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My mother in law has dementia. 3 years ago I told my husband something was wrong. He spoke with his sister (the favorite child) and nothing was done. This happened over and over for about 6 mths. I finally corned my sister in law and told her there was a problem and gave her some advice in what to do. For the 13 yrs I've been with my husband his family has treated me like a cute dumb girl (I'm 10 yrs younger than my husband). My MIL especially would make rude comments about me in front of everyone then say it was a joke. Since she had gotten sick I got in a bad accident (hit by an 18 wheeler). My first day off work I took her an appointment. Ever since I have listened to the family (my hubby, the daughter, who is also married and the husband, moms husband but not dad) fight. They fight over everything. My husband tries to play peacemaker, my brother in law ignores or only supports his wife . My sister in law and father in law explode on each other. I watched this for months and saw my MIL just get worse, so I just started handling it. Now almost 2.5 yrs later I'm the prime caregiver, in pain management and my father in law had a heart attack. The fighting has not stopped, in fact its worse. My sister in law shows up once every 4-6 weeks, ignores anything I've set up (elder care that comes in, food prep, doctor appointments, clothing, hygiene care) and does what ever she wants. For the day or 2 she is present (she lives in area, but still only comes by once a month or so) I've spoken to my husband. Begged him to talk to her, His mother gets worse after this craziness, her husband gets mad and I've got even more on my plate calming everyone down. Instead my husband comes back saying he's stuck in the middle between his wife, his sister and his mom's husband. Since my mother in laws husband had the heart attack this have gotten worse but I've managed both the heart attack situation and her dementia. All doctors have told me to continue on as is, they are doing good. Now I'm hearing constant phone calls from outside friends and family giving my husband "poor babies" and your doing a great job, keep it up. No body in this situation is doing anything but me! When they do try to help they ignore everything set up and I spend more time away from my family and my medical situation having to fix it.
I want to grab my kids and leave. Leave this whole family to deal with it themselves! But I know doing that will hurt the people who need it the most my mom in law and father in law. What do I do!?

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Skinonna - my million dollar question "Am I helping or enabling you". I was raised around/ with family that helped each other. When there are issues we discuss them - with you, to your face! if you choose to deny the support or advice - Ok but your still family. Yes there are family members due to stealing or some other reasons cannot be invited to every gathering but we still stay in contact. My grandmother had 9 siblings, I can name them and their families. When they got sick or elderly and needed help; the family gathered around and did it. I remember helping at 13!! (And yes the families live around the country, with a few cousins aboard) We helped each other.
To come from this type of family to what I'm dealing with now; I'm was shocked! When I met my in laws extended family it was the complete the opposite. Any "help" is quickly taken advantage. My deepest unspoken hope/ dream/ prayer was that they would see how it could be. I could show them by example. I made sure the whole family cousins, aunts, uncles had our phone number. I called them regularly and always helped when asked. Not only would this bring the family closer but my daughters could see and learn. (I always made sure they were involved when appropriate and discussed it with them.) BUT they, family members, took advantage. Huge advantage and now only call when they need something and Christmas. So I've stopped. I still listen, I still offer advice but I no longer do. Instead I've focused on my kids more (which my kids hate but hopefully they will understand and appreciate when they grow up).
Having said all this... These medical issues I could not just walk away from. It felt wrong. But now, having worked most of it out I don't feel as bad.
Also... not everyone in this family is that bad (but the majority is), so the good ones have distanced themselves for protection. It saddens me, but NOW I get why.

@palmtrees1 - I can soo relate! Only my SIL do nothing but fight. Husband does that same passive aggressive (+ procrastination) and I'm a get it done now, so it's over and done kinda of person. Kudos to you - sacrifice yourself and kids, "No f-ing way" ..... Love it!
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I think you must be a wonderful person. You seem to be the glue that holds everything together, but be careful you don't fall apart. Try to think about the difference between helping and enabling. Know your own limits. Protect your relationship with your children. Take time out with your husband and children. Like a long weekend away every few weeks always worked for me. That 3 to 4 hour car trip to a destination is a great time to talk. Life is good, but it is not easy.
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You have to say no. You are the daughter in law and they don't respect you. But they are not above using you.

When my husband and I married I knew his family had some money. I didn't care one bit about that but he let me know in-laws are not allowed in any family financial business or medical decisions or anything. My MIL would give large checks each Christmas to "us" as a Christmas gift but they were always taken and magically put into my husband's accounts. So no gift for me for years and years.

That said, when his mother became ill for about a year, she moved into her daughter's home, her other daughter flew every other weekend over to help (a 4 hour drive one way but she didn't like to drive???), her daughter in law (begrudgingly ) helped. But she was angry because she always felt unwanted in the family. And when they asked me to make a two hour drive, every week, and quit my job even though I had kids in college, to help. It just thought, "No f-ing way".

Know when you are being used and go about your life. Like your husband, my husband is passive aggressive. I just say no, no, no and more no. He then does it himself. Amazing.
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Everyone thank you very much for all your advice and support. Today I met with a couple of lawyers and I'm going to keep going until my FIL receives his "all clear" from his heart surgeon. I've informed the husband - this is it.
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This week I'm having him stay with her at the AL facility to help her adjust before he goes in for surgery. I'm thinking about having him do this when he "recovers" and see if we can get him in there. The biggest factor is money as always. As for the SIL- she hasn't "discovered" all the things I've put in place. As always she's been busy and is planning to come "see mom early this week".
I've got more questions about POA's and Medications that I'm going to be posting on those "boards" but.....
I want to add... before I joined this site I really wanted to run both from this situation and the area (my family and support group is an 8hr drive away). I'm still annoyed at the lack of appreciation and care from members of the family but I do feel more in control and confident of the situation. This has let me put that annoyance in the background instead of front and center where it was stopping (or slowing me. Thank you for all your support and good advice. I wish I had the talent to put into words what everyone on this board has done to help me. Thank you again.
Just warning after the SIL shows I might be back begging for support and backup.
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Julidu - you are really starting to take charge! I understand how having the FPOA and MPOA is a victory but can also feel like a trap because you are now officially in charge and it is a big responsibility (Don't forget to have the bank accounts changed with you as POA). I'm trying to be fair with my Uncle, but some decisions I won't give him a choice (like he MUST now wear a medical alert wristband if he wants to continue living inedependently and I put it on monthly EFT debit from his checking acct). The good thing seems to be the leverage you gain over your SIL - you've already refused to accept calls from her and have restricted her to visiting MIL at the AL but not your home, prohibiting her from changing the plan of care for your MIL - Well done! Too bad there is no way you can get FIL into the AL facility - it seems a shame to separate a couple like that. On the other hand, your MIL may not be in any shape to return to home care by the time FIL recovers. In that case your FIL will have to be content with visiting your MIL at the AL facility or wherever she may be at that point. Maybe you can get FIL to transfer his POA over your MIL to your hubby, in order to avoid SIL badgering FIL to give it to her, or trying to prevent him from visiting his wife?? Keep in mind, not only do you have the incentive to exercise your control over the whole elder care situation on a personal level, you now have legal authority to do so as well. The last resort, as I see it, if you are not able to change the dynamics of your home situation with elder care issues and family relations, you still have the option to walk away and turn it all over to your hubby as the alternate POA.
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Sorry forgot 1 thing - my FIL thinks she can move home after he is recovered from open heart surgery. Doctors told him it will be at least 3 -4 mths. He wants her to stay home as long as possible. I was able to get him to agree while he is recovering the best place for her is the assisted living facility. I got him to drop the subject until the doctor clears him. I can get long term care to pay for her there, but not him.
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@nancyh
Yep, step dad. My husband and the SIL refer to him as Moms husband, but they've been married for almost 30 years. All kids were grown at the time of the marriage. Before MIL got sick there was none of this hate. I'm praying the POA (and other legal ppwk) helps, but I'm also concerned it will also trap me.

Chatting in my head.... boundaries, boundaries, boundaries
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Julidu, I didn't get the reason your father-in-law won't be moving in with his wife in asst. living. Have your in-laws been married all this time, or is this a second marriage? I know you think your FIL has dumped more responsibility on you, but maybe having POA will simplify things. He obviously trusts you or he wouldn't have made the change. He probably is thinking about his own future and how he wants it handled, and you're the one he trusts to make the right decisions. As for the hateful mother-in-law, I'd hand off her health and welfare to the bossy narcissistic sister and not worry about it. Your husband obviously doesn't want the drama, since his job is on shaky ground right now, and his wife is stressed out when he comes home, so let her go. Which made me ask if we're talking about your husbands parents or step-parents.
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I did ask he name my husband too (with all the MIL drama, he would only list him next)
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@vstefans - your on it! Yes, the FIL changed his POA, advance directive and will naming me (no actually changes to the to Will, just responsibilities to me). I had that meeting Friday. My stress level flew. How do I excuse myself now! He is still high functioning, other than heart surgery and diabetes no issues. Well I say no issues. He's involved in his wife's care but asked me to be the decision maker. I'm thinking after surgery and recovery but it's the boundaries I know I'm going to have to reset?! The fun just keeps coming at you.
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Julidu, you have done well. It is sad, however understandable, when people feel someone must be to blame for the onset of dementia...

Now since FIL has POA, you may need some protection from siblings trying to coerce or trick him into making changes in it. He might even want to name you and/or your hubby as alternate and then resign as POA himself.
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@orangeblossom
I also had the husband look up "narcissistic" in relation to his sister - that was an eye opener for him! 2 days ago I started the transition for MIL to the facility and told the husband she can visit Mom there, not here anymore. I also had FIL (who had MIL's POA) to sign a document she is allowed to visit, take mom on day trups but no changes to the Plan Of Care! Husband has been informed. I will not accept any calls from her she's too toxic for me. I refuse to come out of this bitter like her! I know my heart is too big and soft, it's the boundaries I don't set where I deal with the big problems.
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We talked. There is so much going on with our family it had gotten crazy. So I asked him to review his view and listen to mine. My husband works for the federal government (every September I normally don't see him until late evenings - end of the fiscal year drama). Because the furlough was lifted our family needs the overtime pay for bills. They have also reported the possibility of the furloughs being restated in November. We need the money. Of course, he listened and said all the right things. It's all on me still. If I drop everything MIL & FIL will be separated. My husband spoke with his sister and she's willing to make sure MIL is in the assisted living facility but she wants the FIL completely removed (her mom's Parkinson and dementia is his fault). This is just wrong MIL gets fixated on FIL when he's not with her. "Where is he?"; "Is he Ok"; "When is he coming back".
I've called my mom to come up and help with my own children. My extra prayers to any single mom who is an elder caregiver to 2 and multiple children. This was the only way I could think to give myself some room. Of course, now I have some guilt over my mom taking a week vacation on more work.
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Dear Julidu: You have such a soft heart and seem to be the only sane & reasonable person in your husband's family. If you feel you need to wait until after your FIL's surgery, you don't need permission from anyone here and no one will be calling you stupid. We may view things other people do as foolish or unwise, but we are not in your shoes. We basically tell it the way we see it based on your input, and advise what we would do if we were in your shoes. From everything you have told us, your family has been taking full advantage of you and you keep enabling them to do so (as Perseverance mentioned). They obviously will never change their treatment of you unless/until, and then only maybe - IF you change your attitude and posture toward them. It stinks, but sometimes you have to stand up and demand the respect you seek. I am glad you have started therapy, and I think you have the strength and are smart enough to figure out the answers within yourself and follow through on them. Also, please consider if your FIL will be really cognizant enough to feel hurt if you are not around. Either way, I get the impression it will make you feel better to stick around until after the surgery. As you said, afterwards, when he goes into cardio-rehab, sounds like a logical time to make the break. I would tell him I need to get a little R&R to recharge my batteries, otherwise I might be sitting in the same cardiac unit (LOL). If you and he are 'simpatico', I imagine he would wish you well and tell you to have a good time and not worry about him. I fully agree with everything Perseverance said, and I second the motion. BTW, if my SIL came into MY home for even ONE day and started changing MY routines and care plan (even if it is her Mom), I would kick her ass to the curb in far less than a minute!! I think you need to inform her that if she wants to do things her way, she can do them in HER home, not yours - case closed!! That's a good example of a boundary that demands respect for you and your home. So good luck with everything, hope FIL's surgery goes well, and MIL adjusts to AL quickly, and you have time to breatha little and maybe set some things straight with hubby as well. Please keep us posted - we are all rooting for you.
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And so you tell your hubby what you need but you are afraid because of the surgery coming up - because you LOVE his parents and don't want them to suffer unnecessarily. But you MUST reclaim your life as your in-laws have really walked all over you because they are SELFISH and NARCISSISTIC. Your boundary setting will bless YOU (and them, really) and empower you to be a more loving and honest (as long as you don't take it to the extreme and become narcissistic - Oh, that's right, they have zero boundaries).

Be strong. Be courageous. Be loving. Be kind. Be FREE.
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I agree with all the advice, I agree! I'm just scared to do it before the open heart surgery.

(My therapist would high five you - Perseverance for the boundaries statement)
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Honey, you must draw (learn) about boundaries and stick to them! They are fully taking advantage of you because you've allowed it. Now, with that said, I am empathetic because it happened with the care of my dear Mom. I finally drew boundaries and it was hideous and ugly and painful - but it brought me a bit of freedom and dignity I needed.

Tell your hubby that you will no longer be his parent's caregivers. Identify what you WILL do and stick to it. Clearly, you love your in-laws (they are blessed to have you in their lives). You don't need all the other in-laws to endorse, approve and support your decision. These are THEIR parents an THEY are responsible for caring for them or not.

I'd recommend drawing boundaries around YOUR caregiving and then supply them with options (via EMAIL to everyone involved - great for tracking and revisiting). For example:

Let them know EXACTLY what you do for their parents and the time devoted to do so.

Look up the hourly rate for caregivers. I betcha they don't pay you diddly to care for mom and dad. Work out the numbers and tell them what they can expect to pay. BTW, you should be receiving compensation!

Give them a deadline. For example, as of THIS Friday, Sept XX, your parents will need....

And then.... RECLAIM your beautiful life! Go on a holiday! Spend time with dear friends...

Bring in 24/7 caregivers through Home Instead, family members, etc
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I have started seeing a therapist. I wrote that last post before I read the last 3 replies. My concern is hurting the people who need the help - MIL and FIL. I can see walking away from her. But I fear walking from FIL will hurt him. My SIL already blames him for everything. My husband gets frustrated when the FIL doesn't just do what he says and they end up fighting. (Literally in front of the furniture store). I tried explaining to my husband give him a break his wife, your mom just moved into assisted living; he had a heart attack and now is having open heart surgery. Everyone is stressed, but no. Now they are not talking. Husband told me to give it a few days and maybe. A few days is the surgery date!

I'm thinking I get him into Cardio rehab after surgery and walk then, before that seems wrong. Am I being stupid?
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At this point I feel dumping the mess on my husband and his family would hurt my MIL and FIL medically. She is currently being moved into an assisted living facility and he is going into open heart surgery next week. It's the hateful comments and lack of respect that really get to me. Because of my efforts they have the luxury to do what they want and how. They can just sit around and discuss it to death. I would just like a break that isn't going to cause more drama or work. Currently I will schedule myself time knowing that when I get back I will have to fix whatever they randomly selected to do - rehire the aide, soothe attitudes, research and fix medicines etc. The light at the end of my tunnel is 6 weeks after the surgery. I took a break this weekend and 1 of the f family members decided to take steps to make sure FIL had no where to sleep with MIL (small bed, loveseat sofa) at the facility. This sent the FIL into a rage. My break was cut short fixing and dealing with this stupid issue. Now 2 mmore people in this situation are not talking. I really think that it will be easier if everyone backs out and let's me handle it. Seriously, they need to visit with their Mom but not interfere. Instead the spend the whole visit changing everything to what they want "mom said it was ok and that's what she wanted" is what they say. YOUR MOM HAS DEMENTIA! Stop manipulating her! She sees and hears all this and agrees with everyone.
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I'm glad you wrote such a thorough description. If you read it back to yourself ojectively, your will see that your have been nothing but a patsy to your husband and his family. Stop feeling sorry for your MIL. If her kids can not only take all the credit for all the work YOU do, as well as having the nerve to come in and change your routines when they visit, then walk away and leave it to them. Another poster on this site actually ran away from her husband and MIL for very similar reasons. Now she is getting some respect and everything on her terms. BTW, open your eyes to your husband's tactics. You are his wife - his loyalties shoud be only to you,and he should defend and stand up for you. He is not "in the middle" of anything - he is behaving like a wimp. If he can't "man-up" to this situation, I would be walking away might fast. You were never under any obligation to take care of your MIL and you still aren't. They are all using you, and you are actually giving them reason to call you the cute dumb girl. You need to change into the smart tough lady! Sorry to be so forthright, but it really makes me angry when family members walk all over the one who is doing all the caregiving and get no respect. You can change it if you toughen up.
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Vstefans, the voice of reason.

Julidu, have you thought about how you want things to change? Can you talk to someone about this? Maybe the manager of the elder care, or the senior center or the visiting nurse or someone the doctor's office can refer you to? You could probably use a therapist from the stress and the mistreatment you get. If you have a plan, and present it to your husband, someone might listen. Your plan should probably include a week's vacation, or at least a long weekend away for you and the kids!

If you decide to leave, you have my blessing, but I sense that's not what you really want to do. You want some respect, and you sure deserve it.

Best wishes.
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Standing Alone is right. Dump the lot back on their plates. They think they know best so let them have it their way. they will soon come crawling to you so when that happens set some ground rules and stand your ground
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You might not be mad enough to actually leave the whole mess - it sounds like you ar personally no where near as dysfunctional as the rest of the bunch. But at least mentioning it is possible or doing it temporarily might make sense instead of you just getting taken for granted and stepped on. You are obviously doing too good a job and so everyone pats themself on the back and says things must be OK. Is there a pastor or counselor or any third party who would make it easier to talk to your husband about this in such a way that he has to listen?
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You dump this load right where it belongs, on your husband. Tell him you're done, and that's that, and from now on he and family can do all the dealing, all by themselves. Then give them the info for their parents, the paperwork, doctor's, meds, etc, and walk away. What are they going to do? Ignore the parents? No, they'll have to get off their butts and do something...you know, what YOU'RE doing all the time, to your own detriment, while getting taken advantage of and taken for granted from what it sounds like... Yay.

No man that ever comes into my life one day will ever dump his mother or father on me. Never in a million years. If they have parents with Alz and dementia, I hope they have a plan, because it won't ever be me handling it. Oh no, no, no.... If I was married to one that tried it, we'd end in divorce before I'd ever agree to take his parents on... Just...no. If you want your life back, you're going to have to play hard ball, because nobody is listening to you yet, are they?
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