How to control passive aggressive family member who sends husband to his parents begging for money?
They are retired and live on pensions.
It seems to me that the person actually asking for money from retired parents who can't afford it (the husband) is the bigger problem. Maybe he has a hard time saying 'no' to his spouse, but it's a word he should learn, use and not give in to entreaties.
Even if his parents were generous with him before they retired and began living on a fixed income, he should realize it's unfair to use them as ATMs at this stage of their lives. It's time for him to stop the practice of approaching them with his hand out. When one's parents are retirees, it's stand-on-your-own-two-feet time...or should be.
You don't mention the couple's ages, but some people are mature at handling their finances in their twenties while others haven't gotten the hang of it by their forties. I think the public school curriculum should include a required class in middle school that teaches kids financial skills and fiscal responsibility so they're prepared for adulthood. Such a class would be immensely practical.
Both the husband in this situation and his spouse should do whatever is necessary in order to meet their own financial needs without asking family or friends for monetary donations or loans unless it's a real emergency. If running short of money (or simply wanting more than they have) is an ongoing problem for them, they may need to consider change at two levels--(1) saving money and (2) earning more of it.
In today's economy, people of all ages and varying incomes are learning to budget (if they didn't already know how), living more frugally, preventing waste, avoiding overuse of credit cards, and doing without things that are luxuries rather than true needs.
Changing jobs, getting temporary part-time (second) jobs, acquiring more education or additional training to prepare themselves for promotions/raises are all ways to increase income. The bottom line: a married couple should accept responsibility for themselves and not depend on parents for solvency or extra spending money.
The retired parents have an opportunity here to teach their son one more life lesson by saying 'no' to his requests for money and explaining the reasons for their response. He can pass the lesson along to his wife. Here's hoping they both understand it.
Very thorough answer. Thanks for the answers everyone on a complex situation.
This question about a difficult situation got a lot of attention and insightful answers. In fact, there may be readers coping with similar circumstances. I hope the collective suggestions help anyone who needs it.
Anytime someone asks how they can (control) anyone outside of themselves they're going to have a tough time of it.
Each of us gets to choose who we spend our time with. Clearly the husband is complying by rushing to his parents begging for money.
Most people have 3 "To do lists"
1. Things I have to do. (If not, I'm going to lose something of value)
2. Things I want to do. (This is my "me time" to do whatever I "want".)
3. Things I need to do. (If the mood strikes or If I ever find the time)
Without having all the details I suspect #1 is what is motivating this husband. He must place a lot of (value) on pleasing this person.
The problem is not with the "aggressive family member". The problem is with the husband who is (taking the actions) to please them.
It's (his) choice. Even children are taught how to say "no".
Well if the family member asking for money doesn't work, I would say "Hey mom and dad are on fixed incomes, how about you getting a job". I am a pretty straight forward person. It is one thing if parents can help family members, but if they are on a fixed income they shouldn't be. If the family members do work and are struggling like many today, I would look into some state and community organizations that can help. If they are struggling to buy food (which is so expensive) there are so many churches that have pantries that would gladly help families out. Maybe the family members meet the income for Food Stamps or Rental Assistance. Now I am basically speaking about the necessities in life. However, if these family members are looking for money to take a vacation, buy a car, buy furniture and things that are not necessary to live then again I go back to my first response. It sounds like the wives are telling the husbands to ask the husband's parents for money. If these wives do not have the courage to ask themselves, then maybe they should be asking their own parents and relatives. I have little tolerance for grown adults always expecting their parents to bail them out of bad debt or buy them things that are not needed to live. I call this enabling, not helping.
Is there any chanceyou can view and comment on my Hub published yesterday? I feel strength and confidence in your comment and thought you could give your opinion on my situation. My Hub is titled "As a mother who made mistakes in life, did I raise
The only behavior you can control is your own. If you (the understood general you) change your behavior, that automatically makes everything thereafter change. If the husband simply refuses to go do someone else's bidding (or begging) that will eliminate the husband from doing the task and place the responsibility on the person who makes the request. It doesn't have to be drama filled, it doesn't have to inspired by anger. It can be plain and simple "I don't feel comfortable doing that for you anymore." Or "I've decided that isn't the best way for you to solve your problems."...along with "you know, mom and dad don't have unlimited disposable income." Best wishes
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