Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Mother in law troubles

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice Mother in law troubles

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 20 total)
  • Author
  • #1075628 Reply

    In desperate need of some advice. My husband wants to move his mother in with us into our new home. I am not a fan of my mother-in-law at all. She is one of the most self centered and self absorbed people that I have ever met and it has made me not like her. When my husband decided that he wanted to marry me she tried to talk him out of it. She felt it was too soon although she was perfectly ok with her son and I “shacking” up. She always makes rude comments about my weight which has caused me to feel very self conscious when she is around. She has health issues and initially went to go live with my husbands older sister but because they are still young and travel a lot she felt left out and decided she wants to move out and find her own place. She has been unsuccessful in finding her own place so she wants to stay with us until she finds something. My husband travels a lot for work so the burden would fall mostly on my shoulders. She uses a walker and can barely drive any more. My husband told her that if she stays with us that the responsibility can’t fall on me and that she needs to either hire some help to come in or get his sister to help. His sister is very unreliable to say the least. It’s hard enough that I function as a single mom because of my husband’s job but now I’m being tasked to look after his disabled mother. It is really making me want to jump ship because I would never put anyone(especially someone that I love) in the position that my husband is putting me in. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

    #1075738 Reply

    I think you are right to be concerned. Very concerned. Hell, you should be pissed off as well. But more on that later.

    Bottom line? She should move in ONLY as a last resort. And only after an aid has been arranged for.

    I agree your husband it being quite the jerk. He’d putting you in a pretty awful position. Yes. I would so NOT be pleased…

    #1075741 Reply

    Do NOT bank on the sister suddenly stepping up to the plate, either. She won’t. And you ALL know as much.

    #1076074 Reply


    Your home is likely not built for someone with her physical needs. Bedroom and bath on the first floor. No steps into the house. Bathroom with easy enter access (aka no tub) and safety rails near the toilet and in the shower.

    Aides can be expensive, finding a good one is tough, and many will not put up with shit.

    If you can swing it financially, help her get her own place at an assisted living facility. If she’s old enough (or poor enough) government assistance can help.

    #1076175 Reply

    Yeah, the answer is to have a hard, but necessary, conversation where you tell your husband you aren’t adding his cruel, dependent mother to your single-mom responsibilities. If she moves in, you move out. Period. Telling her she has to arrange care for herself or to get the sister to help are both wishful thinking – if those things are not in place now they certainly won’t get done once she moves in. It’s time to get her in permanent housing that can actually handle her needs. Your husband needs to sit down with his mom, tell her moving in with you isn’t an option as her needs are too great, and talk through some other options. Assisted living, nursing home, or a senior community plus daily home care. Time to start researching facilities in your area, going on tours, and speaking with elder care specialists. Frankly, your husband and his mom meeting with an elder care attorney is also a good idea. Does she have power of attorney set up? Does she trust one of her kids enough to give them access to her finances so they can get home care set up? If she’s unable to drive and close to immobile she needs serious care, whether she wants to accept that or not, and it’s time to start putting that in place. Caregiving is an absolutely intense, exhausting, draining and difficult process. You cannot allow her to move in or it will all fall to you.

    #1076300 Reply

    I’m going to add in a few more points because I spend a lot of time amongst the oldies:

    Her health issues will only get worse from here. And those health issues can be sudden onset and absolutely debilitating. Falls are high probability and hips are notoriously fragile, as are wrists, and legs. Hip breaks = adult diapers. Neuropathy is common and if it’s in the legs, that increases likelihood of falls – if it’s in the arms/hands then it means a lot of things get dropped and broken.

    An adult community will give her the social life she needs. Living with you will be isolating, will likely result in depression and will only exacerbate her bullying behavior.

    #1076336 Reply

    Sometimes you have to just say no. You know the responsibility is going to fall on you no matter what they say. You already have enough on your plate. She dislikes you and she is going to cause no end of trouble. She also should not be driving. She could also find a place if she really wanted to. She doesn’t. Time foe assisted living. Contact social services.

    #1078312 Reply

    You have agency in your life and in your couple. Just say no. Period.

    #1078432 Reply

    I absolutely agree with what everyone else has said. No is a complete sentence. You know it will all fall to you, because it will for the simple reason that you are there and they’ve decided to push you on this. Don’t let them do this to you. Even if she wasn’t rude and a pain in the ass this would be a bad idea.

    I can understand the feeling that you have to jump ship. It’s not fair for him to put this on you.

    #1078439 Reply

    This will not be good for you, and it will not be good for her, and it would not be good for your partner. It’s fine to make other plans, that’s what you ought to do for all 3 of you.

    #1079661 Reply

    No. You need to draw a hard line in the sand. She is not moving in and you will not be responsible for any care giving.

    Care giving is no joke. It’s very very hard – physically and emotionally, regardless of whether or not you actually get along with the person being cared for.

    My mother-in-law has dementia, and while she’s a nice woman, initially she very much wanted to move in with us. We entertained it for about a half second, then she had a fall in her own home and we had to drop everything and care for her for about a week until we figured out what to do. It was very clear to us that it would be in no ones best interest to have her with us – we were not equipped to handle the care she needs.

    We eventually placed her in an assisted living facility nearby. It has worked great. Even despite this horrible last year where we were not allowed to visit, now that we’re on the other side it’s still the best place for her – they kept her safe and well cared for that whole time, much better than we could’ve managed ourselves, and thankfully they took Covid very seriously and didn’t have any major outbreaks.

    If your MIL moved in and you didn’t have a full time care giver lined up, her care will fall to you – and it is very difficult.

    I would absolutely refuse to allow this. In the meantime, I would encourage your husband to see if your state has a council on aging. Ours did and they were a tremendous help navigating the resources available.

    Help him navigate the different options and resources available, but be firm in saying no to her moving in. Elder care is truly a very onerous labor of love even when you have a wonderful relationship with the person.

    #1079671 Reply

    Also if she has limited mobility and can’t drive – this stay with you temporarily until she finds something else is a fantasy. She’s not capable of living on her own now and she’s not going to get better, that’s not how this works.

    How is she going to find a place to live on her own. She can’t exactly drive around and tour apartments, right? How is she going to find herself a place to live? She’s going to need help with daily tasks so at best if she lives alone she’ll need someone to come in regularly.

    If she moves in with you it’s going to be permanent.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 20 total)
Reply To: Mother in law troubles
Your information: