My In-Laws Lied


Hi Scott,

My retired in-laws are bad with money — in fact they had to sell their still-mortgaged house to pay off a $50,000 credit card debt. While they sold (over a six-month period), we paid their mortgage from our own house deposit account. And then they bought a new mortgaged house they could not afford, and lied to us about how much it cost! They will not listen to reason, and I am sure history will soon repeat. Do we help them again and sacrifice our financial future, or do we refuse and feel heartless for letting them suffer?


Scott's Answer

Hi Casey,

If I were you, my index finger would be in plaster from all the finger-waving I’d be doing at these financial fools. However, I’m not you, and I don’t have to sit across from them at Christmas lunch.

Ultimately, this isn’t about your parents-in-law, it’s about your marriage. Your husband would be conflicted: he’s caught between his parents and his wife.

So, to your question: do you keep helping them?

Three words: no, no, and no.

Again, easy for me to say, hard for you to do. So I’d suggest you go on a date night with your husband and explain that you’re willing to forgive and forget their past financial faux pas (because really what other choice do you have?).

However, from this point on, you want to make a pact that you won’t enable their poor behaviour again.

Besides, as the flight attendant says: “In case of emergency, fit your own breathing device first.”

Then brace for impact!