Husband shuts down when it comes to helping with responsibilities. On top of that I take care of all his mentally challenged brother's responsibilities. He brought up divorce tonight, I’m like bring it on. I’m done with all this BS, THIS IS HIS FAMILY! Anyone else going thru this? I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE. MIL is at assisted living but since April she has been at assisted living, Nursing Home, now back to a different assisted living. She gets UTIs if you just look at her. She lived with us for 1.5 years I was so hoping this would get better but it’s not.

I am a retired Nursing Home Administrator who is now on the other side. It sucks!

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
This isn't going to help you now but it just came to mind.

When SIL married my BIL and was having some problems with our MIL, she told BIL that his responsibility was his Mom (no problem with FIL) and hers was her parents. Not they couldn't be supportive of each other just BIL deal with his parents and she would deal with hers. After 47 yrs together, it worked for them.

If MIL gets catheterized, the ALs do NOT normally deal with it! I had to take my dad to the ER countless times when he was in AL and they wouldn't handle his issues.

That said, I love the responses you've gotten here! Your husband has SOME NERVE threatening you with divorce! He should be kissing your FEET and thanking you over & over again for all you do for HIS family! As a former NH professional, I'm sure you know that some people drop their mother or father off at the AL or the NH with a piece of luggage, never to be heard from again. Some how, some way, these residents survive at the facility withOUT someone coming to take care of their every need and/or whim. Remember that. It's your DHs turn to STEP UP and deal with his family members. If he wants a divorce, fine. Just be sure to get a good lawyer yourself who can fight for YOUR rights!

Best of luck!!

Dont take threats sitting down. You took on the responsibility of his family. Tell him you are done with his hiding his head in the sand. He has been no help, but no more. You are done handling his family issues alone. Your hubby might be refusing to do it bc of your previous job. You let him get away with it. Now hes throwing a tantrum.
Call up mil, bil caretakers, docs etc and give them all of husbands phone # numbers. Instruct them from now on, they contact him for any problems. Do not answer the phone if they call. No matter how many times they call. They are persona non grata.

Start getting your ducks in a row in case husb decides to get nasty. Sell any items you dont need and keep the cash, seperate account.

I think hubby is bluffing. He will come crying back for you to help. You might be temptrd, but let him do it himself first. If and when you want to, you can be a sounding board for problems, but he will cont to be their primary contact person.
You have allowed him to dump it on you so he doesnt have to deal. He needs to put on his big boy pants now. Too bad he doesnt like it. Hell find out what you were dealing with.

Why did he bring up divorce?

Is he trying to manipulate you or is he wanting a divorce.

I personally think threatening something like that crosses a line that is really hard to come back from. Trying to throw someone off balance and putting them in a situation that they don't know where there spouse stands, so they don't know where the marriage stands and they don't know where they stand, excuse the expression but that is mind f@$< games and are deal breaking.

I hope you and he can sit down and figure out where you go from here, obviously there has been a vast change of direction and it is time to find out whose in the car and whose is not.

Good luck.

Tell your deadbeat husband that you will not be dealing with your brother in law or your mother in law's issues. It is now his problem. When he pulls the divorce card let him know that he can go right ahead and do it. Remind him that either way, MIL and BIL will still be his problem even if you stay married. And just quit wiping their butts and let the chips fall where they may.

If you are retired and have the means, take a trip without him and really make hubby take care of them all by his lonesome. Sounds like hubby needs a whopping dose of tough love.

Sounds to me like he is a bit on the passive side and is shutting down to avoid dealing with things that he believes that he can't or shouldn't have to deal with... the divorce threat could be real, or just his anxiety speaking. (Males have blamed females since the garden... don't personalize it. It is just what they do when they are saving face, sadly... so we are blamed. Oh well. That does not Truth make. Women are stronger in many ways...)
You could say, "If a divorce is what YOU really want, I will consider it." .... and all of this pressure will be on him then. If he is passive-aggressive, there will be many threats but no real action to divorce. He needs you too much, but can't admit to that.
Yes, it is his family - but he doesn't sound very equipped to handle anything.
You sound like the very capable, strong, ' has it all together' one, and probably have taken on areas in the past that were not actually your responsibility to do.... even if it is in your area of expertise. (What woman hasn't mistakenly done that a million times over?)

Who is the POA for your MIL?
Who is the POA for your brother in law?

If it is you - the choices are yours. If you are not the POA -then make a list of just what is - and what is not YOUR responsibility in all of this. What will you do and what won't you do? Do not deself. You can only change yourself, and it is an agonizingly slow process - but it is for YOUR mental health. That is not selfishness... that is life.

If MIl gets constant UTI's ... that is painful and very sad - but is that YOUR responsibility- or the facility/ doctor/ POA person's responsibility?
Same with BIL... who is responsible for what? (It can't be and shouldn't be you for everything and everyone! ... then start setting boundaries... start saying 'no' ... refer them to who has POA, etc.)

You do not have to do all of this anymore. Really. If your own mental health is becoming at stake, then for sure you will be of no help to anyone.

Good book (oldie but goodie) is "The Dance of Anger" by H. Lerner.
Eye opening.

Make a list of what you do for MIL. Then make a list for Disabled brother. Take the easier of the two. Me it would be MIL. I have done both. For Mom I still did her wash and bought her Depends and personal items and visited. My nephew, every year I have to update his Medicaid and payee for his Annuity. He can't have a checking account so I write his checks and reimburse myself out of his annuity. I am his chauffeur. I have POA for him.

In my opinion he would get brother. He needs to know how to keep up with forms in case something happens to you.

MILs UTIs...make sure she is fully catherized to get all the infected urine. Someone has said here that make sure they culture it to make sure they use the correct antibiotic. Make sure she is put on a probiotic so she doesn't get a yeast infection. Then ask that she be started on cranberry tablets, Mom continued the cranberry tablets and probiotic once she was back to the AL. From Oct 2016 to Sept 2017, when she passed, she didn't have another UTI.

They say ignorance is bliss, unfortunately you know all too well the things that slip through the cracks when families are not intimately involved with their loved one's care. The thing is, this isn't your role to fill any more than it was for all the families who didn't step up where you used to work - I bet there were many you wanted to shake til their teeth rattled! I think you need to step away, maybe even go on a nice little holiday. Give the AL and his brother's caregivers your husband's number, he will either deal with it, or not... don't micromanage, let the chips fall where they may. He may get a new appreciation for all the work you have been doing or he may totally fall down on the job but it's not your circus.

The whole situation sounds rather miserable for you. I guess I am wondering if there are any positivity in remaining married. I take marriage seriously. I am the product of divorce. I think it should be a last resort. I just don't see from what you have stated that their is much concern for you at all despite all you are doing for your husband's family who should not solely be your responsibility. I hope you find some solutions. If you could manage counseling I think it could possibly benefit you.

Can you give up the brother? Why are you picking that up? Tell DH to DIY or find someone else to do it, whether in the family or not. And back away from 'assisting' with AL. Residents manage in AL without family care as well. While you are meeting all the needs, there is no reason for DH to step up to the plate. And while you are worn out and stressed out, there isn't much fun in the marriage for either of you.

New Year right around the corner. Might be time to make a few resolutions for yourself.
Make a list of the things that you do then back off on 50% of them. (If he brings up divorce again give him the other 50%..that might keep him busy)
Pick a time to have the conversation during a time when you are not stressed out and are calm.
I am sure you get all the Assisted Living Nursing Home stuff dumped on you because you are a "professional" and know how to handle the medical people and you know the "jargon" they use. Time for him to learn that language as well. (And maybe it is not dumped on you maybe you tackle it because you know what it is like and can handle it again one of the downsides to being a "professional")
But it does sound like it is time to share the work so sharpen your pencil and make a list, check it twice...oh that was the old guy with the white beard...But you get the idea just like dividing any house work this can get split up as well.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Start a Discussion
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter