Am I Behaving Selfish?

Updated on July 02, 2019
C.K. asks from Tampa, FL
17 answers

My husband s working in I.T.. am home maker..we have 2 yr boy.. we r giving monthly rs15000 for my mother in law..I dont ve father in law.. after my marriage (5yr) still now we gave more 15lakhs for her.. now she s asking 1 lakh money for my sister in law.. I said NO .. for that she s scolding me n she s not talking to me.. after giving so much money she s telling some thing bad about me to my relatives like I am not giving money.. my sister in law s not poor also.. they r having own house n jewelry . My sister in law very rude. So I dont like her..am I doing anything wrong here..

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So What Happened?

Let me clear some more things.. I came from india..my sister in law married 10yrs back.. my concern s after giving so much money they r talking about me like I want only money.. I dont want relatives like that.. but still now she have not spend anything for me n my husband..not even a single dress..when ever they ask ll give money..and this s the 1st time I said NO.. this s creating so many fights b/w me n my husband.. other than that we dont ve any other pbm.. recently she kept one wats up status like all my relative photos there..except me n my husband photo.. all these things making me so stress.. I dont know how to handle this type of relatives.. she wants money because v r earring more in USA.. in future if I get any money pbm do u think this type of relatives ll help me? So I want to save for my future..

More Answers

W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia, CK

this is for people who aren't aware of exchange rates:

Let's put this in perspective people - she lives in India and uses Rupies - 15,000 Rupies is like $220 USD.

One lakhs is equal to 1,500 USD - a lakhs is like 100,000 Rupies.

Now on to your post -
I don't why you have to give your MIL money each month. I don't know why your MIL is demanding that you give your SIL money either. If you could explain that - it would help. Are you now in the USA with your husband and son or are you still in India? I'm a tad confused about your SWH (so what happened).

You and your husband need to be on the same page about this. WHY is HIS mother asking YOU for money? What does she need it for?

I would need more information about what your MIL and SIL feel they have done to deserve the money and why they are expecting YOU and your husband to provide for them. I admit I do not know Indian customs.

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L.H.

answers from Abilene on

I did some research and rs15,000 is about $217 USD and 15lakhs equals about $29,000 USD.

If you are contributing $29,000 a year, I think that's very generous. I also think the monthly support is generous. Like B said, we are not familiar with the culture so there are differences in the way we look at things because of our culture/experiences.

We buried my father-in-law last week. He didn't have any life insurance so my husband and I took responsibility. We've never been in this position and it's a bit hard to navigate.

If your husband feels responsible for his family - you both have a decision to make. Either you support him (even though you may not agree with the arrangements) and allow him to provide the way he feels honorable or this becomes an issue in your marriage.

I don't blame my husband because his dad didn't think it necessary to provide for himself in his later years. We've helped him with a motorized wheel chair and several other things throughout many years. I loved his Dad and tried to do my best for him while he was living. Sometimes I smiled and shook my head in private, but ultimately I wanted my husband to do whatever he felt was necessary for his dad's care.

Is there a way to speak to your husband about your concerns? If so, try to approach it very calmly and present your points. Give him time to think about it. He may feel he's in a difficult position for his mom to be unhappy on one side or his wife to be unhappy on the other. I think it's important for you and he to come to an understanding for the sake of your marriage.

Good luck!

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

CK, I don't understand why you give your MIL money in the first place. Are you renting a home from her? If so, $220 a month isn't much for rent. So I'm a tad confused.

Are you being selfish for wanting to keep your money? No. If there is a bonafide reason they need it? And if you can spare it? Great. If not? then no.

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M.6.

answers from New York on

rs15000 is like $200/mo. Helping out a mother/mother in law is fairly common if you are able to do so without harming your own finances. It sounds like now they are asking for rs100,000 for your husband's sister. That is like $1500. Is that like a one-time thing or monthly?

I guess if your husband is the one making the money, and he feels like it is important to support his family members and it is a cultural norm to expect multi-generations to share from the same purse of a family breadwinner, I'm not sure why you are surprised by this?

Good luck!

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I think you and your husband need to get on the same page.

Why is his family entitled to your money? You have a family to care for, retirement and college educations to save for.

I do not understand unless it is the mentality or custom of someone from another country.

I am a believer in personal responsibility and we took care of our family first. We have helped family out at times but we are FAR from an ATM and we are NOT someone else's retirement plan.

Your husband needs to grow a pair and learn that the word "no" is a complete sentence. He also needs to be reminded of preparing for his own retirement and children's education. MIL can get a job or use money she saved for her retirement.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I'm not sure you are based in the Usa.
15,000 (US American Dollars?!?) a MONTH?!?
Either that is a different currency or we're missing some decimal points.
I have no idea what '15lakhs' is.
If that is correct then your husband has a really fantastic salary.

I have a feeling you come from a different culture perhaps where sons are expected to take care of parents.
In Usa, it's not so much like that.

I'd say 15,000 is freaking way too much.
1,500 is a not bad rent or mortgage payment - not bad if it keeps her from moving in with you.
150 is maybe a few bags of groceries and quite reasonable.

Depending on the culture it sounds like you MIL needs to get with who ever arranges marriages and find a match for your SIL so her husband will support her.
I'm not seeing how your husbands sister is his responsibility but again - I'm not really sure what culture we are talking about.
Perhaps your husband might have to help with a dowry or bride price to get his sister married off?

Additional:
If this is in India - widows often have no support at all in India.
I would not cut your MIL off - how would you feel if it happened to you?
I don't know how young your SIL is - perhaps she is too young to marry.
It's hard but you are related to these people and resources - your husbands income - needs to be shared. as best it can.
Good luck.
Without knowing what country you are in, it will be hard for people here to understand the situation.

Additional
If SIL is married then her husband should be supporting her and it's fine for her not to get any money from your husband.

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S.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Why does your mother in law feel that she is entitled to your money? Why does she feel that her daughter needs money from you and your husband?

What does your husband say about all of this? Does he want to give them money? CAN YOU AFFORD to give them this money?

Personally? We help out family anytime we can. But we aren't ATM's and we don't give a stipend/allowance to family (other than our children) each month.

Talk with your husband. Get on the same page. Have HIM deal with HIS mother.

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C.C.

answers from New York on

Your husband needs to handle his relatives!

You should consider marriage counseling. Before it gets to a point where you want to divorce him.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i find this post almost entirely incomprehensible.

IIUC you're supporting your own household and your MIL's off your husband's salary, and now another family member wants a stipend and is bad-mouthing you for not providing it.

no, i don't think you're behaving selfishly for not giving your SIL money. if you give in to her because she's badmouthing you, you're setting yourself up to be patsies forever.

just say no.

khairete
S.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

My husband is the breadwinner in our house. I haven’t had an income in 16 years, but we still make major financial decisions together.

It seems to me you two are already very generous sending your MIL money each month. My question to you is are you also saving for your own retirement and college funds for your children?

I also can’t imagine helping to support a sister in law or brother in law. They should live within their means.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

I have a number of friends from India who are in the US. I think there's a perception that everyone in the US is making a huge amount of money and therefore can support others. There isn't always an understanding of how expensive things are. For example, all of my Indian friends would have had a maid or other household help at home, but here they are cleaning the bathtub and toilet in their own homes, just like the rest of us. A couple of my friends have good in-laws, and a few do not. Because the women came into the marriage (often arranged, which doesn't mean it's going to be a bad marriage) with jewelry or gold, the in-laws expect this to be their personal bank account. I don't know what your situation was when you married or what it is now, but perhaps your relatives think the whole point of this marriage was to support the extended family.

One of my friends has the most horrible mother-in-law you could ever imagine. Another has in-laws who live with her and it works out fine. So you may be married into a family that's just selfish and awful.

But this is your husband's problem to solve. You should not be involved in high finance. If he tells them no, it's not your problem. Now, they may still retaliate by keeping photos of you off her site, but rude people are rude people. My concern is that you and your husband are fighting about this, so is it that he expects you to give the money, or that he doesn't want you to be upset about being excluded? If he thinks you should be handing over money every time, and you think you need to be setting money aside for the future, you have a marriage problem, not an in-law problem. So I don't know what your history is with your husband, how long you knew each other before you married, how much things changed when you came to the US, or what his expectations (personal or cultural) are of you. But that's what you work on. Get a counselor, preferably someone with a cultural sensitivity to Indian family structure, and work it out. Do not criticize his sister. Work on how you and he handle each other and what your financial understanding is.

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R.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I think it's reasonable to give your husband's parent $200 a month (I'm going by what Lori H. said rs15,000 is). Sometimes we have to chip in a little money to help our parents as they get older.

However, I don't think you should have to give money to your sister in law, but shouldn't this be a conversation to have with your husband?

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A.L.

answers from Atlanta on

Thank you for the additional information in the So What Happened; it helps clear up some questions. I understand that based on your home society, your in-laws do expect financial assistance from your husband, and particularly because you are based in the US. That's the case with my in-laws also, and my husband and I have done quite a bit over the years. Just to clarify the responses you have gotten, remember that many of the people on the site are US-raised, so they have a different set of cultural expectations of siblings, in-laws, and parents. Americans might help their parents financially once they get really old and sometimes help a sibling financially in a pinch, however it would be the exception rather than the rule. So the people on this site can't really say if you are behaving selfishly because 'selfish' depends on the expectations. In American categories, you have been more than generous. In your home group's categories, maybe not.

In any case, I understand how the situation with your sister-in-law is difficult. You don't like her or get along, and there's no changing her or the history. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about the family gossip besides ignore it and be grateful you don't have to live next door. I wonder whether a good solution would be for your husband to be in charge of communicating any decisions about giving money to his family. Maybe the problem occurred because you were the messenger of the unwanted news? If you can take yourself out of the equation, then they can't blame you for the decision. Also, didn't you and your husband decide together about not giving them the additional money? If so, he needs to stand by that decision and tell his mother, brother, and sister-in-law that your family cannot give them that money at this point. It shouldn't be made into YOU refusing.

If the issue is that he wants to give more money to them than you feel your family can afford, that is a different problem. Perhaps you and your husband need to establish a budget of how much your family can give to relatives back home? Your family here needs to be taken care of, and life is incredibly expensive here, not to mention saving for the future. Set that budget of support for home, and once you reach that amount, your husband needs to say no, we can't afford it. There may be times when you have to exceed the budget, such as health emergencies, but otherwise, the answer is no. The issue is you two coming to agreement on what your family here needs and sticking to it. Good luck!

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N.C.

answers from San Diego on

Your mother in law sounds like is a self entitled manipulative mooch. She is giving you guilt trips for cash then emotionally blackmailing you by gossiping badly about you to relatives.

Doesn’t she appreciate you giving her money that could go towards her grandson?

I am all for helping elderly parents and relatives, but the entitled expectation is the issue and respect. It’s great and generous of you to support her but it should be done in a good spirit.

Play the game back ask her for money for your child.

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N.K.

answers from Miami on

I don't know this type of currency and how much it amounts to, and while many cultures enforce caring for in-laws (as in, the parents), none that I know of encourage supporting brother-in-laws or sister-in-laws as well, as it is presumed they are of working age and can support themselves. If your mother-in-law wants to give part of her allowance to your sister-in-law, that's her choice, but don't give her extra just because she is choosing to give to someone who is perfectly capable of getting their own job and now wants to make up for the money she chose to give away. There is no reason why your sister-in-law cannot get a job, or maybe she or her husband can improve their education and get a better job, as well as living within their means. Who cares what people have to say about you? Why is it any of your concern what others say or think? Worry about you, your kids, and your husband. You have (or SHOULD have) your husband's support, and if his mother doesn't like what you provide, she is free to find some other way to feed herself (like the other daughter-in-law), that's what happens when you bite the hand that feeds you.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

I am guessing you are not in the USA. I think it is a cultural thing to give money to family members. No one I know in my family does this. I do not think you are selfish and I do not think you need to send her money.

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G.A.

answers from Aguadilla on

Hi, I understand your situation completely. I am married to a foreigner and his mother has not done a day of work in her life and sees her kids as her social security. She has mooched off them since they have been working age. I have been married for 23 years and every month we deposit $$ in her account. I put my foot down on the amount we are giving her and she is not to recieve a cent more. We will be moving soon to the US and we are keeping it a secret because indeed, people think everyone is a millionaire in the US. By the way, my MIL and SIL can't stand me since I have always put the brakes on the free loading and even my SIL has tried to use us for her financial gain. I say HELL NO. Thank goodness they are not in my life. My husband goes to see them every once in a while and I remind him of their birthdays, but they don't visit my home and I prefer it that way. My mother was a hard working woman who never asked anyone for a dime, not even her husband and so were my grandmothers. I just can not understand these cultures where the kids are expected to support the parents and even a sibling if they make stupid financial decisions and end up broke or on the street. I am not sure what the Indian culture is like but frankly, I would advise you to do like I have done....keep them at a distance. Tell your husband that you love him but that you don't want any mingling with his family, much less so have them in your home and to please cover any home needs and expenses and savings before passing out money to relatives. Good luck!

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