This may be a long shot but I’m at my wits end and just need someone to agree that I’m not crazy for feeling the way I do. My husband and I have been married only two years, we had a rough for year due to a miscarriage but we were blessed with a wild now one year old shortly after. I also have a seven year old from a previous marriage who has been raised by me and my husband since he was 2. So in all we have been together five years. Recently his father found out he was sick and that it could be throat cancer. He has a biopsy done, a trach put in and feeding tube not long after due to the trach. He was working full time climbing 60ft trees up until the day before his biopsy. After a week in the hospital he came to stay with us under the understanding it was until he got a handle on the trach care and we got a plan of attack for whatever he had. After. Well that was a month ago and long story short he had to have a second opinion and that result came back yesterday, it’s stage 3 throat cancer. It’s very contained to one area and the dr is confident it’s very curable. They will start chemo & radiation next week. Yesterday afternoon he came home and informed me he was moving in for good with us. No discussion with me nor my husband just decided on his own. To say the past month has been easy would be a lie. I stay home with my kids. I raise them and handle the house. Since he has moved in with us he has taken over completely. My living room is where he lives. Even though we took our one year olds playroom away and created a bedroom for him, he refuses to use it and stays in the living room 24/7. He controls the tv and doesn’t allow me or the kids to watch anything we want. He has no issues ordering me around all day even when I’m trying to get my little one to nap or feed him. I wash his clothes, clean his bathroom and bring him anything he needs. He has also made me remove all of the kids toys out of the living room because he says they make to much noise. So my bedroom is where I live now. My one year old was never a big talker but since the change he has regressed and doesn’t talk at all now. My relationship with my husband is so strained it causes me anxiety. He wants his dad to live with us forever and I just can’t do it. I’ve tried so hard to be ok with everything but I can’t handle it all. He works full time so I’m the one home all day with his dad and the kids. I’m only 29 and I never saw this as my life. I knew one day we would have to care for our aging parents but I didn’t see this at my age with small kids. I feel so much guilt for feeling like I do. I’m so scared my once happy marriage is lost & I can physically see the negative affects on the kids already from this situation. I’ve suggested his dad move back to his house which is seriously 7 miles from our house but my husband insists his dad emotionally needs us and I need to just suck it up. I don’t know what else to do at this point. I feel like I’m In a dark hole and there is no escape.

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I have an idea. Why not suggest your husband stay with FIL at FIL's house while he's undergoing treatment.? That way FIL would get the emotional support her needs while you would be freed up to take care of your kids without having to cater to FIL's every need. I'm sure you don't want to give your husband up to his father on a full-time basis, but if your husband wants to take care of Dad, he should do it himself, not expect you to do it at the expense of yourself and your kids. Just a thought.
Helpful Answer (53)

An overbearing FIL is not the problem. An undersupportive husband is.

You are very definitely not crazy. I suggest counseling, but certainly not because you are mentally ill! Couple counseling might be the place to start. This situation does not bode well for your future as a family, and the two of you deserve all the help you can get.

You don't mention how old FIL is, but if he was working at a physically demanding job until just recently, I assume he is not in his 80s. The doctor is confident his cancer is very curable. Your husband insists FIL live with you "forever" which could be 20 - 30 years, or more. You and hubby need to discuss this very seriously, perhaps with the help of a counselor.

Here is what I think my starting position would be:
1) FIL can live here while he is undergoing treatment.
2) There must be a plan in place for what will happen when the treatment is complete. FIL will need to return to his home or make some other plans.
3) While he is here, he is a guest, not the head of the household.
4) He needs emotional support at this time. He does not need a full time servant, and that is not the wife's role.
5) The living room belongs to the family. If he wants to watch something they don't want to watch, he can do it in his bedroom. If the toys in the living room bother him, he can have peace and quiet in his bedroom.
6) FIL will pay for room and board for each month he is there.

It might come down to your husband deciding whether he wants to live "forever" with his father, or whether he wants to live with his wife and children. But before issuing ultimatums, try to work this out with an objective trained third party. Sign up for couple counseling!
Helpful Answer (37)

I suspect that your husband has never known how to stand up to his father--grown up with the idea that dad is the boss, end of discussion. Maybe on the next holiday off your husband has, you really need to take the kids to see your mom (or someone more than an hour away) and he needs to stay home with dad.
Helpful Answer (24)

I think Carla's idea is really excellent. Your husband could stay for long enough to support FIL while he sorts himself out - builds a network of contacts, such as patients' group members, caregivers for the days when treatment leaves him feeling terrible, drivers if he's unable to get himself to appointments and so on. I would expect the hospital to suggest all kinds of resources he might be able to access.

At 29 you're too young to have developed the teeth and tempers we crabby oldsters can call on when somebody presents us with a totally unreasonable fait accompli, so I don't blame you for not having thought to laugh loudly at his announcement and say "not a chance, sweetheart!" And I can't blame your husband for not wanting to be The Son Who Evicted His Sick Father.

But that doesn't mean this situation is acceptable or has to be accepted. If he's not to give up and rot slowly into an armchair, it is for FIL's benefit that he is helped to get past the initial shock and fear of his diagnosis - which he probably is still feeling - and encouraged to resume normal life as far as possible. Find out more information about supporting people living with cancer from your local hospital, your own doctor, or look online at Macmillan for general tips.

Good luck, don't despair, and please let us know how you're getting on.
Helpful Answer (23)

CarlaB is spot on. Ask hubby to stay with his dad while undergoing treatment.
His home is just 7 miles away!!!
Have a heart to heart with your husband and tell him having the children cope with their lives being turned upside down is not good for the kids.
If your FIL does nothing now, he can go back to his home and your husband can visit him daily if hubby won’t stay there with him.
If that doesn’t work, have your husband tell his father that he has a bedroom and needs to stay in there, as two young children can be noisy - that’s what they do. It’s the children’s home too.
Ask your husband to arrange for aides to come tend to his dad 3- 4 hours midday.
It’s unfortunate FIL is ill but he lives so close it shouldn’t be too difficult for his son to visit him frequently.
You have your hands full as it is your and your children’s home first and foremost.
Husband needs to put the needs of his family first.
Helpful Answer (20)

Ugh...this is an awful situation. I feel for you. Your husband is giving you no support at all and meanwhile, his father is taking over your life. He does not sound like a pleasant person to be with either - he sounds overbearing (decided to move in without consulting you or your husband) and difficult (insists on taking over the living room even though he has his own bedroom).

Your FIL is taking advantage of your good will and your husband's lack of a spine. Your husband has a family now and he ought to stand up for your well-being. You are an equal partner in the marriage. You should have as much input into this decision as your husband.

I don't know what to tell you except that you are not wrong. FIL is walking all over you and your husband is allowing it. You need to stand your ground and your husband needs to suck up his own fear of his father's disappointment or disapproval, and tell FIL that the long-term cohabitation is just not working out.
Helpful Answer (19)

I'm so angry reading this that I need to vent.
The major point your husbabd is missing is that he isn't taking care of his dad, you are. At your children's expense.
If your husband and dad can't move to dads house, maybe you and the kids should. How would dad like that?
You are a much better person than I am. I would be taking care of my kids and to hell with the two men. Your husband is weak but your FIL is a bully.
This is a major event In your marriage. It will take you and your kids years to recover.
I hope you get counseling right away and figure out how to escape this trap.
You need a baby sitter and a job.
Dads expecting a full recovery but the prognosis is not so good for you and your children.
Helpful Answer (17)

Your kids need you to be really strong right now because you are their advocate.This is a dysfunctional living arrangement and you know this by stating that your youngest's behavior is regressing.Children have nerves to and I am sure they are aware that something is wrong.You are going to grow up really fast but you have children that are looking to you and you are going to have to be a mama bear. Try counseling but if your husband won't participate he needs to know what it is like being home with his father. Time for your husband to grow up,the children come first.If husband won't do counseling please get some for yourself, your children will benefit from it.
Helpful Answer (15)

All of your suggestions are very helpful! I have huge guilt for feeling the way I do & not being able to handle it all and suck it up. I have been leaning toward seeking out couples counseling and I see now I really need to do it. Talking to my husband about any of it doesn’t work because he gets defensive and accuses me of not being strong for his dad. And that’s not the case at all. I hate his dad is going through this but it just can’t be put all on me like it has been. Esp with small kids involved. I have suggested his dad go stay at his house at least there he would get peace and quite to sleep and rest esp after treatments and I we can visit often during the day and work things out at night if we need to or that his dad can even go stay with his fiancé at least at nights go give us a break but all those ideas were shot down. My husband seems to have this strong mentality that he should care for his father 100% even when there are others who have offered to help including his fathers fiancé. At this point a third party helping guide us to a solution that works for the whole family is the only option I see. And my fil is only 60. And in all other aspects is in great health and can get around just fine when he wants to, drives places when he wants etc. I’m not sure if this whole situation is just my fil being set in his ways of living alone for so long & that’s why he can’t learn to live with me and the children and had pretty much laid claim on our house or if my husband just can’t let go of having full control of his dads health right now. He is being told he will make a full recovery even loose the trach so I just don’t see the point of permanent residence like my husband is so strongly supporting. It’s obviously issues that need addressing but just not by me alone.
Helpful Answer (14)

I was siding with your FIL until I read how he has dictatorially taken over your home and seems to expect you to cater to his every need without giving any consideration to his grandchildren's lives. Uh uh, no way is that acceptable. Someone needs to sit down with him and discuss - in a mature, adult way - his diagnosis, prognosis and treatment going forward. (BTW, not you) He may need counselling and treatment for depression. Does he have somewhere else to go, or did he give up his home when he moved in?
Helpful Answer (13)

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