Taken Advantage Of
9 years ago my in-laws made an offer to my wife and me that if we would pay to build them a small house, we would inherit that house plus the old 2 story house they were living in. We would also get the land of about 20 acres.
The verbal agreement was that we would spend about 14k to build them a house on the same property and we could do anything we wanted with the land etc. After the new house was complete we would pay them 300.00 a month rent until their death.
We accepted the deal and started paying $1000.00 amonth toward the new house. We bought a small trailer for 2 of our kids to live in with us and our other 2 kids would live in the 2 story house with the in-laws until the new house was completed.
We got along great and were building the new house, but after a while I saw that it was going to take more money than we agreed. But I was ok with that to a certain point because we would inherit it all anyway.
It got to where the in-laws did not consult me on any of the construction or where the money was spent but they just used our money and proceeded with building the house.
After about 3 years the father-in-law and I got into an argument about something that did not have anything to do with the house. I called him selfish and everything changed from that point forward.
When I got home from work that day he was drunk and pulled a knife on me and slashed and stabbed at me threatening to kill me. After things cooled down he wanted us to move but I pleaded with him to let us stay because we had so much money invested and what it would do to his daughter (my wife). He said as soon as we left if anyone mentioned her name he would say he didn't know her.
We ended up staying and continued to pay them every month and the house was finally finished. They put out rules for us and if we didn't like it then we could just move and sue them. We didn't want to do this because we thought we would end up owning it all anyway.
Some of the things we were not allowed to do was, hunt, fish, pull our auto on grass to wash it, kids couldn't ride their 4 wheeler etc. My wife's sister, husband and kids started coming over recently and they were able to do all the things we were not allowed to do and they even flaunted to my kids the things they were able to do.
We found out that the houses, land and everything will actually be left to my wife's sister and we get nothing. My wife, kids and my self have been extremely hurt by this hatefulness. I cannot understand how any man can do this to his own daughter. I have wanted to sue, report things I know to the IRS, and I know I could get my brother-in-law fired and put in jail for stealing from his company but my wife doesn't want me to.
She wants to put it all in the past and be the bigger person and just move on. I want revenge and I dwell on this and would love for them to get what they deserve. I am out about 80k that I paid them. They lost a wonderful daughter and 4 grand-kids so I guess they really lost but they don't seem to care. We don't speak anymore, since we moved a month ago.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story on this site. Wow, it sounds like things didn't work out at all like you expected or agreed on. I can sure see why that would make you angry, and why you would be wanting revenge. You were led to believe a lot of things that just didn't happen, and the fact that it was family makes it hurt all that much more.
Your wife's choice to move on certainly makes sense, but as you know that's not always easy to do.
Here are some things you can do, that will help. Nobody can get these folks to change and do the right thing, but you can certainly make some choices that will ease up your anger.
1) First, write a letter to your in-laws that you don't send. Say everything you want to say. Get it all out, and don't hold back.
2) Then, write down all of the choices that you made along the way that got you to where you are. When you fully take responsibility for your part of this, you will possibly feel less angry.
3) And finally, write about all of the ways you are going to be smarter because of this. List the lessons you learned and how you will make better choices in the future.
4) Every time your anger comes up, use the journaling exercises on this page to get your anger out in a healthy way.
5) And to shift your focus to the good things in your life, use the writing exercises on this page. That will help you to realize what's important--the good things in your life right now.
I know in your desire for revenge you really want to get back at these people, but you're smarter than that--that's why you told your story here instead of doing something destructive.
Make up your mind that you are going to be smarter and stronger in the future because of this experience. When bad things happen, you can decide to make it a good thing by learning all you can from it.
You're a good man. Make choices that match up with who you are inside.
My very best to you,