My boyfriend is the primary caregiver for his grandmother, as his grandmother does not speak to her daughter.

I help my boyfriend frequently to alleviate some of the stress from him, but it is getting to the point where the boundaries are completely crossed and I am starting to feel resentment towards my boyfriend because I am doing basically everything.

I would not mind, but she is not a very nice women. She tells my boyfriend that he makes me a priority over her and her needs and then expects me to still do everything.

She doesn't like to 'bother' him at work, but she will call me while I am at work and leave me voicemails. I just talked to him about this recently and said I cannot handle the stress of her calling me at work asking me for things and that he needs to talk to her about this.

In the beginning I was very willing to help because I understand the stress caregiving can take on a person, and him being the primary caregiver, I wanted to offer him some relief out of love.

At this point, it is too much for me. It is hard to care for someone who I know talks badly behind my back and on top of it, him and I cannot even live a normal life and have a normal relationship in our late 20's.

Our whole relationship has always been based around her needs.

I know that he is totally mentally checked out, but I feel like he can't put this all on me. We are not even married!

I guess what I am looking for (other then to vent a little) is, is it normal to feel this way? Is it not crazy that in our year or so of a relationship that I have to do all of this for someones grandmother? I'm starting to take off the rose colored glasses and realizing that this is not what I want.

For my family, I would go to the moon and back but at 27 I do not want to be a care taker for someone elses family member, especially when it impacts our relationship in almost every aspect like caring for her needs before our relationship needs.

What are your thoughts on this...

Thank you!!!

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
I am sorry to tell you this but if your boyfriend is not willing to stand up for you with his grandmother, there's a good chance he is not going to be there for you when it comes to other important issues. The problem is not his grandmother, it is him.

There is something very sweet about a man who would help out his grandmother, but very insidious when that care prioritizes her over his and definitely your life. If he is not understanding your concerns it is time to move on. He may need that wake-up call.

I think ur boyfriend has taken on more than he can handle. It's one thing to run errands but she shouldn't be monopolizing his time. I am so surprised that employers allow these personal phone calls. No place I worked for did. You made calls on breaks and lunch. My family knew not to call unless it was an emergency. I had a job to do. I think you should back off. You could help boyfriend by doing things for him but not directly for her. Your boyfriend needs to understand he needs to set boundaries with Grandmoms. He deserves his life.

Your BF has it good---a GF who does all the dirty work! I see how this came on slowly and suddenly one day you realize you are trapped! If your BF cannot see this is an unhealthy and completely awful way to treat you---he's not worthy of you.

How about taking a month off from all relationships? Just don't talk, text or see either him or his grandmother. If after a month, you feel that you really do want him in your life, you need to re-evaluate your priorities and decide who is most important and how to handle the grandma issue.

My guess would be that it would be a peaceful month for you and a huge eye opener for your BF.

Dump that whole scene. Start over. You are better off alone, than with all that boundary crossing.

Granny does not respect you or your boyfriend. Your boyfriend, despite his faint protests, has not effectively stood up for himself or for you. And he never will.

People like him spin their wheels forever. And when the going gets tough, they gaslight their “loved” ones or retreat into self-pity.

In this sorry triangle, all you have is you. So make it official, and re-build your life without them.

Time for Grandmother to repair the relationship with her own daughter and start speaking to her.
With your boyfriend acting as caregiver in place, that will never happen.
He needs to get out of the way. imo.

Let's substitute something else for the caregiving. Say your boyfriend has volunteered his services to a local charity. He is on the board and there are many things he needs to do on a daily basis. Or, instead of a charity, think of it as a business he owns that is barely breaking even. He has a job because the business cannot support him, but he wants to keep the business for sentimental reasons.

And somehow, gradually, the daily tasks related to the charity/business have been transferred to you. How does this statement you made fit this scenario?

"I am starting to feel resentment towards my boyfriend because I am doing basically everything."

Is your attitude reasonable? Of course! Setting the caregiving issue aside, it is Not Good for one person in a relationship to saddle the other with tasks and responsibilities that belong to him. It is Not Good for the relationship for the other person to accept the work but seethe with resentment.

Something needs to change. Perhaps you could help reduce the workload for both of you. Look into ways the charity/business/caregiving could be reduced. In this case, was kinds of services are actually needed and how can grandmother afford them?

And in addition, I recommend couple counseling, if you feel the relationship is worth an effort to save.

Do NOT stay in this relationship as it is. Help it change, or remove yourself from it.

Run, run as fast as you can. The level of care may grow exponentially in the near future. You are too young to have to take this responsibility. Live your life,

Where is your boyfriends mother, daughter of grandmother? Is she in BF's life? Did the GM raise your BF? How long have you been with BF?
No doubt, Caretakers get tired. Regardless of who the person is. You see that yourself with what you are going through. Your BF is no doubt worn out with dealing with his GM.
You need to stop caring for his GM because as you can see it isn't really helping. I'm not saying the GM doesn't need help. I don't know. But it's easy to slip into caregiving little by little, day by day. It can consume you and the next thing you know the other person has taken over your life.
If it is hard to break it off with your BF, see a therapist for support.
He has a lot of work to do. He needs to step up and figure this out instead of passing it off on you.
There are agencies that can check on GM, that can help figure out what level of care she needs and help her figure out how to get it. You don't mention how old the GM is or what her issues are. I'm not suggesting that BF abandon her. He should alert the authorities if she is a vulnerable elder.
She's not going to let go of BF easily. if he walks away GM may reach out to her daughter? Maybe not. Regardless seek support for yourself to stop caring for GM and now that you see what life would be like with BF, choose again. You are young but life is short.

Just who is this all about, anyway? The boy? The girl? The grandmother? And if it is the grandmother, why is she needing full-time care? Perhaps both of you need to enlist a resource that can help to make sound judgments that will lead to adequate care of grandmother, while at the same time offering suggestions for improving your relationship with each other. If grandmother is a dementia patient, she is not responsible for much of her attitude and her behavior. Get some help with this!

Thank you all for your advice. My mother says every you are all saying.

My boyfriend said he was going to talk to her about calling me while I was at work, but I am not sure if that actually happened.

She tends to freak out on him when he stands up for me and creates more tension, more havoc and more resentment in our relationship.

I know that he doesn't want to deal with it so he pushes it off onto me. I always know that she knows that he doesn't want to deal with so she also pushes it off on to me.

What started out as a genuine kind gesture to help and alleviate stress has turned into a total mess of boundary crossing, resentment and stress.

I don't want my time with him to be compromised by this, but she is getting progressively worse and just broke her hip and is currently in rehab. I get phone calls at work of stuff she needs to bring to rehab. Lately I have been returning her phone call after work and telling her I will speak with my boyfriend about what she needs to bring to her.

I have not gone to see her in person, as I do not want to participate in this dysfunctional dynamic anymore.

The only thing that I will do is make the necessary phone calls to have help and assistance come in after she gets home from rehab, but I cannot do laundry, clean and everything else I was doing because I simply cannot do it all anymore.

This whole thing makes me question the respect he has for me and on top of the respect how he will treat me if something were to happen if I were to get sick in years to come....

What grinds my gears the most is the fact that she said to him that she feels that he makes me a priority over her and then CALLS ME to do things for her.....

I felt like saying...... you're the priority to your grandson CALL HIM!

I think it's just nuts.....

ReliefSearch, how old is Grandma, and what are her ailments that she cannot be self sufficient at this stage of her life?

Is it possible that she could go to an adult daycare, where she can have socialization with others her own age, which might keep her busy, and out of your hair during the day? Do you guys live with her? You need to tell a little more about your situation, to get better answers, but Yes, it is right to feel this way, especially at your age, when you guys should be having the time of your lives, or thinking about your own future together, marriage, kids, investments and such.

You might want to think about moving on, if you are being taken advantage of! This kind of stuff tends to get much worse, as the elder gets even older, and her care needs increase. Believe me, I had my FIL in my home for 13+ years, and he just passed away 7 weeks ago. It's a really hard way to live your life, caring for an elderly, and you guys are Way too young to be taking this on at this stage of your life.

Does Grandma have any other children, besides you boyfriends Mom, who is estranged, and Why is that, their estrangement? That could be very telling, as to the type of even she is. Take care!

This is NOT normal. His grandmother should be providing for her own needs, or
working things out with him. Sounds like she's trying to drive a wedge between you
and your boyfriend by wanting him to make her his priority and then stressing you out
by demanding so much time and attention. That in turn puts a great deal of tension in
your relationship.

You owe her nothing. Your boyfriend is letting you do the dirty work he doesn't want
to be bothered with and is hoping you won't speak up. Aside from helping out occasionally IF that works for you, I would immediately stop helping anymore and stop
answering her calls. That's for him to deal with. It might make things hard in your relationship, but if he truly values you, he'll step up to the plate. If he doesn't, then
you have your answer. Caregiving people who don't respect you, doesn't change their
minds and make them more loving. If anything, they will respect you less and keep demanding more and more. In the end you'll end up exhausted and empty handed,
your precious time and energy will be lost, and you can't get those back.

It is very normal to feel that way. I would leave that relationship if I were you and find someone who is free to focus on you which he is obviously not ready to do.

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