I am a 36 yr old female, engaged to my 52yr old fincee of 10yrs. We moved in with his 80yr old mother a little less that 2 yrs ago. I forced us into this situation and now I regret it. Everything I thought I knew about caregiving has proven to be wrong. I thought I had to make him see that he should be taking care of his mother but he tried to warn me that she is manipulative and that she is crazy but I didn't believe him. I thought that all 4 of her sons just needed to be taught a lesson in how to take care of their mother b/c it seemed to me that no one wanted to take responsibility. In my family, we take care of our parents. I have found out that the reason why no one wants to be around this woman is b/c she so miserable, so full of anxiety and so demanding for attention that she has driven everyone who really knows her completely out of her life! Her own grandchildren do not even want to be around her. I know this is a website to vent and that is why I am rambling.
My finance has always been a type one diabetic..I met him that way but he has always had it under control. He and I had such a great relationship. He has two kids, 18 and 14. I cannot have kids so I guess I have made his kids and my nephew like my own. Apart from the small problems that every couple endures while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle of a step family, we had a really great relationship...then we moved in with mother-in-law to be......
Everything has changed....we are beyond stressed, he has to commute an hour to and from work, we are both miserable, we fight, we cry, we long to be happy again..we will stay together no matter what but we have payed the price. My soon to be husband got diagnosed with kidney cancer last year and underwent surgery to have his whole kidney removed. He is ok now but at the time, back in December, I think I may have lost myself..I went through this very scary time for him at the same time that his mother needed us to take care of her through her chemo and radiation treatments, etc, etc, etc...I cannot go into detail but that was the most stressful time of my life and I cannot believe I made it through it.
Since then I have turned into someone whom I dont even know any longer. I have lost all sense of myself and resent everything. I am bitter, I am angry all of the time and it's rare that I go one week without crying. Everytime his mother wants me to do anything for her,(which happens to be 24 hrs a day), I resent her..I have anger toward her for making my fiances cancer scare all about her..since that happened to him I have grown so angry at her for not taking better care of herself. She is not so sick that she cannot do things for herself..we have spoiled her..she doesnt want to get out of bed to make herself anything to eat..she would rather call us on her cell phone and expect us to wait on her hand and foot. This is our fault for allowing this to start in the first place.
I resent her for acting perfectly fine in front of doctors and nurses, etc..but the minute we get home, she acts like she is dying. Apparently she has been waited on her whole life and being up in age is just exacerbating it. She makes ugly comments to people then cries when she wants to take back what she says on account that people don't want to be around her or talk to her anymore. It's like she has Turrets but she doesn't. Or she blames her comments on being old or her tantrums on being old or her nervousness on being old. Her family says that she has always been this way so I cannot tell what to believe.
I just want to run away and never come back but I love my fiancee and I do want to marry him one day. Im sure many people would have left this situation a long time ago. I guess I have co-dependent issues? I just don't know anymore.

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So the reason that we are not married yet is really my doing...I am finally getting to the point where I am ready to get married finally and we will be by October. As far as his mother and family goes, you are all right... I am definitely getting taken advantage of so I am going to take the steps necessary to get myself a better support system for MIL and really force the other brothers to step in. I have actually already started to make myself unavailable to take her to the doctor so her granddaughter is taking her. I guess I just hit the point of having been through enough.
Helpful Answer (1)

Okay... What I am about to say may hurt you... But please know I say these words with kindness.

Your fiance has only verbalized a marriage to you. After 10 years, honey, he has no interest in marrying you. Now you are a slave to his family (I presume you don't have a career or that you are working outside of caring for your MIL). Your fiance's family are manipulating you and you can't see it because you are too close. You have no guarantee that your fiance will marry you... and no financial security whatsoever. You are injuring your own life and will certainly become more miserable because of it.

Draw all the family members together and request the following:

1. SHARED care
2. Financial compensation for caring for her (market rate for caregivers in N. Ca is $25/hour)
3. A schedule so you get time off

And, like others have stated, get your own place to live so you have your own sacred nest.
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We would really like to move back to our old neighborhood but MIL makes it impossible to even talk about hiring a sitter or having other family members come in. The problem with sitters is that she will not pay for them, she doesn't want them in her house and she would rather have US be with her. are you a caretaker? Does your person say things like this? She won't allow anyone to pay for sitters either. She is a very proud woman and likes to take care of us by cooking or giving us money occasionally..because we take care of her..she likes to give us money just to say thanks even though we refuse it...she has fits when we don't take it..
She has fits or gets angry when she feels like we are gone too long and forget about her..I feel like if we left, she would never forgive us and it would be on my conscious..we do get away occasionally and it feels good to do so..thanks for the advice
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I agree with the above answer. If your soon-to-be MIL is unappreciative of what you and your fiance do and she's somewhat able to care for herself, get yourselves out of there and move closer to your fiance's work. Let her be as independent as she can be, setting up support as CrispyCritter suggests. Get your own lives (and sanity and happiness) back. We reap what we sow and she's unfortunately now alienated the only two left in her family (it sounds like) who want anything to do with her. You both gave it your best shot and now you're all three miserable. She sounds like she's miserable with you there and miserable without you there, so at least if you're not there, YOU'RE not miserable.

If you can afford it, reclaim your prior life and do what you can to help your fiance's mom - but NOT at the expense of your own health and happiness. Good luck and keep us posted.
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J77 ... sounds as though you and fiance could handle the situation a little better if you had some daylight between you and MIL to be. Since you don't mentioned finances I'll jump in and suggest that you find a cheap place to rent a few miles away.

Set up a schedule of care for pre-MIL, pre-cooked meals, household chores and so forth; get a caregiver to help with personal care (bathing, etc). Set up a schedule to check on her and deliver needed items. Fiancee could visit daily or every other day for 30-45 min after work. But have your home, meal times, fun times at a different place.

If she is mobile, stable on her feet let her be independent as long as possible. Childproof what you need to in order for her to be safe.

Just thinking out loud here, but if you can, you should for everyone's sanity.
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