son and fiance' have money issues

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
son and fiance' have money issues
11
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 5:39pm

Hello,

I was hoping there would be a place I could go on ivillage for this.

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Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 10:18pm

Hi, and welcome to the board. The members of this board are typically more supportive than critical so I hope that you will feel comfortable here.

You do have a difficult situation...you want to say enough, but not so much that your ds gets defensive or alienated and then stops communicating. You didn't mention the ages of your son or his df but I'm guessing mid-20s? I've noticed that as my kids get older (and have more life experience) they are more open to "adult" conversations with dh and me, as if when they were younger they felt like we were trying to "control" them when we voiced concerns but now they recognize it as just voicing concerns. Do you think that your ds is open to listening to what you have to say and can take it the right way?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Fri, 10-28-2011 - 11:01am

I agree. If the couple are arguing about money now, It doesn't look good for the marriage.

Mom & Dad together need to have a heart-to-heart with their son. Concentrate on the

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Fri, 10-28-2011 - 11:27am

Hi, and thank you for your response!

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Fri, 10-28-2011 - 8:22pm
Welcome to the board. We may not always have the answers but we are always here to listen. You are right to be upset as you are a Mom & we don't stop caring or worrying just because our kids reach a certain age.

I have your exact situation with my DD & SIL and the opposite with my DS & his fiancee. I also believe that if our children tell us something we have the right to express our opinion in a positive manner. So I would encourage you to talk with your DS to explain your concerns without any harsh words against your future DIL. Just stick to the facts & like you have been advised recommend they get counseling on money matters. Who is paying for their wedding? Does she want a big wedding? Maybe this is one of the first things they can plan together using a money adviser. Is your DS frustrated because he pays all the bills? I'm assuming they live together.

You are right that problems before a marriage don't go away & when they are based on how you are raised then they aren't likely to change too much. When my DD & SIL first got together, he was in debit from having fun. She worked with him to pay off his debts and then they moved in together but after 10 mths she found out that he had lied about a 4 wk trip he took with is brother. His parents didn't pay for it but rather he put it on credit. His parents were part of the lie as they thought he should go have fun. They split up for 8 mths and then she agreed to get back together but with a different strategy. He had to give her x% of his salary & she used it to pay off his debts over an 18 mth period & for his share of the rent, bills, etc.. This is how they have continued to live now that they are married. He keeps part of his pay cheque & uses it to play. She takes the rest & pays the bills/adds to the savings. When they got married, he spent $2k on a week of partying with the guys & she used the money she had saved for the wedding. I don't think it's fair but she is fine with it.

My DS loves to spend money. His fiancee is very tight. She has been amazing on getting DS to spend in a realistic manner & he is working his way out of debt now that they have been together 2 yrs. DS gets bored with a job then will quit but never reduces his spending. When he did this a year ago, I was livid. He didn't even tell us he quit as he knew how I would react but his fiancee did. So I sat them both down & told her not to marry him until he could prove he would stay with a job longer than a year. She was horrified that I would say this but he understood. My Dad was the same as my son and I came home many a day to no electricity or working phone because Dad was out of work again. Like my DS, Dad never had a problem finding a new job as he was charming but he would normally take a few mths off to relax thereby running up bills.

Good luck, my DS will have an easier time than my DD as they were both raised by conservative, saving parents. My SIL's parents love to spend & even though they are retired, they still have a mortgage on their house & a line of credit with over 75k on it with only one average pension. Their line of credit was only 30k when DD started dating SIL 8 yrs ago. They just keep adding to it. Not my lifestyle but it's also not my problem either.

Good luck & hugs for you. Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sat, 10-29-2011 - 3:51pm

Hello, and thank you for your response!

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Sat, 10-29-2011 - 8:02pm
Oh the joy of wedding planning! We just had our daughter's wedding in Aug & I know exactly how you feel. My SIL's family is huge & his side ended up with 70 of the 120 that attended, we had 35 & the last 15 were friends of the kids. Originally, his parents were contributing less than us but they wanted more people than they were originally allowed so they gave more money. There were 140 invited & 24 declined but 4 extras (not invited) showed up. We were told to expect 15 to 20% of those invited not to show up. I paid directly for certain things like the wedding dress, flowers, bridesmaid's dresses and then I gave them a cheque the week of the wedding for them to use for the reception costs. A word of warning - expect the wedding costs to double the original budget. Our definitely was and so were most of those I talked with.

Good luck, Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Sat, 10-29-2011 - 9:44pm

Hi and welcome to the board. I don't post here a lot but I did want to mention one bright thing. If they do go through with the marriage and she still has student loans he won't be legally responsible for them. I'm not sure if that's a US law or a state by state law but my younger ds21 was briefly married (long story) and his ex was well over $30,000 in debt. He's not great with money either but he did worry about his credit getting shot to heck. Since she had accrued the debt before they married he wasn't responsible during or after the marriage. I do agree with the others that it sounds like they need to be much more on the same page money wise if they want to start out on the right foot in a marriage.

Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 7:21pm

Hi,

Double the budget?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 7:23pm

That is good to know.

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Tue, 11-01-2011 - 5:48pm
As I said, my DD was just married. I like my SIL as a person but I believe he is all wrong for my DD & she is equally wrong for him. They have 2 different approaches to life and a different set of dreams. I believe one will get hurt as they may feel shortchanged if their dream isn't realized. However, they have been together 8 yrs, engaged for 4 & then last fall she started planning their Aug wedding.

We had all the same feelings that you are having about whether this will work or not. My husband didn't want to spend money on a wedding then have them go through a divorce & our feelings didn't change until about 6 mths before the wedding. My DD & SIL have had problems in their relationship over the years in addition to the differences in handling money. Last Feb, DD sat me down & said that she was disappointed I wasn't more excited about her wedding. She could see the difference in my actions regarding my DS & his fiancee who are so very right for each other. We had an open & honest conversation. I told her my fears & concerns & she acknowledged that I had a right to feel the way I did. She said she had many of the same concerns but the one thing she was certain of was that the 2 of them loved each other very much and felt the time was right to make this commitment to each other. She said she would work hard to ensure that love was enough to make them successful & if the marriage didn't work then it wouldn't be that she didn't try. I realized that this isn't my decision to make. If she is old enough to be married then she is old enough to make the decision independently of my feelings. My job as a parent is to raise my children to be caring, functioning adults & I have done this. She gets to make her own mistakes.

No one says we have to help pay for the wedding, we make these decisions based on love & financial ability. But our money is a gift & there should be no strings attached. Once I accepted this, it was easier to enjoy the wedding planning & events. I won't lie, there were times I still got frustrated but I know I will get frustrated with similar/different things at my son's wedding too.

We love them & want to protect them but we need to let them live their own lives & make their own mistakes then deal with the consequences. Good luck & keep us up to date on the wedding plans!

Dee

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