My spouse is getting more and more involved with his elderly parents who he always been a little unrealistic about. He generally dotes on them and hero worships one. This caused some stress in our marriage early on when it turned out that to me, they were just normal people. And actually, people I didn't enjoy being around much for various reasons. After a decade and some bad behavior on their end, my spouse finally listened and understood, and we adjusted how much time we spent with them. The problem is that with advanced age everything is up for grabs. He is closing ranks with his nuclear family and reverting back to being the doting and worshipful son. There is a health crisis with the "worshiped" parent and already my spouse is grieving and talking constantly about what perfect person/hero this parent was. I dread the death of this parent and the impact it will have on my spouse. And then the amount of time we are going to have to spend with the remaining parent. I know that I must find it in myself to be patient and supportive and giving, but I feel anxious and discouraged about the coming months and possibly even years. I come from a bigger family where the relationships are less emeshed, and aging is somehow less dramatic. I just want my spouse not to care so much and for this not to take over our lives, which I know is unrealistic given where he is at. Has anyone gone through this kind of situation before? How do I get past my feelings of ambivalence and resentment to be more supportive?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Somehow I question how big the health crisis really is. It is not beyond the elderly mother to grab that umbilical cord and reel it back in. On the other hand assign hubby to practical tasks, like taking them to an Elder Law attorney, updating Wills, filling out DPOA's and Health Care Proxies and pre-planning funerals. That will be a lot healthier than wringing his hands.
Whatever you do, make it clear now that neither one is moving in with you.
You marry a husband, not his parents.
Elder people need someone half their age to care for them, and you probably are not that young.
Helpful Answer (2)

Thanks, Pam. This particular health crisis is serious, but that certainly has not always been the case; the umbilical cord is definitely strong! Great reminder about marrying a husband, not his parents. It took me a long time to figure out that actually my husband and his parents expected something different -- that I was supposed to function like an adoring daughter. I will keep that as my guiding principle as the next couple of years unfold.
Helpful Answer (0)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter