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My fiancé and I moved literally across the country to take care of his father after his wife passed away. We talked to him weekly on the phone prior to moving and he would tell us "I can barely walk", "I can't get to the store", "Nobody ever checks on me" etc and begged us to move here to take care of him. My fiancé felt terrible and we both quit good jobs and gave up everything to move to help him. When we arrived he was walking just fine, and all the relatives who live close told us they called him all the time and saw him in church and he always told them he was doing just fine and didn't need help. We were both devastated after turning our own lives upside down to move here and he didn't really "need" anything he was just not used to being alone. His wife did all the housework, chores, shopping and cooking. He has had controlled diabetes for 40 years and has no other health issues. For the last two years he has been verbally abusive to both of us. My fiancé says that's the way he has always been and blows off these tantrums. The verbal abuse is out of control and quite embarrassing because he seems to enjoy doing it in public more than anywhere. Our 5 year relationship is about to end because I just can't do this anymore. He uses guilt trips on my fiancé on a daily basis to get what he wants. We have caught him multiple times telling his friends that he supports us financially which is completely false. He doesn't pay for anything except the candy he sneaks at the store. If he doesn't like what we are having for dinner, he will call one of the relatives and tell them we didn't make him dinner. He refused to get any exercise and sits at his computer literally all day long playing solitaire or watching tv. He only leaves the house to go to church. If he needs something he will guilt trip us by saying things like "I worked for 40 years, I am done, you are supposed to take care of me now," even though there is no reason other than laziness as to why he can't do anything for himself. My fiancé caters to him because he feels like its his duty and falls right into the guilt trips. I have not gone upstairs in 2 days now after an argument about needing to get milk from the store. I have had the flu for 2 days and he got mad because I didn't want to go to the store to get the milk and asked him to do it. He threw a fit and I just can't deal with him. He is perfectly content that I am in the basement because he can't guilt trip me like he does to his son and now he doesn't have to deal with me. I have been crying for 2 days on top of being sick because I really love my fiancé but I can no longer "take care" of an abusive person who there is nothing wrong with other than laziness. I started packing today with the intention of moving out and leaving my fiancé but it hurts my heart and I don't know what to do.

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Bella, you've gotten amazing advice from people who care and know a lot. Please listen. Get out, get help and keep communicating with your fiancé. He sounds wonderful. I expect that once he knows and understands more about his dad, he'll seek some professional advice on how to handle him. Meanwhile, you need to stay safe and so does your guy.

Do not worry about what your fiancé’s dad says at church. You know what's right and so do most of these people if he's gone to the same church a long time. Just keep working to stay safe and if you love your fiancé enough to stick around, work with him to help him solve this problem with his dad.
Best wishes from us all,
Carol
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Keep packing. Move out. Rent somewhere not too far away, but not on a long-term lease. If fiancé is willing to go to couples therapy, go -- but not while you are living in that intolerable situation. Maybe the relationship can be saved -- it is worth working on since you love him. But it is NOT worth giving up your life for.

If FIL says he worked 40 years, I assume he is in his 60s --? His son's relationship with him will color your marriage (or relationship if you are not planning to marry) for the next 30 years. Are you prepared to face that? Are you hoping to have a family yourself? Can you imagine how that fits into this picture?

You and fiancé made two mistakes already.
1) You uprooted your entire lives and moved to FIL. Why not a two-week visit first, to see for yourself what is needed?
2) Even after you saw that you were tricked into the move you did not take action to protect yourselves. You did not, for example, move into a nearby apartment so you could see FIL on your terms and be available for real emergencies.

Please do not make a third mistake by continuing to accept this unacceptable situation. Fiancé is dismissing your concerns. He is not taking you seriously. He thinks abuse is acceptable. Daddy comes first in his life. Is this really someone worthy of you sacrificing your happiness?

Get out of that house. Try counselling. If you can't come to a greatly improved relationship, move on.
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Glad to say that after a couple weeks of intensive boundaries, walking away when "dad" starts picking a fight, and calling him out on his narcissistic storytelling and things have become slightly calmer around the house. We have made a stand together as a united front (fiancé and I) and have taken control of the household back. I listened to everyone's advice, did some reading/research, talked to therapist and the bottom line is that I could not have made it thru this rough spot without all of your help. Thank you all very much to everyone who offered advice! This site is awesome!
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Bella67, you are right. Get out. The situation that you are in will suck the life out of you.
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Ok, so you've diagnosed your FIL. You and your fiancée have read some articles. What now? Does that change the situation you're in?

Get out.

You have no clue what you are in for. We do. Move into an apartment either alone or with your fiancée but move. You are not bound to this man as your fiancée is. There is no reason for you to live in a basement with a fiancée who won't stand up for himself or for you. Of course the FIL's behavior is unacceptable and you won't change it. Nor will your fiancée be able to change it. All you can do is change yourself or your living situation. FIL is going to act the same way he's been acting for decades. It's not for you to dissect his behavior and figure out a way to live with it. You said your fiancée puts up with it because that's how FIL's always been. Think he's going to change now? No.

This could be your life for the next 15 years. Is this what you want for you and your fiancée? Your fiancée may be stuck in his father's web but you are not. This will ruin your life. Don't give up on your relationship. Don't do a "It's him or me" on your finance but get away now while you can. You can live separately from your fiancée and still be together. And why does your fiancée think all of this is acceptable? When he discovered that your FIL got you there on false information why was that ok with your fiancée? Why continue to live there when FIL doesn't need around-the-clock assistance? I hope your fiancée is packing to go with you.

You can support your fiancée without subjecting yourself to this. But if your fiancée is running around doing what his father wants all the time you might have to take time to consider if this is what you want in your life. And don't believe promises and intentions. Don't put any faith in them. Wait to see if things change FIRST before you make any kind of decision. Your FIL sounds horrible but it's not the first time we've read about a selfish, narcissistic, self-centered elder on here. And he's not your father in law. You are not legally bound to him......yet.

Save yourself while you still can.
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Bella, your fiance' has given up control and he needs to get it back. You said the house you've moved to is NOT his father's house, so your fiance' has all the power in my opinion. Start looking for a place where dad can live, either retirement or asst. living or adult foster care, and move him out. Until your fiance' takes back control of this, dad will be happy and content, you will have to leave and your fiance' will be doomed to bowing to his father till the old man dies. TAKE BACK CONTROL. Period.
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Really your fiancé is the answer to the problem. Has he ever stood up to his dad? Is it possible to go to a session or two of couples counseling? Can the two of you move out into your own apartment so you don't have to deal with the insanity? Is the basement where your living quarters are now? Would you be ok, just living there and not going upstairs and letting your fiancé deal with him? Lots of questions, eh? If you love him and don't feel like you can leave try to find a way that you can protect your own sensibility and not have to deal with bad behavior. I am sure you must have talked to your man about your feelings does he just blow you off? You two could be dealing with this for years to come, so now is the time to get it worked out before you become more angry and resentful . Do it before the wedding as those feelings will only get worse after your commitment.
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I can't stress this enough - see a therapist! Both as a couple and individual.
I am also dealing with caring for my in-laws with a husband that flops on giving them whatever they want and walking away from it whenever he wants. My FIL lives here with me now (I'm literally counting the days till he goes back home).
Im impressed that you've stood your ground. Great for you (I feel like it took forever for me to get there). My therapist pointed out that my FIL was acting like a child. So I started treating him like one. If you can't use your manners I can't do what your asking - I then walk away. I refused to engage him when he's being nasty and mean.
Have you spoken to your fiance about all/ any of this? (My husband takes regular reminders or he falls back to the same behavior.
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Thank you all for your advice and support. To fill in some questions: "Dad" is 83 years old, they had children late in life (fiancé just turned 41). My fiancé stays level headed during these temper tantrums because he is used to them because its been this way his whole life. For me this is a relatively new experience as I've only know his father for 4 years and my exposure to him had always been for a week at a time over Christmas when we visited together. We sat down together last night and had a very long talk. He feels terrible because his father treats me like this and I told him about my visit to this site yesterday and we read some articles together and are trying to sort things out. We actually found an article about narcissism and we both believe that the symptoms and behavior patterns associated with it are exactly what his life has been like. In fact, he fit all the symptoms perfectly and went well beyond some of the discussed behaviors. We both have seen and heard him just create some wild off the wall stories that never happened that make him look like he was some superior human. (e.g. he claims that when he was a child he was treated like royalty and they had people who came to the house every morning to wash his feet before he got out of bed) Nobody in the entire family knows how this story came about but it is completely untrue but he believes it and tries to convince everyone its true. Whenever we have brought these untruths to light, he always gets extremely defensive and berates anyone who doesn't believe him until they drop the convo or if he knows he is busted he changes the subject.
We are not ready to give up on our relationship but we both agree that we need to figure out how to better deal with him. After reading the narcissism articles we decided that we should speak to someone about how to deal better with someone with this type of problem and definitely do more research. My fiancé is literally one of the nicest and most sincere people I have ever met in my life and it breaks my heart to see his father put him in the middle like this so we are going to work our hardest to ensure our own sanity while we try to find a way to deal with this type of behavior. If anyone has any knowledge of a good site for narcissism please let me know!
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i wouldnt suggest throwing a relationship away so readily. i would suggest that you read as much as possible about dementia though. your FIL is probably going to become much more difficult and the more you understand about dementia the better equipped you will be to deal with the lies and tantrums. agitation in an elder usually stems from the loss of control in their lives. id let the old guy make his own decisions as much as possible. im not suggesting that you let him push you around but i can assure you that there will come a point where trying to reason with him will only result in frustration for the carers. just keep him safe and leave him to his delusional thinking. my mother once told me she couldnt sleep in her bedroom because it had no roof or ceiling. i told her that there was no rain projected for overnight so all would be fine. so yea, you have to be a little bit nuts to deal with dementia and its still a horrifying undertaking.
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