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My MIL had a stroke 7 months ago. She is now severely handicapped (in wheel chair, can't talk well, declined cognitive/memory). My husband and I live 1.5 hours flight from her. Thanks to covid we were able to be with her since as we could work from home anywhere and we do not have kids. His siblings live further away and have kids so my husband is MIL's primary caregiver (his father passed away 10 years ago). His mother insists that she want to live in her home with a live-in aide (she can afford such service). Our lives have been evolving around her needs for the past 6 months. After 6 months in miseries being with him at his mother's house, I was so homesick that I left him at his mother's house and went back to our home. I am living alone for a month now. My husband now decides that he "needs" to spend half of his time with his mom at her home and half of his time with me at our home (1 week with her then 1 week with me). He also considers quitting his job to move to her town if he can't get his employer to allow him to work from home as he plans. I offered him to be home with me for 2 weeks and then 1 week with his mom and I will go with him but that is not good enough for him. I told him I don't want to move to her town, lose my job, and live in a rural area that I am not used to (I have always lived in big cities). I want to live my life for us, not for someone else. I told him I don't want a part-time marriage. I have had several conversations with him that throwing away his career and marriage to live for his mom is not a sound decision but he won't budge. I don't want to force him to stay in our marriage if he can't commit to it more than 75% of time. We have been together for 13 years and can't imagine we are heading to a separation. Any advice? Am I being selfish to want to live my life for myself than anyone else?
 

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I told him I don't want a part-time marriage.
Given the situation as it stands, I'd suggest you get a full-time divorce.
 

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Despite having children, the other siblings need to step up too. You need to contact them and fill them in on how serious this is.

I understand him wanting to be around a lot, his mum is vulnerable and its only been 7 months so everyone is still trying to figure out how to do this. But what he's doing and planning isn't sustainable. He needs to let a paid aide do the heavy lifting, and just be there (both in person and by phone), even with an aide there, but the load needs to be shared among all siblings, whether they have kids or not.
 

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Very sorry that you find yourself here through no fault of your own. My wife and I have experienced similar problems with family on both sides where we were the ones left to get on with it by other family members and had to fight to retain some semblance of our own married life.

Let’s rewind here a bit before things get out of hand.

You have recognised the need for your husband to be more involved in his mother’s care and have been sympathetic to that need.

You spent 6 months living at your Mother In Law’s house with your husband with both of you acting as primary carers.

You have suggested an alternative to his week on, week off by offering two weeks off and one week one when you will also accompany him for that week.

Your MIL wants and is able to live at home with 24/7 live in support. There are other siblings who are not stepping up.

In my opinion, you have already shown a great deal of compassion, support and care. You have continued to recognise your husband’s ongoing needs by suggesting a very reasonable compromise.

Your husband, on the other hand, appears to be 100% focused without any compromise both in terms of current arrangements and his future plans. I fully appreciate the position he is in and his obvious upset but …..

From the above summary, you have offered a compromise to suit everyone but your husband is putting you both in a position where he chooses between his mother or his marriage.

I think you are well within your rights to stay at home and to not move to his mothers. You have the right to your life.

You have pointed out that the family as a whole needs to pull together. Can you get the family together to discuss your mother in laws needs and how EVERYONE is going to contribute? You can bet your sweet life that they are thankful you and your husband are taking all of this on so their lives can carry on relatively undisturbed. You can also be pretty sure they won’t give a rat’s *#+ about your marriage or how you feel so you need to be strong here.

If your husband quits his job, what will you both do for money? Can he afford to have no income? Can you afford to live on yours?

If your husband moves to his mother’s house, is he willing to let you remain in your current house and provide full financial support?

If he does move, do you have to make any decisions on formal separation or divorce? Can you still live in your home and, well to be brutally honest, if you get used to living without him or find someone else, does he understand he will lose you?

If you decide to give up your job and move, how miserable are you going to be and how long before resentment leads to rows and your relationship falls apart anyway?

I don’t think you are being selfish here at all and I feel sorry for you. I also don’t think your husband is thinking things through properly due to his worry over his mum but he needs to snap out of it.
 

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Your MIL has expressed what she wants. I think that ought to be respected. End of.
 
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Beem, tell him, after considerable thought, you've decided you're going to have full time companionship in the arms of a loving man. And you hope that man will ultimately be him.
 

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Wow. I understand not wanting to move but to be so crass & dismissive to his elderly mother comes across as cold to me.

Your husband sounds like a loving nurturing man who is doing his best to care for his mom. I don't know if you are Christian but I am & Honor Thy Mother & Father is a Commandment not a suggestion.

I also don't know if you have kids but your attitude is teaching them to throw away the elderly. Your attitude is that you won't give rural life a try to help the infirm person who gave life to your husband. You don't seem willing to sacrifice much to support him as he cares for his elderly mom. She's not disposable. Is living in a city really more important than a sick human being at the end of her life? What about your own vows? You remember for better or worse, in good times and in bad? Were those just empty words to you?

Your husband or you needs to get his siblings involved in a much bigger way so that mom can be cared for & your marriage can hopefully stay intact.

I moved to be caretaker to my parents at the end of their lives & I reorganized my career so I get where your husband is coming from. You I don't understand at all.
 

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Wow. I understand not wanting to move but to be so crass & dismissive to his elderly mother comes across as cold to me.

Your husband sounds like a loving nurturing man who is doing his best to care for his mom. I don't know if you are Christian but I am & Honor Thy Mother & Father is a Commandment not a suggestion.

I also don't know if you have kids but your attitude is teaching them to throw away the elderly. Your attitude is that you won't give rural life a try to help the infirm person who gave life to your husband. You don't seem willing to sacrifice much to support him as he cares for his elderly mom. She's not disposable. Is living in a city really more important than a sick human being at the end of her life? What about your own vows? You remember for better or worse, in good times and in bad? Were those just empty words to you?

Your husband or you needs to get his siblings involved in a much bigger way so that mom can be cared for & your marriage can hopefully stay intact.

I moved to be caretaker to my parents at the end of their lives & I reorganized my career so I get where your husband is coming from. You I don't understand at all.
I think that is pretty harsh actually and unfair.

The OP has already provided significant care and support to her husband and MIL during the initial 6 months of the illness and is proposing an alternative care arrangement whereby her husband does care for his mother. She is not refusing to participate but does, I believe, want to be involved in any decisions that turn her world upside down, not given an absolute dictat on moving by her husband. I think most people would find this quite reasonable.

You made your decisions which were admirable but I do feel it unreasonable to impose your views and standards on those who do not share them.
 

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. I told him I don't want to move to her town, lose my job, and live in a rural area that I am not used to (I have always lived in big cities). I want to live my life for us, not for someone else.

Any advice? Am I being selfish to want to live my life for myself than anyone else?
I took these two parts of your post to comment, because they stick out the most....

She is not just "someone else"....She is his mother.!!..Like it or not, when you get married, you don't just get him, you get the family...For many of us, our mothers have sacrificed for us to a degree that would make this scenario you posted child's play...I know my mother did...If not for her there is no telling what would have become...So I should turn my back on her in her worst and most vulnerable time??? There are a lot of things I don't do that I would like to because I need to be there for her.. If a woman(wife or not) decided to start whining about this, she wouldn't be the one looking to get divorced or separated...but I get it,. everyone is different...

Think of it another way....

What if he lost his job, and the only job he could find that paid enough was an over the road truck driver.??...Wouldn't have to be permanent, but it would take him out of the house for days or weeks at a time....Would that be a problem as well?? And sure, maybe it would be better if some of the other family kicked in, but as you said, they live further away and have kids.. In these scenarios, its always the son/daughter that has no kids that winds up with the lions share...Its the way it is...

I would never whine about this, if I were in your shoes, but that's me...One week on and one off wouldn't be ideal, but if it was a way to make it all work, I would be all in and as supportive as I could be.....I don't think you are being totally selfish here, but I do see some insensitivity and perhaps you could be more understanding...

It's easy for people to come up with scenarios that make sense in their heads, when it's not someone that they particularly care about...You really can't criticize how he is supposed to feel...That is only something he can understand or rationalize...
 

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Honor Thy Mother & Father is a Commandment not a suggestion.
Yes. That is correct. And:

His mother insists that she want to live in her home with a live-in aide (she can afford such service).
What your husband is doing is actually dishonoring his mother. His mother has taught him to "cleave unto his wife" (which is not a commandment, but it is a statement of example of God's intention for our lives).

I don't think you want to prohibit your husband from visiting his mother. He has to come up with a compromise which honors his mother and honors his marriage and commitment to his wife. Simultaneously. This proposed arrangement of his does not honor his marriage, nor his wife, nor his mother.
 

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My MIL was ill to the point of needing care for years. I told my wife she’s not living with us. Take the checkbook and do whatever you need to do and keep the financial part to yourself.

When she first got sick I was working A LOT. So it pissed me off working to 1am to support my MIL but it was a lot better than the alternatives.

The time commitment (usually 3+ hours from us) was also irritating as it meant a whole day for any visits. A lot of the time I didn’t go, MIL would complain a lot which I get because she’s sick and in the hospital or just sick. Anyway driving all day to hear someone complain takes a certain level of patience and I didn’t always have it.

The REAL thing that pissed me off is she sent my wife around to run errands for her and I think she enjoyed making her jump through little hoops. My wife could have solved these problems with money but I think her mom specifically wanted her to do it.

So in short OP you’re not wrong. I have sympathy for your situation and suggest you lay down some boundaries of what you will tolerate or you should consider ending it.
 

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I've been the caregiver for my ex mil who we moved from one end of the country to another to live with us. She has dementia, diabetes, bipolar, lots of mini strokes, copd just to name a few. She became bedridden. My ex husband worked away and I became his mums carer 24/7. On top of this I had health problems of my own and after a few years caring for her I became too unwell myself. Won't go into my marriage but we are now getting divorced and his mother is too sick, she has since moved into a care home because of her violence and needing around the clock care. I'm now suffering with my mental health because it all took its toll on me. You can't have a sick person look after another sick person especially when they have dementia. His mother seems like she is still able to make decisions for herself and your husband should respect her wishes. If you and your husband are both healthy you could work out a plan of care for his mother that suits everyone involved. I never got a break for a few years and it dragged me down and my ex husband became emotionally, verbally, mentally abusive to me. Probably because of his mums health and her phoning him at silly hours and during work meetings, he took everything out on me. So it ended up ruining our marriage and me having many breakdowns. There is a lot involved when caring for somebody and the most important thing when caring for someone is to have time away to care for yourself, family or it can destroy the person/people caring for the sick one. I ended up getting abuse from my ex mil and my ex husband. If you love your husband work out a plan for you both and his mother. Her safety and care is important but so is your marriage. Get carers in if available and whatever other help you can both get to remove the pressure from you and your husband. Install cameras for when neither of you are there. You can show your husband my comment if it helps. He is a good man to want to care for his mother and that can be done in a healthier way for you all with the help of carers. Hope you both figure it out and don't let this ruin your marriage, unless you have other things going on and want out. Your husband will need your support more than ever now and you will also need his support. Maybe if he starts with a week with his mum then a week with you for the 1st month, then 2 weeks with you and 1 week with his mum. He can work out the care plan with the carers during this time and get to know them, so he can spend most of his time with you and you both visit weekends. Your mil should be used to her carers by then and hopefully happy and safe with them and your husband can relax more knowing she's in good hands. You can inbox me with any questions about being a carer. Take care and all the best.

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