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My mother-in-law moved in with us, but continues to financially support my brother-in-law. My mother-in-law (MIL) is 83. 5 weeks ago she moved in with me and my husband. We still have one son (who works) living at home. We both feel guilty for resenting the loss of our privacy and previous family dynamics. The main reason we are so resentful is because she has been financially supporting my 52 year old brother-in-law for 20+ years. He refuses to work and is unreasonable, stubborn, uncaring, and seems to feel entitled. He has leeched off of family members all of his life. My BIL had been living in his father's house until it was repossessed and sold at auction and he was forced to leave two months ago. His father had taken out a second mortgage on his home a few years before being placed into a nursing home, so he still owed tens of thousands on it. BIL continued to live in the house, and my MIL lived with a friend, but paid for all of his expenses: cigarettes, beer, food, phone, electricity, cable, and computer, etc. The water pipe had burst one winter, and understandably, my husband refused to fix it. So, my MIL would deliver water to him and drive him places. My MIL allowed my BIL to talk her into buying a brand new Toyota 3 years ago. She had a perfectly good car, which was paid for. I know this is a terrible co-dependent relationship. My husband and I know that if she would let him do for himself (which he is fully capable of), she would have enough income to live in an assisted living community. But, alas, she refuses to stop coddling him. The original plan MIL and BIL had was to find a place and live together. They found a house to rent. My husband and his two sisters would have nothing to do with their brother or help their mom move in with him. I ended up helping. On the day I loaded and unloaded all of the boxes, he BIL didn't lift a finger to help me. Then he locked us (me and MIL) out of the house. He told her she didn't need a key to the house.) It was 100 degrees, so we drove back to my house. An hour or so later, we went back and he was outside mowing the lawn. The house was still locked, so we sat on the porch a few minutes. He ran out of gas. He asked for her keys and didn't open up the house for us. He said he would be right back. We sat in my car with the air on and he did return. She told him (after I told her to) open the door to the house so I could load the boxes in. When I finished, I left without a word. I was beyond livid. This was a Thursday. On Sunday after church, my husband's uncle told me that BIL dropped off my MIL at his house Saturday and did not return for her. He didn't answer his phone, so she had to spend the night with my uncle. I drover her home from church and dropped her off at the rental house. Her car was there. He let her in. The following Tuesday, I get a call at work from my sister-in-law telling me that BIL just dropped MIL out at the front of her house and drove off. Luckily, her husband was home and she was able to come in out of the heat. We wanted to call the police and report the car stolen, but MIL would not support that. She spent the night with my sister-in-law. The next day, me, my SIL and her husband went out to the house and BIL was still gone with her car. We were able to get in and we cleaned out all of her belongings and brought them to our house. She is afraid of my BIL now, because the day he dropped her off, he couldn't find the car keys and accused her of hiding them. He screamed at her. Later, he found them. She has not returned to the rental house, seen, or spoken to my BIL since, but she is still paying the bills. UGH!!!!! We are so frustrated!! My husband did step in the day after her first night with us. He and I went over to get her car from him. Surprisingly, he answered the door, gave my husband the keys, and removed his junk from her car. I was very thankful that nothing bad happened. So now, she is happy as a lark and we are hiding our resentment. I love her and want her to be happy and safe. We've worked hard to clean out the closets in the spare bedroom to accommodate her. We don't want to hurt her feelings or make her feel unwelcome, however, I feel we are being taken advantage of. I have spoken to her about end-of-life planning and she has given me all of her burial insurance papers and other information. My own father planned ahead and put himself and his wife in an assisted living facility a few years before he passed away. I've never had to deal with this kind of situation. I go from resentful to guilty and back. I feel as though my home is not my own anymore. I have been staying late at work, because I know when I get home, she will be in my recliner watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy - every single night. Perhaps we are over accommodating for her. But I feel selfish not to be. I think I'm a little more bothered about this than my husband. I need someone to talk to and some coping strategies, PLEASE!!!!! Thank you for this website.

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Re-reading your post, i notice that your husband and his sister tried to set some boundaries a while back and it seems as through by helping out during the move, you may have further enabled the dysfunction.

You may have some back- peddling to do.
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In the upper left hand corner of this forum are three horizontal lines. Click on them and the search function will drop down. Type in "marriage" and start reading. If you are not coping now after only five weeks things will only get worse unless you start taking control of your home, your marriage, and your life.

Do you want your MIL living with you permanently? Does your husband? If the answer is yes, then your husband needs to get durable power of attorney for his mother ASAP. If the answer is no, then your husband needs make it clear to his mom that living in your home is temporary.

Many old people have huge homes but empty nests. Many are choosing to rent out rooms and share communal living spaces. It's like real life Golden Girls. Old people need to socialize with other old people. They need to be around their peers...just like you and your husband do.

You or your husband can help your MIL by making a budget for her. She needs to see the numbers in black and white on paper. Be clear that she needs to pay for things like room and board regardless of where she's living. If there is no money left after all her living expenses are accounted for, there is no money for BIL.

Your husband is the one who needs to start managing his mother and her expectations. If she expects to live with you while supporting BIL, that's either acceptable to you and your husband or it's not. If you say nothing you are giving her tacit approval to treat you like doormats and your resentment will build regardless of how much you love your MIL.

That your MIL has a penchant for dysfunctional relationships is clear given the situation with BIL but it's not your problem unless you make it your problem. All the stuff about BIL - the lawnmower, the keys - is completely irrelevant. This is about you, your husband, and where your MIL is going to live.

Personally I believe that marriage and caregiving for an elder in my home do not mix. Not everyone is cutout to be a caregiver especially not an in-home one, and there's nothing wrong with you if you feel the same.
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5 weks? It's time for an evening out for you and husband. " so, what is the plan for your mom? Where is she going to be living?"
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You're right about your MIL and your BIL. It's a co-dependent relationship that was probably years if not decades in the making. You won't be able to break it until your MIL gets to the point where she can't manage her own finances and a POA will have to take over. Until then resign yourself to the fact that she will continue to financially support him and don't waste your breath or your energy trying to get her to see reason.

Your MIL should be contributing to your household financially. That's a talk for your husband to have with her.

Maybe your husband doesn't seem as bothered because it's his mother. Regardless, have you talked to your husband about how you feel? Does he know that you stay late at work because you just don't want to come home? Having an extra person in the house is a whole new ballgame. The dynamics of the house change, routines are upset. It's difficult to get used to. It sounds like some boundaries need to be created. I would be upset too if someone plopped themselves down in my chair and watched my TV day after day!
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OH MY!! Time for a family council. Adults don't live in other adult's homes without contributing. Not your BIL nor your MIL. It's time for you to be honest with your husband so the two of you can come up with a plan. Who has Power of attorney for when the time comes that MIL will need help with financial issues? Ditto on Health care issues. And is there a current Will? Who are the beneficiaries? I don't have to tell you that what you have described is Elder abuse and should not be allowed to continue.

Can your husband take his Mom to a competent elder attorney to draw up the proper paperwork? Then she has to remove financial support from BIL, but it doesn't sound like that will happen. Look into senior housing for her. I don't kow what the state of her health is, but my MIL in AL is 99 years old. In that scenario, you will have your MIL for 16 more years and you are frustrated (understandably) after 5 weeks. Be honest with your husband and he and his sibs have to protect his Mom.
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Sorry, I tried to wade through all of that several times but I just keep getting muddled. I get the essential points that BIL is a troubled loser and MIL is living with you. Can you break down the rest for me?
Who owns the house BIL is inhabiting?
Regardless, first step is MIL needs to find her own apartment and move there, if she has to pay her own bills she won't have anything left over to waste on BIL. (Take him out of the equation as much as possible, he is definitely not your problem) Make sure it is in a seniors residence where he will be unable to move in too. Try to stay out of the middle of this dysfunction as much as possible... once she is out of you home you can decide how to go about planning for the long term with POAs etc and just how involved in her life you need to be.
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