My mother in law needs help with her with basic needs & her husband has decided to leave....her....alone...

Apparently it's so her husband can take a better paying job offer out of state instead of working locally...?

Must be a heck of an offer.

We are expected to drop our home, move in, & fill this gap. As well as pay her husband to do so- working out the numbers they are demanding leaves us with nothing really.

Meanwhile, my partner & I are unable to quit our jobs or reduce hours without some consequences.

Feeling like this has been dropped in laps out of nowhere I decided to reach out to her immediate family in this time of need - the response was not supportive.

I have done all I can to convince her & her husband that there is professional help for this very situation: the response? No way.

On top of this the house she is living in is a nightmare for someone living with the after effects of a stroke...

Everyone seems to think that I can do this b/c I was caring for her during her first diagnosis [stage 4 -ovarian cancer.]

I was 22 at the time & she was 49...

& that was 10 months of me stuck on her ranch cargiving/cleaning/animal caregiving/working full time/never sleeping/fighting with my spouse lol

That was hard- but her health has completely nosedived since...

Now it's three years later & she's had a major stroke on top of this...

I'm expected to move in with her in a week as she needs 24/7 care in reality...

Her needs are about everything you can think of including bathroom/bathing as she refuses to wear depends because they're 'unflattering'

I feel as is the cards are stacked against us and something terrible could happen if she is left unattended.

Another note: her narcissism makes it very difficult to set and keep boundaries with her & she expects more out of me than her son

I've typed this all up on my cracked phone screen so i hope its understandable!

Is there any way we can just say no to this?

& what steps should we take if we do refuse?

This is too much right? I feel as if they are both unreasonable at this point with the lack compromise.

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You can just say NO - the care needs are more than you can provide and just don't move in. No one is coming to your house, holding a loaded pistol to your head, and forcing you into a car into slavery.

Call APS if they don't figure it out. Play hard ball - this is your life.
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Odd portal, it is difficult to see someone we love not being well cared for, it can make us do things that we don't want to do, but we feel we have no choice. Please do not make a decision based on emotions.

This is a life altering situation for you and your spouse. How it impacts your life needs to be looked at in the decision making.

NO ONE has the right to say you need to do this because...FIL isn't man enough to stand by his wife and the mother of his is a cultural is a religious obligation. Nonsense. Her and her husband need to take personal responsibility for their lives, period. If you guys step in you are enabling them to not do this. Think long and hard before you go there. She sounds like a facility should be her new residence.

Best of luck, it is a rotten situation that your in laws have put you in.
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Just say NO, NO, as often as needed.   You have no obligations here - her husband does, but not you. And you have done way enough already.  The thing is, no one has any obligation to prop up someone's preferred lifestyle. Period.  Her medical problems are demanding big changes and she and her husband are obliged to make them, not you. They are talking about indentured servitude, which is not legal. By refusing to enable this, you are actually doing them a favor.  They have to bit the bullet and make appropriate changes.  Trying to ignore this reality is a dead-end path for them.
Just say NO. You needn't try to explain - your answer is NO and that is the end of it.  Actually I would suggest being blunt - any explanation will seem to them like they could argue you out of it.  And keep in mind that if husband does not act responsibly, he will and should get a call from APS. Don't be afraid to remind him of the ramification of neglecting his wife. Someone who could actually propose to enslave you does deserve a gentle let-down.  Frankly this sounds like you or anyone else could not keep this rodeo going - your MIL needs adequate care. And if husband complains remind him he promised "in sickness and in health." I suspect he believes women are to be servants. NOT!  That is abuse.
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Caregiving is a choice.

Do what is right for you.
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"NO" is a complete sentence. Just say it. And keep to it. Once they realize you and hubby are not rushing to the rescue, they will have no other option than to hire help. Sure they could badmouth ya'll, but that's better than being in the trenches, losing your jobs and your home, and your sanity. If the FIL does abandon her, call APS. Remember something throughout all of and your husband are NOT LEGALLY OBLIGATED to dump your lives and provide care. As long as they think you'll rush in and take over and pay them to do it (and oh holy hell on that twist!), they'll keep on you. But if they have to figure it out, they will or FIL will get legally in trouble for abandonment. Don't sacrifice yourselves for their failure to plan better.
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rovana Jun 2019
FIL actually expected OP to PAY him and MIL? That is beyond belief!!  And I might point out IMO OP is not obliged to do any of this for religious reasons. FIL needs to arrange for care. His responsibility.
Yes, you can say no. You don't have to take any steps except in the opposite direction. Yes it is too much. It is her hub's responsibility to provide care for her.

I see your partner is enmeshed with his mum. You both might want to seek counselling together to deal with this. I see you are already involved - one more month until...what??? Beware of your fix-it tendencies

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. I hope you are NOT paying for this. That's crazy!
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Oddportal Jun 2019
One more month before her hubby moves into his brand new house and we get to make the final call on what's next. At least i could buy some time to try and make them see reason.

Yes he is emeshed with her! It's a textbook case and I hope he joins me on working on it.

Whats crazy is that they are wealthy- not extremely so in their eyes but... extremely so. I was raised quite different - one of her shopping trips would pay three months of my rent.

I want none of her money as it is generally a tool of control. In fact, that power is not lost on her and she has repeatedly used it. Its been years since I've personally accepted a dime from them.

Its so obvious to me that this could be solved without us giving up our home. But trying to relay that ~anyone~ is almost impossible.

It's maddening, as many familys really do deserve more help and coverage and here's this one who has all the opportunity to be responsible and repeatedly decides to just.... not do that????

I dont want to give up but you can see where I just wanna shake her and say just pay for care!!! You bought 800$ worth of new clothes last week!!!
I want to update you all and express my gratitude!

My partner and I have been together through my father's suicide; my mother is toxic as well! However, we were lucky to have support as he was a respected member of community- we had to plan three furnerals before laying him to rest. It was a long and brutal process leaving me to identify him etc etc.

We found that process left us stronger. However, when we entered the world of caregiving- there are so many life/death & generally heavy descisions to make this has been considerably more difficult. Hugs to you all!

I also believe that i have been quick to embrace his side of the family to compensate for what I have personally lost.

Bckstory on their marraige:
The husband is older than the mil (71) he never expected to outlive her potentially and his resentment is clear.

When i reference to our past caretaking it was during the inital diagnosis and stages of treatment- she was difficult to care for and refused blood thinners on top of her drinking habit. It was an everyday fight to make her take them. She felt she wasnt beautiful since her skin would bruise...

When she had her stroke it was within the week I had put my foot down on his father's retirement and got our home to focus on us.

In that time, since the enabling stopped, they downsized home and moved off the ranch. He stayed with his wife, we checked in as much as we could. Her condition remained stable after recovery from the stroke.

There is bitterness towards me that the property couldn't be kept. My response then and now to the family?
Tough S#*t
It was hard enough to say goodbye to the animals and find homes for them. It was extra work caregiving and working with the horses but in a weird way the animals were there for me!

I truly believe in the pact of marriage and the fil desicion to leave mil as her cancer returns and her condition worsens is reprehensible and my partner agrees.

FIL's resentment that he had to retire to care for his wife shows by her weight as well, I now know he doesnt make a big enough effort to feed her. I undressed her the other day for the first time in a while, and although she is prone to brusing, it was obvious to me she had fallen on her hip and hadnt been bathed in days.

My partner is heartbroken and wants to rush in to help! His mother is calling and texting in emotional outbursts as well.

I have struck a deal with all parties involved for one more month before any commitment in this.

I have met her doctors and involved the family in release of information about the reality of the situation she is facing. I dont believe they care but they cant say they didnt know at the time.

I decided to reach out to my own doctor to reference me to a psychologist- i feel like regardless of what may come im gonna need it. Of course encouraging my partner to do the same.

I have raised the issue of abondment with my partner. He insists it hasn't got to that stage and the cultural heritage does play a major part. I'm pretty disappointed in this because i feel like taking action with an outside party is not shameful.

For now, we are just going to keep visiting to work on the home, her diet, and provide a safer environment.

My partner is passive and very sweet-its much more emotional manipulation and it's very very difficult for him to stand up to his parents. Especially the mother. He shuts down when yelled at. I was rasied in a pretty hard home so i tend to take charge in situations when they become chaotic.

Hopefully he does stand up to them for our marriage and helps me in setting these boundaries.

This may sound petty but you are all right about rethinking the relationship- someone is gonna be left behind and if they get their way it will be me.

Love and blessings ><>
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rovana Jun 2019
What are YOUR "cultural expectations?"  Just because some thinks it is the expected thing to do, does NOT make their opinion valid. Slavery, infanticide, etc., etc., are all cultural expectations.  They are abuse.  And while on the subject what about the vows FIL made to his wife? It is not as if they are destitute.  And if your husband wants to care for his mom, well he can - why does he think you should?  FIL and MIL need to make major changes, especially with the medical problems she is dealing with and the future she is facing.  Why on earth would they think hiring caregivers is wrong? And enslaving their DIL is OK?
They want you to be a 24/7/365 caregiver that pays them to live at the house?

Run, don't walk and if your spouse doesn't run with you, well, better you learn now that you can't depend on him/her.

Neither of you are obligated to step up and care for her so he can go live his life. Forget what anyone else thinks about you for saying no. They aren't breaking the door down to step into your shoes.

Tell MIL that soiling herself is far less flattering than depends, not to mention selfish to not do what is required to make caregiving easier for anyone. She needs a catheter if she won't wear something to contain the mess.

The things you have shared tell me you are dealing with some serious dysfunction and you need to protect yourself and RUN!
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Oddportal Jun 2019
You are so right - i have told my partner that they have been less than empathetic in the past. His parents didnt come to my father's funeral - not even flowers.
Ive tried to rise above but it stings.

Thank you- its not all in my head!
I have gotten her some more comfortable solutions but when dressing her its like fighting with a child. And she's 6'2 on top of it
Well you can report her hubs for abandonment.. And stand your ground. And tell her family you can not do this, End of story. It's then on them. I agree .. where is your hubs on all this? Is this cultural ? If the family won't help.. offer to help sell the house while "they" watch her, and use the money for her care. Ignore the calls, pretend they don't exist.. whatever it takes, But just say NO!
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Of course you can say no!!

i have to ask, where the heck is your spouse and why aren’t they standing up to THEIR parents? Why aren’t they addressing what is expected of you?

look, nobody can force you to do this. Your in-laws don’t have the right to control your life like this. It is incredibly selfish of them to expect you to give up your life so that they can continue to live life the way that they want. They need to hire paid caregivers or move her to assisted living.

You need to stand your ground and refuse to move in. If your MIL is left alone, simply call APS and report it-vulnerable adult living in unsafe conditions. You can do it anonymously.
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