This weekend i got the surprise of my life. MY FIL and MIL were here for a short visit - they live 1000 miles away. My husband has always had a stressful relationship with them - no matter that we are in our 50's - they come, feel like they can criticize all that we do, that we don't know anything - expect us to change when we eat, what we eat, wait on them hand and foot - completely take over. We have full time professional careers that they criticize, opinions that they criticize, parenting skill that they criticize. We have set boundaries but they still try to get us to knuckle under each and every visit "We are your parents, you should......" I am usually wild by the time they leave after 48 hours.
ANYWAY - the last day of their visit over lunch - before DH took them to the airport - they mentioned that they want us to consider buying a larger house (with their financial help) and that we move in together. They want to see more of our son as they age and then as they age, we can help them.
I was stunned. DH said "we'd think about it" and then we got into a huge fight when he came back from the airport. He has absolutely no experience with caregiving. when my dad was at home and i did respite care - my DH was not there. Not to see the decline, the combativeness, the incontinence, the meals thrown on the floor - the constant doctor appointments for hours at a time, the constant getting up a night. The stress and exhaustion that you all know so well. I was wrung out after just a weekend - imagine my step mom who did this for five years!
I feel they should buy into a continuing care community - where they start out with independent living, gradually add services for assisted living, then finally skilled nursing and memory care. They won't consider this because they expect their children to care for them (even though FIL's own mom went into a continuing care facility).
My DH is in his own fantasy world - picturing the Walton's existence, three generations around the dinner table enjoying each other & him finally having the good relationship with them that he never has. In reality - they complain about what we cook and use the dinner table to criticize what we do, how we live, how we raise our son, our opinions, etc. I can't believe he is seriously wanting us to do this.
We can't get along now with them. What about as they age and need more hands on help? it will be ME they expect to drop my job to take them on round after round of doctor appointments, clean for them, cook for them, etc. because i am a woman. My DH disappears when they get on his nerves and i have to deal with them.
Yet - we have fought about this several times since Sunday. He feels I'm "abandoning" his parents by not wanting to consider living with them. He won't look at this website to gain experience, or talk to co-workers going through this, or counseling about this, or listen to my step mom's experience with my dad.
I am going to see a counselor on my own. I have told DH that this is a deal breaker - i WILL NOT live with them. Have any of you dealt with a spouse with his head in the clouds? How do i get him to at least start asking about the experience of others? He wants me to try. My counter point is that this is awfully expensive and disruptive to "try" as we will never be able to unwind this fiasco - so research now. We are at an impasse. Thank you!