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Help. Husband wants to live with elderly parents


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Help! I’m panicking and want to run away. My husband (we’re both mid 30s) wants us to move with his parents. His parents are elderly, neithrt have the best health, and quite weak. He wants to live in their garden (some sort of annex) and essentially is living with them to help them each day. He says it’s the right thing to do. The problem is, we’ve been together for 15 years now and I’ve never really got along with or felt comfortable with his parents. It was a major relief when we finally could afford a place of our own 8 years ago, I am fiercely independent and need my space, and I have desires of my own space and a good house (our current one is ok but not detached). But my husband is being insistent on moving miles away (approx 300 miles) to go live with his parents in their back garden. It sounds like a nightmare to me. I know I couldn’t be happy seeing them every day and I certainly don’t want to live in anyone’s garden, nor do I want to become a full time live-in carer! I want to run away. I’m panicking! I have a life to live and I don’t want to spend it looking after old people. Sorry. Maybe this makes me a bad person, but so be it. I want to live.

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Your husband is doing the right thing and as his wife, you should be supporting him to some degree.

 

I don't think you need to go live in their garden, but moving to the same city at the very least so he can check on them everyday to make sure they are okay, seems about right.

He could even stay there with them once in a while if need be.

 

You don't want to live with 'old people'...boy oh boy...you'd better hope and pray you're not treated that way when you become old.

Your husband would not exist were it not for these people. Don't forget that.

Family is family..they love each other through the bad times and when they are sick and yes, even when they get old.

That's the right thing to do.

 

You don't bail and you don't make excuses.

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Just say no. He needs to arrange care for them in a more meaningful and better way.

I’ve never really got along with or felt comfortable with his parents.

my husband is being insistent on moving miles away (approx 300 miles) to go live with his parents

It sounds like a nightmare to me.

nor do I want to become a full time live-in carer!

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Marriage counseling. Right away.

 

If this is one of your husband’s core values or beliefs - that he needs to take care of his parents - even if you win the “argument”, he could resent you down the line when/if his parents pass away.

 

If you really don’t want to be there and have that lifestyle - if he wins the “argument” - you will resent every moment you are there and may hold it against him.

 

This is a turning point in your marriage, IMO, and it requires professional guidance to help you navigate it together.

 

I don’t even think you should try to navigate this without assistance if you aren’t on the same page.

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Yeah maybe counselling. I just really don’t get on with them. They talk down to me, patronise me, ignore me and I couldn’t imagine having to deal with them every day. I can see them with a smile every month as we do currently and I can handle it, but the idea of being with them daily when they’re horrible to me just make me wants to break down. I can’t take it.

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Parents raised their children and were respectful about it (assuming they were).

 

Grown children now return the favour or at least help with their care to a certain degree. Getting a fulltime carer and checking on them everyday

 

You don't become jerks and bail and give excuses or hand them off to strangers.

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I'll tell you what Suzy..this truly is a turning point in your marriage.

 

If you bail or complain so loudly that he feels forced to not help them, when they pass away, he will resent you greatly and it won't be fixable.

 

Find a way to help and to get support if need be via marriage counselling or personal counselling.

 

But things could go very badly if you don't find a way to cooperate on this issue.

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Btw - for what it’s worth - I disagree with SherrySher. I understand where she is coming from, and I think it’s admirable, but I don’t share those views. Not everyone does.

 

In my family, my sister and I have already discussed with my parents what should happen should they require daily assistance. We have told them that we would find them a nice home. They are 100% in agreement. We don’t view it as “passing them off to strangers” but rather getting them the assistance they need, and for them to be in a place with social activities and people their age to be around when perhaps they are less mobile, etc. We would argue it’s a better quality of life for everyone.

 

So... not everyone shares those values (including my parents - they don’t want us to give up our lives to ever care for them!!)

 

... but as you can see - people feel passionately about it either way. It’s an incompatibility you have with your spouse. You will need to find ways to navigate that.

 

Edited to say: It’s not unlike the stay-at-home mom vs. daycare debate. There are pros and cons to both and people feel passionate on both sides - but I don’t think one is more shameful than the other. It’s a choice. And there are some beliefs that can be tied into that.

Edited by RedDress
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Having seen and personally experiencing most angles of the aging parent dilemma, it's probably one of the most challenging things you will ever deal with. I can't stress this enough.

 

My mother took in her aging mother. It took years off of her life. From there my mom took care of my Dad with Alzheimer's. I was at their home every weekend, while my kids were still young helping. At some point I had to intervene and place my dad in a facility. At the rate we were going, I would lose both of them.

 

My Dad dealt with his parents, X2 seeing his natural parents divorced and remarried. And most recently losing my mom who made me promise I would never take into my home. I moved her around to corner and was at her home continuously.

 

My bf is dealing with his parents declining health in another state. He shares his wishes to either marry or move in together often. I have no shame telling him that I don't have it in me to take care of another parent. For financial reasons, it's very likely one or the other with ultimately have to live with him. Our future is on hold.

 

I know from experience the toll it takes. I know my story probably isn't helpful, but marriages are about compromise. One person doesn't get to make a massive, unilateral decision without the other. Not if you want to stay married.

 

I say you keep working at a compromise. It may seem impossible, but you can find a way to have them near you without living with them. . .If you have to. You might have to give something up to do so, but don't thinks it's impossible.

 

Besides, it's a little easier (if there is such a thing) to consider making this commitment to our own parents. You need to sensitive to the fact that these are not your partners parents and they aren't going to feel about it the same way you do.

It's only fair.

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I don't understand why YOU have to pack up and leave for this. if anything he should packed them up and bring them there. Put them in an apartment close to doctors/specialists and get a home care worker to come in a few times a week. He can spend time helping them on weekends. There are other options to take, rather than up root your lives for theirs. Is this his way to get free rent and save a few pennies? It's not worth it. They need to down size anyways, so it makes sense to sell off the house and assets so they can afford the medical assistance as they need it. it's a win win...they get the help they need and you get to keep your life.

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You sound very immature and selfish for someone in your mid 30's. I'm pretty shocked that you think it's all just about you; it's def not. His parents are sick and they brought him up, I think what he's doing is perfectly understandable and expected. I feel pretty bad for your parents.

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You sound very immature and selfish for someone in your mid 30's. I'm pretty shocked that you think it's all just about you; it's def not. His parents are sick and they brought him up, I think what he's doing is perfectly understandable and expected. I feel pretty bad for your parents.

 

Of course it’s about me. This is deeply affecting my life in a negative way. I’d have to move over 300 miles away from my own family, leave my career, end up with whatever job I can find, and spend the foreseeable future as a carer to his parents who have always been awkward and unpleasant to me. They are not nice people and I’m panicking at the idea of my entire life changing in order to please them.

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No way would I ever want my kids to uproot their spouses and lives to cater to me when I'm old.

 

I'm already ill and live several hundred miles away. I repeat, no way would I ever expect this from them. I take care of my own health issues. I know how.

 

Your husband, however, feels differently.

 

A neutral third party could be invaluable (and possibly marriage saving). I recommend you book an appointment with a counselor specializing in your situation to help find a solution you both can live with.

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Omg are you me??? My in-laws are now 87 and his father has advanced dementia and Parkinson’s ,my mother-in-law can barely move and needs surgery ( AGAIN)and they expect their children to be their caregivers even though they have a shyte whack of money to have people look after them . My sister-in-law has called people and they have cancelled every service she arranges. My in-laws have always been horrible to me . Yet my husband is chancing his career to go home in two weeks to look after his father while his mother is in the hospital.

And in addition to that, they have loads of money in the bank and if they downsized they’d have plenty for the rest of their lives including cost of proper care.
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I don't understand why YOU have to pack up and leave for this. if anything he should packed them up and bring them there. Put them in an apartment close to doctors/specialists and get a home care worker to come in a few times a week. He can spend time helping them on weekends. There are other options to take, rather than up root your lives for theirs. Is this his way to get free rent and save a few pennies? It's not worth it. They need to down size anyways, so it makes sense to sell off the house and assets so they can afford the medical assistance as they need it. it's a win win...they get the help they need and you get to keep your life.

 

I agree with this. Especially, since they have tested you poorly.

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My mother doesn't expect me to do anything. Should she ever need it in the later stages of life, I'd be there for her in a heartbeat. It's not for her sake that I choose to be a decent person. It's because my conscience dictates as much. More power to you if you sleep well regardless. Sticking parents in homes or otherwise leaving them with their own struggles in age is one of the most obnoxiously WASP concepts I'll never understand. Fair enough if they were objectively crap to you growing up. There does come a point I think you can or even should wipe your hands clean and say, "**** 'em." But insofar as both my wife's and my parents raised us well and successfully, we both married each other understanding we'd do what it takes to physically be there for them should ever the need arise.

 

I'd file for divorce if this is too much for you. Regardless of anyone's opinion or whether your husband is right or wrong, there's no way either of you comes out of this without some irreconcilable resentment.

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Both of you are still young in your 30s and there is no way I'd be full time live in caregiver for elderly parents. Since your in-laws are perfectly capable of fending for themselves financially, persuade your husband to attend marriage counseling otherwise you'll be miserable uprooting, changing jobs and playing around-the-clock nursemaid.

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I'd file for divorce if this is too much for you. Regardless of anyone's opinion or whether your husband is right or wrong, there's no way either of you comes out of this without some irreconcilable resentment.

 

This is the bottom line.

 

No point in arguing if helping aging parents is correct or not correct. We all have different views and would do different things.

But at the end of the day, Suzy, you and your husband wants different things and there is going to be resentment that is not repairable either on your side or his.

 

You can try to cooperate on this issue and by cooperating, find a solution that makes you both happy. if that's not possible, you've got no other option than to file for divorce as this isn't an issue that is going to go away or is a small thing.

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