Author Topic: Broken Record: Ask Your Brother!!!! (The Continuing Saga of DH's Sister)  (Read 14292 times)

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cass2591

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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.
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gramma dishes

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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.

snappylt

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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

Ask your brother and leave me out of it! (SIL story) - Update #34
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.

JoieGirl7

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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.

YummyMummy66

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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.

Slartibartfast

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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.

GSNW

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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.

weeblewobble

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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.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 10:37:28 PM by weeblewobble »

GSNW

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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!

Pen^2

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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.

BarensMom

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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.

bopper

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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. 

Twik

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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.
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pierrotlunaire0

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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).
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doodlemor

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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.