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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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@crowmagnum -

We have a large family room that my kids have friends over to play, sleep over or have parties...which they love. Thankfully, my husband and his father have very good boundaries. He allows my husband the space and time to parent and be a husband. He never interferes in the parenting of our daughters. He stays out of any discussions we have regarding decisions or issues. Which we rarely have around him anyways. So, again, it's going good.
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After getting a few new comments today I thought I better add my own comment. I was surprised at the negativity of the posts I received today. We had planned for a couple years for my FIL to make this move. Since the postings in December our lives have settled down into a comfortable routine and everyone is happy and comfortable in their own space. Since my FIL doesn't require me to cook for him or take care of him in any way, I have pretty much the same freedoms I had before he moved in. As does my husband and children. Since my husband and I have a bedroom far from the rest of the house, we don't have privacy issues at all. We always have a family dinner, every night and when we eat out he is welcome to come along and we are happy with that. If we are going out alone, then that's what we do. He doesn't expect to be involved in every moment of our lives, he has his own life too, that is his, not ours. We are very involved in communicating with our kids and each other. So when there is something troubling one of us, we talk about it and keep it current and loving. Bob helps out financially, which is crucial to the stress level and overall functioning of the household. He pays my girls to do some chores for him and I clean his room once a week, I prefer things to be done a certain way, so that's ok with me. For now, it's working and that's all I can ask. We like having him here, we don't worry like we used to about his safety. So, our lives have changed in many ways, but they have changed for the better. I'm sure things will continue to evolve as time goes on, but our responsibility to him and to ourselves is to be open, honest and loving on all levels. That is what we will continue to do. Thanks to everyone who has commented, they are appreciated.
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haha mhmarfil , shawna hasnt been back since dec 09 . guess she got the answer she wanted ,
oh well . people come and go dont they ?
take care !!
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hmmm let me say it clearly... No. No no.... just read all sorts of issues here, you'll see why I said it so. If you have other options, weigh that in, rather than accept him with open arms. Time will tell you why I said NO.
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shawna130,

The stories that I have read on this site make me wonder strongly about such a decision. People have lost marriages, experienced their children feelilng estranged from them, etc. in these situations.

Privacy will be a big issue not just for you as well as for the two of you as a couple, but those pre-teen girls are going to "Need" some extra privacy in my opinion. Also, how are they going to have a sleep over with a very elderly old man in the house?

One concern that I have is that your FIL might start acting like your husband is a little boy again and put you in the middle of an emotional triangle. I can only image that the whole dynamic of being a family has probably changed a lot since posting this thread in December of 2009. I hope we here back from you soon.
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It changed everything for me. My mother inlaw pasted away and my father inlaw lost his house. He moved in with us and he is trying to get disability. He has no income and never leaves the house only to run to get his perscriptions are things he needs. Me and my husband have no private time. I have no private time. I am a homemaker so I am home alot too. This is causing a lot of stress for me and My husband.
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By making our home bigger to accomodate another adult, as well as, the fact that he doesn't require much "care" I think we can avoid, for now, feeling like hostages. Privacy for my husband and I, our daughters and our father was almost our biggest priority. I'm very private by nature, so I new from the moment we began planning this move that I needed to take steps to protect my privacy and create privacy for him. Bob still runs his own errands, enjoys lunches out with friends and makes his own food if I'm gone . I appreciate everyones comments and wise, kind words. This forum will be a great value to us as our lives adjust and change as time goes on.
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lhardbeck, we have said it's like being held hostage in our own home. The feelings of love we feel differs from the conflicting emotions of having to care for someone with incapacities we were never prepared to encounter. The physical and emotional part of dealing with unreasonable expectations and unrealistic demands can often be overwhelming. We sought, and still seek lots of support from others, or else we couldn't survive. It's been quite the journey. My best advice to anyone is that they gather together as good a support system as possible. This may include family, friends, a support group, online support, and the help from agencies and auxillary services, etc. It's a learning curve to find what works best for each individual and situation. We wouldn't make it without prayer and God's help, as he is our ultimate source of strength and direction. Best wishes to you and your loved ones, Shawna, and Merry Christmas!
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oh it will be a big change , mine did . everybody agreed on helping out , ok for lit while then its all yours ,
i dont mind it cuz i get to spend every mins we have with eachother , he feels safe with me and i respect that , i cant put my dad in a nh , i know he feels bad that it became too much for me . he sat me down last year and told me that if i put him innusring home he will understand that and he is ok with it . i can see it in his eyes , so sad soooo sad , i told him dad ill keep on takin care of you cuz i enjoy having you with me so i wont worry about you at nh ,
you said its ur father in law . i would imagin it be a diffrent kind of feelings , if i had to take care of my mother in law i prob end up having a nervouse breakdown . i cant handle her . she is like a sneaky lit girl .. repeats same thing over and over and over , oh my goshh i had to ingore her , tried to change the subject and she dont hear me out .
no i dont think i can .
once you have someone living with you will become another resospiblity ,
alot oftime i smile and say im a prisoner in my own home ....
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