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Need Suggestion On How To Deal With Dad

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by priyajagadeesh, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. priyajagadeesh

    priyajagadeesh Senior IL'ite

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    Mom & Dad walked out of my grandmother’s joint family home with 2 little kids due to differences. They both worked hard with very little to start and providing for myself and my brother’s education. Growing up my mom/dad told us how important education is and pushed us to peruse our dream jobs. I should attribute all my success to them, being a girl when they have limited resources I never felt my education/need is secondary(even though my extended family is not like this) and also I am 1st girl to start working in the family. Though my dad started with nothing 30 years ago due to his smart money planning he now is doing better than any of his siblings in terms of money, both kids married, settled in US jobs. In this process they made lot of sacrifices because we were living only on my dad’s salary.

    Mom came to US to help me with my delivery. Now she opened up to me saying my dad is not trusting her with money management. He gives very less money to run home and she hardly can reach 15th day of month and had to struggle for rest of the month. He is not like this until 3-4 years ago. Note that my mom is not spending on herself/luxury but need to buy veggies/fruits for my dad(my mom doesn’t eat veggies/fruits) as he is on special diet and everyday household expenses. She says he counts every rupee and gives her exact amount and if the price of a fruit is more on that day then she will end up buying less. She got pissed off fought with dad and told him to buy his own groceries. My dad has money, he gets very good salary but he bought a plot on my brother’s name and needs money to start construction.

    When my dad visited US to see my daughter I told him not to take loan to construct house for my brother as he is nearing retirement and that we do not know if my brother will return to India at this point. Myself and my brother clearly told him to enjoy his life now and not to bother about saving for us. But he is not listening to any of us, now he is all alone in India as my mother is still with me and now asking my brother/SIL to send him money for construction and also wants to apply loan in India on my brother/SIL name. None of us like this idea, my brother just entered 30’s and is planning to start family soon and buy home here.

    My mom tried to convince him to not ask money from my brother and reminded him about their start up struggle from zero(my brother is doing same now in US). My dad got angry and stopped taking her calls from past 5 days. I should mention that my dad has anger issues, doesn’t know what he is saying in anger and usually gives silent treatment if things does not go his way. My mom said he stopped talking to her last year for 4 months because he is upset mom did not get fair share of her dad’s property. I don’t want to go into details but yes my mom did not get fair share and I had to mention that we faced financial discrimination from my mother’s family and my dad was never liked by my mother’s family, its always hi-bye relationship with back talking even tough mistake is on their side.

    1. Myself and my brother doesn’t want any properties from my dad, We want them to enjoy their life. What’s the point of having lot of property - he is not treating my mom well and they both are not happy. How do I deal with his anger issues?

    2. My dad asked my brother to send X$ to him every month for construction but my brother said he could only send half of that as he is planning to start family here. Out of everyone my dad should understand this better, but he is not listening to any of us. How to convince him to not ask money?

    3. I am planning to talk to him. He has health issues, went thru Angiogram 5 years ago, on strict diet for diabetes and high BP. Please give me pointers on how to convince him to have happy and worry free life now with mom(My previous talk with him went in vein)?
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    One of my friends and I often wonder why families that are doing well financially, kids are settled, older parents still in good health, insist on spoiling the peace and prosperity they have. We have so many examples of this in our own families, relatives and others. Anyway, that was just an idle think aloud.

    When people achieve success after sacrifices like your dad and mom and your family did, sometimes they want to do something big like build a house, have a car, etc. You say your dad of all people should understand. That is expected but a lifetime of sacrifice does things to a person. When they are old, they want to indulge some dream of theirs. And they feel it is their right to ask child to help in that dream. They seem to forget that they are repeating history.

    You cannot deal with his anger issues directly as you don't live with them. Talking on phone is only of so much use. What you could do is make your mom's life a little easier. Is it possible for you and your brother to send her $200-300 per month without your father getting to know? Mom running out of money for fruit and vegetables is just so sad. There might be mental and other reasons for your dad's behavior, but meanwhile mom needs immediate relief from having to penny pinch at this age.

    Father buying plot on brother's name, brother sending money to construct house. It is all a recipe for misunderstanding down the line. Who will stay in the house, who will take care of parents' medical 10 yrs from now and other expenses if some of their money gets tied up in house. Now you will both not want any money/property from dad, but after years, the property will appreciate, you will have more expenses like child's education, you and your brother or your spouse or your brother's spouse might not be so willing to say "we want nothing." When there has already been so much heartache, and you guys grew up mostly estranged from both mom/dad's families, you have to be a little firm in this.

    One thing could be if you are not being asked to send money, you try to distance yourself a little (not completely) from this house construction matter. So that any unpleasantness related to it is a bit quarantined and only your brother is dealing with it. You cannot convince him to stop asking for money. What you and your brother can do is come up with a suitable form of "No" and phrase that kindly. And keep repeating that. Keep the conversations short. Most important: your brother should not give any money, not even half of what dad is asking. Your brother can tell dad that he does not want to invest money in India right now, and that he doesn't want family to break up over money down the line.

    Dad will keep asking for money, keep saying no gently. Where are they staying currently? Own or rented? Will they stay there after his retirement?

    Looks like it means a lot to your dad to construct this house. If the ownership and other details are laid out clearly, and you also contribute, is it a reasonable investment for you and your brother? Is it likely to appreciate?

    Sorry to say this -- people don't change habits at this age. You have to deal with the current issue, change topic as needed, and just keep going with the flow. You cannot convince him to "be happy, spend money and enjoy life." That would need a pill that is not yet invented. Focus on what is most pressing, talk about that, then talk general stuff, and end that day's conversation.

    Your brother and you could divide the issues/problems. Your brother mostly handles the house construction thing. You handle mom getting some relief. So, you are each arguing with father about lesser topics.

    Don't take things too much to heart. Don't expect things to change much. This is ghar ghar ki kahani (tale of every household) and it will be like this only. Just some temporary reliefs here and there.

    Keep the theme of the conversations as "do not want to repeat history". Why was the plot bought in the first place? Who paid for it? If dad paid, then, let him keep the plot. Your brother has to avoid putting any money into house construction.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 5:41 AM
    satchitananda, Amica, Aarushi and 2 others like this.
  3. Amulet

    Amulet Finest Post Winner

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    @Rihana
    Old people behaving oddly is a problem in every extended family.
    As for " Is it possible for you and your brother to send her $200-300 per month without your father getting to know?" This is possible if OP's mother has a bank account in India; the foreign child can do bank transfer every month. Some banks would even execute a "standing instruction". There will be no mail+check going to the house to be intercepted by the father etc.. No efforts needed on the part of the mother. She could just check her bank balance at some ATM in the street, and go ahead and spend the money.
     
    Amica, GeetaKashyap and shyamala1234 like this.
  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @priyajagadeesh,

    I recommend the following discussion:

    1) We both fully understand the rationale for you to leave grandparents and build your own wealth from the scratch.

    2) We understand the decisions you had to make and sacrifices you have made in order to take care of you, mother and both your children very well.

    3) It takes a lot of strength to educate, marry the adult children and settle them nicely in a foreign country.

    4) You still work so hard to look after your family.

    5) Through your actions, you have given us incredible lesson as to how to build a meaningful life, how to sacrifice for the family and children.

    6) Now it is time for us to emulate your model and begin making our own decisions and make sacrifices for the well-being of our family and children

    7) We prefer to see our parents happily settled and begin living their life for themselves while we do everything to not only build our families but also look after you.

    8) We will do it to the best of our abilities, as learned from you, how, where and when we can build wealth for the well-being of our families.

    9) We prefer you to relax without any financial or any other stress and we request an opportunity for us to build our life our own way that would make you very proud.

    10) We prefer both mom and you to be together having a nice time in India rather than executing projects for us. We would like you both to visit us just to spend time with us.

    This is what I would convey, if I were in your shoes.
     
  5. priyajagadeesh

    priyajagadeesh Senior IL'ite

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    Yes this is possible for me and will do that once my mom is back in India.

    Mom and Dad already have their own house which is fully paid. He will get pension and also have inherited property which are generating income for him. so their retirement is fully secured, they will be able to afford health insurance, car, maid and daily expenses. They are not dependent on us in any form and will be able to lead comfortable life.

    I am not able to let go of this, I can see my Mom is not happy with what is happening and I want her & dad to be happy together.

    I understand your point

    yes I will do this

    When my brother got married almost 3 yrs ago, he wanted to give something big for new bride (like jewelry), but the Bride family wanted to do wedding sooner than later so he couldn't adjust money and gave one long chain for her(usually giving big for new Bride is not common in our families, this chain alone would have been enough). So last year he brought this land and registered in the name of my Brother and SIL. He should have left it at this, But since he now saw potential rental income he wants to do construction.

    My dad has good intentions for my brother but what I want my dad to understand is this is not worth to fight with my MOM, I don't care if he is upset with my brother, but he should treat my mother well. He should not give her silent treatment for not agreeing with his thought's or for supporting her kids over him.
     
  6. priyajagadeesh

    priyajagadeesh Senior IL'ite

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    Thanks for your thoughts on this
     
  7. Topaz49

    Topaz49 Silver IL'ite

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    Many times people in India have this idea that if you are in USA, money is something you can pluck from the $ tree in the back yard. They also feel that they have to build the house for their son who they think will return.

    You may want to bring him for a visit and if he stays here for a while he might understand by the time you pay taxes, car insurance, property insurance, health insurance, mortgage payments, contributing to retirement like 401K and the biggest expense - child care/children's activities, there is not much left that your brother can give it to him for constructing the house that he may never need. Life is hectic here and time is precious. Once he is here for a while and meet your friend's parents, he might change his mind. Worth trying ....
     
  8. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    That is a very good financial situation. So, current and future expenses, house for them, is not a worry.
    OK. So, he is refusing to understand when you and your brother do not favor construction, and mom does not make you people agree to his demands. Now I see what you were saying. Your mom will bear the brunt of it.

    Was he always like this? Did he always give less money to mom for buying fruits, vegetables and monthly household expenses?

    If it is a recent change in his behavior, any idea why?

    I feel bad for both you and your mom. Since the plot was bought to make up for less gold gifted to your SIL, would it be possible to pin the "blame" on her? Can she say that the gold chain was enough, and she and your brother are not interested in the plot or house on plot? Can it be presented as your brother is somewhat willing but wife is opposing it?
     
  9. Amulet

    Amulet Finest Post Winner

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    I have a couple of technical questions:
    • Is it possible to buy a plot or some "real property" without the consent, presence at closing, signature, etc.. of the person named as the owner in the title document ?
    • Is it possible to apply for a loan on behalf of an NRI applicant ?
     
  10. priyajagadeesh

    priyajagadeesh Senior IL'ite

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    No, Not without consent. Please note that my dad never does anything without our consent. Myself and my brother trusts him alot and we both gave him Power Of Attorney so that he can manage properties on our behalf. We are forever grateful to him for doing this.
     
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