Caring For My Mother-in-law With My Husband Is Not Fun

My husband and I just got married this year and we are caring for his mom. It is a hard way to start a marriage and I knew what I was getting into. I just didn't realize how alienated I would feel in his home. I work and he stays home with his mom all day. When I'm there, his mom never knows who I am. She thinks that my husband (who is her son) is her husband so she is very jealous of me. I feel her eyes on my when I cook or do laundry. She sometimes thinks I'm the maid and tells my husband to send me home.

I really miss my home and being able to do what I want to do. I miss cooking in a kitchen alone and at peace. But more than anything, I miss my husband. I miss spending time alone with him. I missing going to a movie on a Sunday afternoon. I miss making love and making noise. We always have to be quiet after she goes to bed at 6:30.

I feel like I'm 88 and I'm only 53 and in really good health. I feel like we will be taking care of her forever. I know this is selfish but I don't care. I have no one to talk to. Nobody would understand what this is like.

I'm worried about our marriage being able to survive his mom and her changing moods. I thought I was strong but I don't think I am. I am spending more and more time at the gym and at work - anywhere so I don't have to be around his mom and her bad moods and mean behavior.

And the kicker is my husband is amazing. He is the most beautiful human I've ever encountered and I don't think I will live up to his expectations.

I can't even cry at home. I'm at the office on a Sunday listening to Anna Nalick signing "Breathe" and I don't want to go home. I'm sitting here writing this stupid post that nobody will read.

I don't want to get old. I hope they have a pill I can take when I get too old to move and don't know who anyone is anyway. What is the point of all of this?
notDiggingThisCaretakingThing notDiggingThisCaretakingThing
2 Responses Jan 13, 2013

Oh dear, I really really feel for you. And you're not being selfish AT ALL. There could be some practical steps you could put in place to try and regain SOME of what you've lost. Just a little is better than nothing and may make the situation more bearable, and give your marriage a fighting chance. Boundaries!! When you're in the kitchen preparing dinner, hubby needs to usher his mother into another room. Whatever protests she makes, he MUST find a way around them and give you that kitchen all to yourself. Maybe he could suggest playing a boardgame with her or watching a tv show with her or go for a walk. Anything, it doesn't matter, but he's got to insist she not be in the kitchen during your meal prep time. That will give you at least an hour on your own in YOUR kitchen. I suggest a glass of wine while cooking and music (headphones). Insist that this time be uninterrupted. Put your foot down. Your husband may be the best thing since sliced bread, but that's not going to help your marriage if you are this unhappy.
Time out for you and hubby. Can a personal care assistant (or a family member) be brought in on a Fri/Sun night from 5pm-9pm?? If your MIL goes to bed at 6.30, she'll be asleep for most of their stay, so can someone help you out there? If you plan well, it gives you time for dinner and a movie, and maybe abit of foolin-around time in the back of the car in a deserted carpark (pretend your teenagers again). At least you'll have that freedom to make that back seat rock and squeal to your hearts content.
If it's possible for you to implement those to changes, you will have bought some time-out for yourself in your own kitchen EVERYDAY, and some time-out for you and hubby EACH WEEK.
You said you miss your home (I get what you mean) but where you live now ... THATs your home. If you haven't already, start putting your personal touch all over the house.
If your husband is the good man you say he is, he will understand your need for these changes and he will support them. And when I say support, I mean enforce. Not sure if your MIL's moods are illness related or just her personality. If it's the latter, you need to get assertive and let her know that SHE is living with YOU. Not the other way around. If her moods are illness related, work out a plan of action with your husband, sit MIL down and explain to her the changes (I would suggest you do the talking because she needs to see that you are a dominant force in the house and that your husband has your support). You know her well enough to anticipate any objections. Be ready with answers. They don't have to make sense to her or placate her, she just needs to understand that these changes are coming regardless.
I really hope this has been some sort of help for you and that things get better one way or another. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU xoxo

I am facing the same thing. When My FIL dies my husband wants to take care of his Mother. They live in Canada! I don't want to live in Canada! We are now going up there 4 x's a yr 10 days at a time and he wants to increase that to staying there 6 mths and here 6mths! They have enough money to move to a nice retirement home but the Mum refuses. I'm just sick about this. This is my home and I don't want to leave it. :(