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peter45

I loaned my son and his wife some money.

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I loaned my son and his wife some money.


My ex-wife was a spendaholic.
A person who needs to spend much more money than they have.
Not on things that are necessary. But things that will make them "feel better".
About 39 years ago, after I confiscated the check book, the charge cards, and the savings account, she retaliated by filing for divorce.

 

During the intervening years, my ex sort of transitioned into a reasonable person.
The guy she married is down to earth.
He was a good step-father to my children.
Then again, the children spent a lot of their time with me.

The ex was always a good mother.
One day, some 20 years after the divorce, she actually stated that she knew she had made some mistakes.
But,
fast forward to the present.

 

My son, unfortunately, is married to a woman who has the same spendaholic affliction that his mother had.
Spendaholics seem to have one category of spending that they can't resist.
With my ex-wife, it was closets full of clothes that still had the store price tag labels attached, because they had never been worn.
With my son's wife, it is expensive vacations, and meals in upscale restaurants.

My immediate dilemma is the "loan" that I gave my son recently.
The purpose of the loan was supposed to be to pay off credit card debt.
Unfortunately, there has been no attempt to even make the first repayment, of any sort.
And, I doubt very much if there ever will be any attempt.
My grandchildren have told me that they are really looking forward to their trip to Disneyland in two weeks.

 

Do I "blame" my son?
Not really.
There have been past vacation trips that he has refused to join.
His wife simply took the children, and went without him.
I simply don't see any scenario in which my daughter-in-law would become a person who would put her family's best interests above her own.
At least, my ex-wife was in her late 20's when she began to cope with the requirement of caring for more than her own special interests.
My son's wife is in her mid 40's. Her behavior won't change.
I even spoke to my ex-wife about it. She feels that my son has simply given up.

 

If I look at it from my son's point of view,
he is obviously aware of my past.
Maybe he sees me as a good father, who tried to do his best, but was forced to be a part time father.
He loves his children dearly, and would be lost without them.
So, he has the choices of putting up with his wife's crap, or playing the same role he saw me in for many years.

 

Obviously, now that I have made the first loan, that won't be repaid, my son's wife will simply expect another loan, after she runs up the credit card bills again.
Again, I have zero expectations of his wife behaving with any self-respect, and attempting to pay the bills.

I figure that the worst case scenario is that I will continue to give my son his inheritance before my demise, at least until his children are into their teen years.
Frankly, I have so little respect for his wife, I would fully expect that if they do separate, that his wife would MOST LIKELY just leave the kids with him. There are a few things in her past that would indicate this would be her behavior.
I guess the best way to describe my son's wife, is someone who feels sorry for herself FULL TIME, so anything that she does to make herself feel better, MUST BE COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE, IN HER MIND.

Anybody else ever run into anything like this?

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2 hours ago, peter45 said:

With my son's wife, it is expensive vacations, and meals in upscale restaurants.

<snip>

Anybody else ever run into anything like this?

 

Two aspects of my experience were the same:  My Ex had EXACTLY the same spendaholic propensities.  She was addicted to expensive vacations and needed to get her fix, regularly.  If we happened on a row of restaurants and I suggested any other than the most expensive, she would throw a hissy fit.  A big difference was that only five years elapsed before I filed for divorce and cut her off.  I was forced to leave her the house I paid for,  but no other obligations.

 

Unlike with your son, we didn't have the considerable complication of kids.  Sometimes, you just have to harden your heart and do what must be done.  But it's so much simpler when children are not involved. 

 

Still, bequeathing your inheritance before you are dead, in the cause of trying to satisfy a glutton, may be a mistake.  As it is, you are aiding your son in postponing a difficult decision which will probably have to be faced sooner or later.  The perceived benefits of keeping the marriage together for the sake of the kids might be an illusion.  They could end up with fewer emotional problems if the artificial situation they are living in, becomes more real.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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kinda what Blu said his debt will get worse if you carry him

 

 with my son I  kick the idea around with him that he always has a home he is welcome in

  maybe keep your door open and your wallet shut

 

Harden your heart, you made it out of those bad times your son will too and he has you to help him 

 

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After my wife left, and the kids were still young,
I spent many lonely years.
My ex kept threatening to move to another state, to live with her parents,
so I never felt that I could attempt to find another relationship.
Don't get me wrong, I always had some woman to call for a date, but I would never allow myself to get emotionally involved. And if the kids had something going on, that was always going to come first.
Most of the women figured it out in 2-3 months, and moved on.
Course, I got so full of myself, I figured 2 weeks, 3 weeks max, to replace one.
And, since the majority of the women were divorced with kids, in search of a paycheck with a man attached, I figured that I just wasn't missing the chance of a lifetime.

 

Took me about 10 years of dating before I felt that my kids were old enough to not need dad so much. Or, need me in a different way.
Probably, only then, did I begin looking for a woman with a personality.
And, I found one. Best thing that ever happened to me.

 

Yeah, maybe I would be delaying the inevitable with my son.
But, during the delay, his kids would be getting older, too.
He got married a little later in life than I did, so his kids are about the same age as mine were, when my ex left.

 

On the other hand, a spendaholic, woman or a man, simply doesn't respect their mate, if the mate is the one worrying about paying the bills.
So, sooner or later, will the disrespect begin to overpower the need to keep the family together?
Again, if the kids are older, and not as vulnerable any more?

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3 hours ago, peter45 said:

during the delay, his kids would be getting older, too.
He got married a little later in life than I did, so his kids are about the same age as mine were, when my ex left.

 

On the other hand, a spendaholic, woman or a man, simply doesn't respect their mate, if the mate is the one worrying about paying the bills.
So, sooner or later, will the disrespect begin to overpower the need to keep the family together?
Again, if the kids are older, and not as vulnerable any more?

 

Here are my thoughts about the situation the children are in:

5 hours ago, bludog said:

The perceived benefits of keeping the marriage together for the sake of the kids might be an illusion.  They could end up with fewer emotional problems if the artificial situation they are living in, becomes more real.

As I see it, the issue is whether trying to control your son's marriage with your money is doing more good than harm. 

 

The limitations of information gleaned from print are formidable, no matter how detailed.  Context is always missing.  Only the parties involved, including you, are in a position to make meaningful observations.  And the impressions of each are colored by their natures and life-experiences.   Sometimes objective opinion can be of benefit.  But other times, it can be based on  incomplete or false understanding of the situation and not helpful at all. 

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If you allow people to - unjustly - use you, they will continue to use you without end. They will not respect you or your needs.

 

I don't offer advice about what you should do. That's up to you.

 

But if you allow yourself to be used, you will continue to be used, and you will not be respected.

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Those famous words;
"On further review."

 

Got the report that my ex-wife took the granddaughters, and my son's wife out for a kid's birthday shopping trip.
Really, kind of a nice idea for the kids.
My son's wife basically wrecked the day out.
Guess my ex went home afterward, and cried about it.

 

It wasn't just the latest time.
This seems to occur on a regular basis, meaning that the ex, and the daughter-in-law have some disagreement. My daughter too.
And knowing the crap that the daughter-in-law has pulled in the past on other issues, I tend to believe my ex's version of events.

 

But,
it prompted me to consider,
I have grandchildren to consider too.
And, the report was that the granddaughter was "talking back" to grandma,
and the daughter-in-law was simply allowing things to occur.

And,
it prompted me to observe that my daughter,
didn't grow up to have any of the bad habits of her mother.

 

I had previously stated that my ex changed her behavior after the divorce.
Was it because another man just didn't show up quite as fast as the ex had anticipated,
so she had no choice except to control her spending? Don't know?


My ex had considered going to live in another state with her parents, but she said that she anticipated that she would be taking orders from her domineering mother. That didn't appeal to her.
I finally told her that it didn't matter if she didn't like me, but that I was still the only person that she was going to be able to depend on.
We worked it out financially such that she was able to buy her own new home in a nice suburb. I made the mortgage payment, and gave her extra money when it was necessary, but slowly and surely, she practiced her own spending control.
Maybe, I even got a little jealous. She managed to sell the house for twice what she paid in 5 years.

 

Did my ex grow more responsible because of the divorce? Don't know?
Did my ex serve as a good example for our two kids? Again, don't know?

 

But,
would I expect my daughter-in-law to take the same route? NO!
My daughter-in-law has pulled too many screw ups even before they were married, and hasn't seemed to change one iota since.
My ex learned from her mistakes.
My daughter-in-law just blames everybody else.

 

So, no. I won't make any issue about having the current loan repaid.
But, I won't make any more loans.
Maybe their finances will cause my son and wife to separate.
Most likely, they will go bankrupt.
Maybe kids do observe their parents as individuals.
I, an other members of the family fully expect that the daughter-in-law will simply walk off without the children.
Yeah, it is a big decision.

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Sounds like your son and his wife need counseling, (and badly), before the semblance of knitting their now-unhappy marriage back together has any chance of survival.

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