Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: HenrysMom on July 21, 2013, 09:54:16 AM

Title: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: HenrysMom on July 21, 2013, 09:54:16 AM
Per everyone's advice, I've been keeping my distance from SIL (she from the bottle and denture thread).  I've not responded to any of her phone messages and have let DH handle her. 

Last week I finally caved and met up with her for lunch.  The first thing she started talking about was a new bed.  SIL has mobility issues and, within the past few years, has developed bedsores.  She is also on Medicare/MediCal, which provides for most of her medical needs.  She wants to me to ask DH if he would give her $1000 for a special mattress.  I responded that was between herself and DH.  The conversation went like this:

SIL:  "I really need that bed, but I'm scared to ask (DH).  Can't you ask him for me?"
Me:  "That's between you and DH.  I can't interfere."
SIL:  "It has one of those foam mattresses that is good for bedsores.  You know how I suffer..."
Me:  "I can't interfere. That's between you and DH.  You need to ask him yourself."

Repeat ad nauseaum.  I cut the visit short and came back immediately after lunch.

I went home and told DH about this, and his first reaction was "CRIVINS!, $1,000!?!"  Now he's thinking about it, or at least providing half.  I told him I have problems with this because (a) it's the time of year when property tax, car and home insurance, and DMV fees all fall due; (b) he just invested a ton of available cash in the stock market, leaving us with just enough for bills and everything in (a); (c) If she really needs that bed, she should go to her doctor and apply for Medicare/MediCal to pay for it.

Yes, there is a question in all this - how do you shut up someone when the "broken record" method isn't working? 

Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: NyaChan on July 21, 2013, 10:02:49 AM
Well you said it yourself - you caved.  Not only with the whole staying away part, but after telling her you wouldn't play the go-between, you played the go-between!  Saying you won't interfere to stop her from talking to you about this stuff will only work if you actually follow through.  In the end, you gave her exactly what she wanted. 
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: HenrysMom on July 21, 2013, 10:06:11 AM
NyaChan, I didn't ask him for her, although it seems that way.  I gave him the heads up that it was coming and gave him my opinion, which was "Don't do it."  If I hadn't, she would have caught him while busy at work and he would have said "Sure," without realizing what he was agreeing to.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Zizi-K on July 21, 2013, 10:08:13 AM
Can I just ask why you didn't say no? If she can get the money thru Medicaid, it sounds like a no-brainer.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: HenrysMom on July 21, 2013, 10:09:58 AM
Can I just ask why you didn't say no? If she can get the money thru Medicaid, it sounds like a no-brainer.

Per agreement, DH controls the finances in our household.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: gramma dishes on July 21, 2013, 10:13:24 AM
If she really NEEDS the bed, there are ways to get financial help with that.  But if she just WANTS the bed because she thinks it will be good for her condition, there are also less expensive alternatives. 

If the mattress she's now using is in reasonably good condition, it is possible to get a fairly thick "memory" type foam topper.  Much less expensive than buying a whole new bed or even a new mattress.  And even for that, she should be able to get financial aid if her doctor thinks it's an actual requirement for her healing. 

I think you were smart to forewarn your husband that this subject might be coming up.  It gives the two of you an opportunity to work on a plan for his response. 

But please don't go out for any more lunches with her!  They seem to end badly.    :-\
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: AvidReader on July 21, 2013, 10:16:56 AM
OTOH, you write that you reported this conversation to your DH.  That doesn't necessarily mean that you asked for the money on SIL's behalf.  (It doesn't sound like it to me.)  I consider that your DH is forwarned.  His sister may work up the nerve to ask him directly for the money.  He should have an answer for her at the ready, as it appears you are a bit strapped for cash at the moment.
 
Had you not reported this conversation to your DH, he might have fielded her request stone cold and committed to something that would not be in your best interests as a couple.

Lesson learned.  Don't cave to your SIL's entreaties.  Keep up the broken record act. 
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: HenrysMom on July 21, 2013, 10:18:01 AM
If she really NEEDS the bed, there are ways to get financial help with that.  But if she just WANTS the bed because she thinks it will be good for her condition, there are also less expensive alternatives. 

If the mattress she's now using is in reasonably good condition, it is possible to get a fairly thick "memory" type foam topper.  Much less expensive than buying a whole new bed or even a new mattress.  And even for that, she should be able to get financial aid if her doctor thinks it's an actual requirement for her healing. 

I think you were smart to forewarn your husband that this subject might be coming up.  It gives the two of you an opportunity to work on a plan for his response. 

But please don't go out for any more lunches with her!  They seem to end badly.    :-\

You're right about that - I start to feel bad for her because she's alone and disabled, but it always bites me.

I asked her about the foam toppers - my parents each had one during their final illnesses and it helped with their sores.  She said, "But I want a new bed."  I told DH that if a topper was good enough for my parents, it should be good enough for her. 
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: *inviteseller on July 21, 2013, 10:32:14 AM
I would have your DH give her information on applying for medicare/medical instead of handing her money.  Why should she do anything for herself if the Bank of DH is always open??  It is not fair for your DH to cut you guys short to pay for her necessities..yeah, she has issues, but you and he and your responsibilities come way before hers.  I applaud your backbone in dealing with her, and it sounds like DH is trying to get a spine. And she 'wants' a new bed??   Well we all want things, but most adults know the needs come before wants, and if the want is a big enough priority, you save for one, not expect everyone else to provide it for you.

My DD is your SIL in the making and I am being 'mean' in teaching her that family can be a source of support, but not your personal bank because you make unwise decisions and choices. 
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Zizi-K on July 21, 2013, 10:58:35 AM
Can I just ask why you didn't say no? If she can get the money thru Medicaid, it sounds like a no-brainer.

Per agreement, DH controls the finances in our household.

Ah, ok. I do seem to remember something vaguely about that in a previous thread. Controlling finances is one thing (being in charge of checkbooks, credit cards, budget, etc) but I think it's unwise for you to not even have power if veto. From what you said, it sounds like you really can't afford it, and it doesn't make sense to put all the decision-making power with someone who will make bad decisions on the basis of emotions and family guilt trips.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Zilla on July 21, 2013, 11:10:38 AM
I would be firmer after her constant asking, "I have said quite a few times now that this is between you and my dh.  I do not wish to discuss this again.  If not, we will have to cut this short.  Now tell me about...." and bean dip.  If she brings it up again, signal the waitress for the check and offer to box up her meal to go.  Don't do it dramatic but quietly.  She is used to doggedly getting what she wants with total lack of pride or social cues.  So you have to be firm and show her in a simple way that you mean what you say.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: ladiedeathe on July 21, 2013, 12:32:28 PM
Medicare/Medicaid pays for durable medical equipment for the handicapped. If she has bedsores she will probably qualify. It wold be kind of your husband to wait for her to ask, then offer to help her through the process of getting a new bed through Mcr/Mcd. A true low pressure bed is usually way more than $1,000- if what she wants is just a really nice bed then it is worthless to her in terms of pressure relief. It may feel nice, but won't help long-term. She and your DH need to speak with her care team and work this out.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: oogyda on July 21, 2013, 12:51:50 PM
I asked her about the foam toppers - my parents each had one during their final illnesses and it helped with their sores.  She said, "But I want a new bed."  I told DH that if a topper was good enough for my parents, it should be good enough for her.

She wants the whole shebang, but she wants someone else to pay for it.  I know there are very good quality, thick mattress toppers out there.  And they *are* expensive.  But not as expensive as a new bed.  I would suggest that IF DH really wants to do something, he should buy the topper and give that to her......not the cash.

Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Roe on July 21, 2013, 01:12:00 PM
Can I just ask why you didn't say no? If she can get the money thru Medicaid, it sounds like a no-brainer.

Per agreement, DH controls the finances in our household.

Ah, ok. I do seem to remember something vaguely about that in a previous thread. Controlling finances is one thing (being in charge of checkbooks, credit cards, budget, etc) but I think it's unwise for you to not even have power if veto. From what you said, it sounds like you really can't afford it, and it doesn't make sense to put all the decision-making power with someone who will make bad decisions on the basis of emotions and family guilt trips.

I agree.  Control of the finances should be separate from "having no say whatsoever in our (my) money."   Just because your DH controls the finances doesn't mean you shouldn't have a voice.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: TootsNYC on July 21, 2013, 01:52:42 PM
I think you're splitting hairs when you say you didn't ask your DH, you just gave him a head's-up.

I think you need a better approach to her asking for you to intervene.
Instead of trying to shut the conversation down by stonewalling, I think you should say,  "I'll tell him you want to talk to him about it."

Because that's what you did, essentially.
And it's what you'd do every time. So acknowledge it.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: cass2591 on July 21, 2013, 02:02:16 PM
Medicare/Medicaid pays for durable medical equipment for the handicapped. If she has bedsores she will probably qualify. It wold be kind of your husband to wait for her to ask, then offer to help her through the process of getting a new bed through Mcr/Mcd. A true low pressure bed is usually way more than $1,000- if what she wants is just a really nice bed then it is worthless to her in terms of pressure relief. It may feel nice, but won't help long-term. She and your DH need to speak with her care team and work this out.

I absolutely think this is the avenue you should take because Ladiedeathe is absolutely correct.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: gramma dishes on July 21, 2013, 02:04:26 PM
I think you're splitting hairs when you say you didn't ask your DH, you just gave him a head's-up.

I think you need a better approach to her asking for you to intervene.
Instead of trying to shut the conversation down by stonewalling, I think you should say,  "I'll tell him you want to talk to him about it."

Because that's what you did, essentially.
And it's what you'd do every time. So acknowledge it.

I see your point, but I'm not sure I agree.  If she says "I'll tell him you want to talk to him about it" there is an unspoken implication that HE now will call her back to discuss this.  I think that puts her DH in an awkward position.  I think she's better off just sticking with her original phrase ("That's between you and DH")  and leave it up to her to get in touch with him.

If SIL is 'afraid' to approach him with the subject, that tells me that she knows in her heart that this really isn't necessary and is just something she wants.  Otherwise, as several other posters have mentioned, there are other ways of obtaining the special bed or topper.  Her DH should investigate those possibilities so that if she does get up enough nerve to call him, he'll have some legitimate answers for her that won't involve paying for her bed(ding) out of his own and the OP's pockets.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: snappylt on July 21, 2013, 03:44:22 PM
I was having trouble remembering the previous threads, so I searched. and found these two: (there may be more I didn't find)

Don't Drink from my Bottle! - Update #52
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=120111.0 (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=120111.0)

Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story) - Update #34
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=125592.0 (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=125592.0)


I think the fact that your SIL is a recovering(?) addict probably does play a role in her behavior and/or in how you might cope with her behavior.

I have a relative who is a recovering addict.  At one point for several months I attended some meetings of an Al-Anon-like group for relatives of addicts so I could learn how to help myself with how I interact with the recovering addict.

Obviously your SIL's behavior is bothering you.  (Sounds like maybe it bothers your husband, too.)  I want to seriously suggest that either you alone or you and your husband as a couple attend some Al-Anon or Narc-Anon meetings to help learn how to better handle SIL's behavior.  (You cannot control her behavior, but you can control how you react to her - and I'll bet you'll learn some useful ideas at those meetings.)

And even if your SIL is not using drugs right now, it sounds like some of her manipulative behaviors are ones similar to addicts' behaviors.  I really do think Al-Anon or Narc-Anon would have useful suggestions for you and your husband.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: JoieGirl7 on July 21, 2013, 05:21:42 PM

Would it work to just keep using the word "no?"  And to outright refuse rather than trying to redirect her?

"I really need that bed, but I'm scared to ask (DH).  Can't you ask him for me?"
No.


"It has one of those foam mattresses that is good for bedsores.  You know how I suffer..."
I'm not asking him.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: YummyMummy66 on July 21, 2013, 08:22:06 PM
I work with seniors in their homes.

If your SIl truly needs this special mattress for her health issues, it can be prescribed by her doctor and covered under medicaid/medicare.

If this is not the case, then it is a "want" by your sil and not a "need".

Your dh should not be paying anything and I think it is time he cut those apron strings.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 21, 2013, 08:33:42 PM
Your broken record isn't working because your broken record isn't saying "no" - it's saying "we'll see."  And so she keeps at it, and eventually she gets what she wants.

First step is to get veto power on things like this.  If you're 100% dead-set against giving her money for some hypothetical thing you know she doesn't really need, would DH side with you?  If so, you should be allowed to just tell her "no" yourself without going through your DH.

Second step is to use your veto power as the broken record instead of just saying "we'll see" (or "I'll ask DH" or "not now" or "only partly.")  Don't bring your DH into it - if she wants to, fine, but by that point you should be able to trust him to back you up.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: GSNW on July 21, 2013, 09:02:52 PM
When you say your DH is in charge of the finances, I'm unclear on what that means.  Does it mean he is in charge of paying bills, deciding on investments, etc?

Or does it mean that all decisions on financial everything lie with him?

If it is the former, then I would clarify with him how you feel about hard-earned family monies being spent on his sister's wants.  This makes me mad on your behalf.

If it's the latter, I think the cease and desist should come from your DH.  He needs to sit her down and tell her IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that she is to stop asking you for anything having to do with money. 

As in:  "Sister, my wife is not going to plead your case to me.  She is not going to pass messages to me.  She is not going to ask you questions for me.  If you want something, ask me.  Absolutely do not bring it up with my wife again -- ever."

And if she does, stop seeing her entirely.  Your free time is your own and you shouldn't have to spend it on a tense lunch with a moocher.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: weeblewobble on July 21, 2013, 09:30:42 PM
I think you need to escalate the "withdrawal" and spend even less time with SIL, so she has less time to drive you crazy with this.  Also, I think the broken record technique is the only one you can use.

However, I seem to recall the last time DH was considering helping SIL with something financial, he decided to give her the money after you recommended that he shouldn't do it.  So I would make my position very clear with DH.  "Honey, I do not think we should help SIL with this bed issue in any way.  She needs to go to her doctor and go through the proper channels to get the bed through the aid programs. Otherwise, we're teaching her that any time she has a problem, all she has to do is come to us with her hand out and we'll pay for it.  If you give her the money for the bed after I've asked you not to, it will hurt my feelings and make me feel as if you're not taking my opinion into consideration."

ETA: Also, I would recommend against any position that puts you "between" DH and SIL so you are the go between.  This is not a healthy dynamic.  It puts strain on you.  It puts strain on your relationship with DH.  And it teaches SIL that she can get what she wants by putting strain on you and your relationship with DH.  If that means that DH has to deal with SIL directly so be it.  He has left you in charge of maintaining this relationship for too long.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: GSNW on July 21, 2013, 10:13:15 PM
ETA: Also, I would recommend against any position that puts you "between" DH and SIL so you are the go between.  This is not a healthy dynamic.  It puts strain on you.  It puts strain on your relationship with DH.  And it teaches SIL that she can get what she wants by putting strain on you and your relationship with DH.  If that means that DH has to deal with SIL directly so be it.  He has left you in charge of maintaining this relationship for too long.

I agree.  If he wants to spend money on her despite your discomfort, he should be the one that has to hang out with her and listen to her nonsense.  Maybe she can shave her legs in his car for a change!
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Pen^2 on July 22, 2013, 02:28:17 AM
When you say your DH is in charge of the finances, I'm unclear on what that means.  Does it mean he is in charge of paying bills, deciding on investments, etc?

Or does it mean that all decisions on financial everything lie with him?

If it is the former, then I would clarify with him how you feel about hard-earned family monies being spent on his sister's wants.  This makes me mad on your behalf.

If it's the latter, I think the cease and desist should come from your DH.  He needs to sit her down and tell her IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that she is to stop asking you for anything having to do with money. 

As in:  "Sister, my wife is not going to plead your case to me.  She is not going to pass messages to me.  She is not going to ask you questions for me.  If you want something, ask me.  Absolutely do not bring it up with my wife again -- ever."

And if she does, stop seeing her entirely.  Your free time is your own and you shouldn't have to spend it on a tense lunch with a moocher.

Pod poddily poddington.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: HenrysMom on July 22, 2013, 06:15:57 AM
Medicare/Medicaid pays for durable medical equipment for the handicapped. If she has bedsores she will probably qualify. It wold be kind of your husband to wait for her to ask, then offer to help her through the process of getting a new bed through Mcr/Mcd. A true low pressure bed is usually way more than $1,000- if what she wants is just a really nice bed then it is worthless to her in terms of pressure relief. It may feel nice, but won't help long-term. She and your DH need to speak with her care team and work this out.

I absolutely think this is the avenue you should take because Ladiedeathe is absolutely correct.

I told DH this the last time she brought up wanting a bed.  I'll have to remind him that us spending $$$$ on a bed that may be fully covered under Medicare is ridiculous.  As is, we have no way of knowing if the bed she wants is actually the bed her doctor thinks she should have.

Knowing SIL, Medicare has probably told her they would pay for a twin or full, but not a queen.  So she's trying to get us to pay the whole thing so she can get what she wants.

I just told DH this, and he grumbled something about everyone wanting a piece of him.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: bopper on July 22, 2013, 10:03:58 AM
I would tell DH that
A) you don't want to keep interacting with his sister because she tends to ask you stuff like this. WHen that happens, it isn't just Sis asking for something, it is Sis + You asking for something.

B) That of course you want to help family, but only when family has exhausted all other avenues.  This sounds like the sort of thing that Medi(whatever) woudl cover...of course it is easier if you pay for it than she doing the paper work. 
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Twik on July 22, 2013, 10:17:47 AM
As an aside, you and DH may want to renegotiate what "he handles the finances" really means.

If you really trust him to do so, then you need to step back and let him handle them. If he feels your situation allows him room to give money to his sister, that is part of what "handling" entails.

If you don't quite trust him implicitly, then I think you need to renegotiate what your voice should be in decisions. Right now, it appears to be that you have no power to make decisions, but you're trying very hard to influence them. This strikes me as being the worst of both worlds - you have the stress of worrying about finances, with no ability to affect them.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on July 22, 2013, 11:00:05 AM
I think your SIL's past drug addiction has a lot to do with her behavior today, and the above suggestion about Al-Anon is excellent.

Get out of the middle: "I can't ask him, because he would be upset with me."

Your response: So, you must not really need it.  (Change the subject).

"But I really need it."

Your response: It's out of my hands." (Change the subject).
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: doodlemor on July 22, 2013, 11:02:53 AM
As an aside, you and DH may want to renegotiate what "he handles the finances" really means.

If you really trust him to do so, then you need to step back and let him handle them. If he feels your situation allows him room to give money to his sister, that is part of what "handling" entails.

If you don't quite trust him implicitly, then I think you need to renegotiate what your voice should be in decisions. Right now, it appears to be that you have no power to make decisions, but you're trying very hard to influence them. This strikes me as being the worst of both worlds - you have the stress of worrying about finances, with no ability to affect them.

POD absolutely. 

It does seem that you should have input into these decisions.  It seems to me that the stress that Twik describes is the worst of all.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: LadyL on July 22, 2013, 11:26:32 AM
I gave him the heads up that it was coming and gave him my opinion, which was "Don't do it."  If I hadn't, she would have caught him while busy at work and he would have said "Sure," without realizing what he was agreeing to.

(a) it's the time of year when property tax, car and home insurance, and DMV fees all fall due; (b) he just invested a ton of available cash in the stock market, leaving us with just enough for bills and everything in (a);

Per agreement, DH controls the finances in our household.

The combination of these three statements makes me very worried for you, BarensMom.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Otterpop on July 22, 2013, 11:33:44 AM
As an aside, you and DH may want to renegotiate what "he handles the finances" really means.

If you really trust him to do so, then you need to step back and let him handle them. If he feels your situation allows him room to give money to his sister, that is part of what "handling" entails.

If you don't quite trust him implicitly, then I think you need to renegotiate what your voice should be in decisions. Right now, it appears to be that you have no power to make decisions, but you're trying very hard to influence them. This strikes me as being the worst of both worlds - you have the stress of worrying about finances, with no ability to affect them.

POD absolutely. 

It does seem that you should have input into these decisions.  It seems to me that the stress that Twik describes is the worst of all.

Also, you put the responsibility on husband to say "No."  When he doesn't you BOTH have to live with less money.  You need to take a stand on YOUR finances.

(My BIL is a bachelor who works when he wants.  He used to ask "loans" from DH who is generous to a fault until I said "We are supporting a family of four on one income.  Giving to you means we go without."  BIL had enough conscience to quit asking, then focused his attention on his pensioner parents who are happy to fund his lifestyle.  At least WE are left alone. ::))

They go where it is easiest to get money.  Don't be easy.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: gramma dishes on July 22, 2013, 12:35:19 PM
As an aside, you and DH may want to renegotiate what "he handles the finances" really means.

If you really trust him to do so, then you need to step back and let him handle them. If he feels your situation allows him room to give money to his sister, that is part of what "handling" entails.

If you don't quite trust him implicitly, then I think you need to renegotiate what your voice should be in decisions. Right now, it appears to be that you have no power to make decisions, but you're trying very hard to influence them. This strikes me as being the worst of both worlds - you have the stress of worrying about finances, with no ability to affect them.

I absolutely agree with Twik here.  We don't know (and don't need to know) the reason for your decision that your DH would be the only one handling finances.  But even though there was probably very good reason, it does seem a little unfair that since your financial situation affects BOTH of you, you should have at least some input into the decision making process.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: NyaChan on July 26, 2013, 06:31:16 PM
As an aside, you and DH may want to renegotiate what "he handles the finances" really means.

If you really trust him to do so, then you need to step back and let him handle them. If he feels your situation allows him room to give money to his sister, that is part of what "handling" entails.

If you don't quite trust him implicitly, then I think you need to renegotiate what your voice should be in decisions. Right now, it appears to be that you have no power to make decisions, but you're trying very hard to influence them. This strikes me as being the worst of both worlds - you have the stress of worrying about finances, with no ability to affect them.

I absolutely agree with Twik here.  We don't know (and don't need to know) the reason for your decision that your DH would be the only one handling finances.  But even though there was probably very good reason, it does seem a little unfair that since your financial situation affects BOTH of you, you should have at least some input into the decision making process.

The bolded is what bothered me as well.  I won't say that it is good or bad to have the finances under only one partner's control as I've seen it both work and not work in relationships.  The relevant issue on that is whether you like the practical results of your husband's status as being solely in charge and if not, whether you want to change that status to get different results.  If you don't want to change it, it seems you'll have to deal with SIL getting things you don't think she should have from your husband as he doesn't seem bothered enough to stop.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: GSNW on July 26, 2013, 09:01:47 PM
If you don't want to change it, it seems you'll have to deal with SIL getting things you don't think she should have from your husband as he doesn't seem bothered enough to stop.

This is the crux of what bothers me as well - SIL is annoying, you can't veto your husband's decision, and you're forced into a position of go-between.  Your agreement is not for any of us to judge, but it's unfair that you have to deal with a situation you have no control over. 
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Shoo on July 26, 2013, 09:55:57 PM
OP, when you married your husband, did you know you would be supporting his sister financially?  Did you sign up for this?
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: HenrysMom on July 26, 2013, 10:18:46 PM
OP, when you married your husband, did you know you would be supporting his sister financially?  Did you sign up for this?

Nope.  At the time we got married, his parents were still alive and relatively young (60's).  When they passed 2 years later, friends and family were trying to get DH to take responsibility for her, but he wasn't having it (she's 11 years older, for diety's sake!).  We lost sight of her after the inheritance was distributed.  We found out that she had been convicted of something and sent to prison for several years.

Now that she's in her 60's and in declining health, DH alternates between irritation and a sense of duty.  He sometimes feels that since we gift my sisters, nieces, nephews, etc., that we should gift her "equally."  His idea of "equal" and mine differ, as in mine is $100 per person, his is $100 x 6 of my family = $600 for sister.  Nuh-uh.

Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: kckgirl on July 27, 2013, 11:39:41 AM
I agree with you. Equal gifting is per person, or $100, not total per family. That's actually highly unequal.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: HenrysMom on July 29, 2013, 04:12:50 PM
Sorta Update:  SIL called last night, wanting me to "call me as soon as you get this."  Turns out she wanted me to take her "grocery shopping."  (See past thread on how the last time turned out.)  I told her it wasn't possible.  She said, "I just need someone to drive me."  I told her again it wasn't possible and got off the phone after she started to repeat it the third time.

Lest you all think I'm being heartless, we literally don't have the gas/money to waste.  DH was held up at gunpoint at the ATM last week, so we've had to cancel our bank account, credit cards, etc.  We're in the process of waiting on new everything, so we're rationing the limited amount of cash the bank allowed us to withdraw while waiting on things to re-activate.

I told SIL about the above, and she reiterated, "I only need someone to drive me."  That's when I told her I had to go and hung up.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: weeblewobble on July 29, 2013, 04:21:19 PM
First, I'm so sorry that your DH was robbed and I'm glad he's OK.  You guys are having legitimate life problems and need to deal with them. Your life, your problems, your security - that's what you have to devote those resources to.

And you're not heartless. Your SIL is a never-ending black hole of neediness, no matter how much cash, energy, love, time, etc., you throw at her, it will never be enough.  She will always come back with escalating needs, not so much because she actually requires those things to be happy/healthy, but because that's what proves your love to her. You putting your foot down and saying no is the only thing that will help remove you from the cycle.

You did the right thing.  Many many many hugs.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: snowdragon on July 29, 2013, 04:22:07 PM
"I only need someone to drive me." 

"Book a taxi"

https://www.ridecharge.com/en/partners/transportation
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: *inviteseller on July 29, 2013, 10:57:56 PM
I feel for you..found out today my account was compromised and everything is frozen for 5 days (at least they are not going to honor the charges).  If your SIL is so wrapped up in her own world to not care that her own brother was robbed at gun point and is only worried about getting favors, then she would be getting the cut immediately.  There is being a needy nelly, then there is just a black hole of taking and taking.  Most people, upon hearing that happened to their brother would be falling all over themselves to help, or at least give some emotional support.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Winterlight on July 30, 2013, 10:32:12 AM
I think "heartless" is more accurately applied to someone whose response to her brother being held up at gunpoint is, "So what? My unwillingness to call a cab is more important than my brother nearly being shot."
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: ladyknight1 on July 30, 2013, 10:59:33 AM
I am so sorry that your husband was robbed. That is terrible.

Do not cave to SIL, it will never end.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: artk2002 on July 30, 2013, 11:15:58 AM
I think "heartless" is more accurately applied to someone whose response to her brother being held up at gunpoint is, "So what? My unwillingness to call a cab is more important than my brother nearly being shot."

Exactly.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Goosey on July 30, 2013, 11:52:46 AM
I think one of the first things I would do is stop calling her back when she demands you to. I think you're encouraging her behavior in little ways - but, for some people, a little is all they need.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: GSNW on July 30, 2013, 01:59:05 PM
Good for you, OP - I do not think you are heartless even without the ATM disaster as part of the issue.  I'm glad your DH is okay.  Continue to be firmly polite to SIL, you deserve to not have to deal with it.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: HenrysMom on July 31, 2013, 11:52:09 AM
I think one of the first things I would do is stop calling her back when she demands you to. I think you're encouraging her behavior in little ways - but, for some people, a little is all they need.

Oh, Goosey, there's always that bit of apprehension that if I don't get back to her, that will be one of the times she has gone to the hospital and actually needs a family member.  There have been times that I've blown off her calls, only to find out later that she was at the county med.

Of course, then there are the times she "just wants a ride."  Oh, and lunch, someone to buy her groceries, etc.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: CocoCamm on July 31, 2013, 12:36:29 PM
I think one of the first things I would do is stop calling her back when she demands you to. I think you're encouraging her behavior in little ways - but, for some people, a little is all they need.

Oh, Goosey, there's always that bit of apprehension that if I don't get back to her, that will be one of the times she has gone to the hospital and actually needs a family member.  There have been times that I've blown off her calls, only to find out later that she was at the county med.

Of course, then there are the times she "just wants a ride."  Oh, and lunch, someone to buy her groceries, etc.

I think you may need to decide what's more important to you. Not being dragged into potential drama or not being up to date on SILs health issues. Unfortunately whenever we limit contact or cut off family members we run the risk of losing out on important information.

I definitely feel for you. My family cut off my mothers sisters over 6 years ago. We didn't find out until after the funeral that my cousin (who we had no issues with, that relationship was just collateral damage of cutting off his mother) had passed away suddenly. It was incredibly painful to realize that we will never be able to properly say good-bye. The flip side is that our lives are so much more peaceful without those toxic relatives in it. I hate to say its worth it because that sounds crass and uncaring but if I could turn back time I wouldn't change the fact that we cut them off.

One question...does your SIL not leave you a voice mail when she calls and you don't answer?
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Goosey on July 31, 2013, 01:04:48 PM
I think one of the first things I would do is stop calling her back when she demands you to. I think you're encouraging her behavior in little ways - but, for some people, a little is all they need.

Oh, Goosey, there's always that bit of apprehension that if I don't get back to her, that will be one of the times she has gone to the hospital and actually needs a family member.  There have been times that I've blown off her calls, only to find out later that she was at the county med.

Of course, then there are the times she "just wants a ride."  Oh, and lunch, someone to buy her groceries, etc.

I really doubt if she's leaving a message that just says, "Call me back", she's in dire need.

Plus, if you start reinforcing NOW that you will not call her back without more information, she'll know to let you know when she's in the hospital because she knows you won't call her back if she doesn't indicate thusly.

If she starts saying that she's in the hospital to get you call her back - well, she's crying wolf and you've got to let her learn her lesson.

People can be trained! lol
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: CocoCamm on July 31, 2013, 04:25:11 PM
I think one of the first things I would do is stop calling her back when she demands you to. I think you're encouraging her behavior in little ways - but, for some people, a little is all they need.

Oh, Goosey, there's always that bit of apprehension that if I don't get back to her, that will be one of the times she has gone to the hospital and actually needs a family member.  There have been times that I've blown off her calls, only to find out later that she was at the county med.

Of course, then there are the times she "just wants a ride."  Oh, and lunch, someone to buy her groceries, etc.

I really doubt if she's leaving a message that just says, "Call me back", she's in dire need.

Plus, if you start reinforcing NOW that you will not call her back without more information, she'll know to let you know when she's in the hospital because she knows you won't call her back if she doesn't indicate thusly.

If she starts saying that she's in the hospital to get you call her back - well, she's crying wolf and you've got to let her learn her lesson.

People can be trained! lol

This is what I'm thinking! If I'm in the hospital or in an emergency situation I'm gonna make sure I make that clear in my vm!
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: cwm on August 01, 2013, 11:32:42 AM
I think one of the first things I would do is stop calling her back when she demands you to. I think you're encouraging her behavior in little ways - but, for some people, a little is all they need.

Oh, Goosey, there's always that bit of apprehension that if I don't get back to her, that will be one of the times she has gone to the hospital and actually needs a family member.  There have been times that I've blown off her calls, only to find out later that she was at the county med.

Of course, then there are the times she "just wants a ride."  Oh, and lunch, someone to buy her groceries, etc.

I really doubt if she's leaving a message that just says, "Call me back", she's in dire need.

Plus, if you start reinforcing NOW that you will not call her back without more information, she'll know to let you know when she's in the hospital because she knows you won't call her back if she doesn't indicate thusly.

If she starts saying that she's in the hospital to get you call her back - well, she's crying wolf and you've got to let her learn her lesson.

People can be trained! lol

This is what I'm thinking! If I'm in the hospital or in an emergency situation I'm gonna make sure I make that clear in my vm!

I agree with this. If I get a voicemail that just says to call back, I don't consider that to be an emergency situation, I consider it a social call that got missed. I hate it when people take the time to leave me a voicemail that just says to call back. Give me a bit more so I can make an informed decision about whether or not it's really important or if I really want to deal with the hassle at the moment.

In the OP's situation:
Family member in hospital/ill = usually worth calling back immediately
SIL wants to talk/needs a ride/needs money = not usually worth calling back immediately
No information given = not worth calling back immediately at all
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: weeblewobble on August 01, 2013, 12:32:54 PM
I think one of the first things I would do is stop calling her back when she demands you to. I think you're encouraging her behavior in little ways - but, for some people, a little is all they need.

Oh, Goosey, there's always that bit of apprehension that if I don't get back to her, that will be one of the times she has gone to the hospital and actually needs a family member.  There have been times that I've blown off her calls, only to find out later that she was at the county med.

Of course, then there are the times she "just wants a ride."  Oh, and lunch, someone to buy her groceries, etc.

I really doubt if she's leaving a message that just says, "Call me back", she's in dire need.

Plus, if you start reinforcing NOW that you will not call her back without more information, she'll know to let you know when she's in the hospital because she knows you won't call her back if she doesn't indicate thusly.

If she starts saying that she's in the hospital to get you call her back - well, she's crying wolf and you've got to let her learn her lesson.

People can be trained! lol

This is what I'm thinking! If I'm in the hospital or in an emergency situation I'm gonna make sure I make that clear in my vm!

But you're assigning rational thought and logic to someone who doesn't have those life skills.  With this type of personality, manipulation is possible and even likely in emergency situations. When my (now cut off) SIL realized that we were screening her calls due to drama fatigue, she called us and ONLY us when she was admitted to the hospital for dubious reasons. But when she left the voicemail on my husband's phone, all she said was "Give me a call back when you can," no mention of hospitals or medical emergencies.

We figured it was just like all of her other calls and ignored it.  The next day, she calls the other relatives, including her parents, to tell them, "Well, I just got out of the hospital. They kept me overnight for observation and no one came to see me to make sure I was OK." When her parents asked why she didn't call the family to let them know she was in the hospital, she said, "Well, I called Mr. Weeble. Didn't he call you?"  So effectively, we were "punished" for not returning her calls because we then drew fire for ignoring the message. It became about our "bad behavior" instead of her constant cycle of drama.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Amara on August 01, 2013, 12:41:55 PM
Quote
When her parents asked why she didn't call the family to let them know she was in the hospital, she said, "Well, I called Mr. Weeble. Didn't he call you?"

I think I might have said to her parents "Why wouldn't she call you first?"
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: gramma dishes on August 01, 2013, 01:21:42 PM
Quote
When her parents asked why she didn't call the family to let them know she was in the hospital, she said, "Well, I called Mr. Weeble. Didn't he call you?"

I think I might have said to her parents "Why wouldn't she call you first?"

Bingo!
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: CocoCamm on August 01, 2013, 01:33:02 PM
I think one of the first things I would do is stop calling her back when she demands you to. I think you're encouraging her behavior in little ways - but, for some people, a little is all they need.

Oh, Goosey, there's always that bit of apprehension that if I don't get back to her, that will be one of the times she has gone to the hospital and actually needs a family member.  There have been times that I've blown off her calls, only to find out later that she was at the county med.

Of course, then there are the times she "just wants a ride."  Oh, and lunch, someone to buy her groceries, etc.

I really doubt if she's leaving a message that just says, "Call me back", she's in dire need.

Plus, if you start reinforcing NOW that you will not call her back without more information, she'll know to let you know when she's in the hospital because she knows you won't call her back if she doesn't indicate thusly.

If she starts saying that she's in the hospital to get you call her back - well, she's crying wolf and you've got to let her learn her lesson.

People can be trained! lol

This is what I'm thinking! If I'm in the hospital or in an emergency situation I'm gonna make sure I make that clear in my vm!

But you're assigning rational thought and logic to someone who doesn't have those life skills.  With this type of personality, manipulation is possible and even likely in emergency situations. When my (now cut off) SIL realized that we were screening her calls due to drama fatigue, she called us and ONLY us when she was admitted to the hospital for dubious reasons. But when she left the voicemail on my husband's phone, all she said was "Give me a call back when you can," no mention of hospitals or medical emergencies.

We figured it was just like all of her other calls and ignored it.  The next day, she calls the other relatives, including her parents, to tell them, "Well, I just got out of the hospital. They kept me overnight for observation and no one came to see me to make sure I was OK." When her parents asked why she didn't call the family to let them know she was in the hospital, she said, "Well, I called Mr. Weeble. Didn't he call you?"  So effectively, we were "punished" for not returning her calls because we then drew fire for ignoring the message. It became about our "bad behavior" instead of her constant cycle of drama.

This is true!

But if the OP wants to "train" her SIL then she there needs to be consequences for when SIL doesn't behave appropriately. If SIL left a call me back vm when she's at the hospital and the OP doesn't return the call hopefully the next time SIL will remember and leave a more appropriate vm. If the OP calls back on demand each and every time the SIL learns nothing.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: HenrysMom on August 15, 2013, 11:11:27 PM
All quiet on the SIL front...for now.

Just updating to say the police caught the perp that held DH up.  He had to go to the police station to ID the gun and items that the guy had on him.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: Curly Wurly Doggie Breath on August 16, 2013, 01:35:41 AM
Good to hear that :)
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: YummyMummy66 on August 16, 2013, 05:49:50 AM
I would tell SIL that from now on, she needs to leave a specific message as to why she is calling, if not, you will not be returning said call.

If she is at the county med, then you will know.  If she just wants something, you will know and can prepare your response. 

Your sister is 60.  Your husband is not responsible for her.  As long as he enables her, she will not learn to "grow" up.   
There are some things I would still do, but I would not be at her beck and call and I would not support her financially.

As for grocery shopping, I would tell her this is when I am going, do you want to go along?  And that will be the only time you are going that week, so she needs to get what she wants then.  If she calls you later and needs to go, tell her you already went.  If she needs to go, she needs to find another way there or wait until you go again.
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: ladyknight1 on August 16, 2013, 08:08:35 AM
SIL may never mature to that level, but she should still be held accountable for her needs like any other adult.

OP, I am so glad they caught the guy!
Title: Re: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)
Post by: cwm on August 16, 2013, 10:54:35 AM
Glad they caught the guy!

And also glad to hear that things are quiet with SIL for now.