Heartache with family and "friends" over father-in-law's embellishing.

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My father-in-law doesn't suffer from anything other than high blood pressure and age. The pains and aches and ocassional memory lapse, but basically he is blessed with wonderful health. The problem is his continual mental and verbal abuse to me. I feel that I have handled it very well thus far by being loving but firm. I have tried to tell him that there are options for him such as assisted living if he is not happy here with us, but he refuses to even listen. He eaves drops on my husband and my private conversations (in our bedroom), he sneaks through the house as quiet as a mouse to see what everyone is doing, but when you let him know that you know he is there, or when he sees you watching, he acts very weak and feeble. This is very stressful, but mostly just irritating. We try to give him love and care as well as personal attention, but he wants us to be by his side 24/7. I'm working at home, but my husband works at an outside job. When my husband is gone, my father-in-law verbally abuses me. I have even broken out in tears because of the meanness of his tone and words. My husband is very supportive, and has seen or heard this happen. He tries to talk to his father and reason with him, but of course according to Hue, it's never his fault; he does nothing wrong! My husband and I are working through this by being supportive of one another, venting to one another and spending private time with one another as well as individually. We feel like we can work through this. The problem is now my father-in-law is telling friends and other family members things that are not true. Instead of them calling and talking to one of us, they assume it is true because he twists the truth just enough to sound bad. One friend said she wanted him to come and live with her (she works with hospice in another state), but she would have to have X amount (which is all his SS check) to be able to stay home with him. We left it up to him, making sure he understood the amount, etc. and told him we just wanted him to be happy. He said yes to her at the time because she was really babying him then he said no, he was happy where he was when he found out how much money she wanted. Now this "friend" (she is connected to the family) is saying we talked him out of it and we are greedy. She is spreading lies about us to other family. We take nothing monetary from my father-in-law. We ask him for nothing. He gives us money very sparingly by his own choice, even though we are struggling financially right now. I never ask him for a dime for groceries even though I fix our meals together. My husband helps him with his checking account, bills, etc., but we do not take nor want his money! If he feels to give it to us as gifts from time to time ($25 max) he will bring it up time and time again, holding it over you that he paid for this or that. Now I feel that not even (my husband's) family understand nor believe me. God knows I would never do anything to hurt Hue, I love him... even when there are days I don't like him very much! I don't let him talk abusive to me... I firmly tell him much like I would my own children, not to speak to me like that and try to suggest something constructive for him to do or change the subject. Many times I try to make him laugh or make the situation seem humorous. When he refuses or insists, I say, "Dad, I'm sorry.... I love you.... but please don't talk like you are talking. It hurts me and I don't deserve it. I'm glad to take care of you, but I cannot listen to negative talk. Either we talk positive, uplifting, and encouraging, or you will have to wait until Micky (his son-my husband) gets home. You can explain it to him, maybe he has a different solution." And I go to a different room; mostly my office.


Sorry, but your husband has dropped the ball. His first obligation is to his family (you and kids) then to his father. I say dad moves out, since he's in 'good shape' to a place with other seniors. I wouldn't give him a choice as to IF he moved out, only WHERE he moves to. Your husband should be in his dads face and telling him that if he can't be civil to his wife, then he has to go. And since his dad evidently can't, then he goes. period. Either way, this falls to your husband. He needs to put his big boy pants on and stand up for his wife, & do the right thing. Good luck.
Maybe I didn't explain it correctly. My husband does stand up for me. None of our children live at home, but he is also supportive and a good father to them. My husband does fulfill his obligation to me first. We spend every Friday evening out... alone. He tells his dad that he needs to speak civil. He tells him that he should speak the truth to those who call, and calls his hand when he embellishes. But we (not him NOR I) will put his dad out if he desires to stay here. We tell him that if he isn't happy here he has other choices, and that there is no call to speak to me the way he does but we would never get in his face. That would be wrong of us... as wrong of us as what he is doing to us. If he would get physically abusive, I would call 911. I think I can outrun him or withstand him without hurting him. But I would never be abusive back, verbal or otherwise!

We need encouragement and support and suggestions on how to deal with the extended family and family friends who believe that I am mistreating HIM or that I am threatening to put him in a nursing home. There is nothing further to the truth. We can deal with him because we stick with eachother. We know that when his dad passes, our marriage still has to be strong. My husband told all of them exactly what was going on and how I take good care of his dad, deserving or undeserving... but it has caused us heartache and grief for them to call us greedy! He asked them where they all were the past 4 years up to now???? We don't see any of them caring for, visiting or anything else. But now that this family friend has offered to take him in providing he give her all his money and we let him live with us and not pay to do it, WE are in the wrong? Just because she would stay by his side and baby him all day (or so she says) and we don't, WE are greedy? It has caused rifts between the extended family and us. That is what is so hurtful.
I'm just saying that there should be consequences for bad behavior. When our son was younger, if he was told over and over again to NOT do something but he still did it, we would have to ACT. He had to reap the consequences of his actions eventually. Otherwise what's the point? Why tell a child they can or cannot do something and never back it up? I never meant that your husband should throw his dad out, but if he doesn't change his behavior towards you, then why tell his father NOT to talk to you like that at all? What does he care, his son won't change anything Surely when your kids were still living at home, you and your husband must have had rules? I get that you're trying to be nice and bending over backwards for him. But remember what the Bible said about casting your pearls before swine?
Matthew 7:6:
"Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast you your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

And as far as the rest of the family, why don't you tell them he's going to come and live with one of them for awhile. I'll bet that will shut them up, don't you?
I don't know, maybe I'm being way too simplistic, I tend to see things as either black or white. Especially as I've gotten older, it's getting more so. I don't like the 'gray areas' anymore. It seems like more people are compromising their beliefs these days when they know better. Not necessarily your circumstance, just in general.
Your husband works outside of the home, your business is home based which means your husband get's a break e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y!

You are your husband's wife and that's that.

Get your father-n-law outta there before you go stone cr@zy!

I'll be praying for you though:)
DebiKay, we have ALOT in common. I am going to share this with my husband because we care for MY mother and honestly, your whole post sounded exactly like her. Maybe she and your f-i-law should meet !! haha
They sound so much alike it's truly amazing. If you would like to exchange emails just let me know. Maybe we could help each other survive the insanity !! ~Rebecca~ :)

Sorry dear, but I agree with Naheaton. Your FIL is making your life a living Hell and what concerns you the most is your reputation as far as relatives and "friends" are concerned? I don't get it.

Yes, your husband is occasionally supportive and commiserates with you. That does relieve some of the stress, but does nothing to enhance your self-respect and quality of life. Any way you look at it your FIL's abusive behavior will continue as long as he doesn't see or believe there are serious consequences coming. ... Forgive me, but it's time for his spanking and you to stop being victimized -- and playing the victim.

Here are some suggestions: (1) drop by one of those Domestic Violence Centers and file a report (violence doesn't necessarily have to be physical) and follow it up with another complaint at the nearest police precinct; (2) flip the script on him and give him a dose of his own medicine to see how he likes them potatoes; (3) start looking at Senior Citizens housing, make a list of the ones farthest away from you, and give it to your FIL so he can pick one; (4) pick up a bunch of cardboard boxes from the supermarket, put them in his room and tell him to start packing; and (5) start calling all those "concerned" family and "friends" he whines to and ask how many are willing to take him in -- Social Security check and all. I bet you everyone, except that one who offered her services for a fee (the entire check) will say "I wish I could but I can't."

If your husband suddenly begins to defend him and chastize you for your "abusive" behavior, then he can be his roommate wherever the old man happens to end up at. I bet you he won't last a week.

To your FIL, you're a wimp with a jelly backbone. Uttering nice, politically-correct words to him in the hopes that he sees the light (whatever light that is) encourages him even further.

But the real problem here, however, isn't your FIL. It's you and the saintly image you want to project; both to him and the rest of the world. Your FIL is walking all over you and what you're really worried about is what everyone else will think about you. I'm sorry my love, but if you truly care about your health and your family you must find a way to get off the Cross. Someone else needs the wood.

-- ED

I have to chime in briefly and say I agree with all above...you have done your duty...fil is in good shape and could live in senior apartments (many are government subsidized)...he has many advantages that most of our parents do not.
If you re-read your post you will see how much heartache and stress it expresses. I fear if this continues, it will effect your health and perhaps your relationship.
In my opinion, I would gather up lliterature from housing establishments, take your fil to visit them, give him 3 months to choose one. Then stick to it.
You will be amazed how much better your relationship will be when you are not on top of one another. And your fil may find new friends and new activities to use all that energy on.
good luck

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