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Annoyed By Sister In Law's Stupidity

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by mindwar, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. mindwar

    mindwar Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi,

    It hurts me to write this post. May be a slightly long post, please bear with me.

    Issue 1 -
    I am usually on good terms with both my brother and his wife and always try to do my best for their family. Yesterday I was discussing with my SIL about an investment that my brother wants to do in a couple of months. I did not support that investment as it is an illiquid investment. I explained to SIL for almost an hour why that investment is a bad one for my brother. But she was resistant and kept arguing back.

    My brother primarily relies on his salary to build his safety net. There is no inherited wealth to fall back on if he loses his income. I will be the one to lift him up in such situations. My sil is blind to those situations and is of the attitude that "we will ensure we don't get into losses at the time of selling, you are worrying too much".

    It's not like my brother has excess savings to make this investment. He wants to sell some jewels and get a loan to make up the rest. The investment is not such a great one that he is going to get multifold returns.

    You must be wondering "why are you worried, it's his life". I am concerned because I will be the one to step in when there is a crisis. I am annoyed that reasoning with my sil was such a futile exercise when I assumed she and I have a good understanding. Although I knew this before, yesterday was an discovery of her stupidity and adamancy. She is a nice woman but is not financially prudent. Even if my brother doesn't make this investment, my SIL's reckless talk has left a bad taste in my mind. I thought talking to her would make better sense than talking to my brother.

    Although I have an approximate idea of my brother's savings, I msged my brother to update me on his latest savings. He hasn't responded yet. I even offered to manage his investments and he can trust me very well.

    My husband is nice and supportive but is critical of other's faults. He tells it very openly and I have fought with him many times when he was critical of my SIL. I feel a stupid now for having supported her and spoiling our peace.

    I'm in no talking terms with my parents and I thought I would be able to maintain a good relation with my brother's family in the future. I don't feel like that anymore. I even helped my brother clear a different financial obligation in the past and I feel like asking that back because that money would help so many in real need.

    Atleast one thing is clear now, I must not talk financial issues with my SIL because she cannot see through the future issues. Like a parent who checks on the kid's homework, I have a habit of periodically finding out my brother's latest savings etc. He is transparent with me but adamant about his decisions. He will take some risks that can lead to losses. I worry about his losses more than him.

    Issue 2 -
    My husband's family is mostly a polar opposite to mine. His parents or his sibling bring very little issues to him and they are all fairly self sufficient and responsible. His family is also nice to me. Over the years, I am turning jealous of my husband's relationship with his family because he doesn't have to confront any problem. My husband and I are very transparent about each other's family and we tend to argue over my family issues. It also bothers me that I dont talk to my parents but he talks freely with his. I am becoming a bitter person slowly. Struggling to overcome this.

    I am not sure what solution am looking for from you all but I think that I have to watch over my brother for another few more years till things become stable. Some cooperation from their end would be nice.

    Any advice for my bitterness?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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  2. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Your brother is an adult now. This might be a good time to land the helicopter and let him deal with his life choices. Few adults like being told to do something against their wishes, regardless of how sound the advice may be.
    If his investment falls through he might be more careful next time. If you’re always waiting in the wings to bail him out when will he ever learn?
     
  3. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    First of all, stop stepping in for your brother when there is a financial crisis. The problem with helping someone with money is that, they will never have enough if it is not their money. When there are monetary transactions between relatives or friends, at some point it is bound to backfire to the lender. It has always happened. Someone has to to tell me or show me otherwise I will not believe.

    Doesn't matter. if it is not your money, not your place to say anything. When they come for advice speak what you feel, if you do not want to give money to them, don't give it. once you have given money you cannot make them do what you want. They are adults. They don't have to listen to you.

    IMO, no one is obliged to anyone to disclose their savings, unless it is a government requirement or something. If I were your SIL, I would tell my husband not to disclose the details to you. You are asking too much.


    If you want to be in good relation with you brother and SIL, stay away from financial matters. Do not give money, do not receive money, if asked speak your opinion and do not force them to do anything. Gently make them understand that they will not be getting any financial help from you. if they ask, tell money is all tied up, there is not much you can give them. You cannot replenish other people's bank account forever. When it is given for free, they won't value it.

    Your brother is an adult and if he makes his own money, he should be allowed to spend, lose, or grow in however manner he wants to. It is his life and he needs to learn the lesson if he loses money. Let him take decisions independently and stay away from it. I think you are meddling too much and making your life difficult.

    you do not have to step into his life to save him. Let them figure it out. That doesn't mean stop talking, give only moral support
     
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  4. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Invest your time like you invest your money.
     
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  5. DDream

    DDream Finest Post Winner

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    Focus on your family and life than worrying about others

    1. Your SIL's reaction, very natural, is not against your investment plan, but against your over indulgence in their life. Dont give any advice unless asked for.

    He is not your kid but an adult. Allow him to be that. He dont have to share his finance with you it's his private matter and involve his family ( he, his wife and kids). You are extended family. So be a moral support if asked . But stay away from their internal matters. You dont have to support them financially. Let them learn from their ups and downs. Its important to respect others space and privacy . Your SIL has the right to express her opinion in that way. You have good intentions to help your brother, but she dont appreciate it.

    You are not the only person in his life,his wife and parents and extended family, friends etc are there.

    2. Good for your dh,he appears to be a great person. Good for you. Be happy for him if you love him instead of getting jealous. Every family is different.

    Instead of getting worried about good things in their family, try to improve your relationship with your own parents. That will help you.

    "Any advice formy bitterness?"

    Your bitterness is because you can't accept when you get a reaction that goes against your wish. Live your life and allow others to live their life. Focus on living your life to the fullest instead of worrying about others. Enjoy your time with your dh & kids. Focus on positive aspects. Be busy and build your own support system outside marriage ( your own friends, hobbie . Interests ). Help others in your extended family only when they seek your help and only if you can afford it.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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  6. mindwar

    mindwar Bronze IL'ite

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    Thanks. I know I would get such replies that treat your brother like an adult. Nothing wrong with that. But would you be really happy if your sibling is suffering? Is it possible to cut off someone that easily? It is easy to say stay away but not practically possible. I have become very bitter by losing contact with my parents I am bound to become more because of this kind of anxiety and ruin my married life.

    My brother has already been sick due to a life threatening health issue. He wants to quit his job well before retirement because he is unable to cope with the stress of the job.But he is dependent on the retirement kitty in a big way that he has to hold on the job till he is eligible.

    If he is off work for 6 months for whatever reason, I am sure he will be stressed. His wife is not earning and does not know to handle the finances herself. She is learning slowly but not enough to handle crisis. I am worried about situations like loss of income / hospitalization / unfortunate death. They will have to eat out of their savings and forgo education expenses of the kid if I don't come in. Would you advise me to step off that day too? Just asking. I may sound too worried. Why would I want to bother myself with unwanted tension? Because I want to see my brother and his family to do well. I have already dealt a lot with my mom.

    I would really like to be blunt with my SIL about her limitations (because that is true) but I am trying to hold my tongue. I have stood by her like a rock on many issues.
     
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  7. mindwar

    mindwar Bronze IL'ite

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    Can you elaborate
     
  8. mindwar

    mindwar Bronze IL'ite

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    I want to edit this and say that she is not the issue here. Although I am upset that she is not seeing the real issues, my brother is the one I need to talk to. I might just convey my overall concerns and hear his response. If he still wants to go his way, I am going to be candid with him as well.
     
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  9. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    You have to accept that your brother is his own person now with his own family. You have said your piece, now let him make his own decision and own the consequences of that decision. If my sibling tried to harangue me and my spouse about our finances I’m not sure I would take it kindly.
     
  10. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Always glad to. : ) I mentioned money as you seem to be financially savvy and would see how you are not using your time effectively when advising brother and SIL, how you should spend time on them but also keep track of its returns. Spend your time like you spend your money.

    There are so many things in your post that can be pointed out as not fruitful to do, and many have pointed those out. Your heart is in the right place, and you do mean well, but unfortunately the world does not function how we think it should, people do not react or respond to our help like we think they should in their own better interest.

    You can read the part below and reflect on it coolly, and save yourself and your birth family and husband, kid(s) some heartache, or as with many of us, you can learn this from your own experience down the line.
    • When you help someone with time, money, advice, physical assistance, or in any other way, it does not give you the right to comment on or dictate how they use that help or how they should work towards not needing that help for ever.

    • If you provide much-needed and timely help but accompany that help with unsolicited gyan that they sorely need, they will not appreciate it at all. On the contrary, your help's value get diminished due to that freely dispensed gyan.

    • What you can do is decide how much you are willing to help without getting disturbed by their foolish actions. Help because you want to and you can. Expect no return other than the satisfaction of performing what you think and agree is the right thing to do for family.

    • "I will be the one to step in when there is a crisis." "I worry about his losses more than him."
      "I am worried about situations like loss of income / hospitalization / unfortunate death. They will have to eat out of their savings and forgo education expenses of the kid if I don't come in."
      You can turn your family life, work life, mental health and physical well-being upside down worrying about this and futilely trying to instill some sense into their heads. Often we will continue to help but with resentment and finally we will be so drained that when they need help the most, we don't feel like helping any more. So, it is best for all that you decide what help you can give and give that with no expectations that they will start to make better decisions.

    • "I am worried about situations like loss of income / hospitalization / unfortunate death. Would you advise me to step off that day too? "
      Yes. If it comes to that, yes, you will have to make the choice of stepping off that day and live with it. If you want to avoid that, then, cut down on the help you are giving now, and save instead to help in such dire situations.

    BTDT. I did this: "we will continue to help but with resentment and finally we will be so drained that when they need help the most, we don't feel like helping any more." As a result, I ended up "stepping off that day." After helping them for almost all my adult life, that last withholding of help will be my legacy. Not that I care or mope any more, but when it happened the hurt was indescribable. Try to spare yourself that. Give what you can give sans any associated advice or expectations of better decision making by them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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