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    alkaline's Avatar
    alkaline Posts: 61, Reputation: 20
    Junior Member
     
    #1

    Jan 14, 2008, 11:36 AM
    Father in Law angry with my parents about spending
    I am in a tough spot and I need some advice, I don't know what to do at all.

    I got engaged in November, the wedding is in September.

    Everything was going great, I love his family, he loves my family, our parents were getting along great --- they even call each other on the phone and talk like friends. Our fathers have a lot in common (they even had cancer and surgery at the same time this summer) and I was thrilled that my parents were getting in-laws that they could be really close with.

    Saturday my parents threw us an engagement party. It was beautiful and more perfect than I could have even dreamed. I felt so lucky. My parents really put a lot into making it nice for us. It was very elegant and classy - and I thought everyone was happy.

    His parents live out of state, so they stayed over that night and on Sunday morning we took them to see the house we are going to be buying.

    It gets complicated here, but I will throw it in. My dad had a piece of land that the county is buying from him. For tax purposes, so he wouldn't have to pay capital gains, he is flipping it and buying another investment property with the money - a house. My dad owns several rental houses and did the same thing for my older brother when he was starting.

    Basically, we rent the house from my dad for 2 years, and then we can buy it from him. He holds the mortgage and we pay him. He is definitely helping us out big time and giving us a huge advantage --- but he is NOT "giving" us a house. We do have to pay for it!

    Well, considering that the market is really bad right now, and that with the tax exchange my dad HAD to spend the same amount on the house as he was getting for the property --- we are getting a very nice house. Trust me that my finance and I know how lucky we are and we are extremely grateful.

    My mom just told me that yesterday while we were at the house my finance's dad had my dad outside and was giving him a really hard time about the house. He said that the house was too nice for us, and that he was spoiling us and that we should have to work to buy our home. He told my dad that he spent too much on our engagement party and was upset that he had to go out and buy a suit (he apparently didn't own one until now... ) to wear to it.

    The worst part, is over and over and over he kept asking my dad if he was "dying and lying to everyone about how bad he was" and "are you doing all this because you know you're going to die?" and apparently, he was pretty nasty about it.

    My dad is really really upset about this. You see, when my dad had his surgery over the summer the doctor was so sure that all the cancer was going to be gone and he was going to be OK. Well, my dad has had a lot of complications, and as it turns out, they didn't get all the cancer out after all. They then told him that it was OK cause it was only a little bit and that they could wait for him to recover before doing surgery again. Well, last month he found out that his levels are rising and that it is growing or spreading. My dad really is upset and scared -- and I don't blame him -- I am, too.

    My dad told his dad the truth --- he is doing this because I'm his only daughter and he wants to give me the wedding of my dreams and that he did the same thing with my house for my brother (my brother needed more help than I do) and it was only fair to give me the same opportunities he gave my brother.

    I didn't notice, because I was showing my future mother in law, my aunt, and my cousin around the house --- but my fiance's dad was so pissed off and disgusted he wouldn't even go look at the upstairs of the house. He stood outside smoking and giving my dad hell almost the whole time.

    This needs to be said, too. I am a little upset that his father would imply that my fiancé and I didn't work hard for all of this. My fiancé gets up every day at 4:30 AM. He is a teacher, but he does morning care before work and after care after work every day. The only day he has ever taken off work was the day of my swearing in ceremony --- which brings me to me. I graduated from law school when I was 24 years old! I'm an attorney and I work my butt off --- it isn't a 9-5 job! And law school was a nightmare! For him to think we didn't and aren't working hard is really unfair. I've worked hard my entire life, and yes, my dad is doing something really nice to help us get started --- but we are so thankful for it and don't expect things from him or anyone else!

    And, in terms of what my parents are spending on the wedding, well. I had a very very small get together when I graduated college. I knew that I was going straight to law school and that I would probably want to have a party when that was over, so I decided to just wait and save the money. Then I graduated from law school and I thought that instead of having a big party, we could just wait until after I passed the bar exam. Well, after I passed the bar exam my relationship with my now fiancé was going so well that I thought that I'd rather my parents not spend the money on a party for me and instead put it towards my wedding. That is exactly what they are doing.

    So what am I supposed to do here?

    Yes, my parents have more money than his parents, but so what? My fiancé and I don't care about that. I was just so thrilled to be marrying someone with a nice family that accepted me and liked me and treated me so good --- that is what I wanted!

    I have always been very thankful to them for everything they have ever done for me or us. I make a point of sending thank you cards and things like that. I appreciate things. Me and my parents are not snobs. Not even close. Ugh, I even made a point of telling his dad how handsome he looked in his suit and thanking him for getting dressed up because I know he doesn't like to.

    But --- am I supposed to not have the wedding I want because my fiance's dad thinks my dad is spending too much money on it? Frankly, I don't think it is his business. And I certainly don't appreciate him saying the things he did to my dad. My dad doesn't deserve to be treated that way. He isn't trying to 'show anyone up' or 'buy our love' or whatever -- that wouldn't even work with me.

    I don't know what to do. I'm afraid this is just the tip of the iceburg and that this situation is only going to get worse over time. I don't want his dad to dislike me and my family and I also don't want my dad to be upset.

    What should I do?
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #2

    Jan 14, 2008, 11:47 AM
    Had the FIL been drinking? Maybe that would explain it. Its either that or he's jealous that he can't give his son as much as your parents are giving you. There may also be a factor that his son will be moving near his in laws and away from his parents. These may all have had an impact on his behavior. I'm not excusing his behavior, just pointing out what may have been behind it.

    You and your parents need to understand the why and maybe make some allowances in the sake of peace. But your fiancée needs to sit down with his dad and give the your not losing a son, but gaining a daughter speech. The fact that your parents are more well off isn't going to effect his feelings for his parents. But he's starting his own life now and his father has to understand that. He needs to explain to his father, that he can't misbehave like that and needs to be more diplomatic in the future.
    lacuran8626's Avatar
    lacuran8626 Posts: 270, Reputation: 57
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    #3

    Jan 14, 2008, 07:00 PM
    Your father in law acted in an immature manner and was ungracious at best. He probably felt badly and felt "shown up" for doing more for you and your husband to be than he can. Or, another possibility is that he has strong feelings about young people finding their own way, and may feel it is not good for you in the long run to have this deal with the house.

    In any event, the right approach from him would have been to speak privately to his son - your fiancé - about his concerns, and trust your fiancé then, as someone grown enough to be in the working world, a college graduate and preparing for marriage - to handle it. That would include speaking to you or your father if he felt it was appropriate, taking his father's advice, taking some of his father's advice, or taking none of it.

    You have the beautiful position of not having been in the conversation. All you should do in my opinion is reassure your father of your gratitude and appreciation that he's worked so hard to give you so many opportunities - your education, the wedding, your home and the example of the kind of man you want to marry. It would be a nice touch if your fiancé would also take some private time to thank and reassure your father, and perhaps just make some kind of excuse for his father such as, "Dad never had much and had to scrape for all he has, so he's got a bee in his bonnet that I should struggle like he did. I will explain to him that we are paying for the house, and you shouldn't worry about it at all. Thank you again." Then, he should talk to his father or just comment, "you know Dad, if you are upset over this arrangement please talk to me about it. My new father in law is bending over backwards to be kind and generous to his daughter and by association, to me. He shouldn't be made to feel badly about it. This is what his life has been about - working hard to provide his family advantages that he didn't have". Or... you get the idea.

    What you should not do is talk to the father or anyone else about this directly except for your own father. Then, let it go. If your father in law just had a cancer scare, too, he may really be feeling like he hasn't accomplished enough in life, that he hasn't made enough to leave behind - a legacy or whatever. Tread softly and know that both fathers are just trying to love you both.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692
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    #4

    Jan 14, 2008, 07:12 PM
    I have been "thinking" of this all evening. In many families, parents believe that things need to be (earned) and if you are just given things, like a home and things, you will not really appreciate them.

    These parents may help some with college but expect their kids to work to help. And this is normally with a home, first perhaps worring they are getting in too far over their head, or perhaps understanding that it is the hard work a couple does together to earn and learn that helps draw them together often.

    Sometimes a parent can help *too much, and this really can cause a lot of issues in th new family

    So perhaps a little too much over reaction, on the one side, but then far too much help from the other parent

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