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sick brother in law
March 24, 2003
3:05 pm
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Anonymous
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Please help me with this problem....
My brother in law has mental problems and has been in and out of mental hospitals for the last 20-25 years. I'm not sure what he was diagnosed with or is being treated for. I married my husband (his brother) 7 years ago. I believe that my mother in law and my husband have codependency issues with my brother in law as it seems he can't do anything for himself. His mother takes care of his every need from laundry to cooking his meals as she is retired and lives with him. It seems that everything revolves around bro in law, especially when he has had a relapse. On top of this, my mother in law was diagnosed with breast and lung cancer in the last few years and is battling both. Now my brother in law is worried about who is going to "take care" of him when his mother dies. I am having disagreements with the family because my husband and mother in law both feel that they can't change him and just to pacify him, they'll do whatever it takes to please him. I don't feel that this is right and that he needs to look after himself so he won't rely on my brother when their mother passes away. What can I do as an outsider to help them? Does anyone have any suggestions?

March 25, 2003
12:08 pm
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This is a tough one. I think first you have to have your husband's buy in. Then you can investigate maybe some programs to help your BIL. Maybe with an organization like NAMI you can get some direction to your thoughts. (www.nami.org)

But you and your husband must be united on this. Maybe if you can convince your husband the BIL will ruin your marriage and relationship. My sister is schizophrenic and I cannot even have her local. She would break apart my marriage easily. Calling all hours, dropping by, always in crisis, hallucinating and having to have her involuntarily committed. It would drive my husband away.

I had a neighbor that had a daughter in a similar situation, and she ended up living in a half-way house where there was a person there to give the group support.

I wish you luck on this one. It is not going to be easy.

Jenny

March 25, 2003
1:29 pm
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The problem is his mother has already told bil that we will "take care" of him and my husband feels that it's too late for him to change. I've already told my husband that he will not be moving in with us but my husband has no reply.
It's getting to the point where none of them will talk to me about bil's illness, they just clam up whenever I'm around. The worst part is the way bil treats my husband. I wish he had more backbone and stand up to him.

Thanks for your reply, Jenny.

Fontella

March 25, 2003
2:29 pm
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Hi Fontella,

Wow. It sounds like your husband is ready to take on the challenge. The question is -- are you? It sounds like you don't want to live with this man the next 20 years of your life.

Have you actively discussed this with your husband? What is his reaction? I would hate the 'clam up' attitude, especially because you would be party to this caretaking venture. I hope you will be heard in this situation.

Keep on writing and at least I can listen.

Jenny

March 25, 2003
2:54 pm
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Thanks Jenny

That's probably all expect right now is someone to listen. We've already had a few discussions about this and I've told him point blank that I will not live with his brother. But I think his mother is very mulitative and expects my husband to "take care" of his brother. I've told him that something has to be done now to prepare bil to live on his own and not expect everything from my husband, buth they all disagree with me. Forget about getting the whole family to therapy. I'ts hard when none of them believe there is a problem.

Thanks for listening.

Fontella

March 25, 2003
3:10 pm
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spelling error manipulative instead of mulitative. Hard word to say, hard word to spell!!

March 25, 2003
4:18 pm
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I agree. Hubby needs to talk to his Mom. I'm sure she's worried about the BIL, but your husband deserves to have his own life. What would your husband do if his brother destroyed his marriage?

Your husband needs to see your side and realize that there are consequences to his ignoring your needs here.

BIL doesn't sound like he has much of a life anyway. He may enjoy doing some things on his own without family helping all the time now that he's older. If you two make a decision to have children, then you can be mommy. You shouldn't be thrust into taking care of a grown man with obvious problems. I hope you can resolve this without having to walk away.

I'm sorry if I sound too negative, but my sister would put me into the loony bin!!

Good luck...

Jenny

March 25, 2003
5:12 pm
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Hi Fontella,
How long have you been married?

I would be nuts if I had no choice in my life either. When I first got married, hubby expected to go on doing everything the way he had always done things without consideration to me and my expectations or desires. We fought all the time.

Today, I cleaned and moved the furniture in the kitchen. Hubby called and was please about the cleaning until....he heard I had moved furniture....then you could tell how exasperated he was. Sometimes just dealing with husbands are hard enough without all the interventions of in-laws and family.

Hope that you can continue communicating and find a mutual solution that works.

March 26, 2003
1:21 pm
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Hi MJ

We've been married 7 years in June. Yesterday evening, we had a long talk. I asked him point blank about what he thinks is going to happen when his mother passes on, he told me that he thinks his brother wouldn't be that long behind her, meaning he won't handle it well and kill himself. I then again told him that he will not be moving into our home. He said, well if his house burnt down, he could stay here a few weeks. I said no way, he will never move out then. I told him he needs therapy and help that we and his mother are not capable of giving him and they should keep him in the hospital to get it and then look at a group home situation for him..

I'm at the point where I'm ready to pack it in.....

March 27, 2003
11:13 am
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Hugs Fontella,
I think being open about how you feel is good for you. At least your husband knows exactly how you feel.
If my sister didn't have any place to go....it would end my marriage 🙂

It is hard to take care of oneself and not step on another's boundary.

If my hubby came home and announced that his mom was moving in...I'd have bags in my hands faster than fast.

I sympathize.

March 28, 2003
1:22 pm
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It's good to hear I'm not way out in left field, feeling like this.

The other thing I feel so guilty about not wanting him to live here, because I was taught to care about family and not leave them high and dry if someone needed my help.

Fontella

March 31, 2003
10:04 am
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Hi Fontella,
Hope your doing ok. I was raised to think that family is so important.
Taking care of oneself is top priority. Then you are able to care for others.
Hugs

March 31, 2003
2:55 pm
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Hi there.

Well, I think MJ's right - he knows where you stand now.

How about looking into some type of housing facility where he would be supervised. It may increase his independence so that he could handle his mother's passing in the near future.

Let your husband cool off and try to work with you before you pack that bag! Sometimes shock value works wonders!

I hope today finds you more at peace with this situation. If not...vent!

Jenny

April 1, 2003
1:32 pm
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HI guys,

I forgot to check the site yesterday! Thanks for the posts.

Well, I don't know if it's getting any better. For now, I'm just avoiding the in-laws. I think hubby understands where I'm coming from. I realise the only thing I can control right now is my reactions and how I deal with the situation and I refuse to let bil run my life. He can control his mother and brother, but I refuse to cater to him.

Bil is going to have a rude awakening someday.

Call me a bitch, I don't care. Ha Ha.

Fontella

April 1, 2003
10:11 pm
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Just tell your husband that if BIL moves in, so does your Mom!!

Ha! That could get messy!!

January 25, 2011
3:26 pm
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Fontella, 

That is a difficult situation. It sounds like you are handling it well so far. It is a difficult situation. Your MIL and husband have spoiled him but then it would have been hard not to. He has learned to manipulate his family with the greatest of ease. Good luck to you and your situation!

February 3, 2013
8:37 am
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aaronwebvizards
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after going through all your situation detail, i think that it is a complicated issue and you need to take care of your husband's family and support him also. As far as your brother in law's condition you and your husband need to take some extra care of him and convince him that you all are there for him. Wishing you luck for your future.

June 6, 2013
9:04 am
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RehabForTeens
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It's a very tough task to convince him at this point..Best would be to take him to a good counsellor and if that does not help , think about admitting him into a good care centre..

December 7, 2014
11:15 pm
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healthcare08
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