WWSTWD – growing resentment towards wife and daughter…

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  • WWSTWD – growing resentment towards wife and daughter…
  • Hi All – sorry long one and probably more of a rant, vent, outpouring!…

    I’m struggling with this one and a big part of me feels I’m being a petulant child, but I can’t help feeling resentment towards my wife and to a lesser extent my daughter (as it’s not really her fault) for the financial pressure her pony is putting on us. Summary of the time frame and background…

    My wife has always been involved in horses and ridden since she could walk and stopped riding when she had our daughter 16 years ago. I always knew the involvement would never go away completely as its bred into some people, but as a family we’ve never had the funds to have our own.

    My daughter had been having riding lessons, volunteering at a local riding school and riding a pony for someone who’d lost interest. All this worked fine as it wasn’t too costly.

    Move forward to May last year – we lost my wife’s dad who died unexpectedly to a heart related problem and a month or so later the owner of the pony my daughter was riding on loan announced they were going to have to sell the pony.

    Of course emotions were running high and my daughter was very upset – but we kind of placated her. Then my mother-in-law announces that ‘sod-it – I’ll buy the pony for her’. And boom – it was a done deal. Now this is the time I should have said no way, not a chance, but the time wasn’t right for that argument with a funeral imminent.

    Moving forward we’ve had the pony for ten months now – it’s costing £250 a month in livery and feed. It had a to have an operation 6 weeks ago which wasn’t covered by insurance (£1500), we swapped a perfectly good reliable old car for an old CRV so we could tow a trailer (another £4000 outlay).

    And now the turbo has gone on this CRV and we’re looking at another £1400 to repair or swapping the car and more outlay.

    We’re both 50 and we’ve had a hard time financially over the last 10 years and during the last couple of years we’d got to the stage of being comfortable again. The next ten years where supposed to be about consolidating – paying the mortgage off and the odd foreign holiday again etc.

    Now this ruddy pony is sucking all the spare money out of the household.

    I’m keeping things in but I just feel like bloody exploding. But again, not a good time for that as my daughter is preparing for her final GCSE exams, and my wife hasn’t got over her fathers death (and the year anniversary is coming up)

    I know there aren’t any easy answers, but it feels kind of better to write it down to a bunch of strangers! 🙂

    finbar
    Member

    Glue factory.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I think you need a sensible chat with your wife and daughter, but well done for venting here first and not at them, because I suspect the situation needs a delicate touch.

    Is your mother in law prepared to pay for the upkeep of rhe pony she landed you with?

    No?

    Sell the pony.

    philjunior
    Member

    I think you have to sensitively and without making it threatening explain how you feel and why to your wife.

    Make sure you listen to her answer and show you’ve understood it, but be clear about your emotions if they’re not changed.

    Acknowledge the ways you are maybe blaming other people for stuff that you could have some more control over – livery and feed is going to be pricey, for instance, but you didn’t really have to spend £4k extra to get a serviceable car capable of towing, did you?

    Obviously there are things that will hopefully relieve this just around the corner, your daughter might be in a position to earn some money to pay for the pony soon, and you’d have every right (after proper discussion with your wife, presenting a united front) to ask her to contribute and pay all costs in not that long.

    Your feelings are reasonable, by the way, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice everything for a teenage daughter to take up her mum’s hobby. Regarding your wife still grieving, that’s understandable but it seems like you feel this is being used against you somehow? Be sensitive, but don’t allow this to close the conversation!

    gfsracing
    Member

    If the MTB cost that much money no problem

    Smack the pony

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Resentment is a pretty strong word for how you should be feeling. Whilst you may be a bit irritated by this, resentment…. that’s harsh IMO.

    theboatman
    Member

    I would say let it fester a good while longer, then one evening after a fair quantity of booze, raise it in a totally unplanned and ill concieved way. Just be sure you have a concrete outcome you wish to achieve and don’t let any discussion deter you from that outcome.

    Isn’t that what everyone does?

    johndoh
    Member

    Can your daughter get a part time job to help support the costs of running the pony? Can the pony be used at the stables by other riders (who would pay for it)? I know that at the stables my daughter rides at (costs us £80 a month just for the lessons and no way is she getting her own horse despite asking many, many times) that people allow their own horses to be used in lessons (both private and for people with learning disabilities as part of a local programme the school is involved with). This allows them to offset the cost of stabling and also means the horses get ridden regularly.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Is your mother in law prepared to pay for the upkeep of rhe pony she landed you with?

    No?

    Sell the mother in law.

    Ftfy

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    Proper grown up chat with your Wife is needed so you can present a united front to the Daughter.

    That really is a lot of money per month for the upkeep.

    Also, what perchy said. MiL landed you in this, ask her to sort it out.

    I thought hard before putting resentment but the dictionary definition is pretty much spot-on…

    “to feel angry because you have been forced to accept someone or something that you do not like”.

    I coming from a background of growing up with horses and seeing the obsession with them wreck marriages (2 marriages in my sister-in-laws case) and many family relationships.

    My daughter did get a job at Christmas working in a local pub and now pays for the shoeing and any small bits of tack she wants.

    I should also add – the mother-in-law had a fall on Wednesday and had a new hip fitted yesterday! So fun times! 🙂

    scud
    Member

    I think the conversation needs to be had with your wife sooner than later otherwise things will only get worse.

    I sympathise,my mum is horse obsessed, but after divorcing my dad, she worked on minimum wage at a care home, but had to keep the horse, whilst i paid her mortgage most months, almost snuck into the field with a bolt gun a few times.. the stupid thing was that my mum didn’t even ride it for the last 6 years of its life as she got spooked having fallen off

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    You may find it helpful to watch the episode of the Simpsons that has this exact plot

    tomparkin
    Member

    Assuming you want to leave out the drunken rant option, the approaches would seem to be either:

    A. Make peace with the situation. Sure, the pony is costly, but hey, it’s only money! You might get hit by a bus tomorrow! Your daughter will likely be off to Uni or what have you in a couple of years, so why not spoil her while you have her? Arguments along these lines.

    B. Broach the subject with your wife. “Darling, I thought you wanted to pay off the mortgage so we could retire before our seventies? Oh, and weren’t we hoping to go to the South of France this year? I’m not sure we can manage it with this turbo bill for the horse-waggon…”.

    Personally I’d be going with B, and even if that eventually resulted in A, at least we’d have had the discussion and I’d feel better about it.

    johndoh
    Member

    You may find it helpful to watch the episode of the Simpsons that has this exact plot

    Wasn’t that an elephant 🙂

    Tell your daughter she needs to get a weekend job to pay for HER pony, otherwise its being sold as you and your wife cannot afford to keep it.

    poah
    Member

    Divorce and move out.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    What Perchy said. Playing devil’s advocate: if you have something you can’t afford to keep then there’s only one real solution, isn’t there.

    If you sell it, is there anything stopping you from going back to the previous arrangement? Paying a little for her to ride other folks’ horses like she did before you owned one, rather than just “sorry love, no more horsing around for you.”

    Failing that, if the daughter was paying to ride the pony when it wasn’t hers, can you not do the same thing and make a bit of coin back by renting it out to others?

    Nico
    Member

    How much joy is the horse bringing to your daughter? Is it worth £250 a month (forget all that stuff about the car and turbo which is a red herring)? Your daughter is a couple of years away from going off to uni etc. so is it worth ditching the horse for a couple of years holidays and a bit more dosh for you?

    kayla1
    Member

    Is your mother in law prepared to pay for the upkeep of rhe pony she landed you with?

    No?

    Sell the pony.

    This, or horse is nice cooked medium rare with chips if that helps at all.

    PJM1974
    Member

    Good grief, I sympathise with the OP and hope that it gets sorted.

    Your MiL though that she was doing the right thing by buying Dobbin outright, but perhaps you and your partner should discuss the ongoing costs with her to ask if she would consider assisting with the upkeep.

    Keep talking to your partner and try to find common ground, it may be that you both agree to encourage your daughter to contribute to Dobbin’s costs by taking up a part time job. It could be that your partner and daughter make the decision to send Dobbin to the Bostik factory if they have part responsibility for sharing costs.

    I hope that it resolves itself.

    spekkie
    Member

    Ponies are so out-dated. From midnight she can have a free unicorn . . .

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    This, or horse is nice cooked medium rare with chips if that helps at all.

    Only the better cuts, the rest will need stewing or a long slow cook to be melt in the mouth.

    Thanks all – some good ways to approach the issue.

    Your daughter is a couple of years away from going off to uni etc. so is it worth ditching the horse for a couple of years holidays and a bit more dosh for you?

    🙂 She’s aiming for an equine university to do a degree in horse physio!!!

    I know really the problem is in my head and I need to deal with somehow. And it’s a classic case of 1st world problems.

    We can afford the pony – we’re still paying the bills and not getting in to debt. It just means nothing is getting saved now and any overpayments on the mortgage have stopped. And any chance of my mid-life crisis sports-car have gone!

    As for my daughter getting pleasure from it – she’s obsessed. She’s not al ‘all show’ pony club girl. She spends hours with the pony in all the muck and filth all weathers.

    …and that’s another thing – the house is starting to get that horse smell now! 🙂

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    What they said, but if you’re near Cardiff I can probably help with the car.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Subscriber

    I’d go for Tom’s B above combined with the option of part time job after GCSEs are done and/or rent a donkey as suggested by others.

    I’d certainly want to tough it through to July as far as daughter was concerned but you might want to be priming your partner now.

    I’d also add that you have a right to be setting yourself up for retirement. Once basic needs are met then the rest of it is striking a balance. We all compromise for our kids but it’s not all one way. When I was a kid there were always limits. At your daughter’s age I sailed and I saved up to buy a second hand Laser dinghy at your daughter’s age. Financial contribution for expensive hobbies are imo reasonable.

    Premier Icon scaled
    Subscriber

    Ahahahahahahahaha

    There’s a reason that i’m allowed to laugh at you…

    Say hello to Captain Blue

    He’s got cataracts in both eyes, arthritis in his hind quarters and for all that, he’s happy as larry even at some point in his mid 20s. He’s here for the long haul though, my wife has owned him
    for over 20 years…

    Despite the financial drain the whole family love the daft sod, two of my 3 kids regularly plod about on him (vet says he’s not supposed to trot any more while being ridden) and have recently got into some internet video dressage thing that has a walking only class.

    If that’s really what they want to put their time/money into then the only way you’re going to survive is to get on board (not literally). I squeeze a ride in when they head down to the stables and have recently been slowed down by my 4 year old wanting to ride his bike to the stables with me.

    It’s all getting outdoors at the end of the day, yeah you’ve had some crap luck with vets bills and the car breaking down but things should get better.

    philjunior
    Member

    We can afford the pony – we’re still paying the bills and not getting in to debt. It just means nothing is getting saved now and any overpayments on the mortgage have stopped.

    As for my daughter getting pleasure from it – she’s obsessed. She’s not al ‘all show’ pony club girl. She spends hours with the pony in all the muck and filth all weathers.

    It kinds sounds worth it then. You probably still need to talk to your wife if it’s upsetting you though, just make sure she realises that you see what your daughter gets from it.

    koldun
    Member

    If i remember rightly (from knowing so horse-owning types) shared ownership of ponies and horses is a thing, it might be worth looking into as if you can half the costs you might be able to make everyone happy.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    What’s the pony’s remaining life expectancy?

    Can your daughter share ownership of the pony with another kid?

    Will it be a genuine help to her in her planned career? Will she have to go to uni or will her discovering her passion in life already save her £50k of debt or whatever?

    My wife has 2 ponies, she rents a 2 acre field for £60 a month and the odd bag of food…hay is the biggest expense in the winter about £3.50 a day but that’s seasonal…and those costs are for 2 ponies. Maybe look at not keeping it on livery?

    Still I started to add up once what they cost a year then thought better of it!

    Atleast discuss calmly with your wife how you feel before you all explode. There will be another side to this story. You might change your mind, they might compromise.

    Will it be a genuine help to her in her planned career? Will she have to go to uni or will her discovering her passion in life already save her £50k of debt or whatever?

    The Uni thing is the one thing I’ve insisted on – if she’s going to go into the equine industry it’s going to be at a decent level. There are far too many kids who start at a stable and drift along being grooms on minimum wage and end up with knackered bodies by the time they are 40.

    You’re gonna need a bigger patio

    ransos
    Member

    We can afford the pony – we’re still paying the bills and not getting in to debt. It just means nothing is getting saved now and any overpayments on the mortgage have stopped. And any chance of my mid-life crisis sports-car have gone!

    You can afford it and your daughter will be leaving home in a couple of years, so you’re not saddled with the costs for long. Can’t you change tack and pony up?

    I’d like to point out here that were this a dog instead of a horse that was bringing your daughter (whom I presume you love and want to be happy?) so much happiness, I suspect the majority of the replies would be very different… And really, our horses (we have four) are just as much our pets as the dogs are – they have just as much personality, character and individuality, and are as much a part of the family.
    Whilst your daughter has her horse, she is being responsible, is out in the fresh air and learning the value of hard work and commitment.
    If it’s not putting you in debt and you’re not struggling, suck it up princess.. 😉

    Blackflag
    Member

    If its causing resentment you do need to do something about it.

    But rather than address the issue head on about what to do now, try and get those involved to come up with a longer term plan that you can live with. Once you know that the issue is quantified and you can see an end point in a few years then it will be easier to live with.

    johnx2
    Member

    ^^^
    Or it will just nag.

    Premier Icon bruk
    Subscriber

    I take it the pony is only on part and not full livery? Are there cheaper yards in the area that you could move to? A rented field sounds like a great idea but then you lose access to Menage’s and all the other bits that a decent livery yard has and may have to buy a field shelter. Difficult to cut costs other ways than renting the pony out for lessons if that’s an option?

    The equine bug bites very deep in some (my wife being one of them). On the plus side when I’m recruiting staff I always like it if they have an equine background as usually it means they have learnt about hard work when mucking out in all weathers etc and are usually grafters so it will stand her in good stead in the future.

    Has she thought about Veterinary Nursing (can be done as degree course now)as can the specialise in Equine afterwards and probably gives a wider choice than equine physio of career options?

    scarlett
    Member

    First of all you need to sit down and actually have a conversation with your wife about how you feel.

    Honestly yes it seems a bit petulant. Are you sure its not got anything to do with the fact your wife and daughter have a thing they do together that you aren’t involved in rather than the actual cost etc? I have seen that a lot with horse owners husbands, including a friend whos daughter shares one of my horses and who’s dad has also come a bit resentful as he feels he doesnt see them as much (and his dinner isnt on the table two evenings a week…)

    You’ve said you can afford it. £250 a month isnt a lot for horse livery, I certainly pay more. Hobbies cost money. If your daughter was playing football, or dancing, or swimming, or doing gymnastics it would cost money. Would you feel the same way if it was a hobby you were involved in?

    Your daughter has gotten a job to help with the costs and is partaking in a hobby that gets her outside (not stuck behind a screen or on a phone) and teaches her hard work, determination, sacrifice and dedication. She will develop a work ethic like no other and learn to be unselfish with her time. Would you rather you broke her heart, sold the pony – who is probably her best friend in the whole wide world – and she retreated to her room?

    Also your wife. Bereavement and grief are horrendous. I know there have been days in my life where the only reason I havent ended it all was the fact I had to get to the yard and see to my horses. They have been with me through the toughest of times and are often the only reason I am able to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

    Your giving your daughter a way to make her dreams come true, teaching her life lessons and creating memories she will treasure. Instead of getting the hump why not try to get involved? Go to the yard. Ask about her lessons. Help bring in. Make an effort to understand its importance to your family. You might be surprised.

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