I feel like my manipulative mother-in-law is taking a toll on my marriage.

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My mother-in-law loves going to the doctors, lots of doctors, and is constantly getting labs done and tests for all kinds of maladies. We have to do all of her driving and shopping because of her vision, but she's starting to get extremely weird with the shopping lists. She can't just request jelly, it has to be a certain brand, sugar free and seedless. She very rarely asks about my husband or myself, but will talk as long as you allow it, about minute details that relate to her health. She started to tell my husband about bowel problems, so he stopped her and told her to tell the doctor. That's not a topic he wants to hear about, but she continues to do it. I feel like this manipulative woman is taking its toll on our marriage. She will call at 8:30 p.m. and tell my husband to come and take her garbage out. She had him shop for her, a trip in addition to her weekly shop, and when he finished and came home, she called him and said she forgot to get something. When my husband said it would have to wait for the next shopping trip, she got angry and hung up on him. I don't even like to call her anymore. I don't enjoy talking to her or being around her. I feel like since we are both retired now, she loves it when she can have him all to herself. Anyone going through this???

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If she enjoys AL, talk to the sw at the facility. It sounds as though AL may be the level of care and attention she needs.
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BarbBrooklyn.....she is in an assisted living facility, but will be going through rehab while she is there. Gershwin.....a bible study would be fabulous. I would be thrilled if she would do that, but she hasn't shown interest in forty years so I really don't think she's being honest. Hopefully, she will get her need for attention fulfilled and not be so needy with us when she is released to go back home.
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Joy take her a gallon of perfume and a whole shop full of lipstick if she is having that much fun. If this is handled carefully it might become permanent.
I agree she is manipulative selfish & imagines her diseases. But she is lonely and thrives on attention. Many people actually become addicted to medical attention and welcome every test and investigation.
Save yourself and your marriage and set the boundaries that have been suggested. Stop being absorbed with her goings on. Let hubby handle it and get on with your life and simply ignore her, she is not your responsibility so don't waste your emotions on her
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We hear of many folks who resist the idea of AL and then once they're there, they find they love it.
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Joy, I think the fact that she is "enjoying" rehab is a positive step. Not a negative. Yeah, it might gall you that she wants perfume and lipstick but hey, maybe she will meet someone there and then she will really be out of your hair. And nothing wrong with bible study. :)
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She's in rehab or in Assisted Living? Those are two very different things.
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Here's the latest in this saga. MIL again went to the emergency room (six hours) and is now in an assisted living facility. She went from, "No appetite, can't eat, terrible digestive problems" to "The food is delicious. They made me pancakes this morning and cut it all up for me. (She's perfectly able to cut her own food) Could you bring me some perfume and lipstick???" She is in rehab and needs lipstick and perfume???? I feel like she thinks this is a cruise rather than rehab. She said,"oh, they have someone who will do your hair, Bible classes, etc....". For years, she has had no interest in any type of class, especially Bible classes. I pray for patience......
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This group is so helpful to me. It's not really the kind of thing you can talk to many people about, but everyone here seems to have gone through some of what I'm going through. Thank you so much for listening. You're wonderful.
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One important part of boundaries that sometimes is overlooked involves consequences for when they are broken. Broken boundaries need concrete consequences.
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Seconding the responses from BarbBrooklyn, Gershun & GeeWiz. Boundaries! And if you have to re-affirm (or tighten) them every day, so be it.

Hubby's boundaries might be different. That's OK. Altho if hubby's boundaries are softer, his acquiescence to Mama could put a dent in your marriage.

These are TOUGH times. M-I-L could carry on like this for another 5 to 20 years. How old will you and hubby be then? And will you still have respect and patience for each other??

Here's hoping hubby agrees that his relationship with you is his driving force, and not his relationship with his mother. Aspects of M-I-L's care and "need"-fulfillment can be (lovingly and respectfully) outsourced. Nurturing your marriage cannot be outsourced.

Keep coming back here for support and guidance. There are more options than you realize.....and certainly more options than hubby and M-I-L are willing to entertain.

This is a sh*tty time to have to redefine your life. The key is for YOU to take an active role in the re-defining.

If you don't establish healthy boundaries early and often, this whole thing will flip on you.....and your life will redefine you. Not good. Don't "go there."
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