My significant other's disabled mother is destroying our relationship. Any advice out there for how to sensitively deal with my significant other's disabled mother. She lost her husband a year ago and now lives with us. It is very evident she is depressed, but when we encourage her to seek counseling she refuses. It's actually gotten to the point she has begun to refuse doing anything for herself and completely relies on my significant other to take care of her on the days her caregiver has off. When I try to offer her my help she refuses or makes it extremely difficult. I'm also disabled and am unable to do something for her, which causes her to become snarky and backbiting.

With all her other behaviors such as drinking till she's falling and having incontinence, we are at a point now where my significant other is completely burned out and is interesting from me and our relationship. His mother causes arguments with her son who then unfortunately takes it out verbally on me.

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Well thankfully my so and I are able to communicate about anything and had a great in depth conversation about his mom and how we need to restructure our home to meet her needs and yet maintain our needs to each other. Unfortunately his Mom doesn't qualify for another caregiver to come in on the off hours. So we are going to all sit down as a family away from Mom and brainstorm on how to help her. Then after we have come up with a good plan, we will all sit down with mom and tell her our ideas and try to encourage her to seek out counseling and the help she needs that we can't provide.
Yes, sadly she has become an alcoholic and it has been very stressful. We are doing this talk as a kind of intervention, positively.
We don't want to make her feel attacked or like she is doing something wrong. It's understandable that behavior like this can manifest when grief is not dealt with properly. It's now time to get her the help she needs and help her feel like she is loved and useful still.
As for my so, he is a good man to me and bottles his stress and can sometimes say somethings that are not so nice. Like I said before we are very blessed to have such open communication.
Thanks for all the comments, it is really nice to have this website forum available for me to soundboard in a way that is outside my family.
Helpful Answer (0)

You say that she is drinking and falling down. Is she an alcoholic? Is that why she is refusing therapy? Are you and your partner informed of her medical conditions?

You said that she has a regular caregiver in the home. Is it possible to get another one for when the regular one is off, so your partner doesn't have to fill in to help? Since you and she are both disabled, I would imagine that your partner feels a lot of obligation to care for you both.

I would think that if you can determine what her ailments are, perhaps you might have better luck in encouraging her to seek help. At least you would know if she has the ability to seek help.
Helpful Answer (2)

A year is a good period of time after which to suggest a review of The Plan. Make it a date: tell your SO and his mother, ideally together, that you want to fix a time for all of you to talk seriously about where you go from here as a family.

You'll want to have some constructive proposals to share with them, so do your research first about where your SO's mother might be better cared for and how it would be affordable. Do the same for yourself, though! Do you want this relationship to recover and succeed, or have you thought seriously about giving up and making your own way forward?
Helpful Answer (3)

The only thing that you can change in this equation is YOU. Get therapy or counseling for yourself. Step back from the situation with his mother; this is not your circus.

If she falls, call 911 and have her taken to the ER for an evaluation. This is often a good first step towards placement in a caregiving facility.
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