I divorced several years ago after my first marriage. Currently I am 38. I started a brand new relationship with my fiancé who is 42. We’ve moved in together in a cozy apartment almost 2 years ago. Our relationship is still strong. However, not our finances. With rent sky high, our combined earnings leaves us with hardly any for disposable income and savings. Burdening all costs to rent. My fiancé is very close to his mom he visits her 3 times a week and she passes by our apartment about 2 in average while I’m at work. She’s sweet, quiet and reserved. I’m not very close to her because she’s quiet and reserved. She only has a handful of friends. So she heavily relies on my fiancé and his brother for entertainment outside the home. whether it’s shopping or going to get coffee. She often complains of loneliness. Watches TV all day. Living alone in a 4 bedroom house. She’s 70 and on retirement, also cost burdened by her mortgage. However her mortgage is less than half what we pay for rent. She asked if we can move in. Where I can pay half the mortgage and my spouse the other half. Helping her with the elimination of loneliness, allowing her to have more money to spend during her golden years and allowing her to live with her son again. Me on the other hand I can resume on saving money and being able to go to concerts, go shopping or vacations once in a while. Sounds like a win/win. However I’m not confident this is a good idea. Compromising our own time where sometimes we have our own weekend plans either as a couple or with friends. Wouldn’t want her to feel excluded but at the same time it’s essential. I work over 40 hours a week on the general Monday-Friday 9-5 grind, first thing I like to do when I get home is take off my shoes and wear my sock slippers. As silly as I look I feel comfortable then make dinner after which I enjoy. I don’t know how comfortable I would feel doing that at her house. We also invite friends over often. What’s at stake for saving money on all parties in conjunction to relieve her loneliness can be test for me, actually, I’m terrified. She is at risk of depression from her loneliness and just hitting the big 70 last month. I would also feel guilty being a factor to her loneliness and depression. What are your thoughts?

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In defense of Barb's statement about his mom being "off" - what is off is her inability to fully emotionally separate from her kids. That she expects her son to move back in with her to alleviate her loneliness indicates that she doesn't see him as a adult with a life. You have reason to be terrified - she is putting the burden of her happiness squarely upon her son, and by extension, on you. She doesn't want to go out and create a life - take a class, volunteer, go to the senior center. She wants to keep her life of watching TV, but she wants you two to provide company and entertainment. She will co-opt your friends, rather than making her own friends.

Many of us have had this burden put upon us, of having a parent make us responsible for their entertainment, happiness, quality of life. It will suffocate you, damage your spirit and will damage your relationship with your fiance. You will get into toe to toes with him over her - you want a weekend away with him, he feels bad not inviting Mom. When you assume responsibility for a parent's well being and quality of life so early, by the time the parent develops health issues, you're already burned out.

At your age (I have a pair of jeans older than you), 70 seems elderly. To those of us in that age vicinity, being 70 means still taking classes, going out with friends, walking in the breast cancer walk, volunteering and, well, still active and vital. She can certainly choose to be a hermit, but don't let her choose that for you two.
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Reply to Linda22
Yrslz80 Jun 6, 2019
thank you for your advice. There’s definitely 2 great senior community centers in the area that are great. I wish I can even join! But don’t meet the age requirement and it’s in weekday mornings. Unfortunately she’s shy to go alone. But continuously trying to push her to try at least 1 class. My fiancée does get stressed about her being lonely often. The burden is there, because I feel it too.
There is a lot of good advice here. Take it! My vote is not only NO but Hell NO!

First, as others have said, it is her house, it will be her rules. Your boyfriend is already too attached to his mommy, they are seeing each other 5 days a week out of 7.

I am going to be 85 in a few days. At her age I was still working. 70 is not old.

I had my mother live with me and it helped break up that marriage. Most houses are not big enough for two women, and it will always be her home.

If you are still unsure, why don't you just stay there for a month or two, keep your apartment, see how it goes.

You are not married to this man, I don't know why, but that alone is a red flag for me. You will have no rights at all.

Please think long and hard before doing this.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
Yrslz80 Jun 6, 2019
Thank you for your advice. Very well said. The community has 2 great senior centers with an abundance of activities and volunteers opportunities. The problem is that she’s to shy so she has to go with one of her sons at first.

Its definitely a red flag indeed. It really puts me in perspective of what sacrifice I’m willing to take. The comfort of my own home and domain or financial freedom. What’s also bizarre is that she only wants to socializes with her sons and a few other immediate family members like her siblings. But never really goes beyond. That’s another red flag. What’s wrong with meeting new people and developing new relationships? Both are sacrifices to consider but now I know which sacrifice I have to choose.
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I wouldn't do it, nope. My mother is 92 with more issues than Newsweek and has been in need of LOTS of care for the past 8 years. She doesn't even live with me and I cannot begin to tell you just HOW involved I've been in her care giving; the hospital visits, the ER visits, the various doctor & specialist visits, the rehabs, the Assisted Living Facilities, now the nursing home tours, the ordering of Depends, the meetings, the phone calls, the chaos in general. It's endless, it's exhausting, it takes up almost ALL of my spare time and definitely every drop of my emotional energy. I could write a book on the subject, but rather than bore you with the fourteen million details involved in caring for the elderly, I'll just recommend strongly that you NOT do it. There is no amount of money on earth that's going to pay you back for the real cost.

Best of luck.
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Reply to lealonnie1
gdaughter Jun 6, 2019
More issues than Newsweek! LOVE IT! May need to borrow it!!!
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For many, many, many reasons, don't do it. Money is the worst reason to move into and help pay for a house on which your name does not appear on the deed. Your gut is saying "no, don't" and you should listen to it. It will always be her house until the day she dies. She's only 70 and you might be her roomie another 20+ years. Kiss your sex life and social life goodbye because she's way too needy and do you really think she's going to respect boundaries or privacy in her own home???
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

I'm 65. Most of my friends are in their early to mid 70s. Those who are retired (some are still working, because they love what they do) are quite active. They all have extensive volunteer gigs at museums, concert halls, houses of worship. Not one sits home watching television and relying on their children for entertainment.

There is something mentally "off" about your boyfriend's mother. She needs to be seen by a mental health professional.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
anonymous840695 Jun 5, 2019
That's a little harsh. My mother has always been very introverted and has always had difficulty making friends. There is nothing "off" about her, she's just a shy introvert. It's really impossible to make such snap judgments on here; we don't know these people well enough to do that. There is no indication that she needs to be seen by a mental health professional. Judgments are projections of our own issues.
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Disaster. It’s HER home, not yours.

Personally, starting a new life with my fiancé/husband would not include helping a MIL continue or finish hers. She’s had her life to live, you’re only 38 - time to create your own life not be burdened with another’s.

And she relies on him for her happiness? What happens as she becomes needier? Is she the priority over you?

I'm sorry if this is harsh but you might be sacrificing your life and future happiness for her. If you’re willing to do that then I really do wish you the best. This isn’t something I would do but I’m not in your situation so grain of salt and all that 🤷🏼‍♀️
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Reply to star97
Yrslz80 Jun 7, 2019
Thank you for your response. I agree with you. I work 40+ a week. I work in an insurance tech company where sometimes I need to fly to San Francisco. My life gets busy where sometimes I bring my work home. My friends have taken up line dancing so I join them and we have a blast. Then I have my fiancé and my son who lives away in college but comes to visit when he can or I visit. So it’s inevitable if I live there I may forget to take out my trash, make my bed, forget that the recycle goes on the green bin and the compost is all the way in the back. Dishes are washed and dried immediately after dinner. It’s overwhelming for someone that already has a busy life. But because this is her home and she’s there all day, these nuances are things to remember and not hard to forget. I’m afraid one day I’ll accidentally throw away the compost trash in the regular trash or forget to wash and dry my dish at dinner. I know I’ll go insane after 2 months. Knowing myself I’ll try to avoid going home after a while to escape where within time, strain my relationship. Definitely a no no. Thank you for your advice
Let's look at the financial aspect.

You pay half the mortgage, boyfriend pays other half. Mom pays nothing?

When mom dies, who is the house left to?

If mom needs to go on Medicaid, lien is placed on the house that you have been sinking money into.

You are getting no equity for your money.

If you need financial advice, try Dave Ramsey or for better ways to manage this situation.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Yrslz80 Jun 6, 2019
Yea currently she’s on a Medicare subsidy. Currently the arrangement is it goes to my fiancé and his brother

I went back and reread all of your responses:

"Yea currently she’s on a Medicare subsidy. Currently the arrangement is it goes to my fiancé and his brother..." How lovely for your fiancé and his brother! What a great windfall for them especially after you've subsidized their inheritance with your money.

"My fiancé actually did live with his mom. He moved back in once his grandparents died. That’s when her loneliness began." She's needy and that will never, ever change.

"Currently at the MIL home she pays the mortgage off her social security benefits and retirement funds. My fiancé and his brother help with the utilities. The financial plan is if we were to move in I’d share the costs 50/50 in all mortgage, utilities. Except insurance and property taxes." That's a great financial plan for your fiancé, his mother and brother and not a good financial plan for you. Did you ask yourself why they plan on excluding you from paying property taxes? By paying property taxes, you just *might* have an ownership right in the property. And what about your son? What does he stand to inherit? Bupkis!

"Yes my fiancé works, he owns a photo studio and a photographer. His income fluctuates where mine is a steady line since I’m salary..." No wonder he's okay with the financial plan *his mother* concocted.

"There’s definitely 2 great senior community centers in the area that are great. I wish I can even join! But don’t meet the age requirement and it’s in weekday mornings. Unfortunately she’s shy to go alone." Her shyness will become your problem.

"The community has 2 great senior centers with an abundance of activities and volunteers opportunities. The problem is that she’s to shy so she has to go with one of her sons at first. " Enabling is disabling.

"What’s also bizarre is that she only wants to socializes with her sons and a few other immediate family members like her siblings." Is that the life you want for yourself? That's your future if you marry into that family or move into her house. When people show us who they are, believe them.

"The plan actually came from the MIL. But I honestly feel like it’s desperation setting in. She has been complaining more and more about being lonely" Yes she is desperate to not be alone. You sound like you have a life. If you like the life you've made for yourself - line dancing, friends, etc. - run away and find someone whose values and goals aline with your own. You have decades of married life ahead of you. I urge you to ask yourself whether this is the married life you truly want.

"My fiancé always tries to see if I can get closer to her." Of course he does! It would make his life nice and easy and, just like his mother, he wouldn't have to change a thing.

"I have a son who’s 21. This really makes me think when I’m older. I told him, I’d never be a burden to you I will never want to be a burden. Especially when one would have their career and own family. Tending to an elderly mom daily is draining" She will suck the life right out of you, your sex life, and your social life. She will drain your finances. What will be left for your old age and for when your son may need to help you?

"There’s too much at stake for saving a few $100" I agree completely with that statement, Yrslz80.

"I know I’ll go insane after 2 months. Knowing myself I’ll try to avoid going home after a while to escape where within time, strain my relationship." What will happen to you and your career when your home life isn't restful and recuperative?

Marriage is too important to start off on the wrong foot. There are many red flags with this family. If you don't fit well into their family life now, what makes you think they will change in order to accommodate you?
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
AlvaDeer Jun 7, 2019
Wow, what a fabulous answer. You took her own words and showed them to her and if they are true now, how much MORE true will they be after the move in. This changes MY answer to her from a "Think a lot about this" to a SOLID NO NO NO and NO. Yours is such an excellent answer, and you took so much time in doing this. I sure do hope that she will listen.
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Despite your good intentions, RUN away, don't walk away...This is a disaster waiting to happen. It will take less than a day, should you move in, for it to be evident that this is HER house. Perhaps subtly, but surely as the sun rises in the East, you will have that impressed upon you.

Your friends as guests? I'd forget that except on special occasions, if any.

Financial benefit? In a week, maybe two days, you'd be wishing you had never moved. "Better to live in the corner of an attic than in a mansion with a quarrelsome woman." She may be nice and continue to be nice, but it is HER house.

You are an unmarried couple. Who gets the house when mom goes on to her reward? Half to one son, half to the other? Meanwhile, what if your sig other decides you don't fit in?

Legal papers drawn up by a lawyer? Even that leaves too many loopholes.

What to do with your furniture?

RUN, girl, RUN.. At 38 you have a long life ahead of you.,..At 70, MIL likely has a long life ahead of her as well....

A blunder is something that one has been forwarned have asked for comments and you have received them...

No matter what, I urge you to not do this..

Grace + Peace,
Old Bob in North Carolina...
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Reply to OldBob1936
jacobsonbob Jun 7, 2019
"Better to live in the corner of an attic than in a mansion with a quarrelsome woman." This is advice worth remembering!
Of course the answers are negative. The only one with the clear advantage is the soon to be MIL. Why does she have a morgage at age 70?
She gets her house paid for, it is still in her name, and 2 people to control. If you dont think she will be controlling your entire life in HER HOUSE you are woefully naive. She makes no effort to get to know you. Sees son while your at work. Thats not shyness. Not after 2yrs. She doesnt care about you. Or she would visit you both. She makes it a point of being alone with her son.
You shouldnt feel guilty bc she is lonely. That is NOT your job to make another person happy. You cant. That is her job to make herself happy. Is she saying she is getting depressed. If thats the case that is a big red flag/manipulation. She is already making you feel guilt, and you havent moved in yet.
What happens if you tell fiance no? Will he guilt you, or be ok? Something tells me she will work on him, to cont to guilt you into doing what she wants. Shes seeing her son 5 days a week. You are the other woman. You just dont know it yet. I had a narc mom. I can smell manipulation a mile off. Normal relationships are not based on guilt. I bet if you say no, there will be 2 people mad at you.
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Reply to Jasmina

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