Hax: Father-in-law seeks to cut off funding

The Washington PostSeptember 19, 2013 

Carolyn: My fiance and I have been planning our wedding for next year and would like to move in together this fall when his current lease is up. The problem is that his parents are quite religious, and when his father heard of our plans, he was furious and threatened to cut off all financial help he gives my fiance (which isn't needed, but is appreciated as a gift). He also offered fiance a boatload of money to not live with me so that affordability of the new place wouldn't be an issue.

I'm flabbergasted because I'm not sure exactly what he thinks he's preventing. His father says he loves me and is helping pay for our wedding, but I feel so uncomfortable that he's trying to literally pay his 27-year-old son to not have sex.

How can we handle this situation with maturity and grace? We don't want to set the precedent that our minds can be changed if the price is right.

ANONYMOUS

The only way to handle this situation with maturity and grace is for Son to tell Father that he respects Father's right to have his views and apply his money accordingly, but that Son will do only as Son sees fit.

Then, you and he live your lives as you see fit. As in, live just fine without the money and the strings attached to it.

What the father proposed is flabbergasting, I agree, but if his pressure had come in a more reasonable form, the problem and answer would be the same.

Dear Carolyn: I got laid off from my full-time job last year and have only been able to find part-time work since then (but my husband still has a great job, so I'm fortunately not destitute).

My life is still quite full - friends, family, involvement with a community organization, etc. - but most of it is stuff I want to do, versus have to do, so I feel a little self-conscious talking about my day when my husband gets home from a grueling 10-hour workday and starts doing household chores. Until I have a better job again, how can I avoid feeling so useless?

INVOLUNTARY TIME OFF

Do more household chores.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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