It is simmering just below the surface, however, my mother wants to baby me and would prefer I was alone with her. My husband is well aware of her competitive spirit, he is right - she is wrong, however, I need to take care of the 'person' and can't compromise that with her right or wrong. I am in the middle - they even talk through me to each other sometimes. I had to ask her if she would come out of the bathroom for him. It's tense and tiring.

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I totally get what you're saying about the Alzheimer's. My dad had dementia and sometimes it acts as a shield. Before he was so confused (as he is now) he would get depressed about his circumstances and his health. The dementia causes things to just slide right off of him and he doesn't think about his health or get depressed. Today he asked me, "Where am I?" I told him he was with me at the nursing home and he said "Ok". He's not as verbal as he was because he's so near death but the confusion helps him, I think. It's horrible for us. And I'm always making sure that he's not scared but nothing bothers him anymore, he doesn't wonder where we are when we're not there, and he has no idea he's as sick as he is. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

It's just horrifying for the rest of us.
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Thank You for this wisdom and your time in sharing it! When I read your information it all seems so clear! It's amazing how mixed up it seems with every blow-up - however - I feel encouraged that I am responding correctly if I ignore their little snits and also that I am reminded that I have boundary rights also to enforce. I am grateful for your kindness in addressing this situation! My Mom has borderline Alzheimer's she goes in and out and I have been grateful for it at times - as sad as this is - that she might not remember when there is tension and things are said. When she's feeling good it's worse to get through the day and when she's not it's better and less stress - but this is really a sad all in all.
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Does your mom have dementia or Alzheimer's? If not then I would sit them down separately and have a talk. They are being childish. Tell your mom that THIS is your husband and her son-in-law and she needs to start recognizing that and being respectful of your relationship. Tell your hubby that THIS is your mom and she can't do things for herself like she once could and needs your help and that YOU need HIS support while you care for your mom. And don't participate in their power games. It's not a competition and your mom and your husband should be mature enough to know that. If they talk through you get up and walk away. Refuse to be a part of this. Their antics are making you tense. Don't try to be a go-between because they shouldn't need a go-between. Everyone in this scenario is an adult and the jealousy and power struggles just aren't acceptable behavior for adults.

I know it's easier said than done but you are in the middle which, I think, is exactly where you don't want to be. Nor should you be. If having an adult conversation with your husband and your mother doesn't fix this then it's going to be up to you to create some boundaries. Tell your husband it's not ok when he does x, y, or z. Be specific! Tell your mom the same thing. Don't plead. You're laying down ground rules for your living situation and these rules should be respected and followed. As a last resort ignore the behavior from each of them. Don't validate it and don't react to it. The payoff for both your mom and your husband is your attention. Remove the payoff and the behavior isn't rewarded anymore.

Good luck, cmor1954! I think you can do this. You shouldn't have to live this way while caring for your mom.
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