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Kelly,  sounds like you made a deal with the devil...Since you are getting paid to take care of her, and it sounds like her money bought the home (? )then she probably feels some entitlement, even more than entitlement than the norm with these old folks.My MIL has a beautiful set up downstairs as well, (2700 sq ft)  a full kitchen, plasma tv, fireplace, etc.  and does that keep her from coming upstairs to my area of the house???Hell no....She is bored and nosy and wants to see what is going on.  She contributes a small portion each month, she has nothing, only SS, which maybe, maybe pays for her food, nothing else.  

I doubt that it would do any good to talk to her although you could always try but my feeling it that nothing will change.  These old bags do exactly what they want and always feign "forgetfulness or hurt feelings".  I have told my MIL for 2 years to not put my clothes in the dryer, do not come into my bedroom etc.  She is finally getting better about not coming into my room although I noticed that while I was gone she came into our bedroom to my husband's closet to put his underwear away!!!! That is not her job!!!!!! It pissed me off but I let it go, I do that a lot, I try to pick my battles but it is hard. 

You are really in a hard spot kid but you do have the option of moving on.  You sound young and you are not married yet.  It will only get worse for you.  The older she gets the worse it will get.  You will get very little help if there are other siblings that could help because after all, you are getting paid to take care of her.  Honey, sometimes there isn't enough money in the world for some jobs and this just might be one of those jobs.  Don't waste your life!!!

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Sorry for the typo above.  Did not read through before posting.

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I am deeply touched that something I have said was of help or comfort to you. I mattered to another human being today.

Kelly, you matter to me.

Would you please let me into your heart again? I have to agree with the post above, in that you have indeed made a deal with the devil. But you can, and should, get out.

Kelly. Listen to your heart.

Walk away.

This situation is not going to get better. MIL doesn't want the kitchen. She wants you. And her son. And the life she used to have, where she was young, and important, and useful. You and your boyfriend are now her tools to relive her past. She can live vicariously through the two of you, and in doing so, she is almost whole. In doing so, you die inside.

There is no financial situation I can think of that you can't get out of, if you apply yourself to it. The problem isn't that you CAN'T walk away, but that through love and guilt, you feel you must stay, and hold up your end of the bargain. Right? I'm taking a guess now that I am.

When you were a child, did you ever hold a wild a bird in your hand? Did you feel its heart beat? It lay passive in your hand, quivering and afraid, yet passive. Because it was trapped.

You are that bird.

And when you lifted your hands, and set it free, it flew against the sun, and kissed the winds of freedom.

You are that bird, Kelly.



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Thanks noname and olivia for your advise once again,but with all do respect I love this man just as much as you ladys love your husbands and just because we are not married or have no children its not that easy to fly away or Im sure you guys would do the same thing. I do not want to leave i just want my life back as do you,so how is everyone coping still hanging in there Its been a long weekend with not alot of time to myself Im sure you know what Im talking about. I made up having diareha so I wouldnt have to take mom out shopping how terrible is that HA HA .

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Hi Amien,


I just saw your post to me about my husband's and my retirement - thanks for responding! You see, the house we live in now that is on the same street as my mother's, is large, antique, and a constant money pit.  When my parents moved to our street about 20 years ago, we were all much younger and my children were actually lots of help with home chores (for their grandparents and for us) and with visiting them and being company to them. I remember being able to pay my kids $5 or so and have them run to the store, or mow the grass or sweep up a broken dish.  Now they have homes and kids of their own and can't help. I actually wouldn't expect any of my kids to take care of their house and my house - it's beyond human ability! 


My mother, who never raked leaves or mowed grass or shoveled snow, or did the many other chores necessary to run a house, doesn't understand that we are doing our own AND hers.  Actually, to be truthful, we have tapered off in all of our chores - this is the first year that the leaves are still on the ground instead of being raked, because my husband and I both have physical problems.  Last year, when my mother casually told me how she would like the lights strung on the outside of her house for Christmas (and didn't anticipate that our time would be hampered by my husband's ill parents), I practically threw a tantrum - stating that we didn't even have time and energy to hang our own lights, never mind hers.  She was taken aback at that - just can't seem to grasp the difficulties in balancing everything.


Well, my husband and I will be more restricted financially after he retires - the taxes and the cost of heating this house will be more difficult.  Not to mention that going up on ladders to the third floor to clean out gutters is harder than twenty years ago.  We dream of a small house on a quiet street.

My mother actually says that she WANTS us to buy a small house for ourselves and that she'll "be fine without us and can get by.  I feel like saying, "well if you could get by fine without us, why is it that almost every day of the week, you need errands done or house chores or doctor appointments.  The truth is that she can't live in her house without our support, but she won't acknowledge it, and I think she is in denial.  She really knows that we will find it impossible to pack up and leave.  Even if I didn't feel guilty, everyone - neighbors, her friends (those still living), etc. , who actually have no idea of how hard this all is, would think we were horrible and neglectful. They would probably assume we could take her with us and have her live in a room in our new little house, but I know that wouldn't work! Occasionally, I have told her that we will be moving "some day" just to get her used to the idea, but I hate the look of panic on her face.


She wants to stay in her house until she dies, but it is becoming more difficult because of her physical problems.  I am biding time, thinking that if I just take one step at a time, she may come to realize OR she will stop being able to get up from chairs or her bed by herself - and she will make the decision to move someplace else.  I guess that if the retirement comes before that, I'll have to tell her that a move is necessary.  I guess that expecting her to be unselfish is NOT going to happen.


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I guess all is well with everyone. no ones posted in a long time


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Check out the other MIL thread.  I think that is where most of the excitement (if you can call it that) is going on now.


How have you been?  We haven't heard from you in a while..  I take it all is okay with the MIL situation?






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I am so glad to read this stuff. My MIL has lived in MY house for 16 years. I have 21 yr old twins so you can imagine the joy I had during those years. Now they are on their own and she is still here. My husband is her baby, confidante and best friend. I allowed her to move in to my home because my FIL had died, and she wanted to be able to go visit her Brother in FL and her other son in SC for 4-6 mos out of the year. She did that for a few years and it was a tolerable situation. Then it dropped to 3 mos. I sucked it up and dealt with it. For the last 5 years I have had to fight( both  her and my husband)  to get her to go for 2 weeks to a month each year. My husband thinks I am sooooo unreasonable to want her to leave her house for any length of time. (It is not her house, it is mine) Why doesnt she want to go visit her other family anymore? Because she cant get along with them. They dont allow her to take over their households. She wont go back by her brother because he wanted to make his own sandwich and she kept sticking her nose in to it to the point that he finally said, "go sit down in the other room, and let me make my own sandwich". Apparently she stomped off sat down and said "well, thats the last time I'm coming here". That was 3 years ago. I dont even buy groceries any more because I cant do it right, or quick enough. Through it all, my husband thinks I should just try to be hapy and realize that she is not nosey and controlling, she's "helpful" and Concerned". So Kudos to all of you for not killing the old bags, I cant even sleep without taking medication for stress I'm such a knot of nerves.

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Hello, I am new to this group and I'm glad I have found someone to talk to regarding my elderly (80 yo) very frail, and even more dependent MIL

who lives across the street. She's sweet, I guess. She has Macular Degeneration, Parkinson's Disease, some kind of renal failure and Diabetes. I care for my husband who is a two time cancer survivor (stage 4 Lymphoma), has CHF and diabetes and is disable. I also work a full time job (9 hrs day and commute 1 hr each way to work everyday)  There are 3 brothers and my husband is the oldest, however the middle brother has been caring for her until we arrived 3 yrs ago. And now he and his family can take some time off and vacation some. The younger brother lives about 2 hrs away and rarely visits. He also has a family. He gets very freaked out when he sees his mom the way she is now. She has lost about 50 lbs and is only 100 lbs now. Very weak, very anemic, jaundice some and sleeps 85% of the time. She's just tired. Anyway, with all that I do (by the way I'm 50 yo and have my own health problems too) I just can't keep up the care she insists she needs. She's lonely I know, but its not my fault she won't make friends. She goes to church, but she won't go to the senior center. She had meals on wheels for a while, but I thinks she wants me to cook for her every night. (I don't even cook for my husband every night) I haven't got the strength to take care of a lonely old woman.  She is also tries to make trouble between my husband and I. She tells him that he should rule me with an iron hand. Ha Like he could. Well enough of it for today. Thanks for listening.

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Hi Donna,

I'm glad you found us, too.  Could you get your husband to get in-home care for his mother?  Several states now allow medicaid to pay for in-home care if the patient is eligible.  Eligibility is based on the patient's assets - not the caregiver's and is less restrictive than if your seeking help with nh payments (for example, if house is not worth more than a certain amount, she can keep it). Check with your state's medicaid office - more and more states are offering this.

I bet I know what's next:  She doesn't want strangers coming into the house.  Well, she needs one now.  Perhaps husband can convince her - in a factual non-threatening way. Husband may need to force the issue.  I realize that it's hard to tackle this, but you can't possibly go on like that indefinitely.  It's too much.

Good luck - and welcome.


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Laura where is the other mother in law thread I couldnt find it but thanks for letting me in. Hope you had a merry christmas. PS everything is going better


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I've tried to encourage my husband to find more help, but as you all are aware of, men tend to give in to Moms. They all want her to be happy. I do to, but not if her well being is in jepordy. She is having trouble giving up her independence, even tho she wants everyone to fuss over her. Its the attention she craves. The doc has tried to have in home nurses come in, but that stopped for some reason. We don't know why. I think it has something to do with the other brothers. They all can't seem to agree on whats best for her. She had meals on wheels for a while, but she got tired of eating the food so she stopped it. This has become a nightmare for me. My parents live 800 miles away and my dad has lung cancer, my mom some kind of heart trouble and I can't seem to feel sorry for my MIL. I'm just not up to it. I know its up to the boys, not the daughters in law, but they are just not doing anything. My hisband is afraid that he will go in and check on her one day and find her really asleep. If you know what I mean. Well Its going to be a long day so I'd better get back to work. Have a Happy New Year!!!
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I just found these boards and threads this week, but its a great place to vent. No one replies but I feel better anyway. I too have a husband who seems to think his mothers happiness and well being come above all else becasue of some misguided sense of responsibility. She has lived with us since she was 61 and she is now 77. There is no end in sight and she becomes more uncooperative each year. My husband has told me that he is not going to make her do anything she doesn't want to, therefore I have to adjust. Mind you, she lives in My house, I do not live in hers. She was supposed to go down south for the winters and I have been fighting for the last few years just to get her to go visit her other son for a couple of weeks each year. If I bring it up to her, she does the crying thing and the "I'm such a burden" "you dont want me here anymore". NO ONE has ever asked her to move out. I have only asked for a reasonable break from having someone in my home 365 days out of the year. I cant have my own family over without her at the table too. Its soooo frustrating

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Karen in L.A.
Josey, you have every right to be frustrated.  If your husband won't back you up on getting his mother to leave for even a short time, maybe you could leave by yourself?  Maybe visit a friend or relative out of town, or just go somewhere you'd like, without your husband?

It's not fair that you should have to leave your own home to get a break from your mother-in-law, but your husband's not giving you a choice.  Maybe if he realized you need it badly enough to just do it on your own, he'd get his mother out for a while.  Just a thought!

Take care of yourself and vent often.


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Josey, I don't know how you do it.  January 17 will be the two year anniversary of my FIL's being here this time.  He stayed for 4 months in 2003 and left because there was nothing to do at our house.  We worked and were tired when we got home.  That was when he was still driving and we came home one day to find him gone, no note nothing.  He lived with a "friend" for a month until his bank account was dry and then spent the rest of the time between his other son and a granddaughter.  They washed their hands of him, so he has been with us since.

This morning my husband took him along  while he ran errands.  This gives me an opportunity to go in and Febreeze his room to try and keep the smells at bay.  I also went into his closet and took down the dirty clothes he hangs back up to re-wear and launder them.  I noticed that the smell just wasn't getting any better.  Then I see it next to his chair - A plastic trash can about 1/4 filled with PISS!  I told my husband about it when they got back but he refused to talk about it.  Later I see FIL taking the can into the bathroom and hear his emptying it and rinsing it out. 

I made a trip to the store and bought 2 small wire trash baskets and replaced the one in the bathroom and another in the laundry room.  I threw both of the plastic ones away.

From his bed to the toilet is approximately 12 feet.  He is not disabled and there is no reason for this nastiness.  This is my house too.  I refuse to go that far.  If he can not make it to the bathroom, it is time for another level of care somewhere else.

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