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Where to begin....
Well I live 2,000 miles away from my entire family. I recently married the love of my life and we are living with his mother. The past year I've turned into her slave. She's 61 but she's not well. Shortest explanation is that she's been smoking for 45 years. She can walk, eat, bath, drive etc...but somehow I've turned into her maid and servant for everything. Im exhausted because I also work full time. If I forget something at the store she'll hold it against me for weeks. She hardly looks at me or talks to me. She's very moody. Anyways I mentioned last week that we wanted our own place (as newlyweds) and she started crying, faked a stroke for about 20 minutes, called me a liar, said she couldn't trust us anymore. Guilted her son into believing she could die anyday. Basically she thinks she is going to live with us forever and quote "help raise your children" she believes if we move out I am taking her son away.I feel such a burden on my shoulders. I don't know what to do because financially she would struggle without us.

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Sorry typo studio apartment with a seperate *entance
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Thank you everyone for your advice! I talked with my husband about everything and he's in favor for what's best for us. We actually contacted a house for rent. It would be perfect! It has a small studio apartment in the backyard with it's own interest. We will be living in the main house with our own space and she'll be in the mother in-law suite with very set boundaries! This will work for now. When her health declines more we will look into assisted living. I think the best advice from ya'll is setting boundaries. For our marriages sake we need to be in control of the situation. Not her. we've let her run the show too long!
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Yeah, that clarifies it some...there is some chance she is very depressed and could benefit from evaluation and treatment. Constant negativism and fault finding can be pretty poisonous and really, can't be intimately lived with without it affecting you and hubby, so I sure hope there is some intervention possible. I know I could not have kept my sunshine on for my mom who was like that if I had been with her 24-7. If she is cognitively OK, more or less, there should be. Limits can be set - her immune system won't crumble if she hears she can't be verbally abusive and won't be listened to or tended in ways she does not absolutely need when she is.

Lots of people go out with N-95 masks on, at least when its not flu season, unless they are actually neutropenic - what do her doctors actually advise regarding her being a shut-in versus able to get out a little for anything? Is there anything else she could be doing she might enjoy (bearing in mind that a really severely anxious or depressed person will tend to refuse everything, just because there is not enough pleasure in anything to make effort or overcoming obstacles seem remotely worthwhile.)
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And one more piece of advice: Do something about this soon. I've been dealing with issues -- grudges, accusations, delusions -- from my chain-smoking mom for more than a dozen years. I'm worn out from it and at the point where I want nothing to do with her. Move swiftly. Think of it like ripping off a bandaid. It'll hurt like crazy for a second but it'll be better than peeling it off slowly and prolonging the pain. The longer this drags out the more she'll feel in control of the situation and it's not going to get prettier.
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If MIL is being mean she might view you as a threat to her relationship with her son. Ideally it'd be best to get her into AL or something comparable. Check with area social service agencies and see if they have help or if there's some way to get a nurse in to check on her. Sure you want to help her and take care of her but you can't let yourself get picked apart over every little thing. She might be lashing out because she's angry about feeling helpless but that doesn't give her the right to hold a grudge about something you didn't get for her at the store. That almost sounds like mental illness. Normally someone would let it go and say, "okay, next time ..." and not fume over some trivial thing.
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Wow, I. Assume you are in your 40s or late 30s, I cannot imagine marrying into this without discussion and resolution. Whatever you do, do not consider children until you resolve this matter. In my opinion you need to move out and hubby needs to show he can have boundaries with mom. Else you need to move on.
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Well you didnt say in your main post she was this ill so that changes alot maybe she needs to be in AL and near you so you can make sure shes alright and has what she needs? The fact she is being nasty to you is just not on either move beside her OR look into an AL for everyones best interests seems like she does need alot of help if she has oxigen and wont go out?
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He wasn't already living with her. We lived in Portland on our own for 3 years. I posted the story in a previous comment. I understand 61 is young but she is on oxygen and has no immune system left. She never leaves the house in fear of catching a cold or the flu. Physically I don't think anyone would hire her. Smoking has added about 15 years to her health and appearance.
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I was just thinking the same thing as ba8alou posted above. Curious if your hubby was already living with his Mom when the two of you got married... and what did he tell you about that arrangement? Temporary or forever?

Good heavens, your MIL is still quite young at 61, and quite able to care for herself. She is still capable of working part-time. Lot of seniors a decade older than her are still in the work force. She needs to put her big girl pants on and fend for herself. She need stop being the master of excuses.

Since she said she can no longer trust you or your husband, right there is the key to open her front door and leave.
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It's up to your husband to control his mom. In no uncertain terms, he needs to set boundaries or else. Today. HE needs to realize, YOU need to realize, and most important? Your mother-in-law needs to realize -- that she should be kissing the little feet you run around on for helping her and putting your own life on hold. Hubby should be communicating that loud and clear to his mother.

Should be kind of interesting, actually. How he sets boundaries with a mom he loves is probably pretty close to how he'll set them with his children. And the comparison is more accurate than you might think. ;)

She's a brat.
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We lived on our own in Portland for 3 years and moved to Eugene to help her because she had a heart attack and at the time possible cancer on her vocal chords. The help turned into a year now. He wants the same things as I do (our own place) it's just hard when a parent is ill and older (we're only 23 yrs old) she's 61. He realizes it's not healthy to for her to cling to us but at the same time we don't want her to financially suffer without help from family. Growing up I lived in a huge house with 2 of my grandparents and 3 of my great grandparents. It's in my nature to take care of the elderely. But lately it's turned negative and controlling and him and I both don't have any answers.
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I'm finding out with my own husband that one of the best "rehab" strategies is to start being a little more negligent as a caregiver. (Just a little, as in - Oh, I'll have to get that in a minute...or two..and voila - somehow the shoes and socks he "couldn't reach" get put on after all :-) It's too easy to get used to people doing stuff for you. And its not good for either caregiver or caregivee when that happens. Figure out with hubby the stuff she can do for herself and both of you insist she does it. Set YOUR times for when you will help with the other stuff. Get her out to do things she can still enjoy with you, and carve out time for just the two of you. If you must define self-care and tending to your marriage as being selfish, then be selfish by all means.

Giving in to those kind of expressions of neediness too directly is a good way to create a real monster. She may be scared and wanting reassurance - so give her what you can in terms of making sure she has help and care she needs, with realistic limits - i.e. it's just she can't have ALL of your time and energy...show her you can be counted on to do what's really needed instead. Easier said than done especially for her son, as she raised him and knows right where his buttons are to push on them.

Even if she's got bad COPD and needs oxygen, there is such a thing as portable tanks - I think she needs to come out to the store with you at least sometimes and make sure you don't forget anything, otherwise quit griping :-)
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Hmmm, one of the "rules" of looking for a mate these days is make sure they don't live with their parents. She will outlive both of you if you allow this to continue. You really need to draw a bright line and tell him what you need and what you won't live with.
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Tell "the love of your life" you need your own place. Start looking immediately to make it real -- suggest something "rather" nearby mom, so he can help her out when she needs it, with you occasionally pitching in.

Keep subsidizing her as you have been until you find your own place. Then move her to something nearby she can afford and look diligently into what help she may be entitled to in order to help pay her bills. Then stop subsidizing her.

In the meantime, speak up to the love of your life!! HE does the shopping. HE becomes the primary caregiver for his mom.

You are letting yourself be taken advantage of pure and simple. Stop it.
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Move out now! do her shopping make sure shes ok for things but move out asap! If she dosnt have any mental illness shes FINE! she will have to cope shes abusing your kindness!
Big hug to you as im divorced and my ex MIL would have been the same! I know your torn between hubby and her but shes not your responsibility nip this in the bud now as it will get worse! Be her DIL not her slave!!
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