Three years ago me and my 1-year old daughter moved in with my husband into his mother’s house. He was my fiancé at that point.
My daughter had asthma and I was in and out of my hospital with her. When my job was laying-off folks I was in that number. I was living two hours away and that’s when my husband asked me to move in with him and my mother-in-law.
Fast forward, and we’re now married and have had two additional kids since then, but we are still at his mom’s house. I’m working, but not making enough money to support moving out. My husband is working a full-time and a part-time job now. His mother is overweight and has some health issues and she uses them to keep him there.
I’m ready to go and he claims he is too, but his actions don’t say that. I refuse to look up next year this time and still be there. What should I do? I can’t stand being his mother’s caretaker after I’ve worked a full day. I have these 3 small kids and she refuses to help herself. – Not A Caretaker
Dear Ms. Not A Caretaker,
Well, your husband did that! An opportunity presented itself, whereas, unfortunately you were laid off from your job, and you were in and out of the hospital with your daughter. He put on his thinking cap and felt he could get a two-fer. Instead of traveling two hours back and forth leaving his mother alone, and having to worry about her while he’s gone, he got you to move in with him and his mom, and you became her caretaker. He now has his woman in the home, and you are helping him with his mother. BOOM!
Look, I’m sure the timing, and the situation seemed plausible at the time. However, you should have strongly considered the option, and what you were signing up for before you moved in. This is tricky territory and terrain. You have a fiancé who is still living at home with his mother. (Mistake number one). And, you decided to move in with them while you were unemployed, and I’m sure you knew she had some health issues, so, you should have thought about what role you would play by moving in. (Mistake number two)
Before moving in there should have been some serious conversations about your plans as husband and wife, and your living situation. There should have been some action plan as to how long you would be there, a plan on saving money to find a place of your own, and if her health issues are a result of him being at home, then would you find something that was close to where his mother lives.
Clearly, you and your husband did not have this conversation. You didn’t have a plan. You didn’t factor your role into this living situation. Now, you have three small children, working, and taking care of his mother while he works two jobs. Hmmm, what part of this plan did you agree on? What part of this plan did you factor into your living situation?
By marrying him, you also married what came with him. You inherited his mother with her health issues. Now, as his wife, and as a member of the family, you have the duty of helping him take care of his mother. Again, this is something you should have thought about, and considered before marrying him, and if this was an issue then, you should have mentioned it, and shared your concerns. It’s too late to back pedal now.
Unfortunately, and I truly feel, he has gotten too convenient living at his mother’s house, and he’s quite comfortable being there. Sure, he may say he is ready to leave, but what action or plan is he putting into place to make this a reality?
But, why would he leave? He can’t abandon his mother with her health issues. He can’t leave her alone because who would then take care of her? And, she feels that she may lose her only caretaker, as well as her son, her child to a woman who doesn’t want to be there. So, if he’s been at home with his mother this long, and before you moved in, why leave her now?
Yes, you are his wife, and he has to build a home for you and his children where you are comfortable. But, now you are asking him to make a choice between you and his mother. Well, that is what it will sound like to his mother when she hears this. That is why she continues to use her health as a reason to keep him there. She’s his poor incapacitated mother who needs her son. She will use her “poor health” card as a way to guilt him into staying and not leaving her. So, now what does he do? Who does he choose? You or his mother? Which is why he is delaying the inevitable. It’s now two children later, and, yet, you’re still there. Hmmm, what do you think is really going on?
Therefore, I recommend finding a home nurse attendant through her insurance, and if she doesn’t have any insurance, then I suggest you check into Medicaid, and help her get some insurance. She needs to start visiting a doctor, and the doctor can recommend a home nurse attendant to help relieve some of the duties that you find yourself doing.
You should sit down and talk with your husband about saving money, and finding a home near his mother, whereas he can go and still check in on her. You have to set a plan into action, and stick to it. Plan to be there for an additional three to six months, and after that, you all have to move out and get your own home. And, by that time he can set up a home nurse attendant to visit daily with his mother. Again, create a plan, and stick to the plan.
You have to let him know that you and your children need your own home, and space. You want your own home where you can take care of your children, and not have the additional duty of taking care of his mother. Let him know that you love his mother, and you truly care about her, but it is an extra burden for you having to work all day, then come home and take care of your own kids, and his mother. Share with him how you truly feel, and that you love him and want to support him, but he has to support and love his wife and help you to be comfortable. If he doesn’t see about you and making you happy, then you will become miserable, unhappy, and your health could ultimately become affected by not taking care of your own self. Start the plan today, begin setting money aside, and set a move out date. Otherwise, you will find yourself still there, and with two more additional children. – Terrance Dean
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