Recently I decided to move in with my boyfriend and his mom who is blind. He will always put her first which I respect and understand wholeheartedly. But she’s very demanding, jealous of the time we spend together and as you can imagine, in need of extra care. I never met a blind person before I met her, this is all new to me and I feel as if my boyfriend expects me to understand exactly how it is caring for someone like this. It’s hard for me to differentiate between the things she needs done for herself and the things she wants others to do for her. To me it’s pretty clear that my boyfriend is being taken advantage of & he’s used to it considering he’s been the only one around to care for her for a while now. I’m wondering if anyone has tips for caring for the blind/aging, and when do I know enough is enough as far as tasks she asks of me and my boyfriend? I love him a lot and I’m willing to learn and I’m trying my best to understand. But lately it seems a lot of arguments are over her & it always ends up being that I can leave if I don’t like it. I’ve invested a lot of time, love and money into this relationship. We’re buying a new house together, we have plans for the future. I just don’t know how to better understand what it’s like caring for her. I don’t want me or my boyfriend to be taken advantage of, but it seems even if we are being taken advantage of he doesn’t care. In turn am I supposed to not care as well? I need guidance please. I’ve been struggling with my own personal/mental problems lately which may contribute to how I feel about this situation. But how long do I try to understand before it’s time to give up? Thanks in advance.

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Don’t try to understand something that’s based on fatally flawed thinking already.

It’s time to give up. Right now.

Your “boyfriend” has told you that he’s not available for a commitment, because he’s committed to the inappropriate sheltering of a person who has created inappropriate expectations for him to meet on her behalf.

She OWNS him and both he and his mother like it that way.

AGE RELATED DECLINE? The woman is in her 50s! For corn sake Jimmy Carter is over 90 and he’s still building houses!

Her situation is pathetic, so I her son’s, and YOU DON’T NEED TO TAKE THIS ON.

Cut this whole situation loose IN EVERY WAY, and seek out a relationship with a man who will commit TO YOU. YOU DESERVE TO BE APPRECIATED AND LOVED AS YOUR LIFE MATE’S FIRST CHOICE.

This man has already designated a FIRST CHOICE. And that, tragically, isn’t you.

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You are headed for heart break because you deserve to be first in his heart. If his mom is first, you will end up a servant to both of them.

Do not buy a house together and do not combine any finances.

His mother is his responsiblilty not yours. This is not your problem to fix.

You need to take care of your own health and other problems before you can take care of anyone else.

This is not giving up, this is protecting yourself and being responsible for yourself. There is no shame in realizing that it is time to leave. Don't settle for someone who won't put you first. If you are not happy, it is time to leave.
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Is 56 the correct age for MIL. If so, she is young enough to be taught to care for herself. A woman I know was blind from birth. She walked all over her College campus to get to classes once she learned the layout. She ran a Daycare, married and raised children. There are resources out there this woman can take advantage of.

I would not consider buying a house with BF. I wouldn't be surprised if you buy a house Mom is moved in. He told you if you didn't like it move out. Right there, I would have moved out. Seems to me you will never have a good relationship with her around. We are woman with a lot of years between us. When a man loves you, you are #1. My MIL learned that early in my marriage. He will go out of his way for you. Not that he won't do for Mom but you should be his #1.

Please look at this logically and not romantically.
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Is it your boyfriend's mother who is 56? So the boyfriend is what, 25-35 or so? And you are how old?

I have to tell you that I am absolutely breathtaken by your willingness to intervene in the life of a person who is living with a very major disability which you yourself say you know nothing about. It isn't about believing her son should wait on her hand and foot - it's in her best interests that he doesn't, in fact, if there's any alternative - it's about you saying you respect his priorities and then not only resenting them but deciding that his mother is excessively demanding. The only way I can think of to put it is: how dare you?

I agree with MJ1929, though I do have one question which might make an enormous difference - when did your boyfriend's mother lose her sight?
Helpful Answer (2)

You've done everything in the wrong order.

1. Learn about your boyfriend and his mother's dynamics. Spend time with them, see if you like what you see regarding BOTH of them, because she's a non-negotiable factor.

2. Contact the Braille Institute and get information on how to care for and live with a blind person. They have tons of resources.

3. If you like what you see and are willing to take second place for the rest of Mom's life, get married. That provides you with some degree of commitment from him, plus it protects you financially.

4. Buy a house together (without Mom on the title) and have the title put in as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship, not Tenants in Common. With the first, you inherit the house should something happen to him. With Tenants in Common, if something happens to him, you own half that house, and he may have left his half to Mama. Have fun with that -- you can't sell it or make her move without her OK, because she's an owner, too.

As you've done none of these in the correct order (and I'm not some old fussy dame about the sanctity of marriage -- it's to protect YOU), I strongly suggest you at least refuse to buy a house with your boyfriend until the first three are accomplished.

Ideally, you chalk up this relationship as tuition in the School of Hard Knocks and move on to find someone who doesn't come with a load of baggage. I guarantee you, this relationship will not end well, and you'll be out more years and more money before you untangle yourself from this mess if you marry someone who is not devoted to you first and foremost.
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Run away ! Run fast! You will never be a priority in this relationship. Recoup as much of your money as possible and move on.
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I wouldn't want to be a 24/7 caregiver. Sorry, I would have to tell my boyfriend that's a deal breaker. Yes, it is admirable that he wants to do this. But why should that mean you sacrifice yourself? In all truth, it seems to me that your boyfriend is quite uninterested in you, your feelings or your thoughts.
You cannot win. He chose Mom. You already knew that. And you chose to move in. He won't change. You won't win a single argument. He is comfortable caring for his Mom. He wants to continue caring for her just as he did. And he wants you to do things his way, as well.
If you truly want pointers on caring for a blind person then he is the one to give them to you. I think your question is really not at all about how to give care for a blind person, but what to do about the fact that your boyfriend chooses his Mom over making a life with you, and that he expects you to do that as well, and moreover to do it as he tells you to do it.
You are in charge of your own choices. I know I would never have moved in. The idea of buy a home with this man now would be an absolute NO in my book. Full stop. And were I to think I could do this I would make it clear that it is unlikely that I will succeed, and that I will give it a try, but will leave when it isn't going well.
The choice for you is for your own life. I can only wish you the very very best of luck in making the choice. Truly I do.
You say you love him. Well, he is a package deal and he comes with someone who DOESN'T love YOU. It's a two-for-one deal. You know what the package is. Now the next decision is yours. And it honestly has nothing whatsoever to do with blindness.
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I always find it very sad when a woman says that she doesn't mind being second in a relationship. You should never allow yourself to be put in second place to your boyfriends mom. That is to me is a HUGE red flag!!!!!

I had a friend who was completely blind back in Wisconsin, and she lived by herself, did her own shopping, and took the bus wherever she needed to go. Her independence always amazed me, and I admired her greatly.

So I'm not sure I'm understanding why you're having to live with your boyfriends mom, when she should be able to live on her own. I can see if he wants to check on her once a week to see if she needs anything, but any more than that is her using him. Sounds like your boyfriend is enabling his mom, and that is never healthy for any involved. His mom is young at 54. Does he expect you and he to live with her for the next 46 years? And do you really want to?

I think this is about way more than learning to live with a blind person. It's really about living the rest of your life not being first in your boyfriends life. I would think long and hard about that. You deserve better!!
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