My husband's one-year deployment is about up and he will be returning home to me, our daughter and his parents. The have very limited income, only social security between them is about $1000/mo and my FIL is working about 30 hours a week making minimum wage. When they moved in, we thought it was temporary until they got on their feet and were able to live on their own. It has been stressful at times and a blessing at times. Now that my husband is coming home, I am torn. I do not look forward to group weekends and evenings 24/7. I feel as if we are financially obligated and responsible for taking care of them to include a home, utilities, food..... I would not have a problem with this if it had a time cap on it. But the indefinite, unknown is driving me nuts. It has already created arguments with my husband and he isn't home yet. His opinion is that his parents can stay as long as they would like. My fear is that will be the next 10-20 years and then my parents may come knocking on our door and we will then be obligated to take care of them too. They do not contribute to expenses. They initially offered to and we told them to put that towards getting back on their feet. They haven't saved a dime. Their dog constantly barks and recently pulled my mother in law down and bruised her wrist and caused a laceration on her finger when she was trying to walk her. Her skin and bones are frail and that schnauzer is too hyper for her to handle. i am worried that the next thing will be a broken hip. This should not be my worry but it is. I tried to explain this to them and offer up suggestions on training the dog (which they don't have the money for) or to find a schnauzer rescue group, which I did but my FIL got mad and told me it was not any of my business. I told him she didn't need to walk the dog anymore and the he needed to or that myself or my daughter would. Again he said she would be fine and it was none of my business. I am tired of the tension and the stress. I have lymphoma and stress aggrivates it. I just want our life back. We have a mother-in-law house attached by the back porch that they live in, but they complain of the size, th noise, the musty smell... despite not paying a dime toward utilities, mortgage, etc. Most nights we eat dinner together (which I cook and generlly use the groceries I bought). I know they have limited funds but surely there is another option for us.

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All of the above answers are very good. I would agree that you need to look into the senior housing.
You do need however before your husband gets home that you and your daughter need some alone time to readjust to being a family unit. Maybe a weekend away
would be a nice start. Good Luck to you.
Helpful Answer (1)

I am too familiar with people [like family members] who are skilled at making nasty comments out of earshot of others, so only you can hear--then they play sweet? Could that be what is happening?

IF so, hopefully your DH will see what's going on once he's home.
He will represent "man of the family" UNLESS he relinquishes that to his father that point, you will have some more issues to choose or find solutions to!

All the contributors offered some good suggestions.
I would add, that if there is any corner of the day or night, when you can simply go enjoy a "spa" bath time to yourself, maybe with a few candles in a dim room, a nice CD on that helps quiet the nerves and encourage reflection, that you do that as often as it feels right. You can put everyone on notice that you area going to be taking that predicatable period of time to "go into your closet and pray" so to speak--IF that is a language they understand.
Seems like they could take care of things in the house long enough for you to do that for your wellness
--do they know you have lymphoma?
I pray for your sake, things get resolved soon---your health is very important! Your Mind could use some Re-Centering on what is
really important for a Joyful Life with Peace of Mind.
While you are struggling with all the thoughts taht run thru the mind during the day, keep trying to knock those bad thoughts out, by replacing them with good ones, like, "I am Love", "I am thankful for [fill in the blank with all you can think of--even tiny things]", "I am Joyful", etc.
IT is a known fact that bad thoughts cannot exist simultaneously with good ones--but humans have to work hard to get the good ones to take up more space than the bad ones.
Might sound like a trifle, but it really does help make a difference, and it can be done at any time, any place, for free.
Oh--and now that you are collecting information to help get your inlaws out of your place and into their own low-cost housing, you will have that information to use for your own folks when they need it, too. I call that something of a "two-fer"!!
Not only that, but you will then have more confidence and knowledge for when you and your DH need smaller/cheaper/senior living arrangements.
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Does the In-law attached house have a stove, sink, refrigerator, washer/dryer? Does it have it's own thermostat? How 'bout it's own entrance/exit? If yes to these things, then it's time to say to them, "Have a nice life and take good care of yourselves". How old are these people? Are they disabled? What type of health insurance coverage do they have? They should be able to live on that $1,000.00 with his part time job, and your paying for the food and utilities....
Let them continue to look for alternative housing when your husband returns from Duty. I am actually more worried about YOUR lymphoma than THEIR housing arrangements. Stress reducers: Foot soaks using Magnesium crystals.....perhaps a Vit B 12 shot or sublingual pills.....regular pills of B 12 won't do much good. Time alone by yourself....
As for that Schnauzer........ keep looking for a rescue group.
Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (2)

All of the above answers are very good ones!
IMHO, when your DH gets back, paste the sweetest smiles on your face, the greatest understanding compassionate tones, and let him see how things are.
IF he fails to see how things are,
THEN have a family meeting about rules for all, for chores, meals, bills, etc.
They DO have some income, and while they live in your home, should be paying something for their use of utilities, housing, etc.
IF you are RENTING, that could be a game-changer....
THAT could give you a good excuse to limit their time under your roof, since it is not your roof, and landlords tend to dislike uncooperative renters, or ones who mess things up.
IF you OWN your place, and there are also any kind of neighborhood rules/agreements, those might also provide an "out" for you to more strongly encourage them to move into senior housing.
In our area, there are a few very nice senior housing developments--each place is a 1-bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom, livingroom, and rent is a sliding scale in some, but never more than a third of income. Some people pay -zero- rent, only their utilities, phone, food.
Do your Inlaws understand these places exist? Have they seen them?
OR, do they and your DH think that because your place has the inlaw-unit behind the main house, they are suppposed to be living in it?
How do they treat that space [keep it clean, or hoarding?]
You said it is musty...
One non-toxic solution to stopping mold, is using a product called "MoldZyme" spray. It is enzymes, has no odor of it's own, is water-based, and really good at abaiting molds and mildews. Could use that to spray the interior walls, baseboards a few times, letting it dry between times. Then run a dehumidifier in there to keep things dried out. Yes, a dehumidifier makes some noise. But it helps reduce molds and mildews. It also adds warmth to indoor temps, so thermostats can get set a bit lower, depending on how much that dehumidifier runs.
I have a hunch, their complaints about their free living space are not pointed at you, nor are they truly complaining about their space---it sounds more like they really wish their circumstances were better, since they have lost much by being in this arrangement. THEY would probly like to be able to provide more for you, and they cannot. That's gotta be eating at them, hence complaints.
since you provide more than 1/2 their financial needs--housing, food, etc., you are entitled to list them as dependents on your IRS taxes, as I understand it.

But to get them out of your place, they need to be able to see how to manage that, on their tiny stipend.
Senior low-income housing is one.
Helping them find ways to get medical coverage helps, too. They are low income, therefore they can apply to the welfare department, which manages teh Fed programs for med assistance. Those programs help pay for Medicare, and for other medical costs, instead of those being deducted from their SSA checks.
There are also programs to help subsidize cell-phone service, and more.
The Senior Low-cost housing is usually closer to shopping, or has bus service to help tehm get to things. Highly recommend it!
We have a number of friends living in them, who really like the places.
Nothing wrong with you gathering the information for those things, and having them ready to put on the table at the opportune time!
Helpful Answer (0)

Perhaps when your husband gets home it will be easier for him to feel the weight of the whole situation? He is probably torn, not being there. Our community has housing for low income seniors. Why not do some research ahead of time and present it to him at an appropriate time. (timing is EVERYTHING!)
Helpful Answer (4)

Kindness is your middle name and it seems that they have figured this out. You are in a tough place because you want to please your husband but they are taking advantage of you. I would sit down with them and set some ground rules. Three days a week you provide dinner, two days a week they are in charge of dinner and the remaining two days each family fends for themselves. Write out a schedule for walking the dog with each person taking turns and show your FIL that it makes sense for everyone to help with the dog. I would make a chore chart for everyone, You will find out soon if they are just freeloaders or willing to pull their weight. Remember that it is your house and you are in charge. I hope some other members chime in with some more ideas and solutions. Keep us informed. We are here to help.
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Maybe you can help them move to a place should ask your husband to talk to the military and ask what resources are available to you. Are your in-laws disabled? sick? If you are contributing some of your own money for their needs perhaps you can ask if you can qualify for dependent assistance and/or additional BAQ/VHA brother who is in the Army was able to get some assistance for my critically ill parents. Since you yourself have health issues this will not be good. Good luck. I feel for you. I do contribute to my parents's needs as well but I do not feel obligated I feel I owe it to them. However, I can't speak for everyone and the different family dynamics that come into play...So....perhaps you can seek additional assistance form the military. Good luck.
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