Follow
Share

I feel I am being forced to be a care giver by my husband. It is his epectation that I do much of their care. I resent this and it is very negatively effecting every aspect of my life including my physcial and mental health. I am becoming bitter and angry. I do not want to do this anymore. My husband will say that I am not responsible but then almost daily either a caregiver does not show up or he is busy and I am told to fill in as of course he cannot leave them alone. I am considering leaving as my only way out but it is hard after a 33 year marriage that was good up until this situation.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
robi how is it going?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Having been in a - what I called jokingly way back when - a 'practice' marriage to a man who 'wasn't married even though I was' (can you tell I use humor to keep myself from crying!?), I can tell you, there were so many broken parts it is shocking to me now that we lasted a total of 17 years. He had me convinced that he couldn't cook a meal, manage the money, 'babysit' his own children, or call his mother on the phone. Those, any many other things, were basically 'women's work'.
To the point of the person above who says a lot more must be wrong, he/she is correct. They ARE his parents. I suspect that if you felt he'd do the same for you (in caring for parents or any other thing) you would be much less resentful.
I am now married, and have been, for ten years to a totally different kind of man. A real man, a man who loves me with his whole heart and to whom my wellbeing and happiness is paramount. And his, to me. If I were taking care of his mother, or him, mine, and anything got to be too much something would change immediately. Unfortunately, unless you DO take that month long vacation and let him see what he'd be facing if you weren't around, probably nothing will change, particularly if you have been at this for a long time. By the way, I did discover that my ex could do the following: compliment me on what I cooked or how I looked, buy me flowers spontaneously, fix his own sandwich, call his own mother (or not), etc. But it came when I finally could not take it another minute. My depression had grown so deep (and my five year old told me that it seemed like 'you love Daddy a lot more than he loves you') and my resentment so overwhelming at his cold shoulder that I knew it would kill me to stay another minute. Oddly, once he only did those things in order to keep me I felt more angry than ever, knowing he'd had it in him all that time and he could see me dying on the vine and never once tried to be there for me until he realized his gravy boat could be permanently empty. It all felt manipulative. I don't know about your husband and his motivations. But I do understand your feelings. Get a good counselor, ask him to come with you (so you can both hear each other) but if he doesn't, then go alone. And - drop the ball with things that he needs to attend to. He will not know you are serious if you have always threatened and never acted. God bless.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Calling you irresponsible is unfair. His parents, his show. Walking out is going to make things worse, so I'd help him out by looking for reliable caregivers. Don't bottle things up. He needs to know how you feel.

Taking care of your in-laws is a heavy workout, and I guess he assumes that since you're home (don't know if you work) it's your responsibility to take care of them. He's mistaken.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Take a month's long vacation by yourself and let your husband take responsibility for his parents. This just might open his eyes to how much you do for them and start sharing in the responsibilites when you get back. If it doesn't work it just shows how much of a person your husband really is.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would also ask if there are any other issues in your marriage that need to be addressed. If so then this is another symptom and you should consider getting counseling of some kind.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Rovana again - I would like to add: I worked for years in a Japanese company and was told that it is the duty of the wife of the oldest son to care for her parents-in-law. Needless to say, oldest sons, unless there is a LOT of money involved, have a hard time getting married - Japanese women have some options these days and don't necessarily have to put up with what was all too often a very abusive situation. Nowadays, oldest sons find themselves marrying Filipino, Thai, Indonesian women who are economically desperate.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Cindyb, Robi is not denying her husband's parents care - The issue it seems to me is very often not denial of care, but arguments over exactly how the care is to be done. There is nothing wrong, finances allowing, to place an elder in assisted living or nursing home as long as they are decently cared for. It seems that Robi just had this dumped on her as her "woman's obligation" by her husband without careful and frequent discussion and consultation. I never heard of anyone being required to care for in-laws as part of their marriage vows! A good marriage is a treasure worth preserving, but there needs to be good communication between partners, particularly when it comes to such a stressful situation. And this must be between the partners, the issue of "my parents don't want to go into an AL facility" simply should not control how care is going to be given. The caregivers are carrying the load, so they get to decide what they can manage.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If this situation is actually gravely affecting your health and sanity, I feel that it is tantamount to "abuse" that you do not need to take. Yes, you've been married 33 years, but that fact should not be "used" against you and take your very life, soul, and spirit away from you. If it has truly gotten to a serious point, perhaps it is only consequences which will cause your husband to see the light and the truth of this situation.....that this situation is unfair and abusive to you. Perhaps you need to tell your husband that you will indeed leave him if he doesn't relieve you of this undue pressure. I agree with others who have posted here, that before resorting to this ultimate step, you ought to try getting away for at least three weeks in the form of a vacation or trial separation. I feel for you....you don't need to put up with this. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Robi,
Please do not let the this situation ruin your marriage.
Maybe you can let him know you will fill in on 1 or 2 days a week but you should make sure you have a backup caregiver or 2 even. My sister in law uses her children's babysitter to also watch my mother in law when they are gone.
Or you could have 2 caregivers who rotate days and then it might give you an extra person to back up the situation if one can't make it.
Also there are alot of other services to help (meals on wheels, driving services, etc.) Maybe they have a good neighbor who could look in on them if one of the aides doesnt show up....
Keep thinking of back ups that you can call in instead of running in there yourself.

Don't let a temporary situation ruin what you have worked so hard to acheive.
A 33 year marriage in these times is something to work and fight for!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi tlhanger, after I sent my recent post, I realized that "Nigle' must have posted something before your response, which I mistook as being directed to me. I'm sorry I misunderstood - thank you for your kind reply. Perhaps the site deleted "Nigle's" follow-up post before I could read it. In any case, all the best to you and I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

no, I meant Nigle 77, don't know how you got my reply, sorry
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

In response to tlhanger - if you were referring to me being the first to 'post political' you are wrong. Look at Nigle77's original post, he was the first, and others have commented in response to his inane ramblings.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You do realize, that you were the first one to post political and it wasn't a true statement.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Nigle77 - this is not the platform through which to spew political criticisms. I reported your original post and reported this most recent one as well. All you can do is complain, you don't offer any help or support for those on this site. I for one, do not want your opinion. By the way, learn to spell and proof-read. You "read" like a foreigner...is that the case? If so, love America or do something positive to make changes.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

nigle77, you have been hoodwinked again. Romney and Ryan want to give better care to old people. Don't let people tell you this bunk. Sorry for all that has happened to you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Or if you're a Christian - then God's Judgement since God can see into the hearts and mind. What we people cannot see or show proof, God sees all.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Nigle, I'm so sorry about your mother's death. When you read the comments on this site, you will see that a lot of family do awful things to their elderly parents with dementia...for their money, house, etc....They don't care about their parent or the their sister/brother. I guess it would be difficult to find the real cause death since it was done by drugs? All I can say is: shame on your sisters and whoever's husband molested her! Maybe, at nights, you can pray really hard that what goes around comes around. Just as you do to others, shall be done to you. Some people call it: karma.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Robi, I had a similar situation only it is my husband who needs care. He didn't want me to leave the house but care entirely for him. I solved much of the problem by hiring caregivers from an agency..Home Instead. Agencies are more expensive, but hire one in which caregivers are bonded and have had criminal background clearances. It is the responsibility of the agency to schedule the caregivers so your loved ones are not alone.
If your inlaws cannot afford the caregivers (your husband shoud take over their financial needs as well as get a Power of Attorney), reach out to the Agency for the Aging in your area and hire an elder law attorney. You will save your marriage and your sanity. If I have read correctly, I believe that you've already done caregiving for them. Do they live with you? Be honest and firm with your husband and tell him that you love him dearly, but HE needs to find the solution or you will have to leave even though you HATE the thought. Best of luck , honey. You are in my prayers. Please let us know how it's going. Corinne Sending a hug!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

you don't have to cares for your in-law at all
Why ?
Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan love to get in the White House !
if Mitt Romney get in the office,
You don't have to cares for your in_law
Mitt Romney will put a stop to the aid for the old
ps
me Mum has Alzheimer, and me Three Sisters kill her for Money, as me Mum has Over $2 Million !
it took me Sisters 6 years to tell me that me Mum pass away
Thank you for your time
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Being a caregiver is the last thing any one ever aspires to be...but is often not a choice when it comes to family. Was there a good relationship between you and your in-laws during your long-term marriage? Or was there tension and hard feelings? While I do not know your situation, I can't help but wonder what kind of family YOU grew up in? I was divorced many years ago (not having anything to do with in-laws, I loved mine very much), but were I still married and my in-laws needed help I would be there for them. I was raised to care about others, to help those in need. This past year I became the caregiver for my father, and with some help from my brother, we are managing. There are times when I am overwhelmed and must take a day or two for a break, so I understand your needing time to nurture yourself. When you married, did you promise to love, honor and cherish/obey your husband? What part of denying his parents needed care is loving and honorable? If you feel your only option is to run away from everything then you will never be able to find peace within yourself. Good advice from others preceeds my answer...I hope you put it into practice and can find the heart and strength you need to keep your marriage strong.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Elizabeth, " Your husband will appreciate your help with his dad." And you know this ... how? Sounds like some appreciation would go a long way in this situation, but robi115 feels taken advantage of, not appreciated.

You are talking about what "should be" but I sense this situation doesn't live up to that ideal. Marriage counselling seems like a good bet here, to me.

And as for it being "temporary," yes, it will end someday ... but without knowing FIL's age, that could be 5 or 10 or 15 years from now. The man is not in hospice care.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Robi115
Wow some very different advice! I understand the father in law is not your father but he is your husband's father. I am sure your husband is a good son trying to earn a living and care for his dad. There appears to be home health aides with your father in law so you may be called upon when the aides fail to show or the errands your father in law can no longer do for himself.

I would try to :
*get a live in home health aide.
* get back up aides if you are having aides on a hourly basis.
* get any "blood" relatives to help your husband if you can't help or refuse to help.
* if you have adult (18+ yrs) children try to get them to assist their father in the care for their grandfather. It will be good for them and you. When you age, your children will know it is expected that they care for you and your husband.

Try not to lose an otherwise good marriage over this situation as it is a temporary thing. Your father in law is not going to live forever. Your husband will appreciate your help with his dad. I know how he feels because it is very stressful to know you must have a caregiver with your parent 24/7. I did it alone with no---absolutely no help except the paid help I hired so I could work. However, I wanted my parent to live with his dignity all the days of his life and he did so.

I did not see my duty as a burden but an opportunity to enjoy my father.

Elizabeth
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I had to put my foot down with my family. They dumped everything related to my mothers needs on me, no discussion, nothing. It got to the point I just could not do it anymore. My mother was trying to use me to replace all of the abilities she lost and it kept becoming more and more of my day was expected to be her caregiver even though she had home care and lived in senior housing. I mention this because of what happened next. I put my foot down and told all my siblings they had to find a way to step up and help, even the ones that didn't live in town needed to do something, even if it was just calling to check on her or helping with things they could do from a distance. This devolved into my mother doing some very abusive behavior towards me and I have since pretty much estranged my entire family. After I did that did any of them get a clue? Nooo. They dumped it all on my SIL! My brother is my mother's power of attorney. He initially forced all this responsibility onto me declaring I has so much free time and he was sooo busy. Never mind I work 2 jobs that I had basically stopped doing for this time. So I was losing money we desperately needed. So now my brother has dumped it all on his wife and the lot of my siblings went back to ignoring the situation.

My suggestion to you is to document how much your actually doing so your husband realizes how big this really is. I would sit him down and tell him that it stops and a solution will be put in place. Have that solution figured out, ie: home health care, senior apartments etc. I would tell him how crappy this whole thing is that has been dumped on you without your consent and then take that suggested vacation immediately to give him time to think about all this. When you come back if he has not wised up I would leave permanently.

People get this weird notion in their heads sometimes that caregiving is a mandatory part of being female that you simply must do it or are naturally "wired" to do it. That is just sexist and not the reality of who people are. Just dumping such things on a spouse is really crappy.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

While I do feel for you, I wonder why I am feeling anger towards a husband who is working to support you. What is he suppose to do? They are his parents. It is a stressful situation for all concerned. A good marriage of 33 years deserves more than this leaving thought. to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy law, in the presence of God I make this vow. You did, this may be the worse part, but none of us are promised a rose garden. Talk with your husband, go to counseling, take a vacation, but you and he do need to talk.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have the same problem. I started going to a free support group for care givers. (I Googled for one in my area and (MIL's)psych Dr. recommended one). It really helped my confusion/ anger.(Mind you I have always presented my situation as a united front with my husband. I accept every part of him including his ridiculous siblings and his lovely parents) It kind of woke him up when he realized I needed a support group .... they really helped. I finally got my husband to come with me. After the first "session" he apologized for keeping his head in the sand. We have not worked out a resolution yet but we are trying new things. This situation is very difficult. Oh, also husband and I have only been married for 17 year (yesterday) it's still kinda new for this situation :( Good luck to you....
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I am wondering if you have put this to your husband in almost the same words you have used here. Have you been totally succinct about how you feel and what you feel on the verge of if this situation doesn't change? I would find a counselor that you can talk to together who can mediate the conversation and help you both understand each other better. This same kind of thing occurs often when a man with children marries a woman without them and he sort of hands over parental responsibilities when he has the kids to his new wife. I think men sometimes 'assume' women are just naturally better at caregiving than women. That is because often women let them get by with it!
Talking and listening to each other goes far to work towards a solution.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Dear Robi115,I can identify with your situation. My husband and I have been married 33yrs also and are doing the same thing. He to asked me to care for his mother who has dementia/stroke. We thought it wouldn't be as hard as it was. This illness has many stages and moms had progressed far beyond what we knew. Set a time to talk with your hubby when the caregiver is there, if he truly loves "You" then he will listen and hear what you have to say! I told my husband it was to much for me to handle and my fears,....thankfully he understood and we worked out a new arrangement for her. Good luck, my prayers are with you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My husband tried to get me to do more care giving to his mother and I flat told him no, she's your mother, you do it. It sounds cold and he did get upset, but I stood my ground. I do help in other ways, but it's on my terms. Now, my husband does what he needs to do for his mom. I watch to see that he doesn't miss something subtle. Women are better at the subtle things in care giving. My husband didn't help me when it was my parents, he was there for me as moral support, but when it came to the physical doing things for my parents, he was somewhere else. I didn't get mad, but when he thought it was ok to expect me to do things for his mom without asking me if I had the time or would do it, then I stepped up for myself. You need to do that for yourself.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

first, be grateful for 33 years of good marriage. that is RARE! i have had 25 years of bad marriage, finding out my husband was mentally ill almost the day after we married.
second, the opposite of resentful is grateful. whenever you are resentful count your blessings. you will immediately feel better and will keep yourself from going insane.
third. remember, if you love someone set them free. if they return it is love. if you are feeling trapped ask your husband to set you free. let him know that if you return it will show your love. if you don't, then you will KNOW that you are in the wrong place.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My parents are both sick now. My father is 90 and my mother 87. My father is on dialysis three times per week and cannot walk without assistance, my mother is a dementia patient. I work fulltime and so does my husband, thankfully I have a sister that is retired and she and her husband pick up a lot of the responsibility. I , however, do the bills and grocery shopping and weekend care. It is very overwhelming for all of us. I don't expect or even ask my husband to take care of anything, they are not his parents, but he is sacrificing because I am so stressed most of the time. Caring for elderly parents is extremely hard, we cannot afford assisted living, most people can't especially for two people. We do have caregivers come three times per week to assist with transport to dialysis and cooking. Food is a big issue, they live alone at this point. I would suggest getting caregivers with a service that will send a substitute when someone else cannot come. My parents are not easy to get long with either, each one is very independent and can be abusive. Just talk to your husband and let him know how overwhelmed you are. You didn't mention whether you worked full time or not, I am assuming that your husband does. If that is the case he is really not available to pick up the slack. Are there any siblings to help? Even grandchildren can take a shift. You shouldn't have the sole responsibility but don't throw your marriage away over this. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter