Author Topic: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story) - Update #34  (Read 7836 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

mstigerlily

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2013, 12:53:36 PM »
"Sorry, SIL, you have to discuss that with DH.  I have to go." and hang up. 

^POD on this. My variation would probably go something like this:
BarensMom: "SIL, I've told you you need to discuss that with DH. End of discussion. Do you have anything else you'd like to talk about?
SIL: "My dentures!"
BarensMom: "No? Then bye." - and hang up.

If she immediately calls back, don't answer!




Mikayla

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4049
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2013, 01:00:52 PM »
"Sorry, SIL, you have to discuss that with DH.  I have to go."

This.  OP, I think you're engaging her too much, and with someone like this, it sends a signal that it's ok for her to pester you, even knowing you can't fix her problem.  She needs a much more clearcut line in the sand.

JoyinVirginia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6039
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2013, 01:10:10 PM »
I agree with others, just because she keeps talking does not mean you haveto listen. ”Bye, sil, I have to go now.”

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5950
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2013, 01:12:31 PM »
You and your DH have to figure out what sorts of things you would and woudl not pay for his sister.  It would seem that he feels some responsibility and that you are okay with that.  It doesn't matter if you want to pay for all, some or none of her things as long as you two agree.   However, sister doesn't seem to know where the line is.  Perhaps he paid for dentures as that is a one time big ticket health related item.    But was she responsible with the dentures? Can they be repaired?  Is there a general length of time they are supposed to be good for? Is there a guarantee?  Y

Also consider having DH have a special ring tone so you know if you need to take a call.

She should know where the line is, because, with the exception of the dentures and one other large thing, we only give her small amounts via gift cards or shopping trips/lunches.

DH feels no responsibility for her at all, as her situation is due to her life choices.  It more or less depends on how generous he wants to be at any given time.

I don't think it's really our business to know if the dentures can be repaired or if there's a warranty - that's her job as the owner. 

Part of the reason she wanted me to go with her was to advocate for her with the dentist re warranty/repair/replace (possibly pony up the $$).  That would have involved me traveling 30+ miles over the infamous CA-4 during the busiest time of day, so she could go to the dentist 2 miles down the main street.

Re the bolded - I bet that's the issue right there. If she knows he occasionally feels extra generous/sorry for her, and can be persuaded at times to pony up for larger purchases, then she's going to continue calling with the hope of catching him at one of those times :-\. Unfortunately the only way to break her of asking for big financial help is probably to stop offering small financial help.

Sounds like that's your DH's responsibility, though, and since he's not the one asking for advice :) I'll say you should tell her "I can't help you with that.", every time, then change the subject or say goodbye and hang up.

weeblewobble

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3284
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2013, 01:13:54 PM »
You and your DH have to figure out what sorts of things you would and woudl not pay for his sister.  It would seem that he feels some responsibility and that you are okay with that.  It doesn't matter if you want to pay for all, some or none of her things as long as you two agree.   However, sister doesn't seem to know where the line is.  Perhaps he paid for dentures as that is a one time big ticket health related item.    But was she responsible with the dentures? Can they be repaired?  Is there a general length of time they are supposed to be good for? Is there a guarantee?  Y

Also consider having DH have a special ring tone so you know if you need to take a call.

She should know where the line is, because, with the exception of the dentures and one other large thing, we only give her small amounts via gift cards or shopping trips/lunches.

DH feels no responsibility for her at all, as her situation is due to her life choices.  It more or less depends on how generous he wants to be at any given time.

I don't think it's really our business to know if the dentures can be repaired or if there's a warranty - that's her job as the owner. 

Part of the reason she wanted me to go with her was to advocate for her with the dentist re warranty/repair/replace (possibly pony up the $$).  That would have involved me traveling 30+ miles over the infamous CA-4 during the busiest time of day, so she could go to the dentist 2 miles down the main street.
Based upon your description, your SIL sounds like she's heading down the road of my father's youngest sister, denture story and all. I could be wrong, but if I'm not, here is an insight I gained from watching my aunt over the decades: 

The minute you gave her the first penny, you were put into her "worth pushing" column. So she's going to keep pushing since the way her brain works is this:

People exist to give me what I want. Their wants and needs are not even on my radar.
Gave me money once = always a possibility they'll give me money later.

People like that do not SEE a line. They do not believe a line exists. Because they do not believe in lines or boundaries. Moreover, even if they did see a line, they only believe in the value of what they want and they'll cross any line to get it. So there is no "should know where the line is."  There is no line, no boundary they will not cross to get what they want. They believe that if they just keep pushing, they will get what they want. It's a matter of how long or hard they have to push, not a matter of IF they should push.

POD to Infinity.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5757
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2013, 01:58:53 PM »
I tend to disagree with the advice to tell SIL to talk to DH about this.  If she asks you for money, just tell her no.  Don't give her the impression that you and your DH are not a united front, or that his word overrides yours or vice versa.  If you do not want to give her money, tell her no, end of story.  There is no other route or option. The answer is no. It isn't, "I say no but maybe your brother will pity you."  The SIL asked the OP.  The OP can say "no."

Also, it isn't really clear to me why the SIL needs dentures or cannot otherwise provide for herself.  Presumably she is an adult and presumably she is not elderly and is able bodied.  For me, if this is true, my answer would be a firm "no" every time.

Redneck Gravy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2664
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2013, 02:10:36 PM »
I tend to disagree with the advice to tell SIL to talk to DH about this.  If she asks you for money, just tell her no.  Don't give her the impression that you and your DH are not a united front, or that his word overrides yours or vice versa.  If you do not want to give her money, tell her no, end of story.  There is no other route or option. The answer is no. It isn't, "I say no but maybe your brother will pity you."  The SIL asked the OP.  The OP can say "no."

Also, it isn't really clear to me why the SIL needs dentures or cannot otherwise provide for herself.  Presumably she is an adult and presumably she is not elderly and is able bodied.  For me, if this is true, my answer would be a firm "no" every time.

TurtleDove is giving sound advice here.  If she asks you for money just say no.  Change the subject and/or end the call.   At that point she will either stop asking and/or call DH.

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4149
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2013, 02:32:31 PM »
Why not just stop taking her calls?

Amara

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2541
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2013, 04:08:02 PM »
So much good advice here!

I agree with those who say that she needs to be clearly informed of where the line is. You and your DH should sit down and decide exactly what you are willing (and happy) to do going forward. Pay for the new/repaired dentures? Offer her $xx amount of money per week or month for so many weeks/months/years. Pay only for emergencies (and if so, define for yourselves exactly what defines an emergency).

I mean you need to be absolutely, thoroughly specific on what you are willing to do. Look at all possible situations. Make a decision. Then, when you have exhausted all possible situations wherein she might ask for money, decide what you will do when a situation arises that you did not foresee--and make a firm decision about that.

Once you are both committed to your plan, write it out. Have two copies. Meet with your SIL and go over the document precisely. Answer any questions she has. Let her know that you two are firmly together on this, and that this is the final word. Let her have a copy of the document if you wish. But keep a copy yourself. If either of you falters you can refer back to this knowing it was a family decision.

It probably won't be comfortable, but it will be crystal clear. And that is what you need. You cannot assume she knows the line; it must be written out not just for her but for you two as well. 

Cami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1307
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2013, 04:28:38 PM »
So much good advice here!

I agree with those who say that she needs to be clearly informed of where the line is. You and your DH should sit down and decide exactly what you are willing (and happy) to do going forward. Pay for the new/repaired dentures? Offer her $xx amount of money per week or month for so many weeks/months/years. Pay only for emergencies (and if so, define for yourselves exactly what defines an emergency).

I mean you need to be absolutely, thoroughly specific on what you are willing to do. Look at all possible situations. Make a decision. Then, when you have exhausted all possible situations wherein she might ask for money, decide what you will do when a situation arises that you did not foresee--and make a firm decision about that.

Once you are both committed to your plan, write it out. Have two copies. Meet with your SIL and go over the document precisely. Answer any questions she has. Let her know that you two are firmly together on this, and that this is the final word. Let her have a copy of the document if you wish. But keep a copy yourself. If either of you falters you can refer back to this knowing it was a family decision.

It probably won't be comfortable, but it will be crystal clear. And that is what you need. You cannot assume she knows the line; it must be written out not just for her but for you two as well.
  From experience, I would caution that writing it out often means nothing to people like that. They are not rational and don't believe in contracts or equity. Their beliefs begin and end with the two words: I want.

 My aunt was known for ripping up a contract or legal document and saying, "Well, that's the end of that!" And what's more, she truly believed it. She believed that if she didn't like an agreement, she just had to wave her magic wand and the agreement would be null and void. She tried that most recently with her father's will. He had left her an amount equal to all of his other children. After she'd quickly run through all of that money, she then contacted each of her siblings and demanded they give her their share. Why? Because she wanted it, she neeeeeeeeeeeeeeded it. When the executor pointed out that she'd gotten a fair and equitable share, she looked at him and said, "What does the will or what's fair got to do with it? I want more."

So maybe a written contract would work. It's not impossible. But don't count on it working or working forever.

Amara

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2541
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2013, 05:00:09 PM »
Quote
From experience, I would caution that writing it out often means nothing to people like that. They are not rational and don't believe in contracts or equity. Their beliefs begin and end with the two words: I want.

I know you are right, but I think having the "contract"--and all the discussions beforehand--is more important for the OP and her husband than between them and the SIL/sister. They'll be on one page, united together, and won't unintentionally undermine each other at difficult times.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2013, 06:10:26 PM »
Every time she calls, if you choose to answer (I have the one relative who does not get my time when their number pops up for the same reason) I would just say NO and end it there.  She is not calling your DH because she probably figures he is going to say no because he already paid for it once (and it is not cheap) so if she works on you, she may get the money.  I would also not hesitate to tell her "If this is all you are going to repeatedly call me for after I have said no, we have nothing to talk about.  Goodbye!" then not take her calls.  I think by you telling her to call your DH, you are putting him on the spot simply because he has not called her back, which, IMO means he isn't real keen on the idea of being the savior all the time.  And if you close the Bank of Family, be prepared for even more calls.

weeblewobble

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3284
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2013, 07:32:44 PM »
People with your SIL's issues have a really hard time speaking/asking/behaving directly.  Because if they ask directly for something, and they're told no 1) it means they don't get what they want, 2) it means there is no "back-up plan" and 3) it means they have to face the reality of the "no" and all that implies in their head. i.e. "My brother said no to my unreasonable request, so my brother must not love me."

These personality types are masters at triangulation and playing people against each other because a vast majority of the time, miscommunication, misunderstandings, and the awkwardness of the miscommunications and misunderstandings get them what they want.  And in the rare occurances in which the triangulation doesn't work, the manipulative personality can tell themselves, "Well, brother would have given me what I wanted, but mean old SIL got in the way!"

weeblewobble

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3284
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2013, 07:38:07 PM »
So much good advice here!

I agree with those who say that she needs to be clearly informed of where the line is. You and your DH should sit down and decide exactly what you are willing (and happy) to do going forward. Pay for the new/repaired dentures? Offer her $xx amount of money per week or month for so many weeks/months/years. Pay only for emergencies (and if so, define for yourselves exactly what defines an emergency).

I mean you need to be absolutely, thoroughly specific on what you are willing to do. Look at all possible situations. Make a decision. Then, when you have exhausted all possible situations wherein she might ask for money, decide what you will do when a situation arises that you did not foresee--and make a firm decision about that.

Once you are both committed to your plan, write it out. Have two copies. Meet with your SIL and go over the document precisely. Answer any questions she has. Let her know that you two are firmly together on this, and that this is the final word. Let her have a copy of the document if you wish. But keep a copy yourself. If either of you falters you can refer back to this knowing it was a family decision.

It probably won't be comfortable, but it will be crystal clear. And that is what you need. You cannot assume she knows the line; it must be written out not just for her but for you two as well.
  From experience, I would caution that writing it out often means nothing to people like that. They are not rational and don't believe in contracts or equity. Their beliefs begin and end with the two words: I want.

 My aunt was known for ripping up a contract or legal document and saying, "Well, that's the end of that!" And what's more, she truly believed it. She believed that if she didn't like an agreement, she just had to wave her magic wand and the agreement would be null and void. She tried that most recently with her father's will. He had left her an amount equal to all of his other children. After she'd quickly run through all of that money, she then contacted each of her siblings and demanded they give her their share. Why? Because she wanted it, she neeeeeeeeeeeeeeded it. When the executor pointed out that she'd gotten a fair and equitable share, she looked at him and said, "What does the will or what's fair got to do with it? I want more."


Is anyone else thinking of the episode of The Office where Michael is having money problems, so he does this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiCilTzhXrA

BarensMom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2616
Re: Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story)
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2013, 07:56:54 PM »
BTW, this is the SIL from the "don't drink from my bottle" thread, in case you don't remember.