An email: I cannot bend to my FIL’s greed … but I don’t want to break up a family (mine) …

Sharing an email. 

Hi,

Hoping you can help some.

Its been 3 years since I have been married. Have an 18 month old daughter, a home loan for 30 lakh and a car loan for 7 lakh. In-laws have never helped from day 1; instead have found every reason to try and squeeze as money as possible (the entire amount spent for the marriage was mine – we even printed out the invite cards for them).

Despite that, father in law (FIL) has shown as much respect as you would for an unwelcome cockroach in your home. He despises my widow mother, and
still sniggers at what I had told him pre-marriage (I’d told him that I would support my younger brother in his studies if needed …. a different story that the brother hasn’t touched a rupee from me – has chosen to work and study at the same time).

My husband is the only guy who is educated beyond 10th grade in that family, as they are a religious family. They have believed in pooja-paath and such training more than actual education. We earn enough to make a pretty decent living.

He has hated me, and my daughter even before my daughter was born. In
fact, when we got married and my co-sister gave birth to a baby boy, my FIL told us proudly that his “dynasty” never produced girls (as though girls were beneath them) – if there was ever a girl, it wasn’t their sperm, but our egg to blame.

He hadn’t seen my daughter until a few days ago. we took her to him when she was born, and he refused to even look at my child. He goes around telling people that he wants to get his son married a second time, as his daughter in law “cannot beget sons”.

Recently my tyrant MIL passed away (she had tried to make my life as close to hell as possible when she was alive); my BIL and co-sister walked out on my father-in-law due to some money related disputes. Now, since he is
left all alone, he wants us to move to his home (he had thrown us out of his home when I was suffering from a miscarriage; he told us that “this” (miscarriage or no children) would happen to those who angered him. He had given us a 15 day notice to find a new home and move, before he slapped a legal notice on us. It was a terrible time for us – as all the money I had was spent on my marriage, and my husband had practically no savings, having given every single rupee to his parents and brother; imagine coming up with 5 lakh in a week. At the end of it, weren’t even left with enough money to buy an asprin for the next couple of months).

Now, he wants us in his home – just so that he can get more money out
of us. I made it clear that I don’t want to go back to him house – a home where neither I nor my daughter is respected. My husband grudgingly agreed. But now, the FIL wants my husband to buy the house for 40 Lakh.

The FIL had put the house up for sale a couple of times earlier, but with no go. Now he wants to get rid of this house and get the money, so he wants my husband to buy it.

My husband will not be able to take a loan by himself, and both the
father and son know it. We already have taken loan, and the daughter will
begin school in a year, so we need money for her donation etc., they
have to make me take the loan as a co-applicant. I don’t want to do
this, and I have told my husband this. I want to earn only for my daughter – everyone else comes a distant second. the rational part of my husband’s brain understands this and agrees to it.

However, the FIL is brainwashing my husband every day, every minute.
Each night we lay next to each other, and I tell him why it will be a bad idea – and he agrees. Every evening the next day, he comes back from office and tries to convince me how much his father needs the money (his father already has enough money to last a lifetime in his bank account. The interest from one account itself earns him 12K) and now he wants us to buy the house so that the house his father built “stays within the family”.

I am tired of this tug-of-war. I am tired of talking the same things over and over again, and building up the tension between the both of us. My husband is usually a sane and rational man; and takes good care of me and my daughter. I don’t want to give it up (though if it comes to that, I am not scared of walking out) – just because his father is brainwashing him.

I don’t want to fight – because that will only push him more towards what his father wants. All my FIL wants now, is for his son to stay with him; and to give him all his money the way he used to pre-marriage. Having said that – I don’t want to go through this every day, I am living in the constant anxiety about what the FIL has said to my husband that will make him go all ballistic on me.

What should I do? I am a non-confrontational sort of a person, who hates to fight for more than an hour or two. I usually compromise because I don’t want my home to be a battlefield. Now I feel that – if I don’t fight for my right and my daughters’ what will I fight for?

What is the use of my parents’ upbringing? And then I think if I fight, and if his father wins, my daughter will have to live either with a single parent or in a broken dysfunctional home. I don’t want that either.

I do know one thing though – my father was a lower middle class man, who ignored his needs and wants, and that of his wife’s – heck he ignored his diabetes and his wife’s arthritis just so that his daughter could get a decent education.

My mother had always regretted not being financially  independent, and has ingrained the need for the same into me. I cannot throw all that away just like that. I cannot throw away the courage and strength my parents have imparted to me; I cannot bend t o my FIL’s greed … but I don’t want to break up a family (mine) and leave my kid bereft of what I had – a set of loving parents because one old man is being manipulative.

Please help.

69 thoughts on “An email: I cannot bend to my FIL’s greed … but I don’t want to break up a family (mine) …

  1. The problem in these situations are not the FILs or the MILs, they may be a unreasonable as they wish, but as long as you and your husband agrees, their demands, whatever they may be, will fall on deaf ears. It’s thus a mistake to focus on the behaviour of your FIL. The problem, instead, is in your own marriage. You and your husband should be a team, and your shared responsibilities, including caring for your daughter, are much more important than any wish of a FIL or a MIL.

    If someone asks me about something important, something which would influence my entire family, but where I’m uncertain if I an Silvia agree, I don’t even discuss the matter with others. I say: “I’ve heard what you have to say, but I will have to discuss this matter with Silvia and then get back to you with my reply”.

    It happens that we disagree, offcourse. But we keep this among ourselves I, and this far even in such cases we’ve always managed to find a compromise we can both accept. Once we’ve agreed on what our position is, we *both* stick with the decision. We don’t blame eachother, even if we disagree. I go back to the person asking and say: “I’ve discussed it with Silvia, and we’ve decided that we do not want to buy another house.” Importantly, I don’t say: “I’d like to buy the house, but Silvia disagrees”, this would put the blame on her and I consider it important that we’re a *team*.

    I think you should attempt the same: The goal should be to have an agreement with your husband, that you *both* stay loyal to. If this is not possible, on important issues such as whether or not to spend 40lakh for a house, then I fear that your family is already broken.

    But your husband agrees with you when he’s talking with you, so to me it sounds as if he’s just being torn between you and his father. I think it should be clear to him that his wife and child takes priority in such a loyalty-conflict, but unfortunately if he disagrees with this and you’re unable to agree about it, then again, this is a major problem.

    The sad part is that by flip-flopping he becomes an easy target and will probably be subject to extortion again in the future. The person who gives his answer, then sticks with it, is less subject to emotional blackmail. It’s better to say: “I know your opinion about this, we’ve discussed it before and I’ve given my answer, please respect that.” rather than discuss the same issue with the FIL again and again.

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    • I do not completely agree with this. Yes it is the husband’s fault to some extent, I cannot absolve the MIL / FIL in these situations, simply saying that the husband should change the way he handles the situation will never ever make it right. Usually if the husband starts getting a back-bone or even pretends to have one the parents will turn up the tactics even more and gather close family members to collude with them.

      MIL / FIL were there, they caused the manipulative flip flopping thus they are at fault as well.

      The husband should be thankful, at-least this sort of manipulation is in your face, open and clear. There is another type: hidden, subtle done with soft sentences, guilt tripping, attracting self pity, acting old & frail … soft sabotage done purposefully, every sentence calculated, weighted and delivered to perfection to keep the victim busy so they don’t think about their own lives.
      Emotional blackmail disguised as care & love, wolves in sheep’s skin ready to devour you any opportunity that is available.

      If I were the husband I would cut off the father in a heartbeat, he deserves nothing less. The husband does not need a backbone (this sounds like he should be armored for battle all the time, you cannot live like that). He needs to understand exactly what is happening, a strong self identity is required here. Clarity without anger, anger is good but sooner or later it fades and you will be back square one, clarity to act independently without emotion and soul searching (that shi* is a waste of brain cells). Damn the obligations and time wasting guilt…

      Most times I have commented on a IHM’s post…

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      • I agree perfectly that the FIL is behaving in a inapropriate and inacceptible manner and that he carries the full blame for this. What I meant was that a couple themselves have the responsibility for not letting poorly-behaving outsiders become a problem for their marriage. An unreasonable FIL is seldom a problem for a couple that stand united.

        I’ve not experienced a backbone leading to *more* blackmail, quite the opposite. Usually people will attempt to blackmail those people who agree to be blackmailed. And in this case, it sounds as if the husband falls in the trap of again and again being drawn into a “discussion” where there is nothing to discuss.

        The right way to handle that is to be polite and calm, but firm. The first time a settled matter is aired again you say: “I’ve heard your opinion on this matter, and given you my answer, please respect that.” The second time you say: “This matter is settled, I do not wish to discuss it further.” The third time, don’t answer at all, instead just stand up and leave the room, let the person continue talking to the air.

        Most people will stop bringing a topic up if it’s clear that there will not be further discussions about it. It’s rare that you’ll need to actually leave a situation. The trap is that it’s so *very* easy to want to *defend* your decision, someone presents arguments why they think your decision is a bad one, and you’re so very tempted to argue with them; to tell them why you think your decision is right. This is *precisely* the wrong thing to do when you don’t want repeated discussion. The right thing to do is to stick with: “I have heard your arguments and given my reply, I see no need to repeat this discussion.”

        On the rare exceptions where people really do continue attempts to get you into discussions that you’ve *clearly* stated you don’t want, you’re better off reducing contact with those people, even if it is family. Do you really want to spend a lot of time with people who demonstrably does not respect neither our wishes nor your autonomy ?

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  2. Hmmmm, you seem to have a level head, and this is a tough problem. Just tell your husband once that you are not willing, and that his father does not and must not figure in your marriage equation. If he is as sane and rational as you claim he is, he will understand that you have a right to speak up on this issue. Remind him of all the bad things his father has done. Tell him he has a duty to yourself and your daughter.

    You could give it a time limit. Tell him if he does not put his foot down with his father, you will have to make your own decisions for your own peace of mind. An ultimatum works in such cases. But if he does not make it clear to his father within whatever time you have decided, then be prepared to walk out. I hope it does not come to that. Good luck!

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  3. Read it.
    You have a rare problem indeed.
    Usually it is the MIL who creates problems.
    It’s not often you hear of probems with the Fil.
    Will comment later.
    Be brave and hang in there.
    Regards
    GV

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    • Well, no.

      FILs can be as much a pain in the ass. And especially in money matters (i.e. attempts to squeeze out money from wherever possible) MILs and FILs are worth each other.

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      • Happens with egoistic, power mongering FILs, in many cases such men have as much control over their wives too. Fathers always want their sons to consult, trust them with their education, career, money etc, and many become insecure once the sons start taking independent decisions after marriage.

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    • Usually it’s the MIL who is the master puppeteer. The FIL enables her by agreeing so MIL leaves him alone. Although the MIL is dead in this case however the lady’s life is still not spared now it is the FIL who is acting a narcissistic manipulator.

      In sometime (if the husbands behaviour does not change & it probably won’t) the husband will act exactly like the FIL. I believe people who have an external locus of control, no strong self-identity are the ones who flip-flop, unfortunately he would rather ruin his marriage than stop pleasing his nut-case father.

      She would be well-advised to act according to deadline, if he does not change leave him otherwise she risks her daughter becoming dysfunctional & in the process herself becoming a self-sacrificial lamb who goes about boasting what she did for the daughter.

      See how poisonous this system is? (not asking, just saying…)

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  4. Well none of it is your fault. Your daughter has two parents. The other parent also has to be rational and see his responsibilities for her to have all the good things you want for her. Why would he not stand up for his daughter? If he does not, just bad luck for you. However, let me say this much. If you make people believe that you will bend to their desires or will be taken for granted, most people will use you up and follow their conveniences/own desires etc. Be it parents, kids, spouses or friends. You have to take a stand in front of your husband. You do not need to waste hours explaining same thing. Just explain in clear terms what you want and tell him “it is non-negotiable” for you because it does not make sense and goes against the interests of your daughter without a reason. Then the ball is in his court and he has to decide if he cares about his daughter as much as you do for her. Most of the times, people do wake up at such reality checks. This is how kids are straightened up if spoiled and sadly many grown up also need same kind of treatment.

    (BTW, whatever happened to the traditional idea of not eating “aurat ki kamai” in such traditional families?)

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    • Sorry, traditionally Indians believe in not taking ‘beti ki kamai’ but have no problem with ‘bahu ki kamai’. Such situations are very common in Indian families where the reins of the son’s life is in the parents’ hands. The son on the other hand does not have the guts to stand up for himself, leave alone wife and kids, especially where his parents are concerned. The couple needs to visit a counsellor to sort out this problem. Let’s hope the husband is able to see reason. All the best!

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      • The husband of the EW seems to be the softer one of the two brothers, it always happens that parents recognize and target the softer child & his family for their selfish benefits, the aggressive children always escape these kind of parental abuse.

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    • I am very glad to see such good advice for the email writer. What you said “If you make people believe that you will bend to their desires or will be taken for granted, most people will use you up and follow their conveniences/own desires etc. Be it parents, kids, spouses or friends.” is absolutely right. But people fail to take a stand, they think they should not fight too much or confront. For some issues taking a stand and fighting for your rights is very important. Otherwise people keep taking you for granted. And for short term feeling of peace and happiness, you compromise on your long term happiness.

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  5. Also, the strategy I suggested for you to adopt towards your husband, is exactly what your husband should adopt towards your FIL. If your FIL knows that I can get out of him whatever I want, he will ( remember the spoiled kid analogy) If he knows that I can not twist him, he will not, especially if he sees that the son acts like a thoughtful person and not just a confused little son in awe of his father.

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  6. People say MILs are hard to deal with only because they rarely see FILs getting involved directly. When they do, it is the most difficult situation to deal with. Men are given ridiculous kind of power in our society, and FILs become nothing short of terrorizing.

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    • FIL is usually in the background because the MIL is very dominant. But when the MIL is not there anymore the FIL takes control. Such sad lives these people have…

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  7. Let the house go. What’s the big deal with it being in the family if there’s little family to speak of in the first place? A father slaps a legal notice? Where is this allowed in the Bharatiya sabyatha texts?!

    Do ask your husband to speak to someone else – a few people and help him make up his mind. To me, just your inputs and a joint decision should be enough. To be fair to your husband, conditioning, emotional blackmail and all that stuff aren’t easy to break out of.

    Also, I bet if you both say you can’t buy the house, it suddenly won’t need to be bought.

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  8. DO NOT COMPROMISE FOR PEACE!! Your FIL has the audacity to give a legal notice to you to get out and then emotionally blackmail your husband to buy his house? What manipulative powers must he have to pull this off!!!

    You know you can’t buy the house. So, don’t buy it. Even if you had the power to buy the house, it wouldn’t come without your FIL in it. Be firm with your husband. Tell him that you have explained it all to him, made a decision and wouldn’t like to get in this discussion every single night.

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  9. Dear letter writer. The real problem is your husband’s attitude. He seems to be torn between you and his father and that’s why changes his mind according to whoever is talking to him at the moment. So with a husband who is pretty much useless in this situation, you have to take things into your hands. Tell your husband since he cannot make a decision, you have made it for the both of you. Don’t move in with your FIL under any circumstances. If he has behaved so badly, he deserves no consideration. He has already kicked you out of his house once, so if you go and stay in his house you will again place yourself in a position of dependency. Not only that, he will have more time to turn his son against you. Nothing good will come out of staying with him.He has already taken legal action against you once, what is to stop him from filing fake charges against you once you actually live with him?. Since he hates both you and your daughter, wants your husband to get married again, and your husband is under his influence, he can easily turn your husband against you. And he will have much more time to do so once you actually live with him 24/7. Your instincts are correct, don’t ignore them. You have to keep trying to prevent your marriage from breaking up, but you can’t let go of everything that you value in life in order to please your husband and his wretched, greedy old father.

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  10. He slapped a legal notice on you guys so YOU couldn’t stay “within the family.” I’m sure THE HOUSE will understand. Tell him you’re sorry for the house’s hurt feelings and hope it heals soon, the way you have.

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  11. One question to the EW – If you buy the house, will it not cause a problem between the two brothers? Legally, the house belongs to both the sons, both of you can pitch in to buy if at all it is required, else it can cause unnecessary problems , can you not mention this too to your husband?

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  12. ok, do the maths. then share it with your fil. if you take a loan, you get nothing, your fil gets nothing, but the bank gest 12% interest. thats not the house staying in the family, thats free moneys going to the bank.

    also, if he sells the house, where will he live ? have u asked ur husband that? has he asked ur fil where he plans to live after selling that house?

    three, is this house his inherited property or his self made property? if it is self made property, then its fine. else, pls talk to a lawyer abt the legality of selling something that your husband is entitled to as inheritance anyway. the tax authorities might view it as a tax saving gimmick(for saving tax on home loan) and ur husband might find himself under the IT scanner.

    tell ur husband that once ur current home loan is paid off, you might start paying ur fil the 40 lakhs that he wants, in monthly instalments, so that both the house and the interest money stays in the family. but the external bank loan has to be taken care of first.

    next, pls separate your accounts and create your own corpus. this is for you, and if the need arises,for your daughter. if i was you, i’d tell the husband that i m separating the accounts because he really owes all his earnings to his father and u should not be the one standing between father and son, so you will be happy to separate accounts so that your husband doesnt have to consult you before paying his father. besides, money should not be a reason why 2 ppl have to fight if both of them make enough to get by.

    third, please do not give ur husband or inlaws visibility into your separated accounts or investments. lay that down as a ground rule on day 1 – so you dont have to fight a daily battle over this. they dont see your accounts, and you dont see theirs. simple.

    this should take care of the financial control. all the best for handling the other control mechanisms that will come up, now that ur fil has enough time on his hands to think up ways to control the daughter bearing dil. really, all the best!

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    • I’m always interested in how finances are managed in a marriage so I’m curious about why you would advise that they separate their finances and that the wife tell the husband it’s okay if he gives all his earnings to his father? Separate accounts is fine, and the husband giving some of his earnings to his father is okay too but ALL? How would the husband support himself and pay his share of the living expenses for his own family?

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      • All couples do this differently, thus I can only answer for myself. We’re a team in finance-matters too. The way we manage our finances is this:

        Near the end of each year, we sit down together for an hour or two to make a budget. We estimate how much our income is likely to be (in our case fairly easy because we both hold steady jobs), and what our basic costs are, those things we have little choice about. (i.e. food, clothing, electricity, insurance and so on)

        Then we decide, together, what to do with the rest. Thus if our income is 50 lakh, and our fixed costs are 30 lakh, there’s 20 left over for us to decide what to do with. We like to visualize it, so what we’ve been doing is gathering up some coins, and let one rupee represent 1 lakh. Then we write the different items on a large piece of paper, and place the coins on the things we want to buy. So if we wanted to spend 3 lakh on a super vacation, we would put 3 rupees on the paper where it says “vacation”.

        When all the coins are placed, we’re done, and this is our budget. It’s fun to make a budget this way. And it’s very much worth the hour or two. We do not separate “my” money from “her” money at all, instead everything that either of us earns goes in a shared account.

        Aslong as it’s in the budget, either of us can buy what we wish without consulting the other. But we consult eachother before buying expensive items, and if changes to the budget is needed. (unexpected things sometimes happens, afterall)

        We have used this system for the last 7 years, and it’s worked well for us. But I think it depends on what kind of person you are. We like having an agreed upon plan ahead of time, but not everybody does.

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        • Wow! I am super impressed with this method of handling finance…like The Bride, even I wonder how a marriage handles finance…

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        • I should add that though all our income go in a shared account, we do set aside a little bit of money, about 10000/month for each of us as “pocket-money” to spend like we want. There will always be things that interest me, but not Silvia, and the other way around. This way we can buy those things in good conscience, with no need for discussions.

          Usually I end up buying electronics, computer-games and wine for my “pocket-money” while Silvia ends up buying books, flowers and things for photography for hers.

          The amounts I mention may sound high, but this is because costs and salaries are higher in Norway than in India, 10000/month represents about 2% of our income here, so we are talking about only a small fraction of the money. (average income in Norway is about 3 lakh/month)

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  13. If one really wants to purchase a house, why does it have to be the FIL’s house? This will only cause more complications with in laws and get you stuck in a bigger mess, from which you will never be able to come out. The money is yours. The decision can’t be their’s.

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    • The FIL wants to have the cake and eat it too. He wants the MONEY and also keep the house, hence the tactics. This way, he also has control over his son & family, they will be forced to stay with him in ‘their’ house.

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  14. IHM, something off topic: Since yesterday when I open your page my browser says ‘insecure content, do not load (recommended)’ Any idea what could be the reason?

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  15. Who sends legal notice to their own son to move them out of the house? What tradition is the family following? Kicking sons & DILs out when they are most vulnerable? Evil FIL needs some psychatric counselling. And email writer and the husband too might require counselling if they can’t come to a conclusion by discussion. Be prepared EW.

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  16. Your fil is using emotional blackmail.
    Though you haven’t stated so I think he is banking on his son’s sympathy.
    After all who does he have now in the world, except his son?
    The son is perhaps not realizing this.
    I would have sympathised with this fil if not for his behaviour and his serving legal notice on you.
    Don’t make the stupid mistake of buying his house for 40 lakhs.
    Having taken a loan already of 30 lakh and a car loan of 7 lakh, your emi’s must already be an unnerving amount. Do the math and convince your husband that you cannot invest another 40 lakh. You are not denying the money to your fil. He is free to sell to others.
    Obviously the house is not worth 40 lakhs or else some one would have grabbed it by now.
    He wants to sell it you at an inflated price. Besides after selling it you he is not going to move out is he? He will get his money and still stay in it but not as a tenant paying you rent but as a proud fil living in his own son’s house. This is an example of “aam ke aam, guthli ke daam”

    Don’t fall for it. Convince your husband. Even if you had 40 lakhs to spend, invest it in some other house.

    I can understand your husband’s dilemma. The fil is after all his own father. How can he just abandon him, in spite of all his defaults?
    The trick is to convince your husband and find a way so that you are not guilty of abandoning your fil to his fate if he needs maintenance. But under no circumstances agree to stay with him under the same roof. If I were your husband, I would sell the house for 40 lakh or whatever best price I can get and give the money to my father and help him invest it wisely so that he is able to maintain himself. Nowadays in Coimbatore there are several retirement homes coming up. These are not old age homes. You don’t need more than 10 to 12 thousand per head to live in these retirement homes. Your fil already has this money coming in from his bank deposits. The interest from the sale proceeds will be a bonus. Find a retirement home that is not too far from where you live so that in emergencies you are still there for him, even if he does not deserve it.

    This is a tricky issue. Your success hinges on getting your husband on board.
    I wish you luck.
    Regards
    GV

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    • Taking these kinds of loans will bring them to the streets! The mental stress and health issues that can arise from having to pay back these kinds of amounts will be enormous. And all for what? Foolish sentiments for a house whose value can drop any time.

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  17. A very cunning FIL, I must say!! Their family house would eventually be inherited by the kids (unless he states otherwise in his will). But the FIL wants to “force-sell” it to his son, and make money out of it!! Jeez!
    But as the first commenter said, forget the FIL… Make sure the husband and you are a TEAM! Make it clear to him that you are sick and tired of talking to him everynight, undoing the brainwashing the fil does during the day. Give some sort of ultimatum. Making the house a battle ground is different and standing upto one’s rights and peace of mind is another thing! Standing up to one’s right and self respect is absolutely necessary (even if you dont like confrontation). And if that angers the husband and leads to constant fights, then you should really think hard about the state of the marriage.
    I wish you the best and hope you get the courage to be strong, put your foot down and live a stress free life.

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  18. Dear letter writer,

    I don’t see why you even needed to hear this from your husband let alone have daily discussions just before bedtime, wrecking havoc on your peace of mind and your marriage. Your husband should have told your FIL that he would feel ashamed to even talk about this let alone ask for monetary help after what happened.

    But, I’m not surprised at how your husband is behaving either, most Indian men are raised to be like that. But, please do not agree to your FIL’s demands. Remember this man threw you out of the house that you were living in after you suffered a miscarriage, slapped a legal notice and above all has refused to acknowledge your daughter as a grandchild. Forget the money, I am more concerned about how this is going to affect your daughter if you guys end up becoming a family again.

    Tell your husband that first of all the daily conversations are wrecking havoc on your peace of mind and your marriage and they have to STOP and if he can’t stand up to and against his father to protect your little family, then you will be forced to do it and the end result might not be pleasant.

    BTW, How can he sell you and your husband something that is rightfully yours. LIke the commentator above pointed out, you need to check if this is even legal. I mean one sibling buying out other’s share is one thing, asking a child to buy ancestral property that they could inherit in due course is just plain weird.

    Also, I think we tend to use the tag of single parent too much these days, you will be a single parent only if your husband shirks his parental responsibility or abandons your daughter after a separation or divorce.So while you might be technically “single” with no partner after separation or divorce, you not a single parent though. You will be co-parenting your child with your ex.

    But my hope is that an ultimatum should work with your husband and that things don’t get complicated further.

    Also, your FIL only wins if he gets you guys to do what he wants and ends up abusing your young family till he dies, He does not win if you walk away from all of this. A safe and ideal home for a child is where a responsible and loving adult takes care of the child’s needs, provides love and keeps the child safe from harm.

    Peace and strength to you.

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  19. How come men (husbands) nowadays seem to be raised with no backbone…. I’d bale the husband. You ve a wife a kid , your dad showed his true colors yet you are pulled towards him???

    Don’t waste your time lady, tell him once and let it go. I wonder what makes perfectly adjusted capable men such idiots where their parents re concerned. Must be our bad child rearing – the guilt nod get tactic that we Indians are so proud about.

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    • “I wonder what makes perfectly adjusted capable men such idiots where their parents re concerned.”

      The answer to that could save most marriages. If only the men grew backbones when it came to their parents!

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        • Yes, they should. I find most men shaking and shivering before their parents and their unreasonable demands. They won’t say a single word against them to their most unjust demands and would rather suffer or blame the wife. Yes, the wife bears the brunt (so much easier to blame her) because the man cannot speak up to his parents.

          Like

        • Do you think this is more common in arranged marriages ? If you deferred to your parents decision, even on picking a life-partner, does this make it more likely that you’ll bow to their wishes also on other matters ? Is this another reason women should avoid arranged marriages ?

          Like

        • I don’t think it is more or less common in arranged marriages, it al depends onthe type of man , his nature and his upbringing.. Unfortunately there are some bad apples in the barrel adn that’s just life… If we find one such we can either toss them out or try to clean them up depending on the degree of adjustment required, same goes for women, there are some really asinine ones married to fine upstanding men who make their husbands lives pure misery… running after mummy’s pallu… always wanting to be pampered..
          I know one such constantly blackmailing and running to mummy’s house. c’mon if you cannot solve your problems leave for good. going back and forth, playing tug -of-war for stupid things is just plain annoying.

          I wouldn’t tolerate my husband if he did this flip-flop , he needs to do whatever it takes for the BEST of our family and i doubt he’s take such NATAk from me. the email writer an dhusband has to realioze they are adults, they married each other , beget a child whose best interetst they should keep in mind and that is all there is to ti. anyone / anything thretening this unit needs to be dealt with swiftly. if that is not agreeable then DON’T get MARRIED..stay with mummy and pappa and be teir ladla beta, beti whatever.

          Like

    • “How come men (husbands) nowadays seem to be raised with no backbone”

      I havent found the answer to this either…I understand clan loyalty, duty etc. but to me, all of that comes with limits. If any of those noble qualities infringes on mine, my husband’s or our children’s well being in any manner, they are all void.

      Like

      • I’ve never understood why Indian parents first push men towards marriage and then maintain a vice-like grip on their married lives.

        This attitude leads to so much unecessary frustrations and blights the lives of so many others — the wife and kids, the wife’s family (who worry constantly about their daughter).

        If maintaining control over the son is so important to such parents, why do they even allow the son to marry?

        The idiocy and insecurities of two people gives rise to so much unhappiness all around.

        Like

  20. Dear Letter Writer,

    I am only going to repeat the very sane advice given by a number of other commentators here:

    1. It makes no financial sense to buy a house that you are legally likely to inherit anyway. The only people really making money out of this are the banks involved. You already have enough loans to pay off – and with a small child and rising costs, you will have enough financial commitments on your hand, and you don’t need to add to it by taking on such a huge and unnecessary loan.

    2. You need to make it very clear to your husband that this issue is non-negotiable. There is no way you will take on such a loan and introduce so much financial uncertainty into your daughters life. There is also no way you will live with the FIL and introduce emotional insecurity, fights and insults into your daughters life.
    You say that your husband is a caring father – I think you should focus on why this is a bad decision FOR YOUR DAUGHTER, rather than on how its a bad decision because your FIL is such an awful man. Make it clear to him that your stance is because of what is best for your daughter, not because of any issues you have with your FIL. It’s easier to convince your husband if he feels he is doing his best for his daughter, even if it is at the cost of going against his father’s wishes. But once you make your point clear, please stay firm, and tell him that you don’t want to discuss this anymore because nothing will change your mind.

    3. When your husband talks to his father, he has to make it clear that he will not buy the house because it is a decision BOTH of you took together. If he says he wants to but you feel it’s a bad idea, your FIL will immediately see that there is scope for manipulation. Your husband has to make it clear that there is no room for negotiation – and for that, you have to make it clear to your husband that there is no room for negotiation.

    4. If the worst comes to worst (and I sincerely hope this will not happen) and you end up having to walk out, your daughter will still have both parents. Your husband, if he wishes to, can actively participate in your daughter’s life. It will of course be vastly different from living in the same house and being part of a loving family – but for your daughter, it’s much better to have loving, separated parents than live in a dysfunctional home where unwanted compromised, resentments, emotional blackmail, insults and financial insecurity are the order of the day.

    All the very best! I truly hope you are able to handle this and work things out so that you get what is best for you and your daughter.

    Like

  21. Whoever thought that a FIL cannot be equally cunning as a MIL? In my family’s case, my dad’s father wanted us to move into their house which is far away from the center of the city. My mother refused because she did not want her children to have to give up their independence and have their every move watched by the grandparents. Also, travel would have been very inconvenient for all of us and the neighborhood was an isolated and noisy one. My grandfather sold their huge house instead of keeping it on rent like a sensible person and moved closer to us. At that point of time, neither of them required constant care and could have easily continued living in the same house for a few more years at least.

    10 years later he has still not forgotten this ‘insult’ that we did not move in with them, forgetting that we are people with our own needs and wants, and cannot submit to their demands. He still tries to make my parents feel guilty about the fact that he had to sell his old house. My parents have long since let this matter go but he refuses to let it die and will bring it up with regularity. I still respect my grandfather, but on matters like these (among others) I find his views ridiculous and old-fashioned.

    Like

  22. Dear email writer,
    Your husband definitely agrees with you when you make him understand your point. The only problem i see is he tends to flip flop between your point and his father brainwashing. And going through the same arguement with him everyday is disturbing your peace of mind. Heres something you can try. When your husband agrees with you, make a list of all the points why buying the house is not a good option for you guys right now. Keep the emotional stuff about how he had thrown you out and how he does not respect you out of this. just think rationally from your financial stand point and make this list in the favor of not buying the house. Similarly also make a list of all the points your husband comes up with for uying the house. Clearly when your husband is thinking sanely the first list will outweigh the 2nd. keep this list handy. Now when your husband come the next day arguing why you should buy the house just show him both the lists. If he cannot find anything important to add to the 2nd list then you dont even need to discuss this further.

    The benefit of having these points printed on a piece of paper is that a lot of times when you get emotional you tend to forget what you decided rationally.

    Hope this ordeal ends soon for you and you are able to put an end to this.

    Like

  23. these are few things you can do:
    1) don’t give in. keep fighting it. explain to your husband. make him understand it.
    2) Once your FIL sells the house, where is he going to live? probably he is planning on making you buy the house and then come back and live with u guys. dont let this happen.
    3) if nothing is working, and you are really stuck, maybe u can offer to pay ur FIL 10 lakhs instead of 40 for the house. he can take the deal if he wants to or not. then u can sell it for a higher price.
    4) you can offer to sell the house for him. hire real estate person who would take share of the profit ofcouse but u will be able to sell quicker.

    at the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you. everyone will tell you ideas and give you advice, but u are the one who has to live with the decision.

    Like

  24. To the author,

    While keeping peace should be a priority between a couple, some confrontations are inevitable and in this case you have a valid point and your husband should address it. Emotional blackmail/manipulation is most common method by which Indian society proudly keeps it “traditions” alive. So please, whatever you do dont give in on this issue. Consider this a favour you will be doing for the future of your daughter and yourself.

    I dont understand why FIL wants to Sell the house to the son? Why would the Son want to buy the house that is a reminder of him being kicked out with his wife and baby?

    Like

  25. I thought, I was the only one who would have heard “Hamare yahan sirf bete hotein hai, hamare khoon main aisa hai.” I still roll over laughing when I hear it.
    Coming back to the topic, why don’t you ask you husband, how he would feel, if god forbid, your daughter were to go through a similar situation? If her in-laws were to throw her out of the house. Mentally and verbally abuse her. Not see her newly born child. Talk about a 2nd marriage because they want a male heir. Would he as a father, who has loved, nurtured, cherished his child let her go back such humiliation? If not, then why should you go through it.
    What you describe is a scary scenario and I would be petrified of going back to such a house. Apart from keeping my marriage intact, my foremost concern would be, what kind of an environment would I give my child. A grandfather who didn’t see her because of her gender, would he not instill a sense of inferiority in her?
    His duties as a son can be fulfilled in many more ways. Buying that house cannot and should not be the solution.
    All the best.

    Like

  26. Want a win-win situation? Tell your hubby to buy the house in your mother’s name. After all, you are spending the money and have every right to decide its owner. I am sure your FIL will object to that.

    Like

  27. I am travelling…and yet I could not help take time off to write this comment. I feel so sorry for you.

    So…it took a legal notice and a physical eviction for you and your husband to move out? Isn’t it tragic that all the humiliation and indignity meted out to you and your innocent baby DID NOT prompt your husband to take the initiative BY HIMSELF? To me it seems the family is already dysfunctional thanks to your husband’s inability to stand up for himself and his wife and child.

    A family is where both partners look out for each other, give emotional strength to each other. It is not a family where one partner is rubbed to mud, while the other turns away and shrugs shoulders in so called helplessness – which is what your husband has been doing all along. I know you say your husband is sane, rational and loving – but it seems more of a cliché. ‘Sane’ is when one understands priorities – his priority is his child and wife. ‘Rational’ is the ability to think practically and take firm decisions – in no way your husband comes across as a person who is thinking rationally. ‘Loving’ is when one draws the line between being an offspring, a father and spouse. Clearly your husband does not give any importance to the role of being a father and a spouse; his only focus seems to be on being a ‘good son’. As a father, how can he stand anyone speaking ill of his own child? As a husband, how can he tolerate indignities on his wife?

    You should give your husband an ultimatum. Tell him clearly you won’t interfere with HIS relationship with HIS father – and if he wants to keep HIS father with HIS money – he is more than welcome. But he has no right to expect any support from you especially after the terrible things you’ve suffered, and the financial burden already on your head. After all, your husband would not have been so understanding and patient if, say, you wanted to buy house for your mother; and you asked him to apply for a loan.

    If nothing works – remember, bringing up a child as a single parent, but in a happy environment is far better than bringing her up in a toxic environment where she is humiliated, where she sees her mother humiliated, and where she grows up seeing an indifferent father. Neither do I think she is safe with your father-in-law even for a single second.

    I don’t want to be harsh about your husband – he’s probably seen only crippling domination and coercion in the name of parental ‘love’ all his life. This is the reason why many children turn into adults who are unable to form a firm opinion and act on things independently. I do feel sorry for him at some level. But then, he has to grow up, and grow up fast.

    Like

  28. Really, how shameless can people get ! Under no circumstances are you buying the house and staying with the FIL, after how he has treated you and the kid. Once you bend on this , he will further make your life hell. Tell him in plain terms (so what if he is your FIL, he has not behaved like one ) in the presence of your husband, that you are deeply upset about the way you have been treated and that the daughter’s life is more important and her emotional well being is your priority and how it won’t be met in that house or with him. Tell him plainly that today you have no money to buy this house , but even if you were to have , still you wouldn’t . C’mon your husband has no spine and you have to bring home hard facts to your so-called-FIL. Tell him exactly how you feel. Stop playing chinese whispers with the husband. If FIL means business , so do you. Let him know that his DIL is no doormat , she has a mind of her own and that it would be difficult to live with her.

    Like

  29. Pingback: Instead of eyeing their husbands’ ancestral property, why don’t Indian daughters in law make their own homes? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  30. my friend’s is a love marriage and her husband and she ended up experiencing the same emotional blackmail from her in laws a year after their marriage. Her husband gives in to his parents wishes and manipulations each time leaving my friend and her baby in a hopeless situation.. they want total control over her earnings and the husband’s earnings and invest everything in the name of the husband and the in laws and my friend is left to deal with the loans instead.. she has tried every way to reason with her husband and finally left home with her baby when the behavior got abusive (emotionally, financially..).. . yet her husband doesn’t feel the need to prioritize his wife and kids over his parent’s unreasonable demands. His greed and ego have taken control and he is not interested in making peace with his wife. He would much rather stay away from wife and kid. What advise would you give to my friend in this situation?

    Like

  31. Pingback: “Although my in laws maintain a facade of being content with what they have and never asking the girl’s side for anything…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  32. Pingback: “…being his mom’s support in ways his sisters were not…. He borrowed money off me to pay for his mom’s car.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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