Post # 1
I have a question for all the married bees and soon to be married bees. My husband and I just got married a month ago and I’m having some issues with his mother. DH gets a little check from his family’s business every week that we decided we’d like to put into two roth IRAs as per his mother’s suggesiton. After speaking with our accountant, he said we should split the checks each month putting one into every other account each week.
Now, DH’s mother has been pressuring us to get the accounts set up even though we still hadn’t decided where we were going to set them up. Today he called me and told me she set up his account by herself, just days after I specifically asked her not to, and dumped all the checks into one account instead of splitting them between two as our accountant said we should. I am SO pissed off that she would go behind my back like that and can forsee this being a continuing problem in the future if we don’t put our foot down. His mother has always been overly protective of him (he’s her only child) and has never liked me, going so far as to call me posion and bad mouth me to everyone over the 9 years we’ve been together.
However, instead of presenting a unified front and supporting me, DH doesn’t see what the problem is. He doesn’t want to say anything to his mom for fear she’ll take the checks away (which she could, he doesn’t earn them) and thinks it’s no big deal that she’d go behind my back and interefere with our finances like that. I can’t seem to make him understand how upset I am that she’s intereferring in decisions that should be ours alone and he thinks I should let his mother do whatever she wants.
Am I being completely out of line? I know you marry a family, not just a person, and I knew she harbored some serious dislike after so many years of her bashing me but I had hoped DH would back me. I don’t want her coming between us for the rest of our lives and I feel like if we don’t do something to stop it now it’ll snowball into something we can’t stop later. I need some advice on what to do!
Post # 3
I think you DH has to get on board, because she needs to know that you are both unified now and she does not run the show. Nip this now, or the issues will keep growing.
Post # 4
I’m a strong believer that money as a gift should be spent how the reciever likes, not the giver. I would talk to your husband to try to get him to understand where you’re coming from.
Post # 5
No. MIL butts in too much too. Hubby had to put his foot down. He saw a different side of her when she resisted, but he didn’t break done in his decision to let her know that she was out of line. Now she is very sorry and trying to make nice with me (too much was said and done for me to be close to her again).
I feel that your Hubby needs to let her know that you two have to make your own financial decisions. If you have any questions, then you will ask her for her opinion. He needs to draw a line.
Post # 6
Sounds like the problem here is that it’s her money and she can take it away. From what you’ve written about her, I wouldn’t be surprised if she did in fact threaten to stop sending him these checks if he tried reasoning with her about how they are used. So you and your husband should get on the same page about whether it’s worth giving up this source of income in order to stop MIL’s interference in your financial decisions. I hope you guys can come to an agreement about this and present a united front to your MIL either way.
Post # 7
What is this account she set up? Is it another IRA account or is it a savings account? If it is a savings account, I would just transfer it to whatever account you have. If it’s an IRA account that she set up, I would get the account information on it. Is her name on the account? If it is, take her off.
My husband is… well was a mama’s boy. He was afraid to get her mad. Yeah, we nearly called off the wedding and ended up going to counseling to get him to stand up to his mom. Luckily, it worked and was able to continue with the wedding.
Yeah, it is difficult because she could take that money away if she find out. I think you are going to have to live with that. If it happens, it happens. I would rather deal with a husband that sticks up for our decisions than a husband that is always trying to please his mom. I made it clear to my FI and now husband that our relationship is between me and him and not me, his mom and him. We will take advice and suggestions from family and friends but WE will ultimately make the decision together.
Post # 8
If you can manage without it, I’d tell her to keep the money. While you appreciate her interest in the financial well-being of you and her son, ultimately it’s your decision and if she can’t respect that, then simply make it a non-issue by not accepting the money.
I know it’s easier said than done in this economy but you can’t put a price on your independance and financial sanity.
Post # 9
I am a strong believer that when you marry someone the two of you become a family and you become a unit whose first and foremost priority is one another. Finances are a very private subject and for her to make a decision about where your money is going is extremely out of line.
Your husband needs to stand up to his mother. Plane and simple. My number one concern for this issue is that he is fostering bad habits with her already. He is perpetuating a penchant for allowing his mother to continue to make important adult decisions for him and saying to his mother that she is more important than his wife.
I think you should talk to your husband again. Stress that his need to talk to his mother stems beyond just this incident. He needs to set the standard with her about how your finances and other personal matters will be dealt with. If that means not accepting the money any more then that is possibly what you need to do. Best case scenario would be to split the money she has already deposited into 2 accounts, remover her name off of the account if it is on there and then doing as your accountant suggested.
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2010 - MacLean Park
This is a tough decision, and one I suffer from too, but it’s my parents being the problem, not my husband’s. Basically I have a trust fund that I cannot touch until I’m 60, and cannot even see until I’m 30, so I have no clue what goes on in there. The bad thing is, I have to pay yearly taxes on the earnings, but since I’m not allowed to see it, I have to use my parents’ tax guy every year so I know how much to pay. Trust me, there have been many battles over this. I do not enjoy having this looming over me, because if my dad ever decides to sell a crap-ton of stock, I will have to pay taxes on those yearly earnings, and it could potentially destroy us financially. Do I think my dad would do that? No. But the fact that it’s possible is really scary.
To me, this is a slightly different issue than just a blanket statement on MIL’s interference. It is her money originally, and yes, while I also think that the recipient should decide how a gift is used, many givers want to determine how they think it should be used/spent. I think you’ll have limited play on this issue, since she has the power to take it all away. Basically, you have to decide what you want more: your freedom, or the money. It’s not quite that dramatic, but you get the point. So long as she’s not prying into your personal finances (which is pretty much impossible without hubby’s consent and cooperation), then you have to choose if it’s really so bad that she made that decision before consuting you. Ultimately, she wants to protect her son, which means she has to protect you too, you know? She can’t screw you without screwing him too, so I think you may be okay on this one. It sucks, but that’s life when you marry into a crazy family. Some days I pity my poor husband for my family drama…
Post # 11
My advice: let it go. Instead of making a big deal about it, just transfer money into your account every other month, like what your accountant suggests. Just make sure she doesn’t have access to his account (that she opened for him) and it should all work out.
Let her think she’s in control when in reality you’re both doing your own thing.
Post # 12
@sand dollar: Wow, I’m surprise the account isn’t paying the taxes – that would make the most sense to me. What would you do if you didn’t work enough to earn money to pay the taxes?! 60 also seems a super late date to finally get it. Maybe you can pay college for grandkids then or take lots of vacations. Hope when you hit 30 that you find out that it really is worth it!
Post # 13
What is more important: independence/making your own financial decisions as a new family, or your MIL’s money? Because it will likely come to that. Getting married is often hard on parents that are used to being very involved, and it includes some painful boundary setting. To me, this would be non-negotiable – the MIL needs to mind her own business and stop getting involved, period. Your husband needs to choose you over her and place his new family over his mother’s need to control everything in her child’s life. Period.
Post # 14
I just don’t understand how someone can give the gift of money and then expect to control where and how that money is to be spent/invested. I mean, you guys seem to be responsible people and had plans to make a sound investment with it. You’d think by now she’d trust that you (or at least DH) would make a smart decision and leave it at that. It was totally out of line for her to make those moves behind your back. If the agreement was that she would set aside her own money in an account for you… well that’s one thing, but if she’s cutting checks in your husband’s name, IMO, she’s giving up her right to decide where it goes.
I might be stubborn (and also in a very sour mood), but if I were in this situation I’d tell her to take her checks and shove it. At this point, the money would mean nothing to me and I wouldn’t want to give her any reason to feel like we owe her, took advantage of her, or whatever other petty nonsense she’d likely come up with.
Post # 15
I posted on here but it didn’t go through, so here it is again worded differently:
I think you should view this money as part of your DH’s inheritence. It’s great that he’s actually able to use it so early on in life, but it should still be treated like it’s his families money and not just an extra paycheck the two of you earned. If it were me, I would ask my DH for input on how he felt the money should be set up/used, but I would want him to respect whatever decision my parents and I made together about it. And also, if I were your MIL, it wouldn’t matter if I liked you or not, I would want to make sure that you couldn’t claim any of the money if the two of you were to divorce.
So really I think the best thing for you to do is sit back and let them decide together how the money should be handled. You are going to get it eventually anyway, but right now it really is his families money. And honestly, if your MIL is putting the money in your DH’s name, he can do whatever he wants with it after it’s deposited and she has no say.
Post # 16
I’m sorry, I don’t care if its “family” money. She had no right to go behind your back to do what she did. I’m a firm believer in setting clear boundries or else people have no problem crossing them again and again. I think your husband should be supporting you on this issue. I can’t imagine my FMIL butting in to that extent. If you able to present a united front and get her on board then great. But if hubby can’t get behind you on this, I think you guys will continue to have bigger issues down the line. What is she gonna wanna do next, have naming rights for your kids, decide where yall should live. I’m sorry, if she can’t comply with your wishes, then I’d find away to do without the money personally, but only guys can make the assesment.