I have huge amounts of resentment towards my 82 year old mother-in-law for not only being an overbearing mother to her son (who is also caregiver), but for continuing to compete with me and interfere with our life. Her dementia has caused her to be even MORE difficult to deal with. Her constant grumpiness, her constant demands and her unhappiness has BROKEN my husband. I feel resentment towards her because she's put our life on hold and we didn't even ask to be her caregiver. 

We know it's not her fault for ending up with dementia. But we've had resentment way before she was diagnosed with this, but now it feels even worse.

We also feel huge amounts of resentment towards my sister-in-law for basically dumping her on us because she ended up not wanting anything to do with her own mother over money. So that left us no choice at the time (10 years ago when she wasn't sick)

Resentment has poisoned our desire to have anything to do with either my husbands mother or his sister.

But there's always that deep down guilt that we don't want to see his mother suffer.

Resentment is really hard to get rid of. We aren't bad people. We are good natured people who would do anything for almost anyone. But what do you do when you just can't do it anymore? When you resent the very person you are taking care of? AND RESENT THEM ***ALOT***

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CP1976- A lot of us feel a lot of resentment, especially those of us who didn't have the best relationship with the elderly person before the caregiving started, or who don't really have a choice about becoming caregivers. One of the problems with caregiving is that it's next to impossible to limit your involvement to an amount that you could offer freely and without resentment. There is always the demand for more, the need for more, and often nobody else to provide it.

My own strategy for containing my resentment towards my mother has been to limit my involvement with her to one or two days a week at most and spend as much time away from her as possible to decompress. Unfortunately that strategy is now failing, as my mother is sick with stage 3 kidney disease and congestive heart failure, and it is likely to be a long-term if not permanent situation. She is seeing tons of specialists and she needs a family member to take her to each appointment and keep track of everything that's going on because she can no longer drive, or get herself in and out of buildings, and she has the focus and attention of a gnat. To make it worse she is imperious and demanding, and her rude behavior drives me crazy. She starts barking orders the moment I walk in the door, and I really want to turn around and leave, but I can't.

All I can say is, don't blame yourself or feel like you ought to be a better person. Nobody should have to give more than they can give freely and with love but that's the situation many of us are in. Also, give yourself plenty of opportunity to vent. Venting helps ease some of the frustration, at least if you're talking to people who understand. Keep posting here. We do understand.
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CP, I know what you mean. My parents were great but when they were in their 90's things changed. My parents refused caregivers, or even to move to Independent Living to be in a safer environment than their large home which had a lot a stairs. It was within their budget.

When my parent had stopped driving, I found myself taking vacation days and sick days from work. Eventually I was taking half days off with zero pay because of the numerous doctor appointments, other appointments, grocery shopping, barbers, etc. My resentment hit when corporate headquarters decided my position was no longer needed. There went my benefits, except for COBRA where I was able to keep my health insurance for 18 months until Medicare kicked in at 65.

Part of this was my fault for not putting up boundaries to all the driving for those 7 years. I started to hate to drive due to numerous panic attacks to which my parents said "But who will drive us?". So I struggled through it. But I didn't know I could do boundaries until I found the Aging Care forums. That one could actually say "no" to one's parents and not feel guilty about it.

And there was resentment because my parents had 25+ years of a fun filled retirement of travel. And they never had to take care of their own parents to know what I was going through being a senior myself. All the stress had dire consequences on my health, I had to throw away my retirement bucket list :(
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This could be my poor hubby. He had a terrible (at the best) relationship with his mother. He just can't stand her. She hates me, has told me to my face, to her friends, everyone knows she cannot abide the sight of me---and now in her late 80's she finds she really needs my hubby's help at times. He will reluctantly go visit her and do whatever she needs, and guilt at having so much anger towards her pushes him to spend $200 on a Mother's Day gift, or birthday. He sees her twice a year if that, and had actually tried to bribe me with money to go with him to see her.
She lives alone, is in good health, takes no medications at all. Her hearing is gone, and her vision is getting bad, but she still drives a little.

She and hubby's dad divorced after 42 years of marriage. Don't blame either of them, they hated each other. Dad has been gone 13 years. MIL is still as bitter about that wreckage of a marriage as she was 70 years ago.
Two sibs, one daughter (angelic perfection) and one older son (MIA, hasn't seen mother in 2-3 years).

My hubby hemmed and hawed ONCE about the possibility of US taking her in if she needed the care. I said, very calmly "Oh, YOU can live with your mother. I'd leave." And I would.

Your MIL needs to leave, and needs to do it yesterday. Yes, I know it sounds cruel of me, but I think I understand the frustration and anger you feel. Hubby is trying to have 2 women in his life. It won't work. I am so immune to the whining and nastiness of my MIL I simply don't rise to it anymore. My hubby wants me to make it right with her--and there is NO WAY to do that. Someone says "I hate you, I have always hated you. I don't need or want you in my life" you kind of GET the message.

How about you have a sit down with hubby, tell him exactly how you feel and then take your packed bag and leave for a little "me-time" at a local hotel. Let him see what living alone with Mom would be like on a FT basis.
Forget trying to get sibling help. My hubby doesn't ever even talk to his brother any more. His sister bears the lion's share of "mom-care" and I hope she inherits everything because she deserves it.

Toughness is going to be a factor in this and I wish you well. I am actually very glad I have no relationship with my MIL at all. As per her choice.
Sounds like even when she was "all there" she wasn't a wonderful person to be with. I'm sorry for your trials--you are NOT alone.
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"A lot of us feel a lot of resentment, especially those of us who didn't have the best relationship with the elderly person before the caregiving started, or who don't really have a choice about becoming caregivers. One of the problems with caregiving is that it's next to impossible to limit your involvement to an amount that you could offer freely and without resentment. There is always the demand for more, the need for more, and often nobody else to provide it. "

So accurate. So alienating.
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What a perfect comment. I have so much resentment towards my mother...and I try not to show it, but most days I have her "care" I go home and cry myself sick. I don't hate her, I just am done with her and her games and dramas. Knowing she's just putting up with me b/c I am there and the beloved kid isn't makes it worse.

She's pretty much run through her allotment of kindness from me. I'm exhausted.

BTW, I would have walked on hot coals for my sweet dad. I was HONORED to care for him. How completely differently I feel about my mother--no wonder 3 of my sibs are completely MIA.
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Just when I thought I only had resentment, but now I have anger. Yesterday my mother-in-law KICKED MY DOG! I'm so distraught! She wasn't having a moment. She's just a miserable person. I can't be entirely sure if I should blame this on dementia, although she's now just entering the middle stages.

My dog did nothing to her. He's a 6lb Maltese that just casually walked up to her in the garden. He didn't even jump on her. She kicked him and he yelped. I saw it for my own eyes, and ran and grabbed him.

My husband is furious with her.

We've been trying to get her into a home, but we need help from his siblings which is practically non existent anyway.

It's just getting worse and worse, and we are on the verge of breaking up.

Hatred is awful, but resentment is way worse. I now feel both :(
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@jeannegibbs any financials are to be dealt with by my SIL since she has POA. She doesn't even deserve POA. We feel she is going to milk her mother dry because for the last 10 years she has been having financial problems, and because her mother didn't help her, she refused to take care of her anymore. This responsibility was inadvertently forced on us because nobody else could do it. My DH sister walked away, and my BIL lives in the States. We were stuck with her, and let me tell you, my MIL is probably one of the most miserable people on the face of this planet. Every second of every day, and I am not coming from a scorned point of view. Its fact.

Nobody will help us. We are sick with resentment and it's ruining our relationship.
Helpful Answer (1)

This is more my observations about resentment than a direct answer to your question, CP1976.

We react to lots of things with anger or sadness or disgust, etc. Resentment seems to be usually associated with lack of control, lack of choices, forced situations. We typically only resent something if we feel it is being forced on us against our will.

I might hate going to the gym. I might also resent going to the gym if I "had" to do it, say as a condition of keeping my insurance. Of course there are almost always choices. I could refuse to go and lose my insurance. But the consequences are so drastic as to seem like no choice at all.

I never resented taking care of my husband or my mother. (Disliked it a lot sometimes, but no resentment.) I recall sitting on my front stoop talking to a neighbor shortly after my husband's dementia dx. She told me how worried she was about me and urged me to consider placing him in a care center. I assured her that I was keeping that option open and told her the three things I was waiting on to make a decision. I called a family meeting and explained to our 5 children that I intended to take care of their dad at home as long as I felt it was best for both of us, but that the time might come when it would be more than I could handle. I never promised my husband that I would never put him in a care center -- I did promise that I'd never abandon him. I think that acknowledgement that there were other options and that I chose freely to do this helped prevent resentment. I could stop this any time it got too much for me.

My mother was a real sweetheart. When she started needing a lot of help I was fully occupied with caring for my husband. I did some things simply because I was nearest. My sisters did the bulk of the care. After my husband died I became more active in her care. I never felt resentful about it. And I didn't resent that my brothers did not participate much in her care. I was free to make my choices, and they were free to make theirs.

(Don't get me wrong. I certainly had unhappy moments in caregiving. Just not resentment.)

You say that SIL became estranged with MIL, "So that left us no choice at the time." And it is that "no choice" that is choking you with resentment now, I would guess. If you and DH had discussed it and decided to take MIL in and review the situation every 6 months, I suspect it still would have been an uncomfortable situation (MIL sounds nasty) but having a sense of control and choices may at least have eliminated the resentment.

I'm curious why you "need help from his siblings" to place MIL in a suitable care home?
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