i'm torn between duty and resentment. How can I be kind and compassionate?

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Jeanne, gosh, I never thought of the fact that yes, it has been over a third of the length of my marriage, that he has lived with us, and before that, my husband was always a dutiful son to both of his parents, the only one of the 3 of them. The others, crapped on, and crapped out on their parents, and why he feels this need? All very good questions, and ones I will need to ponder on! There were a lot of weird and terrible things going on in my husband's childhood, but I do know that John (my husband), loved his Mom, very much. John's mother had a daughter, before she married my FIL, and they tried to do the whole cover up, and pass her off as his child, even changing the dates of their marriage year, to make her feel included, which I think was done quite frequently back in the 50's, when a woman had a child out of wedlock. But the daughter wasca very hard pill to swallow for my FIL'S parents, back in those day's, as that's not what they wanted for their only Son, and their relationship with my in laws, and his parents was very dysfunctional , so my husband never got to have a relationship with his own Grandparent's. Then John's 1/2 sister found out she wasn't in fact his real daughter when she was about 14, and there were a lot of lies and cover ups done, causing mayhem in his family. I on the other hand, had a very close and loving family, and I think that is a big part in why my husband was drawn to me, that, and he and My Dads love of sports cars, lol! I do Love my husband dearly, and I will go to the ends of the earth to help him through this, whatever may happen, its just now we need to step up and begin getting additional help in the home to care for the Old Man, so we don't implode! It is causing us a lot of turmoil and stress, which neither of us needs. If this were My Dad, it would be so much easier, as John Loved my Dad, and would happily have done anything for him, even the most intimate of tasks. But his relationship with his own Dad, is strange awkward and resentful at best, as far back as he can remember, it keeps coming back to those secrets and lies. For 5-6 years before my MIL passed away, my FIL would always ask that question, "if anything should ever happen to Mother", could he come to live with us, WHY, WHÝ, did he do this to us, why, when he never for even on day, one afternoon, EVER took care of his own parents, WHY did he put this upon us. John and I are a blended family. I brought 2 kids from a previous marriage into our relationship, and so did he, the 4 of our kids were all under age 5 when we met, and we've raised them together. But still it wasn't always easy, blended families never are, so Why would the Old Man want to add that additional pressure to our lives, right when we finally got our last little chickie out of the nest, and began our relationship for the very first time, unencumbered by kids at least. I had just lost my own Mom and Dad, 2 and 14 months before, and only just, had lost John's Mom. I hadn't even had a chance to breathe, let alone grieve their loss. My MIL & FIL, were well set up, in a lovely apartment only five minutes away, but he didn't want to live alone, but yes, I resented him from the start for those very reasons, but it was all happening so fast, and still trying to hold down a job, as my parents medical issues and subsequent deaths, were all encumbering. Had I the chance to have had a moment to really think about it, I'd have done everything differently. He could have moved even closer, into a Senior apartment just around the corner, and then transitioned into higher levels of care from that point, but it all came at me so fast, plus I worked in health care my whole life, I'm a people pleaser, and my husband didn't have the heart to tell him No. So its now come to this, and they (hubby and FIL) both know that changes, they re a coming, but neither of them want to face it, and the ultimate decision, I know, will be put upon me, and I'll be the Bad Guy, and that is the position I'm desperately trying to avoid. So the least I do for FIL, which is very difficult for me to do, the better it is for thrm, to come to the realization, that he needs advanced care. Its now to the point that FIL cannot even walk to the bathroom without calling out for his Son, which is driving John crazy. He had No clue that it would ever get to this point, and I must watch him go through all of this frustration, to lead him to the right answers. How sad is that. Because no matter how many times I say it, the Dutiful Son in him won't give in, that PROMISE, Haunts him! And I don't know whý! There really is no respect, no affection, not even any real Love that I have ever seen, only a sense of duty. I don't know what to do anymore. This has been a real eye opener of a week, and I don't see it improving, things are going to start changing, but unless I want to be blamed, its going to have to come from them.
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Love it, yoga!
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I had a dream that I got kidnapped.
I refused to give the kidnappers my families contact information
because I didn't want the ransom paid and have to return home
to take care of my parents.
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Staceyb, it seems like you have had your FIL live with you a good, long time -- more than a third of your marriage, right?

Have you fulfilled your promise? Have you done everything in your power to keep him home with you? Are you perhaps beyond your capabilities to continue?

Please read this AgingCare article about promises:
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/I-promised-my-parents-I-d-never-put-them-in-a-nursing-home-133904.htm

I never promised my husband I would keep him home with me. Instead I promised "I will always see that you get the care you need at the best level possible. I hope that will always be in our home. But if you ever need more care than that I promise I will find a good place for you, and be your advocate, and be with you often. I promise I will never, ever abandon you." As it turned out, I was able to keep him at home. Did I have days when I resented this situation? Certainly! But overall I was extremely resentful he got his disease but grateful I could go through it with him.

Stacy, this is not your husband you are caring for. It is not even your father. I can imagine you have high levels of resentment, often! But you are doing this not really for FIL but for your husband. Does the love of your husband help you past the resentment at all? Why is your husband doing this? Is it out of love, or fear of guilt, or in hopes of earning love denied earlier? I would think that your husband's motive would make a difference in your attitude, too.

I can't remember -- do you have help coming in, to relieve you of some chores? That might be a good transition measure until your husband is "ready" to move on.
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Jeannegibbs makes some good points. I might consider my options and see what other care that might be available.Is there any reason that you can't arrange for other care, so you can reserve your energy? Can you get some help?

I look forward to seeing my loved one who is in Memory Care. I get exited to see her, shop for her, take her treats, etc. I don't think it would be that way if I were exhausted, overly stressed or resentful. I get to give her my best.

I know that I would not want my children to have to work so hard to care for me that their life is disrupted or they feel resentful. They can help some or make arrangements for my care, if I am not able, but becoming a slave to care for me at home isn't something I would ever expect or want them to do.

I think it's just as important to be kind and compassionate to yourself as it is to others.
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OMG, Jessie, Jeannie, this too, is exactly what I am struggling with! I am feeling so overwhelmed with my caregiving duties for my FIL, that I am so Resentful of him, and its a daily struggle to even feel kind or caring. I'm obviously burnt out, and if it were only my decision, he would be moving into a nursing home, but its not my Dad, and my husband isn't ready to make this decision yet, close, but not yet. It just feels like he is getting weaker and weaker, and more and more reliant on my husband and I, and I see him literally shrinking away, possibly closer to death, and we PROMISED him, we would do everything in our power to keep him home with us, and that guilt weighs heavy on your heart, and conscious. I just don't know any more!
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Debra, before you drug up (which might not be a bad idea) try to figure out which is stronger, the duty or the resentment. Does love factor in here at all? Or is the "duty" about avoiding guilt?

I doubt there is a caregiver around who doesn't sometimes experience some resentment. And all of us have bad days. But if the resentment is overwhelming much of the time, and preventing you from being kind and compassionate, maybe you need to take a hard look at the decision to be a caregiver.

You can ensure that your mother is safe and clean and fed and cared for without personally doing the hands-on caregiving. You can satisfy the "duty" to your mother without the time and emotional commitment of direct caregiving.

With some exceptions, I think we do have a duty to our parents. But if it is only a sense of duty that is driving us, then it is best to limit our direct involvement to seeing that our parent has good care but not providing it ourselves. Caregiving with resentment is probably worse than not directly caregiving at all.

Would you like to provide a little more detail about your situation? Perhaps we could offer more specific comments.
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Debra, you're facing what many of us face. We want to be kind, loving, and helpful. When the demands on our time are so great, though, we start being resentful. This is particularly so when we are the only one helping. Pretty soon we are living life for two people, ignoring our own needs more and more. The only answer, really, is to start putting more focus on ourselves. We need to give ourselves breaks and outlets. This is easier said than done. Maybe the answer is if they are requiring too much from us, we need to hire outside help. What is too much can differ from one person to another. We each have to decide our own limits. That is a good place for each caregiver to start -- figuring out what they are willing to do and at what point help will have to be called in.
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Cymbalta. Once a day. 20mg to start.
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