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My DH is the middle of 3 brothers. His older brother cut ties with everyone (including his mother) 4 years ago. We have limited online connection with his only child. My MIL is widowed. In the past few years we ( my husband and I) have taken on all responsibility for her legal needs. None of us live in the same city as her. We have offered to move her to our city, but she doesn't want to move and we respect that. Over the past 3 years we have been the only family members responsible for her care. My husband is the one who: makes sure her bills are paid, arranges for her tax returns, talks to her physician, calls her every 3 days, cleaned out her home and took her to the closing.We haven't had a vacation in over 3 years because all of our free time has been spent traveling to her city to deal with her needs. His younger brother is always "too busy" to assist in any manner. My husband recently asked him to help with moving his mom from independent living to assisted living. It's on the same campus, but still requires someone to move her stuff. Brother, is, of course, too busy. I'm done. I want to write these pretentious jerks out of our lives but my husband is holding on to the idea that they're family. Our daughter is getting married and younger brother will be "out-of-town" ( he works constantly OOT) and can't attend So much for those save-the-date cards sent 6 months ago. I hope my husband can move on and embrace loving friends who are more family than family. I dread the day we're dealing with a funeral that BIL is too busy too attend. Sorry for the rant, but I'm just so tired of dealing with this a-hole and I want my husband to just cut ties with him. It's taking a physical toll on him and I worry about his well-being.

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Thanks for the answers folks! Family dynamics are fine as in regards to the parents and the way the brothers were brought up. I've been part of this family for 30+ years so I have a pretty good idea of how things were/are. Oldest brother is cuckoo for cocoa puffs. And according to my husband, always has been. Younger brother has morphed into such an unpleasant, materialistic creature who in no way resembles the person I met 30 years ago. I just can't wrap my head around someone who thinks calling his elderly mother every 6 weeks or so is showing concern. I guess he thinks there's a Caregiver Genie who waves his magic wand and everything gets done. I know I can't insist my husband cut ties with him, but the stress of the situation is literally keeping him up at night. So, I'll give him the "letting the apron strings fly" advice. I think he'll appreciate it.
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I would feel the same way if I were in your shoes, but I think, over time, your husband will begin to feel the same way that you do about the situation. My sisters refused to help me with my aging parents, and several years ago, I still wanted to maintain a relationship with them, but as time passed, I slowly changed my opinion, and now I am emotionally "divorced" from them, and I really don't want a relationship with them now. I think as time passes, your husband will eventually see things your way on this own.
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Maggie puts her finger on the (sore) point. You are perfectly entitled to have, and even on occasion give vent to, your opinion of these wastes of space, but they're not yours to ostracise. And while I sympathise with, indeed share, your very natural desire to declutter them out of your life, I would grumpily agree with Pam that there is nothing to be lost by letting things be and seeing what the future brings.

But a little light-hearted sarcasm won't do the useless sods any harm. "Too busy? Goodness that IS a blow. We've got so used to counting on you…"
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You have ALL made such wonderful, valid points regarding this issue. I certainly understand your frustration with your husbands family, as I feel that I would probably have these same feelings. They are very selfish and self centered people. But since they have displayed these uncaring characteristics
doesn't change the fact that your MIL is still aging and unable to care for herself. Every family has their own " dynamics" that may have started very early in their lives. Some siblings wouldn't walk across the street to spit on their brothers head if he were on fire. And some family ties couldn't be pulled apart with a tractor. It's not until the parent has passed away that they come around like vultures, and that's for what they feel is an entitlement to her proceeds and possessions. Having said all of that, YOU, my dear, can lay down each night with a clear conscious, knowing that you've stood strong beside your husband and have lovingly MADE THE TIME for your MIL and did your best to be a wonderful, caring and compassionate woman. That speaks VOLUMES. And I know your husband is most grateful to have you to do all you do, and for him to lean on when necessary. This is your core character, and believe me, there is a special place in Heaven for your loving care. As for his brother's. . . why upset yourself and begrudge them for their inhumane conduct. This will create more stress on YOU, and you can't allow that. I would continue to be the wonderful and thoughtful person that you are, as without you and your husband, who would she have? Don't ALLOW them to rent space in your head. In the grand scheme of life, you have done the RIGHT thing, and the rest of them have their own demons to deal with. As I said earlier, you should rest well at night knowing that you've done something wonderful and priceless for another human being. Your husband is a lucky man to have you. I must also agree with Maggie. You are most certainly entitled to your feelings and your choice to write them off as jerks that don't even deserve to be in your company. But if your husband wants to maintain a relationship with his brothers, that's his right. And if you try to INSIST that he break ties with them, it may bring hard feelings between you and your hubby, and there's already enough strife in your lives. You stay focused on what's REALLY IMPORTANT, and that's your MIL. The brothers wouldn't enter my mind on any level. You are the bigger person and will always be the bigger person. Let them go and under no circumstances allow them to affect your mind or your most WONDERFUL SELF. ((( Big Hugs to You )))))
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Hi Erniesmum, sorry you're experiencing this. It's a very isolating feeling. Perhaps your own family is much different from your husband's, and you're comparing apples and oranges.
He sounds the one dutiful, obligated child who has stepped up. It isn't pleasant or helpful for him that his brothers aren't at least helping him (and you too) out. But you might not know what the family dynamics were. These brothers may be doing a smart, healthy thing for themselves by staying away. Maybe not, but I'm throwing this out there as a possibility.
At any rate, Pam's suggestion to just let the strings "wave for a while" is a good one. You don't have to do anything, other than accept that this is the way it is, and be there for your husband.
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You have the absolute right to write your husband's family off and never have contact with them again.

HOWEVER, you DO NOT have the right to insist your husband do the same.
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Thank you, kathy. It was a sweet thing to say. Something that caregiving has shown me is that many people don't have a lot of depth to them. We can talk to them and expect to find a new depth, but it isn't there. What we see is what we get. They live life and enjoy it at the moment. It isn't a bad way to live -- free from any entanglements. I can't really blame my brothers, because my parents neglected the family until my parents needed them. Then most of them were not there for them. If my parents had been more loving, then it might have been different. You can't pull together a family that was never really there.
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JessieBelle, Never think that your a fool to care, and show your love and devotion to a sick loved one. I so admire you. I wish I could be more like you. You have softened my responses to my siblings, and I thank you. You are so kind and loving, and your wisdom shines through your posts. Your brother is a fool, who will never understand joy, or admire the beauty in a sunset. When this is over you will stand tall, a woman of strength, courage, and love. You will know happiness. Your brother never will
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Siblings can be perplexing. My brothers ignored my father until he died. One brother showed up at the hospital, the other at the funeral. One brother always had the same response when I called him about Dad being ill -- "Old people are like that." This was his way of saying he didn't want to be bothered. The other day I told him that Mom was acting very strangely, and he said, "Old people are like that." You would think he would have learned that I don't cry wolf about things. But the truth is he doesn't care and doesn't want to be bothered.This is kind of bad because he is financial POA and executor of the will. I have a feeling that the will is going to take years to execute.

From what I've read on this board, my brothers are pretty ordinary in the US. When I look at the wreck my life has become, I think maybe they are the smart ones.
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Aprons have ties, just like families. When they come undone, you can tie them back up or just let them wave in the breeze. You don't cut them off, in case you decide to re-tie them. So let them wave for a while. Just a thought.
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