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My mother-in-law never accepted me. I've been married for 30 years and now MIL is 87. She is verbally abusive to my FIL, negative, and guilt rides all family members. My husband is depressed and own health suffering (weight gain, prediabetic, walks in sleep, snores terribly). MIL calls him 2-3 times a day to talk about how "I should be dead." Because my MIL has never accepted me, I cannot help. Most of the responsibility lies on my husband and because he believes in "honor they mother and father" he feels he must be available 100%, regardless of his own work and family responsibilities. I want my husband to talk to others in the same situation but not sure where to go. I've lost my job so we can't afford much. I feel she is being malipulative and using guilt to seek attention. She has always believed that her happiness is everyone else responsibility and has said so in the past. I worry terribly about my spouse, especially when he walks in his sleep as he has fallen more than once. I am a nurse and I know how geriatrics can progress which worries me even more. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Sandy, good thoughts coming your and your husband's way. Habits of a lifetime are hard to break. Maybe having him read a couple of the threads on this site about narcissistic parents will open his eyes a bit.
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Thank you everyone for such a quick response, it is truly comforting all the suggestions. My MIL is wishing she would die. We have throughout our marriage been to counseling, one with a pastor, who explained what that passage about honoring thy mother and father really means, plus the idea of boundaries were also explained to my husband. He grew up with his mother pressing the family to make her happy, so it is in gained into his mind. I believe she is truly narcissist but now that her body is failing her she has little control. Hubby is dieting and has now started a walking routine, although I don't know if this will last. We do have health insurance and I've encouraged him to talk to the doctor but only time will tell if he follows through. I have tried to be supportive, complimentary and affectionate but as soon as he's back from a visit or off the phone with his mother its back to square one. Sadly, asking him to sleep in the spare bedroom and pulling away has done more to catch his attention than being supportive. I pray each day for an answer. Right now I see only that things will have to get worse before it will ever get better. I will again try to encourage him to seek professional help. Thank you again for your inputs, God bless to all of you.
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Your husband needs to see a doctor right away to deal with with sleep apnea and weight gain or his horrible monster of a mother might outlive him.

It wasn't clear whether your MIL says she should be dead or you should be dead, but either way, she sounds dreadful. Calling your husband several times a day isn't acceptable. Her belief that her happiness comes first, at the expense of everyone else, makes it sound like she may be a narcissist. Those are nasty critters to have as MILs. I have one that I've been battling for over thirty years (she still moans that my husband and I were "too young" to get married -- we were recent college graduates -- and she harbors a hope that we'll get divorced and she can have her first-born all to herself. Ain't gonna happen.)

Your husband's loyalty belongs to you and your children first. If he's so keen on his biblical obligation to his parents, you could remind him of his marriage vows to you, which supersede his obligation to his parents. I've read that "honoring" one's parents in biblical times meant that one should live a good, productive life, not that one should fulfill their parents' every whim. You might point that out to your husband.

If you could get him into counseling, it would be very helpful in dealing with his depression and getting him to understand what an unhealthy hold his mother has on him.

It's wonderful when a spouse finally "gets it" that his mother is a narcissist who doesn't have anyone's best interests at heart, other than her own. My husband got it, although t took about fifteen years. Yours can, too. But he really needs to see a counselor and a medical doctor.
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Does your husband have health insurance? Talk to his primary physician about referral to a psychiatrist for medication for his depression. Will your husband read posts here, or even ask a question or participate in a discussion? With regard to honor thy father and mother, do you have a pastor or priest at your church that husband will talk to? I don't believe that there is a mainstream minister out there who thinks that that commandment means that you must endure psychological abuse from a parent. Post back!
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I have never understood why anyone allows anyone, especially a parent to verbally abuse them. Why can't he call her on it? Mom, I can't allow you to abuse my wife in this manner, I will return when you can give her the respect due my wife. Mean it. walk out. Only your MIL can make herself happy, it's not your husband's job. Your husband should seek professional help, a therapist, to allow him to set boundaries, and learn not to jump through burning hoops like a trained seal to please others. He needs to relieve some of this stress. How is his diet, can he start a walking program, visit a gym, hit a punching bag, anything to make his life more positive. Sometimes when you concentrate on what you can control, the uncontrolable becomes more manageable.

If you can't help with the MIL, can you take some of his burden at home off his shoulders? He needs some relief. Every day, can you tell him how wonderful he is, how strong? How much you admire his commitment? I don't know how to say this delicately , so I will spite it out, forgive me if it offends you. More lovemaking and casual physical carresses will relieve some of that stress, and replace some of that hurt your MIL is inflicating. Good luck
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