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My situation is this: We have a "family compound" out in the country. My husband and I have one house; my daughter, her husband and my grandchildren have another; and we built a "tiny house" for my mom and dad to live in when mom's Alzheimer's made it impossible for dad to handle her alone.


Back when it became plain that I was going to take on the role of caregiver for my parents, I had a family meeting with my husband and daughter and told them I had no intention of putting my parents into a nursing home because of the nightmare stories that keep coming out about the conditions there. I asked my husband and daughter, repeatedly, if they were all right with my parents moving out here, and outlined everything I could think of that this might entail. They were all supportive of the decision, so the decision was made and the move accomplished.


Mom died 9 months after we moved her out here. Dad is nearly 89, has congestive heart failure, diabetes, and his kidneys are failing. He still lives here and, as far I can see ahead, will live here until/unless I can no longer care for him. He doesn't really need all that much active care...he can feed himself, keeps his house himself, dresses himself, etc., so it's not all that much of a problem, as far as I'm concerned. I take him to bingo twice a week, to the store once a week, to doctor's visits, and out to eat periodically. I make sure my husband and I have occasionally "date days" or "date nights" or extended vacations just to have time alone, and while we're away, my daughter holds down the fort. In exchange, I occasionally "babysit" my grandchildren (both teenagers) while my daughter and her husband take off for a few days.


My difficulty is this...my husband seems to be no longer okay with the fact that dad is here. He's acting like a spoiled brat, in my opinion. My dad is lonely, of course, now that mom is gone and he is no longer living in a place where he is surrounded by friends, so he comes up to our house occasionally to talk. Sometimes my husband is barely civil to him, and if I can see that, I'm sure dad can as well. I spend so much time as a "referee" between my husband and my father, just trying to avoid an open conflict and subsequent breech.


I am ENRAGED that my husband is, in my opinion, going back on his declaration that it is okay that my dad is here. Yes, I could find a facility for dad, but does my husband imagine for one second that I would forgive him for being such a jackass that I had to move dad into a facility?? Does he really think that everything will be rosy after dad is gone, with me remembering how my husband treated him? Again, dad is 89 and not in great health, so it isn't like he'll be here forever, and I make a definite point of spending time with my husband without dad being around, so in my opinion he really has no just cause for complaint.


It's hard enough being a caregiver for dad, but without the support of my husband, it's becoming nearly impossible. Ironically enough, my husband has had two surgeries in the past year that necessitated my being HIS caregiver as well, but apparently that didn't make him any more empathetic to my situation.


Suggestions and support would be most welcome.

I am guessing your husband and father have never been on great terms. That won’t change. Your father may indeed not notice husband’s attitude. If he did, seems he wouldn’t come around as much.

Your husband may be an introvert. I’m an introvert too, and hate it when people come by my home unannounced! Of course I’ll let them in and I’m happy to see them. Just interrupts my day. I like my mother-in-law, but wouldn’t be happy with her just stopping in. But... I would expect more drop-ins if we had a living situation like you have. So your husband not expecting father to come around often is unrealistic.

When you were caregiving after your husband’s surgeries, those were temporary. Taking care of an aged parent isn’t temporary. That may be why he’s unsympathetic; he truly doesn’t know how draining it can be.
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Actually, they were the best of friends. In fact, my husband often said my dad was his best friend. And my husband is certainly NOT an introvert! (That would be me).
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LoopyLoo Apr 14, 2019
Interesting. Why has the relationship changed?
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You need to have a calm, serious talk with hubby.

avoid recriminations, accusations, and anger. Just talk about why his feelings have evolved into open hostility and how that is making you feel.

You both need to be open about your feelings, and understanding of the point of view.

You cannot solve this by just going along like like you are or by pointing fingers.

It it sounds like you have a great family and good situation over all, just need to iron out this.
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Kathie333 Apr 16, 2019
Katiekate, great reply!! Communication is always the answer. The sooner the better!
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I’m so sorry RedPondRanch
On the surface your husband is indeed behaving like a horse’s patootie.
Have you discussed this with him? That you are feeling trapped between two of the most important people in your life? And here at the end of your dad’s life when he is vulnerable and lonely you feel you are being asked to abandon him! I can certainly understand how you feel.

But let’s do some trouble shooting.
Did DH have anesthesia when he had his health problems? Does he have longevity in his family? Has he been diagnosed with diabetes or heart problemS or hypertension that put him on maintenance meds? Is he managing his own health care? Is he having to use pain meds? Does he need pain meds now and isn’t taking them?
On the surface it sounds like your DH is burned out or perhaps jealous of your dad.
At any rate his feelings have changed and he may be as surprised as you are about them.
So besides his health, what else has changed?
You said you knew dad was lonely since mom died. Maybe you could drill down on that abit. Perhaps you could arrange for dad to have a companion to drive him out to lunch a few times a week or come over and play cards with him.
Did dad have to come over when DH was recuperating and got into a new habit?
Is he on the teenagers radar? Could the grands spend a little time with your dad or your husband? What about SIL? Could he or your daughter show a bit more attention to DH or your dad?
Have the other family members noticed DH new behavior?
Your mom has left a void that your family feels. Things are out of balance since she died. How long ago was that by the way?
You are trying to fill that
void and perhaps your DH misses your focus and energy. I read what you said about the dates. So good that you have those bases covered but spend a moment to reflect on all the changes since your mom passed.
Even though people make commitments, the one thing we can count on is change. We know life events will happen. We don’t always know how we will feel when that happens.

i guess what I’m saying is that your mom has died but your husband hasn’t.
You feel responsible to take up the slack. To keep your family working together it might be time for all of you to have a family meeting and discuss how your mom’s passing has affected the family compound and what you collectively can do to work things out.
Your husband sounds like he needs help right now that won’t be solved by your dad being placed in a home. If you continue to be placed between your loved ones, it will erode your health and won’t help them.
Thats just my two cents. Maybe there is something in this long ramble that will give you another perspective to consider.
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shad250 Apr 14, 2019
DH could have his eye on someone else and is causing conflict to be able to see that person.
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I'd say slap him silly for being so selfish. And make sure you call the waaaambulance for him as his whining is not okay. ;-)
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rovana Apr 14, 2019
Not sure I agree - having agreed to dad living on the property in his own household is not the same as agreeing to Dad becoming a member of your own household.  I can understand that husband might object to dad treating your household as his home.  I sure would object to someone just thinking they could drop in whenever. After all, his is your father, but not your husband's father.
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Your husband agreed that your parents could live on the property in their own house. That is MUCH different than having someone randomly "drop by" all the time. (And by "all the time" I mean more than once a month.)

I'm not saying he's handling it correctly, but I can totally see where he is coming from. He's probably introverted and needs alone time. Having someone else in the house when you need to re-charge is incredibly stressful.

I'm projecting -- your husband may have totally different reasons for being upset.

If you value your marriage, you're going to need to calmly discuss this and figure out what needs to change, then make a plan to get there. Maybe your father needs to call first, and limit the number of visits. Maybe you need to visit your father in his house more often. Maybe you need to hire some help if it's too much for you to manage both households.

Good luck and I hope you're able to find a solution.
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I think your husband is resenting all the time you are spending with your dad. Your husband should be first and not reduced to date nights. You need to find someone to do the caregiving for your dad including run him around for errands and take him to bingo. You need to put your husband and marriage first. If he really is to you. I know you love your dad so do the right thing and hire someone to take him to bingo and appointments. Unless you are choosing dad over husband and then who can blame your husband.
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TaylorUK Apr 16, 2019
Absolutely - good idea
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Time for a serious heart to heart with DH. Set aside some time when you don't have any other obligations or concerns - maybe a date night - and when you're both relaxed and feel like you're on the same wavelength, bring it up in the spirit of inquiry rather than problem solving. The first step is to fully learn what DH is feeling about all this. It could be that all he needs is to feel heard! Or that a slight adjustment to daily patterns would do the trick. But the key here is to delve into what he's feeling. It may be something he feels embarrassed about but still eats at him, like he wants more attention or to feel like the man of the house. Get him to talk, and listen carefully without judging. Convey that he's heard and not judged before you respond. Then you can be honest and tell him you've felt bad and resentful, but you're glad he told you everything, and that you're committed to making this all work. Tell him what you need, ask him what he needs, then get him to work with you on a solution.

Good luck! This is a trying situation, but could be a real growth opportunity. Unfortunately, it does seem up to you to break the impasse, but it might pay some real dividends.
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DILKimba Apr 16, 2019
Excellent advice!
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You stated that DH had two surgeries. When my dad had heart surgery he was never the same again. What change? Maybe it was the anaesthesia or some have said it was the operation on the heart itself. But it did matter what the cause was--my father just wasn't the same anymore. Sigh:(

Just a thought!
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Great possibilities and suggestions.  Kudos to you and family to be able to make a family compound work!  My only suggestion beyond this is couples counseling.  Sometimes it can help if serious family meeting doesn't, at least it was a positive outcome for me and first husband.  Are you getting time alone to recharge yourself?  Hugs and respect for what you are doing.
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It is hard when you have a Stubborn mule for a Bad Dad and a Parent whom you Love and feel the need to care for. Please, Sit down with hubby and Try to Talk Turkey to him but more than Likely, Sad as it is, Dad will be going into a Facility who can really care for him the Best from the Rest. The more "Dementia" The Rougher and hubby More Tougher...
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Two surgeries in the past year? What surgeries?

Your husband evidently does feel differently about your father's presence from how he felt originally, when he was no doubt genuinely supportive. What has changed, and what can be done about it now, is what you need to investigate. It isn't necessarily something that he can help; and if he can't help it, and you continue to ignore it and/or criticise him for it, he certainly will have just cause for complaint.

I should start by making one firm assumption, anyway: that your husband is not intentionally setting out to be selfish or spiteful. For some reason he can't cope with your father's being around, and I hope the reason(s) will turn out to be solvable.
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It’s easy to consent to care of a parent, however, until you’ve experienced it, you never know how difficult it can be. Your husband is probably feeling the burden of YOUR stress and also experiencing his own stress from the reality of how much it has taken over your lives and caused the loss of any spontaneity in your social lives with friends and travel. I think the suggestion of family counseling is a good one - where you can both emote and a professional can come up with suggestions that will ease the tension and negativity caused by your father’s presence. Accept that it IS an interruption and a distraction in your lives and be open to suggestions from a counselor as to how to improve the situation......it only becomes more difficult with time, so don’t put off dealing with it NOW.
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So it looks like you made your decision. You have chosen your father over your husband and daughter.
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ACaringDaughter Apr 16, 2019
Only YOU can make the decision. You have to follow your heart.

No no one on this forum knows exactly how you feel, so take these posts with a grain of salt.
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It’s not going to last forever,, take time for yourselves. Maybe higher someone to come in on the weekends and spend time with your family take time for yourself.. I tried taking care of my mom and it didn’t last long. She didn’t respect that it was my life and home and was very demanding. So she had to go. I live in the Seattle area so rent is very expensive here .. it costs 5,000 a month. Bug she can’t cook, or dress, or take her own meds. And wears diapers. The cost of living out if your home is probably more than if he were to stay. But is it worth the families attention, they can be very dependent also. Just remember nothing lasts forever. Enjoy the time with loved ones all you can. If you don’t want dad to go then work things out. But find time for yourselves.
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Choice - husband or father. Which one should you be living in a relationship with? Which one do you want to be living with in 1,2,5,10 years time?
Your husband has reached a point that he wants what's left of your lives to be able to do something together and enjoy each other's company etc. not to babysit your father for the foreseeable future until he himself and you are too old to be able to do anything. i.e. he does not want to give his life for the benefit of your father - and I totally 100% agree with him. You sound to have a much better relationship with your father than your husband (purely from your post - and these are easily read in a different way from the intended). There is a limit to how long one may be willing to support a partners parent irrespective of how willing you were to start with - thinking you know what it will be like is not the same as doing it.
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You’re certainly making sure that both your father and your husband get attention from you. To start with You need to ask your husband a few questions to get to the heart of this:

• Why is he acting this way?
• How would your lives change if your father didn’t live there?
• Does he remember being okay with the living arrangement initially?

You can’t let this hostility linger because when you’re father is gone, the resentment you have towards your husband won’t be.
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I go through the same thing with my husband. He won't even answer the phone if dad calls. Hasn't done so in over a year. My dad is 92. I have been back in my dad's life for 4 years. I go there every Saturday afternoon. I take numerous calls during the week. Last fall, I was awarded guardianship. I am terribly stuck between my dad and my husband. I have learned how to set boundaries but even that is not enough sometimes. I work full time so luckily, my dad can afford care that comes in every day and they take him out and about and get him to doctor appointments, church, etc. But I get NO support. All I do is get b*tched at that I'm never available on the weekend. I take 6-7 weekends off a year and have to be sure to schedule care to come in for me since I'm not there. I cannot talk to my husband about my dad and just do so in passing. Luckily I have the help of a good counselor that lets me vent. All I can do is keep reminding my husband that this is not forever and that I am legally responsible for my dad so I have to be involved. It's a big problem here..................
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I have had a very similar experience with MY husband.
in this case, it was after my mom moved in.
We too discussed her living with us, and were in agreement about caring for her.
Fast forward a year later and we’re discussing divorce.
It’s been hard, and we’ve struggled before with our relationship. But this has pushed us over the edge.
Know that you are not alone with this. My hear goes out to you.
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Isthisrealyreal Apr 16, 2019
You decided to give it a shot and it didn't work, don't divorce your husband because he doesn't like your mom living with you both.

Find her a new address. It isn't fair that people say all or nothing, he gave it a year, it needs to change for all of you. It can't possibly be comfortable living with your daughter knowing you are destroying her marriage and if it doesn't phase her, even worse.

It just sickens me when people will choose their parents over their spouse, you did promise to forsake all others for him.
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I sent you a private message.
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I think you need to get your daughter to watch dad for a weekend away with your husband and tell him your concerns and stress about it. Tell him thank you for allowing your dad to live with you and that you are grateful for his support. He will be too embarrassed to act like that again...I hope. Ask him what he wants done for himself if he were in your dad's shoes. Where would he like to go.
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I would have a sit-down with husband to get to the heart of the matter. No guessing. He can state his wishes and you can state yours. Then, the two of you come up with solutions that result in a compromise. I don't know what you mean by out in the country, but if there is an adult day care program or senior activity program that dad could enjoy, say twice a week, it would be ideal. Usually the senior programs are free or quite inexpensive. Bringing in a companion is another idea. This could be a high school student where they can play checkers, cards, or whatever activities your dad enjoys. Dad should also be gently schooled to know when it's okay to stop in to visit with hubby. Say, only after lunchtime. Routines can be established. Your observation that dad is lonely is spot on, so, dad should be brought into the equation. Have you asked him how he feels? Is he in the best place, now that mom is gone? Perhaps he would rather be closer to his friends? If he is able to consider moving into town, hubby would get a break and the tiny house will be there for when dad needs more intervention. Once everyone tries to understand each other's points of view, you will be able to move forward with a plan to improve each one's outlook:)
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Don't know your relationship with your husband. Tough position you've put yourself and everyone in, especially your husband. It's time to have your father medically reevaluated head to toe. He has serious issues. I understand the nursing home thing. However, there are assisted living places he may qualify for and be more suited in his care. If you are insistant caring for him....then it's time for another family meeting, father not in attendence. Rest of siblings need to step to the plate. This too will give you much valuable time with your husband. Us men can be horse's patoots sometime, but we don't carry a compassion as deep as our ladies. And we can be jealous of our ladies, especially if your father is getting more of your time. Just forgive him in your heart anyway and get on with your life with him. He'll come around. As you and he see your family more involved caring for your father, hopefully your husband will come around and be more compassionate to father in law and all. Blessings
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Your husband said, “for better, for worse.”

These “worse” times are worse for you than for him.

It doesn’t make you any stronger when he is tugging on you in a different direction.

There are are few times in life when we really get to be a Super Hero for a while. You have been a super hero to your parents—also to your siblings (I hope they appreciate you), also to your daughter (you rescued her grandparents).

I realize that your husband was extremely generous in accepting your parents moving to your compound in the first place. Your daughter is sharing her youth with them. She also has the opportunity to grow from this and to cherish all of the good times.

Now you will see whether your husband and daughter are willing to “kick it up a notch.” They also
can be super heroes, not just to your dad (who also happens to be their father-in-law, and grandfather), but, especially to You! Can’t your husband see that this is an opportunity for him to shine and earn your everlasting love and devotion? He’s already come so far.
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There is literally no one I want to drop in unannounced. It seems easy enough to tell dad to call to see if it’s convenient to drop by. I try to look at situations from every point of view. There are no perfect solutions but plenty of compromises. Communication is everything.
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I have one question for you, what is the relationship like between your husband and father? Is your father warm, welcoming and has taken your husband on like a son?

These are things you need to ask yourself. If your husband and father do not have a good relationship, and never have, he might feel a certain type of way by him just evading his space.

Just my thoughts....
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it sounds like you are trying to be helpful to your father but something you may not have considered is he may want company his own age.
I think “ nursing homes” have come a long , long way. They now have independent ( ie an apartment in a complex where housekeeping and food are provided ) or assisted living( usually meds added and maybe some help dressing etc as needed) are nothing like nursing homes. The assisted living my mom is in is beautiful, clean, no one drooling or slumped over in a chair in the hall. The huge benefit imo is a safe environment plus activities galore . Church, bingo, movies, puzzles, ice cream socials, gardening, “ road trips” for a day, you name it , they do it. Newer studies have proven being mentally and physically active helps enormously. I would visit some in your area . It may be the solution you need.
Don't be too hard on your husband. It’s difficult having someone living in your home, sometimes you just need some personal space. It would bug me having someone show up any time they wanted , no matter how much I loved them. I need some down time, with just my immediate family, not even my adult kids. Could be your husband may be similar.
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Marriage is for better or worse--this is beyond the scope of any forum; sounds to me you need marriage counseling. My opinion only. Failing communication, this could be headed toward divorce court. Most marriages fail anyway. In Florida you have to take this pre-marital course before getting married--and they basically tell you get a prenuptial agreement because chances are your marriage will fail.

Personally -- remember you only have one mum and pop. For all eternity. Husbands are a dime a dozen, and they are only useful for finances. I hope this helps. If my husband made me choose between him or my mom he would be out the door and I'd get divorced and pick me up another husband in no time who has some finances. If you think I'm kidding..I'm quite serious. Men are easy to get.

My husband knows I married him for his money..I'm not ashamed of it.
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Countrymouse Apr 16, 2019
Cetude, are you okay?
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"Back when it became plain that I was going to take on the role of caregiver for my parents, I had a family meeting with my husband and daughter and told them I had no intention of putting my parents into a nursing home because of the nightmare stories that keep coming out about the conditions there. I asked my husband and daughter, repeatedly, if they were all right with my parents moving out here, and outlined everything I could think of that this might entail. They were all supportive of the decision, so the decision was made and the move accomplished."

It became clear to you but it wasn't clear to your husband. If you have siblings, your husband may have expected them to step up and care for their parents.

You didn't really give your husband and daughter much of a choice. Instead, you **told** them you weren't going to put your parents in a nursing home. I suspect that they both felt a bit bulldozed by you but wanted to make you happy and acquiesced.

You know as well as I do that most nursing homes today are much better than what they used to be. Here's a discussion about modern nursing homes:
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/nursing-homes-change-over-time-138791.htm

Your husband may feel that he has no privacy, that he always has to be ready for you or your dad to want to talk, and that his life has been taken over by caregiving for your father. Occasional dates are not cutting it for your husband.

You're obviously angry at your husband. It seems like you think he has no right to feel the way he does. He himself endured two life-altering surgeries. Rather than acknowledge that those surgeries may have changed your husband's wishes for the future, you wanted them to make him more sympathetic toward you.

I know from personal experience that, during particularly long and intense stretches of my husband caring for his dad that I felt lonely and alone. My husband was preoccupied with "everything dad" and he was worn out.

Is it possible that you also are worn out? That no matter how much you do for your dad that he always seems to need more? Is it possible that your husband sees something that you don't? If you love your husband you owe it to him to work through this.

Caregiving must work for everyone involved.
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DILKimba Apr 16, 2019
Excellent insights!! As the wife of the primary caregiver of my husbands parents I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment.
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My mom actually had a similar situation. She and my stepdad built a small house on their property for my grandfather to live in when it became apparent that living 40 miles away by himself no longer was feasible. Right after my grandpa moved in, we started noticing the beginning of dementia. All of us kids were grown and gone and my mom was stuck in a tug of war between my stepdad and grandpa, each trying to pull her their way. She nearly lost it. We both worked for the same company at the time and I urged her to get counseling through our employee assistance program. She saw a counselor once a week for about 3 years and said it helped tremendously just to have someone to talk to .
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