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My husband and I have been married for less than a year. She has congestive heart failure. His mom is 85 and he was living with her to take care of her when we married, though we have known each other since we were 12 and 13. We are in our early 50's now. My husband is on disability because of an extremely screwed up back. He does everything he can but most of the work falls to me. To compound things, I have recently learned that I am getting laid off in 2 weeks. In addition, my 60 yo bro in law has been diagnosed with leukemia. He was in the hospital for a month and now HE has moved in with us too! The biggest problem is that his brother is a domineering type that my husband has never gotten along with. He is very unpleasant, bossy and mean tempered, even before he was sick. My mother in law, terrified of losing control, thinks everything I do to try and help is an encroachment on her territory. She won't allow me to cook (even though I was a trained chef) or clean, (she would rather let the house be filthy, if she can't do it no one can). We have zero privacy. In almost one year of marriage we have made love 8 times total. My husband is the youngest of 3 and he has become a verbal punching bag. I cannot bear to listen to it because he is the sweetest person I have ever known. I seriously cannot take it anymore. Had we known this was going to be the situation we never would have moved in here, or at least I wouldn't have. Since finding out about the impending layoffs at work, it has all come to a head, since I can no longer offer the $300 rent that I was paying her to help keep things afloat. (Another great thing is that she conveniently forgets that I pay her every month so I have to show her the cancelled checks EVERY TIME. She tells both his bro and sis that we contribute NOTHING to the household.) We want out. We have no money and nowhere to go. My biggest problem is that the feeling of wanting to just run away are very strong and I can't just stuff them down anymore. I am depressed. I have anxiety attacks. I love this man so much but I have come to despise his family and I just don't know how much more I can take. I am going to get whatever job I can find and save enough money for a used van and move into it. ANYTHING is better than this. I just don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to lose my marriage to this wonderful man. He sounds like he is game to go but is guilt ridden because he still loves them, despite how horrible they have been to him for years. I don't know exactly what I am looking for, here. I moved here from out of state. And have worked so hard up to this point that I haven't even made any friends. I guess I just need someone to vent to so thank you for that. Sometimes life just really throws you for a loop. We were so happy at the beginning. But this has just become too much. I have been sober for more than 20 years but every day I am sorely tempted, let me tell you. Thank you for listening. Prayers, if you believe, would be deeply appreciated.

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Well done - just do it! Better spend the money on yourselves.
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Thank you all for your responses. Bottom line is we are leaving. Now, to keep from going insane while I look for a job that is actually fairly decent. So hard to find these days. I have only had this job for a year which isn't going to look good on a resume', but it is what it is. If I have to get 2 pt jobs I will. Whatever it takes. I can't take this hell anymore. Anyway, I appreciate all of your kind advice. Gives me courage to do what needs to be done. Bless you all.
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wow very sad story...you sure have your hands full!! unfortunately...as long as your financially dependent on his mother...seems kinda hard to run away. thanks for posting though, we all feel your sadness and stress. keep in touch let us know what you can do? don't take any crap from anyone!!! your husband has to stand his ground against his valley or you two will always be abused! make your statements to them...loud and clear...and let them know you two mean it....back off!!
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CWillie makes a very good point about creating your own plans, and taking control of the situation yourself. Waiting on others could be a long waiting game and given the family dynamics, may never result in anything positive.

You'll feel so much better when you take control of your lives back to yourselves, and move on, leaving the family to feud amongst themselves.
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Lilredtornado, so sorry to imply that you aren't managing your money, but you did imply that your "rent" was $300. Personally I think you should have been paid at least that much for the care you give rather than contributing that to the household, and you are paying all the monthly expenses as well? Sounds like your MIL was padding her bank account at your expense!
I'm glad your husband is ready to go with you. I wouldn't wait for the other family members to step up, rather make your plans and present a date that you will be leaving. In my experience no one will make a move until they are forced to do so.
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Can the brother in law who has moved in contribute financially? Can you get a financial advisor to help the whole bunch of you work out a budget? MILs early dementia is only going to get worse, and she may get more rather than less belligerent as her judgement goes further downhill. You and hubby should most likely get to an estate planner and try to make sure some contingencies are in order based on the realities of the situation. He wants to be a responsible son and a good husband, but Mom knows where his buttons are. Do your best to pull together as a couple - see if there is any way he does not have to "choose" between the two - and yes, you do have my prayers.
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You worked 40 hours a week at a waguuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue that couldn't even support yourself, let alone help a college-age kid. What's wrong with this picture?

The way employment is structured in this country is wrong with this picture!! EVERYONE who is willing and able to work 40-hour weeks should be at least able to support themselves, and save a little for tough times. I was just reading about food shelves in our community and one person interviewed worked a full-time job but was not able to meet simple daily liviy6ung costs for herself and her child. THIS IS SO WRONG!! I am grateful there are food shelves and community gardens and other sources of help for such people, but it would be much better to solve the problem at its source. Why should the highest people in a company be millionaires and the people who work hard to make the company a success need food shelves??

OK, rant over.

My point in this case is you are not some kind of slacker. Our economy sucks right now. Not Your Fault.

And I can see how hopeful you were about establishing a relationship with a new "Mom" in your life. Maybe it was a naive hope, but it doesn't make you a bad or dumb person.

But you've given it your best change for a year. My advice still stands. Move out. Move out as soon as you possibly can. If Hubby can and will move with you, Hooray! But don't wait until he is "ready." Move out as soon as you can, and he can follow you if/when he gets his priorities straightened out.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I admire the strength it took to raise your son alone. I admire your hope and willingness to try establishing a new family. You don't deserve the situation you are in. Please take steps to start correcting this ASAP.
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Where has my money gone? Food, gas, insurance, utilities, I have a son in college, and was trying to help him keep from drowning in student loan debt but I guess that's a no go for awhile. that answer your question? I was making 10 bucks an hr and working 40 hrs a week. You do the math. I am sorry, but please don't imply that I am some kind of slacker. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs. I just worked my butt off and came home every day to work my butt off at home.
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My husband and I have known each other since we were teenagers, yes. But after highschool, we drifted apart and married other people. I was widowed 16 years ago and he was divorced 18 years ago. Yes. He lived on his own for many years before becoming disabled and yes he is on disability. The house is paid for. The 300 we pay goes towards utililities and we buy all the groceries. The only thing she pays for is cable. I will apply for unemployment as soon as I get my last check in 2 weeks, which is what they require. He is ready to move. We just feel kind of stuck right now with the stress so high with his bro moving in and me having to search for work. REALLY bad timing altogether. I guess when it rains it pours. I am sure as soon as we leave she will realize she can't do it on her own but at that point it will become his brother and sisters problem because we are done. It would be so much easier if she would only realize that I have just been trying to help instead of seeing me as a threat. But there appears to be no convincing her. It makes me sad because we have so much in common. Both musicians, both single parents for years, both of us know how to fly single engine aircraft. But whenever I try to get close to her she pushes me away. My own mother passed many years ago and I guess I had foolish hopes of having some kind of closeness with her instead. Silly me.
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If I understand correctly, you and your husband knew each other for about 40 years before marrying....does that tell you something about his relationship to his mother and his lack of independence?

I would get even a part time job or 2 part times jobs while looking for a full time job, discuss how you feel with your husband, and if he wants to stay in this very dysfunctional and unhealthy environment, move on alone.

I honestly don't think he's going to change now.

I also don't see the whole situation changing much. It seems you're bearing a large brunt of the mother's and brother's inability to get along with people, so you may just need to extricate yourself from this situation as I don't think the family dynamics are going to change, not at this stage of the game.

Don't be a verbal punching bag any longer; regardless of how strongly you care for this man, I sense that he's torn between you and his family.

You wrote:

"He sounds like he is game to go but is guilt ridden because he still loves them, despite how horrible they have been to him for years." Think this over very carefully - it says a lot about how your husband relates to his family and what the pecking order is in this group. Hint: your husband is NOT at the top.
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lilredtornado, you mentioned you had known your husband since you were very young teenagers, didn't you notice the situation prior to getting married last year? What happened to all the savings over the past couple of decades?

Does Mom-in-law own the house? Does she pay the mortgage/rent? Who pays for all the utilities, groceries, repairs to the house?

Now that another son has moved in, sounds like he is mobile enough to help take care of his mother. Where was he living before? Will he be paying rent?

Yes, time to move out, even if it is to a small apartment near-by, or a basement of a home. A household cannot have two Queen Bees.... not saying you are a Queen Bee, but that is how your Mom-in-law sees you. It's her kitchen, her dining room, her living room, etc. You are trespassing on her turf. Time to have your own place otherwise you will be a full-time caregiver to 3 grown adults, you will crash and burn.
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This has just become too much.

Move out. Hopefully move out with the sweetest man you have ever known. But with him or without him, move out.

Is your husband on disability? If not, why not? Can you collect unemployment until you find another job?

Your husband will of course feel very guilty at the thought of leaving Mom. But since she tells everyone that the two of you contribute nothing to the household, then she shouldn't miss when the "nothing" is taken away, right? But the real issue here is that your husband should be writhing in guilt over what living there is putting you through. He may not be able to choose to feel guilt-free, but he can choose to be guilty about his mother or about you. If he chooses his mother, then, sweet guy or not, I am sorry you married him.

I feel sorry for absolutely everyone in this household. Each of you! But you are the one who wrote, and you are the one who can save yourself. Do it! Get out.

(I don't mean to imply this will be easy or that this is your fault.)
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How long was he living with his mom before you moved in? Has he ever lived independently since he became disabled?
You state "He does everything he can but most of the work falls to me". So how did they manage before you arrived on the scene?
You say you have been working and only paying $300 a month rent, so where has your money gone? Your husband should be getting some kind of disability pension, and going forward you should be getting a severance and unemployment insurance, you could look into low income housing. I have a feeling the money is the least of your problems and your main issue is you can't pry your husband away from his dysfunctional family. You managed to live on your own before the marriage, perhaps if you find yourself somewhere else to live now he will follow you, if not then you will need some serious marriage counselling, but at least you will be out of that toxic situation.
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