I’m so glad I have been in this forum. It’s taught me a lot. As I sit here decompressing from a stressful week regarding family arranging in home care for 93 yr old father in law and 90 yr old mother in law with dementia, who still drives.... lost the car at Walmart last week. Family has decided in home care needs to come in. There is a high functioning sibling with brain disablty at home , works 4, 8 hr days. 2 brothers are retired. My husband is one of them. I have learned here , that if you say yes, you're stuck.... father in law will pass soon , mother in law will need full time help for years after. As soon as I saw a hint of SIL (email) may look at this, I kindly explained we could not make this type of commitment. We have committed to my daughter who has an autoimmune disease help as needed. ... another email ,comes stating :one line, 2 retired brothers , problem solved...
I deleted it, another email stating if Saturday visits move to a week day , parents save x amount of dollars , an hour later , response from another was hey if 2 days , xx amount of dollars are saved. I responded right away, I was so glad I was on the thread, because it’s what I’ve learned here, they take and take..... 3 days later a text arrived to my husband , how his sister was recovering from a head injury from hitting a brick wall... my email saying NO NO NO. I had already said no politely. This family is dysfunctional and literally split in half (5 yrs including public biblical shunning) by this sister to try to get her way. At the end she asked for all 4 days....

I know most here wonder why they can’t get help from family. And they are stuck then. I have this vision of my hard earned retired life going south. While the sister go on vacation soon... I have no question, I know I’ve learned that Family will take advantage of you... thank you for keeping me educated

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Well, no in home care arriving soon , eldest sibling doing his own thing , to heck with siblings input. Part of the 5 year family dysfunctional power plays. As I write this , I am reminding myself that I have washed my hands of all of them.
My daughter has MS and found this weekend she started aggressive chemo in December,and will soon be totally immunocompromised as it continues to wipe out the wbc counts. On top of all this the above brother has convinced my husband covid is not real. There are no covid protocol going on over at parents home. My daughter sent my husband a very nice letter explaining he will need to change those behaviors if he wants to see his grandchildren. Another fight with husband when I tried to explain the brother above needs to get the help phone call , not us ( we live 2 minutes away, brother 10) if it’s more emergent, press the medic alert. DH says he won’t do that. But if DH goes over , and EMS is needed or called , I can’t see or help my daughter for 2 weeks to protect possible exposure. Another fight.


We are glad that you found us. I enjoy reading your posts.

I feel sane again after having found this forum. I don’t feel alone struggling to accept that I have been betrayed by my immediate family always. It’s taken me getting older and wiser to see it.

Am very grateful to all of you.

You have received wonderful responses so far.

I have to say, I see tons of people posting saying, “Help! I am an only child with no one else to help.”

I understand their frustration of not having siblings and feeling alone in a stressful situation but the flip side is I am saying to myself, ‘If you had siblings like mine, you would be glad that you are an only child.’

You have no idea how much I wished that I was an only child.

In fact there was a past poster on the forum who was an only child that commented after reading about rotten siblings. He said, “Gee, after reading about these siblings I am glad that I am an only child!”

Not only do they not help. They don’t even want to be a shoulder to lean on.

Also, some parents pit the children against each other. The parents are pot stirrers and it destroys the siblings relationships.

It’s horrific that a parent can do this to their children but trust me it happens all the time.

Oh, and the parents usually don’t own up to it, plus they retell the facts to others in a distorted, out of context way. My mom did this. It hurts. Others believe them, because they are little old ladies. Some dads are just as guilty of this behavior.

Often the truth is parents are just looking for sympathy for themselves. It’s very sad.

I certainly feel your pain! I had many issues with my siblings.

I so wanted a healthy, loving relationship with all of the members of my family.

We can’t pick our family. We can’t control their behavior but we can choose our reaction.

I don’t wish any harm to anyone in my family but I wouldn’t say that we are close and we never will be.

I was very close to my dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I am grateful for that.

At one time I was close to my mom. Continual caregiving with complicated issues from siblings and mom favoring them as her precious sons put a huge strain on our relationship.

I am relieved to no longer be mom’s caregiver. We have limited contact.

Firstly, if you like to read.. I have two things that may help you.

Boundaries. Have you read it? Yes? Follow that advice when dealing with the SIL, the mission creep, the guilt, the expectations.
If not, get a copy ASAP.

There is a forum thread titled 'I'm so disheartened & angry'. It is the length of a novel!!! About a DIL's struggle to get out of the servitude her Husband's family keep trying for. I found this so inspiring.

My other advice is to stay a team with your DH.

When his family start the pressure tactics you will be a stronger team together. Where does he stand on it? Sometimes a little light uncovers a bit of old-fashioned 'the womenfolk can do the care stuff' thinking in even the most liberated men. Or sometimes those old apron strings are made of thick rope. Or they have been taught never to say NO to Mamma.

My DH has 2 sisters who weild wands of guilt to get their OWN way, disguising requests as 'Mother wants'.

Get to to know the players & tactics. There is a team here for you 💪💪.

I have read so many times here how , siblings don’t pitch in. She retires next year , has a cottage... guarantee she won’t give up her cottage time to help....
this family has been dis functional a long time, recent nasty email to my husband about me , was he needed to straighten me out, because I married him , I married the family... I want a divorce then.....😳

Yes. We tell people who we are. If we say whether explicitly or by action that we are the problem solvers and the caregivers, then they will take our word for it. They will allow us to do it. They will tell us it was our own choice. There will be little thanks for it, because, after all, it's what we do, right? I remember when I told my Mom I would go for training as an RN. I already had two children. She told me "Good, because then you will stop trying to take care of everyone else, and stop picking the sickest kitten in the litters. You will get paid for what you are driven to do anyway." She was so correct. It was a wonderful career, and I loved it, but I stopped picking the sickest boyfriends in the gang, and I stopped picking the sickest kitten in the litter.
It is ever the same and always was; once the caregiver wears him or herself completely down to nothing, and sits weeping, the rest will say "But it was your own choice.".
When the time came for 24/7 care I had long known my limitations. I would be counted in that gaggle of siblings who didn't take it on, who knew I wasn't up to it at all. I could do it for 8 hours, maybe the rare double shift; but that was it. I had to see a shrink to learn not to take on the woes of the world. I had to learn to tell my daughter she had to flea treat her cat herself; I couldn't come that day. When you first start to say "no. sorry but no", wow, do those who depended upon you ever get mad. They DO adjust, however.
Welcome to the forum. You will have lots to contribute to others. (hee hee; sometimes there's just nothing for it but a laugh. More often, even that doesn't help).

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