How do I get my husband to see our marriage is suffering from his fierce sense of obligation to his Mother?

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My mil is alone for the first time in her life ( FIL passes away in December ) she calls my husband ( her son) for every little thing. Finances, real estate , moving, dr appointments, any bills, house repairs,now she needed medication administered iv, and he's having to do that because she doesn't want to pay for it. He's always over her house. I love her and care about her, but I'm getting so resentful . We have three kids, and I've become a single parent. He has two brothers who are happy to sit back and let my husband do everything; and he will because he feels like it's his job. She is getting more and more helpless, because she loves his attention and company . HELP!!

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Thank you everyone. I can see if I kept going in the direction I was; it was forcing him to make a choice " her or me" and I don't want to be that person, nor was that what I wanted. All your feedback has helped me see how hard this is for him, how hard it still is for her, and I'm putting back on my " big girl panties" and will approach this more as a team; rather than becoming a wedge. I do still think he's got to take a step back now and then before he commits ( example: becoming an IV nurse) and consider the impact his helping her may have on his other responsibilities, and to start drawing on his brothers help and have her pay for things too.
Thanks everyone !!!! 😄
Cmomthree, maybe it's not so bad. Your MIL lost her husband 7 months ago and is probably feeling a bit lost. She is going to a senior living center soon, so there shouldn't be so much for your DH to have to do. Hang in there. You have a good man. I would say get in his corner to get these things done while your MIL is moving. The first year after a spouse's death is the hardest and she is probably leaning a bit heavily on her attentive son right now. Maybe you or one or more of the kids can go with him when he does thing for his mother, so it becomes a family thing. What I see now is two separate houses that he is being pulled between. As a caregiver myself, I feel sympathy with him. If you love the man, get behind him and work it out together. I love it when I see married people who have each other's backs, instead of only their own personal interests. How old are your children? Be sure they have their Dad-time, too. (Poor hubby. I know he's tired.)

Can you 'turn the tables' on her?? Find a ladies activity and get your sisters-in-law to attend with you and your MIL. That will give her attention, an opportunity to see that you all care and a diversion from her grief. It might be a church activity or musical program -- anything really to get her out of the house. This will leave your husband to be the 'single parent' and you may find out more about what is happening with her. There are support groups all over the place for the newly widowed. If you meet any of her friends, suggest kindly that MIL needs to get out and about. (I can be ruthless with such things!). She needs to slowly reinsert herself into society. If you are still handling kids at home, MIL must be fairly young. Too young to only be exposed to her sons. BUT this is a slow process. Good luck.
Just a minute.

What medication is she having intravenously and what qualifies your husband to do that competently?
You don't sound terrible at all; but you do sound like your marriage is in a spot of bother. Somehow you need to tap your husband on the shoulder and say "oi, Mr Busy-Busy. What about me and your kids?" Incredibly hard to do that without fear of nagging, whining or being a drag, I know, but it's not an unreasonable point for you to make to him as forcefully as you can manage - he is the father in this household, so where is he?

The variety of things he busies himself with that you describe have one thing in common: they make him popular. What a great guy, they all say. That's a nice feeling for a chap to have in return for whatever he is doing for people; so one stratagem that you could try would be giving him small specific things to do and then laying the praise on with a trowel - just so he gets that warm fluffy glow at home, too. if he feels appreciated to start with, he might be more receptive to your explaining that you would like a bit more of him to appreciate. Then you can gradually start introducing positive alternatives for his mother from there.

All easier said than done, I know. But you'll feel better about the whole thing once you're working to a plan... (heh-heh-heh!).
Just re read one of your posts. Mom is going to a senior living center in a few weeks. It seems like this would help to alleviate the situation wouldn't it?
It appears that you recognize that your real problem is with your husband, not your MIL. Yep, that's definitely the truth.

Ask him to limit his time to two days/evenings a week. And rather than be at his mom's beck and call, he will plan his time with her. Her heart is broken. His is conflicted with guilt. He's the ham in the sandwich right now between you and mom.

Keep in mind that the compassion he shows with her is the same he has for you. And that's a good thing.
You really should be helping out MIL by shopping for really nice clothes for her new life, even if it takes you days, weeks, and lots of money, but I would not know if you like to shop that much.
BE SURE to send her grandkids over to her house with your husband while you shop, they may really cheer her up!
Then, there is the IV medication. Find a nurse to visit her, not the duty of a son.
Please, don't forget the compassion.
Cmom, I'm a 60 year old married man and have the sole responsibility for my elderly parents. I can see both sides of this. Husband is a git er done guy, me too, and jumps right on every little thing. For lots of men, that's our nature. It's how we make up for our sins and deficiencies. My wife gets frustrated with me, not so much for dealing with my parents issues, but the whole " We never spend time together, youre always so busy...." I always just love that conversation.

But we manage to balance things. It's not good for me to always be totally absorbed in my parents care or projects I have going. Ya gotta come up for air once in a while.

Our caregiving situations are different. Mom and Dad both living but 600 miles away. They are in their home but it's getting dicey. I will never move in with them nor will they move in with us. I Have to spend periods of time with them taking care of things and this will continue, but I'm not going to sacrifice my life and marriage to caregiving. They will go into care when the time comes.

Having said all that, I really am inclined to side with you in this situation. Hubby needs to be able to balance his life and time for all those that need him, not just Mom. I would not want you to risk your marriage, but I think you need to confront this and stand tough. Don't make it a me or her choice. It's an all of us choice: you, Mom, kids the whole family. Of course this is very easy for me to say. I assume it won't be easy, but don't let this build up till you explode and say or do something you'll regret. If he values the marriage and your relationship he will talk about the issues and adjust. If he refuses, he's got Mom. He can Clean out the spare room at moms and move in.
Imo, wives can rarely "get husband to see". I learned some tactics in counseling long ago. Change things up, a babysitter is less expensive than a caregiver, so hire one on the homefront. Go shopping, this time for yourself. When husband expects you on his return, you are not there, or you are late! You come back happy! Next time, (after the babysitter has called you that he is home), you call him and invite him to meet you, for a snack, drink, movie? (the babysitter is pre-paid). When he meets you, you are really dressed up, and happy! He starts to
1) notice your absence 2) notice how nice you look, 3) wondering, he becomes glad you still want to have fun with him. He sees on his own.
Except for the extreme circumstances, you are not experiencing anything that most marriages don't go through. It is a lot of work.
When you do get his attention, be sure you will want what you asked for.

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