How long should you help in-laws?

South Africa
September 24, 2009 5:54am CST
I have a father-in-law who retired and squandered away all his money, a mother-in-law who is the only one getting an income from her pension. Often they come to my wife who does not work and play on her emotions saying that they don't have food. Obviously she gives because you can't refuse anyone food. However, when they have money they go out and buy luxuries that I don't even want to buy. They don't have a car, so if they need to go somewhere, ... you guessed they come to us. However, when they want to go shopping they ask somebody else so that we don't see what they buy. My question is, how long should I support them financially? Will it be the right thing to do when I say enough is enough and cut them off? Or should I just carry on supporting them and being there for as long as they live? Won't this lead to problems with my wife? What to do? What to do?
1 response
@dlr297 (5418)
• United States
24 Sep 09
That is a touchy situation that you are in right now. As long as you have it to give i think that you should leave it up to your wife to decide. My mom is in her mid 70's and is very self sufficient, has not needed anything but some help with taking care of the yard work My husbands Mom and Dad are in their 80's and they are also self sufficient. But if either one of then needed anything we would make sure that they got it if we could get it.
• South Africa
24 Sep 09
It is not that I don't want to help, but it starts to bother me when they buy stuff I can't even buy my own kids. To make a simple example, in the afternoons when my sister-in-law's children get home (the oldest stay there, bu the youngest only comes there after school) they get KFC or other burgers. My children get home in the afternoon and they eat a simple cheese sandwich or liver spread. It's things like this that really makes me ... The other problem is that it has been going like this for the past 11 years. WHen is enough enough? To add insult to injury, I had to buy their house or otherwise they would have lost it. They don't pay rent but still has the audacity to bring their water account to me for settling!!
@dlr297 (5418)
• United States
24 Sep 09
I can see that you are having a very hard time with this, and yes 11 years is a very long time to do things like you are doing for them, and it does look like they are taking advantage of you.. But i still think that it is going to have to come from your wife to put a stop to it because it is her parents that are doing it. Helping someone and someone taking advantage of you are two different things.