Just found out how much money he gives future MIL

posted 3 months ago in Married Life
Post # 106
47 posts


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@ashleyroo:  I think you are very kind to help your parents out.

I also think that parents make the choice to have children, so the idea that “I couldn’t save for myself bc I spent all my money on my kid” makes no sense to me. You chose to have this kid. I also think it’s really unfair and manipulative to put it on the kid that “I raised you so now you have to care for me in my old age”. The kid didn’t ask to born. I think as a parent, your responsibility is to raise kids who go off to be independent adults, not raise a “stock bond” that will make sure ur set for life financially. 

Post # 107
780 posts
Busy bee

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@wanda888:  I think it’s easy for us to say that having kids is a choice but back in the day this is what you did, you got married and you had kids. A lot of people still to this day don’t use birth control for religious reasons, there is also accidental preg despite birth control. 

i think we have this mindset because we see our parents struggle with their parents financially and so we have this mind set of setting aside for the future but honestly a lot of people my parents and older generations just did not have the concept. I know this to be true because I work in healthcare and I see elderly people trying to get by on social security which is not much at all. A lot of them can’t afford Medicare rx or out patient because of financial issues. Also I think in the back of our minds we all know that social security prob won’t exist by the time we need it 

Post # 108
515 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2021

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@soexcited123:  I agree that’s a red flag he didn’t mention it. Hard to know if he is just really obtuse or if he was deceitful because he knows it’s not a good look.

I will say I wish all the info had been made in the first post. I definitely was working on the assumption of a normal amount being given, a few hundred maybe five hundred a month. 1000 is extreme for their income and changes the situation. The mothers reaction was also extreme and changes the situation. 

Post # 109
13613 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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@hedgehog93:  It’s one thing if the OP and her fiance were in the position to support an entire separate household indefinitely. Again, if this was due to legitimate need, and every indication is it is not, I’d consider moving a needy parent in before sacrificing my children’s future and my own. Of course knowing about a manipulative future mother in law may have caused OP to reconsider the whole situation. 

The kind of money he’s giving away could grow to support OP and her fiance when they can no longer work. It could send their children to college and then some. Without it, assuming their current incomes, reality is their future looks very different. This is not just a live for today decision, it has dramatic implications going forward. And regardless of culture, who is to say they will have children in a position to support them or that they would be willing to do so? I would never want to put that burden on my kids in the first place. 

But people are still minimizing or sweeping under the rug the financial infidelity at play here. The Fiance didn’t fully divulge until they were engaged for many months. OP had every right to know what she was getting into. 

Post # 110
1731 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - California

When I read the first post, I thought it didn’t sound like a big deal because giving money to family members is pretty common in my family and in my circle of friends. However, as more information was provided by the OP, the situation became much more alarming and I can see why OP is concerned! It is indeed a large percentage of his income that he is giving. The money is a symptom or consequence of a bigger issue in his relationship dynamic with his mother. OP, I hope that you are able to sit down with your fiancé and really hash out this out and plan our your financial decisions together. It really does seem like a good idea for him to reduce the amount of money he is giving her, so I hope that he is able to do that. I understand that of course he wants to maintain a good relationship with his mother, but he has to balance that with his relationship with you and building your life together. People often say that disagreement over finances is a major reason why marriages break up, and it’s no surprise that that is the case. 

Post # 111
1517 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

OP, not to pile on, but I agree that your FH should have disclosed this amount a lot sooner. Maybe he just didn’t know. Whenever FH spends a big sum, he gives me a heads up. 

I don’t think a wife is necessarily “entitled” to her husband’s money “more” than his mother is. I also don’t believe that a spouse always has to come before a parent. But when you’re married, your finances are legally entwined. If a large sum of money is going somewhere, you both need to know and get a say. His debt becomes your debt, and vice versa. You become a become a legally recognized unit with rights AND liabilities that a mother and son relationship doesn’t get. 

With your updates, here are my thoughts:

-FMIL is highly manipulative

-she is entitled and selfish

-she cares more about her son’s money than his happiness or his financial health

-she is unlikely to change

-your FH is easily manipulated. He succumbs to emotional blackmail at the first sign of tears

-your FH is enabling your mother and has a hard time setting boundaries

-your FH is a bad financial planner. He can’t afford these payments if he wants to comfortably be a father and homeowner. His salary is not luxurious by any standards. If he were forgoing a haircut here and there to treat his mother to a manipedi, that would be fine. But he’s giving away 20% of his pay every month to someone who CHOSE to retire early. She wants her cash cow to go without while she splurges. His money is going towards his mother’s manipedis rather than a home, education for his future children, baby supplies. Now that he’s getting married and is closer to certain goals, his priorities have to change.

-your Future Mother-In-Law is probably dependent on this money by now. The kindest thing to go would be to gradually wean her down to an amount that is acceptable to the both of you

-yes, there may be cultural elements at play. But in cultures where the child is expected to care for the parent, the parent also cares for the child. It goes both ways. I come from such a culture. Did MiL scrimp and save to send FH to college? Did she scrimp and save so he could have a car? Does she feed him like a king whenever he comes over? Is she scrimping and saving for his wedding? (We all know the answer to that one.) Is she nagging at him to properly save and invest his money so HE can have a comfortable retirement? To say that “culture” is an excuse to be a lazy, selfish mooch is a bastardization of culture.

-no matter what happens, there is likely to be resentment on all ends. MiL is likely to scapegoat you. To some extent, your FH may resent you. Every time you run up a credit card bill, you might resent FH and MiL. You need to decide if FH has the backbone to divorce his mother and stay that way. It is HARD to break away from the woman who birthed you and raised you and is a champ at guilt tripping you. 

-maybe I’m looking too into this, but did you have no idea at all that a proposal was coming within the next 3 months when you renewed your lease? Had you discussed timelines, the desire to get married beforehand? If the proposal was completely out of the blue, it MAY be part of an overall pattern of how your FH shoots first and asks questions later. Ex. Give mom the money now, deal with the reality later. Propose now, deal with the nitty gritty of finances later. 

FH and I had these discussions before engagement. Part of that is on you, but not so much if he sprung a prooosal on you

You seem like a sweet, level headed person. Personally, this would be too much baggage for me. I say this as someone who is more in your FH’s shoes than yours.

Good luck.

Post # 112
379 posts
Helper bee

My friend is Chinese, and it is apart of their culture to give to their parents. He will expect it of his kids, as well. His mom was a single mom and he is an only child, so there is that. He gives her 2,000 a month, but they also live together still. He told me he is always going to do this and have his mom live with him. I think people in this situation need to be more upfront with people they seriously date. I’m sorry, OP. I don’t see your fiance getting out of this situation easily. 

Post # 113
2193 posts
Buzzing bee

Yikes!  I don’t think you mentioned where you live but you’re both straddling the minimum wage where I’m at with you a bit below and him a bit above.  I don’t think your fiancé’s decision is right or wrong but I think it will be difficult to buy a house, raise kids, retire so maybe this isn’t what you want long term.  

Post # 114
1612 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

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@BuzzedBumblingBee:  In your post you mentioned it yourself that legally it becomes their money and that once you are married their debt becomes your debt and vice versa so yes I would say a wife is more “entitled” to her husband’s money ( really their money) than his mom once married. Since it becomes their money it is also her money. If this wasnt the case when a husband died the money and such wouldnt be going to the wife first. Yes this applies the other way around too. I just mentioned husband because we are talking about it from that POV. 

Also, while it may be husband’s cultural norm to give that amount to a parent each month even if the parent isn’t in a dire situation what about OP’s culture? Doesn’t her culture matter also? Maybe in her culture that isn’t the norm.

Many people are saying well the OP and her husband are well off so it shouldn’t be a big deal to give money to his mom but they aren’t thinking long term. Anything can happen. I mean COVID showed us that. What if the husband or OP suddenly lost their job? Or one got sick? Or anything really. Think of all the money they gave to Mother-In-Law that they could have had to cushion them. Or for their child’s future. It also rubbed me the wrong way that the OP is having to go without or get cheap shitty haircuts while her husband’s mom is getting these nice pedis/manis. Now if OP was on here bitching that she had to forgo a nice haircut or mani/pedis because say her Mother-In-Law say needed cancer treatment than I would be singing a whole nother tune and say she is being awful and clearly her MILS needs are obviously greater here.

Yes I feel generally speaking a spousal relationship should become your primary/most important one once married and your allegiance goes to them. You take care of your own household first and your main family first. Meaning your mom shouldn’t be going out and getting mani/pedis at the expense of the wife. Wife gets taken care of first. 

Also, yes she may have raised him as a single mother and that’s a wonderful thing but OP maybe providing her husband with children in the future and be in the current happenings of motherhood. I would argue that providing someone with a child of their own is the greatest gift you can give.

Post # 115
8265 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Lol @ people woe-ing for OP who has to get cheap shitty haircuts because her fi sends money to his mom. No, OP has to get cheap shitty haircuts because she makes $20k a year… how much her fiancé makes or donates has 0 effect right now. All the folks bitching that her fi shouldn’t subsidize his moms lifestyle, but should subsidize his fiancé. His mom was being lazy by retiring early and not preparing herself, but op making minimum wage needs fancy haircuts paid for by her man? Lol ok

Post # 116
1612 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

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@jellybellynelly:  So you think it’s ok for his mom’s lifestyle to be subsidized but it’s not ok for a guy to treat his wife? You don’t know what her circumstances are that lead OP to have to work a minimum wage job. Maybe she couldn’t afford college. At least she is working. It’s not like she is sitting home on her ass all day sipping wine. Let me tell you those minimum wage jobs aren’t easy labor. A lot of times people work their asses off at them. Are takinf advantage of and treated like fucking trash. But someone has to do those jobs. 

Yes it’s a lot more common and expected to share money with your spouse than a parent. You word it like any woman whose husband wants to treat them is using them but the minute mom expects her son to treat her that’s ok and she can’t possibly be taking advantage of her son’s kindness or being toxic or manipulative. 

Like I said you take care of your main family first your own household wife/children. It isn’t that he should never treat his mom it’s that your own household gets taken care of first. 

Post # 117
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

The important thing here is that OP and her future husband come to an agreement about what they are willing to do for his mother. And what kind of boundaries they will set with her and what the consequences will be for her violating them.

It’s agreement that’s important, not whether or not they support her or don’t support her or take her to live with them or give her three years to become independent or whatever–they’ve got to agree about whatever the deal is (the two of them must agree–his mother doesn’t get a vote since she is not really Wife 1 or even Wife 2), or they’d better not get married.

A side note: I always wonder what people who keep entirely separate money during marriage plan for the end of life. One of them goes to a top-of-the-line assisted living complex and the other to government-subsidized housing? (And, yes, each person in a marriage needs some separate fun money that they don’t have to account for to the other.)

Post # 118
1747 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

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@soexcited123:  I would really argue that ya know, your own LIFE is the greatest gift you can be given? If he didn’t get life he wouldn’t have the chance to be given a kid. Plus it’s pretty gross to boil this down to what OP vs his mom are giving him/can/have given him. 

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what stance anyone else has on children supporting parents, what his mom does with the money, keeping finances separate vs combining. 

OP and her fiancé need to come to an agreement they are both happy with. OP also needs to prepare herself for the fact that her Future Mother-In-Law is manipulative and selfish – which is an issue MUCH bigger than the money he’s giving her right now. Honestly in OP’s shoes the money would not concern me in the slightest, I’d be focused on the Mother-In-Law and how my fiancé responded to her manipulation, because if a few tears gets him to do whatever she wants, OP is fighting a losing battle. 

Post # 119
9105 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@ashleybbee: I don’t see this as him witholding a big secret, much less “financial infidelity” as another bee called it. You knew he gave his mom money and you knew what his lifestyle was. Why would it occur to him — why SHOULD it occur to him — to break that down into dollars and cents before you were engaged or living together? He probably views this like a utility bill, no more reason to discuss it than an electric bill. If you never asked for a dollar amount before, there was no reason for him to give one.

Once you got engaged, it was absolutely appropriate (and mature, responsible, and smart) to discuss finances in more detail. You had this wise discussion, and now know exactly how much he wants and plans to continue giving his mom.

  • he wants to “return the favor”
  • he seemed pretty insistent that he continue supporting his mother to the same degree indefinitely

The bee’s opinion on whether this is right or wrong doesn’t matter. The fact that he makes more than you doesn’t matter. If he made the same as you, or even less, it wouldn’t make a difference. This “bill” is important to him and if you insist on making him adjust it (whether you have “the right to” or not) he’s going to resent you for it. You know this going into the marriage.

I don’t see how we will be able to continue contributing to his mother to the extent that he has been and still achieve our goals” — You were 100% ok with his lifestyle and presumably the lifestyle you would have together, before you knew the dollar figure that he’s giving to his mom. You’ll acheive your goals the same way and on the same timeframe that you would have before you knew about this “extra” money. You will already be improving your lifestyle by marrying someone who makes double what you do, plus the savings of combining households. He is probably thinking that you were ok with that before, why are you suddenly not? 

Not to compare his mom to a dog, but I kind of see this like if you had a dog and he was trying to talk you into giving up your dog. Your response would probably be “but you knew I had a dog, the dog is part of the deal.” You might give it up if you felt like you had to, but you’d probably resent your fiance for it.

Post # 120
1612 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

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@chelbell23:  So which one is it? Is his mother being selfish and manipulative or did she give him the greatest gift? It seems like you are arguing both sides here. So I must stay in kind of confused.


You really don’t think providing someone with a child of their own, carrying that child, raising it together is as special and important as being brought into this world? You can say without his parents he wouldnt have life but without his wife he wouldnt have a child. I’m not saying its appropriate to compare the two but you started that with your statment of how bringing him into this world is more important than him having a child of his own.

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