So my husband has just told me that we cannot afford for both of us to go see his family and go to this party in May because he is the only one working. But then I saw through bank statements that he has been giving his mom money for this party plus he had to pay for his airline ticket on his own as well.
I think the situation with this party is weird and that it’s morally wrong of his mom to accept money from my husband when she knows he is the only one working and also that it is wrong for him for to be giving his mother money and even going to this party. Can you give me any advice about his family, the financial part, and our marriage? — Caught Up in Weird Party Situation
Nothing that you’ve shared here indicates that there’s an issue with your husband’s family at all. That they speak to you regularly and haven’t mentioned the party suggests that they assumed your husband had mentioned it, which he has. Are you expecting a personal invitation from them? To your own father-in-law’s party, which your husband has already told you about? That actually is weird. It’s also weird — and super passive — that, if it’s such a big deal to you that it be an open topic of conversation between you and your in-laws, you’ve never mentioned it during any of the conversations you’ve had with them in recent months. It would have been as easy as saying, “George mentioned you’re throwing a party for John for his 60th birthday. How’s the planning going? Is there anything we can do to help?” That’s what a normal, non-weird person who wants to be included in such a thing would do.
As for your mother-in-law accepting money from your husband, one would assume that someone wouldn’t offer money he couldn’t afford to part with. The onus of responsibility isn’t on her to make sure your husband isn’t parting with money he needs; it’s on him. If he couldn’t afford to help out financially, he shouldn’t have offered the money. Furthermore, it isn’t unusual for adult kids to contribute to milestone parties for their parents. Honestly, the only thing weird about your husband financially contributing to this party is not speaking to you about it first and making sure it wouldn’t be a financial hardship for you or require sacrifices you aren’t both prepared to make.
And that’s really the root of all your issues here. You and your husband don’t seem to communicate — or plan ahead, financially and otherwise. The birthday party is next month and you’re just now discussing whether you’re going to go? You’re surprised that your grown-ass adult husband is expected to pay for his own airline ticket? You don’t mention kids, so I assume there aren’t any, so why aren’t you working? It seems like financially contributing to the household, especially if you aren’t busy raising young children, would alleviate a lot of the financial strain you and your husband clearly feel.
Communicate better. Get your financial ducks in a row. Consider how and when you can start financially contributing to your household. If there’s a reason you aren’t able to work, figure out how you can cut costs so that you and your husband can sock some money away for an emergency fund as well as a miscellaneous fund for expenses like birthday gifts, airline tickets, and fun things you can enjoy together that will bring you closer and enrich your marriage.
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