I am a 35 year old wife and mother of a 9 year old. My husband is 7 years older than I, and his mother had him later in life (when she was 36) so not many of my friends can relate to this, as they are still years and years away from having to become potential caregivers to aging parents.
My husband and I have been together for 11 years and married for almost 9. We had a rough start (due to the loss of a child our first year of marriage) but for the past 5 years my marriage has been enviable. I love our life. Or, I did...
My husband grew up with just his mom... no dad, no siblings, no other family. I have never been a huge fan of her, as she can be very manipulative: she has a habit of lying and acting helpless so that others will do things for her or excuse bad behavior. But mostly I've kept the peace, since I did not see her often. She lived about 20 minutes away but was still working full time and had an active social life. She is 78, and has lived alone for decades. I did admire her for working at her age. About two years ago I took her to a geriatric doctor who thought she was having some mild signs of cognitive decline. I got her on Aricept, but we learned she wont take it. She takes Vicodin and sleeping pills daily for years for what we believe is very exaggerated shoulder pain, and though we and the geriatric doc thought she should try to transition off them, she became very angry at the suggestion and refused to allow me to make any more doctor appointments for her.
Anyway, six weeks ago, my husband was offered a promotion that came with a transfer to a new state. We quickly learned that this new state has a higher cost of living, and that his raise was essentially cancelled out by the fact that rents are about double in our new town. While looking for a place, his mom had made snotty comments about how I was “taking her son and granddaughter away.” So when the realtor showed us a 3 bedroom house for rent, I conceded that maybe someday in the not-so-far future, his mom could move in for awhile and contribute to the rent.
Except it happened like this: she jumped on the suggestion with no further discussion, immediately quit her job and broke her lease in senior subsidized housing and then called us to tell us she'd done that. At that point my husband said “well, I guess we have no choice now,” and she moved in with us last week, before I've even had a chance to unpack or set up my new home. The first sign of trouble was we found out she lied to us about her pension/SSI income, and admitted the day after we got her here that she won't have money to contribute to rent or bills. In reality, she gets about $1250 per month and has a car payment and car insurance that total nearly $950 per month (due to repeated fender benders). She also must pay some premium for health insurance and after doing her finances on paper I realized that now that she quit her job, she is left with about $60 each month after car/insurance/premium. Thats barely enough to buy her own food, let alone contribute anything. We are not a wealthy family — we have no assets, large student loan debts, and mostly live paycheck to paycheck. We cannot take care of her financially, but shes just made it clear that she has no intention of working again. My husband and I are both already resentful that shes put us in this situation, and this was not at all how this was supposed to be. When we spoke with her about it, she completely shut down and refused to speak. We are now buying all her food and supporting her compeltely.
On top of this, she is refusing to go to the senior center in our new town and make any friends. She stays in the house with me all day and I have no privacy. She wont eat unless I cook her something, not because she cant, but because she wants to be taken care of. I feel betrayed and uncomfortable but we clearly have no options now that shes already here. I never intended to become a caregiver at just 35, and I'm scared for my marriage and finance