Husband must own up to choices
Q - Just before getting married two years ago, I learned that my husband had a serious gambling debt and couldn’t pay his share of the wedding.
I was financially secure then and covered it. His parents promised they’d pay me back.
They’re retired and very rich, with multiple properties around the world.
But their repayment came with a list of expectations and wanting us to feel guilty, causing stress and fighting between my husband and me.
I decided to write off the amount I was owed, so we could start our life together.
Recently, my husband decided to pay me back and started gambling again.
He went through much of my life savings and accumulated more debt (double what his parents owed me!)
I wrote off my life savings but don’t want to help him further the debt is his problem.
I’ve protected myself financially. He’s finally getting professional help for his gambling addiction.
I’m learning to trust that his efforts and therapy are paying off. However, he’s still convinced that his parents will bail him out.
I feel extreme resentment (even hatred) towards my inlaws. They’re selfish, self-centered people. I believe it’s why all their children have varying degrees of addictions and troubling behaviors.
My husband sees some of this. But he doesn’t believe they’re bad people.
Even if we can move on from his financial cheating, we’ll never be good until I can find a way to handle his family (whom we can’t avoid as weíre part of the same community). How do I get over this? Resentful Daughter-in-Law
A - You’re a very resourceful, forgiving woman at heart. Your husband’s lucky for your understanding and support.
However, you’ve turned your deep anger at the whole gambling story into blaming his parents. Instead, let your husband take full responsibility. He’s an adult who had choices; His parents didn’t do the gambling.
You’ll likely never trust or like them much, but your focus has to be on handling life with your husband.
Set firm boundaries — e.g. see them in the community but invite them only when you have lots of relatives around.
Avoid all expectations of financial help and don’t depend on a future inheritance, which may never come.
FEEDBACK: Regarding the woman whose family denied her seeing her mother (June 21):
Reader — “My mother and I argued often. When she was diagnosed with a terminal disease, I wanted to spare her the stress of arguing.
“Unfortunately, that meant I barely talked to her.
“I wanted to apologize to her and say I loved her, but I didn’t, which I now regret.
“My mother also didn’t initiate any conversations with me. And I didn’t want to cause any arguments.
“Your writer obviously had great conflict with her mother.
“Had she been there and argued with her mother, it would’ve been very sad and trying for the dying woman.
“It’d be better for the mother to not have this stress at the end of her life — provided she chose this option and it wasn’t that the siblings made this choice for her.
“That’s one possibility - that the siblings were trying to protect the mother.
“The sister should now have a heart-to-heart talk with the siblings and ask why they left her out of the mother’s dying process.
“If they were protecting the mother, then it’s nothing personal against her. If they were just being cruel or heartless, then she should dissociate her-