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I live in NH ..Where we are all originally from.. My sister re-married and moved to Texas..My Mother lived with me for 15 years, up to the age of 85. She is now living in a town house that my brother-in law inherited from his deceased ex-wife and he is charging her $700 a month. They are also now in control of my mother's total income of approx. $2000.00 a month.

When she lived with me, she lived in a mother-in-law apartment hat she paid to have built. I did ask her for what ever she could afford per month to help off set the cost of heating fuel and her use of electricity used to run the 220 water pump (she also did all her laundry at my home). She gave up her driver's license 10 years earlier at the age of 74 so I was responsible for driving her most places. 2 years prior to her moving to Texas my sister did come to NH for the summer and part of the winter to help her living with her in her apt. She too did her laundry and took showers increasing my Power and fuel bill somewhat.

I never said anything about that as she is family and helping. I would also like to add that while she had a rent free situation, she also took time to visit her other two children and grand children..along with stays at her camp in Maine, enjoying somewhat of a vacation.

My brother-in-law has made several comments that I don't do enough, despite the fact that I have driven 2500 miles (twice) two different years to stay with my Mom while they went on a 3 week cruise and a 3 week cross country trip.

My brother-in-law continues to complain that I don't do enough. I am on a fixed income and trying to get out of debt.

Just would like your input on what you feel about this situation.

Thank you,
Scott

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I too applaud the steps you've taken such as putting your sister onto the forum, and discussing your mother's needs with her. But it occurs to me that maybe your bil can say things to you that perhaps your sister feels she can't? It could be that he's prepared to be the villain of the piece if his wife needs him to do that for her. Eyes on the prize! - what does your mother need, what help would your sister like, and what is it reasonable to expect you to contribute? Let the rest sort itself out, and keep up your good work x
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I have a feeling that your sister wanted to take care of mom and didn't have the full buy-in of her new husband (or he bought in but didn't really understand what all was involved). It sounds to me like you've done more than your fair share in taking care of mom. You sound like a stand up guy and your sister is lucky to have you. I agree with your approach of dealing directly with your sister and leaving the BIL out of it.
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Brother-in-law needs to direct his complaints to his wife/your sister, not to you. You have done your part. What ever you have done and will do is between you and your sister.
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I always like to put a positive spin on a person's motives. I hope your BIL is just shell shocked about what he has gotten himself and his family into. His complaints about you may be cries for help directed at the universe. He may have feelings related to the loss of his first wife that make him unhappy.

As suggested, try to find out if he has specific help in mind. I agree that you probably can't help any more financially, unless you wanted to take on one symbolic expense, like her glasses or a newspaper or magazine subscription.

Maybe what he needs is sympathy for how hard it is to have his life invaded by a very needy MIL. Tell him you wish you could contribute more, but just can't. Tell him you know what a hardship it is for him that your sister has to spend time away from him and their family to take care of Mom.

People here who do the whole job with little sibling help wish most of all for recognition for their work and inconvenience. That won't cost anything. I know "boys" have a little trouble saying such things. Maybe tell him he's a good man to "let" his wife do this. Tell him you know how hard it is, and that he's doing a good job.

It sounds like he's not a total jerk, just a complainer. I hope you can work it out and even become closer through this difficult time.
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Thanks so much !! My sister deserves credit,as she is not the complainer,just Brother-IN-law
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Flyboy good for you! You're a good son and you should be proud of that..
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Thank you all ..I have shared all your commentss with my sister in the hope that she will share them with her husband..I have also encouraged her to start her on corresondernce on this site and given her the web site address..
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I agree with Jeanne that you need to up front about how you can help. Your BIL needs to speak with his wife also about the situation, maybe it's time they bring in some outside help. Encourage your sister to call adult services to get some help. I think he was use to being able to take his lengthly vacations and realizes that it's just not possible with Mom living there..

You can only do what you can afford, so let him know that. But you should also be discussing this with your sister, you may get better insight to what your BIL is going through...
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Looking at it from the outside I would say things are even. you did your bit and now sis has taken over. it sounds as though you are in no position to financially support your Mom now. Her investment in your home presumably was lost in the foreclosure. Does the $2,000 a month come from pensions or investment income?
Are you concerned that BIL will divert any money that should be an inheritance for you.
He does own the town house even if he inherited it and has expenses associated with it. and has a right to a return on this asset. he could sell it and invest the money elsewhere.
Given the fact that second marriages have a far greater chance of failing maybe this is a way to pressurve this home in case he needs it in the future. After all this was an out side asset brought into the marriage so it will not be part of marital assets in the case of a divorce.
All of that being said I don't feel you have any financial obligation at this point and it sounds as though you can't afford it. Clearly there is a lot more to this than we are being told.
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In my family and my husband's family, in-laws have very little input. The care of our mother is between her children. I think you have done plenty. If your brother in law has a problem with you not doing enough, I would talk to my sister about it. Never give him any power in this situation. That is just my opinion and I know in some families in-laws have a great deal of power. But not in mine.
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Why don't you ask your brother-in-law how you can help? If he suggests a financial contribution, just explain that you cannot do that. If he suggests calling Mom more often, or sending letters and cards, figure out how much of that you can do, tell him, and do it. If he suggests being supportive of your sister by emailing her or calling her, etc. you can probably do that.

As you know, being the 24/7 caregivers is a lot of work. It means a loss of privacy, stress, and worry. It seems to me not unusual that your brother-in-law is not entirely comfortable in this role, and wishes someone else could share the load. Wishing doesn't make it possible. Maybe his comments to you are just letting off steam. But I would take him seriously and ask what he has in mind for you to do. If it is something you can't do, perhaps discussing it openly will put an end to the insinuations.
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My Mom has never really wanted to move to Texas....My sister had always said, that she wanted to take care of our Mom in her later years..

My brother-in-law was apparently aware and ok with this.. Things .were expedited some what,,when 4 years ago,, ..I lost my home to foreclosure...
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You do plenty, the distance is too much to expect more from you. If you suspect brother now wants a financial contribution from you I would remind him of what you did for mom while she was with you. A trip to provide him respite is plenty for you to offer but maybe add a call to mom each week or two. For you mom to stay in a facility for a two week respite would be a cost, in the Dallas area, guessing $3,000.00? Brother should be grateful.
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Was it your Mom's choice to move to TX? Why did this happen? If they knew she was going to be moving in with them so far away then did you discuss before she left that your help in caregiving would be limited to basically null..

Just wondering why this all came about?
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