The very day we got to her house she began accusing us of taking things, and just finding any and every complaint she could find to make. Here we were deep cleaning her house, since she let it get really nasty, just so we can live there with my 8-year-old daughter (from a previous relationship), and she’s picking arguments with us almost daily for six months. We pay the majority of the bills, take care of the house, provide the groceries, and drive her to and from her appointments. Whenever she asks us to do something she always says, “Whenever you get the chance, doesn’t have to be right now.” Yet, if the request isn’t fulfilled shortly after, she gets pissy. Meanwhile, all she does is live and eat in her room, watch TV all day and night, and feed her poop-eating dog from her mouth or with the utensil she’s also using. Plus, she has unhealthy hygiene (like, she only bathes once a week and sometimes does not wash her hands before putting them in shared food like chips or shredded cheese), and she lets her dog, who stays cooped up in her room all day, use puppy pads that she keeps until either my husband and I complain about the smell.
On top of all that, she has a bad memory and the worst judgment and I don’t want my daughter or newborn to be around her. When my husband was two, she gave him weed to try to get him to go to sleep, and saw nothing wrong with being naked around him and allowing other females to be naked around him clear up to his teen years. One day, she and I were talking about how babies get hiccups and I told her I used to give my oldest a little bit of water and she suggested to give a bit of honey to coat the baby’s throat!!!! She falls walking on a flat surface with nothing in her hands but she is super mad that my husband and I have made it clear that she will not be caring for the new baby or holding it while walking. In addition, she has fallen asleep with candles still lit, and left knives on the counter (I almost impaled my pregnant belly on one!). She is not to be left alone for a single second with the baby.
I’m literally days away from my due date and my blood pressure has been going up. I have made my concerns clear to my husband that I do not want her living with us when we move out. My FIL (who has been divorced from my MIL for over 40 years) says he’s on our side but that my husband made a promise to his mother and that makes it my promise too. He has directly told me that I’m simply hormonal and I’m just using my children’s safety as an excuse to get my way. But when my husband made the promise to always care for his mother, he wasn’t married, didn’t have a step-child or a brand new baby on the way.
My husband is wonderful but he seems to believe that since his mother is willing to pay part of the bills when we buy a house that she is needed. I’ll graduate in a few days and have been applying to jobs that will hopefully hire me shortly after my baby is born so that we won’t need any of her finances. Am I wrong for wanting my husband to break his promise to his mother that he made sooo long ago? — Not My Promise
So… let me see if I understand this. You’re willing to make the enormous sacrifice of living rent-free with your horrible MIL now, while you can’t afford your own place, but as soon you have a job and “won’t need any of her finances,” you will no longer be willing to make any kind of sacrifice when it comes to her and believe your husband should break his promise to take care of her? Is that right? Well, that’s just the shittiest.
Your MIL sounds ill — maybe mentally ill, in addition to suffering whatever lasting effects she has from her stroke. Not only does she sound like a danger to her grandchildren or anyone else living with her, which you’ve made clear is your concern, she is a danger to herself. Clearly, she does not seem capable of living alone without some care. Where’s your compassion for that? You complain, complain, complain about everything you have to do for her and how grossed out you are by her and about this horrible promise your husband made to, gasp, care for his ailing mother, but wouldn’t you want your kids to show some care for you if you weren’t able to care for yourself and they were in a position to help out a little?
I don’t know the details of this promise your husband made, but to me, caring for someone can be accomplished in numerous ways. It doesn’t have to be living with them (while taking their money, ahem). It could be — and really, should be, in your husband’s case — finding adequate home care or a living environment where his mother will get the physical and medical attention she obviously needs. It could be sitting down with her and going over finances and researching programs she could apply for to help pay for this kind of care (and even contributing to that care if one is in a financial position to do so). It could be visiting her frequently and driving her to appointments, as he/you have been doing, and taking her out for recreational activities (as opposed to just letting her basically rot in her own filth in her bedroom all day and night…). It could be taking her to get her hair done, helping her clean up after her dog, doing yard work for her, etc. It does not have to be living with her. And you really need to discuss with your husband how he can fulfill his promise to “take care of” his mother without sacrificing your nuclear family’s safety and comfort.
Finally, you need get your own place and move out of your MIL’s house. Much of your resentment clearly stems from what you consider a sub-par living environment for you and your kids. So, get your own place. And if you can’t afford your own place yet because you and your husband are both unemployed, then TOUGH SHIT. You don’t get to complain about the free place you’ve been crashing in for however many months, no matter how much deep cleaning you had to do to make it livable. Sorry, but between you and yesterday’s LW, I’ve reached my limit with the sense of entitlement and lack of compassion for ailing parents I’m seeing. Be an adult, support yourself, and if you need help, accept it graciously and compassionately and don’t look your gift horse in the mouth (i.e. totally abandon her) as soon as you no longer need what she’s been giving.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.