I (45F) have been married to my husband Karl (50M) for nearly 20 years. Karl isn’t the oldest child but the most responsible and he’s always looked after his mother and sister who has two children (now adults) when he was able to.
When we got married, his finances became less available to them and they’ve never gotten over getting less from Karl (i.e. he would buy school shoes for the children but not an entire wardrobe and for her birthday his mom might get $50 instead of $200).
For the record, I never told Karl he should do less. However, we had plans to start a family and wanted to travel more often so he no longer had those extras to give.
My MIL (80F) in particular uses every opportunity to remind me and anyone other than Karl how much he used to do for her.
Most recently, she spoke to our son (14) and told him to tell his dad how much she misses the extra money he sent her especially now that she’s old and might die soon.
My son had the phone on speaker (she was aware because he was getting ready to leave) and I heard it all. I told him to say goodbye to his grandma and tell her I’d call her back.
When he left, I called her and told her not to use our children for her greed and if she wants anything from Karl she better ask him directly, not her grandson.
I reminded her that she gave Karl and me a crinkled up $10 bill as a wedding gift and after all her son has done for her ungrateful self, she shouldn’t expect anything else from him but love and affection.
She started to cry (she should get an Oscar for the fake tears she’s managed to squeeze out through the years) and told me I’m being mean to her.
I told her I’m tired of her whining about money especially when she’s not wanting for anything. Karl thinks I was a bit harsh but he agrees with me.