shawna130 Asked December 2009

How will our life’s change with my father-in-law moving into our home??

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I'm looking for any advice/encouragement for our family. My husband and 2 pre-teen daughters just welcomed my father-in-law into our home. He is in good general health, but has some physical limitations with his knees. Our plan is open communication, having a weekly list of everyones responsibilities, a clearly posted list of family rules. My concern is for myself and how my life will change with this added responsibility. I have no idea what to expect with this life change and would welcome any comments.

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Anugal,

Stories such as yours and worse are far too common on this site and beyond. I hope that you and your husband will get some therapy in order to save what is dying all around you by finding the strength and courage to set some normal and healthy boundaries around yourself, your marriage and your children separate from your FIL. What is going on with your husband that he is evidently more emotionally bonded with his father than with you and the children? He needs to wake up because he is not being faithful to his marriage vows, etc. by doing so!!!! I've read of sons doing this with their mothers and I know what it is like to have a wife do this with her mother, but a son with a dad, no!

It is a very sad commentary on caring for the elderly that it leads to much of what I can't believe a majority of parents want and if they were in their right mind, which they often are not. The collateral damage of the caregiver's health physically and mentally; marriages end in divorce or permanently damaged; relationships with children or one's own grown children and grand-children strained or destroyed; children and grand-children given such a soar view of the elderly. Do we sometimes think that by sacrificing our own lives that our elderly parents will not die? Who is going to be there once they do die? Is it worth being all alone singing your own lonely song with nothing but ashes of your former life and relationships all around your feet. I frankly think it is a version of slow suicide to destroy ourselves when someone else who has already lived their life is about to die.
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robbie2010 Jul 2010
Was checking to see if you checked back in and posted how it was going. Although it's an adjustment, I know people who have made the same sacrfice and because they did it as a family they did pretty good.My sister lives with my Dad and my son stays there to care for him when she works. A couple times a month I go and my son comes home for a few days. This seems to be working out for all of us for now.
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linda09 Jul 2010
wave at your fil good bye ,
vacation is over . time to go home .
pack his bags set it out on the curb .
wave at him goodbye .
then need to mend your homelife together .
then your marriage gets stronger , kids be comin back home . :-)
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anugal Jul 2010
My FIL overstayed, 36 months ( really exxxxxxxxxxtended vacation)
Marriage is on the verge of divorce.
The teenagers, boy 17, girl 16, comes home only to bathe and eat now.
Productivity at work has declined.
No intimacy between us.
Father in-law is happy.
All of us :(
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I think progress will be gained in any nation when older parents stop treating their grown children as if they are still little girls or boys; cease training them as children to be future slaves, and quit treating children as substitute emotional spouses.
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mhmarfil Jun 2010
It will be ok for few more years, then the decline will start, and everyone in the family will fo into roller-coaster drive with so much stress & expenses. I hope that things will be discussed now that everyone is still lucid and in fine mood. In my country, I always stress to my daughter that one of the hallmarks of our progress as one nation is that these issues have to be discussed openly. And not to judge the adult children as if they want their parents or in-laws to die sooner. It's a narrow-minded opinion. I know being the only child, sandwiched generation between my mom & my daughter and a single parent, I know the horrors. I can't even shake the trauma in me. I myself need deep clarifying cleansing detoxifying therapy. lol... hugs to everyone.
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JulieWI Jun 2010
Shawna - I'm glad this is working out for you so well. If I could give you one piece of advice from my own experience, please go ahead and work with your FIL on his wishes for the future. He may be healthy for a very long time (my 93 year old grandma still lives on her own) or he may need more care in the future (like my mom). Now it is too late for my mom to tell me what she would have wanted in terms of care. I really wish the we had discussed it back when she could have articulated it.
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I'm glad to hear all of the good news and the good boundaries! Keep up the good work and keep your eyes open for when boundaries need help.
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linda09 Jun 2010
shawna ! welcome back and thank you for answering us all .
sounds like to me u have it going real good , happy to hear that .
it all works out for the best .bless ur heart for letting him come and be part ofthe family . i would rather be with someone than begin all alone in a home .
god bless u and ur family .
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Eddie Jun 2010
SHAWNA:

If he's in good health, I recommend consistent low-impact exercises so he can keep those knees greased and ready to go (remember the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz?). Well-padded sneakers and a treadmill at a local gym should do; maybe some light biking and leisure walks through a park. Otherwise his condition will worsen and your life will revolve around his. Don't let this happen, or your misery will trickle down to your children.

-- ED
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