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I married my partner of 15 years a year ago. My father died a few months later leaving my mother of 87 and in excellent health living 200 miles away. My sister living in London and I promised my dad we would look after my mum, and I would want to as a daughter anyway. My husband, who is quite needy, is adamant he cannot accept my mother moving into a nice retirement flat round the corner because it will affect our relationship, and will restrict our freedom, etc. He refuses to discuss it or blows up into a fury. I feel absolutely torn and permanently guilty. Although it would not have been my preference, for my mum to be living round the corner, my mum does not like London, and I feel I need to welcome her to my city and be able to support her as she gets older. I feel unbelievably guilty and torn as it feels like I have to choose between my husband and my mum. I don't know that I could live with myself if my husband made his views known to the rest of the family and i fear it will damage our marriage irrevocably.

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Whoa ... six months after losing her life partner is way too soon for Mom to be expected to think about permanent changes in her life. It is good that you and your sister are thinking ahead and addressing some of your own issues. Unless Mom has some impairments that make her a danger to herself, there is no need to rush into decisions. There are other options to extend the period she can safely live alone besides moving her close to either of you. Hire housecleaning and laundry done. Arrange meals to be delivered. Get her help with the heavy gardening tasks. Arrange for some kind of medical alert system.

But whatever you do, don't make drastic and permanent changes in her life so soon after the profound change of becoming a widow.
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It's none of his business.
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I read your first post and understood completely. Bottomline- Care giving turns your life upside down, 180 degrees and then does a spin cycle- I don't care how great you and mum are together! I don't care if she lives 10 miles or 10 steps- the needs pile up, the last minute or "I forgot to add to my list of grocery" can be daily. Laundry, doctor, vacuum, change sheets- this morning mum called and said "I know you were just here last evening but I spit my false teeth out in middle of night and can't find them"... when you are done laughing- realize it's true! Or leaving water on and over flow sink, heard a noise outside, coughed and wet myself, can't figure out why the night lite won't come on, dropped my compact and need new blush- okay? Mom lives in a senior, no assisted living but she went from totally capable to walker and eye sight failing fast and now needs supervised showers, can't drive, hands too weak to open jars- sure she can get herself up, make a cup of coffee, dress herself, comb her hair, and lite dusting, feed the cat- but her facility provides 3 meals a day and weekly housekeeping which sounds all good until you walk in a caregivers shoes and realize how far downhill they can go in just months- and if you don't have a supportive spouse- you have a choice- and I you sound like either when mom dies you will resent your spouse, or will have worked your butt off-realize the blessing which could be 10 yrs from now but you will be alone because partner WILL split- guaranteed. Moving mum into a flat will give her 24/7 access and the day WILL come. Eyes wide open- partner or mom
Sorry- I've been on this train 2 years and the first 10 months I nursed my mom in my home-back to good enough health to get her where she is and I thought her living a few blocks away would be easier- and although I can now have a break from her- anytime the phone may ring.
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When my husband and I married (second mariage for each of us) I extracted a promise from him that he would never ever expect me to care for his mom. She was a nice lady in some respects but limted, a bit narcissistic, volatle and certainly in the early stages of dementia. I would never have demanded that he not look after her.
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Unless Mom was horrible to you, I do not see why it is any of his affair?
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I don't think many people do talk about this kind of thing for the reasons you mentioned. No one wants to be the one who is worried about how mom's continuing care affects their own life. Most people think that it's selfish to think that way, they tuck those feelings away and feel guilty about them, and everyone goes on not talking. And then some years later when mom (or dad) needs a lot of care and the one adult child who's been doing it is unable to provide that kind of care feelings get hurts, resentments fester, and siblings turn on eachother because no one had that talk when it was time for that talk.

Of course everyone is worried about how their life will change when an elderly parent comes into the picture. And people who say that they've never worried about it are lying. We don't want to appear selfish to others and that's what we think we are when we consider our own circumstances and nothing could be further from the truth!
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People are like trees, they put down roots. Try digging up a 50 year old tree and transplanting it on different soil. It will wither and die. Let her be. I would bring in a Nurseryman for the Spring cleanup of the garden, that will refresh her spirit more than you know.
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It's so good that you're starting this conversation in your family before the actual move. I would give mom at least a full year to grieve, to consider and to talk about what's impotant to her. Might I suggest that possibly you and your husband seek some counseling over his inability to allow you the freedom to do some level of caregiving? Even if your mum lives at a distance, there will be times when you'll be neeeed. Sort this out now.
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Thanks all you kind people for your thoughts and advice. I seem to have confused a few people. My mum and dad lived in Manchester, about 200 miles away from where I live in Cardiff and 200 miles away from London where my sister lives. My dad died 6 months ago and my mum is still living in the big family home with a nice garden which she likes to potter in. She seems ok there at the moment and I and my sister visit regularly and she also comes to us. Looking to the future is the problem and we know that either move would take her away from her lifelong environment and friends. She does not seem willing or able to decide or say what she wants - there is no obvious easy decision. She doesn't like London but I think she would prefer to be nearer my sister, as they seem to get on better and my sister's husband is much easier going than mine, and I think my mum suspects there are already antibodies from my husband. She prefers where I live as its not such a busy city, but as in my original question - my husband says he just couldn't cope with my mum living round the corner and it would wreck our marriage. It would certainly change things massively if my mum did move here, but that is life and families and my view is that it is my wish and duty to look after my mum here if that is what she prefers. I work full time and wont retire for another couple of years, so that is a consideration as well. My sister works part time so it is easier for her to be flexible. None of us have yet been able to be open and honest about what we really think the effects on us personally might be - probably because we feel guilty about non welcoming my mum with open arms. Do people talk about this??
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Like someone already mentioned, I'm confused. Has your dad been gone for nearly 15 years? How long has your mom lived in London? Thinking about it and reading other replies, it sounds like the first thing to do is find out why your mom wants to move. If your mom is living independently it's going to take much more of your time than if she lives in an assisted living situation. How much time does she expect you to spend with her? Check out the senior living situation. Do they take her to doctor appointments and shopping or do you need to do this. As your mom gets older, she'll get sicker and need more care. Don't forget to include your sister in your decision. How does she feel about Mom moving 200 miles away from her?
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Tell your hubby he's lucky his mother-in-law isn't moving in with you. If you took a poll I think most spouses of caregivers would love for the mother-in-law to live around the corner as opposed to in the same house.

Regardless, you're right to be concerned. Caregiving is very difficult on a marriage.

I understand the promise you made to your dad that you would take care of your mom. I made the same promise to my mom about my dad and that meant something to me.

If your mom doesn't like London that's a big red flag. Moving her there, moving her around the corner from you, isn't going to make her like London any better. It's a huge, life-altering change to make so soon after losing her husband. My dad moved away after my mom died and he said it was the worst mistake he ever made. He was running. Running from anything that reminded him of my mom. Running from the loneliness. And we no sooner got him out of his house and situated in a new city when he decided he wanted to come home. It was a mess.

If your mom moves in around the corner she'll become your responsibility. If she's vital and independent, great. If she's not you will be the one she calls on for everything and your husband is correct to an extent in that your responsibility to your mom will restrict your freedom. Especially since just the very thought of your mom moving nearby is making him crazy. What will happen once she's actually there?

I understand why you feel torn. There was a question on this site last week for caregivers: if you had to choose, would you choose your elderly parent or your spouse. Not one person said elderly parent. Your husband may be behaving like a child but at least you know where he stands.

But as for feeling guilty, don't. My caregiving ended last year when my dad died and I had plenty of guilt over stuff but I look back on that now and wonder why. I think as long as there's an elderly parent in the picture we're going to feel guilty but we shouldn't! I can see that now in my own situation and could kick myself for the years I spent feeling guilty. So while I know it's easy for me to tell you not to feel guilty, I hope you go easy on yourself with the guilt.

Whatever you decide, think about it very carefully. If you have specific questions this is a great place to ask them because you'll get honest answers from caregivers with a lot of experience under their belt.
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I'm a little confused. Where did your mother and father live together? Did your mother move to London to be near your sister after Dad died? Or has she always lived in London? Has she ever lived in the city you live in?

A little more detail about the current situation would help generate more specific advice.
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Your mother lived in London with your sister and suddenly she doesn't like London? But she will be happy somewhere else? What you describe is depression, and moving does not make it better. The urge to go somewhere else means she wants to escape old age and grief over her lost husband. Living near you will only take her out of her familiar element and make her feel even unhappier than before. Look around here at posts of people who uproot the widow and it backfires badly. It's not a matter of choosing, you made your choice years ago, you just need to see the situation in it's entirety.
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Move your mom, she would not be living with you, just needing visited and shown around at this point. If things change then deal with it then. Your partner sounds needier than your mom. What will he do if he or you need help down the road? You already sound as if you know he is a possible problem .. You said your mom is in excellent health, enjoy her while you can . If hubs is already blowing into a rage..what do YOU have to look forward to when YOU need help? Good luck with this, you are going to need it
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