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My (non) conversation with DH: A demonstration of disengagement

Merry's picture

A bit of background:

DH's sister, in her mid-70s, has some health issues that requires her to live in an assisted living facility. A year or so ago, she made some legal-type changes, including setting up a trust for her own care. She appointed SD and SD's cousin as co-trustees.

It was a terrible idea. SD and Cousin do NOT get along. I don't know the details about their falling out, but I do know SD is a control freak and displays extreme jealousy whenever she feels like someone else is getting more attention. She is competitive in this way with even her own brother. 

Naturally, I stayed out of the whole discussion other than to tell DH that it would be interesting to watch. So... I come home from work yesterday and this is my convo with DH:

We exchange pleasantries, how was your day, etc. Then he went quiet on me, which is NOT like him at all. His constant chatter drives me insane too, but the silence is uncharacteristic so I knew something was up.

Me: "So, DH, what's up? You're quiet."

DH: "SD is mad at my sister."

Me: "Hmmm, I see you've started dinner. Can I help?"

DH: "She's furious about this trust thing."

Me: "I'm sorry it's upset you. That salad looks great."

DH: "Sister redid the trust and took her off as trustee."

Me: "I think I'll pour a glass of wine, do you want anything?"

DH: "I had to talk her down AGAIN, and told her to just let it go. AGAIN."

Me: "Oh, gosh, I wish she would. I'm going to set the table."

DH: "Well, we all know she won't and she's going to just get everybody upset."

Me: "You're probably right. Have the dogs been fed?"

DH: "She was CRYING about it for kristsake."

Me: Gulps wine. "I'm going to feed the dogs."

DH: "I was the one who suggested to my sister that she remove SD since it's been so hard to deal with her. SD isn't happy with Sister's attorney, isn't happy with the bank, isn't happy with Cousin, wants to control the whole thing, wants me to make my sister "fix" this, and there's nothing to fix. I wouldn't want her to be involved in decisions for me either. "

Me: Inane prattle with the dogs as they chow down.

DH: "Thanks, Merry, I appreciate talking this out with you. You always are so calm about all this insanity."

Me: "I love you too, DH. Come on pups, let's go outside."

Comments

Gimlet's picture

*standing ovation*

That is a skill and you've clearly developed it well. 

Cover1W's picture

LOL - sounds so familiar, but substitute "cats" for "dogs" in my case.  I usually throw in a couple "Uh-huh" "wow" or "that's hard isn't it?" in there too.

Survivingstephell's picture

Thanks for sharing this perfect model to follow. Just brilliant! 

ESMOD's picture

Chef's Kiss... 

Perfect balance was achieved.  You didn't get sucked into the drama.. yet he felt "heard".. which is often all people really want.. they don't want our advice.. they don't want to do the difficult thing that would fix the issue.. they just want to get it off their chest.

 

queensway's picture

The perfect tutorial when living and dealing with step life. Bravo!

SacrificialLamb's picture

Awesome!  It takes awhile to get there, but when you can put aside the anger you feel, the peace is worth it.

Merry's picture

And THAT is the key. I am no longer angry. Just feel like I'm watching a play unfold, and I already know the plot line and ending so I don't have to pay close attention. Just the well-placed uhm hmms etc.

Gimlet's picture

That's where I fail sometimes.  DH will tell me something and I want to rip someone's throat out and I need to work on that, lol.

Merry's picture

Oh, on another day, if I were coming home from work already ticked off, my ability to remain calm would have been surpased after the first round of exchanges. But then the wine would have been poured first.

WHY people believe they need to control other people is beyond me. SD is guilty of it, but so is DH's sister. Because SD and Cousin SHOULD be able to get along for HER sake. But they don't. And it's drama of her own making. And DH feels like he needs to fix it for everyone. Well, eff that, DH. Not a problem of your making and not something you have the ability to fix for other functioning ADULTS.

CLove's picture

We cackle about the fun drama between SD21 Feral Forger and Toxic Troll (because karma bus hits bot of them the same)

GREAT JOB!

KC is not the stepmother's picture

I work for a financial institution that also has financial services that can be set up as the successor trustee, it's really brilliant.  They have a fiduciary responsibility to follow the terms on the trust without the drama.  I don't work in that arena so I'm sure they have their own stories to tell. But I'm sure they do a better job than "family". 

cajohnse's picture

Thank you for sharing Mary!!  I'm still working on not having an automatic reaction to the bullshit. But it has gotten better the more I disengage and take care of myself. I LOL and wept with your story. Feeling pretty raw these days and this gives me hope!