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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.

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A talk with your husband might determine if it is the circumstances of taking care of your father or something personal in your relationship that is causing the discord.
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Reply to GAinPA
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My DH and I spent a little while discussing this, and our own separate experiences of being interested in communes in the heady days when we were young. I was asked to do a legal agreement for a friend who was part of setting up a commune in south Wales. It was seriously difficult, particularly providing for members selling out and being replaced. DH came to the conclusion that the lead member (now a criminal Judge) of his plan was likely to be a bit tricky to live with under the same roof, and eventually the whole thing fell through. Communes seem to work best for young people without much money and at the same point in life. I once saw a cartoon of a manic spiral eyed woman entitled ‘refugee from an open marriage’, and it applies pretty well to refugees from communes too.

Problems with daughter’s family are just as likely as the problem that has actually happened. People change.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Yes you told them so they didn't had no choice but to say ok and I bet they didn't had a clue what caring for elderly is really about it's 24/7 7 days a week and no one should have to do that or put that responsibility on they spouse and children at all it's not healthy for anyone that's why the have places for people when the can't care for them self
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Reply to misfairlady69
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Cutede, you can say that now because you're not face with this situation when u get marry your spouse is your priority and not your parents and caring for an elderly parent is very difficult and for your husband is have all right to feel the way he dose your husband should be your first priority and it will get to a point everyone will resent each other so start looking for a assistant living it will be best for you and your family I think you're bein selfish because you made the decision to care for your parents everyone must be ok with it the did at first because you told them you are not putting them in a home so they had no choice but to say ok but I can tell you it's not ok we don't owe it to our parents when they get old to take care them some of us doit because it's out parents and we love them believe me it takes a toll on you I've been there almost lost my mind and now I'm in the same situation for three years with my husband mother and it is getting overwhelmed for both of us so I had to have a talk with my husband about having his brother come ever other weekend so we can get a break and I discusse with my husband if it get wrost she will have to go in a home she is 85 and can do for her self but my husband do everything for her and I told him let her help her self bc she's going to loose her mobility so u have to think about your self and husband good luck
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Reply to misfairlady69
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Why can't you combine hubby and dad outings? Then hubby will feel included and remember - he DID agree to dad moving there.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Alot of good responses here OP. I hope you read them carefully.

I am sure your husband and daughter wanted to make you happy and agreed to have your parents move to the compound. I am sure they figured it would easier on you that way. However you did in fact TELL them you were doing this, not asking them. Most people don't realize what they are getting into caring for an elder. I am sure they did not in vision it being a 24/7/365 commitment.

After my mom died my father would often show up at my house and just let himself in. He saw no problem with that. My husband was flaming mad. Often he would be cooking in the kitchen and turn around to find my father standing there. Telling my father that he needs to ring the doorbell and wait for us to let him in did not go over well. He still would just walk in. We had to start using the deadbolt.

Have you actually sat your husband down and asked him why the hostility towards your father? You are condemning him before having all the facts.

It is great that you do set aside time for your husband but at this point it just might not be enough. He needs to be your priority not your father. You say that after the way he has acted you might not want him around after your father passes. Are you sure he will still be there? He wants to have a life with you, not just scheduled weekends here and there.

Another poster mentioned that having someone live nearby is not the same as having this person involved in your day to day life. It could be too much for your husband.

You said your husband considered your father his best friend before all of this. That was before he had to complete with your father for your attention.

You need to sit everyone down and have a real talk. Everyone in this situation needs to compromise a bit...you, husband and dad.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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This touches a lot of bases for me.

1) My parents asked my grandfather to come from England to live with them in Australia, after he was left on his own. My father didn’t get on with him (he wouldn’t hand over all his savings), insisted that he leave, and it broke up my parents’ marriage. It’s a real risk for you to think about..
2) All of us make decisions based on one set of facts or assumptions, and find that they don’t work out as expected. Taking a degree and finding that there are no jobs, having your partner walk out on you – just a couple of common scenarios, but there are many others. Add to that, people can simply change their minds. Did you both factor in that your mother could die, your father would be lonely and want to spend more time with you? Did you think about what could go wrong with the daughter’s family being part of the ‘family compound’? What flexibility did you build into your plans for things working out differently?
3) Years ago I did a survey for a text about working while breastfeeding. I puzzled about why married women said they couldn’t have coped without their supportive husbands, while single mothers seemed to have coped OK. I finally realised that what you can’t cope with is an Unsupportive husband. In one house, you need to keep it together.
4) In terms of coping with unexpected trials, I can tell you from experience that having your house burn down in a bushfire is in there big time.

It would help if you could stop being ‘enraged’ and work out how to cope with circumstances that none of you expected. You and your husband are both unhappy. Please remember that not every aged care facility is plagued with ‘nightmare stories’. One step you could take is to do more research for options that might work. The problems are clearly very distressing for you, and yes you have my sympathy. But tie a knot and move on.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Perhaps carefully and lovingly remind him that if he is so blessed he will get old and need help one day.

The negative we give out will come back to us whether we like it not. The universe doesn't forget.

We need to honor old people and remember the many times they did us a favor. Our turn now if we are to expect good treatment when we will need it.

And if he stresses you out now since you are caregiver and wife (same thing caregiver to him as well) he will be without you when its his turn. There are many women in memory care. When the husbands show up to visit it sometimes gives you pause.

Just remember to take time for yourself. Have a paid in home health care giver come in once per week and you go out for at least four hours to do as you please.
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Reply to Mercedes2020
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Redpondranch - IF you are GENUINELY interested in solving the problem with your husband, then you need to stop thinking that your husband is the problem, and that he is the bad guy. He was agreeable enough and generous enough to have your father move in. Now, he no longer is.

Have you asked him why he no longer wants your father in his home? And really listened to his answers? I bet not.

Your first step, stop making your husband out to be the bad guy.

Second, ask your husband (with an open mind and without hostility) what the problems he is having with the current living situation.

Third, you two as a team should work to resolve them to everyone's satisfaction.
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Reply to polarbear
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You don't mention what your husband does to occupy his time, but one thing that struck me was you take dad 2x weekly to bingo and 1x weekly for shopping and then throw in dr appts and whatnot, then you say you make sure and have an occasional date day or night for your husband. Can you not see how you prioritize your dads needs over your husband's? Of course he is resentful, if it was reversed you would be here telling us that your husband puts him mom 1st and can't understand why you don't want her dropping in whenever she wants.

I bet your husband would stop being resentful if you made him your #1 and set boundaries for dad to not just pop in when he feels like it.

It is a balancing act and I bet you didn't cover this contingency when you were getting agreement or you may not have received it. This particular journey is full of the unknown.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Anger often hides what it really is, fear. Is it possible that your husband is just afraid because he sees you taking care of a feeble old man and now you are taking care of him, so in his eyes he's becoming the same kind of burden? The description of how you live- even your username- implies a lifestyle that is about outdoor activity- a ranch? That has got to be a lot of work your husband probably devoted himself to for much of his life. Men like that tend to take pride in their physical abilities to take care of their family. Take that away from them and it can be psychologically devastating.

Perhaps removing the visual reminder (i.e. dad) of what he thinks will happen or is happening to him makes him feel less fearful, like the same fate isn't awaiting him. Went through something similar with my husband when his cancer returned... he didn't say anything until I asked him outright about what I thought was causing his mood shifts, and I was right. We got past it and life went back to normal.

Talk to your husband. Listen.
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Reply to TekkieChikk
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Sometimes it's a matter of visibility and a desire to be in control. My mother spent one day a week at my grandparents house and half a day on Saturday for over a decade without a single word of complaint from my father. Then he retired... and that six hours or so one day a week became a really big issue. Dad didn't want to spend those six hours with Mom, he just wanted her to stay home and have a lunch prepared for him while he did whatever he wanted during the day. DH husband has had two surgeries... maybe his time home recouporating has left him feeling his life is a bit out of his control and he is seeking to exert control of his wife to compensate. BTW - Dad retired due to TIAs and although we didn't see many signs yet he was in early stages of vascular dementia when this behavior started.
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Reply to TNtechie
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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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Reply to lablover64
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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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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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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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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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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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Reply to Jannner
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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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Reply to reliefsearch2
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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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Reply to Madsad
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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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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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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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Reply to anonymous418566
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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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Reply to lynina2
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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 sent you a private message.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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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 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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Reply to Babs75
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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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Reply to Susanonlyone
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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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Reply to TaylorUK
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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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Reply to DeniseMiller
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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 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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