I'm homebound and have a 91 year old MIL living alone- husband doesn't have boundries with her. Any thoughts?

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My husband and I have been married 33 years. I just turned 60 years old and have been very ill for the last three years. I finally found a doctor who we feel can help me, but probably have two to three years before I'm able to get back to a somewhat normal. My husband owns his own roofing company which has been successful but demands a lot of his time. Because of my illness, many of the household duties have fallen to him plus the extra responsibilities in taking care of me. My MIL lives independently about 2 miles away from us and has for the last 18 years. During the last several years, she has lost most of her friends due to illness or they have passed. So she now has little to do socially and she is very lonely. She loves being social and I think she would be very happy in an independent care facility, she would be able to get to her hair, doctor, eye appointments and would have something to do every day. She could still drive if she felt like she wanted to. I think it would greatly reduce the amount of time my husband has to spend with her. She is a difficult woman and demands much from my husband even though she has money to pay for people to help her out. My husband has a brother and sister who lived on opposites coasts. They visit once or two a year but aren't involved in her care at all. My husband refuses to talk to them about it. He spends about 2 to 3 hours a week in face to face time, 2 hours a week with her on the phone and probably an hour or more running errands for her. Plus we have her over for dinner 3 to 4 times a month. Sometimes more, sometimes less. She refuses to even look at independent care facilities and my husband finally admitted to me that he feels it would be even more work for him if she did move into one because he would have to be running to see her all the time at the facility which is about 30 to 45 minutes away. He won't set boundaries with her or tell her no. He said last night that it was difficult for him to balance the stress of taking care of me and her. I told him I thought I should have top priority and would like to have more of his time for our relationship. Right now he is spinning plates and is very stressed out. Our relationship is suffering because of it and the things that I tried to improve it have failed. I'm resentful that he has to spend so much time taking care of his mother which leaves me alone most of the time. What are reasonable expectations? I told him I was afraid our marriage wouldn't make it through the next two or three years if things didn't change. We've tried counseling and it worked for awhile but then things just go back to the way they were. Now I'm too sick to travel every week to see a counselor. I told my husband that I thought he needed to see a therapist to help him with setting boundaries but I don't think he will. I admit I don't care for my MIL, there have been many times throughout the years that she has not been nice to me and my husband refused to do anything about it. I want my relationship back with my husband. I guess these are my questions: Am I'm being unreasonable with wanting more time from my husband, especially since I am very ill, am I wrong to be resentful of the time he has to spend with her because she is difficult, am I wrong that my BIL and SIL don't have to share any of the burdens of dealing with her? I realize that unless he decides to make changes nothing will change. I guess I just need to know if I'm being unreasonable. If I am then I will stop pushing this and just try to figure out how to make it though on my own, I guess I don' have any other choice. Thanks for any thoughts.

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Lakergirl - when you listed the amount of time your DH spends with his mother - i do not at all find it excessive. Your DH feels pulled between work, his mom, and you and i think you should give him some help - by getting in someone to take some of what YOU need him to do for you. It is meant well and I'm sorry if you get angry. Good luck
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To each of you who replied. How cruel and mean can you all be? The message I received was your parents come before your spouse at all costs no matter what the situation. I thought that this was a forum to get out your issues and try and come up with solutions, not be attacked. I was asking for help. I guess you did not read the fact that I am VERY ILL myself and homebound and have been for three years. I do have hobbies that I like to do when I am able, but most of the time I am too sick to do them. I am angry because my MIL has been horrible to me for 33 years and she is still making demands that suit her needs. I put up with her demands and the amount of time my husband has to spend running and doing for her for most of our married life. NOW I am VERY ILL and mostly bedbound (I posted that again because it seemed like it was missed by all three of you. I worked very hard as well to make our family what it is, I sacrificed and supported my husband and family when he was getting his business started and then continued to work 60 hours a week at my career. I am alone now and only see my husband about an hour at night and we are both too exhausted to even talk. My MIL has the means to provide for things herself, yet it was a suggestion that I have to hire a stranger to take care of me since my husband is too busy taking care of his mother, that is beyond my comprehension. I have often read in this forum about people sharing that their siblings do nothing to help with the care of their parents and never once has anyone ever said what difference does that make? Where is the compassion in this group? About 75% of marriages fail when one of the spouses have a chronic illness. I am trying to figure out a way to keep my marriage, but I'm not willing to put up with someone who puts his mother before me - his wife who is very, very ill. I guess I would be better off just moving out and paying strangers to come in and take care of me. Thanks for all your kind advice. I just hope that none of you become very ill and are left alone to take care of yourself while your spouse is too busy running to the demands of the able-bodied parent.
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I think you are the one being difficult. It doesn't sound like the amount of time he spends on mom is excessive. You are going to blow it in your marriage if you don't get a grip on your resentment. Quit complaining about the siblings. How is that part of the situation going to change? What is your spouse supposed to do to make them live up to your expectations? If you can't get out for counseling find a telephone or online support group or therapist. Your attitude is likely to get you kicked to the curb, not mom. Adjust to the situation or make changes of your own. You asked for opinions and you got them.
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My husband and I have been married for 43 years. I have been “the wife”and he has been “the husband”, but we have not been “husband and wife”. His family interfered with our early married years and he absolutely chose them over me. It was tough when I had kids. Now, I am his sole caregiver. He is bedridden and I do everything for him but feed him. I’ve had times when I’ve been ill or post-surgical and I had to care 100% for myself and run the house as well. I try not to dwell on the crappy way he’s treated me but thoughts do creep in. It’s not pleasant to think about those things when I’m wiping him or trying to push his 350# weight over in bed to change his sheets.

I have made my own life. I’ve found things I really like to do. I have a little knitting loom I love and a few years ago I made two dozen hats for the needy. Go off on your own. Get some home care for yourself and let them take over what your husband is doing for you. Complaining that he loves mom more than you obviously isn’t working. It sure didn’t for me. We don’t have a Hallmark Channel marriage, but who does?
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First of all, it would be a good idea for you to find a therapist to help sort through all your resentments. All that anger does neither of you any good! Try to think of your husband first instead of yourself. He is being pulled in two different directions between the two of you. That just adds to his stress level. I'm in a similar situation as yours and decided to do all I can to not add to my husband's stress level. His family has always been self-centered ,but, there is nothing I can do about that. I can only control what I choose to do or not do. So with that said, find ways of helping to ease your husband's burden. That may be just being a good listener and allowing him to vent as needed without judgement on your part. Try to find some outlets of interest for yourself that you can enjoy. There are boundless groups/ blogs/ demo lessons online that you can find for free! Buy yourself a tablet or Kindle Fire( very inexpensive, easy to use) and you can use it from wherever you are sitting. Please forgive me if I sound "preachy" but, we as adult women have to evolve into our own selves with our own interests. Before we can nurture others we have to learn to nurture ourselves instead of expecting others to do it for us. That is what your MIL has not done. Always remember that marriage, just like life is, "A work in progress." Best of luck to you!
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