Mother lives with son, where do I fit in and cope? - AgingCare.com

Mother lives with son, where do I fit in and cope?

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I am 57 and have been dating a man (also 57) for the last 5 months. His 80 year old mother lives with him. She has dementia and mental illness. Given her age and situation it is not unusual that she clings to him. Actually she clings to both of us. Therein lies the problem. She acts up terribly if we choose to go out. I feel guilty when she gets so upset, as I understand her loneliness. Frankly, I really dont want her to come with us as she acts up. We are only together on weekends, so she has him all week. Friday evening when I arrive, she is in bed and we have good "couple time". We have a peaceful dinner, watch TV and just be us. The trouble starts first thing in the morning. I get tense thinking about this. If she hasnt bathed properly, he mentions it to her and she becomes very angry.I suspect he lets the hygiene slide during the week to avoid strife and encourages her to be clean when I visit, thankfully. Then she starts bugging him about what our plans are for the day as she wants to join us.Sometimes she starts crying or gets angry to manipulate. I become very stressed. If we offer her breakfast she argues she is not hungry then when we make ourselves something, she wants it. (typical of dementia) This is bothersome, so I just make her what we are eating and either she eats it or continues to complain. She has tried anger and tears to get her own way. He wont tolerate this, puts his foot down and the tension mounts. We have zero privacy during the day when she is up unless we flee the house to be alone. It is very difficult to get to know someone if you are always on the go. Not having time within a home environment when dating impedes the development of the relationship. We just cant hang and be ourselves. We cant enjoy morning coffee together, be able to have a conversation without her constant interruptions or dirty looks and it is stalling our relationship from further developing. We need time to bond, just the two of us and she will not leave us alone. Ideally, without the issue of dementia, a mother might have the common sense to let the lovebirds be alone. Make herself scarce. She likes me as I am a source of entertainment if you will and she loves to manipulate and play on my guilt. He and I had a conversation about this as he recognizes what she is doing to me and what I was allowing to happen. I think you all have the picture.
So, what is this doing to us as a couple? I feel like I am in the middle of a threesome! I am starting to dread going to his house on the weekends because of the tension. I am getting cranky in my day to day life at home as I dread being with her. I am resentful that we cant develop as we should have by now. He has talked about marriage in the future, which I hope for as well, but never will it be the three of us. She qualifies to be in a home, but since she is still somewhat functioning, he hates to put her in one at this time. I dread the day, if it comes, that I have to tell him, its one of us not both of us. Obviously, this is taking a toll on our relationship as I am getting more and more on edge. I find myself crankier and less tolleratant in my general life and its creeping into our relationship which makes me very sad. I am going to have to encourage him to start spending more weekends at my home in order to salvage this relationship. The problem is, leaving the mother alone....
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It is a man responsibility as a son taking of his mother. I would do the same as a daughter taking care of my father who is suffering with dementia. My boyfriend encouraged me as well. He said that if I can have the patience to take care of my father, I would have the same with his parents. So, basically, it is about whether you have the compassion for his mother or not. People who are suffering with dementia, they say things that are not making sense.
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sendme is so right-on-the-money. Don't go back to him.
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Awww, Dotville... just a couple things - YOU did not make his mom unhappy - she and her dementia made her unhappy. And, scheduling more time for you and her primary caregiver to have to yourselves while someone else looked after her for a short while would have been good for everyone, indirectly even her, because then he might not have gotten as burned out and testy with her. It is very hard to accept the decline of one's own parent, and i had a good friend who would occasionally yell at his mom too, and yet he was basically very good to her and made a point to bring her out for things she still enjoyed, even quite a few of our Kiwanis club meetings. And yes, anything at all that increases pain and/or inflammation can make dementia-related behavior quite a bit worse. It is always good to look for medical causes when that happens, because they can't at that point verbalize what is really happening physicially to them. It sounds like she was definitely to the point of needing full time around the clock care. Sorry it did not work out for you two to pull together a realistic plan in time to provide for it that he could live with - I bet he felt gulity underneath it all too.
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As I get older, and my friends and relatives, a lot of them are also forced into dealing with their aging parents, and keeping their relationships in spite of it. Sometimes they feel they have to say something about their S/O's plans for their parents and are told to keep out of it. It's a hard thing for everyone involved. Bless you, wish you all the best, thanks for sharing.
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He will always blame you for forcing him to a decision.
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When she is in a home, he can take his frustrations out on you-and yell at you.
Some old advice: If you want to pick a good man, see how he treats his mother, observe carefully-not just the devotion, but the yelling. Another red flag.
You said: "Glad I am out".
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Thank you Jo Ann, oddly enough a brand new home is opening next month and she can get in immediately. This is the perfect opportunity. Another thing i wondered about floated to the top...as she gets worse, he has started to yell at her. I mean yell! Anger issues are apparent. God works in mysterious ways. Glad I'm out.
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Sorry for the breakup. Be aware, that he is between a rock and a hard place. With her problems she cannot be reasoned with. I pray that he realizes she needs more care than he can give. If possible, keep in touch if just texting. Maybe when all is said and done u can get together again. He just may need some room. We all say "Time for a home" but there is a stigmatism here. We all remember they weren't the nicest places. This is where his mind probably is.
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Update: Thank you to everyone. God bless all of you. The dear lady is declining more rappidly than i have ever seen. He gets quite angry with her because he is frustrated and she is determined. We talked, i said she needed to be in a home, he said not yet. 6 mos to a year maybe. It broke us up. Then tension in the home was too much for me. The relationship couldn't progress. I couldn't stand to see her suffer any longer. I felt helpless, there was nothing i could do to help any of us. But all of you helped me and i am eternally grateful. I signed up for more than i bargained for. May the good Lord bless all of you caretakers and guide you and give you strength. You are true angels.
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Dear Dotville,
Go with what you already know after 5 months: This man is unavailable for a relationship.
R U N
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