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My mom is 69 and has been living with me, my husband and our family the past five years because she could no longer afford her house. She still works full time. My husband has an opportunity to relocate his position and move us to Rehoboth Beach in DE, where the taxes are far below what we are paying now. My mom would have to retire if we moved since we’re moving out of state, but she told me she still has to pay for her car and still has work to do so. I am feeling so guilty about all of this. My brother and SIL told me beforehand that we do what we need to do and she’ll have to decide and find a new place if she doesn’t come with us. Well, it’s been so hard for her to find a new place that’s decent and affordable. Please help me because I am torn. I feel awful for even thinking of leaving her behind, and if I have to actually do it, I can’t imagine the feelings I’ll have! I don’t know what is right or wrong. My brother will still be here for her but it’s not the same as your daughter. She really has no one else besides her sister here and her work buddies.

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Sorry - you're thinking of asking your husband to pass up an attractive work and relocation opportunity because your mother has to keep up her car payments?

Isn't that what it boils down to?

Your mother has a choice. She can give up work and let the car go and move with you; or she can sit tight, in a town where she has a job and a social circle and your brother and... a life. A proper grown up's life. It is difficult to find nice, affordable places for single people - boy, do I know! - but no more so for her than for anyone else. Keep looking, is all.

She would be crazy to come with you. But you would be crazier to stay behind for her. She doesn't need you to do that.
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AlvaDeer Jun 25, 2019
I see it as more than about the car. It is sounding to me like her Mom is living with them and becoming increasingly more dependent on them. And it will hurt to get on with her own life, will be hard. But I sure wouldn't give up the one and only life I have because of it. And I would hate to think my daughter would give up her life for me. Basically I think we see it the same way.
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Your mother has made choices throughout her life. She works; she has a car and should be able to arrange to live, either with a roommate or in income based housing that she can afford.

Your mother's life is not yours to compensate for.
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Listen to your brother. And if he's local, why do you say she has no one else besides her sister and her work buddies? Don't fall into the "it's not the same as your daughter" way of thinking. That's how daughters get saddled with eldercare, while often the brothers get away with doing nothing.
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I would tell my mom that as of mm/dd/year I am moving.

She is trying to manipulate you into doing what she wants, regardless of how this effects you and your family. That is just a rotten thing for a parent to do.

I am going to say that I think that she should feel guilty for imposing on you and your family for the last 5 years, she should be ashamed of herself for trying to manipulate you into staying some place just for her and her choices, bad choices at that.

She can't find a place good enough for the right amount of money, what, you live where you can afford to and make it your home by decorating and cleaning and improving things you can. She needs to grow up and let you spread your wings.

You sound excited about moving and you are letting her ruin a great adventure for you and your family, but since she has been allowed to ruin the peace of your home for 5 years by butting heads with you, she feels entitled and empowered. Time to become the mistress of your home and the master of your dreams.

Time to show your children what a happy, peaceful home life looks like. Leave mom where she wants to be and let her throw a tantrum, doesn't obligate you to accommodate her.

I would encourage her to buy an RV trailer that she can tow behind her crv and she can live wherever she wants.

Sorry if I sound harsh, it makes me crazy when parents suck the life out of their children and use whatever tactics they feel will help them get their own way. Children get disciplined for doing those kinds of stunts, why should we feel like we have to accept it from our parents. We don't have to, we can love them and help them without being their scratching post.
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Peace2019 Jun 24, 2019
Please don’t apologize. I agree with you 100 percent.
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Please don't make the same mistake I made. I started a similar situation when I was in my thirties and my mom was in her fifties. Lots of reasons...financial, her insecurities, my dad being absent most of the time...and to make a long story short....I am still in the same situation except worse because she is in her 80's now and even more dependant because of health issues. I have sacrificed moves, vacations, time with my husband and too many other things to count and it only caused her to become more dependant and me more resentful. Don't let this happen to you. You could end up with a resentful husband or worse ...no husband... because of not putting your family first. It sounds like your mother still has a support system (which mine never had) and you should take advantage of that and GO!!! And she will manage her life. Maybe it won't be the way she wants it, but it will end up being the best for both of you.
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Upstream Jun 26, 2019
Great advice!
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Make the break now and mitigate the damage she can do to your life. An elderly mother will be nothing but a drain on your future. I have seen it time and time again - myself and several friends. Run now while the gettin is good!

BTW, I first joined this forum about 7-8 years ago and I was shocked at the sarcasm and negativity of some posters. But here I am all these years later - each year my situation getting worse with no end in sight. So now, I am the nasty, sarcastic poster! My mom was in her late 60s when she suddenly "gave up" on life, declaring she was old and done. She has tried to suck the life out of me ever since. My mom was previously super-cool and I never saw this coming. If I would have known, I would have run the h*ll away. Please go and leave her behind.
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ybd311 Jun 25, 2019
Upstream, I completely sympathize with you!!
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Some really good responses here. When I have difficult decisions like this to make, I sit down and look at the two alternative realities. First, what if I and my family move - then write down all the pros and cons. Second, what if we don't move. Again, all the pros and cons.

It seems (from where I'm standing) that not moving means not only sacrificing something exciting for you, it's your entire family's forward progress sacrificed to one person's preferences and unwillingness to be a team player. You wonder how you'll handle the feelings you have if you "leave her behind" - what about the feelings about not moving and losing an opportunity on behalf of your whole family?

Maybe once you see that laid out in your pro-con list, you'll be able to see the path more clearly and be firmer about the decision within yourself. It may not help her feel better, but that's not in your control anyway; every one of us chooses how we handle change in our lives.

Also, why do you see it as you're leaving her behind? How about she's choosing to STAY behind?
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Your mother is only 69, and by today's standards that is not old at all. Do know that she could well live another 30 years. Will you then decide to give up your own life for what she feels works best for her? I think that your mother should be in charge of her own life, doing her own work, paying off her own bills, finding her own independent living space, and finding her own friends. I am 76. I would dearly hate to think that I was going to impact such a decision for my daughter, 56, living several states away from me. I need to be independent while I am able. I think, were you to be able to, and if you ENJOY your mother living with you, it would be lovely if you were able eventually get a place where she could live in an inlaw apartment, build a small add on, whatever, that in time she may need. But I do not understand giving up your own life now for what you feel your mother needs. I would seek out a licensed social worker who deals with life change issues, and spend a few hours speaking with that person on this issue. Will you feel some guilt and worry? Of COURSE you will. My daughter worries about me. I worry about her. We feel guilty when we cannot drop everything and take care of one another in a time of need. It is the "American way", guilt, as far as I can see. My brother was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor which affects his balance, benign tho it is, and with probably early Lewy's Bodies Dementia. He has moved to assisted living in a town he has chosen to stay in which is 450 miles from me. Do I feel guilty that I cannot care for him in my own home? Sure I do, but hon, it would be the death of us BOTH, hee hee. And we both know it. I don't mean to treat this lightly, but your Mom has lots more life to live, and YOU--you have REALLY got lots more life to live. To answer the question? I would move. And I would do it as carefully and gently as I am able, but I would not hesitate in my decision, because honestly that only makes it more difficult and hard for your Mom. Don't expect her to be happy ab out it. There are times in life that there isn't anything to be happy about. She will miss you and she is becoming increasingly dependent on you. So grief about that is entirely to be expected and accepted. You will miss her and feel you are letting her down. That hurts. Hurt is to be expected, accepted, and cried about. But it doesn't change the facts. I am wishing you so much luck and I hope you will keep us posted.
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Update: She is seemingly very angry at me for this situation. I mentioned that she can sell her car if she’d like to come with us and she basically laughed in my face (thank you all for the suggestion. I thought it was a good idea). No idea why she had to buy a brand new CRV in her situation anyway. (Tried talking her out of that.) She’s also talking down about the location we are thinking about moving to as well to make me feel bad about all of it. It’s just wrong. If I had a daughter (i have two sons), I couldn’t imagine putting this strain on her and her family. I’d be doing everything I could to get out, saving all of my money to get my own place. I could only imagine these are her defenses in high gear.
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Upstream Jun 25, 2019
Run run run run run run run
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I am 85, I remarried at 65. I was having sex and enjoying the heck out of it until hubby's Alzheimer's caught up with us a couple of years ago. Your mother is way too young to live with you. With her living with you, neither she nor you can make love on the kitchen floor or the front room couch. (giggle).

What would she do if you got killed in an auto accident today? She would find a way to work it out. She is a big girl and can make her own choices. Your love for her is not an excuse for her to manipulate you to doing what SHE wants to do

You married your husband, even the Bible says "That is why a man (or woman) will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife(husband) and they will become one flesh". You belong with your husband, not your mother. What would this do to your marriage if you stayed?
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GingerMay Jun 26, 2019
MaryKathleen - You made me laugh today. Thanks. Agree with everything you said here.
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