Resenting husband for not supporting me. Am I wrong? - AgingCare.com

Resenting husband for not supporting me. Am I wrong?

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My dad passed away 5 years ago leaving mom on her own. She is 82 and suffers from no major illness but does take medication for her heart, and has uses a walker to get around due to knee operations and a fall she had 2 years ago. Mentally she has no problems but due to her age we limit alot of her activities such as using the stove and climbing any stairs when we are not present. Meals are also prepared for her with her participating when it is simple. My brother had been living with them due to dad's illness and continued to do so after dad passed away. We live 4 hours apart and we had agreed when my dad passed that my mom come for visits at our home 2 times a year for approx 1 1/2 months in order to give my brother a break. I also would go up to visit often and spend up to a week taking care of her doctor appointments and any other issues that needed to be taken care of.


My brother does not work in the winter therefore he was not concerned for that time period. It has now been 5 years and my brother is finding it harder and harder to care for her for long periods of time. He has requested that we take her more often for longer periods of time. For instance she would spend 2 months with us and then back to my her home for approx. 3 months and then back at my home for approx 2 months and so on. So it would be like sharing her so that both can have a break from the care. One of the issues is that my home is a small cottage so therefore there are stairs to go to the bedrooms where her home is a bungalow therefore much easier to care for and much easier if one has to go out to run errands and not have to worry about her using the stairs to go take a nap or go to bed. Therefore when she is at my home I worry so much that I spend the time scheduling everything around those times. For instance I will not leave the house till she is downstairs and had breakfast and ready for the day. I make sure I am home when she goes up for her nap or when it is time for her to go to bed. Being that it is a small cottage it means we are basically all together for most of the day....privacy is non existent. This puts alot of stress on my relationship with my husband as he feels we cannot do anything spontaneous and he feels when my mother is here he basically looses his wife and feels we have no privacy due to our home being small.


As time goes on me and my brother have realized that in a couple of years she will need much more care as with time and age she will demand more care and at that time we will make other decisions such as a home for elderly. She is ageing and new medical issues have started to appear. I have no issues with this arrangement my brother has proposed. My mother has always been there for me. She has always helped me at times when I needed her. Such as spending time away from her home and dad when I had several operations or for any other reason I may have needed her. She was always here for me at a moments notice. The problem is basically my husband who resents having my mother here for longer period of time than one month at a time. He feels two months at a time to long and is only ok with her visiting 2-3 times a year no longer than one month at a time. I feel torn and am resenting his lack of support. I have tried explaining that she is not yet ready to be in a home and when that time comes we will deal with it. For now I want to do this with all my heart. I cannot imagine placing my mom in a home at this time. This is causing alot of stress between me and my husband. I love him very much but I feel like he is asking me to choose between my mom and him. I find this selfish on his part and find that his lack of support a slap in the face.


My mom is not here 365 days a year why would he be so opposed with helping me and my brother care for my mom. She is not just my brothers responsibility but also mine. I am so stressed by this that I find myself crying daily. I never would of expected him to react in this manner. Am I wrong for feeling this way? We have been together for 21 years. Can our solid years together not be able to support this arrangement for a few years to come? I find myself not feeling I am becoming distant from him because I cannot understand why he would not want to support me with this. I find myseld asking "Who is this person" In tears while I am writing this and any suggestions would be appreciated . I apologize if I am rambling away but it feels so good to have gotten this off my chest. Thank you for any suggestions or insight to this issue.

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I'm a husband and I sympathise with your husband. It's very common for the spouse, husband or wife, to come to resent an elderly in law in the home. As you have a small house with no privacy this is difficult. Why not find an assisted living place near you for mom. There is absolutely no shame in this. And when it comes to choosing between your mother and your husband I feel the spouse should come first. He married you. Not you AND your mother.
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Marriage first. Or you will be caring for mom without a husband who is second place in your life. Putting mom in a home is not neglecting your duty to her, just carrying it out in a way that doesn't sacrifice your marriage.
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Your husband is willing to have his MIL in his small home for a month at a time, a couple times a year, and you call him unsupportive. Hmm.

You say this period of longer and more frequent visits would be for "a few years." How do you know it wouldn't be 15 years? Really? If her health remains stable and she is about the same as she is now in, say, 7 years are you just going to say "it's been long enough" and kick her out? You are counting on her needing increased levels of care but it doesn't sound like she has a chronic condition that would make that less likely.

Find a suitable care home for your mother now, either near you or near your brother. It could be independent living but with a full range of care options, so if she needs assisted living or even skilled nursing as she ages she can easily move to the level she needs. As long as her health permits it, she can still visit your brother and you for weeks at a time.

You marriage should come first. Yes, spouses should be supportive of each other. But for heavens' sake, your husband hasn't refused to have anything to do with your mother or been unkind to her. He is fine with her visiting.

Your brother also deserves his own life back.

To me the obvious solution is to find Mom a new home with the level of care she needs now built it, and room for more care later. Obviously she has some say in this!! But if you and Brother step out of the "we'll sacrifice anything" mode she may be happy to have such an arrangement.
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" I have tried explaining that she is not yet ready to be in a home."

Says who?

There are "homes" available at ALL levels of services and care. She isn't ready to have a small apartment that someone else cleans, with meals served in a lovely restaurant? What do you have to be to be "ready" for that? (The ads I keep getting for senior living places are looking more and more appealing to me, and I'm 71 with health that allows me to be fully functioning."

I think you and your brother need to educate yourselves about what is actually available, and then perhaps educate Mom. Making assumptions about what she is "ready" for is not doing anyone any favors.
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Star, as a very happy stepmother myself, my view is that when you married your husband you married his children. You knew what you were getting into and you accepted that situation, for better and for worse, etc. This is vastly different than the role either of your sets of parents play in your life. Marriage is separating from parents and establishing a new family unit. Of course you will go on loving your family of origin, but your responsibilities now are toward your own family unit -- including any children you acquire at the time of marriage or later.

Comparing how your husband should accept your mother to how you accepted his children is not apples and oranges -- it is elephants and computer chips. They have nothing to do with each other.

Since you feel your marriage is very one-sided, perhaps it is time for some couple counselling. Would you consider discussing this with an impartial third party, trained in listening? I think in the long run you want this marriage to succeed. Putting it in jeopardy for a personal 2-year goal may not be in your best interests. But giving up that goal and simmering with resentment won't be good for you marriage, either. Would you consider letting a professional help you both sort this out?
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Star, a couple things jump out at me. First, your brother is asking that your mom stay with you more often and for longer duration. Also, you are so worried about her safety that you have rearranged your daily schedule. And finally he has said that when your mom is with you, he loses his wife. Many of us will tell you that competing with an elderly parent for ones spouse's attention and time......well, husbands have an uphill battle there. When a parent lives with you, you are in constant daughter mode.

Going out on a limb here...I think he's concerned that the visits will evolve into long stretches of time, as she needs more care and your brother becomes more burned out. Many caregivers find that you take a step and another, and one day, you wonder how you got where you are. I think you're looking at things as they are now, and he's looking at what it could evolve into.
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I think when it comes to care giving when there are spouse's feelings involved you need to weigh the pros and cons of each situation individually. There are no right or wrongs. Its whatever works best for all parties at the time.

I know in my situation my Mom did not want to be a bother to anyone and so her health became very bad before she let on that it was a problem. By then it was too late to have her come live with any of us cause the situation was very serious.

I know if my husband were to suggest to me that his mother or father come live with us I would seriously object simply cause I have never had a close relationship with either of them and it would most likely destroy our marriage. But every situation is different.

If I were you I would sit my husband, brother and mother down and have a frank discussion about how you could make arrangements that would suit everyone involved. Good Luck to you.
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StarBright777, I understand your resentment. My sig other has the attitude "not my parents, not my house, not my problem" and that doesn't sit well with me because if it was his parents I would be there to do what I can.

And when sig other does do something to help out, my gosh, you'd think he is looking for a parade so that everyone in town can see how he had helped :P Why can't people work as a team? Why is their free time so much more important than your free time? If the spouse would help out, then there would be more free time to do things as a couple.
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Starbright, you are waaaay too kind and giving. That's an odd criticism but think about it. After all you have done for hubbys family now I want to smack him too. But the fact remains it's so very hard on marriages when the inlaw moves in. My mom is a pretty sweet 85 year old lady but the thought of her living with me and my wife...OMG! We would all be nuts in a week.

And FF I'm waiting for my parade too........
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My marriage is in trouble so I really didn’t feel like I should make a comment. However, in my mind and maybe the mind of your spouse, he may be feeling that a more permanent situation is coming soon. Two months become four. Four than becomes eight. Than bam, we are stuck.

You are stressing that your brother is tired, which means at one point, he may not accept mom back.

I don’t know you two personally. But from reading your post, I know there is a workable solution for all that will not require loving mom doing more time in your home.

It sounds like you have a good marriage, protect it.

Best wishes
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