My mother in law lived with my husband and I for 2 years. That was 2 years ago. I wasn’t able to handle all the unforeseen changes that came into my life with living with her. I’m 47 my husband is 62 and my MIL will soon be 86. He is the only living child now.
She lives alone in a condo 45 minutes from us. Looking back we had her live with us way too soon thinking it was best for her and easier for my husband who still works full time to have her with us.
She doesn’t drive and is hard of hearing. Otherwise she’s in fair to good health and has her mind still. She spends almost all of her time completely alone. She now says she wished she was living with us. Initially she hated it and constantly said she wanted to return to her condo until we actually had her move back into it.
She’s manipulative and demanding and it nearly broke up our marriage. My husband is not in great health and it’s only getting worse. It is very hard on him to work full time all week then care for her on weekends with grocery shopping and picking up scripts etc.. yet he feels extremely guilty that he doesn’t spend more time with her. He had a great many issues with her while living with us as well.
We’re both nurses and he is adamantly against her ever going to any kind of a facility. The thought of it brings him to tears. The thought of her having to live with me again brings me to tears.
I don’t know that my marriage will survive it again. I have a lot of resentment towards her for many reasons. Mostly that she is so selfish and demanding.
I don’t want to have her living alone if she is she is unsafe either. I also feel guilty for my husband having to care for her over a distance but he completely agreed that it was best for us all.
When is it no longer ok for her to live alone? She refuses to go to groups for elderly people or ride a bus. We didn’t entertain her when she lived with us either. That was another issue, her constant need for interaction when we are simply too tired after working all day and want time to ourselves when we’re not working which is not often.
He will probably retire when she moves back in and I’ll be the only one still working due to my age and our finances. Physically he won’t be able to care for her once she needs physical assistance of which he’s in denial about.
She’s had 3 hospitalizations in 5 years with altered mental status and she’s insulin dependent diabetic with hypertension.
This weighs on me constantly. I feel responsible but so angry. I’m accepting of my feelings about my situation but I’m not so horrible a human that I don’t still care how this is effecting the two of them.
How would we change the dynamic of the living situation to make it better for each of us? I need house rules and boundaries but the mention of anything like this upsets her greatly. She’s a nice Christian lady who tells you about how she looks at the world constantly. It drives me nuts!
Sorry for ramble but it’s a complex problem.
Any advice or insights are welcome!