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Old January 1st, 2017, 10:54 AM
Jonah23 Jonah23 is offline
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Family take me for granted

Hi. My name is Jonah l, I'm 30 years old, married with 3 children and live with my parents in a 6 bedroom house.

I'm of south asian descent and culturally, the eldest son (that's me) lives with the parents and takes the position of helping run the house and it is then passed on to him. Although my parents state (when angry) that I will have no share in it as I do not pull my weight. We live in a large house so space is definately no issue. Along with my parents, wife, 3 children, 3 of my younger (single) siblings live in the house.

I pay 900 a month towards the running of the house, the total running cost being 1500 per month. This total includes mortgage, bills and food. Food being the basics milk, bread and so on. If my children or I want to eat anything extra, I obviously purchase that myself.

My wife cooks twice a day for the whole family and does all of the cleaning. No one cleans up after themselves, it is her 'role' culturally to take care of all this. Both myself and my wife carryout our duties happily, it is for family afteral.

The problem lies in the fact that my family just takes everything we do for granted. If my wife falls ill, my mum and sister say she is faking the illness so she does not have to do the chores. If I fall back on my weekly payments then they become awkward with me, stop talking to me or are angry with me and think that I am hiding money from them.

We have been doing this for 6 years now. My parents are ill and unemployed and I know that if we were to leave, they would have to provide for themselves and cook for themselves. I do not want to leave them. We do have good days, as long as we are fulfilling our roles.

My family thinks I am not providing enough towards the house and that 200 a week is too less. My parents state they are disappinted in me as I have failed to provide like a son should. The money I do provide is seen as my duty and insignificant. I feel guilty about this, so I want to ask you, is this too less? How much would be the right amount? Also should my wife be doing all the work she is doing?

I don't know how to deal with the situation, I dont want to hurt my parents' feelings and dont want to fall out with my siblings. I feel that life is about building strong relationships. But my family seems to prioritise money. What can I do?

I understand that this may seem like a weird situation, but I thank you for your time and hope that someone could point me in the right direction.
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Old January 1st, 2017, 11:50 AM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Family take me for granted

Hi Jonah! Welcome.

I come from a different culture, but my limited understanding of your culture makes me think the amount of money you are contributing is plenty and the amount of work your wife is doing is also plenty. My question for you is - in your culture, how are your parents supposed to behave?

My sense is that they are acting as though you are not doing enough in an effort to make you feel guilty and keep you in your position. You are providing more than half of the money and effort for the upkeep of the family while only representing (in your smaller family unit of wife and kids) half of the need (less if your children are small).

Are your siblings old enough to either move out or start contributing to the household themselves? How long will they be part of the household?

Since you used UK currency, I'm guessing you live in the UK. I wonder if part of your mixed feelings come with being part of a mixed culture. You happily fulfill your role, but will you be expecting your children to do the same? I think you are part of what is called in my culture the "Sandwich Generation" - the generation that has to take care of both their parents and their children.

About the only thing you can do that won't hurt your parents' feelings or cause fallout with your siblings is just tell them (kindly) that you are doing the best you can and you can not contribute more to the household than you are contributing.

If they get angry at you that your best is not good enough, that's a reflection of them and not you. You must tell yourself to NOT feel guilty because the only thing anyone can ask of you is that you do your best.

I admire you.
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Old January 2nd, 2017, 11:44 PM
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Knot2loud Knot2loud is offline
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Re: Family take me for granted

They like to play hard ball... They're making you feel guilty for some stupid reason that they have concocted in there brains - I'm guessing they just want you and your wife to take care of them forever and it's there way of making you feel totally committed into caring for them - which seems to be working rather well.

Okay... You have a different culture. I lived in Asia for a few years (I have to add that I do appreciate the commitment families have). however, with that being said... What you're going through is bologna (not right). You and your wife are not being appreciated for what you do for your family - your parents. Bottom line... They are being unreasonably selfish in their behaviors towards you and your wife. What you need, or at least should do is let the household know that you are doing more than your fair share and your wife is doing more than her fair share. If they don't like it... Then you and your wife and your kids can move (you'd probably be happier anyway). However, I do realize your cultural commitment probably won't allow you to do that - not by your moral standards anyway. If it was happening to me I would've told everyone to kiss my arse and left them all to deal with each other.

What do you need to do? Stand your ground. You and your wife deserve respect for the work you are doing and this responsibility has to begin with YOU! You're the man in your family so take control. Yes, your parents raised you, but that doesn't mean you are subordinate to them your entire life. You are providing 60% of the support in the family - that gives you a controlling interest financially. Your wife does ALL (by your words) the cooking and cleaning - that's bologna! Does anyone else have legs and arms? If so, they need to get off their butts and work in the house too.

Bottom line... You have the power to change the situation. So do it.
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