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After a series of sad events for my husband's family, we decided to move in with my father-in-law to keep him company, and help drive him to dr. appts. etc.
My husband (33) and I (32) married about a year and half ago at the end of September. Just a few weeks after our wedding my mother-in-law passed away after battling Leukemia. My father-in-law also lost two of his close sisters that same year, one just a few weeks after my mother-in-law passed. And then a few weeks after that my father-in-law suffered a series of small strokes. He fortunately is able to function on his own, only his vision suffered and he is unable to drive.
I freelance and work from home so I am the one that takes my father-in-law to dr. appts, the supermarket, bank, post office, etc. I also spend the whole day, almost every day, at the house with him.
The house is small, so there is really no privacy. My father-in-law will even walk into our room every night, say good night and talk to my husband for a few minutes. His room is 3 feet across the hall.
He also does absolutely everything for my husband. He was making his lunch for work until I insisted that I do it. Yet, even though he knew it bothered me, he still puts the lunch together in the cooler early in the morning and puts it by the door for my husband. He will also make him a coffee, get him something to eat....like he is a child.
He also informs me that we need to do things for my husband, like get the oil changed in his car, get his car inspected, etc. I feel like my father-in-law and I are taking care of a little kid together.
I would gladly do these things for my husband, my father-in-law just does everything before I can. My father-in-law decides what we are eating for dinner every single day, and I am expected to come down and cook it with him. The two of us, cooking side by side, every night.
I have just tried ignoring these things for the past year and a half, because I felt so bad for my father-in-law. But I hardly feel that any more, just resentment. I have no privacy with my husband, and his father is involved in our lives so much more than I want.
I am also realizing that as my father-in-law ages, I am going to have to be the caregiver, and I just can't do it. I already do everything around the house, I just can't take care of him for what could be another 10 years or more.
I have tried talking to my husband about establishing boundaries with is father, but a lot of the time he just doesn't want to hear it. I understand how he is in a tough situation. But it is getting to the point where I feel like the only way out of this is divorce. I am sad to think that my marriage hardly had a chance. It has only been a year and a half and I feel like it's already falling apart.
Am I wrong for feeling this way?

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I cant believed were on the same page. I know how you feel. But did you find a resolution already? Im just curious. Because in my situation;

Im only here in the US for almost 3 years now and my mother in law passed a year ago. And we moved into my in laws house. At the first month when my mom in law passed I thought I could handle everything but months went by aside from me taking care of her probate. Legal stuff, my father in laws dr appt. follow ups, CNA's, taxes, accounting, bills everything. I do in the house. I cant even take care of my own business anymore. I am off 2 years now on my own job and it's hurting me financially since my husband is always away overseas for work.

Now my father in law is in the nursing home but my husband doesnt want to live him there so he had other options of putting an inlaw apartment. I told myself if Im doing a lot of work now what about me taking care of two houses and his father at the same time.

And my father in law also is having an obsessionwith one of our old CNA. What hurts me the most is he worries about her health, her eating and everything that me.

He called me B****, gold digger, everything he wants just to hurt me because his plan is to marry the CNA so she can moved in and we can go out.

Now I have to wait till my husband gets back because we are literally suing the woman so did the company she works for.

But with all the stressed I have to deal with and crying, nervous breakdown every single day. My marriage relationship with my husband got really affected. That it came to the point that I dont miss him, I dont call him, or I think I dont love him the way I loved him the first time I met him.

Now the only way I can go out in this situation is either divorce him and killing myself. I dont like the thought of the killing part but Im hoping it will never happen because all I know is I am so stressed and I feel like no one is going to ever understand me and I feel alone.

I always argue with my husband because I know on his mind he is trying to help me. But where is he now? He's not even home right now.

So I asked him when he gets back I want a marriage counselor.

I hope they can able to help us. Because at this point. I just want to get out of this situation I am dealing right now.
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ilove2teach buy FIL a plane ticket and let the daughter know he is on his way. I just don't get families allowing one person to control the household. Time to stop "trying" to explain and tell FIL how life is going to be. Adult day care, volunteer work and his own place to live might make his life more interesting while helping you and your husband have a life. You can hire someone to come spend the weekends with FIL or just check in on him a couple of times a day while you two get away. Saturday night date night, surely he can be left alone for a few hours once a week.

Why a young woman would marry knowing she would be living in her FIL's house and not starting her own home is completely beyond me. Check into adult day care for FIL and get some time back into your day. Maybe he can get a part time job somewhere. There seems to be lots of issues in that family dynamic and I pray your counselor is strong enough to sort them out.
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I am in a somewhat similar situation. My mother-in-law passed away about 4 1/2 years ago after a long battle with cancer. My family looked after her while she was in the hospital & FIL lived with us during that time. After her death I suggested that he move in with us so he could save his money & travel to his home state to visit relatives & to visit daughter in another state. He agreed, but to make a long story short he never held up his end of the bargain. He has only traveled twice during these last 4 1/2 years. Otherwise he is with us 7 days a week/365 days a year. I am a 20 year veteran teacher & LOVE my quiet summers since my children are mostly grown. I no longer have those because he is here ALL the time. I come home from an exhausting day of school, wanting just ME time before I have to cook supper & he is sitting in the living room practically waiting on me to get home. My husband has tried to explain countless times to him that I need some time to myself & we as a couple need time to ourselves but he just doesn't get it. I am at the end of my rope. I hate putting this on my husband of 25 years because I know it puts him in a bad position, but I can't take it any more. Just a few months away visiting his daughter would be WONDERFUL but he always makes excuses. Advice from anyone to help me keep my sanity & my marriage!!!!
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I think all of this sounds pretty natural. You're newly married and want to have some independence and time with your spouse, including doing things for your spouse and that's nothing out of the ordinary. At the same time, your FIL has "his" house that his "kids" are living in and he is still running it as his house with kids. It's not that easy for parents to let go or see what they're doing. That's natural, too.

It's a tough situation where your husband has kind of dumped on you the title of "family bad guy" or "family enforcer" it seems. A couple little things you could do, possibly:
1. How about a lock on the bedroom and making a little privacy a priority over the other issues?
2. I'm also a freelancer and don't know how you get any work done, this way. Can you take your laptop to Panera or the local library for a little "away" time? Even if you get plenty of work done, right now, getting away at regular intervals might show people you have work to do and need a little work time. One problem with being freelance is that you're "too available" and it's too easy for everyone to take your time for granted. As your FIL gets worse, you'll get nothing done, at all, unless you find a way to stop some of it, and I'm telling you that from my own experience.
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You are not wrong for feeling the way you do. You do need to find a solution quickly that will work for you, you must insist your husband and you plan something. Maybe there is someone in health care field you can consult as to what to do. The demise of a marriage because of an inconsiderate father-in-law is wrong. YOU and your hubbie need to put yourselves 1st because your father -in -law won't. Do what you need to do to keep control of your health, your mental stability and your marriage, it is worth it.
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Yes Susan26, it definitely feels as if we are battling over my husband, or the things that need to get done around the house! Never in my life did I expect a situation like this, especially just after getting married.
The men in my family are the type that don't know how to cook, turn the dishwasher on, etc. So this relationship with my father-in-law where we are basically taking care of my husband together is so bizarre to me. Even the deciding what we are eating, what to get at the supermarket, etc.
I never thought to look at this as my father-in-law using my husband as a replacement for the loss of his wife, this makes so much sense. I try to remember that.
I realize, (thanks to many of your comments!) that I have to be more clear with my husband and father-in-law that I am not happy living like this.
My husband and I have started to see a counselor and I am being honest and letting him know I don't know how much longer I can do this. I had previously been seeing someone on my own, (Susan26 my husband and father-in-law look at it as if it is all me as well! Like there is nothing wrong with living this way). But I will try to look at the fact that my husband going to counseling is a sign he may be more understanding.
I am also trying to get out of the house every day. I'll take my father-in-law to the supermarket, bring him back and then go out until my husband comes back from work. I know I can't do this forever, but for now there is some relief in being able to get out. I would also like to find a full time job.
My husband and I talk about renovating the garage and adding a room as a possibility, but I'm not sure I can make it another year or more before that is done. I have been letting him know, and if in the end he decides to stay with his father and leave me, then I guess it is just how it will be. I understand he is being put in a very difficult position. If his dad couldn't walk or do things on his own, it would be a completely different story. I would never ask him to leave his father, but my father-in-law is doing fine now and I feel like now might be our only chance to be able to live on our own, before we really do need to be living with him permanently.
After reading so many posts on this site, I realize I am only at the beginning of a very long, hard road. This is nothing compared to what it could be in a few more years. My heart goes out to all caregivers!
I thank you so much for your comments and support, they help give me the courage to face things I have otherwise just tried to avoid.
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oh i can so relate. i also live with my father in law, who dotes on his son, and tries to be wonderful only when he is around! i had to laugh about making lunch and how you reacted to it...i have done the exact same thing this week. i ended up snapping, this is MY house, i will get the damn groceries, i don't need you to tell me how to do laundry/cook/vacuum, and now when to buy groceries.
i recognise it is a territory battle; i said to my husband we are like two lions trying to spray the same territory. (only i didn't say it as politely!)
hubby also thinks that dad is being nice/trying his best/doing well under the circumstances, and that i am a complete cow for taking strain and struggling with this constant presence in my home. my marriage is falling apart, and the ultimatum was fix your depression because thats the problem, not my dad. once you fix the depression, things will be fine. i also work from home, and my work is more and more delayed as i sort things out for the old man, but of course my job is not a real job, its just what i do between folding laundry, making supper and driving him everywhere ...so my earnings are down, leaving me more trapped and less able to make any other choices.
so they now both use the fact that i am getting more and more depressed as the excuse to ignore that really we have a problem.
my solution is therapy: explore imago therapy or family constellation therapy for the three of you, and see if that helps. good luck ... my two men think i'm the only one who needs therapy as they/things are fine as they are!!
i am really holding thumbs for you, and hope that things get better....and if they do please tell me what you did so i can try it as well!
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The only workable solution I see is for the three of you to sit down and come up with a mutual agreement of assumed responsibilities. The dynamics of your husband's and father's relationship is not healthy. Your husband is a grown man that needs to address his PTSD issues in counseling. Your FIL needs counseling to address the loses in his life and not use your husband as a replacement for those loses. You need to take care of your health. If the mold is affecting your Lyme disease, your husband is responsible to remedy that situation.
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Elizabeth, I think you need to see a counselor, with or without your husband. This marriage is not working out for you. See if it can be fixed.
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Thank you so much for all of your feedback.
It is funny when you think that making sandwiches is something that is making me mad! And I am sure I would be happy to hand it over to someone else at some point down the road:) I guess I have a mixture of feeling like it's something that keeps me close to my husband, and also feeling like maybe my father-in-law thinks I don't do enough for my husband. I want that connection to him, but my father-in-law takes my place so many times, it almost seems like it would be better if it was the two of them.
My husband has informed me that moving out is not an option. And assisted living is definitely not something my father-in-law will do.
There are other things adding to all of this as well.
There is mold in the basement and with the forced hot air it is pushed into every single room in the house. I tried to get someone to come in to fix it, but my father-in-law gets angry and won't let anyone do anything to his home.
I am struggling to get better from Lyme disease, and feel like getting rid of the mold should be a priority, but nothing is ever done.
My husband also suffers from PTSD and because of that can't focus on anything else when he's home. Not getting any help from him is so disappointing and is adding to my resentment. This is his father and he doesn't do a lot to help out. But his father just babies him and says he works hard and doesn't need to do anything when he's back home.
I have so much resentment that I definitely can't be the one to take care of his father as he gets worse. I have to figure out what I can do now. I want to move out so badly, but I am afraid I will be moving without my husband.
I appreciate all your comments! It makes it easier knowing there are people that understand
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I think that if you were better established in the marriage before all this took place you would be able to take this in stride a little better. I recall my MIL coming to stay a few weeks when our second son was born. She proceeded to toilet-train the older one. I finally had to ask her to please leave that task for me. It seemed special. By the time the second boy was ready to be toilet trained I would have welcomed a stranger off the street to do it! (No volunteers, though.) :-)

If you'd been making your husband's lunch for five years you very well may have welcomed a volunteer to do it.

Is it time to have a frank, kind, and calm talk with FIL, explaining some of the emotional impact of some of the things he is doing? It is really silly to fight over who is going to make a lunch. But it isn't respectful of him to do it after you've asked him not to. You need to feel respected. Some men seem to be pretty dense when it comes to seeing beyond the literal. He sees that he is "helping" and that he is "taking care" of his son. It may or may not help to explain your point of view to him, but I think it is worth a try. Or have your husband explain it if you think he would accept it better that way.

Figure out any ways you might compromise on SOME of FIL's "helpfulness." Would you be OK if he made the lunch if he always included the dessert you picked out? The special cookies you bought or made, perhaps with a little love note tucked in before you wrapped them? Are there other things he does that you could accept with some modification? I'm not saying there has to be -- you are entitled to your feelings about this -- but if there are and if he is willing to respect your boundaries, maybe it's a way to diffuse some of the stress.

Another approach to the lunch is to unpack the bag and make the lunch yourself, leaving what FIL packed for FIL's lunch. This seems more confrontational to me, but perhaps doing it several days in a row would get the message across.

The bedroom invasion could be turned into something you and hubby giggle over. "Well now that the old man has said his goodnight, how about us saying our special good night?" Or your husband could set rules. "We'll say goodnight in the living room, Dad. No entering our bedroom when the door is closed." (And get a lock.)

It does not sound as if FIL respects your career. Is your husband supportive of your work efforts? If you are working during the day (from home) and Hubby is working during the day, why should you take time out to get his car serviced? Well, in some households that would be perfectly acceptable. But the point is this is something that should be worked out between you and your husband, NOT dictated by FIL. (Did his wife have a career, by the way?) It is bad enough your work is interrupted to take FIL to appointments etc. It should not also be disrupted by what FIL thinks is your duty.

Your marriage is at risk here. Does your husband really get that? I'm all in favor of trying to lessen the stress of the current situation, explaining your feelings, and setting some boundaries WHILE YOU LOOK FOR YOUR OWN PLACE. You need to establish the nature of your relationship and the roles you each play within it without the interference of a well-meaning meddler.

You and your husband have been extremely compassionate toward FIL. That is a wonderful trait. But now it seems time to move on, let FIL settle in to getting by on his own (with the exception of driving) and for the two of you to build the foundation that your marriage can rest on in the years ahead.

I certainly hope you and Hubby can come to mutual understanding of this problem. If you are struggling with that, perhaps a few counselling sessions would help.
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No you are not wrong for feeling this way. His Dad probably feels atleast he can do this so thats why he is doing those things for him. They go thru a time in their life to where they feel useless so he is trying to feel useful. But at the same time you are feeling like you are married to his little kid. I would approach my husband and tell him I want my own space and my own privacy and if he doesn't go for it I think I would. Your husband on the other hand is in the middle and wants to make his Dad happy by living there but when it comes down to it the husband should cleave to his wife and make her happy. Good luck.
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It is perfectly understandable how you feel. To be faced with this situation at such a young age and newly married puts extra strain on the relationship. Your FIL from you you say, seems quite self-sufficient. Perhaps you could get your own place nearby and still look after him?

You both deserve time to yourselves and if he can take care of himself, less the driving - you might be better off in your own place if your husband understands this. Jeopardizing your marriage is not a good thing. Hope you can talk to your husband about this. Maybe your FIL would do well in assisted living.

Hope you can figure something out and give your marriage a chance. Hugs to you and take care.
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