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Personal Ethical Delimma

Khaos_Mage
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6/15/2014 9:44:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
So, my wife has a student loan in her mother's name. My wife is not listed on the loan at all.

My wife received no encouragement for going to school (and, yes, this degree was a waste of money, since massaging hurts her hands), and zero assistance except living at home, which she was doing anyway.

My wife has never been that close to her father or two older brothers, on account he is distant and they are 12 years older than she. However, even after moving out of the house, she was close to her mother....

Until she realized that her mother lies and manipulates everything. I don't remember what exactly happened (many little things and epiphanies along the way), but the final straw was: money was tight, and Mrs. Mage wanted to throw a baby shower for her sister-in-law with her other sister-in-law. Her mom asked to join, was told she has a knack for taking over, promised she wouldn't, then did. In fact, she priced the cost of the baby shower that we couldn't bring what we were supposed to, and the party was no longer Mrs. Mage's since nothing, not one single aspect (not even the color of decorations), was hers, and we were actually unable to attend, given the party's cost of admission (gifts, game favors, etc.). Her gift to the baby shower was to host, which didn't happen due to change in venue.
After this, she decided not to speak to her mother. This was not an overreaction, given she knew how manipulative her mother is, as I said, it was the final straw. For example, her mother was admonished that her brother was happy about having a child in this the "end-of-times", and said this to the rest of her family at a gathering we were not in attendance. Her mother said her other son said this (both equally religious), but the hated sister-in-law told my wife that the mother, in fact, said this.

So, we go a year or more without speaking to her. Not one person called on Mrs. Mage's birthday or Christmas, not her father, mother, or adult brothers. Sad, really. They either don't care, or the mother has a hold on them.

Me and Mrs. Mage were going to elope, but instead threw together a wedding in three weeks (on a Monday!!!), on the cheap, and invited our immediate families. After much consideration, we invited her mother. She came. After the dinner and dance, she pulled Mrs. Mage aside after most went home (except my parents) and gave her a guilt trip and made her cry....on our wedding night!!!

After that, she tried to have a relationship with her mother again, until her mother was so unsupportive of her daughter that she was "surprised" she worked for her friend, and when the friend turned out to be bad "boss" (independent contractor), her mother defended her "friend". It's a small town, and the only pet supply store.
Her mother was called to protect her at the store while I rented a truck to get our stuff, and her mother actually shopped while there. In addition, she had seen the damage the owner did to her photos (as she tried to rip them in half), and still says the owner wouldn't have done that.

So, realizing nothing has changed, she again stopped talking to her. This was over a year ago. In that year, we were never notified of another pregnancy nor of Mrs. Mage's aunt's death. We have no ties to the family, it appears.

So, my question is: should we still make payments on this loan?

tl;dr?
Mrs. Mage has a loan in her mother's name for college.
She is essentially disowned by them, and has essentially disowned them.
Should we continue to pay? We have already paid about 33% of it.
My work here is, finally, done.
bsh1
Posts: 27,504
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6/16/2014 12:21:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I wouldn't pay, if I were in such a scenario. But ultimately, it's up to you two to decide.
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Dennybug
Posts: 711
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6/16/2014 3:38:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/15/2014 9:44:38 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
So, my wife has a student loan in her mother's name. My wife is not listed on the loan at all.

My wife received no encouragement for going to school (and, yes, this degree was a waste of money, since massaging hurts her hands), and zero assistance except living at home, which she was doing anyway.

My wife has never been that close to her father or two older brothers, on account he is distant and they are 12 years older than she. However, even after moving out of the house, she was close to her mother....

Until she realized that her mother lies and manipulates everything. I don't remember what exactly happened (many little things and epiphanies along the way), but the final straw was: money was tight, and Mrs. Mage wanted to throw a baby shower for her sister-in-law with her other sister-in-law. Her mom asked to join, was told she has a knack for taking over, promised she wouldn't, then did. In fact, she priced the cost of the baby shower that we couldn't bring what we were supposed to, and the party was no longer Mrs. Mage's since nothing, not one single aspect (not even the color of decorations), was hers, and we were actually unable to attend, given the party's cost of admission (gifts, game favors, etc.). Her gift to the baby shower was to host, which didn't happen due to change in venue.
After this, she decided not to speak to her mother. This was not an overreaction, given she knew how manipulative her mother is, as I said, it was the final straw. For example, her mother was admonished that her brother was happy about having a child in this the "end-of-times", and said this to the rest of her family at a gathering we were not in attendance. Her mother said her other son said this (both equally religious), but the hated sister-in-law told my wife that the mother, in fact, said this.

So, we go a year or more without speaking to her. Not one person called on Mrs. Mage's birthday or Christmas, not her father, mother, or adult brothers. Sad, really. They either don't care, or the mother has a hold on them.

Me and Mrs. Mage were going to elope, but instead threw together a wedding in three weeks (on a Monday!!!), on the cheap, and invited our immediate families. After much consideration, we invited her mother. She came. After the dinner and dance, she pulled Mrs. Mage aside after most went home (except my parents) and gave her a guilt trip and made her cry....on our wedding night!!!

After that, she tried to have a relationship with her mother again, until her mother was so unsupportive of her daughter that she was "surprised" she worked for her friend, and when the friend turned out to be bad "boss" (independent contractor), her mother defended her "friend". It's a small town, and the only pet supply store.
Her mother was called to protect her at the store while I rented a truck to get our stuff, and her mother actually shopped while there. In addition, she had seen the damage the owner did to her photos (as she tried to rip them in half), and still says the owner wouldn't have done that.

So, realizing nothing has changed, she again stopped talking to her. This was over a year ago. In that year, we were never notified of another pregnancy nor of Mrs. Mage's aunt's death. We have no ties to the family, it appears.

So, my question is: should we still make payments on this loan?


tl;dr?
Mrs. Mage has a loan in her mother's name for college.
She is essentially disowned by them, and has essentially disowned them.
Should we continue to pay? We have already paid about 33% of it.

doesnt really seem like the right way of dealing with things and would probably only make things worse
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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6/16/2014 12:53:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 3:38:18 AM, Dennybug wrote:

doesnt really seem like the right way of dealing with things and would probably only make things worse

What would be the right way to deal with things, then?
The dilemma in question is paying a personal obligation who is not part of one's life.

I assume your advice is more in scope, so I am curious as to your recommendation.
How, or why, do you keep someone who is destructive of your self-esteem and cannot be trusted in your life?
My work here is, finally, done.
Dennybug
Posts: 711
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6/16/2014 1:16:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 12:53:07 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 6/16/2014 3:38:18 AM, Dennybug wrote:

doesnt really seem like the right way of dealing with things and would probably only make things worse

What would be the right way to deal with things, then?
The dilemma in question is paying a personal obligation who is not part of one's life.

I assume your advice is more in scope, so I am curious as to your recommendation.
How, or why, do you keep someone who is destructive of your self-esteem and cannot be trusted in your life?

I'm just a kid so i dont want to seem disrespectful. and theres probably lots of things youve left out in this situation. So i dont have any solid answers.

If this was an agreement made between your wife and mother (when she was part of your wifes life) this would be just as deceptive as everything the mother has done. It would give her mom more arguments and make you guys look like the bad guys.

There doesnt seem to be any connection between the obligation to pay vs the actions of the mother since the two have no connection this would just be adding insult to injury.

Does your wife want to have a relationship with her family?
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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6/16/2014 2:13:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 1:16:34 PM, Dennybug wrote:
At 6/16/2014 12:53:07 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 6/16/2014 3:38:18 AM, Dennybug wrote:

doesnt really seem like the right way of dealing with things and would probably only make things worse

What would be the right way to deal with things, then?
The dilemma in question is paying a personal obligation who is not part of one's life.

I assume your advice is more in scope, so I am curious as to your recommendation.
How, or why, do you keep someone who is destructive of your self-esteem and cannot be trusted in your life?

I'm just a kid so i dont want to seem disrespectful. and theres probably lots of things youve left out in this situation. So i dont have any solid answers.
I'm asking for advice. Disrespect away. I don't care about your age, and, yes, I've been brief. I'll not be offended from your ignorance. If it is an issue, I'll explain, and you can reassess. Simple as that.

If this was an agreement made between your wife and mother (when she was part of your wifes life) this would be just as deceptive as everything the mother has done. It would give her mom more arguments and make you guys look like the bad guys.
Deceptive is the wrong word.
She took out a loan knowing the risks of repayment.
It was an agreement in good faith.
Deceptive is not the right word. Nor is manipulative.

There doesnt seem to be any connection between the obligation to pay vs the actions of the mother since the two have no connection this would just be adding insult to injury.
It is hard to honor a personal promise when there is no personal relationship.
Legally, my wife's name is not on the loan at all...which is odd.
Who's to say that her mother didn't think she would pay the loan herself (supporting her daughter), but then changed her mind due to disliking her daughter and/or loss of income?

Does your wife want to have a relationship with her family?
Not at this time.
My work here is, finally, done.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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6/16/2014 2:29:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
There's a few avenues for this.

Fundamentally, if your wife agreed to pay it, it is a form of "wrong" to refuse to do so. Ideally, your wife agreed to pay off the loan, and should do so. However, sometimes the moral high ground is too costly. If you guys aren't well-off enough to just pay it off, there are options. (Incidentally, Mrs. Bladerunner and I have had a similar discussion about a related issue, so I've thought this through).

If this was just a straight loan from your wife's mother, cutting off contact might be sufficient to not pay--and the cutting off contact would be your MIL's fault, so...

Of course, the "end times" speak can be used, philosophically, against the MIL. If it's really the end times, then who cares about paying off a loan?

So your wife COULD just stop paying. "Forget" about the loan. Then it would be up to your MIL to contact her about it. If she doesn't, well...I guess she doesn't care, right? If she does, then the question is: "Well, isn't this the end times? Why bother?"
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neptune1bond
Posts: 400
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6/16/2014 3:36:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Wow, if such things could be considered moral, then I wish that all the people who hold the loans for my house, car, credit cards, etc. would treat me crappy so that I could justify not paying any of them back. But, all joking aside, I think it would be incredibly immoral to stick her mother with the bill. The thing is, no matter what her mother has done, your wife made the commitment and took the classes and her mother shouldn't be footing the bill just because they had a fallout. I get that her mother is a crappy person, but by leaving her to pay for a loan that she did to help your wife and that she doesn't benefit from in any way hardly makes you and your wife much better people. This "I'll show her" revenge attitude is just wrong. Your wife has no obligation to see her but your mother-in-law's crappy actions don't really have anything at all to do with the loan, and you shouldn't just forget about your financial obligations simply because it's now a very convenient time for you to be irresponsible. It is horrible to let someone take out a loan for you and then wait around until they do something crappy and say "I'm just going to leave YOU with the bill for MY education now." This is like saying that if someone treats me crappy, that I have the right to shoot or stab them as long as they don't die from their injuries. Completely wrong actions never "justify" completely wrong actions. That's where the age-old saying "two wrongs don't make a right" came from. Your wife's mother's actions do not release your wife from her financial obligations.

You should obviously not take loans from people that you have issues with. I really doubt that your mother-in-law's behaviors were really a shock to your wife, since she spent her whole childhood living with her, so she should have been more wary about tying herself to her mother with a loan. I've had issues with family members of my own and I would never allow myself to be in a position to be obligated to them in any way if I can help it. She doesn't need to speak with her to send her a check. Just make sure that you write, "payment for student loans" on the check directly and then either keep the carbon copies and/or photocopy the check. Also be sure to keep record of the bank statements that show which checks have been cashed. That way your wife's mother cannot make any claims of a lack of payment and she also cannot legally do anything if she ever decided to take any legal action since you have retained proof of payment. A much better alternative would be to get into a position where you could take out a loan and pay the mother-in-law back (similarly, you should have the loan made in the form of a check from the bank to your mother-in-law with "payment for all student loans" put on the check (the bank can print this directly on the check) and, similarly, you should keep all proof of the loan, check, and cashing of that check). That way you are not being irresponsible by avoiding your financial obligations just because it is convenient. Please tell your wife to pay off HER loans. The loan really doesn't belong to her mother.

(Btw, just to make myself clear if I haven't already. I don't agree with nor support any of your mother-in-law's actions. She clearly is not the best type of person. I'm sorry that you and your wife had to go through such garbage. Nonetheless, I simply think that the financial obligation is, and always has been, your wife's. She shouldn't be able to get out of such obligations and push it onto others simply because the situation allows for it and it is convenient to do so.)
Dennybug
Posts: 711
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6/16/2014 10:35:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 2:13:35 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 6/16/2014 1:16:34 PM, Dennybug wrote:
At 6/16/2014 12:53:07 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 6/16/2014 3:38:18 AM, Dennybug wrote:

doesnt really seem like the right way of dealing with things and would probably only make things worse

What would be the right way to deal with things, then?
The dilemma in question is paying a personal obligation who is not part of one's life.

I assume your advice is more in scope, so I am curious as to your recommendation.
How, or why, do you keep someone who is destructive of your self-esteem and cannot be trusted in your life?

I'm just a kid so i dont want to seem disrespectful. and theres probably lots of things youve left out in this situation. So i dont have any solid answers.
I'm asking for advice. Disrespect away. I don't care about your age, and, yes, I've been brief. I'll not be offended from your ignorance. If it is an issue, I'll explain, and you can reassess. Simple as that.

If this was an agreement made between your wife and mother (when she was part of your wifes life) this would be just as deceptive as everything the mother has done. It would give her mom more arguments and make you guys look like the bad guys.
Deceptive is the wrong word.
She took out a loan knowing the risks of repayment.
It was an agreement in good faith.
Deceptive is not the right word. Nor is manipulative.

There doesnt seem to be any connection between the obligation to pay vs the actions of the mother since the two have no connection this would just be adding insult to injury.
It is hard to honor a personal promise when there is no personal relationship.
Legally, my wife's name is not on the loan at all...which is odd.
Who's to say that her mother didn't think she would pay the loan herself (supporting her daughter), but then changed her mind due to disliking her daughter and/or loss of income?

Does your wife want to have a relationship with her family?
Not at this time.

In any case, doesnt matter if its deceptive or manipulative. If your wife made an agreement to pay her own loans. She is obligated to do so. By taking advantage of this particular circumstance, you're not being any better than the MIW.

If you were going out of your way to support the MIW somehow then this would be a lot more understandable.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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6/17/2014 7:40:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 10:35:23 PM, Dennybug wrote:

In any case, doesnt matter if its deceptive or manipulative. If your wife made an agreement to pay her own loans. She is obligated to do so. By taking advantage of this particular circumstance, you're not being any better than the MIW.

If you were going out of your way to support the MIW somehow then this would be a lot more understandable.

So, if you lent a friend $500. And something happened where you didn't want to see this friend ever again (say, he raped your sister), would you still demand the money? Reverse the roles. Would you pay him back?

In talking to people, it's weird. They generally say I should pay it back, but if the roles were reversed, I shouldn't demand the repayment, either.

When you walk away from someone's life, do you not also walk away from previous obligations?

Just to be clear, this appears to be a two way street.
Her mother never told her of the mother's sister's death, nor invited her to Christmas, nor sent a card or called or anything. It would be different if the mother appeared to want a relationship, but she hasn't.
If a family disowns you, do they not also disown any obligations?
If you disown them, do you stop honoring obligations?

My wife has told me that she is going to refuse any inheritance, and may not even attend the funeral. In fact, a major reason we didn't go to my wife's aunt's funeral is because of her immediate family.
It's more than just a convenient fight.
My work here is, finally, done.
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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6/17/2014 7:49:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Do you want to turn the other cheek and be the morally greater? or do you want eye for an eye to enact rough justice?

One choice is morally superior, but neither are bad.
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Heterodox
Posts: 293
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6/17/2014 8:03:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/15/2014 9:44:38 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
...So, my question is: should we still make payments on this loan?


tl;dr?
Mrs. Mage has a loan in her mother's name for college.
She is essentially disowned by them, and has essentially disowned them.
Should we continue to pay? We have already paid about 33% of it.

Should?
I will answer by saying that most of what I do "voluntarily" is based on one of a few things:
I believe in some way it is the "right" course of action.
I believe it is easier than the repercussions of not doing it.

So, should you continue to pay?
Do you believe in some way it is the "right" course of action?
Do you believe it would be easier than any repercussions that may arise from not?
Dennybug
Posts: 711
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6/17/2014 8:09:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/17/2014 7:40:25 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 6/16/2014 10:35:23 PM, Dennybug wrote:

In any case, doesnt matter if its deceptive or manipulative. If your wife made an agreement to pay her own loans. She is obligated to do so. By taking advantage of this particular circumstance, you're not being any better than the MIW.

If you were going out of your way to support the MIW somehow then this would be a lot more understandable.

So, if you lent a friend $500. And something happened where you didn't want to see this friend ever again (say, he raped your sister), would you still demand the money? Reverse the roles. Would you pay him back?

In talking to people, it's weird. They generally say I should pay it back, but if the roles were reversed, I shouldn't demand the repayment, either.

When you walk away from someone's life, do you not also walk away from previous obligations?

Just to be clear, this appears to be a two way street.
Her mother never told her of the mother's sister's death, nor invited her to Christmas, nor sent a card or called or anything. It would be different if the mother appeared to want a relationship, but she hasn't.
If a family disowns you, do they not also disown any obligations?
If you disown them, do you stop honoring obligations?


My wife has told me that she is going to refuse any inheritance, and may not even attend the funeral. In fact, a major reason we didn't go to my wife's aunt's funeral is because of her immediate family.
It's more than just a convenient fight.

Hmmm. your analogy is a little weak, i get the point of it but given those circumstances it would be a completely different scenario

(Friend and not family)
(A significantly lower sum of money)
(Someone has been sexually assaulted)

The reason no one is comparing from the other side is because you've established in your explanation that the mother is a sh!tty person.

Leaving her with the responsibility to pay for an education that your wife had and agreed to pay for is not right. had the mother screwed you guys financially this would be more appropriate.

Why should the MIW be stuck with the bill because of a bad relationship? There are two sides to every story and this would give the MIW more reasons to cut off interaction.

what is the MIW's point of view about this whole bad relationship? does she think its justified if so why?