{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I married the oldest of 7 siblings, whose parents will need to be supported in about 10 years. \n\nMy wife is a SAHM and we have 2 kids of our own.\n\nHer siblings struggle financially and it's unsure about their ability to take care of the parents. \n\nWhat do you think is my responsibility towards them?", "post_id": "61e0ead4f5ed21002b9eb325", "reply_count": 75, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "59064a3cb12379001006592c", "bowl_name": "Personal Investment Chatter", "feed_type": "bowl" }

I married the oldest of 7 siblings, whose parents will need to be supported in about 10 years. My wife is a SAHM and we have 2 kids of our own. Her siblings struggle financially and it's unsure about their ability to take care of the parents. What do you think is my responsibility towards them?

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How old are your kids? I was a SAHM for 5 years first my first and worked a little here and there when I had some opportunities come up. I started working PT when first went to kindergarten and thankfully it was the perfect role where there was a lot of flexibility and I could make my schedule. I think it’s important that your wife stays in the loop and works even just a PT here and there at least while she’s a SAHM so she’s not entirely out of the workforce. Once the kids start kindergarten she should definitely start working at least PT.. find a PT that is flexible or works with the kids schedules.. lots of remote roles right now, she can work as a sub or something in the kids schools. But like others have said, what a SAHM can provide can be in place of money and that counts. I took my MIL many times to drs visits because my husband travels and his siblings live out of state .. it makes a stronger relationship in all angles. I was working PT so I was able to do that thankfully.. I definitely think a family meeting needs to happen though on her side.. why are they not striving? are they stuck in their own cycle? Do they not know how to handles their finances well? Try to figure out what it is and maybe you can all invest in taking a course or something.. I know I would be upset that my husbands siblings would not really check in with his mom and it was left on us to take care of her. We’re happy to do that but if you’re not around then you need to make up for it by sending money because it shouldn’t just be on our shoulders.

smart

My understanding is a marriage is a blending of 2 families into 1. I am an only child. If something were to happen to me, I definitely expect my husband to treat my parents as his own for the rest of their lives. And I trust that he will or else I wouldn’t have married him. Same for him - I see his family and siblings as my own now. I’m a daughter and sister in law forever. — Therefore, I think your responsibility to your wife’s parents is the same as you would feel to your own parents if you were a 7th sibling and your 6 other siblings were not able to take care of themselves, let alone the parents. If you are the type of person who, in that situation, would cut off support to your parents, then I guess to each their own. But ideally, you do not treat her parents as if they are in a tier below your own.

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Indian ?

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Damn y’all are cold 😂 My husband thinks the world of his mother. His mom has cared for him so well his entire life and shaped him into the amazing person he is. I love my husband. I will show my unconditional love to my husband by helping him take care of his mom when she’s old, whatever that may mean. Will it require conversations and compromise? Sure. But that’s marriage, folks.

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EM1 - yes that’s true, both me and my husband work and are comfortable. No kids and not sure if we’ll have them. That situation would definitely be where conversations and compromises would come in to play.

You don’t marry the person, you marry the family.

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If your wife wants to provide for her parents, she can get a job to earn the money to make that happen. I don’t know why any of that is your responsibility. * Saying this as a married woman. My husband provides financial support to his mom with money from his job. I love his mom. I am glad he supports her but she’s not my responsibility. I don’t support my parents because they don’t need it but if I did it would come from my paycheck. I’d never ask my husband to pay for my parents. They are not his responsibility or family.

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We look everything because we are a partnership. He makes more than me, but we make decisions together about how much we want to spend. We bought our house together, we decide how much to eat out together, and we are kind of aware of how much we each spend on “personal” things like manicures, makeup, and video games. We don’t say he can spend more than me because his job earns more. For us, it’s just not worth it to keep “splitting” costs when everything is shared anyway. But that doesn’t mean our way is the only way. Your way is good too if it works for you.

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Amazon is right. This is not the 60s. There is literally no reason to be a SAHM. She can get a job if she wants to support her family.

likefunnysmart

@Z1 how is $20k a year ethical for an Au pair?

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My cousin got divorced for this reason.

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EM1, you’re assuming that her mother was already dead.

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Your responsibility is the one you and your partner negotiate. She is a SAHM. This implies you both agreed to this for the sake of the household. She has obligations to her parents. The marital arrangements and financial arrangements imply that she has delegated some of the responsibility to the household. In a sense, it would not be so different if the situation were switched around. If your wife won the bread, she still does not get unilateral prioritization. Decisions and responsibilities are shared.

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Negotiating is pretty core to "we have different viewpoints, so how do we make this work?" I mean, I don't know how you can proceed without admitting the trade-offs you think are reasonable and then being amenable to persuasion. And to be clear, "decide together" has to acknowledge that one partner or the other is probably going to have to accept a decision they are not 100% in agreement with. Marriage is not a merging of all values systems and all desires, but is instead a very long-term contract that both parties will repeatedly need to renegotiate to fit their needs.

If you marry, you should look at them like you would your own parents and siblings. What would your responsibility be then?

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Did you have these conversations before you were married? I'm an only child and was transparent with my husband that when my parents retire, I knew that I would be supporting them in some capacity (father lives off fixed income). However, we do both work now, but I plan to be a SAHM for a little while if we have another baby. Main point, have you told your wife your feelings? Did she express this expectation to you when you got married?

likesmart

Can you have a family meeting with the siblings to discuss now? My mom's generation of the family is currently caring for my grandmother and there is a TON of in fighting because they can't agree on care. I know you can't plan for every outcome BUT coming up with a clear agreement regarding care in writing can hopefully set expectations with her siblings. Hopefully it'll be a kick in their pants so they can save now and be in a better position to help financially. Personally, I think it is unfair of your wife to expect you to support your inlaws when they are so irresponsible with money. Plus if she's the only SAHM in the family, she can contribute to their care in non monetary ways. That contribution should have a dollar amount attached and should decrease the expectations on you.

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SVP1, yikes! I try not to be one of those people. How do you see this situation?

Another thing I will mention…. You are asking about you’re responsibility towards them. What about their responsibility towards you? With the exception of some catastrophic, unforeseen issue, I’d argue it is their responsibility to their kids to be able to support themselves through retirement. Not trying to add fuel to the fire here, but I think her whole family is putting you in a really really tough spot.

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How so? Genuinely curious.

Indian?

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I’m in the same situation— I’m white, wife is hispanic and currently takes care of our kid full time. I knew from day one we would eventually have to help out her mom financially. But her mom has done a helluva job raising 5 kids by herself and she has worked harder than most people I know. So I am more than happy to help her in her old age. Because she has made incredible sacrifices to raise and care for the woman I love, and still does so much for us. Besides, for most of human history, families have lived together and taken care of each other. I like that. I think it’s the way we’re meant to live. Unfortunately, a shift in values has resulted in a Western world where we’re all a bit detached from one another. I think that trend will continue to reverse as more and more people are unable to afford housing. And maybe that’s not such a terrible thing for us, as a species.

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Completely agree with A1 and Z1. Would never expect my husband to foot the bill for my parents in the event they couldn’t support themselves. On the flip side, I would not be willing to support his parents unless the circumstances were uniquely tragic (versus them planning poorly and not saving enough). This really depends on your culture though. I’m some cultures, it’s expected. Are you US based?

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Your two posts don’t reconcile @pwc1 - how is this culture and not humanity and partnership?

One day at a time. Unless you are asking so you can create a fund for their expenses now, don’t worry about, it’s 10 years out. A lot can happen in 10years.

helpful

I don't know what the SAHM narritive has to do with the question. If you're a good human being, you will help with the problem at hand which is caring for the aging family members. No you don't have to take on the whole burden but out of love, you help how you can. That's your responsibility, doing what you can to pitch in. that's part of being a family.

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Your responsibility is not to them, it is to your wife and her desires and needs. If she feels the strong desire to help her parents financially, then it is your job as her partner to negotiate that with her. Similar to other joint financial decisions (though likely with more emotional weight) Perhaps you decide together that you need to reduce spending, or perhaps to increase income, to afford to help. If the latter, that might mean she needs to get paid work. (With tradeoff in childcare & other expenses that she is covering now, as others mentioned)

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To be honest , no one here are in your plate and just throwing the comments and focusing on SAHM, question is not at all about SAHM. I think if your wife wants to work , let her do it and contribute it to there parents , nothing wrong in it , but if not working that’s a hypothetical situation , it depends upon several factors like your income , savings , relationship with them , but stay positive , and your children need grand parents , let them be with you for time being and things get sorted accordingly .

Also, 10 years is a long time. You could become disabled or stop working in 5 and the situation become totally flipped. Why are you worrying about it now?

0 it’s not your parents and your wife isn’t bringing home stuff to contribute to her own parents.

I already , am very happily for several decades

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