Author Topic: If you want me to pay...  (Read 17336 times)

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doodlemor

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2014, 05:30:11 PM »

I honesty do not know why MIL is doing this. She's been acting a bit off recently, deviating from her normal graceful self into a person that I'm having a hard time respecting and understanding. My own mother thinks she is trying to put on airs for her relatives as if to say, "look how well my son and DIL are off that they can buy us all dinner" which is nonsense because we live with my parents!

I agree with your mother on this.  I think that MIL is trying to impress the visitors with the success of your DH in this country.  It may be partly because you and DH do live with your parents that she wants your DH to make this supreme gesture to show off to the visitors.

IMO you need to have a long talk with DH about the whole thing.  He may feel [wrongfully, of course] that he would be letting his parents down if he doesn't try to be a big man with his wallet.  Even if you can't get him to back down from this dinner, I think that it would be progress if he comes to realize the imposition that his mother has caused.  The PP have offered a number of good ideas to deal with the situation.  Perhaps you could discuss some of them with DH.  Maybe another option would be workable for him, since he doesn't want to cancel the whole thing.

I like the idea of changing the venue, since you are hosting.  Perhaps you could say that even though the restaurant is upscale, the food is not that spectacular.  You could say that the food at [a restaurant of your choice] is much better so you will all be eating there.  If your DP also go, I think that you need to tell MIL privately at some point that they are paying for their own food, so that she doesn't think that you economized the venue, and then invited more people.

I also like the idea of hosting the relatives in your home.  Let them see the nice accommodations that you have, and what an elegant dinner party you [and mom] can organize.  I don't remember if you said how many relatives live in the area.  If they haven't been into many homes in this country they would probably find yours very interesting.

Sophia

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2014, 07:52:56 PM »
...I don't think anyone has brought this up yet but since OP parents are part of OPs financial plan at the moment I think an argument could be made that its rude to them too.  OPs MIL and husband aren't just spending the couples money in effect they are spending OPs parents money *for however long the dinner extends OP's stay with her parents*  I'd help support my son and partner so they could save for home or to go to school but not so they could afford to treat partners relatives to fancy dinners. 

Myself this would absolutely be my hill to die on.  I would not be hosting this dinner.   That said you can invite your parents and you can pick the restaurant you can also host at home *assuming your parents are 100% ok with it*

I noticed the same thing, but I wasn't sure how to express it.  But, since OP's parents are contributing to the OP's household budget, in a way they would be unofficial co-hosts. 

EllenS

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #62 on: January 05, 2014, 08:30:29 PM »
I am a big believer in spousal money being "ours" not mine or yours.

I think it is a HUGE problem that DH is consulting with Mommy about how to spend the spousal income, rather than with his Wife. 

lkdrymom

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #63 on: January 06, 2014, 06:21:43 AM »
I think it is time DH got himself a part time job to pay for this dinner he agreed to.  Just because he is in school doesn't mean he can't work too.

Redsoil

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #64 on: January 06, 2014, 06:49:01 AM »
Just out of interest's sake, might there be cultural issues at play here?
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Sophia

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #65 on: January 06, 2014, 09:32:34 AM »
I am a big believer in spousal money being "ours" not mine or yours.

I think it is a HUGE problem that DH is consulting with Mommy about how to spend the spousal income, rather than with his Wife.

I think that THIS was what was triggering "Hey, she is the one that is working, not him!" for many of us (certainly me) rather than that he was a full-time student. 

It is like he is treating the spousal money as his money. 

tinkytinky

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #66 on: January 06, 2014, 10:38:07 AM »
I think you are ok to change the restaurant, but you are also well within your rights to call the restaurant that MIL requested and get a limited menu. Reserve a "back room" or at least tables out of the way. If you know people want wine, reserve 2 moderately priced wines (one white, one red). Suggest maybe 3 entrees like steak, chicken or fish, and possibly a pasta or vegetarian. (you know the group ). If you are the host, then it is up to you to get a final head count and the preferred meals. Keep the price within the set amount. Just as people are told to throw the wedding they can afford, you can only host a party that you can (or can't really in this case) afford. Let MIL know that while you have been voluntold to host this meal, you are doing it under your own terms and with your own budget. If MIL wants a full menu, then she will need to take over hosting.

This doesn't solve this problem, it just repairs this one situation.

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TootsNYC

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #67 on: January 06, 2014, 11:23:49 AM »
I think you are ok to change the restaurant, but you are also well within your rights to call the restaurant that MIL requested and get a limited menu. Reserve a "back room" or at least tables out of the way. If you know people want wine, reserve 2 moderately priced wines (one white, one red). Suggest maybe 3 entrees like steak, chicken or fish, and possibly a pasta or vegetarian. (you know the group ). If you are the host, then it is up to you to get a final head count and the preferred meals. Keep the price within the set amount. Just as people are told to throw the wedding they can afford, you can only host a party that you can (or can't really in this case) afford. Let MIL know that while you have been voluntold to host this meal, you are doing it under your own terms and with your own budget. If MIL wants a full menu, then she will need to take over hosting.

This doesn't solve this problem, it just repairs this one situation.

This would be a great way to limit the financial damages. And you could do it without involving MIL at all. You don't have to call her in advance and alert her--just make the arrangements with the restaurant. No confrontation needed.

4children

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #68 on: January 06, 2014, 11:29:28 AM »
Just out of interest's sake, might there be cultural issues at play here?

This was my first thought also. I could see my MIL doing this but in her culture this would not be considered rude.

gramma dishes

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #69 on: January 06, 2014, 12:13:47 PM »
Just out of interest's sake, might there be cultural issues at play here?

This was my first thought also. I could see my MIL doing this but in her culture this would not be considered rude.

How could it not be considered rude -- in any culture -- to invite a couple to go to dinner with them (and other guests) and THEN spring it on them that the couple were expected to pay for all of them?

4children

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #70 on: January 06, 2014, 12:32:28 PM »
It's just not. It is a different culture with different expectations of family members. That's why I wondered also if it was a culture clash.

EllenS

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #71 on: January 06, 2014, 12:42:55 PM »
Just out of interest's sake, might there be cultural issues at play here?

This was my first thought also. I could see my MIL doing this but in her culture this would not be considered rude.

How could it not be considered rude -- in any culture -- to invite a couple to go to dinner with them (and other guests) and THEN spring it on them that the couple were expected to pay for all of them?

I imagine in a culture that had extremely high expectations of filial duty, the norm could be that the elders/parents have the "right" to dictate just about anything, and it is the duty of the child to do whatever it takes to save face for the parent. Or that refusing to do what your parent tells you to, is extremely taboo.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #72 on: January 06, 2014, 09:10:56 PM »
I am a big believer in spousal money being "ours" not mine or yours.

I think it is a HUGE problem that DH is consulting with Mommy about how to spend the spousal income, rather than with his Wife.

I think that THIS was what was triggering "Hey, she is the one that is working, not him!" for many of us (certainly me) rather than that he was a full-time student. 

It is like he is treating the spousal money as his money.

Agreed. He is using the family money for something HE wants to do. It would be akin to him taking a chunk of the family money and buying a mountain bike, or Playstation, or whatever benefits him, but not so much the OP.

Minmom3

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #73 on: January 06, 2014, 09:40:56 PM »
Regardless of culture, can the OP sit down with her husband and ASK HIM where he thinks the money should come from?  Lay out the budget as it is, and ask him where they should short sheet things to make up for the dinner expenditure?  Short school tuition - no?  Short payment of rent to her parents - no?  Short car insurance - double no?  Short food budget and live on beans and rice for a few months - no?  Then where is the money supposed to come FROM???  Because, filial duty and culture of obedience or not - he appears to not have thought where the money would come from, nor of the consequences.  Nor, maybe, that his wife and her parents are not of that same culture of filial obedience...
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TootsNYC

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Re: If you want me to pay...
« Reply #74 on: January 06, 2014, 11:14:37 PM »
I am a big believer in spousal money being "ours" not mine or yours.

I think it is a HUGE problem that DH is consulting with Mommy about how to spend the spousal income, rather than with his Wife.

I think that THIS was what was triggering "Hey, she is the one that is working, not him!" for many of us (certainly me) rather than that he was a full-time student. 

It is like he is treating the spousal money as his money.

Agreed. He is using the family money for something HE wants to do. It would be akin to him taking a chunk of the family money and buying a mountain bike, or Playstation, or whatever benefits him, but not so much the OP.

I would not think that "fulfilling a family obligation" (which is what the OP's husband probably views this as) is in *any* way analogous to him buying a Playstation, or something that benefits only him.

Because my husband's family obligations are my obligations as well.
   And tending to those family obligations benefits me, in excellent relationships with the extended family.

My DH and I have to negotiate so that we see these situations or obligations the same way. But there are times when he says, "This is our obligation as a family (which we are--a unit, one family) to our larger family." I don't agree; but he knows his family, and I trust him.
  And I do not consider that to be a selfish or frivolous move on his part.

I don't think the MIL is being appropriate, nor is the DH necessarily right.

But this is not the same thing as him taking the family's money and buying a Playstation.