Is this emotional blackmail? I am furious!

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I really need help dealing with a stressful/confusing situation. It is complicated to explain and lengthy so be prepared. My uncle (my Dad's brother), has been married several times and has a couple children (we don't know the actual number) whom he does not have contact with. I have tried to reconnect 1 cousin w/my uncle and was completely ignored. My uncle just turned 65 on Saturday but is in poor health due to being morbidly obese for 30 years. He is around 400lbs & can barely walk and somehow holds a supervisor position which he is retiring from in December. Obviously, him retiring will cause him to become even more sedentary. My uncle is also a caretaker for my other uncle, who is Schizophrenic. Schizo uncle has been diagnosed with lung disease, etc, horrible health, smokes 3 packs of smokes a day and drinks 2 cases of coke a DAY and he is diabetic. Just a total nightmare. Schizo uncle can barely breath and is expected to live another 1-2 years. So, that is the preface let's get into the meat of things. Uncle 1 expects uncle 2 to die ahead of him, and then expects me to become his caretaker and see him through. He came over proclaiming he didn't need his house anymore, that it was too big for him to care for and he was signing it over to me as it was to be left to be after his death anyway. He asked my husband, who is a skilled carpenter, to build him and uncle #2 a cottage behind the main house bc he can care for a smaller space easier and it would then be used as a guest home after his death. The main house is on a large piece of land, there are 3 different gate entrances and we would divide off our lawns with property fence.We made it clear to uncle #1 the entire time that we did not intend on living in main house for any period of time as we had already made plans to move back to my home-state. We have made it clear we intend on living there 1-2 years to save money for a house and then we are leaving. He acts as if he doesn't hear us. He will say "You need to do what is best for you" and then turn around and say things that imply I am expected to be his grocery shopper/errand runner/nurse aide. I am becoming very bitter about the whole matter. We are in our late 20's with a 1 year old. We are newlyweds. We do not want this baggage. I have been completely honest w/uncle #1 and he replied with a story of he understood at a young age that uncle #2 would be left to him to be responsible for, that no one in the family care enough to make sure he was ok after my grandparents death (which is totally untrue) and that bc he had sacrificed his life to care for uncle #2 that I am expected to do the same for him. He said bc he has no friends, our family is all dying off and I am basically *it*. he then added in that "there is a special place in hell for people who put their family members into homes".The house is being held as leverage over our heads. I would like to add that he has spent close to 20k so far on supplies for this cottage to be built and husband is 20% into completion on the damned thing. My uncle of course didn't let me know his intentions for MY(our) future until he had spent the money and husband had started construction.He and my Dad have a very shady relationship and my uncle tends to try to control, obviously. My Dad and him have gotten into it more than once over this house situation in regards to my uncle trying to take over my life. It is infuriating that my daughter's childhood would essentially be me playing hospital to my uncle who never ever took care of his health at ALL. My uncle is a good person deep down but, he spent his entire life being a crotchety S.O.B. who womanized and abandoned and he is very much a tormented soul. I feel like if you leave an inheritance to someone it should be out of a sincere heart, not to force them or guilt them into wiping your ass. I am so bitter about the situation and my poor husband is now working 5 days a week 12 hour days and then expected at uncle's 12 hours Sat & 12 hours Sun. And if husband doesn't show uncle is on the phone chewing ME out for it. How did it even get to this? I'm more mad at myself than anything. I feel mad bc I don't know how to handle this situation. I am mad that he is so arrogant and condescending I feel like I can't stand up to him. If I try to explain to him we are NOT staying in this state he yells and talks over me waving his hands and slamming his fists onto whatever is near him. But, I feel like I can't walk away from him bc there is literally NO ONE to look after him. He has made it clear if we do not accept the house and live in it until he's dead he will never speak to me again. I am losing sleep over all of this and I have cried a thousand tears over the stress. I need insight and advice please.


Not sure where you live. Who in the government is charged with looking after elders with no family or resources?
Wow, what a mess!

As a preface, it's difficult to read long posts without any paragraph breaks, so I had to skip over some sections or my older eyes will start crossing!

Unfortunately your husband has allowed himself, you and your child to be dragged into this spider web.

I think these are the crux of the issues.

1. It was a mistake to be trapped into building the house in the first place. If your husband has any contractual obligations on building the new house, he may have to find a way to get out of them or honor them. I'm thinking of permits he may have had to pull, architectural plans he developed and filed, things like that.

2. At the rate he's going, it will take months to finish the house. It's absolutely insane for him to be stretching himself so thin in building this house. Does he have contractors, subcontractors? If not, he needs to lay down the law and hire someone. If Uncle #1 doesn't like it, tough. Walk off the job. It’s ridiculous to be putting so much sweat equity into a house that apparently neither of you really want. Even if you did, the days of Pharoahs using forced labor to build pyramids are long over. Your husband doesn’t and shouldn’t have even undertaken this project.

3. Your husband has an obligation to you and your child, and if he ends up in a hospital with multiple stress and overwork injuries, or with a heart attack, stroke or other debilitating illness, he's not going to be able to fulfill those obligations.

4. I had trouble keeping the uncles straight but the bully is manipulative and aggressive, not to mention irresponsible in allowing such gross health problems to develop. Uncle #1 is also chauvinistic in thinking that your life is going to be spent taking care of him once he needs it.

5. Uncle #1 is a bully; he's gotten away with it BECAUSE IT WORKS. You're going to have to find the courage to stand up to him, even if you have to have professional therapy and/or counseling, get an injunction against him, or move, even if you have to move back to live with your own father, who does seem to have the guts to stand up to Uncle #1.

6. I question why your husband feels he needs to allow them to manipulate, bully, dominate and threaten YOU in the first place. There must be some unspoken factor for him to allow him to perpetuate such a domineering influence.

7. I do wonder though why your husband even agreed to this scheme. His first obligations are to you and your child.

8. " And if husband doesn't show uncle is on the phone chewing ME out for it. How did it even get to this?

Well, it got that way because either your and/or husband caved in to the uncles and allowed it to happen.

Don't take the uncle’s calls; if you don't have caller ID, get it, and don't answer when he calls. If he threatens, call the police.

9. There are some serious control and manipulation issues going on in this family. There are also some ambivalences, and the situation isn't going to be resolved without addressing these - you and your husband need to "be on the same page" and stop the manipulation and intimidation.

10. "he yells and talks over me waving his hands and slamming his fists onto whatever is near him." And you haven't called the police? What in the world is the matter with you? I wouldn't even allow this maniac in my house, let alone near my child.

11. "But, I feel like I can't walk away from him bc there is literally NO ONE to look after him." Read what you've written - you're waffling and backtracking. If you really feel this way, then your questions here are a waste of time to answer.

12. "He has made it clear if we do not accept the house and live in it until he's dead he will never speak to me again" This is the only positive thing I've read. So, stand up for yourselves, tell him you won't accept the house and thank God he won't speak to you again.
Babaloyu, I'm not sure what you mean?
GardenArtist, I appreciate your reply! You made me feel like I'm not losing my mind and verified I am correct on several points, which made me feel more secure.

As far as why my husband allows him to do this, well, it really all just came to surface within the last month. And my uncle is basically manipulating my husband against me. My uncle calls me when he knows my husband is not home, then I relay it to my husband, my husband confronts him and he downplays what was said. There has been friction between my Dad and my husband and I think my husband is worried that if he pisses my uncle off my uncle will run crying to my Dad. That they will gang up against him. And my Dad is very ill right now, so we are literally trying to not make any waves or cause any stress.

He agreed to building the cottage bc at the time we were told that my uncle needed it bc of his issues with walking. This was presented to us as a surprise, that instead of waiting until after his death for us to have the house he is wanting us to live in it now. The house is double the size of ours. And at that time my uncle had a different demeanor towards us. I think we were oblivious to his agenda. It changed when I voiced deviation from the plan HE made for us. Bc we are still planning to move, he has now become very controlling.

As far as me calling the police or him scaring my daughter, she was not present when these instances occurred. Trust me, I would've had a very different attitude if he pulled that stunt around my baby.

I did backtrack on the point of him being totally alone in the world but, I am looking at it from the perspective of is he going to drive my Dad nuts when we leave? My Dad has congestive heart failure on top of being HIV positive. I guess I really need to let my Dad deal with that, though.

I am realizing now that what I've allowed into my life and marriage is totally unacceptable and I really need to grow up and fix this mess. And I really don't think there is any "nice" way of going about it other than to let my uncle hate me until he dies.

I mean, if you all walked away, or if you didn't exist in the first place, who cares for the elderly in your country? (I got the sense that you're not in the US).

You Don't HAVE to care for him. Presumably, Garden Artist pointed out, you live in a jurisdiction that has outlawed slavery. He can't MAKE you do anything. He can't make you feel anything. Those things are under your control.

Decide to walk away and if he becomes a menace to himself, you call whatever government agency takes charge of elders who can't care for themselves.

And do look up FOG--FEAR, OBLIGATION AND GUILT. It's what he's using to control you. Listen to what Garden Artist is telling you.
Thanks GA, you said everything I wanted to say only so much better! J, your uncle is only now retiring, so despite his poor health he will probably live many more years. You need to walk away from this whole situation. He will rage and you will feel the pain of not meeting his (unrealistic) expectations, but it is nothing to the way you will feel if you wake up 10 years from now after having let him manipulate you into lifelong servitude.
And I think Baba... is asking, what would uncle do if you had never been born? There are many childless elders out there and they have to plan accordingly, there are other options.
Learn how to say "no" and mean it. No arguing, no gnashing of teeth. You've thought it over and you're not interested.
Babalou, I am American. lol I have no idea who cares for the elderly if there is no one to look after them, I have never thought about it to be honest. I have discussed with my dad that my uncle could easily hire aides to come in and help him, he has the money to hire help. I have suggested this to my uncle and of course he doesn't want strangers in his home etc... I will look up FOG, thank you for the suggestion.

cwillie, you are so right! I guess him hating me is much better than me hating me for tolerating whatever he dishes out to me.

If he becomes a danger to himself, one calls Adult Protective Services. The State (usually) government appoints a guardian or conservator and that person is responsible for making sure the elder's needs are met, i.e. home health, NH, etc. Don't worry, he won't live in the street unless he resists or rejects their help.

But it sounds as though he has the means to hire help. He may be one of those folks who makes up a plan in their heads and assumes that everyone else is going to be bullied into it.
Look up the emotional blackmail thread here on AC.

Forget nice and focus on being nice to yourself and to your immediate family. Abusive people like nice people because they count of them being overly nice. You may want to look into why you are so overly nice. Many of us who are have been groomed to be that way by someone in our past.

Good luck and set yourself free.

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