Few things complicate a relationship quite like money. As a result, if your spouse’s family asks for financial help, it’s normal to feel pretty conflicted about the matter. You may want to lend your support but might worry about how the move could harm the relationship. The trick is, aside from very specific situations, it usually isn’t a good idea. If you’re wondering why you shouldn’t loan your spouse’s family money, here’s what you need to know.
Strain on Your Relationship with Them
First and foremost, lending someone money alters the dynamic. If you’re the one who is owed money back, you may find yourself judging every spending decision your spouse’s family member makes and, if you don’t approve of their choices, can quickly become frustrated or angry.
The family member may also feel under great pressure. Even if they make wise financial choices after receiving the cash, they may worry that you have certain expectations of them. This can also harm the relationship, even if you’re more than willing to be patient.
Harm to Your Marriage
When you lend money to your spouse’s family, you and your spouse may view the situation differently. They may be harder or easier on their family than you are, creating a divide in your marriage about how to handle the situation moving forward.
Since your spouse’s family is involved, they may have long-term feelings that influence how they perceive the situation. If you don’t agree with their view, this leads to contention, causing strife in your relationship with your spouse that may be hard to overcome.
Ending Up in a Financial Bind
Lending someone money means having less available for your own needs. While this may not be an issue for households with a robust emergency fund, are on target with your long-term savings goals, and steady income, you may not be on that kind of financial ground.
If lending the money means you can’t deal with an unexpected financial situation, you’re putting yourself at risk. Then, if the worst-case scenario happens, you could end up struggling and may also resent your spouse’s family, blaming them for your hardship, even if that isn’t fair.
Ultimately, loaning money to your spouse’s family can be a dangerous move. It could lead to permanent damage to your relationship with them or your marriage. Plus, if you have an emergency, you might have trouble navigating it, and that is never ideal.
Loan Your Spouse’s Family Money-Avoid It!
In most cases, it’s better to avoid lending money to family. If they need help, consider assisting them with finding other resources. That way, they have a better chance of getting support, all without you having to put cash on the line.
Can you think of any other reasons why lending your spouse’s family money isn’t a smart move? Have you ever lent your spouse’s family money and had a poor outcome? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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