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RoseRed135

Do you have "toxic inlaws?" - Part 2: "Engulfers"

73 posts in this topic

20 hours ago, Cupcake55 said:

I never saw PIL's as engulfers but they are like this. Not sure if expected because we lived the closest or what but BILs were never expected at EVERY event, just us. BUT MIL also expected ME to set the date, time, food, etc....for bdays, get togethers and all the details for actual Holidays. I don't recall her ever asking SILs at least she never said SIL A said or wants blah, blah...SIL B wants, says, whatever...


We didn't know they'd get angry because we never told them NO until we HAD to as kids got older, we got more commitments, life, etc., the relationship changed. Now (for the past few years) when told NO, FIL gets angry. No idea what MIL's reaction is as she doesn't talk to us any more.

Glad you've had some improvement.

Funny thing, we were also the scapegoat when it came to these events they felt we just HAD to attend. Our schedules/wishes rarely were ever taken into account when MIL and SILs were haphazardly planning these chaotic-yet-micromanaged events. We'd get ordered to drop everything and attend with only a few days' notice. And really? It continues.

Even in the past two years, DN1.2 invited us to her birthday only 2 days in advance (she lives 2.5 hours away) and DN1.1's baby shower invitation came less than 2 weeks before the event (well, 3 weeks before, I scheduled a conference, so couldn't make it). High school graduation for DN2.3? It's happening in less than a month, but did SIL2 know the date when she invited us last week? Nope, but she said she hoped we could make it, all the same. She gets flustered and upset (they all do) when you ask for information they SHOULD have. I googled the school district to get the date, but it was after hours, so I called their local paper. We're on vacation that weekend. I'm kinda disappointed to miss it. Especially since graduation dates (even if they factor in snow days) are set in stone back in August-September, and I could've left it open on my calendar.

In terms of birthdays-- which don't change either-- I stopped keeping weekends before and after their birthdays open, or asking questions about what anyone wants to do. We'll get called, again, only a few days before, asking if we'll come celebrate MIL's or FIL's b-days with all of them, but I don't even bother NOT refraining from scheduling anything on those weekends, either. I've had more than enough.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, oscarsmaman said:

Funny thing, we were also the scapegoat when it came to these events they felt we just HAD to attend. Our schedules/wishes rarely were ever taken into account when MIL and SILs were haphazardly planning these chaotic-yet-micromanaged events. We'd get ordered to drop everything and attend with only a few days' notice. And really? It continues.

Even in the past two years, DN1.2 invited us to her birthday only 2 days in advance (she lives 2.5 hours away) and DN1.1's baby shower invitation came less than 2 weeks before the event (well, 3 weeks before, I scheduled a conference, so couldn't make it). High school graduation for DN2.3? It's happening in less than a month, but did SIL2 know the date when she invited us last week? Nope, but she said she hoped we could make it, all the same. She gets flustered and upset (they all do) when you ask for information they SHOULD have. I googled the school district to get the date, but it was after hours, so I called their local paper. We're on vacation that weekend. I'm kinda disappointed to miss it. Especially since graduation dates (even if they factor in snow days) are set in stone back in August-September, and I could've left it open on my calendar.

In terms of birthdays-- which don't change either-- I stopped keeping weekends before and after their birthdays open, or asking questions about what anyone wants to do. We'll get called, again, only a few days before, asking if we'll come celebrate MIL's or FIL's b-days with all of them, but I don't even bother NOT refraining from scheduling anything on those weekends, either. I've had more than enough.

Sorry, but I have to laugh. IF only we'd get a few days notice. When we were attending events, I would talk to MIL at least a week prior because I am a planner. She would get back to me the DAY BEFORE. If it was a weekend event, she'd call on Friday for me to make the arrangements for Saturday. I got to the point for Thanksgiving knowing it was a Thursday, I'd get whatever I was willing to bring and if she didn't like it too bad, I already did my shopping. After the CO from MIL, FIL would invite us the DAY BEFORE. When we'd turn it down, also saying we needed more notice, he just said it was something they had been thinking about for a couple of weeks. No idea why they'd still wait ONE day for the invite!? When YBIL ODS graduated we got the graduation notice about 4-5 days before the graduation (which we had no idea when it was going to happen) and we would have had to travel 4 hours one way for that, so would have been an over nighter. That was the longest notice we've ever had from anyone in DH's family.

As far as how you handle bdays, I will not be doing ANY planning for anyone's bdays again except my own family. I won't be doing any planning for any holidays except for what we want to do and will plan that in advance of ONE day, so if no notice, too bad, so sad we made plans two weeks ago or longer.

I am with you. I won't be asking ANY questions. Not ONE.

 

Edited by Cupcake55
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20 hours ago, Cupcake55 said:

Sorry, but I have to laugh. IF only we'd get a few days notice. When we were attending events, I would talk to MIL at least a week prior because I am a planner. She would get back to me the DAY BEFORE. If it was a weekend event, she'd call on Friday for me to make the arrangements for Saturday. I got to the point for Thanksgiving knowing it was a Thursday, I'd get whatever I was willing to bring and if she didn't like it too bad, I already did my shopping. After the CO from MIL, FIL would invite us the DAY BEFORE. When we'd turn it down, also saying we needed more notice, he just said it was something they had been thinking about for a couple of weeks. No idea why they'd still wait ONE day for the invite!? When YBIL ODS graduated we got the graduation notice about 4-5 days before the graduation (which we had no idea when it was going to happen) and we would have had to travel 4 hours one way for that, so would have been an over nighter. That was the longest notice we've ever had from anyone in DH's family.

As far as how you handle bdays, I will not be doing ANY planning for anyone's bdays again except my own family. I won't be doing any planning for any holidays except for what we want to do and will plan that in advance of ONE day, so if no notice, too bad, so sad we made plans two weeks ago or longer.

I am with you. I won't be asking ANY questions. Not ONE.

 

To me, it's just rude. "We're having a thing, but we either didn't think of inviting you in advance so we're inviting you now, or we never wanted you to come in the first place, so we've told you about our 'thing' when we think it's probably safe you already have other plans. Either way, if you drop your plans for US, you'll be feeding our narcissism sooooo well...."

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2 hours ago, oscarsmaman said:

To me, it's just rude. "We're having a thing, but we either didn't think of inviting you in advance so we're inviting you now, or we never wanted you to come in the first place, so we've told you about our 'thing' when we think it's probably safe you already have other plans. Either way, if you drop your plans for US, you'll be feeding our narcissism sooooo well...."

Agreed.

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On 4/12/2017 at 8:13 AM, oscarsmaman said:

 

Trying to lay claim to every single holiday. Expecting us to maintain and/or repair PILs' home. Expecting we would come to every event/activity, and when we couldn't, there were heaps of guilt. Over sharing with us, involving us in their finances, and the PILs would complain about each other to DH and me.

Long time reader, new poster, and SIL and BIL are like this to a frustrating degree. My FOO is quite laid back about holidays so I'm usually OK with it -- but that fact makes it so much more frustrating when DH gets static for splitting holidays between our families.

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@Toaster - Welcome! Glad you've been enjoying our site and that you decided to come in and talk w/ us! Sorry to hear about SIL and BIL though. It's sad, IMO, how some people can't seem to see beyond their own FOO.

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7 hours ago, Toaster said:

Long time reader, new poster, and SIL and BIL are like this to a frustrating degree. My FOO is quite laid back about holidays so I'm usually OK with it -- but that fact makes it so much more frustrating when DH gets static for splitting holidays between our families.

Isn't that something? My ILs were so entitled, they didn't even give it a second thought, the amount of guilt they heaped on DH and/or me during the holidays. The FOG acronym -- Fear, Obligation and Guilt-- is so on-point, because every holiday became a FOGgy mess. Obligated to go, fearful we wouldn't put a foot right or the ILs would target us or irritate us in some way, guilt about the whole mess when "they just LOVE us SO MUCH."

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oscarsmaman, exactly -- although DH and I are both starting to push back against it. The last time DH spent a holiday with my family was Easter, the Saturday of Easter weekend, and he got a call from SIL on Sunday complaining that he'd missed their family Easter dinner, which they had scheduled on Saturday specifically to accommodate him. 

SIL didn't *tell* us this, of course, because that would have meant having to hear "oh, we're spending that evening with Toaster's family, is there any other day that would work?" DH was just supposed to be *available.* (They don't care as much whether I show up. Generally they're pleasant to me but demanding and critical with DH.) 

In general, that's the pattern -- DH is just supposed to be available whenever. We moved close to DH's work and adopted kittens last year (no kids yet) and THAT was bad because DH's work is far from THEIR house, and as for the kittens, DH shouldn't be committing time or money to anything but his FOO. They ARE going through a number of very serious problems, but they also operate on the assumption that everyone in the family owes it to them to put their own lives on hold to help them and their kids, no matter what that does to their own partners, kids, health etc.

 

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1 hour ago, Toaster said:

oscarsmaman, exactly -- although DH and I are both starting to push back against it. The last time DH spent a holiday with my family was Easter, the Saturday of Easter weekend, and he got a call from SIL on Sunday complaining that he'd missed their family Easter dinner, which they had scheduled on Saturday specifically to accommodate him. 

SIL didn't *tell* us this, of course, because that would have meant having to hear "oh, we're spending that evening with Toaster's family, is there any other day that would work?" DH was just supposed to be *available.* (They don't care as much whether I show up. Generally they're pleasant to me but demanding and critical with DH.) 

In general, that's the pattern -- DH is just supposed to be available whenever. We moved close to DH's work and adopted kittens last year (no kids yet) and THAT was bad because DH's work is far from THEIR house, and as for the kittens, DH shouldn't be committing time or money to anything but his FOO. They ARE going through a number of very serious problems, but they also operate on the assumption that everyone in the family owes it to them to put their own lives on hold to help them and their kids, no matter what that does to their own partners, kids, health etc.

 

Holy wow.

How on Earth does where you live, or your pet decisions have anything to do w/them?! That's just bizarre.

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14 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

Holy wow.

How on Earth does where you live, or your pet decisions have anything to do w/them?! That's just bizarre.

It's a complicated situation and a bit of a derail...it's because FIL, who lives with them, has a number of serious health problems and dementia, and BIL is also very seriously ill, and they have two small kids and are overwhelmed. It's a legitimately awful situation but I still feel they have SO overstepped by criticizing us for making our own household decisions.

DH wanted FIL to live with us and I wasn't opposed, but SIL wouldn't hear of FIL living with anyone but her and FIL couldn't (or at any rate didn't) commit to a decision, so DH and I found a place we could afford without FIL's help and we have FIL visit us from time to time. DH travels to BIL and SIL's home 2-3 times a week to take FIL to medical appointments, run errands with him etc. It's not enough -- SIL and BIL constantly criticize him for not doing enough for them and for taking on commitments (like the cats) that make him less available to do things around their house. (I should add that FIL does *not* criticize us, which is why I was willing to live with him.)

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3 minutes ago, Toaster said:

It's a complicated situation and a bit of a derail...it's because FIL, who lives with them, has a number of serious health problems and dementia, and BIL is also very seriously ill, and they have two small kids and are overwhelmed. It's a legitimately awful situation but I still feel they have SO overstepped by criticizing us for making our own household decisions.

DH wanted FIL to live with us and I wasn't opposed, but SIL wouldn't hear of FIL living with anyone but her and FIL couldn't (or at any rate didn't) commit to a decision, so DH and I found a place we could afford without FIL's help and we have FIL visit us from time to time. DH travels to BIL and SIL's home 2-3 times a week to take FIL to medical appointments, run errands with him etc. It's not enough -- SIL and BIL constantly criticize him for not doing enough for them and for taking on commitments (like the cats) that make him less available to do things around their house. (I should add that FIL does *not* criticize us, which is why I was willing to live with him.)

If they're overwhelmed (understandbly, caring for someone w/dementia IS overwhelming) then perhaps they need to consider some other arrangements? Small children and dementia patients are generally not a great idea, as far as safety concerns go, and the sheer amount of time and attention it takes to ensure that everyone is safe.

Phew. I don't envy them their situation at all.

I don't know where you live, but perhaps there may be some homecare that they could get, be it through assistance or whatever? I've done health care, working w/dementia patients, both in home and in long term care facilities, and it's def stressful. Caregiver burnout is very real, and her dh is also ill.

I suspect that it wasn't about the cats, or anything else, likely stress, fatigue, and I wouldn't doubt, some jealousy. Even though your SIL insisted that FIL live w/her, the reality of the caretaking is a whole 'nother thing, esp if her dh is ill, and 2 little kids. I'm not saying she was *right*, she certainly overstepped, but I can see there being a lot of tangled emotions involved, and she's probably hanging by a thread with everything she's got on her plate.

Perhaps, if it's managable, you could make a regular time to take FIL? I don't know if he'd be ok with that, change can be very frightening for some folks.

It may well be that FIL is quickly outstripping their ability to manage, esp w/BIL being ill and they're struggling with the idea that they may not be able to keep him at home, despite their best intentions.

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1 hour ago, ImpishMom said:

I don't know where you live, but perhaps there may be some homecare that they could get, be it through assistance or whatever? I've done health care, working w/dementia patients, both in home and in long term care facilities, and it's def stressful. Caregiver burnout is very real, and her dh is also ill.

I suspect that it wasn't about the cats, or anything else, likely stress, fatigue, and I wouldn't doubt, some jealousy. Even though your SIL insisted that FIL live w/her, the reality of the caretaking is a whole 'nother thing, esp if her dh is ill, and 2 little kids. I'm not saying she was *right*, she certainly overstepped, but I can see there being a lot of tangled emotions involved, and she's probably hanging by a thread with everything she's got on her plate.

Perhaps, if it's managable, you could make a regular time to take FIL? I don't know if he'd be ok with that, change can be very frightening for some folks.

It may well be that FIL is quickly outstripping their ability to manage, esp w/BIL being ill and they're struggling with the idea that they may not be able to keep him at home, despite their best intentions.

All definitely good advice. SIL won't countenance putting FIL in a home (nor will DH, for that matter) and his dementia is not so advanced as to make that inevitable. In fact it's mild enough that BIL claims FIL doesn't really have dementia and is malingering to get more attention from SIL. (SIL is FIL's daughter, DH's sister.)

Having FIL spend more time at our place is a good suggestion and he generally is OK spending time with us, but BIL and SIL tend to fight us on having him visit, just as they tend to dismiss anyone who suggests more home care (everyone is incompetent, they don't want more strangers in the house, etc.) They want DH to come to their house and do chores/errands/babysitting there and can only be s-l-o-w-l-y persuaded to accept anything else.

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40 minutes ago, Toaster said:

All definitely good advice. SIL won't countenance putting FIL in a home (nor will DH, for that matter) and his dementia is not so advanced as to make that inevitable. In fact it's mild enough that BIL claims FIL doesn't really have dementia and is malingering to get more attention from SIL. (SIL is FIL's daughter, DH's sister.)

Having FIL spend more time at our place is a good suggestion and he generally is OK spending time with us, but BIL and SIL tend to fight us on having him visit, just as they tend to dismiss anyone who suggests more home care (everyone is incompetent, they don't want more strangers in the house, etc.) They want DH to come to their house and do chores/errands/babysitting there and can only be s-l-o-w-l-y persuaded to accept anything else.

All you can do is what you can do.

"Sister, I can be there x times a week, for x hrs." 

"But you need to be here..."

"Sister, I can be there x times a week, for x hours. If you need more assistance, then you're going to have to hire someone."

Wash, rinse, repeat.

"We'd like to have Dad *weekend*."

"We want you here!"

"I can take Dad *wknd*." Wash, rinse, repeat.

It's ok to say no. It's ok to decide what works for you, and what doesn't.

You guys aren't running out and leaving SIL without support, but at the same time, you can't live there and tend to everything for her.

She has some choices to make. She may not like them, but she's going to have to make them.

She has a sick husband, young children and her father is ill and has dementia.

Somethiing's got to give, before her health does.

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6 hours ago, Toaster said:

All definitely good advice. SIL won't countenance putting FIL in a home (nor will DH, for that matter) and his dementia is not so advanced as to make that inevitable. In fact it's mild enough that BIL claims FIL doesn't really have dementia and is malingering to get more attention from SIL. (SIL is FIL's daughter, DH's sister.)

Having FIL spend more time at our place is a good suggestion and he generally is OK spending time with us, but BIL and SIL tend to fight us on having him visit, just as they tend to dismiss anyone who suggests more home care (everyone is incompetent, they don't want more strangers in the house, etc.) They want DH to come to their house and do chores/errands/babysitting there and can only be s-l-o-w-l-y persuaded to accept anything else.

Sounds like SIL wants to call all the shots in everyone's lives. I guess, in a way, I can understand her desire to create order out of the chaos she set up in her life, but she needs to learn boundaries and consequences.

She CHOOSES to keep her Dad living with her. She CHOOSES to reject extra help from professional caregivers. She chooses to celebrate holidays on days you can't make it. And she thinks your DH should spend his life supporting them by essentially helping them maintain their lifestyle choices? She decides when you celebrate holidays and with who? She decides whether or not you can have pets? She decides when her father can spend time at your place?

She needs to be relieved of the delusion she could have this much power in all of your lives.

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...And she's choosing to play the martyr. "Look at all this drama heaped upon me...Woe is me" (with the back of her hand clamped securely on her forehead). She's come to embrace the chaos of her life rather than dealing with it and is trying to draw Toaster & her DH into the fray. She may be using Dad to deflect the other serious things in her life she doesn't want to face. Hold your ground. 

One thought would be to set up a visitation schedule (every other or every third weekend) along with xyz hours per week. And make her stick with it. 

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13 hours ago, Toaster said:

In general, that's the pattern -- DH is just supposed to be available whenever. We moved close to DH's work and adopted kittens last year (no kids yet) and THAT was bad because DH's work is far from THEIR house, and as for the kittens, DH shouldn't be committing time or money to anything but his FOO. They ARE going through a number of very serious problems, but they also operate on the assumption that everyone in the family owes it to them to put their own lives on hold to help them and their kids, no matter what that does to their own partners, kids, health etc.

 

I can relate to your situation so much as my MIL is going on Year 4 of a terminal illness in which her needs are 24/7, and although FIL is her caretaker, my DH has been called upon to be very involved with her care.  For my background, we live an hour away from my IL's, DH works 60-65 hours a week including his commute; I work part time and we have 3 kids (the oldest away at college).  Similar to your SIL, my IL's want it their way, period, end and expect DH to put them first, period, end - which has been the source of several major blow ups, including a recent one between my BIL (43 yr old who lives with my IL's) and DH, in which they are not speaking.  (I personally am digging the silence between these 2).  I think the longer these crisis drag out in families that don't cope well, the more vulnerable the relationships in these families are to being permanently damaged as I am seeing happen in my IL/extended IL family due to MIL's protracted illness.

I've learned several things going through this.  The first is that familial roles are magnified during a crisis.  So, your SIL was probably always Mrs. Bossy Pants, she is just Mrs. Bossy Pants on steroids due to the stress she is under with a sick DH, 2 kids, a DF she is caring for with dementia, etc., and your DH was probably always an accommodator/rescuer in his FOO and caved to his SIL's demands.  I see the roles in my IL family so clearly now too as their ability to check themselves is gone.  Second, all of this could go on for a while.  We were originally told my MIL had 6 months to live, and over 3 years later she is still with us.  As a result, boundaries need to be determined for those involved in the care, with not only compassion for the sick person(s) who need the help but to yourself as well as every day is a gift to every one of us.   Your life matters as much as the life of your FIL or BIL, and there are no guarantees for tomorrow for anyone.  So, for your DH to keep putting himself second and therefore putting you second due to the demands of his FOO, is not a healthy approach and will take a toll, especially in the resentment department.  Also, as you see with a family like this, DH's help will never be enough and you will never be acknowledged for the sacrifices you had to make for DH to help his family out.  

Third, because your DH's absence - so he can be available to his FOO - is affecting your marriage, I think it is so important to have ongoing conversations with him about what you need from DH, so you can plan for that time together, even if it means DH reducing the amount of time he is with is FOO.   Your marriage and lives together matter and need to be given ongoing priority before time can be given to others in your extended family.  

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, BSW said:

I can relate to your situation so much as my MIL is going on Year 4 of a terminal illness in which her needs are 24/7, and although FIL is her caretaker, my DH has been called upon to be very involved with her care.  For my background, we live an hour away from my IL's, DH works 60-65 hours a week including his commute; I work part time and we have 3 kids (the oldest away at college).  Similar to your SIL, my IL's want it their way, period, end and expect DH to put them first, period, end - which has been the source of several major blow ups, including a recent one between my BIL (43 yr old who lives with my IL's) and DH, in which they are not speaking.  (I personally am digging the silence between these 2).  I think the longer these crisis drag out in families that don't cope well, the more vulnerable the relationships in these families are to being permanently damaged as I am seeing happen in my IL/extended IL family due to MIL's protracted illness.

OH MAN. This hits home. Already one of DH's other siblings is alienated from SIL, and I'm not sure that relationship will ever recover. DH is well on his way there. 

We similarly live an hour away from them, and DH does full time shift work. Sometimes he'll come off an overnight shift, drive out there, drive FIL to various appointments, drop FIL off and come home having gone sleepless for the better part of 24 hours. Dangerous, and still not enough for SIL.

Edited by Toaster

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Posted (edited)

47 minutes ago, Toaster said:

OH MAN. This hits home. Already one of DH's other siblings is alienated from SIL, and I'm not sure that relationship will ever recover. DH is well on his way there. 

We similarly live an hour away from them, and DH does full time shift work. Sometimes he'll come off an overnight shift, drive out there, drive FIL to various appointments, drop FIL off and come home having gone sleepless for the better part of 24 hours. Dangerous, and still not enough for SIL.

This brings us back to the idea of a home health aide, as Imp mentioned. To my knowledge, in many cases, they will take the person to doctor appointments, etc. Would it be possible for such an arrangement to be made for FIL?

Edited by RoseRed135

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20 hours ago, Toaster said:

All definitely good advice. SIL won't countenance putting FIL in a home (nor will DH, for that matter) and his dementia is not so advanced as to make that inevitable. In fact it's mild enough that BIL claims FIL doesn't really have dementia and is malingering to get more attention from SIL. (SIL is FIL's daughter, DH's sister.)

 

Sorry to say, this may change more rapidly than DH expects. Ok, not as quickly as it would years ago, due to today's medications, etc. But FWIW, it still may happen faster than DH and his siblings realize,

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Posted (edited)

On 5/10/2017 at 10:32 PM, RoseRed135 said:

Sorry to say, this may change more rapidly than DH expects. Ok, not as quickly as it would years ago, due to today's medications, etc. But FWIW, it still may happen faster than DH and his siblings realize.

Sadly, FIL's prognosis is so bad and his treatment schedule so demanding already that he isn't being medicated for dementia...and he is being prescribed medication that weakens cognition in people who *don't* have dementia. So you're right, he may well decline further. And you're also right, we need to be looking into transportation options besides family members driving him to all his appointments. 

BSW, I've been re-reading your post and it's so incredibly on point. Thank you so much. I've even said in so many words that when he's dealing with his family or under stress, DH treats me the way he treats himself and I don't like the way he treats himself. 

Edited by Toaster
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11 hours ago, Toaster said:

Sadly, FIL's prognosis is so bad and his treatment schedule so demanding already that he isn't being medicated for dementia...and he is being prescribed medication that weakens cognition in people who *don't* have dementia. So you're right, he may well decline further. And you're also right, we need to be looking into transportation options besides family members driving him to all his appointments. 

BSW, I've been re-reading your post and it's so incredibly on point. Thank you so much. I've even said in so many words that when he's dealing with his family or under stress, DH treats me the way he treats himself and I don't like the way he treats himself. 

I think once your DH starts to work on better boundaries for himself with regard to his FOO, things will improve.  The first one should be not driving FIL to appts when your DH should be sleeping especially when there are so many inexpensive transportation options available these days.  The fact that your SIL is fine with your DH doing this tells me where her head is in that your DH's wellbeing is not being considered at all.  It is just about what he does for FIL, SIL, etc.  This is so similar to the dynamic between my DH and his FOO.  It's all about what he does for them, and there is very little concern shown for his wellbeing or the wellbeing of our family.  It is so one sided that last year when my older brother died suddenly and traumatically, I recall DH getting a call from his parents a few days after my DB died in which they were wondering when he was coming up that weekend to see MIL and help out, and he was harassed by MIL when he said he wasn't coming up - completely disregarding my DB's death and the impact it had on us.   It still disgusts me when I think about it. 

My DH is in a much better place Re: boundaries he has set than he was when my MIL was first diagnosed.  Know however, with people like your SIL, when boundaries are set that reduces the amount of help from DH, a negative response will come from SIL.  That is normal and just part of the course - ride it out, stick to your plan, and on the other side you two will feel a whole lot more balanced with your lives and with each other. 

Two books that I love that help with all of this:  Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend and Mortal Beings by Atul Gawande and one article about the Drama Triangle  https://www.lynneforrest.com/articles/2008/06/the-faces-of-victim/

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On 5/11/2017 at 8:06 AM, BSW said:

I think once your DH starts to work on better boundaries for himself with regard to his FOO, things will improve.  The first one should be not driving FIL to appts when your DH should be sleeping especially when there are so many inexpensive transportation options available these days.  The fact that your SIL is fine with your DH doing this tells me where her head is in that your DH's wellbeing is not being considered at all.  It is just about what he does for FIL, SIL, etc.  This is so similar to the dynamic between my DH and his FOO.  It's all about what he does for them, and there is very little concern shown for his wellbeing or the wellbeing of our family.  It is so one sided that last year when my older brother died suddenly and traumatically, I recall DH getting a call from his parents a few days after my DB died in which they were wondering when he was coming up that weekend to see MIL and help out, and he was harassed by MIL when he said he wasn't coming up - completely disregarding my DB's death and the impact it had on us.   It still disgusts me when I think about it. 

My DH is in a much better place Re: boundaries he has set than he was when my MIL was first diagnosed.  Know however, with people like your SIL, when boundaries are set that reduces the amount of help from DH, a negative response will come from SIL.  That is normal and just part of the course - ride it out, stick to your plan, and on the other side you two will feel a whole lot more balanced with your lives and with each other. 

Two books that I love that help with all of this:  Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend and Mortal Beings by Atul Gawande and one article about the Drama Triangle  https://www.lynneforrest.com/articles/2008/06/the-faces-of-victim/

Boubdaries is a good read.

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Bringing this up again for new member Gramster58 to take a look at...

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