They are useless, however I've accepted, he has not. It all began when we called my siblings 15 months ago to request that the 3 of them come for one weekend every 6-8 weeks or so to give me a break. They live in the same town 3 hours away. Excuses, anger and continued avoidance followed with the addition of them demonizing me. By calling them it seems we gave them a "valid" excuse for their behavior. In the meantime I took the necessary steps of hiring in-home sitters to care for mom at her nearby home. Today while still stressful, mom's care is much more manageable with these siblings do not speak to me and on the rare occasion that we are at the same function they are distant and uncomfortable around me. I'm cordial however I do not try to win them over or ask for anything from them. I have come to the place of accepting who I am and sadly who they are...that they will not change. I am determined to not invest anymore of my energy on them however my husband sees the injustice and continues to verbalize his extreme dislike. Sadly I am his audience.

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Your husband is probably right with his criticism of the way they have treated you and your mother. You have taken so much weight off their shoulders, but all you get is disrespect. I don't blame your husband, but I know you get tired of hearing it. Maybe you can suggest to him that the two of you can go on like you're an only child.

I am personally surprised at how far some children can pull away when a parent has dementia or nears death. It is almost like they see it as a personal inconvenience or an intrusion into their lives. Caregiving siblings can get zero respect from these siblings. I think it's all part of avoidance, since getting too close might mean they would have to do something or feel something. It's so much easier to continue their own lives without interruption.

I have to admit I've never asked my brothers for anything and they've never offered anything. I figure their relationships with my parents were between them. If someone were to talk about how bad they are, I would just shrug and say that it is the way it is. You can't make someone care.
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I think your husband is angry because their refusal not only hurt you, but him too. By them giving you time, he would have been receiving help too. Plus he may have thought they liked him and cared about him. Plus it is their mom not his. Asking for help is very difficult. I can get really worked up and stressed just thinking about it, deciding to do it, and actually doing it. To this day I can remember some memorable rejections. I admit I no longer feel close to some of the people due to their rejections. This is especially the case when I previously gave them much help.

Maybe you can just agree with him and say. You know I am extremely hurt and disappointed by them too. It is not fair. Then you can try to segue into another area of conversation.
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I can see both viewpoints, but perhaps the question is who is being harmed by your husband's anger? Is it the siblings? No. It's him, because it upsets him.

Perhaps you can pose it this way:

Will they change? Probably not.
Does becoming upset about it help in any way? Probably not.
Does it do any good to be angry about it? Probably not.
Can HE change the situation in any way? Probably not.
Will it affect him in the long way in terms of stress, etc.? Perhaps.

If there's nothing to be gained except complaining (and sometimes there is benefit in that), try to help him accept the situation, acknowledge they're literally out of your life, and make your plans accordingly.

But do expect them to rally round the assets when your mother becomes more ill and closer to her final days. That's when the $$$$ start to strangely become visible to unhelpful siblings.

Been there, been angry, struggled and finally was able to move on.
Helpful Answer (4)

I'm sorry you're experiencing this - and that your husband is experiencing it too.

I can relate to this a great deal. My ex-fiance used to get extremely angry about how my family treats me in the process of being slave to my family. I would get angry at episodes, but in between time I'd just put my head down and try to slog through. I could swallow the indignity of it - he however could not push it to the back of his mind. Which was healthier? Actually, his way might have been healthier in some ways, as his way wouldn't allow the bad behavior to continue.

However, there's a fine line to walk there. Your husband and my ex-fiance could both rightfully have feelings that what was going on was wrong. They could be in the right to feel we shouldn't have to put up with such treatment. However, where it becomes dangerous to these two guys is in whether they can remain in a neutral state of mind and hold that opinion versus letting it eat them up mentally and physically.

Just because I move on and put my head down and slog through it doesn't mean it is healthier for me - it just means I'm internalizing things. Trust me, it eats you from the inside out when you do that.

So consider whether the way each of you is reacting is somehow eating you up - him from visible reaction and you from invisible internal reaction that you may not acknowledge exists. (I say this as one who is guilty of the latter - not throwing any guilt on you. I do internalize a LOT - and it is no good.)
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I have mixed feelings on this whole subject. While it was my choice to care for my Mom and I would of done it whether my siblings chose to help or not. I could of just let my Mom rot in her apartment and probably end up dying there but as a loving daughter I could not let that happen. We all have to live with our consciences. Some of us maybe just don't have that big of one.

I'll never look at my siblings the same way again. Their choice to leave so much up to me is beyond selfish in my book. But now that my Mom has passed I can at least know that I did the right thing. They have to live with themselves. Maybe, hopefully if they are at all human, they may have moments of guilt and remorse but I just don't care to even talk to them about it now.
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Aubrey, I've only just seen your thread - it's an area I feel a lot of sympathy with, so I'm not sure why I didn't stumble across it before now. Still.

Reading the earlier posts, I admired your acceptance of your siblings' behaviour and agreed strongly with many of the ideas put forward. Honestly, I don't know how to deal with this kind of situation well. My own was very similar - right down to the half helpful, half aggravating sister and the useless two brothers. And now that my mother has passed away, not very reassuringly for you I realise, I'm afraid that things are not good.

I think that my sister expected things to smooth over by themselves. She didn't harp on about how super my brothers were, or how I should forgive them; but she did continue to give the impression that everything would get back to normal (whatever normal was) now that The Problem - that is, my mother - was over.

I don't communicate well with my sister, and tend to bottle things up. But there was one occasion when she hit a nerve, by accident, and I found myself saying bluntly how furiously angry I was with my older brother, and explaining why, and explaining that while I expected that one day I would get over it I hadn't yet and I didn't expect it to happen any time soon. I was extremely angry when I was speaking, but I suppose because this burst out spontaneously what I said was harsh, probably, but clear and reasoned. Since then she has silently dropped the entire subject.

I suppose one question I have is, when you say your sister 'pushes for reconciliation' - what kind of reconciliation?

If you mean that she insists on updating your brothers about your mother, and tries (even if fruitlessly) to include them in her life, then she's right to do so - for your mother's sake. Thank her for doing that job for your mother, because at least it saves you the task, and leave it at that.

But if she tells you that you love them really, and you must forgive them even while their behaviour is ongoing, and that you should regard them with warmth and affection and so on - well. I can't be polite. Tell her to get stuffed.

Or, at least, tell her that you will deal with your feelings towards your brothers your way, and in your own time, just as you are happy to allow her to do. And you may wish to add, should she try to argue, that her constant didactics are getting on your nerves and are therefore counter-productive. And if that fails, glare at her and hiss "drop it!" Try to look as if you might bite her if she doesn't. Try not to go as far as actual biting, though ;)
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Hi CountryMouse, Your points are well taken. Sis does run collateral so that does take that off my plate...including that she continues to naively share "Mom news" with people who clearly don't care...actually, that's the part I enjoy the most...she innocently marches on sharing updates ...and probably on some level makes them mildly squirm. LOL
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My husband calls my siblings useless too.. Because they are!

They are disrespecting my husband by allowing him to financially and physically care for their mother, while they are financially stable, retired, older than us selfish individuals.. With plenty of free time on their hands..

Out of sight, out of mind...
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I had the normal thoughts about my brothers not helping with my parents. They were too busy or too far away. They had their own families at home. I learned a lot when my father died. Both my brothers were around until after the funeral, then left, instead of staying around to see if my mother was okay or to help with the legalities. They didn't even talk about my father. It made me realize that they didn't care much either about him or my mother. They were just doing the obligatory things.

I don't really blame them. My father had nothing to do with the family, particularly not in the last 40 years. My mother neglected the family as well, so there were no ties left, just some feelings of obligation to show up for the funeral. What is strange is these are my mother's golden children. I don't say anything bad about them to her. It would just hurt her to think that they don't care.

Maybe they really do care, but don't know how to show it. Both of them have started calling 2-4 times a month. That is a bit change.
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Enabling? What an odd term... Mom is comfortably cared for in her own home. The members of her in-home care team are excellent. I do not resent my role in helping her to stay in her own home. These are her wishes. Where is the harm? No requests for help have been made in over 18 months. Nothing is expected of them.
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