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Twenty five years ago, when I was single, my brother and his wife asked me if I agreed that mom and dad could live equal time in our homes when they could no longer live alone. I agreed but even at that time I wondered what a future husband might think of that arrangement.

I have been married now for nine years and my 91 year old mother cannot live alone any more. My father is deceased. My husband is totally against this arrangement. It has caused a lot of trouble within our family and within my marriage. My brother told us that even though my husband was not there at the time, an agreement was made none the less. My husband has done many things over the years to be a wonderful member of the family for both my parents and my brother's family but he now feels betrayed by them. There is much friction between us all. My brother lives in a different state many miles away.

My mother has mild dementia. She is still pleasant but her memory is very bad.
My husband cared for a relative with dementia for 10 years and he doesn't want to do it anymore. His health is being affected and he is very depressed about mom coming to live with us again. We finally agreed to it and we have had her with us twice for six months at a time. He said he just can't do it again.
My mother has money for assisted living but I know she would rather live with her family. My brother is in charge of her money and he has already divided it up between us with the understanding that we will return it as she needs it. We never discussed health issues when we first made this agreement.

We are looking into adult day care but that would only be two days a week for 5 hours a day.

I told my brother and husband that I feel torn about what to do. They both feel betrayed about my feeling torn. I love my husband very much and I don't want to ruin my marriage. I also care about my mother. Does anyone have any ideas, opinions or suggestions about what to do is this situation?

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Lisac1st, you are indeed missing something. I am fandago12’s husband and have assisted my wife with the care of her mother, in our home, for two six months periods. Now, I want my mother to enjoy two six month periods – is that so unfair? Last, I have not referred to my BIL by any “insulting female name” whatsoever.
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And now it's my turn to apologize, for being vulgar. I see red when bad male behavior is characterized with a name that is demeaning to women. It led me to a rash posting; not well done of me, when country mouse had already expressed regret, and others laughed it off to smooth things over. X
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Never mind; he's doing it to avoid MIL?
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I'm missing something here. Why is it ok for ***12 to go take care of his mom, but not his wife to take care of hers and why not call his BIL a SmellyPr**k, instead of an insulting female name? Call it by the right sex, at least, if one has to get ugly.
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Look up the thread the power of emotional blackmailers.

This will provide both a diagnosis of what it is and a prognosis of how to overcome it.

People with personality disorders are masters of emotional blackmail. They groom their children as much as any other adult child abuser grooms their victims. The only difference is that emotional blackmail is a form of emotional child abuse and other abusers commit physical abuse.
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I know from experience, very painful experience, that one cannot rescue a spouse who is a child of a borderline or narcissistic mom. It's their war. Only they can fight it, if they chose to and chose to get help to as well as follow that help which someone in my family, SIL, has chosen not to do.

When her worshipfullness, mommy dearest, aka wicked witch of the west attacked our boys like she did my wife and her identical twin sister when they were young, my wife did not have me there to hide behind, as she said her therapist put it, and hit the tipping point of being proactive.

She came home early, asked her therapist if she could see her real soon. Instead of waiting for a letter from her mom like in the past, she wrote a letter in which she described what went wrong and why that was wrong and set boundaries with consequences toward her mother! That was a huge change for her given how much fear she had lived in concerning her mother's will.

Often children of a borderline mother catch emotional fleas from their borderline or narcissistic parent which can make others and even themselves think they have a personality disorder as well. Some do, but I think there are more who just need some intense therapy to remove the emotional fleas.

Those with a borderline spouse can catch these emotional fleas as well. Thus, they need therapy as well not because they are week, but in order to survive!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some children of a borderline or narcissistic parent do develop such a personality disorder as well. That's when the apple does not fall far from the tree. In such a plight, it is important to change gears from survival to self-protection because a borderline wife in particular who refuses the good treatments available today will becomes what the song says "a man eater, she will chew you up and spit you out" if you don't protect yourself in various ways which includes boundaries and consequences for her for your own protection.

I've yet to hear anyone ask why went don't hear about borderline dad's like we do with narcissism. I think the reason is that most borderline men are in prison.

One think one needs to keep in mind in relating with a female borderline is their ability to wear the most pleasing mask at first which they perceive you want them to be. They can be quite emotionally seductive and hoover you in to their world of drama which in turn has you trapped. Their sense of invalidation and fear of abandonment leads them to live a "I hate you, but don't leave me" type life. They start emotional tornadoes that in turn they step inside of to act as its victim when they created the damn thing.

Unfortunately to often family peacemakers get crucified and family members who seek to fix someone or rescue someone get severely hurt and some times drown themselves while trying to rescue the drowning family member.

Also, some peacemakers in a family often play a role they have been groomed for since childhood. It often involves some type of emotional enmeshment with the problem person, normally a parent.

If you read this, I wish you the very best.
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Hi Fandango. Just read your post from January about your living situation. As this is now October, it appears as though mom has stayed with you. How is that working now with your husband?
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CM, I have never heard prat before so looked it up! I have two twisted prats or horses patooties.
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Please do not be embarrassed as I too am laughing – thank you for that! We're all adults here and that term describes my BIL perfectly.
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Please don't apologise for speaking the queen's English. ROFL.
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I do apologise for using a synonym for prat that is even more vulgar. I was typing without thinking, and am very embarrassed.
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Your BIL sounds a prat. That is a fine, albeit vulgar, English term at its most useful when applied to the kind of people of whom my mother used to say "just ignore him and he'll go away."

I do have a problem, though. Two, actually.

One, your lovely wife. She is a peacemaker; or at least she seems to me to want peace of mind. Your fighting with her family, while I understand your fury with her brother and the impact it's had on his children (prat, you see?), will not win her that.

Two, your MIL. I'm sorry that the way this whole story has unfolded has led her to degrade herself in your eyes. I'm not much given to "making allowances" (another mother-ism) for the sake of it; but on the other hand this lady is old, she is dependant, and she doesn't know which way to turn - hence, she played dirty. 'Tisn't likely to be her finest moral hour, is it? Could you find a way to shelve her ingratitude and her skewed opinions until you come to a less emotionally fraught time, and process them then? Again, I'm actually thinking of your wife: she needs her mother to be taken care of; and to achieve her part in that without getting sucked back in by her family she needs still more of your generous support. As opposed to retaliation, that is.

Would your MIL's funds allow for her to live in long-term care permanently near you and your wife, hypothetically? I realise that this would mean detaching her from, by the sound of it, the Golden Child (aka Twat, for our purposes) and would therefore be far from straightforward. But if, again hypothetically, you and your wife were able to take full control of her mother's welfare, it strikes me, it could smooth your wife's path considerably. As you have graciously (it is gracious, I'm not being ironic) agreed to the next 6-month tour of duty, would that present an opportunity to get to work on taking this vulnerable elder out of her feckless son's grasp?

That point about early training, combined with your suspicions of narcissistic personalities at work. Beware trying to 'rescue' your wife. The apple doesn't fall from from the tree, and borderline personalities come in many shapes and flavours (some very sweet, mind you; they're not all poison, though they are all… a handful). Are you familiar with the theories around BPD? - it came as news to me, I admit, but learning more about it has helped me make sense of a good many mysteries.

I've got a beloved SIL who's on the point of taking early retirement so that she can spend more time with her mother, Gawd help us. I sympathise with the horror of seeing the ties that bind beginning to cut in. If her excellent husband can't stop this happening then no one could, but I'm not prepared to place any bets at the moment. She certainly doesn't want to hear what I have to say about it. It's extremely depressing.
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WorriedAboutDad,

The “white trash” remark is indeed hurtful but it’s both accurate and justified. As far as airing dirty laundry, so what? My in-laws have done everything possible to hurt my wife and I would like the world to know that. I would like nothing better than to take this to the courts and let it all hang out. Debbie is a peacemaker but I’m a fighter…hurt my wife, expect me to retaliate.

I’m sorry about your situation as it sounds untenable. Alcohol is not the way to cope with your situation – not being judgmental, it’s just that I tried that route when much younger and it only exacerbates the situation. Perhaps if you explain your situation someone here can offer meaningful advice. Lots of really great people on this site.
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Well, my goodness. I didn't know that. But I don't know that we have to know all of that. It is private.

You are clearly at the end of your rope. You seem to provide more than adequate answers as to the leech of a son who did very bad things.

I still am there with you about the caring of an ailing parent, in-law or otherwise. I came into this situation with all the compassion in the world. That was melted away over years and years of more intensive obligations that I did not sign up for and now waiting hand and foot on someone who can walk, talk, drive, read the NYT daily, everything. We do it just "cause". And now comes more care, more needs, it mounts and mounts and we have small children and I find the priority is to make his dad happy as opposed to provide us with even the most basic separate residence and begin the painful process of handing this over to professionals. I can't do it anymore. I hate my life. I have kids! I want a life centered around them!
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Countrymouse, thank you so much. Deb and I will get through this because of the action I will take. MIL will be with us for the next six months but that will be the last time. BIL can either agree to assisted living or keep her full time.

As far as using words that cannot be retracted, I agree. Use of the term “white trash” should never be used lightly and the user should be able to provide evidence to support to use of such a derogatory term. This is a severe situation and I can easily support my use of that term in a court of law if necessary.

BIL did everything possible to hurt his sister. He told her that her father said awful things about her. He hurt her by criticizing the way we were married very quickly and could not invite guests other than parents. He did so despite knowing that we needed to be married for nine months before Deb could keep my pension if I died. He did so knowing that I had heart issues and waited out the nine months (against medical advice) before undergoing a risky medical procedure to ensure Debbie would have my pension. That’s what men do for the wife they love and I make no apologies for seeing to her financial security.

He lied and poisoned his children against Debbie. Her only niece and nephew will have nothing to do with her. Please note that I never said that BIL was the sharpest knife in the drawer. Turning his children against Debbie cost them (if Debbie and I would die today) nearly 1M each. (I wrote to each of them and implored them to continue their relationship with Debbie. Through their father, they refused to accept any money from her and would not even accept her check for their birthdays). When his daughter was struck by a car while a pedestrian, driver 100% at fault, he decided to represent her as he know he could do just a well as a lawyer. That went well…of course, after subrogation his daughter OWED 4K to the insurance carrier – had a lawyer been involved she could have easily walked away with 100K.
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Pam, there has been no demise – if she had died we would not be arguing over her domicile.

I agree wholeheartedly and we are very willing to return all monies. We suggested that all parties return all funds but the idea was rejected. We could easily return all of it and not feel a pinch…we made the money and saved it…BIL, not so much. After all, we never asked for it, had nothing to do with the transfer and were informed of the decision after the fact. You’re also correct in your definition of trash…that would certainly apply to those who grab it and walk away leaving their parents to Medicaid. My BIL is the one who transferred the money, not us. It was he that was in the office of the financial advisor on the day my father in law died. Where was I? At the hospice center with my dying father in law. However, no one is leaving her to Medicaid. She has LTC insurance and decent monthly income. After the money was transferred we agreed that we would incrementally return it as she needed it for her living expenses– Deb and I will of course keep our promise.

Medicaid has a 5-year “look-back” period and there is nothing illegal about transferring money to avoid that look-back period. However, the people to whom the money is transferred must be honorable and willing (as we are) to make good on their promise to return funds as needed. If my MIL would go into assisted living, between her income, LTC insurance and return of her money as needed, we could easily pay the freight. BIL wants to keep that money and that’s it in a nutshell.
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I feel as if I'm watching a car crash.

Both of you, God willing there will be many years ahead of you. Please look ahead to that future and get through this horrible time together as well as you can. It doesn't have to be fun or elegant or organised, just get through it. And don't use words you can't take back. And don't listen to words you won't be able to forget.
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Oh, I meant fandango12. Misspell, sorry.
Pardon my opinion, but any color "trash" describes, not the people who made the money and saved it, but the ones who grab it and walk away, leaving their parents to Medicaid.
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fandango &fandago12 : No, you have no obligation to take her in as long as you return every penny you took prior to her demise. You get her good care, obviously she can afford Assisted Living and would probably be happier there than being burdened by relatives who hate each other.
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The "white trash" comment is just hurtful. My husband has said things to me in anger that hurt that way, and some of them are so sizzling with vitriol and devaluing that I will never, ever forget them. REMEMBER THAT. I, too, am a spouse that is so, so done with a situation that is completely upending my life and leaving me wanting for even the tiniest bit of alcohol as soon as it turns 11:00 just to cope. I know that I am going to die eventually, though perhaps soon, just because this is SO NOT WHAT THE HECK I SIGNED UP FOR!!!! I hate my life. Just don't go the "white trash" route. You just aired a lot of dirty laundry that was probably TMI.
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Have you guys ever tried couples counselling? Or individual therapy?
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Tim, it is heartbreaking to read this and you are right it is not a great recipe for a healthy marriage. It does sound like a rough road ahead for a 9 year old marriage. I wish things could have turned out better for you and Deb. Take care.
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Well, what happens next is already happening. We have homes in Florida and Pennsylvania. I’ve asked Deb to keep her mom in Florida while I return to PA to help my mom. Then, I will go to Florida while Deb stays at our home in PA. Great recipe for a healthy marriage, right?

I cannot spend another day with her mother whom, to be candid, I now despise. I have no idea how a loving and caring person like Deb came from such narcissistic white trash. As far as the travel arrangements, Deb is more concerned about her brother having to make the three hour trip to Chicago than about how I feel. I do not blame Deb and I will always love her…these people had her for 50 years and she’s been trained very well. Perhaps Deb should have married someone like her brother who wanted a ring thru his nose.

I thank you all again for being kind enough to offer advice. It really means a lot.
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If the basic question here is still, "Does Deb have to honor the old agreement to have Mom live with her?" the answer is simple. No.

I think we'd like to hear how this progresses. When you refuse to have Mom at your house, what happens next?
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Tim, as I've said before, dementia is a game changer. I don't believe that ANY of us have an obligation to be caregivers to our parents. We have an obligation to make sure that they are cared for. Hope the venting helped.
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Wow, that is some kind of family. Thanks for giving us an update and family history about all of this which gives a lot of historical context to what we are talking about. I don't think that I have my mind wrapped around off of the details.

Your BIL Bill, sounds like he is what is called a "bookie" a non degree, non-certified CPA. I know this because our son in preparing to get his master's degree and become a Forensic CPA one day.

I would assume that Bill is aware that moving that money has created some gifting tax for his mother which I think is taxed at 30 or 40% for the money above the allowed financial gift given per adult child. The amount allowed per adult child for 2014 is $14,000. I'm not sure about the exact percentage but a tax CPA would know.

I don't know, but am interested to know would not the Medicaid people wonder where all of this money is coming from after they get approved for medicaid or is there a way around that? I don't like that Bill has aggressively invested the money he has. That is not very wise.

By saying that things are coming to a head, does this mean the situation has created a rift between you and Deb?

This question may have already been asked and answered but how old is Debbie's mom?

What happens if her mom suddenly go into a very deep spiral as far as her own health is concerned and suddenly about all of their money is basically spent before 5 years is over? About how much money does mom have to last her for 5 years? Sounds like a real roll of the dice to me.

I'm sure that others will have more helpful input to your update.
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Folks, I’m Tim, husband of Fandango (Debbie). First, we’re deeply grateful to all of you for taking the time to offer us advice. We very much appreciate your kindness.

Just to clarify, Debbie’s brother (Bill) transferred his mother’s money through a reputable estate attorney and all monies are managed by a reputable financial advisor. It is true that he did this in order to satisfy the Medicaid 5-year “lookback” period but this transfer is completely lawful. Debbie and I were simply told what would happen and had no input whatsoever. You need to understand that Bill is a NON-CPA accountant that so wants to be important. Despite a lifetime at the same company he has never been a supervisor or manager. No wonder…he used his father’s illness to escape an unpleasant work assignment.

My issue that is Debbie and I have saved and invested wisely and really do not need her mother’s money. It is true that almost 30 years ago Debbie agreed to have her mom or dad live with her for six months out of the year but as everyone thus far has opined, that agreement entered into so long ago and before she was married is not valid. Even if Debbie was bound by that agreement, I certainly am not. After the money was transferred we agreed to return it to Debbie’s mom in increments as needed – her brother made the same promise. We also agreed that the money would be conservatively invested to remain liquid and we did so. After a year our mutual financial advisor advised us that we had lost a huge amount of money over the past year by being so conservative but I proudly told him that we had had made a promise and abided by it. Only then did we learn that Brother Bill had, behind our backs, instructed the financial adviser to invest aggressively. Unlike her brother who is both a weakling and a liar, I am an honorable guy and will keep my promise, even if Debbie would pre-decease me. Anyone who knows me, even if not one of my fans, would confirm that.

Returning the money is fine with me as I never wanted it in the first place – Deb’s mom living with us is another matter. Watching her remove her teeth, clean out food stuck in the plates and then the re-ingest it is a bit much for me. Picking bits of dropped food particles off of her blouse and throwing them on the floor Is not as bad but still a bit much for me to see on a daily basis. No one will dispute the fact that I have done more for Deb’s mom and dad in 8 years than Brother Bill has done in his entire life. The world consists of doers and those like Brother Bill, a couch potato who runs his mouth but avoids physical labor at all costs. I once had a very close relationship with Deb’s mom and actually felt like she was my “second” mom. When we were first discussing living arrangement and had disagreements, I asked Bill to call me so that we could work things out man to man. However, Brother Bill is a coward and when he knew that Deb and her mom were alone, he called them and eviscerated me with his lies. Of course his boss (wife Ellen) was on the phone for this ex-parte backstabbing. When Deb and I showed her mother the emails which CLEARLY showed Bill to be a liar, she concocted lies in an effort to protect him. Deb’s mother, although knowing her son was lying, never once defended me – understandably, I never felt the same about her. I’m very loyal to those I love but I expect that in return. I never expected Deb’s mom to side with me over her son but I did expect her to at least defend me against what she knew were lies against someone (me) who had helped her more than her own son.

Problems with money manners within that family are nothing new. In 2002, in an effort to buy back their son (Bill) who ignored his parents while keeping in touch with his wealthy aunt set up an irrevocable trust for Bill’s two children – 100K each. Deb’s mom, dad and Brother Bill kept that a secret from her for many years. It worked...Bill was suddenly more attentive. It hurt Deb terribly but hey, except for me who cares about Deb as long as Bill is happy? Bill raised his children to be like him and his domineering wife. No need to give notice before quitting great jobs (UPS), even though someone vouched for them to land the job. Neither child has ever been forced to say ‘thank you’ for a gift despite Aunt Debbie’s generosity. No need to show up at a function just because you were invited and accepted the invitation and although now an adult, just accept gifts at Christmas – no need to return the gesture. Still, they wonder why their nearly 30 year old daughter cannot maintain a job. This gives an idea of the type of people we’re talking about.

I was once a good in-law. I worked on my elderly in-laws house and saved them thousands and thousands of dollars. I loved them very much and enjoyed doing so. When my father-in-law could not climb the stairs when he came home from the hospital, I carried him up two flights. When a contractor wanted $125.00 to install each of 7 Grab bars I did it for free. When they were nervous about having Chem Lawn, for two years I applied weed treatment to an acre of lawn for free. (To be fair, I was reimbursed for parts and supplies). When I found that they suffered from power outages for many years I used my influence to have the local utility fix the problem. When my father-in-law needed to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance (on many occasions), he had a police escort. When I was expected to gush when Bill’s daughter Lindsey landed a job bathing dogs at Pet Smart (with her two college degrees) I gushed as I was expected to do. When I was asked to lie to the daughters illegal Mexican live-in about her relationship with another illegal I promised to do so. (Incidentally, the job at Pet Smart didn’t work out – she lasted two days. Lindsey did not approve of the way the other dog bathers talked. She goes home and screws an illegal Mexican and cheats on him with another illegal Mexican but she will not tolerate any cussing. Understood.) When their son joined the USMC as a mechanic and we were told that he would be riding in the convoys with combat Marines so he could fix the vehicles under fire on the battlefield instead of at a safe base I never called bullsh*t. When we were told that after fixing the tricks all day he would be kicking down doors and routing out enemy combatants at night I went along.

Deb and I have always had a deeply loving relationship – she’s my whole life. However, things are now coming to a head.
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Delavuagain, this should be an eye opener where brother is concerned - mom's money is for her care first, not for an inheritance, then AFTER mom's money is gone, the taxpayers step in. He is in fact untrustworthy and larcenous - he is stealing from mom and/or the taxpayers. The fact that he is your brother is really immaterial, except you might want to remember this look into how his mind works, for future dealings with him.
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Dementia is a game changer, in my opinion. It is one thing to care for a frail elderly person with mobility issues who is in their right mind. (Still difficult, but not impossible) caring for a dementia patient at home is much more difficult and wearing. You really do need three shifts of well-rested people to do this. This is not the gig you signed off on all those years ago.
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I like the idea of placing mom somewhere and using the money that way, but will a memory care unit take someone with only mild dementia as she is described to have in the original post? I am also not sure if they could do that since those places usually like to have the POA right there during the person's admission to the place. Plus one would have to get a doctor to write an order for that and usually a medical POA looks into that. All around it just might be better to look into the legality of this.
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