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Without going into too much detail, I will just say that my stepmother is caring for my Dad, age 91, who is still quite self-sufficient.
I call every couple of months to see how he is doing and it always creates havoc.
Here is what happens. She always answer the phone (he does not have a cell phone and doesn't want one)(. I chit-chat a bit with her and then ask to speak to my dad, at which point, she becomes difficult saying things like ... uh, um, I will see if he is available, or we are very busy, etc. She then puts him on and after around three minutes she will start screaming (talking loudly in the background) that she is expecting a call, or they need to do something that cannot wait, etc.

In the beginning, I truly fell for this. I realize that she does not like me due to the fact that my primary allegiance was always to my Mom. You see my stepmom wanted to be invited to the same occasions that my Mom went to ... like Christmas, and other major holidays. My mother never felt comfortable with that so stepmom was not invited and very hurt. Wrong or right, there was no other way. Finally a solution was devised whereby, Xmas eve would be with stepmom and Xmas day with Mom.

In any case, this morning, she simply would not put me through at all. So, I asked how he is doing and she mumbled something, but not much information.
He does not use cell phone or the internet, so I just don't know what to do.

Thank you very much.

Jenny

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Yes, so true. If he wants to call me, he will. I will let go of it. His wife is clearly uncomfortable around me and does not wish me to call him, so I will abide by her wishes. Thank you for your answers.
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It is what it is. Your father has made his choices. Just as you couldn't control what your mother was comfortable with you cannot control what your father is willing to accept.

I don't understand why a self-sufficient man needs a "caregiver" but in any case he has a wife and he apparently wishes to abide by her wishes (as you abided by your mother's).

If you want any kind of relationship at all, continue to call him for your 3-minute allotment, perhaps more often.
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Spies. You need Spies. Cousins or family friends who can stop and see him and give you a full report. His wife is probably no spring chicken either, and at some point they will both need more help at home. Of course, the best way is to come in and see them yourself.
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Well it seems to me that your dad has made his choices in life and doesn't seem willing to change them now - even to the point of using a cell phone. I think you have to respect that and do what you can but let the rest go.

You can write him letters to keep him posted on your life, so that your three minutes can be used to ask about him. You could also call your step mom's bluff by asking for a specific time to call when your dad will be free for more than a few minutes and she isn't expecting a call. Beyond that, I think you have to let it go.
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You don't say how far you live from your dad - are visits to him possible?
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My brother puts up with the nasty things she says to him because, he says, Dad is old, and it's the right thing to do. I just can't stomach the nastiness.
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Eyerishlass: She is his caregiver. I am afraid of her. She is totally nasty to me.
I only call every couple of months. He wont do a cellphone. I have asked and asked I guess the housephone for 911.

I have had this issue with her for years and years. I have tried to explain about my mother and how I had no control over my mother being uncomfortable around any woman my Dad would remarry. This seems normal enough. Once, years ago, she put him out on the street because of a fight and he had no money and had to live with my brother. that is the extent of his finances. She has him by the you know what's and he knows it.

She wants me gone so I guess I will have to be gone. I just feel like a jerk. I never should have spoken up .. once I really told him that I was sick and tired of her always being too busy and the screaming she was doing and that I hardly called him. He cannot stand up to her.
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Increase the number of calls to your dad and see if Stepmother can keep up with the number of excuses she feels she has to give when you get your dad on the phone. Try to be more involved. If your dad got sick I'd be interested in knowing how fast your Stepmother would have you on the phone, wanting your help.

Your dad should really know how to work a cellphone. What if he needs to call 911?
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I have to say, in honesty, that in the past, since she did it every time I called ... that is, 3 minutes into the call and she would start the nonsense in the background, and I told him that she was pulling this. They would argue and then I would just tell him I better get off.
There is no way with her. It is not my fault that my Mother felt uncomfortable going to the same events as the second wife. She did not break up my parents' marriage or anything like that. She is just, well, a difficult woman.
thanks.
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