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Hey everyone, just joined. First some background. Me and my fiancé (both 20) have been together for 3 years and have a beautiful 2 year old stroke survivor daughter. At the moment we live with her dad. I recently lost my job over attendance for having to take my daughter to the hospital and shortly thereafter wrecked my car.

To start, I get it; father in laws typically don't like son in laws. But it's getting a little out of hand. At one point we had lived in our own place but lost everything when my daughter had the stroke forcing us to move in with him. He's 50ish years old, divorced and doesn't work, lays in his recliner or in his room and either complains or literally sobs throughout the day and gets as much government assistance as possible. He's prescribed to pain killers but often lies to doctors to get more than he needs. To make things worse he won't get help even though we've tried making him many times. His 83 year old mother gets his mail, groceries, medicine and often financially assists him although she's in way worse shape than he is. Now, I've sat back and watched quietly and have seen him climb ladders, climb over baby gates, drive, anything a normal person can do just fine; BUT when he notices people are watching he pretends any small task kills him. Even when we were in our own place we had to come over or leave work 3-4 times a week because he would call because he fell, or felt depressed. If we weren't here, we went to the hospital because he'd make a huge deal like he was dying; when really he was just trying to get more medicine. So it was almost pointless to me to live in our own place anyway since he needed so much help (which at the time I believed). If his mom isn't tending to him he makes my fiancé do it. For instance he once woke up at 3am, walked to the kitchen, back to his room, then came and woke my fiancé up because he needed a blanket and a Sprite; both of which were on his way to and from the kitchen.

On top of this, he constantly downs my fiancé and I about everything. The fact I don't have a job, I don't have a car (although my fiancé does, which I bought her so we share) and criticizes our parenting. He's started verbal conflicts with both of us and at one point told my fiancé she just needed to leave me and draw child support. Me and my fiancé are very happy together, we love each other and we love being parents and I'm doing my best to get back to work while working around her work schedule and my daughters daycare. But all he seems to do is try to get her to leave me which kind of hurts because it was mostly my idea to help take care of him.

As I said, I love my fiancé and I love being a dad; but I don't know what to do or where to turn. Living with my parents is not an option because their house is not suited for a 2 year old and my 2 younger brothers (14 and 15) live there. I don't want to leave my fiancé at all but it's starting to seem like he only way out.

A little off topic but possibly the root of his dislike. Our families are polar opposite; my family is well but not rich, about as conservative as it gets, independent and we have a very strong relationship. Her family is very wealthy but distant from each other. Her dad lives entirely off government assistance and his attitude has caused my sister in law and her husband to stop coming around and my brother in law and his family to completely stop contacting him. Again I just don't know what else to do. Help?

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There are so many terrific answers here from this wonderful group. Your little family comes first. I know what it's like to have a child who constantly needs to be checked on and go to doctors, etc. and it is hard on jobs. Truly, I've been there.

I hope that your new employer offers some flexibility for that. As far as your FIL goes, he obviously has some problems, but some may be caused by too many meds or the wrong ones. In my state it's very hard to get on disability and you need many doctor's reports and a long history of illness to do so. It sounds like your state is one where things are different. Maybe your FIL has emotional or mental illnesses that make him act the way he does or maybe he is just not a nice person. Whatever it is, you and your girlfriend can't take responsibility for him. You've read it here before, but we can all only do so much.

I hope that your new job works out, you and your family can get an apartment, and get on with things. Tell you FIL that you can call social services to have them arrange for someone to provide help for him. If he's on disability he should be able to get such services.

You are not being selfish to want to take care of your daughter and stay with your daughter's mother.

You have a lot of tough things to handle. Please check back when you can. Meanwhile, we're with you in spirit.
Carol
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Michael,

You are very young to be handling something like this. Your heart is huge but you are lacking in some of the toughening experiences that the rest of us here have had. You need to employ some tough love right now.

You wrote: but I'm afraid the same thing will happen where I'm never home because we have to constantly leave work and home to check on him.

Everyone on this site will tell you the same thing: stop checking on him!!!!!!! He has you in a half-Nelson. He complains, you try to help, he criticizes you. He will NEVER STOP, NEVER BECOME POSITIVE OR GRATEFUL. He is a self-pitying, drug-addicted loser. It is done. It is what it is. The only way to handle people like that is to detach with love. Tell him that you and your fiancee will come by once a week to bring groceries or whatever. AND THAT IS IT. NO MORE.

You have a small child who needs you, your time, your best thinking. Focus on your child and your fiancee, and, of course, your new job. A PERSON YOUR AGE SHOULD NOT/CANNOT FOCUS ON MORE THAN THAT.

Get the job and get out. Good luck and stay in touch. Let us know how it is going.
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Get a job. Get an apartment. MOVE. And PLEASE don't "yes, but". Take advantage of any government assistance your child is entitled to and start building a life for your family. That's what a real man does.
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Michael, I first want to welcome you and think it wise and commendable that you reached out for help and advice. Most people your age don't want advice so I applaud you. That being said, you may get some tough advice here, but if you use it your life will get so much better. Your FIL to be is addicted to pain meds, I see the pattern in your story. Trying to get extra meds, just sitting in chair for hours no doubt enjoying the high from pain meds, using others to get what he wants, it all fits. His daughter and you are enabling him to remain this way. You both need to get out. You need to care for the family the two of you have created. From what you wrote it sounds like dad can manage on his own just doesnt want to. Go make a nice life for your family, stop feeding his illness, the two of you are a hugh part of his problem so that is the part of the problem you can control. I hope your girl friend can see that you both need to step back, focus on that baby and your own family. Keep in touch let us know how you are doing.
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First of all, one person cannot change another unless that person WANTS to be changed. Secondly, it sounds like your pretend father-in-law has clinical depression and perhaps has a mental illness, the reason for his disability. Not all people who "can do things" are capable of working in a work environment. The best you can do is improve your situation by going to school, getting a job, or moving out. The second best thing is to give your child your last name (as in marry this girl). You have absolutely NO say in her father's behaviors because you are not legally married to her. What does that say about you? Take responsibility for yourself, your daughter and leave others to do what they are going to do. You can only change YOU. Welcome to this website.
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Try looking for a job in another city. Get away from this guy. Get your finance out of his life -- its probably causing her as much or more stress than its causing you, its her father after all and she probably feels guilt about him, about you, about your child. You both need to get out, get away and leave him to his own devices. How is he getting government aid if he's "well off"? My mother is in actual financial distress and makes about $200 a year too much to get ANY aid. This guy is abusing the system, abusing you, abusing your finance, abusing his mother -- and his wife left. She had the best idea -- follow her lead and LEAVE.
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I'm interested by what you consider to be the root of your FIL-to-be's dislike. You don't think it might have anything to do with his seventeen year old daughter getting pregnant out of wedlock, then?

But never mind that: top marks to you for being still there. Could you say a little more about your fiancée's take on all this, please?
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No you don't have to leave work or home to constantly check on him. Tell him to call 911. If he is so dependent that he needs someone to get him a blanket and a Sprite, then he needs a nursing home. Tell him that and wait for his reaction. Let him know you are no longer waiting on him hand and foot. He is calling your bluff time and time again and you two are falling for it. STOP it right now. No "Yes, but" is allowed. Maggie already told you that. I've said it before and I'll say it again. We can give you the best advice in the world, but if you don't take it, what's the use? You can do this.
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You go Nancy 50131! Great feedback. I love that spirit.
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I'm probably "old school" thinking here and will probably come out as being pretty insensitive but maybe you need to try and see it a little from the FIL perspective....
1) You got his daughter pregnant at 17 and still are not married.
2) You are now living in his house with no job or car making him the primary supporter of "your" family.
3) You don't mention anything about what contributions you make to HIS household (chores, errands, shopping, bills etc) so I'm not sure if there are any.
4) You write "We've tried getting an apartment but for whatever reason can never get approved". I'm sorry but this statement in itself seems to lack some facts. I highly doubt these people would not be willing to share the reasons for your denial. I mean....don't they want you to meet their requirements so they can have receive rent on an empty apartment??
I don't know the FIL story any more than yours but in the interest of helping I would simply suggest you try to look out his window if you have a sincere desire to resolving any conflict. Have you ever even looked for a good opportunity to have a man-to-man talk that allows an honest and open conversation?
I would suggest you start the dialog with how much you really appreciate him taking you in and everything he has done before pointing out what you don't like. Be prepared to accept he does not owe you anything in return and you may be surprised at where that takes you.
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