The reason I am bringing this up is that I read on another post where this woman is caring for her mother and her brother, and that she feels lucky that her husband understands.

I wonder how many had a spouse/partner who didn't understand. Wonder what is the separation or divorce rate when caring for a parent.

There are times when I think my significant other will want to throw in the towel and move away.... I can't blame him..... I told him if he decides to leave and is looking for someone new, before he dates her better ask her up front if her parents are still alive or not.... [sigh].

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I think there is also a BIG difference between "your space" and "their space". If you are placating your parents by living in their home, in a room, and they are the masters of the home, it is unfair for a partner to do that for an extended period of time.
I imagine it must have a much different feel to care for a parent in YOUR own space, you know? Not to discount anything, but someone stuck in their ways and in their own home and you bring someone into that on a live-in 24/7 basis? Not healthy for your relationship.
There is something to the entire dynamic of who is in charge that changes. And this can mean a world of difference.
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If you have a good relationship to start with? I think, with some tweaking, a partner can feel valued and respected when his/her partner is caring for an aged parent. If the relationship has problems to start with? Well, let's face it. It sure as heck isn't going to get any better.

I've been with Tom for 14 years. We aren't married. He is wonderful to mom and doesn't resent her -- or my caring for her -- one little bit. But I've worked at it, I'll tell you that.

While it's difficult for us to do spontaneous things (someone always has to be with mom), we have an every 2-week date night where I use mom's money to hire a caregiver from, say, 5 PM and 10 PM. We often do dinner and a show. My treat. (If I were married to Tom, it would be mom's treat.)

It's extremely rare that we miss any functions at all if we have advance notice. This Sunday, we're spending the afternoon and evening at his sister's for a cookout. I've hired a caregiver to be with mom from 2:30 'til 9 PM. Again, I use mom's money to hire a caregiver to sit with her.

I rarely ask Tom to help with anything for mom except where her safety might be involved. And he always does it with bells on. Tonight, it's girls' night out. Tom wasn't planning anything, so he's good with staying home to make sure she's safe. I don't ask him to do anything for her except treat her as a guest in our home when I'm gone. Her food's made...he may have to give it to her, but it'll be a cold meal that he doesn't have to mess with. Or I'll feed her before I go. On these nights, Tom batches it and gets his favorite: a pizza.

Mom goes to Adult Day Care once a week. Tom owns a taxi, so mom pays him to take her there and back. It's half the cost of the Medivan we'd otherwise need, as I can't handle her wheelchair.

Mom often suggests treating us to long as she gets a tiny piece (she's salt restricted, so TINY is the operative word). I'm always delighted and we thank her profusely.

If Tom and I were sharing bills, mom would be chipping in for a third to help out. Tom, of course, would get some of the benefit of that. I pay all the utilities in our home, and I don't have a mortgage, so that's a non-issue.

What I'm getting at is that Tom feels appreciated -- and I don't ask him to do much for mom. I also make sure I'm available for Tom and that our relationship doesn't become nonexistent.

I hope some of the above has given you some ideas on how you might make things easier on your partner. I'm sure there's lots more, but that's all I can think of right now.

Taking care of an aging parent in one's home is the greatest sacrifice of all, in my opinion. It is no picnic. Some SOs are signed on "for better or worse" -- some aren't. (Spouses the same.) That's just life.
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My personal opinion is, if an arrangement like this is to work successfully, there should be clear parameters thoughtfully put in place with fair input from the partner/spouse before they enter that situation.
In my case, there was not. And, because there was not, anytime I try to bring it up even in a careful way it is very easy for me to become the bad guy and for my partner to become defensive towards his father. This issue has become a real problem and obstacle in our relationship.
I love my father-in-law, and want the best for him, but when he becomes passive aggressive, when he interrupts sacred moments of privacy in order to plant himself two feet from us when it was clear we were trying to have some time to ourselves, when he hovers, when he presents himself in the morning at the same time we begin our day together and stays up much later than us, his needs, wants and being "serviced" are always first priority and this means that there almost never feels like a moment where he is not omnipresent and the "burden" of care is once again strapped on like a backpack full of bricks without even the chance for a good cup of coffee and some light banter over the paper.
If FIL gets a notion or idea into his head, the expectation is to explore it, do it, solve the problem right away, and it seems every day he's got at least ten new "situations" that he has created or that need taken care of for him, so my plans are shot. They are the most mundane things often-times, and turn into major problems just to solve or make them right for him.
For me, as a partner and not the biological child, these are my main issues:
* Privacy - There should be an expected sense of people respecting other's space and giving them privacy.
* Boundaries - I want to be treated as an adult. For example, if one of us has a meeting or appointment or does something for our child, I DO NOT want to hear, "WHERE WERE YOU? WHY WERE YOU GONE SO LONG? IT SHOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN YOU SO LONG." (rueful chuckle here. My, how I would love to take a couple of weeks and plant my behind on the couch and be waited on hand and foot and have someone else handle my affairs and do the housecleaning, laundry, cooking while I napped all day and watched baseball.)
* If the elderly person begins to buck medical advice and edit their medications based on whatever they may happen to see on the internet, don't complain to me. I will bend over backwards to protect their health until they reject every effort of mine, of doctors, of anyone.
* Set a time limit. Caring for a senior within their home because that is the way they want it is a terrible imposition to the privacy and sanctity of a couple's life. I think this is the most important issue. An exit strategy helps the partner cope with the immediate situation when times get rough, and helps the senior loved-one understand that there are plans to be made for the future so it doesn't drag out beyond all reason and well into burn-out mode.
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