My MIL has now lived with us for over 6 years and has completely taken over our lives because my partner is only interested in looking after her. He is now in deep debt due to the expenses which looking after his mother and father have incurred. The father passed away a couple of years ago and had never bothered to save a penny for their old age, neither did my MIL. Perhaps it is the cultural differences that I am having a problem with but I simply cannot take this any longer. I used to get along with her but now I genuinely dislike having to be around her, I feel she has taken advantage of the situation and gives no thought to us a couple, that is if you can call us a couple any more. She had a stroke a few years ago and it seems like her son has taken this as his life mission now, to look after her and her needs only. It is such a long and twisted story that it would take forever to tell but I have felt for a long time now that I have been taken advantage of in many ways. The family is Mexican and I am from England, unfortunately I feel I have been brainwashed into thinking that it is my duty as a woman to put up with all this and either I like it or I lump it. I dont like either options to be honest, but I have no job although I am in the process of looking when I am allowed five minutes for myself. Here in Mexico it is not so easy to get a well paying job, or at least enough to pay for a rent. Basically I feel trapped here and have nowhere to go so I suppose I am in the situation of having to lump it. Being from England I have always shown the so called Stiff upper lip or tried to anyway, but lately I feel I am always mad at him and feeling resentful and have no idea how to broach the subject because of the fear that he will take it as an offense towards his mother as he usually does and then all I get are insults and offenses. What I dont understand is how he never approaches me to talk about any of this although I am sure he knows this has all has affected our relationship and is the reason for my attitude. It seems I am in a situation of psychological warfare, I cant seem to think straight anymore. Any comments are welcome. Thanks.

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When I dated someone from Mexico, the first thing I learned to say in Spanish was: no soy tu pinche esclava. I really think you might need to say that too. There are alot of cultural differences and he will never put her in a home...its not acceptable. Another thing, if you have been living there with him for years, why arent you married, it is very important in the culture and by not being married, he doesnt respect you at all. Things are really different there. Hopefully mulata88 will see the post because she can offer you alot more advice.
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Izmir, how long have you been living in this completely crappy, one-sided relationship with a man who doesn't give a toss about you or your future? No, your MIL isn't interested in what impact she and her late husband had on your relationship with your partner. She doesn't think it's remotely important. And why should she, seeing that your partner doesn't?

For heaven's sake, walk. I will pray that your brothers are longing for a sight of you, and will happily assist with travel fares.
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Izmir you're too nice ..... get out of there and go live your life - He can't stop you you aren't legally married. Finding a poorly paid live in post would be better than living the life you are now wouldn't it? Or wouldn't it? If not then I am afraid you have to tolerate what will eventually become an intolerable situation
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First of all I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to answer my message, in a way being able to let it all out to someone really helps, I dont tell them all the details as it is not my intention or my nature to hurt or speak badly of anyone, least of all someone who I have spent so many years with and care about, but my intuition tells me this situation is not right for me as a person any longer.
In answer to Rainmom, I am 59 and MIL is 87 and no, I am not legally married here which also gives me a sense of insecurity and always has done, especially as my partner has always put his family before me in many situations in the past. I turned a blind eye to all of this and I suppose these are the consequences. I always remember my dear Dads expression, “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it!” Not a very smart thing to do I realize now.
I know he meant well, but geez….

Yes Eyerishlass, that is exactly the problem, he has shown very little respect towards me over the years which besides everything else has also affected my self esteem. You’re right, I did agree to it at one time as I felt I really had no option, although I felt his sister should have helped more, he didn’t want that, neither did she, but mainly he wanted to be the one to take care of her. I told him many times that my commitment had been with him, not with the rest of his family as well, but somehow, little by little as usual my opinions were not taken into account and it all ended up with me being her caregiver as well. He shows absolutely no concern or appreciation either for me or how I feel, to top it all off, now I have to put up with his offhand ways due to the economic situation we are in now, oh but his mother must not be aware of all this as he doesn’t want to upset her. It seems incredible that he doesn’t see that we are going down the same path as his parents did, he was so mad at his father for not taking care of his mother and how badly he treated her and yet he doesn’t seem to see he does the same thing, or maybe he does but is so obsessed in his role as protector of his mother couldn’t care less about anything else. I have mentioned it so many times in the past but he just brushes it off, if, and when the subject is brought up.

I do have my passport AmyGrace and I speak Spanish and Italian and have worked in many different jobs over the years, some of them were sabotaged by my partner as it interfered with my duties around the house, or as he said sometimes, just a waste of time for the little money I was being paid. I know and accept that I have allowed this macho attitude which is so prevalent in this society to completely take me over little by little over the years.

Thank you PhoenixDaughter for your suggestions, I have been in touch many times over the years with the British Embassy but to be honest they give very little assistance to the British community here in Mexico, I had registered with them ever since I arrived here, but now they say they no longer keep records of any of us, there is, however a page we can sign up to where if we need orientation we can consult it, but otherwise us English lot are on our own these days. Very sad really as I see the US and Canadian Embassies are always keeping their crowd up to date with things and what to do if there is a problem. I got on the web site they mentioned and it said roughly if we found ourselves in a tricky situation we should basically hide and try and get to the nearest airport as soon as it was safe. So, I know I am not going to get much assistance there, but then again I don’t think my life is in danger, at least I hope not.

In answer to your comments ChurchMouse, I didn’t mean she was taking advantage of the terrible situation of having had a stroke, of course not, not at all nice to wish on anyone, but what I was trying to say there was, she has now recovered from her stroke and has a very comfortable life in every way, but she seems completely oblivious of how much this has all affected our relationship, she hears us arguing over things and just closes her door and watches her soap operas.That, to me is not that she doesn’t want to interfere, she just seems to be of the attitude that its not her problem, but now, thanks to her and her husbands irresponsibility, our future, if there is one together, will be spent trying to recuperate everything again. Not such an easy thing to do here in Mexico, any saving we did have are shot now, any plans to travel down the drain. But, yes, I see very clearly now that he is aware of all of this and doesn’t care about our relationship the way I do, all that is important to him is looking after his mother and her needs. You ask me what I expect of him, well, I suppose what anybody would really after so many years together, a little consideration for me as well perhaps? In all these years with him, never once has he even offered to get me a ticket home to see my brothers who live there. I have worked as I menti
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Izmir my suggestion is to apply for a live in position in the UK.
Just type in "Live in work in the UK". i have no idea what your skill set is but you certainly have experience caring for an elderly lady and these positions are very difficult to fill so I would start there. The new employer will possibly be prepared to buy your plane ticket although you may be required to pay it back later or agree to stay for a certain length of time. The lady is a very respectable publication for advertisements for domestic situations.
Be realistic when leaving. You may only get to take a small suitcase and slip out in the middle of the night so be very careful. Good Luck.
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Phoenix, Cruise ships and travel agencies are an excellent suggestion!

Churchmouse, good insight into factors I missed as well as a rational analysis of what she's facing, especially as to repatriation.

Thank you both for responding to my SOS! Great friends and helpers you are, as Yoda might word it.
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You feel your MIL has taken advantage of having had a stroke, having no money to live on and being widowed? Er. That's one way of looking at it.

I'm afraid I've more questions than I have answers:

How long have you lived in Mexico?
Were you married in Mexico, or did you meet and marry in the UK and then return to your husband's home country?
To whom is your husband in debt? A respectable bank, or has he been the victim of more dubious (and perhaps alarming) lenders?
Where in Mexico do you live?
What kind of social network have you developed there over time? - friends, other expats, employers and so on.
Do you have any family in England, and if so are you in touch with them?
Do you have a valid British passport?

The thing is, it isn't difficult to see how you could clear off back to England if you wanted to. If you remain a British national, the embassy or your nearest equivalent would listen sympathetically, and should be able to help you sort out lapsed documents or anything like that. But unless you are at risk of real harm, I don't think they would be able to assist you with repatriation - I may be wrong about that, and it's worth asking their advice in any case.

I'm not quite sure what you expect of your husband, though. He finds himself with a dependent mother and serious financial worries. You don't work - have you had a job since you lived in Mexico? - so what do you think you should be contributing to the family? Perhaps he doesn't want to discuss the situation because he thinks that all he'll hear from you is "what about me". What are your positive proposals for improving matters? How do you think MIL should be cared for, if not by your husband and you? If you like, you could always write him a kind of manifesto, stick it under his nose and make a firm engagement with him to discuss it.

But in any case, you don't have to like it or lump it. You can vote with your feet and come back to the UK. Expecting to change not only Mexican but world culture - in which many children feel obliged to take care of their widowed mothers and resent its being objected to and feel hurt when they're not supported in that as they perhaps assumed they would be - is a little less realistic, though, so I don't think he'll be coming with you.
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I is here GA. I would go to your consulate explain the situation and see if they can help you repatriate, dump the man his mum and let em get on with it You might be able to get a job on a cruise ship that is going back to the UK or the cons may assist you but you would have to pay back later - not quite sure how that works. There are consuls in
Mexico City, Embassy
Acapulco, Consulate
Monterrey, Consulate
San Jose del Cabo, Consulate
Tijuana, Consulate

What can the British High Commission or Embassy do?

Supply lists of local doctors, lawyers, interpreters and even funeral directors.
Help you contact family and friends in emergencies.
Send a representative to visit you in hospital or if you’ve been arrested.
Provide support if you’ve been assaulted.
Provide information on transferring money.
Issue replacement travel documents if your passport is lost or stolen.
And what it can’t do

Get you out of prison, investigate crimes or interfere in criminal or court proceedings.
Carry out searches for missing people, as this is the responsibility of the local authority in the country you’re in.
Pay bills or give you money.
Make travel arrangements for you, say if you miss your flight or lose your ticket.
Help you enter a country if you don’t have the appropriate visas.

Hopefully you have friends who could help you fund your return but you are being used hun.

If you want to stay in Mexico then all is very different and you may find your worth in the resort areas where Brits are, especially if you are bilingual, you might get a job as a travel agent because yo could do that and you have first hand knowledge of some of the important stiff us idiots need to know when we go abroad and get sunstroke on the first day!!!

You seem to be articulate so get your name out there and go for the prestige jobs in Embassies etc where you might actually be able to get out of Mexico and have them pay for it too!

Good luck hun but make a stand and don't worry about offending him - he is already offending you
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I think you've answered your own questions, with these remarks:

" I feel I have been brainwashed into thinking that it is my duty as a woman to put up with all this and either I like it or I lump it. I dont like either options to be honest, but I have no job although I am in the process of looking when I am allowed five minutes for myself."

You have been brainwashed, but your self preservation instincts have surfaced and are throwing you a lifeline for escape from this trap. I'm especially concerned with your comment that you are "allowed" only limited time for yourself.

Beyond the existing cultural differences, there's a basic lack of consideration for you as a person, a companion, a helper. That ISN'T going to change, not at this point.

I echo everyone's encouragement to get out. I would also suggest contacting the British embassy ( and find out what assistance is available, and what recommendations they would make, especially if the issue of citizenship might be on the table.

Churchmouse and Phoenix Daughter are both familiar with British laws; they might be able to offer additional suggestions, and they are both very generous with their time in helping others. I'm P'Ming them to request that they offer some suggestions in the citizenship issue.
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Oops, sorry. I didn't read your comments. You are in Mexico. Irishlass is right - Mexico is a male dominated culture. Can you go back to England? Do you have a passport, some job skills, can you move to America? As long as you stay there, its going to be very difficult and it won't change. Perhaps you can find someone to let you live with them while you work and earn enough for the price of a ticket to go back to England?
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Time to use that stiff upper lip to be strong and leave and start a new life, a wonderful good life where you are happy. Go to social services and ask for help to get back on your feet. It sounds like you are not legally married and he has no money to help you anyway so it is up to you to find some temporary housing and a job where you can regain your self respect. You are living with a big cultural difference which isn't going to change. Maybe in Mexico you are expected to put up with whatever your man wants, but not here - so don't. If you are unhappy and he doesn't treat you with love and respect - go. You don't owe him anything.
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Rainmom asks good questions.

Based on what you've written, it sounds like it's in your best interest to get out and get a job so that you can save for yourself and your own future, whether that's in Mexico or England. It sounds like your husband/partner is going down the same path as his parents, with no planning or saving for the future. That is NOT a good place to be, as you've discovered. So get out and take care of yourself.
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It sounds as if your partner has been very disrespectful to you over a period of years. Unless you're chained to the kitchen table you can leave. Your partner put you in the position of caregiver and maybe you agreed to it at the time but it sounds like you don't want this life anymore.

You said you had nowhere to go. What about England? Or stay in Mexico if you think you can build a life of your own there.

At some point you made a commitment to your partner. Did you also commit to taking care of his mother for the rest of her life?

As you know, Mexico is a very male-dominated society so it does somewhat sound like cultural clashes but put any name on it you want, you're still not happy with the situation and your partner should care about that.
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BTW - if you don't mind, how old are you? How old is MIL? Are you legally married?
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Is there any chance you could return to England- any family you could stay with until you get your feet on the ground and find employment?
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