Help! My Mother-in-Law Wants To Control Us With Her Money


Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My mother-in-law uses money to control her kids. Until recently, she didn't really bother us with it. Last week she deposited money into our account after we explicitly told her we didn't need it. To be clear, we aren't wealthy by any means, but we work hard, budget and certainly don't need that type of drama in our lives. Short of hitting the ATM and throwing a wad of cash in her face (I do actually care about this woman), what can I do about this? I feel totally disrespected but also a little ridiculous for complaining about getting cash. Am I completely crazy?

Ungrateful (?) in Texas


Credit: 401(K)2013

Dear Ungrateful,

So, let me get this straight. Someone can just go to your bank and deposit money into your bank account without your knowledge/permission? Don't they need your account number to do that? Hmmm... something about your question isn't totally adding up for me.

Here's the thing: Even if your MIL did somehow work some kind of magic and managed to force money into your bank account against your wishes, I think you can accept it graciously without allowing her to lord it over you and force you to do her bidding as a result. What is she trying to guilt you into doing anyway? If she thinks giving you money entitles her to choosing paint colors in your home, that's not cool, but if she just wants to see you once in a while, well, you should be doing that anyway.

If you truly don't want/need the money, there are a few other options for you here, if it's really making you nuts:

1. Put it in a separate savings account that you never touch. When your MIL starts pouring on the guilt, bring out your checkbook and tell her you're giving it back.

2. Tell your MIL that since you really don't want or need her money, you are looking forward to donating her gifts to a charity close to your heart.

3. Vegas, baby!

Whatever you decide, I hope you can work it out so everyone is happy.

Good luck,
Karen, TMH


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