And while they say “Fancy please, all I want is everything,” the real world is made of bleaker atoms than that.
Something has been disturbing my peace of mind, and while there isn’t much that I can do about it, there is much fretting that I can still do.
Let me pen portrait the background first. My hubby and his brother had a complicated upbringing (as is my perception of it). Both the boys grew up to be very different even though they have a very strong bond.
My husband is the diligent one. My brother-in-law is the happy-go-lucky one. Both of them have some complexes, and they are different. My husband is his mother’s baby. His brother is father-mushy.
My husband had a hard beginning in his career, but he is a saver. He never splurges more than his means, and always makes sure we are adding to the savings, even if they may be minuscule amounts. And I work. There are two incomes, and that makes the cushion stay.
My brother-in-law has worked at better places comparatively, and ended up living in a big city for a couple of years. The cost of living was high, and his lifestyle habits and demands of the city put a hole in the wallet. His wife stopped working after the first baby arrived. There was no cushion. They lived paycheck to paycheck, and with unexpected expenses shooting in, they looked to family to help them out.
I have never interfered with the monetary and other offers of help extended to the family.
When my sister-in-law got pregnant again, she chose ostensibly to not tell our side of the family till her sixth month (which has permanently dented my desire to communicate with her). During her last trimester she shifted to the hometown for the last stretch.
Then, my brother-in-law lost his job.
His wife was pregnant, and he knew that she will eventually deliver, but my brother-in-law did not pick up the tab of his wife’s labor and delivery charges. My father-in-law did.
And then he was pittied because he had lost his job. He too shifted back to the hometown and began looking for another job.
My sister-in-law stayed with her mum, and conveniently got the older child enrolled in the school that was a stone’s throw away. My brother-in-law lived with his parents, and both of them became bigger martyrs for not being able to stay together.
In the mid-2000’s, we had bought a duplex in our hometown. The next year we rented it out to a family. The rent we received helped us pay our home loan. We were lucky to have very nice tenants, and the same family still inhabits the house.
The house of my in-laws is ancient, and situated to the ill-convenience of everyone. Also, it has now become difficult to manage for my mother-in-law who doesn’t want to hire paid help for household work. My brother-in-law floated the idea of selling it and moving into a smaller flat, so that things would be better. My father-in-law asked for my husband’s opinion. My husband was against selling the property. He did not mind the move but did not want the parental home to be sold. His brother does not have the money to buy a flat on his own, and the idea died a natural death.
Now a new idea has mushroomed. Since my niece has now shifted to a senior class and the building is closer to our duplex. we will give up the rental income and my husband’s family will shift in. My brother-in-law said he and his wife would move in first and then a few months later, he would shift his parents with them.
I cannot change my husband’s decision to get the house vacated, but I made it very clear that the house was not meant to be occupied like this. I don’t want my husband’s brother to move in, unless my in-laws are moving in at the same time.
Now the entire burden of the loan payment will fall on us. My husband’s income is not consistent. We often spar on money related matters. I don’t need a crystal ball to see that he will eventually realize that the drain on him has increased and it will irritate him, even if he does not believe that his family has contributed to his stress.
I can’t make him remove his rose-tinted glasses for his family.
I know I have to let this go, and accept the change, but I am feeling selfish over handing the house to them. I am trying to find the frame of mind of being very generous, but I am struggling.
What would you do if you were in my shoes? Am I being too petty?