I have been the main caregiver to my mother in law since June 2017. She is so vile to me. I think it's time to step back. Any advice?


I have been the main carer to my mother in law since June 2107. She is so vile to me and is very clever to be all sweetness and light in front of people and then nasty to me when we are on our own..she has dementia and lost her husband 3 years ago. She is now lying to me and becoming increasingly nasty. I try and talk to my husband and he just gets cross with me and says it's her condition. I understand that but he's not on the receiving end of all the abuse and now physical abuse towards me. I have been hit, spat at, and items thrown at me. I was working 70 hours a week but I've had to cut down as it was making me ill. Can anyone advise me on what to do please. I'm at my wits end. The family have all fallen out due to her dementia and I'm the one getting all the hassle and problems and the family who do nothing get all the praise. I'm going on holiday this week and she is going into respite, but I'm getting abuse saying it's my fault she's going into the home. I think it's time I totally stepped back. Please can anyone help me. Thank you.



I agree with everyone, including shame on your husband. If his family thinks you are so “horrible”, why do they allow you to keep caring for their matriarch? Your relinquishing your role as the family Whipping Post should be welcomed by them then, no? Save their poor, innocent mother from your clutches, so to speak. Go have your Holiday and have a wonderful time. The fact that MIL is going into respite is proof no one else from the family wants to step up, so maybe on some level they know what she’s like. Don’t step away, run away. If Hubby is not on board with your decision, you may have to examine THAT relationship as well.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Ahmijoy

No one deserves physical abuse, no matter the circumstances. And your husband and his family are very wrong not to hear you on this and expect you to continue to put up with it. I’m sorry that it will cause you family strife, but you must get yourself out of this role. Blessings to you as you make the change
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Reply to Daughterof1930

Thank you so much to you all for your comments. I have been a carer for many many years and never had this at all. It's so hard that it's my mother in law. But I totally agree it's time to step away. I don't get any thanks for doing everything I do. I'm treated terribly by the family and there is no respect towards me. I can't help taking things personally because she's so nice to everyone else and they think I'm the one being horrible which certainly isn't true. I go above and beyond what I should do as a carer and daughter in law. Thank you.
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Reply to Emlou2013

You certainly have the right to step back. Working 70 hours per week and being a primarygiver....that's really shocking. When you place unreasonable demands on yourself, I can see how you were overwhelmed. Sadly, when someone has dementia, they aren't always nice, kind, fair or appropriate in their dealings with family members. Not taking things personally helps, but, sometimes, you might consider the options and make other arrangements for the person's care. Unless, they have dealt with it first hand, they just have no idea. I'd offer them reading material, but, let them see firsthand how things really are. I'd try to make peace with all that you did and not concern yourself with the ignorant comments. I hope you have a pleasant, well deserved vacation.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

I agree with Kimber166. You're going to have to be the one to make a change. Don't consult anyone, don't discuss it, don't try to find alternative arrangements, don't agree to stay on until the family finds someone else. You're going on vacation, it's the perfect time to announce that you won't be caring for your MIL when you get back.

P.S. Shame on your husband.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

Tell your family that as of the respite period in the home - you are done. If between now and then she attacks you physically - call 911. Have her Baker Acted and taken out of your house. NO one is going to make a change because YOU are doing it all. Make the changes - let the chips fall where they may. YOu should not have to put up with this.
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Reply to Kimber166