How to handle growing resentment? I have tried everything but leaving...

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After moving my elderly FIL in with us 2 years ago, I am burnt out and fear I will not recover from the stress, resentment, loss of personal space, freedom and the mark it has made on my marriage. My parents are gone, and frankly we were not close, however I know if it were them here, my husband would have blown his top early on. My FIL is not mean by nature. However, he will not shower regularly, wears the same shirts for weeks and just sits in his nasty recliner watching tv all day. My husband is an only child. FIL has had a stroke and has Parkinson’s so his mobility is limited, however, I have tried on many occasions to get him to go to respite care, senior activities.... anything...... i don’t think my husband is particularly happy with this situation.... but his limits are miles above mine.


I work from home and have to share the house with him ALL day, I have to keep the door shut because of his snoring, chair rattling and loud tv. I have been married for thirty years and we have fought more since he has been here than the entire marriage.


I have lingering resentment towards my FIL and his prior selfish life choices (world class skirt chaser)....; and to top it off, we all know he would still be doing it if he were able. He would not give a second thought to taking care of things if he could just find another woman to cater to him....


My husband cannot understand my level of resentment and my need to just be in the house ALONE for five minutes. I can’t walk around the house without bra, etc. and have to retreat to my room to watch tv/read. I have had to raise hell to get help in the house with cleaning FILs nasty bathroom and bedroom. It is absolutely disgusting. My husband seems to think that just because he makes sure he cooks when he is home, job done....


I feel like our life is slipping away, and that we are spending it taking care of an ingrate.... I am met with resistance when trying to explore living alternatives. Even going away for ourselves is a major hassle and almost non-existent...


In the meantime, my husband’s position is that there is nothing we can do until his father becomes incapable of feeding himself and loses control of his bodily functions.... wow that’s just great. So I get to sit here, smell him, resent him, listen to him go to the bathroom without shutting the door, yes, that’s right, and generally give up our social life. I don’t want people coming over him with him like this!


My husband and I have had a good relationship in the past but now he acts pouty when I go out of town to visit our daughter or want to go do things with friends.... I don’t get it, why does he want to keep me under house arrest with him. He gets upset and tells me that we cannot go out to eat alone if we have not taken FIL out that week. Hell, he can barely feed himself, and I have reminded husband that I am not going anywhere with him until he trims and grooms him.... what is wrong with this picture......


I am depressed, have no energy or zest for life. My biggest fear is that we can not find our way back from all of this... I am losing respect for my husband and I know once it is gone, it is too late. I see what not respecting my FIL has done with me....

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Hello again sidelined - sorry I posted twice. I just read the other comments and if I understood it right, you said he doesn't qualify for VA assistance? Don't understand this. My Dad lives with me and although he is comfortable financially, he had no problem getting assistance. Have you contacted your local VA hospital? They've been a life-saver for me.
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sidelined Aug 2, 2018
Good morning and thank you for following up with the VA advice. I think maybe persistence is needed on my part and I will reach back out to our local VA. I truly appreciate the advice, sharing and words of comfort. This forum has been the best part of my journey. I too, believe God has a plan, I just hope that it is His plan for us to weather this storm and still have a marriage. Respect for someone is like a vapor.... you can’t see it, touch it or see it, but once it’s gone, it’s gone....
Hooing and Praying for the best, and wishing the same for you and your situation, God Bless!!
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I feel your resentment and frustration - why can't your husband? You are supposed to be first priority in his life. His dad will be gone one day and what will he have left? You need to share these comments with him and hopefully he'll wake up before he loses you. You have been unfairly taken advantage of and red flags are flying all over the place. If your FIL is a veteran, you need to call the VA immediately and enlist their help. They are amazing. Also, a family doctor can prescribe "Home Health" to come in and help with some of his issues. God love you - you are in a terrible situation and you should set your foot down. You are not alone. Hold on and reach out for help - NOW.
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Sidelined, I have lived with a pouting husband for 43 years. Previous to his health issues, he was a business owner. Many times, hubby would come home in a foul, nasty mood. Pardon my French, but we called this “The Phantom Ass Screamer”. Something was screaming up his, well, you know. No one knew where it came from, no one knew why and no one knew where it went when he became normal again.

What did we do? Absolutely nothing. We went on with our lives. We didn’t pussyfoot around him. We didn’t placate him. We answered when spoken to but didn’t go out of our way to engage him. That would give him the opportunity to be even more nasty and foul. Personally, after decades of this, I didn’t give a flying one about his frail male ego. I let him work it out on his own and went about my own life which consisted of raising my kids, mostly by myself.

Pardon me for asking, but why would you care if he was “pouting”? If he wants to be alone, tell him to go scrub Dad or his chair or his room. You’d be more than happy to leave him alone to do that.
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sidelined Aug 2, 2018
Hi and good morning Ahmijoy! Wow “hats” off to you and your tenacious coping skills! As well as your definition of your husbands foul moods! You pose a very good question.... “why”do I care if he pouts??? While there are no simple answers, but I am type A, a Libra, and a “fixer” by nature. I hate conflict, although you wouldnt know if you had heard some of the brutal arguments we have had. Also, i constantly second guess myself.... is this truly a problem.... am I being unreasonable??? Would this really bother other people..... there are many who have it worse (I.e.
hateful, mean in laws) meaning FIL is not mean or hateful. It I feel like we are sitting in “God’s waiting room” with him. Sometimes I fear that something will happen to us first and then, oh boy, the hate I would feel in unnecessarily wasting these years.
I know all of us have to deal with life issues we would rather not, however, when it comes to expending life and energy to someone you don’t respect and can’t stand to be in their presence, is a whole other thing.

thank you so much for takin the time to share with me, and uplift me. I truly hope your situation will improve, and it sounds like after the his many years you have mastered a way to handle it !
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Oh, Sidelined, my heart is so heavy for all of you. My own dad had PD and passed just after Xmas. It was so very hard when he lived with me, for only 6 months, followed by a hospital stay, rehab and then MC for 8 months until his death. Please, PM me if you want to talk. My advice -- get some in-home help so you can get out by yourself or with hubby on a regular basis. And, if funds allow, send him to adult day care a couple of days a week. I have so many regrets and only wish I could have my dad back, but I don't regret at all doing those two things. Also, remember that many PD patients also suffer from dementia. Early on they may just seem selfish or argumentative, but I believe some of that could be the dementia and even fear of their disease.
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sidelined Aug 2, 2018
Hi Talkey, thank you so much for sharing your kind words and experience, especially with regard to PD. I would like to talk with you, and will PM to see what works best for you. As you might imagine, between my work and “others being around all day, I have to pick my times carefully.....
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so does FIL have a pension or SS income? does he pay anything towards the household? Can you hire someone to clean up after him using his income?
Someone to take him outside and squirt him with the hose? (joke) Maybe a real health aid to come in once a week for mandatory shower. purchase him a new chair with his $ after he starts bathing.

Can you find a job outside your home? Say, SORRY but im working ~here~ now...you'd better get someone else...cause I have my own career and I need a change so ive accepted a job outside of home

research some assisted living places and check them out/take a tour. Give husband list of AL options. tell your husband you are no longer able to caregive, its going to get worse and..... YOU ARE DONE NOW

make a list of all the things you hate, give him the list and tell him to fix it. YOU MATTER ALSO. if he cant fix/change the things you are suffering with. then his dad has no option but to move and get 24/7 care at a facility.

tell husband finding and placing a parent CAN BE DONE. stop putting it off, stop making you do the dirty work.
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sidelined Aug 1, 2018
Hi wally003. First let me thank you for responding! I have felt so lost and alone that just being able to connect with others is a tremendous help.
Some of the answers are: FIL has social security and just enough $ from the sale of his house that he does not qualify for assistance and/or VA help. Doesn’t it always seem that there is not enough to “make it” but too much for help. I have talked to several elder care attorneys who all say the same thing, and basically say that when he is out in an assisted living center, they will use the $ till it is all gone, then he will not have funds to pay the rest and possibly would be moved to some state run nursing home... so wth....

inagree with everything you said about husband and responses. I truly am disappointed in how far he can stick his head in the sand.
I know my own issue is that I take in too much, give too much, burn out, blow up and shorten my own life.... with respect to work, I have been truly Blessed with this job after years of very crappy lower paying ones. Honestly before I would change, I would move out and take it with me. Would be cheaper than putting him out and then I don’t have to put up with him.... just a thought....
in the meantime, I truly want you to know how much this mini therapy means to me. I don’t know what you are going though, but I am sure it has to be stressful or you would not be on this site ... please feel free to share if you like, if nothing else, we can listen to each other.

Blessings to you!

p.s. I forgot to add that I really like the “hose off in the yard” suggestion, I think it is an excellent idea
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I agree. Hubby is sleepwalking through life. Nothing will change while you continue to tote and fetch for a man you obviously can’t stand. If you don’t do something drastic right now, you will crash and burn. I would give your husband an ultimatum. Dad has to go. Now. He needs to wake up. Oh, and call a house cleaner to come in. What you have to do is gross and disgusting not to mention unsanitary.
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sidelined Aug 1, 2018
Hi Ahmijoy, thank you for reading and responding! I just posted how much I appreciate the outreach, because this has been a lonely walk.
I totally agree with the house cleaning and went ahead and hired it done with FILs $. I have almost gleefully shown them through the house and dared him to say a word. Funny how this type of stress reduces even the most adult in us to revert back to childhood, but hey, I didn't start it!

do you have any words of advice for a pouting husband? I think I have figured out that what triggers him is when my interruptation of “happiness” does not match what he thinks I should feel. That really pisses me off. I wonder how he would like to sit in the living room with my parent, watching what they want, and have to wear jeans work boots and the such?, I don’t even sit in the living room, summer time is my solace and I can at least stay outside at night.
by the way, I am sure you are dealing with something as well, and wish you the very best!
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You r going to get a lot of responses because there r a lot of members in ur position. From what you have posted, I think you would have no problem getting FIL in a Nursing Home on Medicaid. His Parkinsons will only worsen. Tell husband you should be his priority. All he owes Dad is a safe, clean place to live, where he is fed. Believe me I would feel the same way you do. At least you can get away from it.

I think it may be time to tell husband what you said here. If he wants to save your marriage he has to step up to the plate. Dad is not working out. He needs to be in a NH. You want your clean house back.
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sidelined Aug 1, 2018
Hi JoAnn29, yes, I am getting good feedback and thank you for yours! Although friends listen, they don’t really know how this is. Most of mine think my husband has lost his mind .....
i have asked him if I am a priority and of course he says I am, but not enough to really hear me. I have begged him to take his father out to eat and let me be home a minute by myself... oh hell no, he says if I don’t want to go too, it might make his dad think I don’t want to be around him!,, wth... where has he been? And why does he insist on all of us going? I just plain quit, I don’t care anymore.

I hired a house keeper (with FILs$) after I told my husband that our married daughter was not coming home with her family to have to use that disgusting bathroom, never mind the fact that they have to sleep on air mattresses because FIL has her old room.... it makes me fume just to think about it. Anyway, husband would not clean it, so every other Friday, here comes Sally, and I delight in the fact it makes FIL uncomfortable, I wish they could spray his nasty self off too.

as with the other folks who have responded, I wish you the best on your journey, and am here to listen
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Not to be flippant, but you need to try leaving.  If not actually leaving, a two week vacation by yourself may also do the trick.  It may be the only way to get your husband's attention.  Let him have to deal with what you deal with on a daily basis for a while.
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sidelined Aug 1, 2018
Hi Alfred, thank you so much for your response! I am sure you have your own issues going on, but it really helps to hear and get feedback from others.
funny that you mention alone vacations, as I have been thinking just that. Our 30 year anniversary is in the fall and husband is pushing and really acting like he is doing us a favor for me to plan a get away from FIL! Not to be crass, but really I don’t know if I want to be alone with him for an entire week, as I am sure he is more interested in romance than I am... how in the world are you supposed to feel romantic when you feel like a freed slave for all of 7 days, just to return to the dungeon....

i have had to endure husbands pouting when I leave to go to our daughters house out of town (which by the way is a sanctuary for me).... am I wrong to feel HE is being selfish to begrudge me getting time away? I want to be a couple, but I am now at the point of wanting to be sane more....
i don’t like the person I am becoming.....

i do wish you the best in whatever your struggle is..... please know others care
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