MIL possibly homeless.

Started by

My MIL recently turned 65 and has never worked a steady job in her entire life. When her father was alive she lived off of him and when my husband and his brother were under 18 she lived off the child support. She was extremely abusive to both my husband and his brother, she never allowed them to see their father or have friends, she would put them in the car and drive across country on a moments notice if they began to have friends at school. She would fly into rages then force them to lift heavy furniture as punishment, giving my brother in law a juvenile hernia that she refused to have treated for several years. My husband has been financially supporting her since he was 18. Every time he has tried to cut her off she has found some way to punish us. Due to various irresponsible decisions she is living in a week by week hotel in New Orleans. Over the last 2 months we have given her 2,000$ to put down a deposit on an apt, instead she chose to waste that money on hotels. Now she has called needing 300$ or she will be evicted. My husband and I cannot afford to send this to her without risking homelessness ourselves. We are only 28 years old and I am pregnant with twins, I will have to leave my job before then bc I am part time and do not qualify for FMLA, we just moved into our first home and want to pay off some old debts, make improvements, and build some savings before the babies come. We can do this and have a plan but can't send her more money. We didn't send her the 300 so she was probably evicted, she has called my husband 24 times in the last day. He won't answer as he can't face her but every call he becomes more distant and depressed. What should I do to support my husband? Are we awful people for abandoning this old lady?

11 Comments

NO you are not abanding her. She sounds mentally ill. You are pregnant with TWINS! They come first. Does this women have relatives of her own. Contact them and the some kind of number block on your phone and concentrate on you upcoming family. With twins, you are not gonna have time or money for this woman who has made her own bed.
She has cousins and stepsisters, all of whom want nothing to do with her and nothing to do with us because of her. When we got married no one from her side of the family attended and she blamed me. She still calls our wedding day the worst day of her life. My brother in law has cut her off entirely at the advice of a therapist and has encouraged us to do the same. My husband is afraid to do this as he tried to cut her off years ago and she began calling his work and telling lies about him to his boss. He almost lost his job as she can be very charming and believable when she wants to be. She has also showed up at our old apt before in the middle of the night and screamed and made threats until we let her in. That's not as much of a risk now because she doesn't know where we live or work.
She's mentally ill. she is beyond your help and your husband's. Get him into therapy. Best wishes on your upcoming twins!
Take the phone off the hook, or change the number!
Sounds like you have everything under control since in your last sentence you mentioned your MIL doesn't know where you live or work.
She is not in contact with reality. Stay away from her, do not take the calls, do not send the money. Send hubby to an Al-Anon meeting so he can shed his sense of guilt. She made her choices, let her deal with them, let her put on her big girl pants for the first time in her life. .
There are plenty of shelters in New Orleans. Your husband needs to take care of you and those twins.

Get him into Al-Anon or other counseling. Sounds harsh but you family's future will always be diminished with MIL around his neck. Best wishes.
She is the problem. She created the problem. Do not support her habits by sending her additional money. have your husband read materials about co-dependency. Believe me. She will get by. They always do.

Yes, to changing your phone numbers.
I would also suggest getting a temporary post office box in case your mother-in-law tries to find out the new forwarding address. Have the old post office forward all your mail to the PO Box. I know having a such a box is a big pain if the Post Office is quite a distance from your house.

Your husband definitely needs a *time out* from his mother, and she needs time to grow up.
Thank you for the advice, I showed this conversation to my husband and we both appreciate the support. I guess we know what we need to do as far as cutting her off we just needed a little reassurance to do it.

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