Both my MIL and FIL have been living with my husband and I for the last year and a half, which has put a tremendous amount of stress on our family and marriage. Soon after moving in with us, they stopped doing for themselves and expect my husband or I to do for them, in just about every way. I cook and clean after them, and have come to resent them in this short period of time for their complete lack of effort to care for/clean up after themselves. Both are in their 80s and have medical issues. I should also add that we all live in a single family home (no in-law), and despite many requests, particularly to my MIL, to maintain boundaries, this has not happened. My husband can dismiss/ignore these “issues”, perhaps in part because they are his parents, but I find myself growing more and more unhappy with my living situation. The purpose of moving them in with us was to avoid placement in an assisted living facility or nursing home. But I now find myself dreading being home (sounds harsh, but being honest here) and am depressed. Has anyone experienced this? I hate to move them out of my house, and feel like I would be the bad guy. But if they stay, my own mental health and marriage suffers.

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Move them to assisted living where they can get the care they need 24/7 and you can have your lives back.

BTW, my mother had dementia and mobility problems. When she reached a point (in her early 90s) when she needed assisted-living level care, my sister had just retired and she and her husband took her in. It worked quite well for about a year. Then mother's needs increased and we placed her in a nursing home. It took a while to adjust, but then she blossomed. We could scarcely believe it! She went to every activity offered. She loved the meals. She liked having men her age around and she made friends with come of the ladies. She went willingly to have showers (though she fought us tooth and nail). She had at least 4 family visits per week. She was content for the last 2+ years of her life.

We tried to avoid placing her as long as we could. Sister's house was a good transition for her. But really, we should not have been so pessimistic about a care center. It was best in the end.

Your in-laws are in their 80s and have health issues. They deserve/need someone to make their lives easy. And that is exactly what would happen in an appropriate level care center. Care centers are set up as they are because MANY people as they age or have progressive diseases do need and deserve such services.

If they were in assisted living, for example, their meals would be planned, prepared, served, and cleaned up after. All they would have to do is go to the dining room and visit with their tablemates. Their laundry would be picked up, cleaned, and delivered to their room. Their own quarters and the community areas would be kept clean for them. They would be offered live entertainment on a regular basis. They could opt for church services without going out in bad weather. They could participate in exercises or ignore them. They could do crafts, or not. They are old and have medical issues and they deserve this kind of service.

But not from you!

They deserve an entire staff of people to look after them. People who do it in shifts and get paid for it. People who have training and/or skills in their tasks. People with a budget to work with to provide field trips and entertainment and activities. They deserve an environment with the option to interact with people in their age bracket and with their interests.

You and your husband and other family members can visit, and advocate for them. You can go every Wednesday evening and play Rummy with them. You could take them out once a month for Sunday brunch. You could go back to being their daughter-in-law and son, and step out of the caregiver role.

Maybe avoiding placement wasn't the best thing for anyone, after all. Your intentions were noble. But maybe it is time to rethink what is really best for them as well as for you.

Dreading going home-yup most of us, who have had "challenging" parents,  have felt that way. Don't feel bad for feeling that way. You're in a situation you don't want to be in and that's how you're coping (for now). You are also depressed because you see no end to this situation.

Can you speak to your in-laws and ask them to lend a hand? Better yet, have hubby ask them if they can "help you out". Hopefully he'll be agreeable. If hubs won't ask them,  then tell him you need domestic help once a week (a housekeeper).

If him talking to them doesn't work and they refuse to help where they can (folding clothes while sitting on the couch, etc.), and he refuses a housekeeper then ask HIM to share the household chores and do his parents' part.

If this arrangement is ruining your marriage, the only other thing is to move them out. (It happened with me-it was my mother and I told him she had to go for OUR sake-she's in MC now).

It's so sad when this tears families apart.

Good luck.

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