My mother-in-law is being forced upon me. No one in the family wants to deal with her because of her bad behavior. She is too much to handle. What can I do?

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My mother in law is being forced upon me. My situation is this; no one in the family wants to deal with her first because she has violent tendancies, stubborn and always trying impose her will no matter what. She cries, screams and carries on like some one is doing something to her constantly. I have discussed this situation with my husband and to no avail. This has been an ongoing situation and getting worse. I can't not and will not take care of her due to my medical conditions. She has a person coming to take care of her from 7:00 to 3:00 but after she leaves I have to deal with her. She has dementia and has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and when my husband comes home from work he is too tired to deal with her. He justs falls asleep and when she starts acting up he ignores her. My mother in law is too much to handle she needs to be in a Nursing Home ASAP. What can I do?

Answers 1 to 10 of 36
Depending on your employer you might access to an employee assistance program where you could sit down and talk to some one about your situation. I am a person who believes drastic situations require drastic actions. As long as you are there, it is likely no one will take action. I would pack my bags and go to a friend or motel and tell my husband to call me when he has made decisions to deal with his mom. Short of leaving the situation I doubt that anyone will step forward to help you as sad as that sounds. Does your husband have other siblings?
I am making a guess here. Say your husband gets home from work at 6:00. That means for the last 3 hours (since the caretaker leaves at 3:00) you have been dealing with her. Tell him you are tired too! That from 7:00 on, until she goes to sleep, you will be taking a long hot bath. Or doing the grocery shopping. Or taking a yoga class. That he is the one who needs to get on the phone with his siblings and make a rotation schedule because you will not and you cannot do it all.
If your husband's family is like mine, they are very traditional and think that caregiving (of either parent) is "women's work." Therefore, your husband is going to be dimissive of your concerns because he may think that you are just "overreacting." Bottom line: she is his parent and he should be doing most of her care or arranging for it. There should also be a "rotation" of her care by the other sibs until you all can find a placement for her.
The poor woman is confused and out of control. She needs to live in a place where they understand her condition and can work to control her behavior. Your hub and his sibs need to grow up, face reality, and do the humane and loving thing for their mother....I'm just sayin'.....Lilli
I agree with the previous people who answered you. Regardless of how "traditional" your husband's family's thinking may be, the problem belongs to HIS family, not to you. I was glad to read that you wrote you cannot (due to your own health problems) and will not continue to be responsible for your MIL's care in the latter part of each day. I am afraid this may come down to a stand-off in your marriage since your husband seems unable to see your point of view. Maybe it's time for a showdown? I hope your husband finally sides with you as this will force his family to "get real" instead of dumping everything in your lap. Please keep us all posted as to how the showdown goes.
I agree with all of the above but mostly with liliput - she is your husband's responsibility, he is just wanting to shove it off on you (is it appropriate to say the apple did not fall far from the tree?) and he must be the one to take charge and come up with an alternative plan of some kind, it is not fair to you, like me, you did not sign on for that. Guard your space carefully, there are always those who will trespass on it or even steal it if you allow them to. Dig in your heels unless you are prepared to sacrifice a big chunk of the rest of your own life to someone who in reality you owe nothing but human compassion. Honor your parents, is says, but when a man takes a wife he is supposed to put her well-being first. Explore all possible avenues including if your community has a senior center - ours has been very helpful.

This may sound harsh, but 12 years ago if I had had a crystal ball that would tell me what my life would be like if I gave up my very satisfactory life in Cal. to move back here, I simply would not have had the guts to do it. After 2 weeks I was ready to throw the dog in the car and hi-tail it back, hang the furniture or whatever, just get me out of here! Do not allow yourself to be put in a box like I did to myself. You WILL resent him, her, and whomever. There, it is out.
Here's another way to say what everyone else has already been saying: You're not being "forced" and you don't "have to." When you use that language you're avoiding the reality that you are making choices. So far, you've chosen to cave in and do what other people successfully refuse to do rather than bear the anxiety of refusing, too, yourself. The whole family dynamic has been, until now, based on how the different people in the group have handled responsibility and conflict. You being unwilling to rock the boat has been part of that dynamic, which has been basically pretty stable for some time. It's true that the others will have to "grow up" as someone said. But this is a growth moment for you too and if you don't make changes in how you handle this situation, nothing and nobody else will change either. So, how about this? Reframe this from just "What am I going to do about my mil?" to "How can I grow in the way I need to grow, to take more charge of the choices I'm making?" Transitions and growth are hard but long-term this could be a turning point in your life, for the better. Good luck.
Amazing, I can sort of relate to this. My MIL was a wonderful lady. Became very ill with a neurological disease which killed her in about 9 months. However, her four children rallied around her and took over her care. Had it all scheduled out, who stayed with her, etc. Finally toward the end it got to be a bit much but no one wanted to hire help, couldn't find anyone "good enough" if you know what I mean. So finally my SIL calls me and suggest I quit my job and drive 100 miles to MIL house to help out on Wednesdays. I was helping pay for my twins college at that time. I just smiled. MIL left multimillion dollar estate and not one penny was spent on help. I wasn't about to let them do that to me. I liked MIL alot, but please.
Remeber that it is your house too and you should have a say in who lives there and who does not. I would not bring a person into my home with violent tendencies. I would consider them a danger to themselves and to others in the house. Your husband is putting his mother before you in a very passive aggressive manner. There is a book written about boundaries in marriage and he's broken some boundaries.
If you can't you can't... Do not beat yourself up. If they have left it up to you make the arrangements and move her. If your husband does not understand , my feeling is he does not have much regard for you! I have cared for my grandparents and my Father(who passed away from cancer in July) My husband has always been positive, helpful, supportive and caring. I would be honest and do what you need to do to take care of YOU!
honey, I can 100% relate to your situation. I take care of my mother-in-law too. While mine doesn't have dementia, which Im sure is much harder to deal with, she is a hateful, bitter old woman who thinks the world revolves around her. And what your going through will wear on you if it hasn;'t already. PLEASE, you have to take care of yourself too. Threaten to leave if you have to. Im sure you dont want to. It sounds like you love your husband but your stuck in a crappy position. I know as I am also. You need to let her know, and it may take a while, that your not putting up with her crap. And you dont have to be mean to get that point across, just firm. Also, call your local Council on Aging, let them know the situation and see if they can help or at least point you in the right direction. And Im sure you cant see this right now but you are taking care of her because you are a good, compassionate and caring person. Give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it. Wish I could help you more dear cause I know how incredibly stressful this can be. Just do not carry this all on your shoulders alone..You dont have to.

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