I am new here and have read a lot on the forums. I think you are all wonderful people and just reading your stories makes me feel selfish for even asking the questions I am about to ask - we need more people in the world like you.
Basically I met my boyfriend about 2 years ago. He lives about 2 hours from me which is not a huge distance but makes seeing each other a struggle sometimes due to our work schedules. We got engaged about a year ago. When I met him he told me how he cared for his sick father (father had cancer 3 times and the situation was awful). My fiance cared for his father until his death, while at the same time caring for his mother who has congestive heart failure and scarring of the lungs. His father died just before I met my boyfriend.
My boyfriend is the type that doesn't express how he is feeling. He just keeps going - he says he's too crazy busy to be depressed. He gets up, cares for his mom, sees his kids (from another marriage) and maintains difficult work hours. Then he drives to see me a lot too which is 4 hours in the car, etc. He gets no sleep and has the attitude that until his mother is gone this is just the way it is (he moved her in with him a few months after we started dating).
I can't talk wedding plans with him. We can't buy a house closer to our jobs and live together (which we would eventually do) because he refuses to move his mom. He says a move like that would kill her. She has anxiety issues and is bipolar on top of her other health problems. I have a huge fear that my life will be on hold for years because his mother seems to sit in a chair and watch tv all day (she's on oxygen 24/7) and just live her life like that. It seems the meds and oxygen just keep her status quo and it's already been this way for 2 years. I know the diseases will eventually take her, but I feel guilty and horrible to be resentful the longer I can't be with him and start our lives together. If my job were closer I would move in and be glad to help (I really like his mother), but I can't commute 2 hours to work.
He wont' talk about our future (which would help me see a light at the end of the tunnel...make me feel we at least have things to look forward to) because it's "disrespectful" to talk about how great life would be if she weren't here.
I feel 2nd. I know I'm 2nd and I have to be. I try to be understanding but sometimes his moods and the stress he's under fall onto me. I have encouraged him to seek counseling and he just started. They gave him valium for when he feels over-stressed but lately he says the appointments cut into his time even more and compound the problem.
If I so much as complain it's as if i'm a bad person, or I'm wrong and not seeing all her does for me. I never get any credit for being patient this long, or supportive (which I believe I have been).
I'm unhappy all by myself 2 hours away (my family is far away and I would move back with them however I met this wonderful man). I do love him and I may just need to be more supportive and less selfish. Or maybe I am cheating myself with a problem that isn't mine. I welcome your advice and appreciate total honesty . Thanks everyone!