How do you convince a sister-in-law to butt out of telling us what we should do about Mom's care?

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I have a brother and SIL in another state. (Not far enough that they can't visit frequently, but they don't.) My other 3 siblings and I either don't or rarely answer the phone anymore when we see my brother's name on the caller-id. He likes to supervise from a distance when it comes to Mom's care. We live it every day. He doesn't. At the same time, when he calls, it sounds more like our SIL talking. She is very controlling, and he can't seem to think for himself. (Mom used to say that she would hate to have her as a mother-in-law. To which we would all laugh.)

At Christmas, Mom was getting up from her chair. My brother got up to help, and his wife yelled and told him not to help her. (I am assuming because she thinks she hurt her back helping her mother, so he will do the same... Hard to tell. But, that is how she is.)

My main complaint is that when I would call my brother (which I have stopped doing now), my SIL would be in the background, telling my brother what to say. Did he have us on speaker phone?? How would she hear what I was saying??? She has done the same thing when my sister called recently. My sister told my brother that she called to talk to HIM, not her. He took offense to that.

The other night, I had it out with my brother (and then my SIL). I told my brother that when we call, we want to have a private conversation with HIM, and we do not appreciate her interjecting when we are trying to talk. My SIL told me that she will continue to give my brother her opinion on Mom's situation until he tells her not to.

I told her (and him) that I don't care if they talk about the situation after the phone call, but to talk while we are trying to have a conversation, is flat out rude. My brother told me that none of their conversations are private and that they are "a team."

Everyone else has also stopped calling him because of her -- whether it is her talking in the background or listening to my brother sounding like her. It would be good to be able to keep my brother up-to-speed on Mom's decline. At the same time, we want to talk only to HIM. We don't want her telling us what we should be doing. If I text him, she reads the texts. If we email, she reads all the emails. So, what do we do???

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Thanks, countrymouse, HolidayEnd, and rose122.

Funny, rose, my husband calls my brother Wilbur Milktoast.

My son reminded me yesterday that he, my daughter, and their other cousins never liked my sil either...
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Reply to Mapotter
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Let it go! If your brother has made the decision to not call or come, that is his choice. Regardless how he feels towards his siblings, if he really cared about his mother, he would visit her no matter what. It sounds like your brother needs to put on big boy pants and not be so wimpy. Good luck to you and your mom.
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Reply to rose122
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Watch the classic movie “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” (1955). What you have is a “Sister Woman” on your hands. She’s domineering, controlling and determined that your brother is going to get ‘their’ part of the estate.

My condolences. I am an only child married to an only child.

I have cousins, lots and lots of noisy cousins.
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Reply to HolidayEnd
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You most certainly are not alone, Mapotter.

You get what you're given when it comes to your siblings' spouses. There really isn't anything you even have any right to do - as my FIL used to put it: "NEVER interfere between a man and his wife."

Well. I can think of lots of reasons why you ought to, actually; but they certainly wouldn't include the frustration of your SIL sticking her stupid nose into everything and getting in your way and irritating the heck out of everyone and being A GIANT PAIN IN THE BEHIND.

I don't have to put up with mine any more, since my mother passed away. Every cloud...
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Thank you, blannie. Again, it sounds like I am not alone.
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Reply to Mapotter
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I feel for you. My brother and SIL were a unit as well. I was lucky as my SIL didn't try to tell me what to do for mom or dad (I'd have told her to go pound sand), but I could never talk to my brother alone. As soon as I called, they'd both be on the phone. And they had one email address, so no way to contact him alone. They were retired, so no work email either. My brother didn't visit my mom for the last 8 years of her life, even though he's wealthy, retired, and has no kids. It was his loss. It was very frustrating for me. Sounds like you've got it figured out at this point. I'm glad your other siblings are all sticking together, that's a great support.
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My brother called my sister today, and told her that he won't be calling or coming down anymore because he doesn't feel comfortable, and feels like no one wants to talk to him. (He also said that he and his wife "are one.") He's been down twice since Christmas (if you count on Friday when he visited Mom in the nursing home. That was after my other brother told him to, so I can't say he really wanted to...). He still wants to be updated on Mom's condition.... So, my sister will do that. Like my sister said, he doesn't get what we were trying to tell him....
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Reply to Mapotter
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Thank you all for your responses! It is good to know I am not alone and that others have experienced the same thing.
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Reply to Mapotter
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You are taking good care of your Mom bro and SIL are not so let SIL's advise going one ear and out the other, or you could turn the tables and ask for her advice. You don't have to take it and as she is not there she won't know if you did or not. "By the way telling me to give Mom deadly nightshade was a bad idea so I didn't do it but thanks for careing'
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Reply to Veronica91
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Sounds like they have been married for a long time, nothing is going to change on that front. Save your sanity and send emails stating the facts as unemotionally as possible, she has shown you all, many times that she and he are what they are, believe her and let it go.

This is a very hard situation to be in with your mom and trying to control the situation with your brother & SIL is only adding stress. Take care of your mom and be thankful that you have the support of your other siblings. (When i have to listen to unwanted advise i pretend im chatlie brown and hear - wahwah wah wahwahwah wah!) Gives me perspective that they are just babblers.

May God give you strength to do what you need to for your mom.
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