A man turned to Reddit after he and his wife had been hounded by greedy relatives for their money. They think they should “pay it forward,” but he believes they shouldn’t be taken advantage of.
OP’s (Original Poster) mother-in-law stayed with him and his wife for several weeks. He said she “wasn’t completely unpleasant” to be around, but she did “like to involve herself in other people’s business whether they like it or not.”
Helping Out or Snooping?
One day, OP and his wife were working, and only his mother-in-law was home. He said she decided to “help out” by cleaning up their study and arranging paperwork “without asking.”
OP said that it was during this time his mother-in-law discovered they had a lot of money.
He shared, “She found out we had recently paid out our mortgage in one go and our bank statements with six-figure amounts on them.”
Why Did You Hide This From Me?
OP’s mother-in-law was upset with them, especially her daughter, because they never told her about their money.
However, even when she was the one who went through their stuff without their permission and “breached their privacy,” the couple was still on the defensive.
Trying to Explain
OP explained that it was money they got from Bitcoin mining and other investments he had made several years ago.
He told his mother-in-law that he and his wife decided not to let this sudden wealth immediately change their lifestyle or work situations.
OP shared that he and his wife were already living comfortably even without the Bitcoin money, but they did have long-term plans to invest it so they could retire early.
They then explained to OP’s mother-in-law that they had never told anyone. But she felt like she was “singled out.”
After their discussion, the remainder of OP’s mother-in-law’s stay was uneventful; he said they didn’t discuss the matter further.
However, a month later, his mother-in-law reached out, asking them to help her replace her CPAP—a sleep breathing mask—machine. She said she needed it urgently, and because it seemed like an emergency, the couple couldn’t refuse.
OP said, “$1,500 later, she had what she wanted” for the CPAP machine. However, her so-called requests or emergencies didn’t stop there.
He shared, “A few weeks later, she ‘urgently’ needed a set of replacement tires for her car, and again, we couldn’t really refuse. And so on, a bill here, a shopping cart there, but it was keeping the peace, and they were only for minor ‘essential’ purchases, so we just let it go as an occasional expense.”
Here Comes the Brother-In-Law
A month before this story was posted, OP’s brother-in-law, who rarely contacted them, reached out, asking for a “loan” to cover his overdue rent. They didn’t want to give in to everyone, so they said they didn’t have the money right now.
Upon hearing their response, OP’s brother-in-law started getting mad. He shared, “He became indignant, accusing us of ‘holding out’ on the family and how he knew we had a lot of money and we should be paying it forward.”
OP said they stood their ground, but the confrontation also left a bad taste in their mouths.
News Spreads Fast
After the issue with OP’s brother-in-law, it slowly became apparent to the couple that the news about their money spread like wildfire throughout the family—even extended ones.
He shared that two other members independently approached them for financial help. OP mentioned they helped one because it seemed like a genuine case, but it ended up with them dealing with the friction from others, making them feel guilty for not helping everyone.
Financially Irresponsible In-Laws
OP said that his wife’s siblings had a history of being financially irresponsible, and he and his wife were already worried about where everything was going.
Would $10,000 Be Enough?
He said he and his wife are already considering gifting each of her sibling’s family $10,000 for Christmas. They also plan to establish a $2,000 trust for each of her nieces and nephews and will add to it every birthday.
Would It Finally Be the End?
OP hopes the $10,000 will “shut everyone up once and for all.”
The couple also wants to avoid further accusations of favoritism. They also hope that the ongoing trust fund contribution will stop the rest of the family from asking for more; they can say, “We are still doing something to support them.”
We Don’t Want to Be Taken Advantage Of
OP ends by saying that he doesn’t want money to cause a rift in the family, but at the same time, he wants to ensure he and his wife aren’t taken advantage of.
He wants a clear idea of how to move forward because he doesn’t want them to be seen as people who are giving easy handouts to everyone.
The Community’s Two Cents
People advised OP and his wife against gifting their relatives with money.
One said, “That is the worst idea ever. They will spend it and come back wanting more because the begging and pleading worked! It’s like rewarding a child’s tantrum with candy and then wondering why they constantly throw tantrums.”
How would you approach this situation? What would you tell OP to do?
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