I am 30-years-old, and I'm marrying a man who takes care of both his parents How can we make this and a new marriage work?

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His mom has MS and is bedridden, and his dad has dementia. We are exploring options of what would work the best. They need 24 hour care, but we are worried that living there (it's a small house) will put too much stress on our marriage. We don't want to set ourselves up for failure. I'm interested in any input. Would it be better to live nearby and hire more care?

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This will have to be your choice, but I do think you may be setting your marriage up for undue stress. If there is any way that you can get some help with the parents, and you can live nearby, I'd recommend it.

Certainly, you should get some couple's counseling to help guide you through this process. Caring for two aging parents in the same home is challenging for anyone. For a newly married couple, this seems to be asking a lot. Please look at all options before deciding how to proceed. Get input from clergy, caregiver supports groups (Alzheimer's Assn.) or other places. Talk it over carefully and make a "plan B" should you choose to live with the parents. Please move carefully. Best wishes to all of you.
Carol
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DO NOT MARRY HIM AND MOVE INTO THE HOUSE! BEFORE you get married - LONG before you get married, move both of them into assisted living or a nursing home. They can share a room if they'd like - either facility probably has a couple or two living together at any given time. You can still be a good daughter in law by helping with their errands, trips to the doctor, visits, getting them out for a drive or taking holiday dinners IN to them. If you do this right before or after the wedding, you will be the reason and there's too much room for resentment. If you do it now, everyone has time to adjust.

I'm impressed at your fiance and his devotion to his parents at such a young age but he should not risk both of your futures by moving into the house. If he insists on it, I'd evaluate why he really wants to be married...
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I would suggest getting some pre-wedding counseling and bring up how you are now planning on handling this situation which you two have made very healthy choices about in light on your feedback on my wall. It's great that he is so concerned about his parents, but I'd want some third party input about this marriage so if he needs some one on one help over his family dynamics and can get such help early on and start on it before getting married itself which wow is quite an adjustment!!!!

I say this for two reasons. 1. My cousin saw some issues related to her present husband and his mom while dating. She said nothing then, but his issues have caused problems in their marriage. Now she's riding his case and that is not getting anywhere. Big things are much easier dealt with before the wedding than after. 2. My wife had some issues with her mother that I never addressed until I saw their impact upon her us and our family once children came along. It was like she was not fully present with me nor with the family. To complete the story, I've had my own mother issues to work through as the only child of a single parent mom which was not a good experience as 'mommy's little man' which she called me constantly and treated me such even after she got married again to a man who was nothing more than an escape ticket.
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hum, "clearing my throat." A brand new couple needs privacy to develop their couple identity just like a young person needs theirs. From my observation of young married couples and parents, it is far too often a set up for division. He's going to be constantly either in a triangle of mom vs you with him in the middle which will be the hardest to untangle or in a triangle of dad vs you with him in the middle which might not be so easy to handle. There is sound reasoning why a couple needs to leave mom and dad in order to cleave to each other. By living under the same roof, there will be one big unanswered question looming each day over your head, 'am I the # 1 woman in his life". I'll write more latter.
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May I ask have you told him directly you do not want to live with them and if you have what is his answer that would be the telling point would he still want to marry you if you do not become their caregivers-his answer is very important-please ask him this and let us know what he says.
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Amy,

His guilt issue really needs for him to address with I suggest a trained therapist. I might sound picky or like a nay sayer, but from what I've observed of both male and female spouses, it is a marriage saver to explore and deal with. I appreciate how open you have been in sharing with us and how open you have been to the input here plus telling us how you and he are responding to this. Since, you are 30 I assume, that you have been working and living on your own, and standing on your own two feet so to speak. Ok, here's the gutsy questions that I find bubbling up inside of me. Has he lived some where other than in the house with them? For how long and doing what? How old is he and how long has he held his current job? Has he ever been married before or had broken engagements and if so, why? Is this fear of them feeling abandoned when for sure they must realize this is a normal step in life? Is is guilt mixed with fear over having a life on the upswing when theirs is on the downswing which is just part of the human life span thing? Or is this guilt mixed with both fear and a very strong under toe of obligation that it is his job to make as well as keep mom and dad as happy as possible, but if they are happy then it is all his fault? I'm not asking for your answers here. I'm just asking questions for possible consideration.
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For the first two months or so I thought that I could do it - I just thought I would be positive and we would get time away, and it would be enough. Then it just clicked one day that this is just too much. He came to the same realization right about the same time. 195Austin - I don't know if I want to ask him that. I would like to make both work, rather than making him choose. I don't mind living nearby, but I almost think it needs to be on our terms. I don't want to disregard them, but I also wonder if I have the right to change how things have been.
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So when I did finally bring it up to him, he was very agreeable. He had been thinking the same thing, but doesn't quite know what changes to make. He wants our own lives too, but he struggles with guilt - feeling like he doesn't want to abandon them because they certainly didn't ask for this either. His parents are only 68.
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I think everyone on here has basically confirmed what I thought we should do, and he agrees. Now that we are sure, we just need to make it happen.
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If your MIL is bedridden and you and/or your husband to be work, you definitely need to hire more care. There is no way you could live elsewhere with her in this condition and the Father with dementia. He could unintentionally do anything to cause the house to catch on fire, blow a gas pipe, flood the basement, etc. I think it's great that you are marrying a great guy who respects his parents enough to be doing this for them, it should show you how he would take care of YOU if something were to happen to you. Somebody needs to be there to watch over things at all times and make sure MIL is well taken care of. Even hiring a "babysitter" to come and sit with them once a week will give you both time to regroup and keep the romance hot and heavy! Blessings on your marriage!
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