My FIL lives with my wife and I; how do I become a priority to her again with my FIL being her main focus?

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After 11 months, working full time and doing most of if not all the household duties, i feel like more of a room-mate then a husband most of the time. One of my best friends to the both of us offered to come over and be my FIL's "gopher"to give is a much needed break together. My wife said no as she did not want to leave her dad and burden him with the task. This has been my last 11 months. Even now as she knows he needs to go to AL, she is hesitating and reciently told me to "back-off" on the subject as it is upsetting her. So as I am researching AL places on my own, i am getting more bitter every week.
Help........need advise AGAIN!

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Do you remember the old saying, "Nothing changes until you do?" Keep that in mind, and whether you decide any advice here is worth anything or not, decide how YOU are willing to change. And keep in mind that you have been a saint for the last 11 months.

Maybe your changing will involve setting limits on your household cleaning responsibilities. Maybe it's time for a cleaning lady every two weeks. Or maybe it's time for you to re cultivate some male friendships...join a bowling league, take golf lessons, join a league, join a ROMEO group. (Really Old Men Eating Out)

Maybe it's time for you to sit your wife down and put some of the burden on HER to change. "I'm unhappy in our marriage right now. Don't misunderstand, I love you very much, but things have got to change. We need some "us" time. What can we do about that?" And, if she tells you to back off? Then all the more reason for you to get involved elsewhere.

I had mom with me for a year. Dementia...couldn't dress herself...incontinent much of the time. Tom and I aren't married but have been together 14 years. He helped me in a thousand different ways. Had he said it was too much, I PROMISE you I would have put mom into a nursing home.

I used mom's Social Security and savings to hire in-home help for her. I used to make mom a cold supper that a caregiver would present her...the caregiver was not allowed to get mom up out of her chair...she'd come for five hours in late afternoon. We'd go visit friends, go out for dinner, to a show, to the VFW for a few drinks and a few dances...any number of things...probably twice a month. It cost $125 every time. I didn't even BLIBK spending her money that way.

We have a cleaning lady every two weeks. I didn't expect TOM to clean the house. And I certainly didn't have time. If you and wifey can't afford it, the dad should pay.

I guess what I'm trying to point out to you is that your wife is being selfish. Embrace that...because it's true.

So. How might you change?
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Beretta, after recalling your post and responses on your other thread, I honestly don't think you're going to regain your rightful place as the Main Man as long as your FIL is there, and your wife is reluctant if not intransigent about finding an alternate place for him. Actually she's intransigent about even considering it. That's even more difficult to deal with.

As I see it, there's really a stalemate on this issue. Sorry to say it, but your wife just doesn't seem to want to make a decision or even consider it.

And, frankly, why not? You're working, doing household chores, supporting her and her father, and she's calling the shots and refusing to even consider anything else. As long as she's getting her way she has no reason to consider being flexible or reasonable.

I think the idea suggested on your first thread of researching AL places is appropriate to continue so that if your wife ever does become realistic, you've already made that first big step of finding a place.

However, it may come to the point that you have to take a stronger stand. It's your house, you're working and as I recall your wife wasn't, so you're the one providing the support.

Frankly, your wife has dug in her heels and isn't being considerate, cooperative, flexible or realistic. Sorry to write it, but your frustration seems to be building and you need to recognize that the big stumbling block is your wife.

I think one of the first things I'd do is stop doing the housework. Spend more time away and leave your wife to fend for herself with her father. Maybe then she'll come to realize how much of the burden you've been carrying.
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So quite an update: I have taken what I have learned out here from you all and put it to the best use. I sat down with my wife and was loving but direct--"With you now with your back and other issues, we have to go forward. I love you and you are MY PROIRITY as my wife. I love your dad bit I cannot take care of you both." We talked, and she asked about my research into AL. Coule days later she spoke with FIL about going for a tour and check it out for lunch. No more, no less. He is ok with that. "Planting the seed" is how it was referred to me out here, and it worked--as he is interested. This is a step, and I told her that I am proud of her. I will keep you all posted--and again appreciate your advise!!
THANK_YOU!
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Maggie's advice works - it did with me. We had a chance to take a couple weekend trips with friends, I was hesitant and my husband said we were going and I need to figure out how. He'd had enough and I shouldn't have let it get that far. Within two months, my sister and I found a great AL for Mom. By the time we left town, I knew she was safe and cared for.

It saddens me that so often, we short change our spouses and kids trying to be the dutiful daughter/son. If one were given to Bible verses, we need to balance the honor parents part with the joining with our spouse as a team part.
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I read a story by another poster here recently where a man's wife had left him because of his mom living with them and disrupting their marriage. It got his attention and he made other arrangements for his mother. He's hoping for a reconciliation. That's pretty extreme, but it does happen.

Will she attend marriage counseling? I guess that might difficult if she won't leave her dad in the house with another person.
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Had a bit of a break in things this weekend. I took my wife out of town to my nieces 16th Bday, while my FIL went to dinner with his son and girlfriend. My wife and I talked about things, and the future. She is nervous and scared about AL, but understands it will be better for FIL going forward; so I will continue my research into it. We also got to reconnect as husband and wife, we laughed and had a nice time--something she admitted we have been sorely lacking and she missed it. Overall I am back over 1/2 tank on my strength and am more positive as we go forward now!
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I was wonderng the same, babalou.

Beretta - why not therapy now? You are, essentially, enabling her to continue..

My gut sense is that this issue did not arise a year ago when fil moved in, but has existed in some form before that.

Your wife needs your help to see what she is doing to herself and your (collective)marriage. That is part of your job just as much as, and probably more than, housekeeping.

I know it is not easy to broach these topics, but sitting on them only allows things to get worse. I think cutting back on the housekeeping and, when the opportunity arises, talking about the state of your marriage is a good step. I also think therapy for you and then for both of you is a good idea, This from one who has had many many hours of therapy. Good luck!
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Beretta68, I just went back and re-read all the responses to your questions and it looks like even though you asked the question in Sept of 2015, this has been going on for almost a year from their answers. Have you really been just waiting in the wings for almost a year for your wife to make a decision about her father? Well, if you have, I can tell you that with all the answers you gave about her, it seems to me that she doesn't really care one iota about what you think or care about. If it has really been that long, as long as you remain on the fence about your relationship, she will too. You have been more than fair about your requests and you have gotten little in return. You may need to face some hard facts about your wife. I don't know of many men who would put up with this treatment nor do I know of many women who would put up with the same type of treatment from a husband for this long. The FIL is being selfish if he is able to move around fine and do for himself until she gets off work, then he suddenly becomes needy. He is treating her more like an abused wife than a daughter. It is apparent that he has considerable control over her and her emotions. Some fathers do and use that to their advantage. It seems that he is enjoying being the "main" one in her life instead of you. And, she is getting the attention she may have deserved many years ago and didn't get when she was growing up.
They are both feeding each other's needs and you are left out in the cold. I don't recall how old you are but if your name Beretta68 means that you are 68, then you should be doing something about this before it gets too late. Your wife seems to be happy with the status quo and doesn't want to hear anything else about making changes so you have a few options left. 1. Leave everything as is and accept the status quo until she tells you what you two are going to do; 2. Insist that FIL go into an AL or if his health is better, a retirement community so you two can resume your marriage without any interference from him; 3. If she is willing to work with you and start spending some weekends with you, you can get a cleaning person who will relieve the stress and burden of cleaning and give her some needed down time; 4. If she isn't willing to work with you about anything and doesn't want to hear about a change, then it may be time to tell her you are going to start living again and then go do it. You can go on cruises and/or vacations without her, go with a male friend who may be in the same shape or is single, if money is tight, at least go to free things-like museum openings, bike-riding, walks in the park or go to movies, out to eat, spend time with friends and have conversations that aren't about anyone's problems, spend time with family members again, anything that puts you with other adults to get away from the health issues; or 5. If all else fails, move somewhere else. As one commenter put it, she's doing for him like she would do for you if you were to get sick. NOT true! There's a reason she doesn't want to spend time with you and only you can answer that if you're honest with yourself. A marriage therapist would tell you the same thing. You're either dancing together or you two are at different galas. If, in fact, you are 68, and in good health, you may have 2 decades left to enjoy life. It only comes around once and you've had some bad luck this past year. Check out a therapist and see what they think about the last year and what's in store for you. Finally, you may only have the last option left and you know what that is.
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The first time something happens at the NH and/or he doesn't get his way, he may start complaining and wanting to come home again. Before this happens, explain to her that in the beginning, getting settled is something he will need to get used to and there will be an adjustment period. He may complain but don't jump in and try to rescue him right away. It has to be a legitimate complaint that can't be fixed before he comes back. She should be told he needs to stay and get used to the place before she runs to his rescue again. There will be an adjustment period for her too but it will pass. If she goes to get him anyway even over your objections, if I were you, I would pack my bags and head out the door as he's coming in because you've lost your place in the family and need to move on. Good luck on your new venture.
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The end of the journey. My FIL is now in his new residence going on 4 days. We have also re-set up our home back to where it was. My wife is doing ok for now, a bit depressed at times, but all-in-all better than I thought. We are experiencing the "What-Now's?" as in not quite knowing what to do with ourselves. But day to day we will handle it. I am now going to work on my home as I was beginning to when all his started. will touch base once in a while to catch up. All I can say to everyone out here is the comments and suggestions, especially when I felt my most low, whatever they were I read them all, and helped me through this experience more than you realize, and for that I will always be appreciative!!!
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