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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #451 
Ok, so two grandkids did come over to stay two days with MIL while I needed to go away for weekend. I almost missed my flight because she kept asking me to do things including taking her to the doctor (nothing wrong with her), & to get up early to cook adult grandkids breakfast & then lunch (I said no, feeling like I am being treated like a servant). Additionally, they cooked for her over the weekend but she told them the dishwasher was broke (it was not) so they did not need to clean up the dishes- that I would get it, so I came home to an big mess thx to MIL taking me for granted.

Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #452 
You are exactly right, I am realizing that I cannot be taken advantage of unless I permit it.

My MIL is 91 yrs old, hunched over and barely walks due to circulatory issues, but otherwise in fairly good health and mind since she moved in with us 8 months ago. My husband works a lot and has a long commute, he is supportive WHEN he is around. He never wanted her to live with us, but I insisted she move in when she had health issues and we were traveling 3 hours to her house every weekend to help her (I also did not know at the time what a huge manipulator this sweet but deceptive little old lady was). He knows she is controlling, and he is sympathetic with me but also says "I told you so". He also sees that it is not safe for her to live alone, she falls frequently and cannot cook. She is a very anxious and stubborn woman and will never agree to going into an assisted living facility or have an aide come in and help at home.

This past weekend, before I left to go out of town, I asked MIL twice if she had enough medication to get through the weekend, but when I arrived home, she complained her feet were swollen and she could not walk because she was out of the medication for edema. So I ordered it online and ended up waiting 90 minutes at the pharmacy. When I returned home she was upset that it took so long, I just handed her the medication, I did not say a word, and I went to bed leaving the kitchen a mess from the grandkids (normally I would have stayed up and cleaned it, but I am becoming fed up).

This morning when I did clean the kitchen, MIL was very quiet; she noticed a change in me but she continued her manipulations. She kept insisting today was Saturday (it's Weds). I realized later she knew very well what day it was, but was intentionally trying to start an argument with me because - 1) to make me think she is losing it so that I will feel sorry for her and let her be MORE dependent on me 2) to punish me for going out of town, 3) to try to keep me from going back to work. I have been out of work for 5 months, I had three interviews this week, so hopefully it will not be much longer. I cannot wait to get away from her but I fear she will try to sabotage my new job by trying to make me late or her having to constantly go to the doctor. My husband cannot wait for me to go back to work either, he has been carry the household financial load. Additionally, I think he is tired of hearing me complain about her, plus hopefully I will be less of a target for MIL if I am gone more often.

Her constant anxiety, complaining, and moaning is ridiculous and exhausting, especially when nothing I do makes her feel better. She wants me to sit next to her all day, wait on her hand and foot and have no life but her. Her whole life, she has always had someone taking care of her. She lived with her parents into her 30's and after that she lived with a boyfriend for 25 yrs who took care of her every whim until he passed away five years ago.

At our house, her room is off of the kitchen so she does not have to do steps because she has difficulty walking. My husband and I have the upstairs bedroom, bath, laundry and a room we turned into an office. As mentioned, she does not do steps, so we have some privacy upstairs but she calls us on our cell phones if she thinks we are up there too long and interrogates us whenever we go up or down the steps.

When she is in a mood she says "Where were you- I could have fallen!?" Sometime I wonder if all her falls are legitimate or some a ploy to control us; fortunately, she has not been seriously hurt yet. I take her laundry upstairs to do it but she instructs me every time how it must be washed. The focus must always be on her, she gets irritated if I look at my phone or the computer too long instead of her (narcissism ?). She refuses to be alone for no more than a few hours. She sits in complete silence for hours ruminating on negativity & loneliness, complaining that no one calls her, or everyone is too busy. She only seems happy when people call her and she can talk all day. She used to make herself food but now she refuses to eat unless I make it, and expects that we all sit together at a certain time, every meal, every day, even when we have other things to do. She gets upset if I make only her a plate. Needless to say husband and I rarely have a date night.

She does not know how to occupy herself, I've tried to get her interested in books, crafts, and puzzles. I offered to take her to the Senior Center but she finds every excuse not to go. If I turn on music or TV to lighten the mood, she turns it off. I put music on my phone to play when I go downstairs so she cannot turn it off. She argues with me over taking her meds, and does not follow the doctor's instructions, but instead does what she wants. She often sleeps during day & then complains she cannot sleep at night. I hear her up at 2 a.m. and I pray she does not have another fall and I have to take her to the ER AGAIN. I put those little night lights everywhere, she pulls them out, I put them back in. Her doc prescribed sleeping pills but she refuses to take them.

I suspect she is also a hoarder. Half a century of her junk is in our basement from moving her in with us, she will not let me throw broken stuff away or donate anything not being used. I have to sneak things out when she is not looking but she is always around and knows exactly what was moved or missing.

She also likes to go clothes shopping for expensive clothes that do not fit her just to look at them hanging in her closet. I try not to take her to the grocery to avoid arguments because she fills the cart with items we could not possibly eat before they perish, such as 10 bags of grapes or items we do not need like 5 gallons of soap. I found it most safe and affordable to take her to the dollar store.

Next month, I rescheduled an appointment for a neurologist to evaluate her for possible dementia (she refused to go to 1st appt because she became suspicious I made the appointment instead of HER asking to go) otherwise she requests to go to the doc several times a week, making up reasons to go. The grandkids are upset I mentioned the words "possible dementia", their denial has already started before any diagnosis.

One time, my husband was out of town, MIL did her normal routine of saying she needed to go to the hospital because she did not feel well. I made an appt with her primary care doc but she refused to go. I told her she did not need to go to the hospital so she called her grown grandkids and got them all worried and they called me saying that they will call an ambulance if I do not take her to the hospital. So I ended up sitting 5 hours in the ER while she had temper tantrums with the doctor, nurses, & me because of the long wait; they found nothing wrong with her. I look like the horrible DIL if I do not take her to the hospital when she asks to go.

I noticed when MIL is with me, she acts and speaks like a helpless infant (English is her 2nd language) but when other people are around her or call her, especially her grandchildren, she speaks English very well and acts independent and intelligent. Observing this double behavior was when I started realizing I was being used & manipulated, from day one. I googled "Living with MILs" and found this site. I am learning I am not alone with this situation, and feel very stuck.

My own mother passed away in her early 60's, I felt robbed of seeing her enjoy her golden years. I thought this is another chance with my MIL. My father recently un-expectantly passed in his 70's, I wish I had more quality time with him. I want to cherish the time we have left with my MIL, and not have it be so full of resentment.

Rene Unas

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #453 
So many stories about mothers-in-law where the majority are negative.

Mine's negative too, but not really that "bad", tolerable and manageable.

She is the domineering type who can do no wrong, imposes her beliefs on her adult daughters (that includes my wife) and plays favorites. That she had a husband (my FIL) who was submissive and didn't lift a finger to address her overbearing behavior only served to encourage her.

We live in a 3-door apartment where my in-laws occupy the first slot (facing the street), us (me, wife and daughter) at the second and my unmarried sister-in-law at the last door. The youngest lives in a separate house (her in-laws) in another part of the city.

Except for rare occasions where she is agitated and angry, I observed that her meddling has been practically eliminated. During this time, I noted that my sisters-in-law made some "adjustments" to accommodate her habits. This included a vehicle and a driver to take my elderly in-laws to the mall daily to pass away the time, daily allowance was provided and dinner every Saturday after attending the usual weekly mass.

I encourage others to take this similar approach. What would appease your mother-in-law to get her off your back?

For my part, I also maintained some "distance" so she wouldn't feel too comfortable and start giving me instructions on practically about everything similar to what she did to her daughters.

The habits, "unique practices" and peculiarities I can stand and live with.

What I found disturbing and which has often been the reason of my disagreements and sometimes heated discussions with my wife was her upbringing based on the principles imparted by my in-laws.
They were expected to take care of the household expenses the moment my in-laws were no longer working, purchase of expensive items such as clothing and shoes when similarly lower-priced items would do and the expectation that our daughter would likewise contribute to the household expenses.                                     

Because her funds were diverted, we couldn't pool them for the purchase of assets couples usually target - own house, vehicle and occasional foreign trips.

Well, each husband has his own tales about his mother-in-law.

I'm sure my wife has regarding my mother.

But that will have to come later. 
Reply with quote  #454 
My mother-in-law has bin living with me and my wife for 15 years she is 90 years old,all she talks about is death she is not a happy person at all, her husband died 3 years ago, my wifes bother and his wife won't take her for a overnight stay and when they do they will bring her back in 2-4 hours, they claim they have partys to go to so they can't take her much, wife is battling cancer and don't need the stress of thanking care of her mother but we're stuck with her because her bother and his wife don't want her in a nursing home, this is my pain.
Reply with quote  #455 
This thread has been such a God send! Thank you for being so honest. My feelings are so validated. My MIL is a sweet lady. But this gets harder with each passing year, especially raising small kids in a small house + caring for her here too. She won't eat if we don't cook for her. She sleeps for days at a time, followed up by days of being in my face all day. She does not bathe, do any chores at all, ever cook, and hasn't left the house even to go outside for some sun in over a year. She NEVER EVER leaves the house. Ever! She won't go to her Dr and has fallen sev times this year, and she's lost a lot of weight. Her meds, incl blood pressure Rx, ran out of refills over a year ago & she looks at me like I'm crazy when I ask her to call her Dr. She's scared of the phone too. She tells her family members that she's active, that she watches & helps w my kids which is untrue, that she lunches w me etc. I love her dearly, but it's getting to where I can't stand being around her, repeating myself over and over and trying to serve her while caring for my babies. There is zero privacy, she hears every pin we drop! Sexy time w hubby is so awkward bc i know she can hear it, and i have to monitor everything i say and do at all times. I don't understand how or why she'd want to live like this? How is living w your moody DIL & loud kids freedom? My parents would never do this, but they are independent whereas she's always relied on my hubby to do for her, his whole adult life. I know that for me, I hope i never have to live w my kids! I feel sad for her and guilty just posting this. She's wasting away and on my watch & I wish she WANTED to go somewhere where her needs were better met, where she could meet ppl her age, do fun things, etc, plus have medical care, but she's stubborn and terrified to leave the house at all ever. I love her and I feel so guilty even posting this! Thanks for listening and again, thx for all of your posts! I feel so not alone in this for the 1st time in 10yrs!
Mike Gamble

Super Moderators
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #456 
Dear Unregistered who posted Saturday, 3/18

It sounds like your MIL is depressed, perhaps severely.

Has your husband ever sat down with his mom and had a private "heart-to-heart" talk with her? He may be more successful if he doesn't talk about the stress she's adding to you and your children. Instead, he should focus on his concern for her health, on her being around to see her grandchildren grow up, etc.

Perhaps he could also get her outside by suggesting that all of you go on a picnic to a park she enjoys, or for that matter, to a park that your children would love to visit. Stress how good it would be for her grandkids when the whole family does more things together. That would help your kids build good memories of the time they spend with her while she is still here.

If necessary, ignore the fact that she may have some strong body odor for the first time out; if she enjoys the time outside, perhaps her behavior will change for the better for the next family outing. Above all, don't try to shame her about her undesirable habits, or about the things she "should" be doing. Instead, focus on the opportunities for her enjoying some good times with her grandchildren.
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