I have been married for 30 years. For the last 5 years my husband has been taking care of his parents who live close by. His mother passed away about 3 years ago. This time had been very stressful on our marriage due to the amount of time my husband spends with his parents. For 2 years we never went away. I was feeling neglected in our marriage. I was thinking things would change after my mother-in-laws passing. Now my husband's father is suffering dementia and other poor health issues. Although there has been live-in help at the house, often 2 caregivers at once, my husband still spends a lot of time at his father's house. He visits him DAILY staying for hours each visit. I wait for him to come home. I have dinner ready, we eat, watch tv and then bed. Go to work the next day and the same routine every weekday. He often works on the weekend and spends time with his father. In defiance I sparingly go and visit my father-in-law myself. There is also other family members around. His father is not short of visitors. When I have my own family events, my husband complains and often says alienating things to my family which is embarrassing. I think we are now starting year 6 of this eldercare odyessy. Believe me, my time is coming with my parents, as they are in their 80's and live close by. Who knows what their care is going to be. We are lucky that my father-in-law has the means for paid caregivers. I know we are luckier than most.

Because of my feelings of not being a priority in my husband's life our relationship is on a precipice. I have suggested counseling but he wants nothing to do with it. We are always angry at each other, and rarely do anything spontaneous. I'm feeling that his Dad gets the best of him and I get what is left over, which is a husband who is tired and stuck in a routine. In 30 years of marriage we've had disputes but the most recent was one that I'm not sure I can forgive. I've pretty much shutdown after this last fight and feel that nothing is going to change. He thinks I'm making too big of an issue about my feelings and thinks the status quo is fine. Is your marriage suppose to take 2nd place to eldercare? Am I being selfish and should just grin and bare these eldercare years? I'm tired of crying in the shower. Any advice.

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Well, I have strong feelings about this, me, I believe that a spouse and minor children should come first.

I feel that he is taking advantage of you and has misplaced priorities, and I agree he will not change.

I cannot tell you what to do, however, if you are miserable it may be time to make a change, you can always move out and not divorce, or just divorce and go about the business of recovering your life...for you.

Sending support your way!
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to DollyMe

I agree with DollyMe...........spouse & children should come first in a marriage. That is often not the case, however, and so, marriages suffer.

What makes DH want to spend hours at his dad's house? For me, spending an hour at my mother's place in Memory Care is about all I can handle, truthfully. It just strikes me odd that he'd be SO interested in spending THAT much time with a demented elder. I work in a Memory Care community as a front desk receptionist; the average time a family member spends with a parent is about 1/2 an hour, sometimes less. Rarely more, but sometimes they are taken out for lunch. We do have a couple of gentlemen who come to visit their wives daily; one man comes TWICE a day, but that's his wife. Spending time with a dementia sufferer is stressful; there is very little to talk about and lots they'd like to argue about, etc.

Secondly, your parents are going to require attention soon, as you stated in your post. Then what? NOW is the time to start planning YOUR future and how you intend to live YOUR senior years. With or without your husband, who wants no part in strengthening your marriage through counseling. And what to do/how to handle your folks when their care crises crop up, which they will. Do they have the funds for Assisted Living?

In any event, I wish you the best of luck taking care of YOU.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to lealonnie1
gemswinner12 Jan 6, 2020
She might consider moving her parents in to establish their residency in her house,
Alternatively, just divorce him. Counseling at this point would be a waste of time, energy, and money.
Lizbeth, separate out the eldercare from the other marriage issues.

It sounds as though your husband is irritable and unhappy.

How are you feeling about your marriage, overall?

If you are unhappy, seek therapy. For yourself. Don't make it about the eldercare issue. Make it about the marriage overall. Figure out what YOU need and what you want to do.

You may need to detach a bit while your husband works this through on his own.

The only actions you can control are your own.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

It is time for marriage counseling. A neutral party with experience and wisdom will help you two work out what the problems and solutions are. It's probably not just about the caregiving issues. If he refuses to go to counseling, no matter what the reason, then I think it is time to demonstrate what single life for him will look like with a trial separation. I don't say this lightly. But if he's not willing to make an important investment into his marriage to rescue it, it's probably over. You can offer to defer to his choice of counselor (so that he can't complain about this at any point) but do put a time deadline on him finding one (in a non-contentious way). If he complains about the price, dig through your files and find out how much you as a couple have spent fixing your car, appliances, plumbing, etc. Your relationship is far more precious than any of those things. I wish you peace and hope as you journey down this path!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Geaton777

I hear you. You’re hurt and for good reason. He isn’t being fair with you. He is stressed out too. You’re paying a price for it.

Try therapy without him. He will most likely be asked to join in at some point by the therapist. Then it’s up to him to decide if he will. I hope that he does.

I have found speaking to an objective individual such as a therapist does help. You won’t know unless you give it a go.

Marriages absolutely take a hit with caregiving. It’s stressful.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Perhaps I have a nasty suspicious mind, but are you quite sure that your husband is actually with FIL all this time? There certainly are more interesting things to do, with a good excuse, than sitting with a very old man.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
gemswinner12 Jan 4, 2020
I think you may be on to something here. Perhaps this overly attentive son may have an interest in one of Dad’s caregivers? Why does he need to be over there so often if he’s got help 24/7 ? There must be something pretty interesting going on over there; it’s got to be something more exciting than watching TV with pops, IMO.
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I agree, you need to talk to someone.

Don't do anything without thinking it thru. Personally, I think separation would be good. But you need to plan. Find out what you are entitled to in your state. In mine, your allowed 3 yrs of alimony and half the assets.

Or, live like your doing and get your own life. Go out with the girls. Join a book club. Take trips. (there are single people who go alone) If you don't want to cook, don't. Tell husband when he treats you like a wife, you will treat him like a husband. Maybe have a bedroom of your own.

Another thing, husband can go live with his Dad.

I was married to a man that treated me like his housekeeper. He couldn't take me to the movies but if a friend called to do something, out the door he went. He hit the Peter Pan profile. He came home one day saying he didn't want to be married anymore. He did me a favor. I remarried a man where I am #1.
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Reply to JoAnn29
NeedHelpWithMom Jan 3, 2020
His leaving was a blessing in disguise, JoAnn. Glad your second husband is worthy of you.
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No, marriage is not supposed to take 2nd place to eldercare. Marriage is also not supposed to take 2nd place to childrearing. Anything that gets in the way of maintaining intimacy in the marriage is a threat to the marriage and, if not corrected, may cause the end of the marriage whether officially through divorce or functionally where spouses lead separate lives while living under the same roof.

LizBeth - stop waiting for your husband to get home. Stop making dinner for two. Stop waiting to eat dinner with him. Stop watching TV with him. Stop going to bed when he does. Stop taking him to your family functions. Stop doing his laundry. Stop taking his clothes to the cleaners. Just stop doing all the things that your husband takes for granted.

Rather, start being unavailable. Start being busy. Start making dinner for yourself. Start eating dinner when you're hungry. Start going out. Start taking walks. Start using your time in ways that make you feel good. Start surrounding yourself with people who make you laugh instead of cry in the shower.

Your husband has checked out of your marriage. Your husband is emotionally unavailable to you. You cannot keep your marriage going all by yourself; you've been trying and it's not working. You have waited patiently for your husband. You have asked him to go to marriage counseling and he refused. Your husband is sending you a clear message that his dad comes first.

Each and every time you wait for your husband he thinks it's okay to treat you the way he does. Stop waiting because it's not okay. Maybe he'll realize that you've stopped, beg for your forgiveness and check back into your marriage. Or, he won't. But either way, isn't it better to find out sooner rather than later?

Helpful Answer (34)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
MaryKathleen Jan 4, 2020
I totally agree with you. I too wonder if he is spending all this time at Dad's house. To me it sounds like he has a girlfriend somewhere.

The question, if I remember right was "How many people divorce over elder care". Mom who didn't drive etc. moved in with us. My husband encouraged this even though I didn't want to. One day I got to crying and couldn't stop. I thought my youngest will be gone in a year or so and I can't live with husband and my mother the rest of my life. I just can't do it. I started therapy because according to husband, "I was the one with the problem". Eventually, I moved out and left the two of them there.

So, in my case it lead to divorce.
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Good answer nydaughternlaw, the OP needs to do things for HERSELF!! If her husband doesn’t turn things around she can divorce him and move on. Gray divorce is the biggest age group now for divorce. 50 and 60 year old use to stay in an unhappy marriage. Not anymore!!! Do what makes YOU happy!!!
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to elaine1962

30 years is a long time to just throw it away.
I can tell you, as a caregiver myself, I have to look at myself every day in the mirror. Although my husband has been very understanding about the 2 months I had to be away taking care of my Aunt, I can tell that his patients may be running thin with my constant worry over whether or not I'm doing all I can.
I'm in no way condoning your husband's behavior. I am, however saying that you also need to look at yourself in the mirror every day. So even if your husband won't go to counseling, I suggest you do. Find someone who can help you weed out your feelings. Seek help to navigate this very complicated situation.
Make sure you have done everything you can to understand and then make informed decisions.
God bless you for your understanding!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to xrayjodib
rovana Jan 5, 2020
Good suggestion to go to counseling by yourself if your husband won't go.  Keep in mind that going to counseling is NOT about getting a referee to judge who is right and who is wrong. It is about insight into the situation, which a person outside the marriage may have.
Divorce in general is high, even without the additional stress of caregiving. I think caregiving ends up being the straw that broke the camel’s back in certain cases.

You know, it’s hard to say what determines a divorce. It really is. It is sad to see a marriage end but it is much sadder in my opinion to see a couple stay together in misery or staying together for the wrong reasons or not leaving and avoiding a life that has meaning and purpose.

Sometimes divorce is the right answer. Sometimes there is no other alternative. So we should never be quick to judge anyone contemplating a divorce or someone who has divorced. Divorce can be a blessing in disguise for some, a necessary part of their journey to become the person that they were meant to be.

Divorce isn’t an automatic ruination of someone’s life. It’s a transitional time. Many times the marriage is over long before a legal separation.

While it may not have been part of the original plan, most people who get married intend on remaining married, but it may become the very thing that brought out the very best in that person in the end.

I have seen this in people. Had they not had that detour in their lives they would not be on the path that was their destiny.

Some people marry again either happily or not and some don’t. Some even say, “Once around that track was enough.” I have a close friend who married twice and divorced twice. She made me laugh when she said, “If I ever tell you I want to get married again, please shoot me!”
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
jacobsonbob Jan 7, 2020
LOL I'm 67 and single, simply never having met a "soul mate". A few years ago, while my father was still alive, I mentioned being frustrated about not having a wife, and my father said that perhaps one advantage I had was that I've never had to deal with an ugly divorce as so many other people have. (My parents had a happy marriage.) I guess a third of marriages end in divorce, a third are miserable and another third are happy.

I don't know whether I'm fortunate or unlucky!
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Ok - I have the opposite situation here, Didn’t ask for it 89 year old mother moved in with my new husband five years ago, a month after we married.

He supports me in the decision to care for my mom as there is no one else to do this and a home she will not be placed.

Boldly answering here from my perspective and could get scolded by you all, and I’m OK with that, but marriage is also about supporting your partner even if you don’t agree with it or want it, after all there are no moral borders being crossed, it has to be about your partners needs too. Which your husband feels he needs to care for his Dad. I think that says a great deal about his character. Why don’t you participate or at least go with him for visits - doesn’t matter if others are there - you are there to support your husband in his love for his dad. You surely don’t want your husband to feel like he has to choose between you and his elderly dad.

Perhaps some compromising could be made by the two of you. Go to counseling to find out the best way to deal as 30 years is worth that.

Caregiving is tough business, the toughest of all and I tell my husband all the time that I could not travel this path without his support and I’m so grateful I have the opportunity to care for my mom, who will be leaving us soon. What a ride these past five years have been, but somehow seeing the end of the road as it gets closer, gives me a clearer vision.

Remember your father-in-law is not the enemy - he is aging and needs help.

Best of luck
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Shay1990

He probably thinks he has to keep extra eye on him because of stories of abuse..maybe suggest getting cameras & have them installed when caregivers not there...that way he can look on his smartphone & see his alleviate any anxious or worry feelings!
Hugs 🤗
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CaregiverL

Make him move in with his father full time for 3 months and see what happens.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Robin1234

Is he doing all of the caregiving for his father or are you helping? Based solely on the original post, it sounds like he does all of it while you and the kids wait at home.

Looking at this from a different perspective, my marriage is to more than just my husband but also to his family. So his parents are just as much my responsibility as his - AND I expect my parents to equally be his responsibility as well. (If I find that my husband does not treat my parents as I do his, that’d be cause for divorce in my household.) If and when your time comes where you need to care for your parents — if you’re honest, would you be happy with the amount of help he offers you if he does exactly what you are doing right now? (I’m not accusing you — I’m sincerely asking.)

If I am reading your situation correctly and you’re not entirely or meaningfully involved, I’d be resentful of you if I was him. That would also keep me away from home more — and doing MORE for my ailing (and now solo) parent than I would be if you were adequately sharing the load, so to speak.

Your marriage should never be ”second place,” but your marriage will sometimes have move to the back-burner and cannot be the priority when other needs arise, be it a sick child or sick parents. This would be perceived differently on your end if you both mutually decide what is more urgent at any given time.

If your mom is very ill and needs care, you and your husband should agree together that until mom passes, these are the things that have to get done, this is how your duties will be split among you two, and XYZ will have to be put on the back-burner until your mom either recovers or passes. Vacations, date nights, etc. would all be moved aside for now, but not because your marriage is in second place but because sometimes, other things take priority. If it’s your mom and you have a limited time left with her - I imagine you’d appreciate your husband agreeing to making her first for now, no?

The same should apply to his father. Communicate with him and take on some of what he feels requires attention so that he can be home more. I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

But again, I’m offering this advice on VERY limited information in your original post. So please forgive me if I’ve made too many presumptions.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to KoreanDaughter
thepianist Jan 7, 2020
You make an important, beautiful point: we marry a person and INTO a family. That family is ours now and we need to honor that through our actions. Thank you.
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Did your husband spend a lot of time with his dad before? Sometimes the care giver is stuck if there are emotional or even financial ties to the parent...hoping to do the right thing for the parent, yet hoping the marriage will survive the time. The situation becomes hard for all involved. Please take care of yourself and find time to do things you enjoy. I am getting through this time one day at a time.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Katie22

Your marriage should never take second place to anyone or anything. Have you tried to set down with your husband and talk about your feelings?
Maybe you need to get out more on your own. See friends and join clubs. We are responsible for our own happiness.
There may be a reason your husband feels he needs to be there all day every day. Maybe guilt.
Also some day you maybe in the same situation as your husband.
Try to work it out. Don't throw away 30 years unless he is not willing to put your marriage first.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to dee2848

I have to wonder how this marriage was before the husband's caregiving began. I wonder if husband is grateful to be away from home for a while every day. Is he more nurtured by his father's caregivers than by his wife? Lots of questions. Frankly, separation might be a positive move in this situation.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to thepianist

Morning , as I can fully understand your frustration in this situation I can also let you know when my back was up against the wall I totally relied on God and pray to take care of this battle .. hearing your story put me back into a place I left .. but I didn’t leave my marriage that’s not what God had for me , what God did for me was changed me into accepting some things , changing my husband in somethings and blessing the marriage / covenant that I took vows on almost 20 years ago .. For better or worse , in sickness or health .. I know it may sound corny , but I knew God would make a better way for us and He has .. can’t give you the magic pill , can’t tell you The change will take place over night , but I can tell you as a living testimony that God does answer prays and your story was what I was living until I decided to fully rely on God to fix my marriage , and I trusted God enough to let Him fix it .. but be prepared for the changes He makes in you before your prays will be answered
if you want your marriage after 30 years , and your truly do love your husband then you will allow God to deal with it and put it back together .. don’t give up until you give the marriage to God

trust Him .. He would not bring you this far to leave you in darkness.. He is the light let Him shine in you and restore the life within you
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Virginia62

My father suffers from LBD/Parkinsons. We believe we are in the last stage. He has a paid caregiver, and yes we are very fortunate as well. I go visit him every day I am in NJ. My grandkids live in Boston and I visit them once a month, sometimes more. I do the grocery shopping, bills, meds, doctor visits, etc for him. I promised him I would be there until the end. My boyfriend recently said to me, I feel like I come in 2nd with your family. I said, that's true, you do. My father is dying, he still smiles when I walk in the door, even though he cannot really speak anymore, he still manages to say I love you when I leave. His day consist of going from the bed to a lounge chair everyday. If my presence brings him an ounce of joy, I'm going. This is a tough time for my family. My boyfriend goes to work everyday, I still do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc for my boyfriend and I. I also take care of my grandkids every time I am asked (they really come first lol) This is what someone does. They help take care of their family especially when they need it. Believe me, your husband feels like he is being pulled in 100 million different directions and he's trying to please everyone. He also feels guilty if he is not helping with his dad b/c it could be his last day with his dad. I get all these emotions. Try to place yourself in his shoes, its not easy!!! What are you going to do when your parent need help? Wouldn't you want your husband to be supported of you?

Why don't you ask your husband if you can have date night once a week.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Allison11

While he’s gone, go to a movie, invite friends over for lunch, go for a walk. If you divorce would it make you any happier? Where would you go? I know you’re hurting and have every right to be but you can make a better life for yourself by doing things you like to do. Live a divorced life while being married. My husband has Alzheimer’s and is blind. He was married to his job. He worked away for 14 years and came home once a month for years then moved 300 miles closer for his job and came home on weekends. I had to learn to find my path alone. I have 4 kids so I couldn’t just pull up stakes and go with him.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Anitamarie51

It is difficult. But we are all aging and someday we will also need support. Hopefully our children or family members will be as understanding and as supportive as your husband is to his family.
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Reply to Ellaella

Sounds like he has checked out of your relationship. He may be finding friendship/companionship with the caretakers since he is spending so much time at his Dad’s house. My two cents.
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Reply to Bjkeil

Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions. You know that your husband feels a strong obligation to help his parents. He probably has the same sense of obligation and love toward you. He is caught between a rock and a hard place. You both express anger. Your anger seems to evolve around missing the husband you had prior to the illnesses of his parents. He maybe expressing angry because he so upset about the suffering of his Dad, etc. And frustration of not taking care of you and your marriage. You can't force him into therapy or to go to a support system. Perhaps, you need to get yourself into therapy to sort through your thoughts and feelings.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to ellenH6

Hi Liz!
Although I haven’t had the experience in marriage as you I can tell you about a parallel situation during my own marriage. However, this is coming from the other side of the coin.

In my case, I took on the “responsibility” of caring for my father. Although he wasn’t a senior yet, a lot of issues concerning his heath and mental health were addressed during this stage.
It was a very hard place for me and my marriage. My husband was very understanding at first, but soon he began to realize that my fathers issues were never ending (after two years). Even I felt very frustrated after 4 years plus into doing almost everything for him even though he didn’t live with us.

It was tiresome on him but even more on myself. I felt I was loosing whatever freedom I had based on obligation and being the “good” daughter. I felt depressed, I was arguing internally within myself and externally with my husband. I relied on my husband for emotional stability to keep my things together.

What I can tell you is that my husband finally had his breaking point. Marriage is hard even without all the caregiving, imagine with it. Soon he started to disconnect from our relationship. I felt so sad, because I felt so alone during this moment with the constant stresses of life, caregiving, and marriage issues. Finally he laid on the conversation, he let me know he wasn’t happy. Actually this was pretty recent. I finally had an epiphany. My priorities were all screwed up. My priority should be myself , my well being, my marriage, my life... it was really hard to understand this with everything going on, but the shock of loosing such an important part of myself (my husband) and my own happiness was truly worse than the obligation I have felt.

Perhaps your husband feels this this sense of obligation and guilt of loosing his parent? I have gone to therapy since, however what has truly helped has been my concern for myself and my own well being and my relationship that is important to me. I shifted my priorities, due to the fact that I was suffering and thus my marriage was suffering. Talk with your husband, go to therapy on your own. Choose your own happiness. Sometimes when we shift our own priorities with what we need things shift.

Sending lots of hugs !❤️
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Gwendolyn22

I have read both good and bad advice here. I understand your pain and feelings of being neglected. I also know what it feels like to be the sole caregiver. I have absolutely no help. Most times by the time I am finished taking care of my mother and my own household duties, I have little leftover to give to my husband. What a difference it would make if he would pitch in and help me some. Maybe instead of resenting your husband’s helping your father-in-law, you could share the load with him. That would endear you to your husband and a shared duty would be less of a burden for your husband to bear alone. Help add some fun to his and your father-in-law’s life. Bring or make some ice cream for all of you. Join in a game of dominoes. You could be be a heroine in this situation. Maybe if your husband had a little more help from you, he would have a little more of himself to give to you.
I don’t mean to sound un compassionate to your situation, I am only trying to help you look at it from the caregiver’s perspective. Be proud of your husband. Many men would not have the compassion to help their father. Try helping your husband and see that he also has needs that you can help with. Also after a while if you see things improving, gently remind your husband that while you appreciate the kind of man he is, you also have needs. Maybe After helping him with his father, you two can go on a little date together. You will probably have to plan it, but it could still be enjoyed together.

I think divorce probably is higher among caregivers because it is stressful for everyone and can bring out the underlying selfishness in people, but it can also, by the grace of God , help you to see the best in people. Just remember that this time is only for a season. It won’t last forever. Your husband will probably be there for you when you might be the one who needs a caregiver.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to JoyintheLord

Other people have posted something along these lines but this is my two cents worth. I went through this with my husband (now ex) when he was taking care of an uncle that no one would look after. It started out okay, but got to be more difficult so he placed his uncle in an assisted living facility. The intake nurse was a clever cookie and quickly assessed my husbands level of stress and the fact the uncle was well off financially. Long story short she started an affair with my husband that lasted 5 years. I had no clue because even though I would go to help out occasionally (I also worked) she was just one of the nurses assumed. He eventually divorced me after 38 years of marriage thinking that nurse would marry him. BTW the nurse was a year younger than his oldest daughter! But no she stayed with her husband and two children. We ended up losing everything, marriage, money, love, one child who refuses to talk to either one of us.
My advice is to dig deep into what he is doing. Check all the care givers and trust no one. I know that sounds harsh but if I could go back in time that is just what I would do. Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to dazednconfused
cetude Jan 7, 2020
I would have filed a lot of complaints against that nurse. What she did was very unethical and even colludes of being illegal regarding patient & family exploitation manipulating them by her position.
I think your father-in-law should move in with you all if he requires a lot of time and care because an occasional visit just is not going to cut the cake. Either you put up with it as in "for better or worse," or get a divorce because aging parents requiring care are just a part of the life experience. I took care of my mom for over 15 years due to Alzheimer's disease and pretty much sacrificed my entire life for mum until she died age 90 because I love her dearly. Mom lived a very good comfortable life. She really did even though she was total care. I had to PEG tube feed her, do daily dressing changes for her tube (it never had a single complication), give her insulin and do accuchecks, turn her, clean her up, even induce bowel movements several times a week, because her Alzheimer's was so severe she could not even do that. Every single day I used a Hoyer lift and put her in the living room chair and daily breathing treatments, because she liked it there, then back to bed hours later. I changed her diapers at least 5 times a day. , and let me tell you this--if I had to choose between my mom and marriage my MOM COMES FIRST. Period. Does that answer your question well enough?

Married the entire time I did all the care because I could never expect my spouse to do that level of care and I was used to it. He watched her so I could work sometimes--he was a life saver.

My husband was very supportive and helped me care for mom the entire time, and mum became like his mum too. My opinion either you share the care as your FIL is part of your family or get divorced and move on with someone else who has no living parents left. If you still have your parents you may have to care for them and if your next husband leaves you because of your parents what goes around comes around...except you will know how it feels like to be abandoned by your spouse because of your own invalid parent(s).

I'm not trying to do a guilt trip but family is family and sharing the burden and responsibilities is all part of the family unit.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to cetude
ExhaustedPiper Jan 7, 2020
Do you have kids, and if so do you expect them to put you first over their spouse?
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Five years ago my husband moved his parents from their home several states away, to the house next door to us when his mother got progressively worse with Parkinson's disease. At the time my siblings and I were also contending with my father who was going down the slippery slope of dementia. It was a lot. Both my husband and I were working, and taking full care of his parents, and my father (I had help with sisters and brothers, and my dad was in a facility). My husband was with his parents most of every day. When he wasn't with them, he was worried about how they were doing.
They are all gone now.
I look back on the dedicated work we did with all three. I feel a great satisfaction having done our best by all of them, and nothing can contend with this feeling. Everyone had to sacrifice, on this journey. I spent much time alone in my house, and actively sought ways to keep myself busy. I also contributed to my in-laws' care, because, as one woman commented here, I saw my marriage as marrying not just my husband, but his family as well. His parents were always good to me and my children, and for that I am grateful.
I did feel neglected at times. I did feel sometimes resentful. But now I am glad that I overlooked the feelings of neglect, and pushed on, overcoming my self-absorption. It is what I hope for from my kids and their spouses, in my hour of need.
One thing I kept in mind was that 'this will not last forever." It didn't. Everyone has since passed on, and my marriage has been enhanced.
Trying to live the below prayer helped:

Litany of Humility (1880)

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart!
Jesus, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being sought, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus,
From the desire of being considered, Deliver me, Jesus,
From the fear of being humbled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being rebuffed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to wish.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to wish.
That others may grow in the opinion of the world and I diminish, Jesus, grant me the grace to wish.
That others may be employed and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to wish.
That others may be praised and I forgotten, Jesus, grant me the grace to wish.
That others may be preferred before me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to wish.
That others may be more holy than I, provided I am as holy as I can be, Jesus, grant me the grace to wish.

God bless you in your efforts.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AllThingsNew
ExhaustedPiper Jan 7, 2020
“It is what I hope for from my kids and their spouses”...

Can I please ask why you feel this way?

Is it not possible for you and your husband to plan now for your own elder care? Why not plan for senior living with various levels of care?

Why would you plan to hijack your kids lives (and their spouses)? You can’t possibly know what they might have going on or what dreams they want to pursue, but how can you think it’s fair or okay to burden them? And let’s not sugarcoat this, it IS a burden, and it can last many years.

I am genuinely trying to understand?
See 1 more reply
No. No. And No.

You are NOT making too big an issue of this - I would have felt the same. My position was the opposite and it was me assisting my dad. I was fortunate that I was able to place my father in my front yard in a mobile home. I was fortunate that my DH had a garden in front of the mobile home and he would tell me to go over and visit with my father.

Occasionally I would remind my DH that anything I was willing to do for my father, I would do even more for him. When my father said he was surprised at how my DH was willing to share me with him, I just said I am wherever I am needed. My father said he understood that DH came first and I stopped dead in my tracks and said, "No. Whoever needs me more will always come first."

If your husband will not listen to reason, than you will have to decide what to do - even if it means divorce. I don't like divorce, but I am not stupid and I know that sometimes it IS the answer. You deserve to be happy.

YOU Deserve to be Happy!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to RayLinStephens

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