Resentment towards husband and father-in-law.

Started by

My husband and I have been married almost 3 years. We live with his aging father full time because he has had a stroke about 5 years ago and recently was told he's no longer able to drive. We do everything for him. He is still in his right mind most of the time, and can still do things for himself (when his lady friend doesn't come over and baby him and do everything for him). The deal is my father in laws daughter lives less than 1/2 a mile from here, we can't get her to help with him, or even take him for an hour so that we can get away, his lady friend comes once a week and we leave for a while so that is some help. I guess what my problem is, is my life is here taking care of my father in law, I do laundry, order meds, clean up after him, cook for him, take him to drs. appts. and on top of that listen to him ridicule me and order me around. He doesn't tell people i'm his daughter in law, he says i'm his maid or his driver. Yes it hurts my feelings, i am full of resentment that my husband can go take care of the cattle and not have to deal with him all day long, and his own daughter will not help out, I even scrub feces out of the carpet and clean pee sheets. Hubby refuses for us to go to counseling, get home health care or anything else that may help, I have had to cancel so many of my own dr appts. because his father would refuse to go with me. My husband also gives me guilt trips saying I act like its so much work to take care of everything here. My resentment grows....I feel I have no "out" my out is when I go shower I stay there and just cry. We had our little grand daughter here at Christmas for a week, she's my biological grand daughter and hubby's step grand daughter. I would get up to make her breakfast, but hubbys dad would want his first, so I would have to do everything for him FIRST. Never mind a hungry 3 year old. It's getting to the point my husband and I fight every day over his dad, when I get my feelings hurt over how his father talks to me, my husband tells me to get over it and quit crying like a child. I'm sorry everybody, I'm full of love to give, but I resent everything, his is not MY father, I don't feel I should have to put up with everything that I have to put up with and yet everybody else gets the praise and glory that THEY are the ones that do everything, I had counseling set up for myself, again I had to cancel it because nobody wants to sit here and be burdened with THEIR father. I'm ready to throw the towel in and tell them all to fend for themselves.

25 Comments

A 3 year marriage was just the beginning of building a foundation between you and your husband. It's now "Marriage Interrupted."

Begin immediately standing up for yourself and your needs or you'll end up a convenience and not an equal partner. Give yourself time off and away - and let your husband make alternative arrangements for his father. He should be more than willing to do this for you.
Thank you for your response, I love my husband dearly, but I don't feel like a wife any more, he stays gone for hours at a time of the day, when he comes home, he goes straight to the tv to watch sports, any length of time he has with his dad, when his dad starts getting on his nerves he's ready to be away from him. Like today, he went to feed cattle, then he stayed out in the pasture and his son showed up, they visited out there for over an hour, then his brother in law showed up, another hour and a half, in the mean time, here I am with his dad, his dad pees all over the floor and again, another mess for me to clean. Hubby comes home, snaps at me, no conversation, and is now in the other room watching sports. I feel as if i should take my meals in the garage and sleep in separate sleeping rooms and wear a uniform and speak only when addressed to do something. I feel the marriage going down the toilet, and as of right now this minute, again I feel resentful seeing as my husband gets to visit with any of his family whenever he wishes, I have to wait for a birthday or holiday to see any of my children or grandchildren. I don't feel as if i'm part of the family here, and when I try to talk about my concerns with my husband he yells and leaves, and again I'm here with HIS father. I feel a letter comming to leave here and go away, I'm tired of being alone and tired of crying, I told my husband I wanted to go see my grand kids, he says he has things to go do and will be leaving shortly, which actually turns into hours just so I don't leave, there are days I want to get in my car and drive till I can't drive any more, I even quit a good paying job to stay and take care of THEIR dad, no appreciation what so ever, my husband spends money taking care of his grown sons that have jobs, we barely scrape by. When one of my children ask to borrow something he throws a fit and says NO THEY ARE GROWN they can take care of themselves. To put it all in a nutshell, sometimes I feel like he married me to be caregiver and maid. When I have told him that I'm going to go for a few days to maybe see my daughter in Texas, the answer I get is when I leave take everything and don't come back. I'm depressed and lonely and sometimes wish I wouldn't wake up
Rosebud648, if you feel like you are a danger to yourself, please call 911 and get some help. It does sound like your husband did marry you to be a caregiver like I guess his mother was to him instead of an adult/adult marriage relationship. The added dynamic of his children and your children with him evidently not caring for your children only adds to the unhealthy dynamic going on. I think you need to set some boundaries with some real consequences and see if that gets his attention. I wish you well in dealing with this painful situation. My mother has never really accepted my stepdads children and didn't want me to have much to do with them.
I lost the last comment I wrote!! Darn. Anyway if any one especially my husband said to me " Leave and take everything and don't come back" I would leave.

He will use and abuse you as long as you allow it. Leave. Get your life back, stay with your daughter, reinvent yourself and beware: He will probably beg you back - but you must demand an entirely different situation or don't do it. Actions are louder than words, don't forget that. You must take your power back. He is very selfish and feeling entitled to your compassion. If he also feels that your lack of finances is trapping you into his little plan - Go and know that you can and will make a new beginning - enjoying yourself once again and the family you brought into this world.
Oh my goodness rosebud, who is this man you are married to? He sounds horrible. If my husband treated me like this I would kick his a$#. You need to find a job, stop letting them take advantage of you and really question how much a man could love you and treat you like this. If this is a loving relationship, I would hate to see a bad relationship.

Your husband is taking advantage of you. Please see a councelor or someone who can give you some good advice. How do your children feel about this man? I am so sorry you feel you have to put up with this behavior.
And I agree with kathleenbrandl's comments.
Rosebud, I don't understand why you can't leave to visit your grandkids. You are the one that has decided that you HAVE to stay there 24/7. And leaving for a visit to whomever you want to, is NOT leaving your husband in the dust. It's a VISIT for heaven's sake. You're not a prisoner, but you've decided you are. So you go and leave your husband and his father alone, so what? So they have to fend for themselves for a week? They won't die, believe me. Pack a bag, tell your husband you need to see your family or whatever, and do it. Period. It's not the end of the world.
what is your husband doing to make you take care of him? Why don't you call his daughter and tell her how you feel and how you are being treated. She should know. Just go out when he is with the cattle and he will have to come in and take care of his dad.
I agree with others. Leave and stay gone until your husband can treat you with respect. What you describe is use and abuse. You should still be in your honeymoon years. Shame on your husband.
Pack up everything. Leave. And don't go back. Really.

Accepting this kind of abuse is unhealthy, and I don't see your health improving while you are in this environment.

After you've been gone a while, get some counselling. Get on your feet. Stop crying in the shower. You are are worthy, unique, and valuable individual. You deserve respect, starting with self respect. Make it happen!
I rarely advocate leaving someone,but I am so very afraid the verbal abuse will turn into physical abuse very soon. Get what cash you can put your hands on, pack up the things that really mean something to you and LEAVE asap. When you get far enough from the house, call one of your husband's children and briefly tell them to go and look after their grandfather. The very fact your husband allows your father to denigrate you and does so himself means you are being abused. Best wishes and please let us know you are okay.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support