Author Topic: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back  (Read 9908 times)

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Sparkle Star

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I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« on: July 15, 2013, 05:21:19 AM »
Here's one from a friend this weekend.
She and her FIL do not get on (he is separated from her MIL) and from what she has told me he frequently behaves badly/rudely, yet her DH makes constant allowances for him because "it's hard for him being on his own since the divorce".
(The divorce, BTW, was more than ten years ago.)

Anyway - apparently FIL pitched up at their home on Saturday afternoon, having been invited for a barbecue. He says he has something for them in his car - a new lawnmower, as he knew their existing one was old and past its best.

How kind...until he said: "It cost me £80, so if you could sort that out as soon as possible that would be great. Cash would be best but a cheque is ok if that's easier."

Neither friend nor her DH had not asked FIL to get them a new lawnmower. He did it completely off his own back while he happened to be at the garden centre buying things for himself.

She was gobsmacked - and fuming when her DH got out his chequebook and paid his father back for something they hadn't asked for or planned to buy in the first place.

I feel she would have been within her rights to say something along the lines of: "FIL, thanks for the kind thought and you're right, our lawnmower is starting to wear out. But we weren't planning on replacing it just yet and hadn't budgeted for a new one. We really appreciate the gesture but would ask you to return the new lawnmower to the store and get your money back."

Sadly, her DH's compliance in paying up meant she didn't have the opportunity to refuse the "gift".
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Pen^2

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 07:32:21 AM »
Wow... that's terribly rude. Buying something a gift is nice, as is buying someone something on behalf of someone else (i.e. with the provision that they'll pay you back). But forcing an item on someone and insisting that they give you money? That's incredible and speaks volumes of how little he cares for the person he inflicted this on.

I would suspect that the lawnmower cost him less than what he claimed, and that this was therefore basically extortion. Just a suspicion.

The biggest issue here seems to be the enabling husband, who puts his own very obviously disrespectful and uncivilised father before his wife. They need to get on the same page, either by counselling or otherwise. Because the father has no reason to stop doing this, now that the husband has condoned it.

*inviteseller

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 07:42:42 AM »
I wouldn't have paid him either.  Your friend needs to sit DH down and tell him he is enabling her FIL's behavior by making excuses for him and giving in.  Time to grow a spine. 

Virg

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 07:50:12 AM »
This is a relationship problem insofar as it went down.  There's nothing rude about refusing to pay someone back for buying you something without your knowledge or permission, but since her DH accepted and paid for the lawnmower, it's done.

Virg

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 10:21:49 AM »
I think the problem here is with her husband. They need to have a serious sit-down about how to deal with FIL, and DH has to be willing to draw boundaries.
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snappylt

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 10:48:51 AM »
I think the problem here is with her husband. They need to have a serious sit-down about how to deal with FIL, and DH has to be willing to draw boundaries.

I think you are correct, the real underlying problem is with the husband unilaterally paying for the not-asked-for mower without talking it over with the wife.

But I'd like to also address the issue of the FIL.

Where in the world did the FIL get the idea that it was OK to purchase a power tool for his adult son and DIL, with the expectation of being repaid, and without discussing it with the son and DIL in advance?

Seriously.  I know we cannot know for sure, but what in the world is someone who does this likely to be thinking?

I wouldn't presume to make the selection of what particular mower to get for other adults.  I would assume that they would want to select their own!

And I'd never buy something for someone else (with the expectation of being repaid) unless I had discussed it with the other person in advance.

doodlemor

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 12:32:30 PM »
Suspicious me wonders whether the lawnmower really did cost lb 80.  [I don't have the proper sign on my keyboard.]  Did the couple see a sales slip?  Maybe the FIL made money on the deal.

I concur that FIL was incredibly rude, and that the husband is enabling him.

bonyk

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 12:36:05 PM »
I was thinking the same thing as doodlemor. 

I'd probably be to shocked to stop DH from getting the checkbook, but I'd be quite unhappy with him after the fact.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2013, 01:58:07 PM »
And this kind of behavior will continue as long as it is tolerated...

friend & DH need to have a chat about FIL's behavior and get on the same page. 

Since DH promptly wrote him a check it makes me wonder if at some point in time DH hadn't thrown out an offhanded comment about needing a new lawnmower and mentioning to FIL to watch for a sale or pick one up if he saw a great buy.  This happens a lot in our family and friend's DH may not have ever mentioned it to the wife.   



ThistleBird

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2013, 02:00:26 PM »
Holy cow. Yes, count me in on "the problem is the enabling husband." Not that FIL isn't a problem too!

The extortion thing is possible but honestly that sounds like a pretty good price for a brand-new lawnmower if I'm doing the conversion to dollars correctly, so I'm not sure about this. I feel it likelier it was some kind of PA thing or some kind of no-boundaries well-of-course-I-know-best-what-you-need thing. Either that or it was a dinky lawnmower for a tiny city lawn and I'm approaching this as an American country gal with too much land to take care of!

jedikaiti

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2013, 02:29:54 PM »
Seems like a reasonable price for a decent mower to me, so I'll give FIL the benefit of the doubt there.

He is off-base buying that and just expecting them to pay for it (he could have called from the store and said "Hey, I know your mower's on its last legs, they have X model here for GBP80, want me to pick it up for you?")

DH is WAY out of line for just paying for the thing instead of saying "Thanks for thinking of us, but I hope you kept the receipt!" At the very least he should have discussed this with Friend before saying ANYTHING.

They need to have a very serious sit down about presenting a united front and establishing boundaries.
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pearls n purls

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2013, 04:11:44 PM »
My mom used to do stuff like this, but with less expensive items.  She would ask me if I wanted an item (that she had already bought).  Thinking it was something she didn't want or need, I would say yes.  I would then have to pay for it.

The last time it occured, I had just moved.  She was going to help me set up the kitchen and showed up with a shower curtain, a bottle of household cleaner, and a pineapple and told me how much I owed her.  I told her that I did not need nor want the items, I didn't have money to spend on items I didn't need, and she could either keep the items or return them.  It never happened again, although she wiil occasionally call and say she's at a sale and if I want her to buy something.
 
I would make sure you and your husband are on the same page on this.  Either decline any future items or tell your fil he needs to call and get permission before purchasing an item on your behalf.

delabela

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2013, 11:37:09 PM »
I would be through the roof if my SO actually paid for something in a situation like this.  The only thing to do is refuse it.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2013, 11:45:43 PM »
Yep. My first thought was "Did the lawn mower really cost eighty pounds?"

And if my DH had started to pay FIL, I would have jumped in, saying "Wait! Let's discuss this first." I would NOT have stood by and watched DH hand over a cheque!

The only reason I can think of this being remotely ok, is if the OP's friend and her DH have an agreement that he controls the finances, and unilaterally makes all the purchases, etc.

Margo

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Re: I Bought You Something....Now Pay Me Back
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2013, 06:26:29 AM »
I'd be furious if this were me. I think it is likely that the lawnmower did cost £80 (prices seem to start at about £45 and there are a lot at the £80-£100 range, an then anything up to £400 for the fancier petrol driven models)

I agree that the Friend really needs to talk to her husband to ensure that they present a united front in future.

I'd be really annoyed that FiL assumed it was OK to spend my money on that mower without consulting me, I'd be annoyed as even if we needed a new mower, he doesn't (as far as we know) know what model, make or budget we want, or even our  timescale for buying it.

And unless the couple keep totally separate bank accounts I's also be pretty annoyed with my partner if he spent £80 of our money without discussing it