Judgemental in-laws

posted 4 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
369 posts
Helper bee

Where to begin? Boundaries! Why does it feel like they have left you at kindergarten and are coming back everynow and then to make sure you’re “being good.”

Most important question: who is financing this? The millionaire FIL? If so you’re forever going to be at the brunt of listening to “well its my house and I pay for everything so you better do as I say” spiel that we hear as teens and thankfully dont have to as grown ups.

If its funded by yourselves they get NO say, NONE. Your life, your marriage, your money and how lovely to say: YOUR effing money! 

I would definitely take a giant step back away from them and make sure its understood that you dont appreciate their constant butting in your lives and finances. Especially with something as important as a newly married couple and their first home being done up together, it may be the house you live in till the children you have are well grown. Any money put in is well worth it, and if not, thats your problem, not theirs.

While I understand that your Father-In-Law has some important words of advise and there’s nothing really wrong with what he’s saying about waste not want not, the issue I have is how they are forcing their values onto the two of you. Can your Darling Husband have a nice clear talk and set boundaries?

FWIW, ten years ago, I bought second hand beside tables for the guest room, thinking I was being very money savvy. The couple who sold were a young and nice enough one. That very night I realised, the bedside tables were infested with bed bugs. We suffered for a couple of months with various de-bug methods until we had to throw out almost ALL the furniture. I will NEVER buy second hand again. Cost of bedside tables was 20, cost of re-furnishing an entire house went into thousands and the lesson learned has been priceless.

If Father-In-Law gives wise words of wisdom give one of your own: penny wise, pound foolish.

Post # 3
3027 posts
Sugar bee

catattack1990 :  

“Father-In-Law is an actual millionaire and he’s very frugal. Shops at the dollar store, buying used things online, grocery shops out of the “day old” and expired section at the grocery store.”

Your Father-in-law is a joy-sucking person. Does he think he will be buried with all his millions? If he wants to deny himself nice things and experiences due to his extreme frugality, that is his choice. Just as it can be your choice to absolutely ignore him.  A choice that he deserves.

I would be so tempted to bombard him with luxury lifestyle magazines and sites… Who knows, maybe he could learn something beyond accumulating money…

Post # 4
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

catattack1990 :  I would just ignore them.

Bf and I were in a similar situation with his mother. He and I moved into a rental that’s larger than either of our previous places, so that was worry #1 (even though we pay hundreds of dollars below market rent).

Then he bought a new couch and a new bedroom set, worry #2. I was able to find a used Pottery Barn table for $350 and a new one would have been $2,800 – the chairs were another $350, also on sale; the dining room should have cost us around $3,500-4,000 and I paid $700. But still, even seven hundred sounded like a lot. Then bf upgraded his TV and speakers, which he has been planning to do for years.

(The bed set will last decades and we literally use it every day. His grandparents have been married 50 years and are just now upgrading their bedroom furniture from when they were newly weds.)

(I could also sell the dining room set for more than I paid for it because I bought it so cheap on Craigslist.)

So with all these things, his parents were surprised and a little worried, but it passed. We got a few comments along the way and we explained our situation to them, so gradually it faded. I think it’s natural for parents to worry like this.

However, like you, all our furniture was used or old. $20 ottoman from Amazon, mom’s hand-me-down living room chairs, a cheap sofa table I bought with a gift card, a $300 Ikea sectional. We are 25 and 30, respectively, both have solid careers, and are financially comfortable, so we didn’t feel the need to explain ourselves. So we just reminded his mother several times not to worry about it, we’re doing fine, we aren’t sacrificing our future.

I would just wait it out.

Post # 6
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

I agree  they are out of line to get involved in you and your husbands business. If it wasnt affecting the way you are starting to feel about them I would say to just ignore it but you mentioned you are starting to not want to have them over so in that case I would address it.

I am not sure how close you are to them but personally I always find that it’s best to let the hubby talk to his own parents first. From your post it seems he shares the same feelings as you. 

Also just out of curiosity since you said your in-laws are millionaires..have they ever helped you guys financially in the past? Maybe that’s why they feel they have a say? 

Post # 8
7649 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

catattack1990 :  just keep doing what you’re doing – tell them your finances are fine and that you don’t want any advice on how you decorate your own home. Your Father-In-Law isn’t wrong – buying used items can be a great way to save money and be environmentally conscious, but his way isn’t the only way and he needs to recognize that. The judgment seems to be going both ways though – he thinks you’re a spendthrift and you think he’s a miser. If you don’t want them having opinions on your spending stop having opinions on theirs. 

Post # 9
2024 posts
Buzzing bee

catattack1990 :  omg, I think we have the same Father-In-Law. Mine is the same way, a self made very wealthy man that will haggle anyone down on price and likes to butt into our finances all the time. We just had a baby, and we also pay child support to my husbands ex for their child together and my Father-In-Law is alllll over how we’re spending money with TWO kids AND child support AND all in my business about my job and if I’m making good money, etc…

I’ve stopped talking to him about anything money related altogether. Darling Husband, too. 


The problem is, before I came along– Father-In-Law helped out Darling Husband financially about 15 years ago and he still lords that over him/us. I wish he’d never accepted the help, because it came with so many strings. 

Post # 10
9391 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think you just need to be very clear with them and set strong boundaries. “FIL and Mother-In-Law, we will not discuss our finances with you. If you can’t respect that then this visit is over.” And then follow through.

And if you think it’s bad now just wait until you have your baby…

Post # 13
7649 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

catattack1990 :  just keep repeating and shutting him down like Westwood said.  The opinions will absolutely get worse when the baby arrives so working on those boundaries now is important. And maybe throw him a bone and find some compromise – a lot of baby/toddler crap is expensive and only used for a month or two. Ask him to track down an infant swing or an outdoor playset for you. Stuff that doesn’t need to be new and, I can say from experience, is kind of a waste to buy new. 

Post # 14
800 posts
Busy bee

catattack1990 :  When they give you advice, cut them off at the pass. For example, when they sent you Craigslist ads, you could have let them know up front you planned to buy new furniture, end of story. If course they would have nagged you, but firmly tell them your finances are none of his business. If you keep repeating it over and over, there is a tiny chance he may back off, and give up. My guess is father-in-law is leaving your hubby a chunk of cash, and this is his way of controlling his money from the grave. He’s already picturing you both spending it on furniture and socks from TJ Maxx. Haha. 

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