My mother-in-law won't leave. Any advice?


I'm 37 and am engaged to a wonderful guy. His mother was living rent free with a friend of hers until she broke the rules and because I didn't want to see her on the streets, now she's here in our apartment.
Jump back just a minute and let me tell you I had been raising a step-daughter for 9 years who ran away to live with her sister..... Anywho his mother is starting to remind me of my stepdaughter which is making it worse. She's rude, a slob, claims the living room as hers allllllllll day long, doesn't clean up after herself and doesn't help with anything but groceries when she gets her stamps, but wants cigarettes and beer. I'm to my wits end!! This Christmas has SUCKED!!!! I'm so stressed out and I want her out but she has nowhere to go and on other family to help her (she's screwed them all over too).

Please help with ANY suggestions. This is hurting my relationship with my boyfriend :(

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Good to hear back from you. Too bad you can't send her to detox, get her set up on welfare and find some low income housing for her that welfare would pay for. Don't buy her anymore alcohol if you have been buying it for her. I don't think food stamps can legally be used to buy alcohol.
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@cathyberry. Damn thank you for all that. Something that I haven't mentioned is that this is MY apartment and him and I have been living together since April and his mother just moved in right before thanksgiving. We have found more problems that make it impossible to imagine her here and also dangerous. I can't move because my job is here and I'm trying to get financially situated after my surgery. My boyfriend pays 1/2 the rent AT LEAST and helps out with everything else.... She helps with food stamps when she gets them. You are right about putting myself first. We aren't getting married anytime soon but he makes me so happy and thinking about me makes me want her out even more to start some alone time with him. Been together for a little over a year but my step-daughter left in the beginning of Sept. It's all so frustrating but thank you thank you thank you!!!
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@jeannegibbs. My boyfriend agrees that this isn't working. I will take your advice to heart! She can't live independently because she doesn't work, is an alcoholic and other than that there's not really any reason!!!
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I know it is so easy to give advice to someone when we are not fully aware of the situation but I wish that someone who cares for me if I was in your situation would say some of the things that have already been said:

1.Tell him to pick the woman in his life--you or his mother. She goes or you go.
If he chooses his mother then you know where you stand and you need to start thinking about making a life for yourself.

2. Please think about postponing the wedding until this situation is resolved. Marriage will only make it worse--except that you will be trapped in the marriage. Don't forget- it is easier to change your mind the night before the wedding than the night after the wedding.

3.Who is paying the rent for the apartment? If you are contributing to it, you have a say in who lives there. (Even if you are not, you have made a HOME for you and your fiancé. His mother was not part of the package.) You do not live in your own home to be exposed to such boorish behaviour. You deserve better. If your fiancé will not support you to get out of this hell that has been created by HIS mother you have every right to make you own choices.

4. You COULD say that it is her problem that she has burnt her bridges but you sound too kind-hearted to take that attitude. How about being kind-hearted to YOURSELF? You have been through this type of problem before with your step-daughter. Let someone else carry the burden now.

5. Start checking out living accommodations in the area--(or even far away!!)either for her or for you. Doing something positive could make you feel better about the situation.

6. Are you out of your home during the day? If not, try to get out, even if it is only for a coffee or to the local library. This woman has taken away your peace of mind in your own home. Don't let her take your sanity!

7. It is easy to say "I don't remember that conversation." so put it in writing. Send it by recorded mail which requires her signature of acceptance of the letter. (Don't give her any idea that the letter is from you as she may refuse to accept it.)

By the way, what was she like when she lived with for the two months after your surgery? Did you have any idea then what she was like? If so, why on earth did you agree to let her get back in under your roof?

You do not need us to tell you that you are in a very difficult situation. You are well aware of that yourself. Only you can make the changes that will make your life better. I wish you all the strength and peace in the world to make your choices--and to stick with them. You go girl!
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You are letting your good heartedness get involved too much. Other places and people don't have any trouble kicking her out when she breaks the rules.

Your boyfriend has to be 100% in agreement with you that she has to leave. Is he?

If you both want her to leave, then you set a date, tell her firmly that she must be out by then (HE tells her, with you present), offer to help her find other options, and start eviction proceedings, just to be sure there is no delay when the out date rolls around, and also to convince her that you are serious.

When you are telling her, tell her "this isn't working out." Don't go into a lot of detail like she is lying about you or invades your privacy or any other reasons. That might give her the impression that this is negotiable, that she can promise to change and you'll change your mind. No. The decision is made. Your house, your decision. You don't need to justify it to her.

As to what her other options are, we might be able to be more helpful if we knew more about her. As CM asks, what are her impairments? How old is she? Why can't she live independently?
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Do your homework. Check out the area for senior subsidized housing. Then get with boyfriend to tell her it's time to fill out an application for housing. Do it together. If she needs furniture, there are many agencies to assist with that. Set a date on the calendar and circle it with red ink. Get going
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You write that you are 37 which tells me that his mother is not all that old. Does she work? Why did she stop living on her own and have to live with a friend for a while?

Has your boyfriend told his mom to leave or has it been mainly you telling her to leave? You best present a united front as a couple for her to leave or this relationship is going nowhere.

I hate to say this, but I'd post-pone the wedding until this is resolved. This sounds very similar to a problem on another thread where the couple was having a hard time with a very narcissistic mom, but the husband could not bring himself to deal with his mother. After years of being imposed upon, finally, his wife told him that it was either her leaving or his mother leaving. The woman did not have any health issues that necessitated that someone care for her and she had a full time job. The husband finally got up enough guts to tell her to leave. Emotionally, he had to chose who is was married to, his wife or his mom? He needed to grow up and stop being his mom's little boy. Reluctantly, he did.

You don't want that kind of marriage where the mom dominates the son like that and you have to give him an ultimatum that it is either you or she that leaves.
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@jeannegibbs. I guessi looking for HOW to tell her that it's time she leaves but she has nowhere to go. She's burned ALL bridges and the other between us and her is on fire! The bratty child is not my boyfriends but my stepdaughter from my last marriage where he passed away. She's loving with her sister and it is out time that I live my own d*mn life. I told his mom a few days ago she had a month but she conviently doesn't remember the conversation. I'm letting my good heartedness get involved too much. She as staying her for about 2 months due to myself having surgery but then when she went back home.... Didn't follow the rules of where she was living and got kicked out! Ahhhhhh I'm sooooooo tired of it!! Shes now lying to people and calling me a lying b*tch. Help help
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@fregflyer. My boyfriend wants her put too. She's lying and is not telling other people that I'm a lying b**ch behind my boyfriends back. I'm hurt and mad but at the same time I don't want to throw her out nowhere, but I won't live with someone talking about me like that and doing other things that have pretty much ruined her chances of being welcome here
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You say she won't leave.

Has her son talk her to leave?

Have you asked her to leave?

Or are you both expecting that she'll wake up one morning and think, "Gee, it really is time I stopped imposing on my son. I think I'll leave"?

If you both have told her to leave and she refuses, we can give you advice on eviction proceedings and suggesting housing alternatives.

Or is the question about how to tell her she must move?

What kind of help are you looking for here? I'll back among us we can give it to you. Just be more specific.

You have tried your best to raise someone else's child for nine years. (Is this the current boyfriend's daughter?) Now you are trying to cope with someone else's bratty mother.

When is it your turn to live your own life?
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