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Does this sound fair for my husband to do for his parents?

We have been living with them for 6 months. His mom says she cant keep a job for health reasons but wont file for disability. His dad works. They already get lots of food stamps and government aid and now he is telling me that when we move out in a few weeks he wants to start buying her all kinds of things for her house because she has nothing nice.

Anything nice we have ever gotten her has just been messed up and used by her 4 other kids and I dont feel obligated to do that! I dont mind giving her money to watch our daughter or clean our house or something but why should they get all kinds of free stuff from us regularly when I have to hassel him to even buy my parents Christmas gifts!?

Am I being unresonable considering we have lived here for free for 6 months and she has watched our daughter for me to stay in school? Or am I right that they need to help themselves and they arent our responsability?

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:32 PM on Oct. 4, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Answers (33)
  • You should be glad that hubby has the sense of family well established, I for one think that once he was once their responsibility and the fair thing to do is help them out when in need. I do think you are being a bit unreasonable, hopefully when your kids are grown and you end up old and sick and need help they will also come to your rescue.

    Answer by older at 5:38 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • you do live there rest free so I think it would be nice to do something for them, but I think you both need to agree on what to do to say thank you. If what he is planning is going to hurt you guys financially then that doesn't make sense. Do you know if they would like anything in return? I don't really think who gets to use what your give them has anything to do with it. They let you use their house, if they let the other kids use what you get them, well they are good at sharing. I am just thinking it sounds like there is a bigger issue that what is stated here because I don't see why you would be so ungrateful to ppl who took you in. What do your parents have to with this? You are not living with them.

    Answer by KaraMia15 at 5:40 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • This is a tough situation - I completely understand where you're coming from, because I get so mad if DH spends money on other people when we desperately need things ourselves. I don't expect a lot, just the basics, so if he's more worried about someone else than his own family, I get frustrated. That said,'s his mom. The fact that he cares is GOOD - so many men have bad relationships with their moms anymore, and/or couldn't care less how she is doing. It's in a man's nature to want to care for the women in his life, so seeing his mom go without things probably brings him a lot of heartache. I don't think him wanting to buy things for her means that he cares any less about you. Take it as a good sign, that he wants to provide for the women in his life. But it would probably be good to explain why you feel frustrated and talk it out, don't just keep feeling resentful. GL!

    Answer by aliceryannesmom at 5:41 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • You have been living with his parents for free for 6 mo. He should be able to buy them anything he wants. It is difficult to let your son and his wife and child come live with you. Been there done that and glad when she was gone.


    Answer by Gailll at 5:43 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • How best to answer this one.. LOL

    For me. That would be totally acceptable and fair.

    However. Taking care of parents in that way, even giving them an allowance/paying bills/buying things for them..etc... is culturally expected of my husband.. He is the eldest son of his family, we send an "allowance" every month to India to his parents. If his parents need, we buy, if they want and we can afford it we buy..etc.. Typically, we would be living with my husband's parents, however, they chose to move back to India a couple of decades ago, and we stayed here in the states. Another son is taking on that role for in my husband's stead (being the live in child who cares for the parents needs on a daily basis) . But we still provide quite a bit especially in regards to financial support and material means, towards his parents.

    Answer by pixie_trix at 5:43 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • I see where you are coming from and I would not be happy either if my husband was wanting to buy a lot of nice things when, if the situation for them is so dire they need government assistance, they probably need other things like help with bills a lot more than pretty things to look at. I could see a few things to say thanks but he doesn't need to furnish their house. I would say to compromise on something like a gift for the house or some money for food, bills, something like that since you all lived with them for six months for free. However, if his mother really cannot hold a job due to illness, she needs to file for disability. I don't think your husband's parents need to be your responsibility since the father works and they do get more than one kind of assistance. Your husband has you and your daughter to worry about as well.

    Answer by wildflowers25 at 5:51 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • If you have the money to spare, let him get her what he wants

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 5:52 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • I don't think it would hurt to buy her a couple nice things to show your appreciation for their help. It depends on whether you can afford to or not.

    Answer by L.A.F.outloud at 6:53 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • My husband would not be buying his mother ANYTHING unless I was allowed to buy my parents something. But, that is not something I worry about. His mother can take of herself.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 7:06 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • Well, my husband worked hard to not only support our household but to also support my father & his wife for almost a year (from the time we moved to the state my dad lived in until his death). I homeschooled our children so I did not work, my husband was the one providing for us and for my dad & his wife. They got foodstamps (but not enough( and my dad was on medicaid but they couldn't pay their basic bills or even have a few luxuries so we paid their utility bills, bought groceries & we paid for them to have cable, we paid for my step mom to have cigarettes and we bought little things for my dad so that he had luxuries. He worked hard his whole life to provide for me, when he was healthy & doing well he spoiled his grandchildren and then he got sick and it was our turn to do for him. My dad treated my husband like a son and my husband never had one issue taking care of him. So, I don't see the problem.

    Answer by tracylynnr67 at 7:23 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

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