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to avoid my difficult sister-in-law even though we're putting her mum into care?

(67 Posts)
valdali Thu 06-Aug-20 17:06:03

I've been looking after my M-i-L for 4 years now, through losing my F-i-L, and helping when carers can't come, staying overnight etc. Now my M-i-L is going into care & we have to decide what to do with the house etc. My DH is a workaholic & its quicker to do what I can myself. My S-i-L is a loving daughter but v moody and she can upset both her mum & me. She hasnt been able to help for genuine family reasons. I am a cheerful person but got badly bullied at work a couple of years back (mobbing) When I finally saw the light & got out, it had had such a negative impact that I still get depressed periodically though low mood had never previously been a problem.My S-i-L has a bad effect on me if she happens to be in a nasty mood, should I avoid her? I feel she's entitled to know whats going on & it is her mum, but how much should I put my health on the line? I'm fairly sure I'm never snappy or curt with her, I treat her with kid gloves but she can still be pretty unpleasant on a bad day,

Torbroud Fri 07-Aug-20 10:31:10

Leave your husband and a
SIL to get on with it, if something goes wrong you'll get it all the garbage.

Oopsadaisy3 Fri 07-Aug-20 10:37:37

Stop nagging him, stop reminding him about updates, if you get a text tell him what it’s about and then leave it to him.
It isn’t your remit to organise the care for your MIL, just leave it to him and his sister, it won’t take them too long to realise that it’s their turn to shoulder the worry. If he can run a company then he can sort his Mother out.

However, I don’t think that anything we say will make you change,

I was once told by a friend that if she lifted up my fringe my forehead would have ‘Doormat’ written on it, I never forgot that and I changed almost overnight from being a people pleaser to actually stopping and thinking about why it was always me that got stuck with other peoples Problems.

So I stopped, the doormat sign has long gone, I still help out, but I stop and think about whether it’s possible for the person to sort their own stuff out, and usually they are perfectly capable.

Shandy3 Fri 07-Aug-20 10:42:36

"I do delegate some of the texts & updates to him - but then with reminding him & nagging him - it is easier to do it myself."

Is it easier? It doesn't sound like it to me, would you he asking what to do if it were easier? Your husband will never change if you don't let him! Be kind to yourself and delegate.

Juicylucy Fri 07-Aug-20 10:42:44

I 100% agree with hithere on your situation. I do feel you should delegate. Because by your post there is no other solution.

Coconut Fri 07-Aug-20 10:42:50

DH is being very selfish not to be involved with his own mother’s arrangements, no excuse.
Re your SIL ......your life is a garden, so weed regularly and get rid of anyone who causes you upset. Life is too short to allow others to drag you down ....

Romola Fri 07-Aug-20 10:48:37

Valdali I do sympathise. You have been an absolute saint for your MiL. And I know that for some men it's almost impossible to stop thinking about their business and concentrate on family problems. And the SiL, well you have had to put up with her. I expect she's worried too.
But this is a crunch point. Others have pointed out that your husband and SiL need to have a Power of Attorney in place. Perhaps you could be the one to get the details and present it to your husband and SiL, saying you cannot do any more about it as you are "only" the DiL Good luck.

Teacheranne Fri 07-Aug-20 10:50:51

In reality, if your MIL lacks capacity, your husband or SIL are the only ones who can decide on their mothers care unless you have power of attorney. The care home will need a copy of it and will then only communicate with them. Only attorneys can register the LPA with the bank to pay the care home.

If there is no LPA, then someone will need to apply for Deputyship and that is usually next of kin ( unless there is no NOK) - you are not next of kin!

So, you will no longer be able to legally play such an active role and either your husband or SIL will need to be fully involved. Yes, carry on supporting your husband if you wish to but his sister needs to be involved, I could not imagine the upset to her if she is unaware of your intentions re the care home.

Why not send a brief text message if you cannot talk to her, to tell her to give her brother a phone call so he is forced to talk to her.

icanhandthemback Fri 07-Aug-20 10:53:30

Before we all denigrate valdali's husband completely, it is quite possible that OP is a rescuer by nature and enjoys being the important one. The trouble is, it is equally possible that in her desire to help that she unwittingly sometimes crosses the boundaries so upsets SIL. We cannot be sure that in her upbeat cheerfulness that there isn't some trampling going on, all done with the best of intentions but irritating to someone especially if they are hamstrung by their inability to do the job. Dealing with other people's relatives is a very difficult area to balance.
My advice would be, if you want to be helpful, for you to act under instruction, valdali. If you don't get the instruction, don't act. At the end of the day, this is an area where it can cause lasting damage to relationships. Call a meeting and work out what your husband and SIL want done and make sure you put it in writing. It might hold the whole thing up a bit but it will take the pressure off you about upsetting anybody.
I hope you don't mind me putting a different perspective, valdali. You do sound like a lovely, supportive person and this is only a post to give balance rather than denigrating your helpful personality.

fluttERBY123 Fri 07-Aug-20 11:01:39

Vivaldi, I will be in a minority here but I'm with you on "it's easier to do it myself". Of course your DH should step up but in the situation you describe it's just not going to happen, so probably better not to waste energy trying. Getting tough with the SiL would probably be more productive. I wish you well in this.

Kim19 Fri 07-Aug-20 11:02:22

You are obviously not going to take a step back and leave the responsibility where it actually lies. Your husband is a businessman. Put all the needs/wants and decisions on an email as they happen. That way he can never say he was not asked/informed all along the way when you become the fall guy for any mishap decision making. Also put in email every decision mutually made TO SiL for her perusal and subsequent confirmation. That way you can at least be personally exonerated when things go wrong. Seems to me you really need to cover your back if your nearest and dearest are actually as irresponsible as you outline. Good luck.

Alexa Fri 07-Aug-20 11:08:11

"Who has her power of eternity?

Off topic but that made me smile!"

It's these happy accidents that poems are made from

red1 Fri 07-Aug-20 11:12:47

nasty people are good at what they do,when you confront them,it rarely changes anything,it can make them worse,after all they have lots of experience at it.
Hard to do, but i would pull away and leave it to them more,
you have done your bit,your mental health is as important as your physical health,
I have a despairing relationship with a family member its best
i think to cut them off emotionally and be just civil with them,don't lower yourself to their level.
good luck

SparklyGrandma Fri 07-Aug-20 11:20:32

I understand what others on here are saying, about it not being the 50s or 60s. But you are not having her to live and for you to care for in your home. And everyone in care needs a family member outside to keep an eye on them, that way they receive the best care.

You have the moral high ground, and can be kind to your MiL by overseeing her care. Maybe your DH just can’t deal with it all, as it’s his DM. So you are doing it for him too, for his mother.

I have worked with carers and I mean family carers, and someone in a family usually does better at overseeing a vulnerable family members interests while they are living in care.
Sometimes when you really need help, you can insist that the SiL or DH takes part, a Hospital appt or one Care home visit now and again.

Good luck valdali.

Buffy Fri 07-Aug-20 11:22:26

You seem very kind, but stop being a doormat. Lots of good advice from other posters.

spookygran Fri 07-Aug-20 11:25:38

Your husband has to "Man Up".It's his family and you've done all the donkey work for years.Why do something when you've got a skivvy to do it for you.You're making excuses for them both. ITS THEIR MOTHER NOT YOURS. You've done enough,it's their turn.Your health is more important.If the situation was reversed would they be doing everything for you? Ask yourself that.

knspol Fri 07-Aug-20 11:48:02

Totally agree with the responses of others that your DH should take control but it seems to me that you won't be insisting on that. Please be very wary of making any decisions regarding MIL's house, possessions etc as no doubt the SIL could object at a later date and maybe misinterpret your intentions.

Tweedle24 Fri 07-Aug-20 11:50:01

Difficult, I know, but perhaps you should just tell your husband that, although you have been helping mother-in-law up to now, it has come to the stage that you feel it is no longer your place. As her children, they should be doing the organising. You then need to step back and let them take responsibility.

GreenGran78 Fri 07-Aug-20 11:52:45

Your MIL will be safe and looked after in the care home. What happens to her house, and who pays the bills isn’t relevant to you. Just tell your husband and SIL that they will have to sort it out, then forget about it. Visit the old lady, take her flowers and treats and help her to feel comfortable in her new environment. Treat yourself to some outings, or even a short break somewhere, if you feel safe enough.
When they realise that someone has to sort out your MIL’s stuff, and that it isn’t going to be you, something will get done about it. If it isn’t, well, it’s not going to do you any harm, so why worry about it?

Tanjamaltija Fri 07-Aug-20 12:00:20

You have been their catspaw for too long - tell them that now their mother is in the home, it is time for you to Exit Stage Left and let them do the honours. And then... Exit Stage Left.

TrendyNannie6 Fri 07-Aug-20 12:11:20

Well I wouldn’t be treating your SIL with kid gloves, I think your DH despite being a workoholic should be doing more, and I wonder why there’s no power of attorney in place, it seems that you are doing soo much and obviously have her best interests at heart,

Jaye53 Fri 07-Aug-20 12:13:04

you have got to take off the kid gloves's your call.

Jaye53 Fri 07-Aug-20 12:14:00

it's your call

willa45 Fri 07-Aug-20 12:32:25

It looks like you have at least two choices here.....You can continue to do what you're doing and possibly get bullied anyway.

You can decide you've had enough and let both DH and SIL assume what is their sole responsibility....(and possibly get bullied anyway).

Did I say 'at least' two choices?....because there is a third!

Let DH and SIL assume what is their responsibility and possibly get bullied anyway.

The only upside here would be for you to summon the courage to stand up for yourself for once and for all.

Beloulou Fri 07-Aug-20 12:43:07

My MIL came to stay with us when she couldn’t live at home anymore. It was to be until her house was sold and she moved into a one story apartment. She needed nursing for a couple of weeks. ( My DH is the eldest. I am a nurse.)
7 months later, she moved into her new place. Things had got increasingly fractured between her and I. We were both pleased she moved. Unfortunately, she spent most of her time complaining about me to her daughter, who couldn’t help. My DH stayed later and later at work. I was alone.
The relationship has not survived. My relationship with my DH is changed, because I felt that he did not support me.
Be very careful.

Daddima Fri 07-Aug-20 13:09:08

From what you have said, am I right in thinking it’s only your sister in law’s behaviour which upsets you, and you don’t actually mind doing things for your mother in law? If so, then could you tell your sister in law that your husband will keep her informed?
I’d agree with others about the Power of Attorney, though, mind you, sometimes family members can suddenly show an interest, especially if there’s money involved.