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I married my husband last October. We started dating in 2015. At that time he lived with this mother. He purchased his parent's house when his dad got sick. His dad passed away in 2006. Since, he owned the home he just stayed. His mom had the master and he stayed in the same room he grew up in. About 16 month prior to our wedding we decided to have me move. The house was about 1,100 sq ft with one bathroom. This was to help save us money, because we were paying for our whole wedding on our own. In the time that I lived there I wish I did not. His mother is not healthy. She is in her 70's. She has not taken care of herself and refuses too. She has incontinence accidents in the bathroom and does not clean it up. She sits in a electric recliner for 12+ hours a day. She orders fast food for every meal. If she does leave the house she stops at McDonald's and picks up food for days. She just re-heats it and eats it because she will not cook. She does not try to make her life better. Her response is either, this is how I want to spend my retirement or why, I am going to die soon anyways.


My husband and I have talked many times about what bothers me. I told him that I needed a different home with more room and another bathroom to live with her. Well last March we bought a new home and left her in the other home until July. The new house needed a ground floor bathroom for her. So in our first year of marriage we spent 10k on a new bathroom because she cannot do one stair. She barely can lift her legs over the front door threshold. She can barely put on her own shoes. We were paying for both mortgages. Financially it was not a good idea. Prior to her moving in here we created a list of things that could not happen in the new home. She is here now and she is falling into her normal routine. The list was never covered with her. My husband tells me he does not know how to approach any of it. I used the brand new bathroom, the other day, and there was dried urine all down the front of it and on the floor. She denied doing it and my husband cleaned it. I watched her make a sandwich and use her finger as a knife to smear mayo on the bread. She then licked her finger and touched my whole kitchen. I wiped my whole kitchen down with Lysol.


I can't live with her anymore. I want to run. I feel a horrible person in my own home. My husband feels stuck, being an only child. I do not want to be the horrible new daughter in law and kick her out. My husband's aunt or her sister has made comments about NOT putting her in nursing home. His aunt is a very opinionated woman. I am depressed. I am in grad school and very stressed out. I want a family but feel that I can't have that and her under one roof. I love my husband but I can't live with my mother in law anymore. I feel like running away because I will not be the one to kick her out. I have told my husband that I am sorry for telling him that a new house would make it better. I told him I feel like I lied to him because it has not made anything better. I do not know what to do other than leave.

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Unless your husband speaks up not much will change. Mom is content.
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You don’t say that MIL has dementia, so she should be able to understand “house rules”. Have you communicated to your husband that you can’t continue to live like this, and house rules must go into effect? You could list the things that are “musts” and then have the conversation together with MIL. It’s very important you 2 are a united front.

What has happened to your moms old house? Did you sell it or is it vacant? If he/she doesn’t agree on house rules for her, if you still own it I would move her back into it. Or maybe you could move into it for a while to take a break and to “prepare for it to be sold”...
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You didn’t lie, you just guessed wrong. It wasn’t unreasonable to think that a bigger better house would make things work better, but you reckoned without MIL. DH knew her even better than you, so he guessed wrong too – either that or he was quite prepared to put up with her behaviour in both the old and the new house.

MIL’s sister has her own ideas about what you should do. Have you talked to her about MIL’s behaviour? Perhaps offer to swap houses for a fortnight so that she can see for herself? If she thinks it is all OK, then there is little you can do except ignore her. Tell her so. Yes, you are the new DIL and yes you have standards of your own on which you won’t compromise. You don’t need to apologise for that.

I think that you need to look at your marriage very seriously. You have been married three years. DH has lived with his mother for his entire life. His approach to getting some control is that ‘he does not know how to approach any of it’. You cannot spend the rest of your life like this. For your marriage to survive, you both have to move away (a long way away preferably) from MIL, and make a life of your own together. If DH won’t do that, you are putting your neck on the block for years and years and years. MIL may live to be 100, in spite of all her bad habits. You don’t want a DH who is a mummy’s boy for all that time.

It’s a horrible thing to say, but it sounds like you need to bring things to a head, and prepare to separate if DH won’t stand up to MIL. He must refuse to accept her behaviour, and put you first. Yes, you are right – he needs to be the one to ‘kick her out’, not you. Don’t start a family until you have sorted this out. Having a child will solve nothing, and will be a disaster for you and for the child.

Look forward to where you want to be in 5 years time, and what it would take to get there. Don’t just wait and hope for the best. This isn’t ‘best’.
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Your husband sounds like he is having a very tough time growing up and acting like a big boy. A big, MARRIED boy. He cannot detach from Mommy. Did this woman’s behavior take a sudden downturn when you got married or was she always like this? If she was always like this, you did have fair warning. If her behavior has become worse, she does need to be evaluated. When you see her acting piggy with food, grab a butter knife and say, “Use this!” She should be wearing incontinence briefs all the time. Does she have a handicap (raised) toilet and safety bars?

If if I were you, in a no nonsense tone of voice, I’d tell your husband that it’s time for him to launch. Mom has to go. Is the original house still for sale? If it is, drop the sale price and dump it. Check out low income senior apartments or better yet, Assisted Living or even Skilled Nursing where she can be on Medicaid. Find a place, pack her things and send her off.
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Pleasehelp, it sounds like you've bitten off way more than you can chew. I feel for you, I truly do but without support from your husband I don't see how you can make the changes that need to be made. I think you need to sit down with your husband and really stress how unhappy you are and make sure he understands that you cannot continue living this way. He needs to make a choice, one he should have made a long time ago from the sounds of it.

People like your M I L won't change. She sounds like she is just fine living like a pig and knowing you'll clean up after her. Disgusting from the sounds of it.

I made sure my Hubs knew right from the outset that his mother and I would never live under the same roof. I even told her to her face. I didn't sugarcoat it either. Sometimes you need to just tell it like it is and to hell with the consequences. His Mom is like your M I L. A pig!! And his Dad wants people to wait on him hand and foot. Sorry, not me, not in this lifetime!

You must do something though my dear. Like I said, I feel for you.
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This is how I look at it. This house is yours and as yours she needs to follow house rules. First, have Mom evaluated. See if its Dementia or just lazy. Early stage of Dementia reasoning is lost and so is processing what is said to them. If its found Mom has Dementia going to be hard to make her understand things. If no Dementia, you and DH need to be on the same page. You will need to sit down with Mom. Explain that you moved so that there was more room for all of you to live. She was given her own room and bath. She needs to keep them clean. You can help her but you refuse to clean up after her. She is now living with you not the other way around so she needs to respect that. If she can't, you may have to make other arrangements. There are senior apts that charge rent on scale based on income.
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As per what you said, your MIL would be around 74 years old ("she's in her 70's").
That would put your husband anywhere from 38-55 years old, depending on how old MIL was when she had him.

It sounds like he may of had a different residence in his adult life but bought the home when his dad died (12 years ago) and has been living there since. He has obviously put up with her piggy ways for the last 12 years, right? So, either he's repulsed and doesn't have the guts to say something to her or he doesn't care either.

You dated your husband for 1-1/2 to 2 years before you got married but moved in with them 8 months after you met him, if I'm getting the dates correct. So you had 16 months to observe her behavior and habits by living with her. You willfully married your husband without him setting limits with your MIL.

The fact that he never told her of your wishes, ("The list was never covered with her. My husband tells me he does not know how to approach any of it."), now you are seeing that it will probably NEVER be done. If you want your MIL out, you will have to be the one to put your foot down. I'm supposing that you are at least in your mid to late 20's if not older. (Graduate school).

I'm not meaning to be mean or rub your face in your mistake BUT...
Fact; Your MIL (at this point) controls the show.
Fact; Hubs is NOT going to do anything about getting her out of there.
Fact; It will come to a showdown between you and his mother.

Since you have already apologized to hubs about the situation not working with a new home, I suggest you speak to your husband about the possibility of placing his mother in assisted living or a temporary separation from him UNTIL he can figure out what he needs to do. His reaction to that should give you the (possibly unwanted) answer you need to make your decision.
To bite the bullet and stay and be her maid and cook will only create more animosity between you and her (and him).

It's too bad you did not see this situation for what it is before you married him. Love truly is blind.

You can't change him or her, you can only change yourself (and your surroundings).

Good luck with whatever road you take. The ball is in your court.

P.S. I sure wouldn't bring a child into this mess UNTIL you both live together ALONE.
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She doesn't want to cook, can barely walk, is almost incontinent; sounds like a group home (your husband would probably not feel guilty about that), or a nursing home.... I wouldn't just leave, but take him out to eat and talk reasonably and calmly about it. Tell him you love him a great deal (if that's true), and you want your marriage to work, but it can't with so much stress about his mom. YOU are not the one who should leave.... I hope he loves you enough to DO what it takes to stop this. God bless you sweetie; I GET what's wrong, and couldn't do as well as you have been doing...
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