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Old 04-25-2010, 03:28 PM   #121
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...what is sad is that three kids are stuck in a situation of either the truth of the sandwich, or the lie of the sandwich.
Let's hope somewhere in this situation there is a hero...
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:00 PM   #122
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Let's hope somewhere in this situation there is a hero...
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:07 PM   #123
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+1 It is like watching someone commit suicide online and asking for our thoughts and help in the process.
Heh, and the responses have been a combination of "don't do it" and "here is the lethal dose of demerol."
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:14 PM   #124
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And we will not be aiding or abetting a suicide online.

The Associated Press: Minn. man charged with aiding suicides via the Web
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:16 PM   #125
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This whole thread is bizarre.
Hey man, I agree.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:30 PM   #126
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I had a lot of things to say about this, but none of it seems to work for me. This is sad and wrong. I thought that a possible solution here was for the husband to divorce her and take the kids, but I'm starting to think he has some functionality issues as well. That, or he's just no kid of man that I can empathize or sympathize with.
I didn't realize the mention of the sandwich would set off a debate!

It was one of those huge 2' suckers from the grocery store I think. So probably an ample brunch for 4. I'm sure they had SOME food around the house (asian people, so they had rice and soy sauce at a minimum). Just that I heard multiple comments from the husband that "things aren't like they used to be at our house" in regards to always having something to eat.

I don't think any of the intervention's invitees were expecting a meal - I actually mentioned "what to serve" in jest in this thread. But I was hungry and about to cook a steak for DW and I, then she suggested we don't have enough for SIL's husband and kids who arrived a few hours early (around 3 pm, intervention around 6 pm), so I switched it up last minute to a huge pot of spaghetti and sauce. I would feel just a tinge guilty gorging on steak in front of my BIL and nephews! But BIL was too proud to ask for anything to eat. We just made the food and asked him to eat with us. I know for 100% this was not a pity plea or some acting on his behalf - he's the one telling me NOT to give his gambling wife the $$.

I did realize some of where our food has been going. We always send a good bit of food to MIL's house each Monday to feed our kids for the week (who stay with MIL during the day). It seems to be a lot of food that we would send every week. Apparently the SIL would grab a little here and there to make something at home, and her 3 boys age 9-13 eat WAY more than me it seems (and I'm quite the glutton!) while they were staying at grandma's house along with my kids. Not a big deal though, since for years we have traded food back and forth if someone makes a lot of something or grows a lot of extra stuff in their gardens. I would rather provide food for my nephews than them starve.

That postponed steak dinner is calling me right now, so I'll post more later.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:43 PM   #127
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For all I know it might work out better financially and emotionally if you sink $100k into SiL over the coming year and have DW give up on her as opposed to arguing over $23k and collecting collateral and other things leading to a divorce. Or perhaps she'll pay back the $23k, she stops gambling, everyone's happy and you and DW are the heroes of the family. Or maybe DW washes her hands of sister after she stops paying back the $23k and needs another $5k.
DW and I are generally in agreement on this. DW's "she is my sister, I want to help her" voice is screaming louder than the "$23k is a lot of money" voice. I have tried to be the voice of reason. I have explained that even if we gave her money, it would not necessarily help, and it may actually make the problem worse, since it clears her debts to the gamblers, proves her credit history is solid with the gamblers and may let them lend $50,000 next time.

DW and I came to an agreement today of how to approach SIL with our decision. DW and I realize this is not directly our problem, and we refuse to let it put a wedge between us. But yes, I would rather lose $10k or $23k and keep DW happy even if I had to say "I told you so" later. But it most likely won't come to that.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:45 PM   #128
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I'm not criticizing, just surprised that someone of your caliber of posts is heading down this road. If this is emotion or family ties being favored over logic then I comprehend the reasoning. But you haven't really addressed your reasoning over why you think it's better to enable an addict than to force them to stop causing their problems.
This is basically my reasoning. The desire (partly mine, mostly DW's) to help family is very strong. But the desire to not enable continued gambling is strong too. And the desire to not lose a bunch of money on a wasteful purpose (enabling a gambling addict) is strong.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:07 PM   #129
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So to answer the question, how did the intervention go?

It was fairly short, maybe 1.5 hours. Most of it was not in English, so I only gathered what happened during parts of it after it was over. SIL gambler basically promised to not gamble any more to her mother and to us. She says she knows it is embarrassing to the family and has hurt her immediate family and put them in a bad spot.

But she did not seem apologetic, sorry, or remorseful in her actions. It really did seem like she was pissed that she has to come groveling before her family to ask for money to bail her out. Overall, I have the gut feeling that she isn't quite over gambling yet. She says that if we don't help her now, she is afraid of the temptation to go back and gamble more to try to get out of her gambling debt. On top of that, when I asked her to go to her gambling creditors and tell them she is flat broke and just can't pay them the interest, she says that she just can't do that. This statement doesn't make sense to me, since if she is really done with gambling, what is to keep her from telling her gambling "friends" the truth??

The gambling debt (that she has admitted to at least) was just shy of $22,000. $12,000 was owed to one couple without provision for interest. $5500 owed to a 2nd person. $2500 owed to a third person. $1500 owed to a fourth person. The $5500 and $2500 amounts carry 10% interest. That's per month.

I stated at the intervention that I am not making a decision on the spot about lending any money. That DW and I would have to discuss it first given the amount of money. DW's and SIL's mother (my MIL) agreed to pay the $12000 debt out of her own savings, and not charge SIL any interest. The remaining $10,300 (the $9500 principal plus $800 in various interest) was suggested to be loaned from us. MIL agreed to indemnify us if SIL missed any payments. The terms discussed were $500 a month and 18% interest, which would take 2 years for us to get repaid, then MIL's $12000 would take another 2 years.

We discussed their finances and income. Lots of CC debt - $500 monthly minimum payments. Which means $20,000-40000 principal amounts owed. Mortgage is $1600 a month. No car payments. All together, their somewhat variable monthly income would allow them very little room to pay for much after this extra $500 gambling debt repayment is included. But if they cut corners and reduced spending a lot, they could probably barely manage it.

SIL's husband did not want to sign title of the car or house over to us (sensible!). He has a $7000 gold necklace that will be consumed in an emergency (this isn't an emergency to him). He's looking at step 2 if he has to leave the SIL if things get really bad.

So we left the intervention with MIL agreeing to pay the $12000 debt. No agreement for DW and I to pay anything.

I have discussed her behavior with SIL's husband and he's not convinced she is done either. The first 10% interest is due in 2 weeks, then the next one in six weeks from now. DW and I decided on a course of action. No money in the next 2 weeks. If SIL actually stops gambling for the next six weeks AND attends gambler's anonymous weekly, we will consider helping with the $10,300. She is responsible for figuring out the 10% interest between herself and her creditors - renegotiate if she can.

This was explained to SIL, and she basically balked at the suggestion to attend Gambler's Anon. I kept explaining to her over and over that gambling to get our of your gambling debt is NEVER the right approach. She can stop now, repay these people, and get out of the game so to speak. And keep her family intact and keep her house and car, husband and kids.

Hopefully she will have six weeks to think about it, and make some steps to improve herself. In the meantime, she will have a hard time borrowing more from the creditors that she is just paying 10% interest to and no principal. We will see how it goes and think about it again in 5-6 weeks.

Anything she does from here on won't surprise me. I'm not sure what to think that she will do. But so far no money has left my pocket, which is a good thing. I think the intervention and the stern discussion I had with her today has opened her eyes to the fact that what she is doing is very serious and damaging, and she needs to make a decision to stop the gambling. What she does from here is her choice.

DW is basically on board with me, but more willing to help out financially. But we are holding fast for 6 weeks. We tried to tell MIL that she is potentially enabling SIL and forking over a big share of her life's savings to bail out the extremely irresponsible behaviors of her daughter. "But she is family". What can you do?
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:24 PM   #130
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He has a $7000 gold necklace that will be consumed in an emergency (this isn't an emergency to him).
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DW is basically on board with me, but more willing to help out financially. But we are holding fast for 6 weeks.
I think the above statements are the key. It seems as if your BIL does not fear physical retaliation. Hopefully this is the case and perhaps your wife will have greater peace of mind (as I am a woman, that is the way I would feel).

Meanwhile the six weeks will enable you both to breathe a bit and see things more clearly. As I said before, what is best for you and your wife is what matters; peace in your own home.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:27 PM   #131
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But she did not seem apologetic, sorry, or remorseful in her actions. It really did seem like she was pissed that she has to come groveling before her family to ask for money to bail her out.
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$10,300 (the $9500 principal plus $800 in various interest) was suggested to be loaned from us.
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SIL's husband did not want to sign title of the car or house over to us (sensible!). He has a $7000 gold necklace that will be consumed in an emergency (this isn't an emergency to him).
If it is not an emergency to her husband, it probably isn't an emergency to you. You probably have other things you might like to use your money for, too. Maybe you would like to buy a nice gold necklace of your own (or something else). With $10,300, you could buy a bigger gold necklace than his.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:29 PM   #132
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Looks like the intervention went well. Especially the part about the stern discussion to open her eyes about how serious it is. What she will do, as you said, is up in the air, but it's good to know that everyone is clear that what she does is up to her.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:54 PM   #133
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How are you going to verify that she doesn't gamble for the 6 week period? You certainly can't take her word for it...
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:55 PM   #134
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I think the above statements are the key. It seems as if your BIL does not fear physical retaliation.
Well for sure this is one interpretation.

ha
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:29 PM   #135
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I hate to be cold about this but sometimes the best thing you can do is . . . nothing.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:41 PM   #136
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Sounds to me like nothing has changed.... except a dinner with the family...

She has not 'admitted' to herself that she has a problem... she has lied to her family that she does... but they all do...

If she is not willing to get treatment... this is all I would need to know... no 6 weeks.. no money... no nothing...

And like I said a long time ago... if they are not willing to 'feel the pain' by losing a car or the gold etc.... why should 'I' feel any...

The SIL's husband seem to be the only one who is doing the right thing... and everybody else is being an enabler.....

Fuego... I know why you are doing it... because of your wife... but why help your wife do something destructive to her sister And maybe even destructive to your marriage...
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:53 PM   #137
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A bit more about my gambling uncle...

To my knowledge, he never admitted to having a problem, never admitted any guilt. Yes, his wife left him, and it is a good thing that one of his children took him in, else he would be homeless. They are living in a different state, and I still see him once every few years, at family functions like funerals or weddings. We have little in common, though we would make good conversations whenever we meet. As far as I know, his gambling finally stopped some years ago, when he was thoroughly broke and could not ask anybody for any more handout.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:02 PM   #138
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How are you going to verify that she doesn't gamble for the 6 week period? You certainly can't take her word for it...
We will know if she is out all night Saturday nights and Sunday all day. Everyone is on the look out, and you can't really keep secrets. We will never know for sure, but she won't be able to go out to parties without someone knowing, and through the grapevine we will hear.

Her attitude in six weeks is really what I'm looking at as much as the ceasing the gambling.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:14 PM   #139
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Sounds to me like nothing has changed.... except a dinner with the family...

She has not 'admitted' to herself that she has a problem... she has lied to her family that she does... but they all do...

If she is not willing to get treatment... this is all I would need to know... no 6 weeks.. no money... no nothing...

And like I said a long time ago... if they are not willing to 'feel the pain' by losing a car or the gold etc.... why should 'I' feel any...

The SIL's husband seem to be the only one who is doing the right thing... and everybody else is being an enabler.....

Fuego... I know why you are doing it... because of your wife... but why help your wife do something destructive to her sister And maybe even destructive to your marriage...
Apparently most of her gold is gone. Only $2-3k worth left and her mother is keeping it right now. She has sold the rest over the years.

The fact that she refuses to go to Gamblers Anon does concern me. But she could also agree to go just to put on appearances. I think it might help her see her problem from another angle. But again, she has to be ready for that.

I think SIL hearing me say "Your sister and I just don't trust you" should hammer home what we see in her right now. This view of her is RADICALLY different than what we thought of her just 1 week ago. She is named in our will to take care of our kids should DW and I meet our simultaneous untimely demise. We did have the forethought to name my parents as financial conservators of all assets to be held for our kids (my parents are just better with money generally). The severity of the gambling thing is like a bombshell to us.

I do think SIL's husband is the most noble actor in all this, and I'm trying to follow his lead for the most part. He says he wants to see her gambling free for at least 9 months (till after Christmas) before he declares her "cured".
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:36 PM   #140
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Time for some music...

I have posted this favorite song of mine before. It's one of a few that I have to listen to every so often, ever since my adolescent years. This version of a folk song is by The Animals, although Bob Dylan's version is also popular.
My father was a gamblin' man
Down in New Orleans

Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and trunk
And the only time he's satisfied
Is when he's on a drunk

Oh mother tell your children
Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the House of the Rising Sun


By the way, the singer, Eric Burdon, born in 1941, is still alive.

PS. My gambling uncle was also a mild alcoholic.
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