My mother-in-law has lived with us for four years in a nice suite with a kitchen attached to our house. She sits over there and watches TV literally all day and night. She does little to nothing to help around the house, though she is in good physical shape. She simply has no initiative and never has. Her behavior thus isn't really unexpected, as she has done nothing but sit and watch TV (or do crossword puzzles) for most of her life. My wife has taken care of her mother as though she were her child for the 23 years of our marriage, this despite the fact that her mother has never offered to do anything for her or us. My question is basically this: should I be able to expect my mother-in-law (who has some money through an inheritance, despite never having done any real work in her life) to help to pay for basic living expenses of our home? If we are really low on money and really need an infusion of some money, she usually helps, but only if we ask, which we are, of course, reluctant to do. We don't even get the tax deduction for her as an dependent, because her mother gets too much income from an annuity on the inheritance to qualify and won't adjust her set-up so we can take the deduction. I really feel used and have discussed this with my wife several times, but to no avail. I see my wife as a huge enabler of a very dysfunctional and depressed mother, but it doesn't seem to matter what I think--after all, it's her mother we're talking about! Help!!