Indirect accusations from SIL

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Danie

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Indirect accusations from SIL
« on: October 19, 2021, 12:20:18 PM »
Thirteen years ago my husband and I purchased a small cabin with his brother and his family; total of 7 people. It's really wonderful and we love it. It didn't start out so well, but I worked very hard to fix issues and now it's exactly what I would want in my nearing retirement.
My BIL didn't have the funds to purchase it and wasn't honest with us. Somehow he came up with a check, 28,000.00 for his half though and a year later the bank that floated him his loan wanted him to produce some kind of equity and sign a mortgage. Since my husband and I paid for our half the BIL used our half as his equity without telling us. He kind of tricked us into signing his mortgage. We are not on his loan though.
I was furious, when I figured it out, and went to an attorney who suggested we create a document around this to protect ourselves. We did this and we all agreed on some things, like, if they can't make a payment they will let us know. I felt better about it, but it definitely created some bad feelings.
Over the 13 years we have improved it a lot and gotten really attached, so has BIL's family. I know BIL's family is still struggling financially and really never were able to be cabin owners, but wanted it so bad and used my husband and I as leverage.
We don't stay there together, we use it like a time-share, but BIL and his wife like to think of it as their own and use the phrase "family cabin" as a way to not have rules or to make it a "free-for-all".
Over the 4th of July they had 9 people stay there (only 475 sq. ft.) and it is their yearly big bash! Lots of drinking, bonfires, bbq's etc. We're not against it, but I don't love it since the cabin is 100 years old and they don't do any maintenance throughout the year. BIL helps my husband with major fixes, like a new roof. They do keep it clean though.
I had some bed-sheets disappear over the 4th of July. One set was brand new and one set was on our bed. The whole set didn't disappear, just the flat sheets. I found one package in their drawer, they were re-using it to store hats and gloves.
Here's the main problem: SIL has refused to talk or meet about anything. In 13 years we have never had 1 conversation about the cabin or sharing. Now she has been sending me nasty texts about the sheets, saying she is sick of being accused of things. All we did was ask (through BIL) if they accidentally got mixed in with their laundry. BIL and wife have a habit of blowing things up and flipping it , getting really defensive and acting like victims.
I have invested 13 years of nurturing this cabin and want to keep it, without them if they can't communicate.
I am really, really upset, probably a little overly-upset and frustrated because we can't seem to talk to them. I don't trust them either. The best answer might be to get out of it, but I don't want to so I need coping skills. What I really want is an explanation about her feeling accused. Like I said I haven't even spoken to her ever about the cabin so I wonder why she feels this way. She won't talk on the phone or write me back.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 12:55:09 PM by Danie »

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Danie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2021, 04:35:08 PM »
I think my original post sounds very one-sided and kind of insensitive. We were very nice to them, all along! We have assumed extra expenses on many things we share: grill, coffee maker, rugs, flowers for the deck, toaster, paddle-boards, pillows, curtains, etc. They have been very stand-offish to us, and it hurt my husband mostly because it's his brother and he wanted to send time with him. I believe they just used us for financial leverage! I don't know what's up with them now, maybe financial troubles and they are trying to scheme a way (again) to stay half-owners. I don not trust them, therefore I have adopted an insensitive attitude toward them.
I've actually done therapy over this and I may need to go back. It upsets me so much how they treat us, especially me.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 04:44:05 PM by Danie »

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Bloomie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2021, 04:18:20 PM »
Hi Danie. It is clear from your posts how much of your heart and soul you have put in the cabin and the thought of losing it, or having to give it up, is upsetting.

It sounds shady how the joint ownership happened to begin with and when one part of the 50/50 is not willing/able to share equally in ongoing expenses and maintenance the frustrations and resentments can build.

How you can avoid offending someone when they are offended by you asking if they may have misplaced the sheets for the bed, I honestly don't know. How can you work through issues if someone refuses to communicate? You can't. And that is hard, but something that is beyond your control.

When things have been murky and unaddressed from the get go in a joint venture it usually benefits those who would take advantage I have found.

Huge lack of boundaries and clear communication all along and it does seem like your sil is on the defensive - which is hers to figure out. Not yours. Sometimes we have let stuff go for so long the thought of addressing them brings a great deal of angst because we are pretty sure it would mean a huge shift in any semblance of a relationship with each other.

From where I sit and what you have shared, it seems like the 'relationship' with your bil and sil is predicated on you and your DH allowing yourselves to be taken advantage of and maybe... just maybe.. you are pretty mad about that? Cuz I sure would be about 13 years in.

I love the question that anger and frustration asks us (if that is what you are feeling) what needs to be addressed and what needs to be protected. And as my own T says... anger is telling us that boundaries have been violated and needs not met.

Just some thoughts...
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 04:20:14 PM by Bloomie »

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Danie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2021, 06:37:12 PM »
I am beyond mad, if that's possible. I really don't care about BIL or SIL anymore, but my husband loves his brother.

I think it's so interesting that  1.They wouldn't have been able to purchase this without our half for their equity.  2. They can't afford it on their own, yet they show no appreciation or understanding of that. So if we decide to sell our half they will be in a bad situation and probably have to sell, as well, which I know they don't want to.

I'm not being judgemental when I say this, but they have 3 teenagers, a mortgage on their primary home and they mortgaged the cabin for 30 years at 180.00 a month.
They pay their own healthcare because she works part time and he is self-employed and their income is around 70,000.  Really?
BIL just took our another loan to build a deck at their house for $30,000.00.
Since we signed their mortgage  :-[ if he misses one payment on the cabin the bank could take it back! The whole thing. It's such a precarious situation for us to be in.

DH and I are totally on the same page about what we want to do ---keep it.  It would be a dream come true for me. I am trying so hard to take care of myself and my upsetness and not do anything abusive to them, like a blaming text message.

Thanks Bloomie!! 

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square

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2021, 07:58:38 PM »
I know NOTHING about how any of this works.

But what if - if they miss a payment, you tell them they have to sell their half to you, immediately. The only alternative would be foreclosure. Covering the loan wouldn’t be an option. They miss a payment, they lose the cabin no matter what. Their only choice would be to get their equity back or lose it all and get the foreclosure on their credit report.

Of course the foreclosure would go on yours as well.

I dunno, it’s just an idea.

And if the cabin ever stopped being a joint property… OBVIOUSLY change the locks etc. And no letting them use it. Ever.

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Danie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2021, 11:21:55 AM »
Hi Square

Thanks for bringing up some good points. Maybe anyone that reads this can learn, as well.
BIL said he would "let us know" if he missed a payment so we could either buy him out or sell it together to avoid anyone getting a foreclosure ding on their credit.
I think I believe him, but it's been 13 years and their seems to be a different mindset and some hostility brewing so we should remind them.

We can't put these stipulations on them, they won't sit down together. We can call his bank though and ask them to let us know if he's missing payments.

Either way, we are giving him 1 week to set up a meeting and discuss the problems before we move on to the next phase, which is selling or setting up an LLC.
My H has concluded BIL is in a bad marriage and she is behind the scenes and controlling things. I've know BIL for 30 years and he was a nice guy (like my H) before he got married.
I can handle the cabin split, either way, for me it's getting out of the dysfunction that's most important.

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square

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2021, 12:38:20 PM »
Ah, didn’t realize you were already prepared for the buyout scenario.

I do know it’s the other things that are the main issue. Was just thinking you could have this up your sleeve if they actually blow the payment, then everything is 95% solved (you’d just have to deal with, maybe, a smear campaign, pressure to let them use the place, nasty comments, etc - which you can hold your head high and stay the course for and enjoy your cabin in peeeeeeeace).

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Danie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2021, 08:52:29 PM »
Yup, would buy them out. Today I decided to keep their nasty texts to me. They might come in handy if I need a lawyer. :) :) :)

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bunnie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2021, 07:47:39 PM »
BIL and wife have a habit of blowing things up and flipping it , getting really defensive and acting like victims.
I am really, really upset, probably a little overly-upset and frustrated because we can't seem to talk to them. I don't trust them either. The best answer might be to get out of it, but I don't want to so I need coping skills. What I really want is an explanation about her feeling accused. Like I said I haven't even spoken to her ever about the cabin so I wonder why she feels this way. She won't talk on the phone or write me back.

I'd bet they did take the sheets...lol.  My sister, bil, and father do this.  Blow up and rage when trying to address issues. They then cry foul and play the victim/martyr. It is maddening and also a deflection tactic designed to intimidate and make you give up. There are really only two choices.  Stand your ground (without getting drawn into an argument), and restate the question. The other option is to never broach the subject again. I wouldn't keep anything at the cabin I didn't want to get misplaced or stolen.  Let them bring their own supplies for their stay.
P.S. I hope you guys get to keep the cabin solely.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 07:52:40 PM by bunnie »
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2021, 12:23:37 AM »
Tell me if I’m getting this correct. You put 50% down in cash on this cabin, then co-signed the mortgage for the balance which is in BIL’s name. So you did know what you were signing. But it was either sign or lose the cabin? I can definitely see how codependent people could get steamrolled into agreeing to something like that. Been in those sort of situations myself where I got blatantly taken advantage of. I don’t understand though how your names are not on the loan if you could be liable for BIL defaulting. The bank should be in communication with you if at anytime your personal credit is at risk, not simply relying on BIL. That may not ultimately matter much, I just found it confusing. As are many things when pwpd are involved.

With the mortgage period coming about halfway now, it seems like the larger investment from your point of view is the personal one. How you’ve made this place your own, improved it, etc.

That would be a real loss. But what if you considered it a sunk cost? Live and learn and get a different cabin? It sounds as if you could afford to on your own at this point. I don’t know the area or if there are similar properties you could have instead, but if as you say the most important thing to you is to get out of the dysfunction… it may be best to start over. If you bought them out the potential for smear campaigning and guilt tripping and oh-poor-us could be everlasting, especially if you had strong boundaries after having basically none and next to no communication about what is and is ok there for 13 years. It would be a constant challenge to “change the steps to the dance,” as my old T would say.

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Danie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2021, 11:22:34 PM »
Cordelia, so glad you asked. I didn't know we were signing his mortgage! He lives 70 miles away (his home residence)  Eight months after we closed on the cabin (he wrote a check for 28,000.00) he called us and said we needed to drive to his hometown and sign some papers. I asked what they were and he wouldn't say so I said no we weren't coming. Then, he talked to my husband and said it was because we owned the cabin together. So we drove there and went to his place of work. He was behind his desk and put the mortgage on his desk and covered up the top half with a blank piece of paper and shoved it in front of me and said "sign here". I wouldn't and asked what it was. He said it's because we own the cabin together so I signed it and asked for a copy --which he gave me.
He rushed us away and on the way home I read the copy and realized it was his mortgage!!! I immediately called him and questioned him and he got angry and hung up on me. He did say we weren't on the promissory note he signed to the bank so we weren't under any financial obligation. I got us our own lawyer and we created our own contract and had BIL and SIL sign it. We created some guidelines about the mortgage and selling. I also talked to BILs banker and he claimed this was indeed the situation and if BIL misses 1 payment we would be informed. My husband told BIL that if he was nasty to me we were out, plus he talked to the banker about the situation. The banker offered up a lot of financial info about BIL and that just infuriated him.
That was 12 years ago. I didn't go for 5 years (husband did) and fences seemed to be mended so I started to go again and loved it. Mind you, we didn't go together and it was like a time share.
My take on it all along has been that they just used us because they couldn't afford it -- of course they did. BIL and SIL had no down payment and not even $1.00 of equity so our paid half was their equity. The mortgage states if they can't pay the bank can claim the whole cabin after we have first choice of buying it. My H and I decided that is what we would do.
I have been wracking my brain and reading about mortgages, promissory notes and cabin sharing trying to figure out what scheme he could pull next.
I do want to keep it. If it gets too difficult we will get out of it. Actually, it is difficult, but now it's fall so maybe by next summer things will have been worked out.
New development: now they aren't talking to us at all. We tried to meet with them and it's a complete stonewall!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2021, 11:27:59 PM by Danie »

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Danie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2021, 11:35:18 PM »
Bunnie -- I found the packaging for the sheets in their drawer. I took a photo of it and messaged it to them. I wasn't being a jerk I was just saying maybe the kids did something. Since it was 2 flat sheets maybe the kids made a tent. I don't really even care that much about the sheets, if they had them mixed in with theirs I just wanted them back.
Yes they blow-up to deflect. And they act like victims, that's exactly what I said. Then they don't allow us to defend ourselves. My husband still loves his baby bro. That's a big part of the problem, but it's waning. H is getting tired of it.
I hate to say this and I don't know where it's coming from. I'm not a spiteful, jealous person at all, but I find myself wishing they ran out of money and had to get out of it. They have 3 teenagers and I don't want them to suffer, but I still envision it.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2021, 12:20:03 AM »
 :aaauuugh:

Well, that story certainly wins the prize for shameless, entitled, completely brazen behavior.

"My husband told BIL that if he was nasty to me we were out." Stonewalling counts as nasty in my book. Good luck.

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bunnie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2021, 06:15:16 PM »
Bunnie -- I wasn't being a jerk I was just saying maybe the kids did something. Since it was 2 flat sheets maybe the kids made a tent. I don't really even care that much about the sheets, if they had them mixed in with theirs I just wanted them back.
I don't think you were being a jerk either. And I understood your intention in asking.  They deliberately misunderstood and twisted it to put you on the defensive

I hate to say this and I don't know where it's coming from. I'm not a spiteful, jealous person at all, but I find myself wishing they ran out of money and had to get out of it. They have 3 teenagers and I don't want them to suffer, but I still envision it.
If you're anything like me, you're just envisioning a way for it all to be over so you can move on. I get that
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

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Danie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2021, 10:18:38 AM »
Bunnie -  :yes: :yes: :yes:


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Danie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2021, 08:46:11 PM »
So we finally had a cabin meeting. In case you haven't read the thread my post was about my SIL and her reaction to me asking about misplaced bed-sheets at a cabin we share. SIL has refused, for 13 years, to sit down and talk about how 2 families would share a cabin. She wrote me a couple nasty texts over the sheets and said we (myself and H) were always "faulting" them over the cabin.
The meeting was BIL and SIL and me and H. SIL showed up looking very pissed. She wouldn't talk, share appetizers or have a beer. She just looked down, pale and angry. It was awkward to get started, but we got the conversation going and actually talked about plans to build a new deck and some other maintenance issues. My H and BIL got on great. They have great chemistry and respect for each other.
Finally, it was time for SIL to air her grievances. Her H had to coax her to talk. She blew up. Talked fast, a little loud, very emotional and angry; very emphatic. She was nasty. It wasn't a measured planned effort to work things out it was her spewing her irrational thoughts.
Her complaints were, and the main reason we had a meeting were: quote to me "You wrote your initials on condiments in the refrigerator" and "You wrote your name on the bottom of a bowl in the cupboard", "that's not how you share a family cabin". She said she had to walk on eggshells because of me.  She said she spent an hour every time they arrived putting our belongings away and an hour before they left putting them back "exactly" where they were. She said she had to deny her little boy a bottle of water in the frig because it wasn't theirs. And she borrowed 1 pat of butter and had to go buy more to replace it.
She talked for quite a while and mentioned a few other things from years ago to build her case - things that were water under the bridge.
We did not (H and I) get defensive, but explained I wrote my initials on the condiments the one summer in 13 years so I could keep track of what we bought so we didn't use theirs. And that I wrote my name on a bowl because it was antique, as is the whole cabin, and I didn't want them to throw it out. When we purchased the cabin it was a resort and the sellers left a lot of stuff in the 8 cabins. BIL and SIL threw a lot of the older antiques out and I happen to like antiques - I never said anything about it.  After I explained the bowl she barked "it shouldn't be in the community cupboard!" We didn't even know how to respond about the bottle of water or butter. We always just buy a case and stock it.
I think it would be best to get out of this situation, but H wants to wait and see (also a good approach). I think she is just too, um I don't know, irrational to be able to share this. She also mentioned she was on medication for anxiety and depression. I have compassion for people who are struggling, but I also know I don't need to be entangled with someone like this. She has never been friendly to me and we still never figured out how to go about sharing!
H and I have nothing there, we take everything back home. Seriously, there's a windup alarm clock, 2 lamps, a couple cabin-related books, and that is it! We can't figure out what she has to put away. She is, by the way, a hoarder. Under one of the beds there's a lot of unnecessary stuff. Several extra quilts, toys, shoes, you name it, that she leaves there.
We also found out that some of their guests actually went and slept at other cabins the weekend the sheets were lost. Most likely they grabbed ours from our drawers when they went. I didn't dare suggest it, I think she would've assaulted me.

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bunnie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2021, 04:04:53 PM »
I'm sure it's a relief that the meeting finally took place. The SIL sounds irrational. And there's not much we can do with irrational people until they center themselves. She's got lots going on with the anxiety/depression and hoarding behaviors. I'd want out of the arrangement, too. The last thing you want is for the cabin to be a source of frustration and discord. It's certainly not the reason you purchased it.
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

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Danie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2021, 06:43:37 PM »
Thank you for the validation Bunnie. SIL also mentioned she is OCD which explains the irrationality, I think, and the concern about taking a bottle of water. I like how you said, "until she gets centered",  I think she is working on it.
The biggest problem is getting her to communicate --- we can't figure out why is so unwilling to talk, yet, we wondered if we regretted getting her to meet after she shocked us by having a meltdown (sorry-not to be offensive to anyone) I guess I should say she was very, very emotional.
My instinct is to cut and run, end it, but maybe it's not the best thing to do. Like my H said we need to wait and see.

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bunnie

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2021, 02:05:18 PM »
The wait and see approach with PD family members has had disastrous consequences for us. Determining your cutoff point based on SIL's communicating properly in the situation is a crap shoot. I'd recommend determining the cutoff point based on a dollar amount you're comfortable with.
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Indirect accusations from SIL
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2021, 02:31:19 PM »
Wait and see… Wait for what exactly? See what?

I’m not seeing the evidence that SIL is “working on it.” Or more to the point, the evidence that you will ever have a more amicable relationship than you do now. You ask very reasonably to talk about your shared property, you finally manage to arrange a meeting after years of stonewalling and outright deceit, and you are punished with a “meltdown,” a mess of DARVO word salad, and nothing whatsoever resolved in the end. You were afraid to mention the sheets, because SIL may have assaulted you. But wait and see? Bullocks.

They would lose the cabin if you pulled out and they have shown themselves more than capable of being utterly nasty to you. If they’ll stoop this low over really, very little, what would they do if you denied them the cabin? Is that hell worth paying? Or would you rather just deal with the hell of them walking all over you, as you’ve chosen to do for the last 13 years? I think that’s really the choice before you. If you’ve had enough of the status quo, it would be a declaration of war to them and they seem more than ready to fight dirty. Remorselessly tricking you into signing their mortgage, egads. If you pull out, how could you protect yourselves from the onslaught of smear campaigning and whatever other nasty tricks they would try?