Today my father asked me if I could lend him money and I said no, which made him sad which made me sad.
A backstory seems appropriate.
My father has worked nearly all his life, saved up money and sold his business almost 10 years ago, hoping to retire. Things didn't work out that way. My mother died and shortly after he returned to his homeland to pick up his life again. He met someone there who he now lives together with. She has a daughter. He bought a house, car and everything. I didn't mind. It's his life and money after all.
As my father was quickly depleting his 'pension', he decided to start a few businesses there, but they all failed which costed more money. The stock market plummeted around that time, which didn't do any good. He asked me to wire money a few times, in the range of a few thousands, from his/our bank account that I use to pay the mortgage and other bills here and my living expenses, and I obliged. My father isn't the most cost effective person I know - my mother was usually the one to sort out the financials. I imagine he had a few hiccups which he needed to sort out. Perhaps I should have intervened at this point, but he was in another country and I had to worry about my studies.
Two years back he said he had to sell the house here to pay for his living expenses abroad. The mortgage was almost paid off so it'd have fetched a hefty amount, were it not the housing market crashed. He needed the money and since the house couldn't be sold on short term, I told him to take a second mortgage loan, around half the amount of the house price at that point. He took 2/3rds of that and left the other third for me to pay the bills. Things were back to normal. I added that he should be more careful when spending money, since he doesn't have a steady income.
Fast forward to present day, the house is still up for sale, he used up all his money abroad and asks me to wire money again. This has happened a few times, so I started to question him. He's trying to start a new business and needs the money to open the place. Since he still needs to pay the now increased mortgage here, which I've calculated can last us a year at most, coupled with past failed businesses, I said no. I inherited 1/4th of the house, so it's not like I don't have anything to say on the matter. Suffice to say we had a bit of an argument. I can tell he feels lost and abandoned.
This has a bit of a history. In the past, when his business was booming, he lend our relatives amounts in the thousands, maybe tens of thousands. No questions asked. Now that he's in financial trouble himself, they refuse to lend him money. He feels betrayed, so much that he doesn't seek contact with them anymore.
I don't want this to happen to us. As an only child, he's the closest relative I have, even though I hardly see him anymore. I know he made mistakes, but I fear if I give in, he's going to repeat them again, which by that time will force the bank to seize the house and sell it at an auction for a much lower price.
What should I do to patch our relationship up and keep it from worsening?