Post # 1
So here I am again. My previous post was about asking my fiance’s parents for money upfront in order to invite their extra guests. This didn’t sit well with my fiance because he felt like I didn’t trust his parents to have the money but his mom has borrowed a lot of money from him before and hasn’t paid him back yet. A lot of responses to my post pointed out the issue of my fiance giving large amounts to money to his parents and not paying him back. I talked about it with my fiance and explained that I was uncomfortable with his willingness to give his parents money and that I won’t be comfortable with that once we’re married. He was quite upset and took it that I didn’t care about his parents. He even said at one point that I’m being unfair because I don’t want to give his parents money but have no problem taking money from them (to cover their guests).
He also has a joint bank account with his mom that he puts some money in so she can use it whenever she needs it, this account isn’t a loan to her, it’s just hers to use and she doesn’t have to pay him back. I found this out awhile ago and requested the account be closed once we’re married and he agreed, but I’m starting to think he should close it now. This is clearly a huge issue and I don’t want to ignore this red flag. I told him I wanted to go to pre marital counseling to resolve this and I’m not sending save the dates until it is.
I was just wondering though, is it fair for parents to expect their children to help out financially once they’re adults? Neither of us are from a culture where this is the norm, but I’m worried his mom still expects it. I would get it if she was a widow, but she has her husband. My fiance feels like it’s perfectly acceptable to help his parents when they need it since they raised him and provided for him growing up. I’ve never felt the need to “pay my parents back” for raising me. I understand helping in emergencies, but as far as I know, his money was never for any type of emergency. I don’t want him to think I don’t care about his parents, but I also don’t want to be dipping into our future savings and prolong buying a house because his parents need money.
Just looking for some support because I’m feeling pretty down about this whole situation.
Post # 2
I mean if my parents fell on hard times or had some type of emergency and were unable to make ends meet I would definitely help out. But just giving them large sums of money for no reason I probably would never do (nor would my parents accept the money.) Are they having a hard time paying bills or is this just fun money?
Also him saying you have no problem taking their money is out of line. That is money to pay for THEIR guests, that they wanted to invite.
Edited to add: Maybe ask him how he would feel if you wanted to gift your parents $10k or pay some of their bills every month.
Post # 3
I’m with you on this one. It would really bug me if DH were giving away our money, causing us to lag behind in our own goals (buying a house soon).
If it were an emergency situation like a job loss or health problem, and he talked about it with me- it would be a different situation. But as far as just giving away money, that seems odd unless you are very wealthy.
Post # 4
I don’t know, there’s no ‘right’ answer here. I agree with your fiancé and think it is acceptable to give your parents money as an adult, why would it not be ‘fair’ or ‘acceptable’ to do this? This issue comes from you and your Fiance disagreeing but this is a difference in opinion, he isn’t wrong for wanting to help his parents.
Post # 5
that’s tough. Money is tough.
I don’t think it’s worth asking him to close that joint account now. He’s already agreed to do it later, and until you’re married it’s his money and his business, IMO. No point stirring up trouble; you’ve got plenty.
As for is it fair… I’m not sure life is fair, to be honest. In an ideal world parents would save up for their own retirement to the point where it covers them until death, even if they need 24/7 care. But not everyone has the privilege to be in a situation where they can do that. In a perfect world everyone would earn enough money to keep up with inflation and gentrification etc.. but not everyone can.
I can only assume your parents are financially stable and that is why you feel no need to help them. I sincerely hope if your parents needd some help or else they’d be homeless, you’d help them.
Anyway. You and your fiance need a real, honest discussion about money:
– figure out how you want to handle money when you’re married. Is it one big pool that belongs to both of you? Will you keep seperate bank accounts and then a joint house fund? Will you have one main pool with allowances? (After you agree on how you want to handle money, you may want to look up local marriage/divorce laws and see what the courts say. You may want a prenup if your views differ from the standard.. but that’s an aside.)
– if you decide that everything earned while married is your community property, then that means any money he gives to his parents is half yours. Which means you need to agree to giving it to them. Which means you need to understand exactly why he’s giving it to them. What’s going to happen to them if you dont give them money? What’s going to happen to your life projections if you do (e.g. how much longer will it take for you to buy a house, how much smaller a house will you afford, how will you afford children?). If the two of you are going to spend your money to help his parents, you’re entitled to understand what will happen to them if you don’t. Maybe when you understand the costs and benefits fully, you’ll think it makes sense to give them some money. Maybe you won’t.. but at least then you two can really see if you can find common ground.. or if you’ll never agree on this.
– if his money is his, or if he gets an allowance, well.. then it’s up to him whether he wants to give money to his mom or save up for a cool motorcycle. (or whatever else his hobbies are). Not your problem.
Many, many compatible couples fall apart because of money. Figure this out now.
Post # 6
I wouldn’t be happy about my husband just giving his parents money either. Obviously, if there was a crisis and they needed money that would be different and we would discuss how we could help them. But just because? Nope. I wouldn’t be okay with that at all.
I firmly believe children don’t owe thier parents for raising them – parents are parents because they decided to have children and take on that responsibility. There shouldn’t be an expectation from parents for thier kids to pay them back.
Post # 7
courtja : My fiance didn’t ask what they needed the money for because he felt “it was none of his business”. But as far as I can tell, they aren’t struggling. They go out to dinner frequently, are members of multiple wine clubs, they spend more money on supplements every month than I pay in rent. I’m there frequently enough to see they aren’t struggling. Whenever something goes wrong like they need the car fixed or something fixed at their house, they don’t ask him for money for it.
Post # 8
In certain cultures, it’s expected that the adult children will support their parents. Even in the US where it’s not the norm, there are still lots of young adults who are supporting their parents because their parents might not have the skills or ability to work and support themselves. There is no rule on what is right or wrong here. Every family is different. You and your fi obviously do not see eye to eye on this, so you need to find some compromise. You don’t really have a right to say he absolutely can’t give his parents money though.
Post # 9
I couldn’t be with a little boy like that who picks his mother over his wife
Post # 10
Hmm this is tough because for me it’s a cultural thing, where adult children are indeed expected to support their parents financially. So for me, it’s not weird at all that your Fiance has a joint account with his mom and he puts money in there for her to use. And in fact that is a setup I have (of which my husband, who is not from my culture, is well aware and is in agreement with). But you said neither of you comes from such a culture where this is the norm. So I don’t know that anyone can determine the “rightness” or “wrongness” of either your or your FI’s approach.
However, I definitely do see why this situation rubs you the wrong way. I mean of COURSE you don’t “trust his parents to have the money” because one they literally said they don’t have the money! And two, there’s precedent of that $10k his mom never paid back…Also that is such an unfair characterization of the situation that you “have no problem taking money from [his parents]” since it’s THEIR guests and guests YOU didn’t want that that money is paying for! Also the $10k his mom “borrowed” and never paid back–Am I understanding correctly that this $10k is ON TOP of the money he already gives her on a regular basis?
I would do the quid pro quo approach: Every time he puts money in his mom’s account, you write a check to your parents for the same amount (talk to them ahead of time that they’re holding this money for you, in case they’re like uh we don’t want to take money from you). He takes 10k out of his savings account, you take 10k out too. If he complains, the readymade response is “They’re your parents but what are my parents? Second-class parents?” What can he say to that?
Post # 11
If they aren’t struggling then even in a very filial culture (mine is Asian) I would not be giving my parents money w/o consulting spouse. It sounds like your Fiance is picking your parents over you. I would seriously get that resolved before agreeing to marry him. I wouldn’t.
Post # 12
It is expected in our culture to give parents money, but it’s a back and forth thing. We get and give money on holidays. Older people pay for young until they get married. After you’re married, you’re considered an adult who is financially able to care for yourself, so then you are expected to pay for restaurants, give money out on holidays, etc. I ask my parents to buy things for me sometimes and I don’t pay them back. They ask me to run errands for them, and I don’t expect them to give me money back either. It goes both ways.
I don’t think it is up to you to decide what he does with his money. He worked for it, he earned it, and he can do what he wants with it. Just because you are married doesn’t mean that half of his money is automatically yours. Now if he was gambling his money away and was thousands of dollars in debt, then I would take control of his finances as that would affect our lifestyle. So long as you are both living comfortably as is, I don’t see the problem.
Post # 13
UM!!! Whhaaattt??? These people need to get on a budget.
Have you heard of Dave Ramsey? You two need to get on the same page about your finances or else the two of you are going to have a lot of issues once you’re married.
Post # 14
Great idea going to a counselor. They will help you make the best decision for your relationship. And he HAS to go to counseling with you. If he refuses, tell him YOU will sleep on the couch. I found that some guys are fine with sleeping on the couch as a punishment, but would do anything in order for me not to sleep on the couch.
Post # 15
“I was just wondering though, is it fair for parents to expect their children to help out financially once they’re adults? Neither of us are from a culture where this is the norm,
In what I assume is a western culture: no, I think that is very unusual. (Unless the kids strikes it really rich or the parents are on very hard times). My “kids” are young adults now, and I wouldn’t dream of it. I don’t expect my kids to feel obliged to pay me back or support me, just like my parents don’t expect me to pay them back.