Ask Francine

How to help an ailing mother-in-law and keep your sanity

Q For 30 years my family has been completely ignored by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, who live together in Florida. My husband would call for Mother's Day and other special occasions, but the gesture was never reciprocated. About six months ago, my mother-in-law became ill. My sister-in-law, bankrupt after ruining her business but still living lavishly, started calling her brother to ask for money. After some soul searching, my husband has sent many thousands--for [his sister's] mortgage payments, [his mother's] private nursing services and general household expenses. Is there a way he can provide what's absolutely necessary for his mother without...

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