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Sorry this is long. I am new here. At the end of the summer, my mother in law left my father in law. She did this by getting in their RV that she can barely drive and checking into an RV Park. No one knew where she was for three days. When we finally tracked her down, I drove from Dallas to Tulsa and picked her up and brought her back to our home. She is in the beginning stages of dementia and has a host of other issues. She is 77. She was here for about a month where I struggled to make sure she took her medicine and didn’t fall and didn’t try to drive. Oh yes, I have 4 children and we own a business that keeps my husband out until 8-9pm. My mother in law insisted on going everywhere we went. Baseball practice, gymnastics, swim lessons, etc. It was such a beating. I got to the point where I wouldn’t even go eat with my family because just eating out would take hours. Finally my brother in law came down and took her to Branson for a little vacation. We told him that she was out of medicine and needed to go to the doctor ASAP in Tulsa. We also told him that she couldn’t stay in her house because they are hoarders and it was bad for her. So what happened? He never took her to the doctor and she stayed at the house. Three weeks later she almost had a stroke and is now in ICU in Oklahoma. Both my husband and brother in law refuse to accept responsibility for their mother and think that either myself or their aunt will just take care of it. I told my husband that she CANNOT come back here to live because it is too much on me. He told me that if this is how I feel, he wants a divorce. Never mind that we have 4 children ranging from 5-18 years old. I am going to stand my ground. I can’t do it. Am I a terrible person? (There’s a lot more drama in there but for time’s sake...)

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No. You need to do what is best for you and your children.
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Reply to Becky04473
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I don't like how he's treating you. You have children to look after. An elderly is a full time job. It's too much. If he doesn't understand, then unfortunately.......
Very sorry, ((((Big Hug)))
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Reply to Lvnsm1826
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No sister you are NOT a terrible person!!! I feel for you. Your husband and his brother have their heads stuck up their butts and are not facing reality. Oh and they think the women should handle her??? Dont even get me started😡 yes please stand your ground. Your life as you know it will disappear, you and your children will be destroyed....please take time to read everyones stories on here. I think you already know in your heart this will not work and it will only get worse. Please dont destroy your and your childrens lives for your MIL....you may want to let your husband know that 40% of caregivers die before the person they are taking care of!! Please keep in touch here. There are so many women and men who are walking this caregiving journey......they will offer very good words of wisdom. Wishing you strength and courage to draw your boundaries and stand up for your family 💞 Liz
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cherokeegrrl54 Nov 26, 2019
One more thought.....if your husband wants a divorce, then he can move to Tulsa and take care of his mom and dad....
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Ugh, he is choosing his mother (and his job) over you? Not good. Does he give a reason why he doesn't want her to go into a facility? Fear? Price? Guilt? Would he be open to having her for a defined amount of time WITH a caregiver from an agency for 8 hrs every day? Don't become her caregiver or you may be the one wanting the divorce. He has no understanding of dementia or the path your MIL is on. Perhaps a stint in couples counseling would help? Do you belong to a faith community that provides counseling on a sliding scale fee? If he won't go you should go on your own so you are supported. Also contacting a geriatric care counselor may be a neutral source of information for him to process. Blessings to you and your family as you work through the issues.
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Reply to Geaton777
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No - call his bluff. I doubt he could really handle a business - his part of having the children - plus a demented mom. Insist on marriage counseling - the therapist will likely tell him to pull his head out of his a$$ - that he 1) does NOT get to dictate to you what you will do and 2) he has no idea what is involved in elder care of someone with dementia.

Has he pulled this "then I want a divorce" sh$# with you before?

if he won't go to counseling - then maybe you go - get some help sorting issues and communicating your feelings.

I think it is kind of lucky your husband is still walking around uninjured.
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YIKESMUFFY Dec 1, 2019
Yes, he is very lucky to be walking around uninjured...Remember what Lorena Bobbit did, LOL!
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No, you are not a terrible person. Your husband is being unreasonable, and maybe because he's scared, but he shouldn't take it out on you.

Would a skilled nursing facility be a possibility? Once she is ready to be discharged from the hospital, they might recommend skilled nursing rehab anyway if she has had a stroke. A hospital social worker could probably help with applying for Medicaid as well, since it sounds like she may need NH level of care on a long term basis. Insurance will only pay for rehab for a limited amount of time.

Reiterate to your husband that his mom needs a professional level of nursing care, which is more than any of you are equipped to provide. Even NH workers take shifts, one person cannot do it all. And your children have to be your first priority.
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Reply to FrazzledMama
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Hire the best divorce lawyer in the area and let DH know you'll be asking for child support AND alimony. He's choosing his mother over his wife and children and that's very inappropriate, very hurtful, and very expensive.
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 26, 2019
I would let him find out in the legal papers. He doesn't deserve any courtesy at all.
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He is using the threat of divorce to manipulate you into caring for his mom. Get a good divorce attorney and take his sorry butt to the cleaners.

You obviously procreated with a dutiful little boy and now you are facing the unfortunate consequences. That he would even go there when you have 4 minor children is proof that he only cares about getting his own way. As hard as this is, it is better to know now that he doesn't have your back.

I am so sorry that you are facing losing your life because of his mommy.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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What a terrible situation for you to be in. I cannot imagine your marriage has been rosy for awhile if this is how your husband reacts to your saying no I cannot look after your mother.

I doubt that marriage counselling will help as he seems to have a my road or the high road attitude.

You need to talk to a lawyer asap and find out your rights. 4 kids at home most of them in school is going to mean a whole bunch of child support and alimony coming your way.

Watch some of Dave Ramsey's videos on YouTube where he talks to women whose husbands as he puts it, 'have misbehaved'...
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that story reminds me of my ex -- making someone public enemy # 1 by telling fragments of a story .
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Geaton777 Nov 27, 2019
Captain are you implying that the OP isn't telling the whole story?
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You have 4 children,,, does your husband? Your hubby working til 8-9? well, he and brother should have a heart to heart and figure out what to do about their mom. Stay out of it, It is not your ordeal.

Mom is 77, clinically she has dementia written down in writing, people age differently... Seriously...

Kinda siding with Captain here.... ]

What hoarders? Why is someone sleeping in her home that are hoarders? does she know these people? Why isn't your hubby or BIL taking care of THAT MESS?

The hoarders are on your MIL, BIL, HUBBY.... Stay out of it...

Hubby will need to talk with social caretaker, doctor, and find out what the options are.....

LEAVE MEDICAL DECISIONS UP TO THE SONS AND THEIR MOM..... DON'T SHAKE AN ARM OR A LEG....

DIVORCE ISN'T THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING.

ONE way or another everyone will come to terms... Your MIL needs family too...If you have an extra room, perhaps MIL can take that room, and you can look for adult day care for her near home...

How do kids feel about GM living with them? They may actually help her. 18 year old? going to college? well, if not, then perhaps 18 year old can help out somehow, by taking GM to adult day care...

Find a good side here...somewhere.... especially now, holidays etc.... find a good side, It's hard, I know, doing that with other stuff... but try...

write down 10 things in a row.. don't think, just write... do this every night or when ever you can for a week... don't look at it,,, just write...

in a couple of weeks... look at what you wrote....
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 1, 2019
Kids are super busy these days. Most would not help. It isn’t their responsibility. It’s hard enough for an adult to do caregiving.

As a parent I wouldn’t want caregiving to be placed on a young person on a regular basis. They may do small favors periodically but they may not be able to handle certain situations.
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If she lives with you, hubby can take the car keys away... no issue there... Get her A senior state ID card,,,, she doesn't need to drive now..
Have hubby set her up with new doctor in your area.. get her acquanted, get the 7 day tray for meds, and keep track... MIL cannot do it,... ask my neighbor... he has tried for several weeks, now, and mom keeps running out of pills.... ReallY...

Mom lives in assisted living, but he has not put her on the drug program yet, where AL will monitor the pills...... WHAT? SHE RAN OUT AGAIN? SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHY???????????? hmmm.

Perhaps that extra $300.00 a month would solve that issue... !!! YUP ,,, That's what it costs sometimes when a person needs monitoring...

Some places drug monitoring is included..... Check around... Look around, take tours, and take their free lunches... and if it looks good, take MIL to check it out too....

I just pray my child doesn't have to go through that with me.... GOD PLEASE DON'T MAKE HER GO THROUGH THAT... I PRAY PLEASE LORD, TAKE ME BEFORE IT GETS THAT BAD.... I DON'T WANT TO BE A BURDEN TO MY CHILD OR THE FAMILY..... Just sweep me away, and hopefully peacefully.... Amen.
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Reply to MAYDAY
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Sorry ... MIL in the house has been tried before, under *better* circumstances, and it was bad. DH and BIL are pushing *their* responsibility onto her daughters-in-law.

Based on her sons' behavior, there's NO way even a "temporary" stay is going to go well for any of the women involved ... including MIL. This would be true even if MIL is a Living Dream Angel ... and nobody human can match that description.
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 1, 2019
This is how I feel. It’s extremely hard to live with others. People get on each other’s nerves. All privacy goes out of the window. She will need assistance with everything and the caregiver is no longer a relative. They are usually unpaid, eventually becoming resentful help. Sad but true.
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It is quite possible that your husband is using ‘divorce’ as a threat without having much idea about what that would entail. I’ve heard men expecting to move out, take the car and the sound system, keep all their wages for themselves, find a new girlfriend, and see their kids when and if they feel like it. I’ve also heard women expecting that their husband will just move out, leave them with the house, and pay over to them half (or more) of the income/ investments.

It might be a good idea to say something like ‘If you’re serious, we should both go to see a lawyer now and see what financial arrangements would need to be made. Don’t forget that you will still need to arrange care for your mother. We both need a clearer picture before we can make a decision on what to do’. This calls the bluff, and you can say it truthfully without getting angry or being 'a terrible person'.
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DILKimba Nov 27, 2019
Best response yet....
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Tell him he is welcome to leave and go live with mom.

Find out if there is a divorce MEDIATOR in your area. They can be very good folks to visit when a spouse has gone off the rails like this.

I don't know what your relationship was like before this or what your mutual problem solving style was. Most likely he is overwhelmed and terrified of the idea of having care for his mom.

His mother sounds as though she is beyond the staying at home with family without a lot of in-home care. What are her financial resources like? Does she qualify for Medicaid?

Can she be managed in your home with an aid several hours a day? Or if she went to day care each day?

Look into what is available in your area. Start by calling the local Area Agency on Aging.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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If that's how you feel, your husband wants a divorce...

Um. Really? And where would that get him?

I don't think your husband wants a divorce, really, do you? I think he's expressing his disappointment, massively worsened by stress and anxiety, that you won't "solve" this for him. Do stand your ground. You can't do it. Not because you are a terrible person, but because it can't be done.

Um, again - what do you mean, she "almost" had a stroke and is now in ICU in Oklahoma? What landed her in the ICU if she didn't actually have a stroke? - and what's the plan for her medical care now?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Also - how's your FIL? Is anybody keeping an eye on him?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Bye Bye husband Sounds like he just found his excuse to leave. Well move him out and make sure he takes his mother with him.
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Reply to PandabearAUS
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Certainly not a terrible person, but IF you should feel inclined, point out in a very quiet voice that the lifestyle in which your MIL had previously immersed was obviously very unhealthy for her, and that she now needs specialized care FOR HER OWN COMFORT.
Unlikely to change YOUR situation, but a partial reliever for YOUR thoughts of yourself.

By NO MEANS are you a terrible person.
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When my next-door neighbor's H filed for divorce, she found out that he'd gone around consulting with attorneys, so that by the time she started to do that, some of the best ones couldn't see her because of the conflict of interest because they'd already seen her H. So find out who the best divorce attorney is, and consult with them (free consult?) ASAP.

Even if there was hired help for 8 hours a day, if your H works until 8 - 9 p.m., you will be the caregiver for 4 - 5 hours/day. Dementia only gets worse, and if your MIL is only 77, there could be many years of increasingly difficult caregiving in your futures if you take her into your home again.

If you both own your business, that will be difficult and another thing you need to consult an attorney about.

You are stuck in a bad situation. Please come back and keep us updated. We are on YOUR side!
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Reply to CTTN55
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He's freaking out.

He can freak out, seek help for his Mum, make plans with brother, stay married.

Or he can freak out, seek help for his Mom, make plans with his brother, start divorce process & break his own family up.

Choice A or B?
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Reply to Beatty
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Call his bluff. I see your options as ...raise 4 kids alone or raise for kids (technically) alone and care for your MIL.

He focuses all his time on his business while you are holding down the fort with 4 kids. I bet he thinks you are sitting on the couch reading a magazine for most of the day. So of course you have the time to watch mom...who is really no trouble at all.

When my grandmother visited my father used my mom and I as buffers so he didn't have to deal with her. Then one time he had to spend the weekend at her place alone with her. He came back looking like he did a tour of duty in Vietnam. He asked when she had gotten so bad....we told him she was always like this, he just left us to deal with it.
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YIKESMUFFY Dec 1, 2019
Care taking can resemble war...it did for me. Very funny!
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No problem.

he will end up paying huge amounts in child support as well as spousal support. He will be at fault for abandonment.

I would go now and get several thousand dollars out of the joint account and hire a lawyer.

think about this....do YOU want to be married to a man who has done this to you and threatens you now? Get out now...take as much money an assets with you...get training and prepare to build a good life for yourself.

i don’t think I need to go on and on about just how horrible your life will become if you do buckle to his unreasonable demands and allow her to come live there.
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Reply to Katiekate
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Call his bluff.
You will lose MORE if your MIL moves in and you have to become her caregiver. You got a brief glimpse of one month of it. Imagine YEARS of this, getting progressively worse!
He is trying to bully you into doing what he is not man enough to do, which is make plans for his mother.
Call his bluff.
Put your foot DOWN and keep it down. Tell him you will help HIM make arrangements, but under NO UNCERTAIN TERMS will you live in the same house with her and become her caregiver.
Divorce is better than caving into becoming her caregiver.
This website is FULL of stories of the women who succumbed to pressure from spouses or family to become caregiver and became trapped and trampled upon and treated like dirt!
Don't become one of these poor souls.
You are NOT wrong to put yourself and your kids first!
She's 77. Imagine if she lives to be 90 (or more)!!!

I'd rather live with my kids "in a van down by the river" than be trapped in that situation. His mom. His responsibility. You are there to help with decisions and facilitation of those decisions, NOT become the servant and catch-all due to their failure to plan.
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Reply to XenaJada
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A bad person? No way! He is choosing his mother over his family, let him go. He has showed you who he is, believe him.

Move on, you will not regret this decision. Let him deal with his mommy, not your circus, not your monkeys.

Sending hugs and support your way.
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Reply to DollyMe
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I'd tell him, "I need some time to think" and make sure that she comes to your home . . . . . just as you get in that RV and drive off for a week or two. Let him handle all of it, let him really, really GET what you are going through.
Might be the only way to make him see your side. (which by the way, is a very good side, protect yourself and your physical/mental health -- no one else will!!!)
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AlvaDeer Nov 27, 2019
Perfect!
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1.   What's the status with FIL?   Is he living alone, and is he capable of doing so?   I'm wondering if he would be the next potential one to need assistance.

2.   I suspect your husband is overwhelmed (who wouldn't be?) and just wants to shove off all the responsibility on your shoulders, while he continues to do the husband thing and work at the business that, apparently, both of you own together.

3.    Before even considering divorce or threatening it, as many have suggested, think about this (it's not the highest priority but it's a major factor):  

     a.   Do you legally own the business together?  Is it a joint venture, LLC, or what's the nature of it?    If divorce occurred, would you continue to participate in managing it (I rather doubt it)?    Could either of you run the business alone?  Is the business the sole financial support for your family?

     b.   My points are not that the business is priority, but that dissolution of it may and probably would affect the family income, i.e., 2 issues specifically:

           1.   Your husband would lack income to pay child support (if ruled by a court), as he would be required to compensate you for your investment and share of the business.

            2.   If he sold his share to you, could you manage the business yourself?

            3.   If you sold your share to him, would it be enough to support you and your children?

4.     If there were a divorce, the judge would factor in (a) your ability to provide support for the children and yourself (affecting alimony which I understand is not automatic if the wife has adequate resources of her own) (b) age of the children, and similar issues focusing on child care.

5.    I raise these issues not to encourage divorce, but to put it in perspective for your husband, if he really thinks it's just a matter of his decision.    There could be significant consequences for him, including not seeing his children as often as he does now.

6.    I'm not suggesting accepting his position, but I think understanding it could help reach a solution.  He's probably frightened, uncertain, anxious, not only for your family but for his mother, especially since his brother apparently isn't helping.  

7.    So, use this as an opportunity, not a threat, and create a solution.  Ideally, both of you should work out a solution together, but if he's unable or unwilling, you'll need to take the lead, at least until you can work together (if he's capable of that). 

8.    I'm a firm believer of the Indiana Jones substitution effect - offset something with another proposition.   Consider that option.   So: 

9.     Have your 18 yr. old research AL or other living facilities in the area.    Draft a list (folks here can help) of what to look for, then visit and inspect them, taking at least your oldest with you.   Two sets of eyes and minds are better than one, especially when stress is involved.

10.   Cost would I assume be a major factor.   Consider if you could afford it; perhaps BIL's wife could offer her assessment of their family's ability.    If not, do you have access to MIL's financials and know whether or not she could afford the cost, or if she'd need to file for Medicaid?

In other words, research the alternatives so you can provide a coherent plan.

11.   In the meantime, also have your oldest offspring research home care assistance to get someone in ASAP and help out.    You won't get full time help, and it does take some research, but it'll take the burden off you while you plan for alternate arrangements.   And the cost might help your husband recognize that his choice ISN'T the free option.

12.   Check out the local Senior Center, get a newsletter, and ask which (not if) activities MIL would like to attend.   If your SC provides drop-off and pickup, arrange for that.   This is another substitution - older elders, professionally run entertainment and activity, instead of MIL "accompanying" you & your family.

Out of space.
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 27, 2019
He threatened divorce if she doesn't cow down to his demands to take care of his mommy. No one is telling her anything but to take him up on his manipulation tactic.

Sorry, but any person that threatens to rip the rug from under your life because you won't kiss their backside is not a life partner. No one should have to live with the uncertainty of not knowing what will produce the actual action.
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13.    List all of the issues for which you feel support is necessary (besides camaraderie, activities, etc.), and have your oldest child(ren) help research to find sources for these. E.g., apparently you're in Tulsa, either Missouri or Oaklahoma, so see what they have to offer in the way of older adult facilities. My county has an extensive list of resources, including providing respite time for families.

Alzheimer's Assn. also has excellent lists, better than the Area Agency on Aging.   Timing is also quicker; I got AA lists e-mailed w/I 1/2 hour; AAA snail mailed them a week later.  

14.    Check out paratransit through the local senior center and public transit authorities.   Small Bus services provide a sort of concierge service, and they're the most reasonable.    Star EMS also has a nonemergency service for pickup and delivery; I've just used it for my post-op doctor visit.  

15.    In other words, try to identify, address and find solutions for MIL to use (a)  until you find another place for her to live, and (b) to relieve the burden on you  right now, as well as (c) help her segue into an alternate abode that's away from your home, and HOPEFULLY (d) allow your husband to recognize the financial and familial cost to him if he expects you to manage MIL's care entirely at home.

16.   Much as I find this distasteful, I would also research divorce attorneys.  If you need guidance on how to find good and reliable ones, just post back.  


So, essentially, YOU are preparing for alternate options, and protecting yourself and your children.    But you can also help your husband (assuming you want to stay married) by finding resources that address and eliminate the probable frantic and lack of common sense reasoning he's displaying.  

I suspect he's overwhelmed but doesn't know how to find alternate resources and just wants to take the quickest way out, i.e., by dumping the problems on you and threatening divorce if you don't acquiesce.


Good luck.  You're not the only one facing this issue.   I tried unsuccessfully to find a post on a woman in exactly the same position; she lived in Florida, took a firm stand, and if I recall her last post (sometime last year) showed that she was making progress and hadn't compromised.  

(Unfortunately, the search function here is very limited and not specific, so I can't find that post.  It would have been inspiring reading.)

In the meantime, take a walk or do something positive to help clear your head so you can make the decisions necessary to benefit all parties.   And good luck!
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FloridaDD Nov 27, 2019
Researching divorce attorneys should be first.    There is NO REASON for OP and her kids to have to do all this list.  At most, she can divide up your huge and time consuming list.
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Once you stop & realize his threat still doesn't address the dilemma at hand, and it doesn't, so let him threaten.

Even if a messy divorce ensued (likely costing him a lot of what he has worked for). He still will be back at square one (and a lot more financially strapped).

What to do with mom.

Surely he knows, if divorced ... even less of any chance you're a resource as to his mom's care.

So fine, go ahead, we'll go consult atty's and get this show on the road. Whatcha gunna do about your mom? Bullying me didn't solve it, still have that to work through.

What a bunch of bull squeeze that is, to threaten that!
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Reply to Dorker
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Short answer? DIVORCE!!!!! His MOTHER comes before YOU!!!! Let mommas boy take care of her all by himself.
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