job or something?

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Mon, 11-30-2009 - 5:58pm

I'm afraid I'm not married, so I can't really give you any good advice.


empty purse

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
Mon, 11-30-2009 - 8:04pm
Maybe try to discuss the issue with your wife NOT right at the point they ask for help! Try to talk it over with her before that happens and tell her that this is really bothering you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 12:44am
I think your dw sounds like she wants to help in anyway she can, and maybe you could talk to her about some alternative ways of helping her bro and sil. For instance, instead of loaning him money, maybe (if you are able and willing) offer to pay for his ged courses, or a training course, or maybe you guys could offer to help with childcare for them, opposite your work schedules of course, so that they would be able to take on more work and increase their own incomes. I feel like a hypocrite as I write this owing my bro $150 he


Wife to Wayne, Mommy to Tyler (15), Nickolas (3) and Noah (1)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-02-1999
Tue, 12-01-2009 - 9:12am

Welcome to the board!

I don't think you're being a jerk for thinking this way. And this is coming from the other end of that money-lending dynamic. Over the years as DH and I have gone through money troubles, he has constantly gone to his mom for help to get us through. Although I appreciated that his mom wanted to help, it infuriated me that he used her as a crutch, and I knew that she was only enabling him by giving us money. And to date, we have not been able to pay them back. If I have my way, we WILL pay them back, every penny. But until DH learns that he has to find a way to dig out himself (teach a man to fish and all that), we're not going to be able to do it.

Definitely talk to your wife about how you feel. I like what some of the previous posters have suggested, like showing her in black and white what difference it would make for your family, or finding some other way to give SIL/BIL a leg up.

Good luck!



iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2008
Sat, 12-05-2009 - 12:11am

Welcome to the board and good going on your financial plan.

Talk to your wife about co-dependency.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-09-2000
Fri, 12-11-2009 - 11:03pm

"I think that I have learned from experience that if I decide to "loan" money to a relative, I make sure that I do not PLAN on getting it back!"