Comments
1 - 18 of 18 Comments Last updated Sep 20, 2013

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Sep 15, 2013
DEAR AMY: I have a wonderful mother-in-law. She’s very supportive and loving. I call her regularly and visited for a week when my husband was deployed.

We don’t live in the same state, so when we visit her, we stay in her house. My in-laws live out in the country, so there are no hotels nearby.
The problem is that on a scale of 1 to 10 for being a hoarder, she’s probably a seven. It’s very stressful for me to be in such a cluttered environment, stepping over boxes and being squished into a guest room piled with things.

During one of my visits I spent the entire day cleaning while she was out of the house. I just wanted to show her that it’s possible to keep her house tidy. Unfortunately, it didn’t last, and there’s stuff everywhere again.

I’m dreading our next visit. It increases my blood pressure and anxiety when I stay there. Should I deal with the stress for just a short period of time since she does so much for us? Or should I risk upsetting her and no longer being welcome in their home?-- Devoted Daughter-in-law

DEAR DEVOTED: Your mother-in-law is unwilling or unable to radically change the way she lives. Tolerance is called for because you cannot force her toward change.

Other than simply keeping your visits short, the most obvious solution is for you to find somewhere nearby to stay, either with another family member or at a B&B or the nearest motel (even if it’s an hour away). Sleeping at night in a relatively uncluttered environment will make your daytime visits easier.

Explain this by telling her,“I sleep much better when we’re not underfoot. I definitely want to spend time with you, but this works better for me. I hope that’s okay with you.”

DEAR AMY: My boyfriend, his two children and I moved in together four years ago. At that time I agreed to pay half the rent and one-third of the utilities.

After a cut in pay and extra medical bills, I have had difficulty paying my share. I talked with him and told him I wanted to start paying 25 percent of everything. After many arguments, we agreed that I would pay one-third of the rent and one-fourth of the utilities. Since this agreement (one week ago), he will hardly speak to me and says I’m living off of him! Am I in the wrong or is our arrangement fair?-- Paying my Way

DEAR PAYING: On paper, your agreement seems fair.

But relationships don’t happen on paper, they happen in the living room, the kitchen, the car and in the bedroom.

Normally, a successful negotiation will result in basic understanding and satisfaction, even if one (usually both) parties don’t get exactly what they want.

Your partner should not have agreed to this financial settlement if he was then going to punish you for it.

In healthy and loving relationships, normally a “one for all and all for one” attitude prevails. If your relationship boils down to “you’re living off of me,” then it might be best to reconsider why you’re together in the first place.

DEAR AMY: Your advice to “Worried” was right on. She was excessively concerned about personal photos of her new boyfriend’s late wife on the walls of his home.

As a widow of six years, I still have pictures of my husband throughout the house because they give my kids and me great comfort. I believe Worried was confusing “ex” wife with “late” wife, and, frankly, after two months of dating, she has no right to ask him to change anything around his house.

I know that when I get to the point where I’m ready to share space with someone else, I will understand the need to make some changes. Until then, it’s my house. And anyone who can’t understand why I still have a few pictures of my late husband around? Well, I probably shouldn’t be dating them anyway.-- Catherine

DEAR CATHERINE: I agree with you.“Worried” seemed offended by photos of her guy’s late wife, in a relationship that was only two months old.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#2 Sep 15, 2013
1: She will not change at her age. I prefer hotels to family anytime, no matter how clean they are, lol.
Seriously-if it's giving you anxiety (and I can see that), sleep elsewhere. Oh, and stop cleaning.

2: So are you committed SO's or roomates? This is why I won't play house with someone.
Listen, it's OUR money and WE pay the bills...I'll bet if you ever do get engaged, he'll want to stay that way for a decade without marrying...*sigh*

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#3 Sep 15, 2013
2- Is he in this relationship for financial gain?
Cass

Claremont, CA

#4 Sep 15, 2013
LW 2 - Team Cheluzal and Edog. I'd dump the guy.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#5 Sep 15, 2013
Cass wrote:
I'd dump the guy.
Problem is, it doesn't sound like she can afford to live on her own. I can see where the dude is coming from, he thinks she's using him as a meal ticket. They're both kinda stuck, he needs her financial support, and she needs his.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#6 Sep 15, 2013
I'm a little surprised that LW2 isn't offering to
help that boyfriend collect some child support from
the mother of those children.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Sep 15, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Problem is, it doesn't sound like she can afford to live on her own. I can see where the dude is coming from, he thinks she's using him as a meal ticket. They're both kinda stuck, he needs her financial support, and she needs his.
how do you get that he needs her for financial support? He was living and paying the bills without her. She moved in with hom and agreed on how to split the bills. If she had a room mate, her room mate would not pay more cause her job situation changed. But she expects that from him. She needs HIM for financial support. I wonder how willing she would be to pay a larger share of it was him that started bringing home less money.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#8 Sep 15, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
how do you get that he needs her for financial support?
He asked her for half the rent and a third of the utilities. Maybe he was struggling to keep up with all that on his own. I just took in a couple of roommates for that very reason.

Could you support your wife and kids and maintain your house and lifestyle if she lost her job?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Sep 15, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
He asked her for half the rent and a third of the utilities. Maybe he was struggling to keep up with all that on his own. I just took in a couple of roommates for that very reason.
Could you support your wife and kids and maintain your house and lifestyle if she lost her job?
My wife and I pool our money AND WE ARE MARRIED.

This dude is NOT married to her and they have not pooled their funds. If you are not my wife and you maintain separate finances from me, then financially speaking, you are a room mate and therefore need to pay your fair share. I don't see how paying half the rent and a 3rd of the utilities is in any way unfair to her. Making less money now? Give up that daily latte at Starbucks. Sacrifice a little instead of feeling like you deserve to pay less.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#10 Sep 15, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
My wife and I pool our money AND WE ARE MARRIED.
.
The easiest way...

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#11 Sep 15, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
My wife and I pool our money AND WE ARE MARRIED.
And if she had no money to add to the pool?...

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#12 Sep 15, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
The easiest way...
I sure could use an extra income around here. Hey, wanna get married?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#13 Sep 15, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
And if she had no money to add to the pool?...
You'll have to be more specific. Why would she have no money to add to the pool? I would not get involved with, much less marry, someone who expected me to take care of them financially for the long term. wife loses her job snd has no income? I'm not gonna divorce her... as long as its a temporary setback and she's out there looking for a job. Girlfriend who maintains seperate finances does not get the same benefits as the wife.
Community Disorganizer

Trumbull, CT

#14 Sep 16, 2013
LW 1: Hoarder is just a reality TV name given to slobs.

LW 2: You should live for free for having to put up with him and his brats.

LW 3: If your new boyfriend should lose you ASAP.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#15 Sep 16, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> You'll have to be more specific. Why would she have no money to add to the pool? I would not get involved with, much less marry, someone who expected me to take care of them financially for the long term. wife loses her job snd has no income? I'm not gonna divorce her... as long as its a temporary setback and she's out there looking for a job. Girlfriend who maintains seperate finances does not get the same benefits as the wife.
While I think edog's question was ridiculous, I also wonder what would happen if your wife became disabled or unable to work for some reason (not b/c she wants to quit or anything). Or, for that matter, you became disable or unable to work for some reason.

For some reason, I think that you not being able to work and pay financially your fair share would be more difficult for you than if it happened to your wife. Those things do happen, though.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#16 Sep 16, 2013
L1: Find a place somehow, somewhere to stay when visiting. Your MIL's house, she gets to keep it like she wants.

L2: Four years you've been living together. You have a financial problem and you can't seem to work it out. Take a long look at that relationship. It might not be the right one. Not b/c he's being stingy, but b/c you two can't seem to agree on something that seems to be a temporary situation.

L3: Not caring so much about this -- again.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#17 Sep 16, 2013
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
While I think edog's question was ridiculous, I also wonder what would happen if your wife became disabled or unable to work for some reason (not b/c she wants to quit or anything). Or, for that matter, you became disable or unable to work for some reason.
For some reason, I think that you not being able to work and pay financially your fair share would be more difficult for you than if it happened to your wife. Those things do happen, though.
Well of course things change with extreme circumstances.
NicoleK

Switzerland

#18 Sep 20, 2013
How do you people see her paying half the rent and 1/3 the utilities as fair, when there's three of them and one of her? She was subsidizing them. Which is fine if thats what they agree to, but her wanting to pay only 1/4 makes her a deal breaker but not a mooch!

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