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I got married to a Polish wife; Polish family advice needed

OP Gunners 1 | 7  
3 Jan 2008 /  #31
Some excellent points here from Buddy & Patrycja especially.

I think the key thing is the refusal of the daughters to confront the parents over their problems. I call a spade a spade, but i'm excluded from these discussions. I also find in this situation that the solutions put forward are just the cowardly, easy way out. I think they need tough love.

My wife isnt lazy, but my problem is with the parents who need "re-educating". I think the daughters are being lied too, and dont know the full extent of their problems.

I have been married to my wife for just under a year. She didnt tell me through embarassment.

I didnt sign a pre-nup, but i keep my finances separate anyway from her, so we dont have any accounts or assets in joint names. Maybe if she does turn into her mother, i will atleast control the finances so our situation wont mirror theres.
gode - | 1  
2 Mar 2008 /  #32
Just take heart and keep rolling with ya wife but cut the parents off you and dont pay any money to any one debt good luck
jones101 1 | 349  
2 Mar 2008 /  #33
Do you love your wife? If you do and her parents truly need help you should help them. Sure is could be nonsense...but it could also be people in a bad way. your wife could have been embarrassed to tell you.(ah just read your later post where you said that...)

This is not about Polish, English or whatever...this is about the family of who is supposed to be the most important person in your life. I am shocked you have to ask if you SHOULD help. Re-education at 60 ain't gonna happen. Marriage is a PARTNERSHIP and at some point you WILL need something from your wife...then what if you don't help her. Plus unless things are very tight for you...50 pounds a month max is not that much.

It is easy to judge people when you are healthy and when things are ok for you. When you are older and have problems I promise you will look at the world differently. When I was young and knew everything I had the attitude that "people should just get off their ass and work!" but as I have matured and seen life all over the world I know now it is not that simple.

You have the right to help or not help...but you do not have the right to judge them nor do any of the know it all posters here.

Those of you that say cut them off...when you need help in the future you should not accept any help from anyone ever...that would only the fair right?

Gunners you seem like a good guy or you would not even be torn over'd just say screw it. I think you will do the right thing and help some old folks out.
wojobeada - | 8  
3 Mar 2008 /  #34
By paying, you would be enabling this nonsense and I would most vehemently say, do not do it. If your wife wants to get a job and help them live their lifestyle, that would be her choice.

The situation would be very different if the parents themselves were working and trying to help themselves. Since they are not, you can only assume that they are looking for whatever handouts they can get.
Mali - | 300  
3 Mar 2008 /  #35
First of all, you're in a really difficult position and there is no easy answer. Do what you think is best for you and your wife. You should also think about your future (ie are they going to suddenly need more money down the road?). I know that 200zl isn't that much money to give in a month but at the same time, you're a newlywed with a single income and may need that money down the future when you have kids.

In my honest opinion, I wouldn't help them, for a while at least until you get to know them better. Then you'll know if they're plights are real or they're trying to manipulate you. You shouldn't have to feel responsible for the debts that other people acquired. Also, your wife should have told you the situation. Even if she was embarrassed about it, she should have told you. If she's comfortable enough to marry you, she should be comfortable to tell you that her parents are dependent on the children.

My parents moved from Poland to Canada in the late 1980s, one of the reasons being that my fathers parents also expected my parents to hand over their income. Their demands became ridiculous and even now when we go visit them, they expect loads of presents and cash. They're constantly calling us and complaining about their poverty (never mind that we've been there and have seen that they live pretty comfortably!!). Eventually my parents learned how much they could give them and how much to refuse to help them.

And no, I'm not saying that all old Polish people are users (I know tons of generous Polaks!) but that there are people out there that will try to use others for every last penny.

Good luck!
jones101 1 | 349  
3 Mar 2008 /  #36
I am glad none of you are my family. Talk about a bunch of selfish people.

Mark my day you will need help from people and if you will surely accept it...hypocrites.
Bla - | 27  
6 Mar 2008 /  #37
My wife is not an open type, talking about private things is very difficult for her and still i knew about her family problems long time before we got married... So if your wife didn't tell you earlier it's like "he won't have a choice later". And I think that in fact this is why you should have free choice now, because you hadn't one before and your wife should understand this. She just wasn't honest with you and that's not a good way to start marriage.

Now... Her parents can be in really hard situation, in some regions, at their age getting a job is almost like a miracle, if they don't have good education etc. But still, 40k is a lot of money... If they are taking loans without thinking, they will do it again. You don't get 40k debt living a normal way. And helping family is quite normal (life isn't easy in Poland), but it can't be constant help and not this way "don't ask why, they just need help". If you are not part of the family enough to know why they have problems etc. you shouldn't be the one who's paying too. I quess it would have take them quite a few years to be 40k short if they were responsible, so i quess something is really wrong and you wouln't like to end up giving them money all the time for sure.

(Sorry for my english)
lowfunk99 10 | 397  
6 Mar 2008 /  #38
Does she expect you to solve her parents problems?
Mali - | 300  
6 Mar 2008 /  #39
Also, I wanted to add, aren't they getting 'renta'? My grandmother has been getting her retirement money for ages now (she worked on a farm so I think they retire a little earlier than the city folks). She lives on her own off of 400zl a month and still manages to save money. Poland may not be the riches country or a 'land of opportunity' but that doesn't mean that its impossible to live off of a small income.

My wife is not an open type, talking about private things is very difficult for her and still i knew about her family problems long time before we got married... So if your wife didn't tell you earlier it's like "he won't have a choice later". And I think that in fact this is why you should have free choice now, because you hadn't one before and your wife should understand this. She just wasn't honest with you and that's not a good way to start marriage.

Excellent post.
jones101 1 | 349  
6 Mar 2008 /  #40
Does she expect you to solve her parents problems?

No she wants help for her family that is in a bad way. Again I will say I am surprised how cynical and elfish so many of you are.

If your parents totally ignored or abused you then you have an excuse...but most of you had parent's that did a lot for you...most times more than you realize...and this is how you act. And it doesn't matter if it is your spouse's parents. When you get married you become a pair and share each other's problems AND successes.
Bla - | 27  
6 Mar 2008 /  #41
It's not cynical and not selfish... It's common sense. There are some things you should know before the marriage... "I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier honey... but I have AIDS... So... now we share ;) ". If he knew about the problems and still decided to do it, it would be somewhat different, don't you think?

Living in Poland i know too well, how some families act. Sitting on their asses, doing nothing and acting proud because their daughter married some "rich" American/etc. and thinking its someones DUTY to send them money...

Look at the situation. They already sold the house to pay their debts (what f****g debts they had, to have to sell the house??). They still live in it of course, not paying i guess... great deal. And again they are 40k short. It doesn't look like a hard situation to me at all. It looks like someone is living at the expense of others and doesn't even try to change that. Why her mom doesn't work at all? She could look after some child, many people need that and gladly hire older women, who know how to take care of the kid. She would get at least 500 zl and it's not a hard work. I guess they get some money too from some institutions etc. I really don't understand why they have so much debts, it's not normal. 240k for the house + 40k now, almost 300k... it's a LOT of money, personally i don't know anyone who would have such insane problems. So I'm guessing money isn't their real problem and it would be good to know what's that really about. If he's right and it's alcohol problem, they will spend the money anyway instead of paying off the loans.

As i wrote earlier, helping the family is good, but it can't cross the line. And you say that parents do much for you, so you owe them. In fact, their parents also did some things for them before, cause its normal. But having kids to pay for you isn't.
jones101 1 | 349  
6 Mar 2008 /  #42
Maybe they are lazy...but maybe there are medical issues or things nobody here understands yet everyone jumps on the 'lazy' bandwagon without giving them the benefit of the doubt and that is VERY cynical.

In my life members of my family AND myself have been in very bad situations through no fault of our own and without caring people to help us we would be homeless or dead.

It is very easy to sit and judge people needed help when you don't...when you are on the other side you will eat your words.
Davey 13 | 388  
6 Mar 2008 /  #43
I would help and have helped my parents whether I wanted to or not, they are the people that raised me, of course she would feel obligated to help them.
janekb - | 57  
9 Mar 2008 /  #44
Is it really debtor prison in 21century Poland? I know of people being evicted for not paying rent and no social agencies to help.
It seems that we have bare knuckled capitalism ruling Poland now, quite upsetting.
Regardless, I would not hurry with any help. Check first what are real consequences of not paying. If anything, I will help these poor bastards, but not on regular bases (it cannot be a pension). Possibly paying a utility bills so these will not be cut off.

Do not expect anything in return, if it makes you feel good to do it, than help them, otherwise do not take it as your problem. You would not be able to fix the world.
Buddy 7 | 167  
9 Mar 2008 /  #45
I'm learning quickly just how much family means in Poland, it seems to be an all or nothing sort of situation. Coming from a small fractured family unit, this overwhelming suffocating soap opera that is Polish family life, is taking some getting used to. Not least for my missus who spent the last 7 years away from them. I can dig exactly why she went to the UK, I think I would have gone to Australia.

Anyhow, it seems life has more general drama than in the UK.

Having read the other posts, I think perhaps straight talking is exactly what it needs. Even if it all goes to ****, at least you spoke your mind. I would help, but I'd do it with conditions. These people are your in laws, where as you love your wife unconditionally, your inlaws, it should be conditional love.

Remember your duty its to your immediate family.

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