HI everyone,

I have really appreciated the support I have received here. Your opinions and suggestions have been very helpful.

Here is my question...

My wife and I have had several disagreements, but we have made some headway in handling our situation: FIL lives with us. MIL died in our home last February. We have 3 young children: 7, 10, 12.

We are at a point now where we no longer argue, we just don't talk about it. She stated in our last argument that she wants to take care of him and that she wants my support. I have no desire to do this regardless of how much I love my wife. The kids and I end up being on the receiving end of the stress he causes, but she won't confront him at all.

How can I manage this situation and keep my family intact? She won't go to counseling, won't acknowledge the dysfunction, and enables every negative behavior. She wants to take care of him and I don' all.


This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
You can set boundries with Dad. You can sit him down and tell him that you are not happy about what is going on in YOUR home. Then tell him how you feel. And, he should be contributing to the household. It may have an effect, it may not. But u said what you needed to and then just leave it. You may just have to close his bedroom door like you would a teenager. I nor my kids would clean up after him. He is a big boy. If wife wants to coddle him, let her. But she is just enabling him.

It may be she takes care of Dad and you take care of the kids. Its on her that she is missing out on the most important time of their lives. They will be grown and out of the house before you know it. Please, don't leave the kids in this situation. And do not allow FIL to abuse them in anyway. Verbally or physically. Like putting them down or figuring he can hit them because they don't do something he wants. They, on the other hand, should be told to respect him to the point that they don't mouth back. Just walk away. Really, this could be a learning experience.

I think talking to a professional maybe a good idea. Even the kids.

Agreeing not to agree is ok for now. Maybe as time goes on, she will see him for what he is and get tired of waiting on him. Do what you need to do to get your PHD. Find a job and then make decisions for you and your children. Seems like for now Dad is a priority and he is going to milk it.

My Dad was waited on hand and foot by my Mom. He was the bread winner and his home was his castle. I loved him, but he would never have lived with me. And, my DH would have been against it. Like ur FIL, he was a slob. I would not have waited on him hand and foot. My MIL questioned me one time about something I didn't do for my DH. I told her he was a big boy.
Helpful Answer (1)

What has your FIL been diagnosed with? Since you describe dealing with him as challenging and the fact that your wife won't confront him, I wonder if there is something problematic about his behavior. Sometimes, understanding why a person behaves a certain way helps us in processing the reasons behind it. It may be still be difficult to tolerate, but if you and your wife are fully informed of his condition and prognosis, perhaps, it would open up dialogue about plans for his continued care.

If the situation is truly unhealthy for the children, I'd consult with an attorney about options. The children's welfare comes first. I wonder if your wife realizes this.

I hope you can come to an understanding that preserves the family.
Helpful Answer (2)

Jstatus, you can't change your wife's behavior or her belief system. I suspect she doesnt have the concept of "setting boundaries" in her vocabulary. Not all cultures support this concept.

If YOU go to counseling, you will get stronger and be able to make whatever difficult decision you need to.
Helpful Answer (3)

Since your wife refuses to go to counseling, you go. By yourself.

It can only help.
Helpful Answer (4)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter