{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My wife’s parents want me to buy them an expensive apartment in India. I live in the US, and wife is a home maker. They do not have a big chunk for retirement so I send them some cash every six months (like I send to my parents). I buy their plane tickets to US, help with additional purchases (like TV, cell phone). They want me to sell my apartment in India which I bought before marriage. But I want to start saving for my own kids. Dont have a home in US, how do I say no? Wife is really angry..", "post_id": "61d29937ca06280026cc9fe7", "reply_count": 268, "vote_count": 30, "bowl_id": "58f0df008ad7250010f8c590", "bowl_name": "Compensation", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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My wife’s parents want me to buy them an expensive apartment in India. I live in the US, and wife is a home maker. They do not have a big chunk for retirement so I send them some cash every six months (like I send to my parents). I buy their plane tickets to US, help with additional purchases (like TV, cell phone). They want me to sell my apartment in India which I bought before marriage. But I want to start saving for my own kids. Dont have a home in US, how do I say no? Wife is really angry..

likefunny
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I’m South Asian myself (though born in America) and my experience has always been that the more I give in to my parents, “uncles”, “aunties” etc on anything, the more they grow entitled to demand more, in ruder and ruder ways.

Don’t have in-laws and it’s just my experience, but in your shoes i would make a stand to show you’re not just an ATM/doormat, no matter how much they guilt and pressure you on it. The way I would say no is to say no, and that it’s unreasonable for you to spend all your savings on this because you need to think about your/your family’s future as well and that you work very hard to earn money.

Over time, I would think they’d get over it since you’re still giving them a ton of money/resources even before the demand for this apartment, and getting some stuff is better than none. I find your wife’s reaction disturbing and not really sure how I would handle. Probably going to be unpleasant from all sides in the short term, but standing your ground on being reasonable is the best long term solution.

Of course, I’m sure there’s tons of nuance and specific details about your situation that make my response, based on what you’ve shared here, not wholly applicable in some way or the other. But hope it’s generally helpful

like

My dad had a similar issue when he was younger ( from the south Asian community as well so I understand the concept) but he bought home an apartment for his mom and sent money back for his siblings to go to undergrad, med school or complete PhD’s.

Long story short, after tons of family feuds because his siblings and mom became accustomed to getting money and time from him, my dad became fed up and has a strained relationship with half of his siblings. My mom always told him that his family was taking advantage of him but it’s one of those things that you can never really see unless you’re on the outside.

Unfortunately for you your wife doesn’t seem to be taking you side in any of this and her parents seem to be extremely manipulative. You need to push back and have a very difficult conversation with your wife before you have a strained relationship with any of your in-laws. There’s no sensible reason for someone to ask you to sell your own property just so you can use your profits to pay for them to get a nicer home while they don’t sell their own property. I would honestly feel so disrespected. I understand that this is a common thing in south Asian families because of valuing the collective over the individual but relationships are two ways and you should not be doing anything for them beyond sending back money every 6 months ( which is a very noble thing since they haven’t saved for themselves)

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Actually I send money every 6 months. It just makes me happy and I feel I am earning well enough

Recent IconRecent

Angry at whom?

Regardless, be firm and tell them that money is tight and buying an apartment is not possible. Be firm. Don’t negotiate.

likesmart

Greedy ppl. If you took dowry then u r in soup. Otherwise tell them that this is creating pressure on you and the effect will not be soothing

like

wtf is this, this is so far from my reality that I don't even have useful advice. Just wishing you good luck

likefunnyhelpful

Supporting parents is okay if you’re financially comfortable. Which is exactly why OP’s wife or any of her siblings who earns well enough should be doing this.

Divorce your wife
She will never understand

likefunnyhelpful

Definitely need to file for a divorce and be more assertive. This is sickening!!

What you tolerate is how you get treated by people. Let that sink in OP - good luck.

likeupliftingsmart

I hear you OP, very tricky situation and agree with most of the comments that you should hold your ground and not agree with something which in first place is irrational.

However, for peace of mind if you are forced to few things will help
1. Make sure you (announce) amongst all your in-laws that you are funding including your parents. and your siblings as well. Make sure this decision is known to all and not in secret
2. House must be in your name only, in this case not even your wife's name
3. Another legal contract which states that they can use it for living and in no case they are allowed to rent it or ask any relative to live with them
4. Make sure in no case Power of Attorney is with them, for all legal purposes you should be the owner of the property
5. After all this if you can squeeze a little bit more agree for 70-80% of funding and ask them to fund the rest for the sake of their grand kids

Do not hesitate to make it a huge thing that you are doing for them. The more you propagate, more pressure they will have from society which is good for you.

likeupliftingsmarthelpful

ZS1 - Good luck doing all this especially when OP isn’t physically present in India. In future, OP might be required by law to rent this apartment to his brother in law at the price of peanuts!!

like

Thank you all for the overwhelming responses.
Few days ago, my wife saw the fishbowl pop up on the phone and read my post and a couple of responses in my absence. She was furious that I was portraying her parents in bad light and asked me why I was getting help from these online forums.
After this it was a tense couple of days at home. I tried to calm her down and asked her to read the entire post with all the comments. Having seen the replies given here by all of you, she was shocked. First of all she denied that I paid anything for the wedding. Thankfully I save all money transfers as pdf probably if ever needed for tax and showed her the transfer.
She told her parents about the post. They were quite worried if their name was mentioned. I assured them that it wasnt. Anyways, that automatically brought up the discussion about the apartment and I told them that selling my old apartment was not possible right now. I asked them if they would consider selling their apartment and tell me how much extra was needed to buy a new one. Also, I suggested a community outside the city where the prices were much lower. They were very annoyed that I decided to keep my old apartment and said they would discuss with me in person when they are in the US in summer.
Wife wasnt in talking mode but I had a good discussion with her. I know she’s a good person but gets emotionally challenged when it comes to her parents. I agreed to keep helping them for their maintenance but the apartment is out of the question. I hope the matter is resolved.

likeupliftingsmart

OP, the good thing is that you do not hide things on your phone or your phone for that matter from her. There are many adulterers out there hiding things. Married folks are aware about this phone topic. Just do not listen to those who are not married. Most people here have never been married. So, if you end your marriage, in your next your phone "practice" is perfect.

This is a conversation with your wife, not the in-laws. If the two of you cannot have a meaningful dialog on this sensitive topic and arrive at a consensus then you might have deeper issues. Its important for the spouse to be fully aware of the financial situation including future goals that will require current savings to be allocated towards them.
Asking you to sell your apartment to buy them one is a major red flag to me, considering how property is viewed in desi culture.

likefunny

Thank you VP. We are quite frank with each other about most of the things, but I think it is a sensitive topic about her parents which derails any discussion. I think I am going to be frank with her and explain the long term goals.

like

OP, sorry to hear that you are in this position and hope you can work it out. I agree with all the suggestions on this thread.

I am an Indian myself and want to call out that, while I am not totally surprised that this could happen, I do think it's not that common especially in my circles (middle to upper middle class upbringing where parents put kids first).

I don't know your situation and don't want to imagine anything. But as a word of concern for you, I have seen in-laws demand things like these to secure their daughter (or daughter's sibling) future ESPECIALLY if they think marriage may not work out in long-term (especially arranged marriage). This is probably exceptional. I hope you and your wife can work out what's reasonable for your future as a couple with kids first and then see how any support to parents or in laws fit in. This also seems like a luxury purchase and not a strong need like a health emergency.

Best wishes

like

This is a ridiculous ask but unfortunately not an uncommon one in some Indian families. You’re being taken advantage of by your wife and her parents. This will continue if you don’t stand firm. A car, medical bills, etc. will be on the way. Because you kept saying yes earlier the asks have kept getting bigger. There are also societal reasons for this, i.e., wanting to show other people that their son can buy them an apartment, etc. The way I see it you have the below options:

1. Say no - You don’t have the financial resources and don’t want to risk your, your wife’s, your children’s future over it. The stuff on staying in US for 10 years blah blah is societal talk that’s just being repeated. Crypto is a once in a lifetime thing.

2. Say yes, and your wife starts to earn an income, and the apartment is bought using this income, and is legally in your/her name - This works only if she can get a job, access to a housing loan is available, etc. Else go to option 1.

like

I’m Pakistani, so I somewhat understand the situation and cultural pressures. But it sounds like your wife and her parents need to get a job. I hate to tell you the obvious, but your in-laws are taking advantage of you. You should be focused on buying your own place, not compromising your financial security to purchase your in-laws an apartment. They shouldn’t be your financial responsibility anyway, helping them out is one thing but supporting them monthly + buying an apartment is just ridiculous. You should also cut off the monthly payments, that’s what’s spoiling them and making your wife’s brother less driven in his career. They sound greedy, ungrateful, and incredibly shameless. Always put your family’s (wife and kids) future and well-being first. Good luck.

likesmartfunny

EY1, Great thinking here! Way to go. This may be the best answer here.

like

Indian here as well.. understand this - DO NOT buy an apartment in someone else's name. If they're okay with you buying it in your name, then it's 100% your call to buy or not.
If anyone has a problem with it, they can go earn that money and invest. That's not your problem given that you're already doing so much.

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Thanks Capco1

OP,

Is there more context ?

A. Some cultures in India, the brides parents may give a significant amount as dowry to the groom. This could very well be in six figures in USD along with gold and stuff.

B. Are they asset rich and cash poor ? Maybe they have lot of assets and don't want to sell it to cover cash shortfall, in their mind they may be saving it to pass it of as inheritance to their daughter.

So, it could be A or B or some crazy mix that is giving them this entitlement. If the value of the new place is good, and if you are able, maybe buy it in your name and let them live rent free.

likesmart

Do they work? Why should you be spending the money that should be for your children and your retirement for them to live off a rental income and now work.
That’s not fair. Your wife should prioritize you and your future children over this ridiculous ask.
I would question your wife’s intentions

like

Buying an apartment in your own name can also cause problems in the future. There are laws that protect tenants/occupants of the property. Your in law or brother in law might take advantage of that esp If you are away from your country. Find out more about that before buying an apartment even if it’s in our own name

like

I agree. The parents in law would stay in that apartment for next 20-30 years, after which I am sure it will pass to the sibling. So that money is not coming back to me.

like

You’re being taken advantage of. Please do not cave in and stand firm. Standing firm does not mean anger or stubborn. You can explain your rationale to your wife calmly. The key is that you stand firm - you have great reasons to say no — saving for your OWN home, saving for kids, needing savings as a safety net. You can’t possibly jeopardize your livelihood for them in my opinion. I also feel like you have big problems here. The fact that they (wife/in-laws) can ask for and feel entitled to a HOUSE is just crazy. Please listen to the folks on here yaar

like

Thanks BAH1

I can unfortunately relate to this so much. I had enough of it and will be finalizing the divorce by April. Good luck buddy. Don't cave in else it can only end up bad.

likehelpful

I’m separated because I’m sick and tired of how my in laws keep poking their nose into my married life.

like

I see posts like this (and similar ones on FB) and I’m so thankful for my own parents.

No advice, OP. Whatever happens next…

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Indian culture is fascinating...

funnylikesmarthelpful

It truly is.
Just there are some morons like OPs in-laws that make it shine in shame!!

Thousands of years of wisdom that teaches the world so many things is something we Indians are very proud of and draw knowledge seekers from all parts of the world.

funnyuplifting

Better that you spend 180k now than have them stay in your home in the US forever. Lol.

Ask your wife to get a job and create a pool of resources if she wants you to share responsibilities towards parents.

like

Hi, I think you are right in listening to your gut and saying this has to stop. I am an Indian myself living abroad and my parents aren’t rich or anything. Still they will advise financial prudence and insist that I save for myself and not sponsor them / or my in-laws. I think that is just good sense.

Reg. how to say it, you need to be explicit to your wife and state that you don’t have the money. If she wants to be angry or shoulder the responsibility by earning herself - is her choice. Some people simply have expectations but no contributions. I hope she appreciates your challenges and chooses to be your support rather than adding pressure on you. I would frame like this:

- admit agree to reasons for sending money home
- state that we don’t have the money
- discuss other options to finance (except liquidating your existing property because of so… soo… soo reasons) incl. contributions from your wife / or your income uptick later
- emphasise the need for you to save for your kids— see how it goes. If she doesn’t get it then just don’t discuss your financial approach.

like

Don’t cave in OP

likesmart

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