My father in law has recently contacted us to move in with my husband and I who have yet to reach our 2 year wedding anniversary (he's in his early 50's). We are not in the best financial situation and we are currently trying to start recovering from it all. My father in law (FIL) receives a small check every month for disability (has been out of work since his 40's) due to who know what reason...I believe something everyone would consider not giving up your life on. He has been feeling sorry for himself all of these years and instead of taking care of himself, he has gotten into the bad habit of smoking and eating unhealthy which has now caused his health to deteriorate. My husband had told him long ago that he needs to take care of himself, but my FIL would come up with excuses, start feeling sorry for himself, and cry. Now he is doing the same thing as he has just found out that he has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. He wants us to pick him up as soon as possible because he is panicking (he thinks this is the end for him). Mind you, he lives in a different state in a small house (his house) with his sister and husband. What do we do in this situation?

 Background: He's single, my husband is his only child, he has no job, and under disability.

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Do not allow him to move in. I have RA. It's not a death sentence. There are many medications that have good results. I was diagnosed about 20 years ago. I have never not worked because of it. Smoking and poor nutrition will not help his RA or overall health. He should be exercising - walking daily is very beneficial. A flexibility class is also good. He needs to accept responsibility for himself. Do not allow him to manipulate his way into your home.
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That sounds way too much like a thought out play on FIL’s part to suck you two up in a non thinking emotional frenzy. He’s manipulating you. Call the people he lives with and feel them out. Don’t come right out and show your cards because this might be a maneuver by all three.

But NO, do not fly to his side and no, he can’t move in.
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Talk to hubby and let him know that you will help him research other ways to help his dad. But you have every right to say that father in law isn't moving in with you and this isn't up for negotiation. Your needs, your husband's needs and your marriage comes before his father.
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Do. Not. Allow. This.

When someone is the only child of a parent with iffy coping skills (I was), it is easy for your hubby to maybe not recognize this one simple thing: FIL’s “ask” is inappropriate.

Without being too harsh, you need to make your husband understand how foolhardy it would be to take on FIL.

Research the sh*t out of social services for FIL where he lives. Share. The end. 

This is the time in your lives for hubby to make an investment in your life together — the two of you. Your relationship, your needs and your financial security come first. 

And no, moving the mooch in with you will not boost your household income. With no overhead expenses, FIL will simply do more unwise things with his limited income.

I’m not saying cut FIL out of your life. I’m not saying don’t visit. I’m not saying don’t care. But you two — especially hubby — need boundaries. Stat.

I stink at all the right words. That’s what the other folks on this forum do so well. And they will.

For now, take away the spirit of my message. Keep coming back to AC Forum for support, and you’ll learn to develop a respectful “script” that illustrates to hubby where his priorities need to be. 

Big hugs! This stuff is hard.

P.S. How do SIL & her hubby honestly feel about semi-supporting the not-so-old coot? And giving up their privacy in exchange for his free ride? (Important: Not your problem. But the true vibe of their home life will inform the conversations you & hubby need to have — with yourselves and with his family. Knowing the score on that front will also help you & hubby create effective boundaries.)

P.P.S. Was FIL really diagnosed with R.A.? Or is this just drama??
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this would be the worst thing you could do for you as a couple, but also for the FIL. All it would do is enable him to not change his life the way he needs to. There is no good ending if he were to move in.
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You haven't expressed your husband's opinion of this. Can you share it? I think you should be very honest with your husband and tell him you don't think this is a good idea. It would CLEARLY affect the quality of your marriage --- emotionally, financially, and healthwise - smoking and poor eating habits.
If your husband wants to help his Dad be prepared with alternative ways he can do that. Helping to identify a R.A. specialist, for example. If (for some reason) he comes to your star, be prepared to have identified low income housing options.
Communications is an important element of a marriage, you really have to be honest. If you are active in an organized religion, perhaps a clergy member can be a mediator.
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Don't do it!

Your husband "feels trapped and doesn't see another alternative." Oh-oh. Not a good sign of clear thinking. The decision already feels doomed.No alternative except to live with a child? Nonsense! What does your husband think happens to elders who have no children or whose children are handicapped themselves or who live across the country? Here is a hint: these fine old folks do not live in a cardboard box under an overpass. There are resources to help. That is what your FIL should be focusing on, and what your alternative is -- work on getting him some community help.

Could his sister and BIL research what would be available in his current community? Would they be willing to? Could he continue to live in his own home if he has some help? A visiting nurse, a companion, help with cleaning and laundry, meals on wheels, etc. ?

He is on disability. Does he have a case worker? That might be a place to start. The case worker may not be able to help directly but most likely can direct FIL to community resources.

Moving in with his only child is one alternative. But from here it sure looks like the worst one!
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If you let him move in you will become his servant. He should know better than to intrude upon newlyweds. That he doesn't, is alarming and a red flag. It doesn't matter what your husband wants because he is now married to you and no longer single. Once you two married each other, you became the family unit. There is no good reason for your FIL to move in. Period.
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If your husband feels trapped now, wait until his father moves in, then he will realize the real meaning of trapped.

If FIL moves in, I can almost guarantee that your marriage will end in divorce. Then the two of them can live their lonely lives together. Please do not get pregnant. It will complicate your divorce 10 folds. Would you prefer being single or being a servant to THAT FIL for the rest of his life?

I am NOT saying to divorce your husband. No no. I am just telling you what the most likely outcome will be when the self-pitying FIL intrudes into your marriage life.
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When we were first married and even while we were dating, my husband insisted on us entertaining his mentally challenged sister. She was a spoiled brat and when we went to any attraction, she insisted on gifts and souvenirs as well and my husband complied even if we didn’t have the cash. If he didn’t she would sulk and smart off to us. Being a new wife and wanting to get on my in-laws good side, I said nothing. She could not stay by herself and my in-laws were social people. At the age of 16, she still had to be bathed. My MIL was clueless as to how to deal with a mentally challenged child so she kept her as an infant. When she stayed with us, she stole from me. I lost a beautiful necklace to her but felt I dared not say a word. Then, when my grandma passed, I bought my first car with my inheritance and paid for driving lessons. My husband, still obsessed with pleasing his parents and at their suggestion, wanted me to let his sister, an unlicensed and untrained driver, drive my precious new car around their place of business because she had been whining to them about wanting to. There was a steep slope and hill around the building and for sure she would have driven off it. I was so angry I was physically ill. I became a raging, fire-breathing dragon that even Danaerys would have been proud of. After that, hubby tread more lightly around me. But his sister has remained a sore spot all our married lives, even 43 years later.

Don’t let something like this erode your new marriage. FIL is a wolf stalking unsuspecting prey. And he’s a freeloader as well. He sees you as unsuspecting lambs and he’s going in for the kill. He’s been watching, waiting and biding his time. Once he gets into the “pen”, you aren’t getting him out. As others have said, be more than willing to help him find subsidized housing, but once he gets into your home and lives, you won’t get him out.
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