Afterall, I was the one who asked my MIL to read from the book of Ruth at our wedding - and i took an oath that his people would be my people...yada,yada,yada
how was I to know that a mere 2 years later we'd be living with his parents ( was supposed to be short term while his dad recovered from knee surgery- but it was apparent they needed help and since we were in a position to be mobile - it seemed like the right thing to do....)
My husband's mother is in a wheelchair and his dad was her primary caregiver for years. then last year he died and the job fell to me.
And it's a job I'm destined to fail - since no one can replace her husband who was absolutely devoted to her. He catered to her every whim - whereas I run a business from home and have neither the time - or the inclination - to spend my days anticipating what her needs might be...see, that's the rub. She hates to ask for anything - expecting you to anticipate what she'll need and when. Please tell me, what's wrong with just asking??
I've repeatedly asked her to just let me know what she needs - and let me point out that I always try and do what she requests, but it seems I'm only as good as the last thing i did for her - so i'm pretty much at the end of my rope!
My husband is totally supportive - tells me daily how much he appreciates what i do that allows his mother to stay in her own home and to continue her life pretty much uninterrupted - and i'm grateful for the support - but it no longer cuts it - I'm sick to death of dealing with this woman - i heard her tell someone on the phone she's 'lost her zest for life' - and all i could think was 'bullshit' - i hardly notice any change in her since her husband died. sure, she misses him - but honestly, i think it's more because of what he did for her than her love for him.
The real rub is that I just can't ship her off to a nursing home - or at least I'm not there yet - but I've got to find a way through this.
She told me once she knew I didn't love her...and she didn't understand why because all her DIL's loved her....
but then again - none of them ever had to take care of her...
I told her i was sorry I didn't love her - but i respected her and i love her son...that's all i got.
Don't know where this is going - my husband is working like crazy to make the money to hire someone to move in with her - but in the meantime, it's me and another girl who comes in every 3-4 days to help with shower.
Is there anyone who's taken care of your MIL that might have some advice?
I wish to preserve my marriage - so that means i have to be careful about the things I say to him about his mother - none of this he sees - she's really good at showing him her good side...even her bad side is hard to pin down, she's very manipulative - a knack she's seemed to have fined tuned from years in that chair.
My Gram used to tell me 'if you think you got it bad, just take a look around, you can always find someone in worse shape' - reading these posts I see she's right - my situation could be far worse - but still, I complain to cyperspace because i feel my head's going to explode and there's no one to talk to that I wouldn't worry about getting back to her - and despite all, I really want to do right by her - I'm just still trying to find balance.

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Trapped- it is not your fault and as I remember Ruth and her MIL had respect and love for each other and that is not the cards you have been dealt-your MIL is just like mine was but at least she lived by herself until she had to be placed -she relied so much on my husband and did her best to break us up even years ago when I was in labor he stopped at her house to visit on his way home from work when he knew I had been in labor most of the day and I had to call him to come home and she said he was there for only a min. when I knew what time he left work. I am so careful not to depend on our son I do not want his wife to go through what I had to endure- she even blamed me when she lost her leg. You need to let your husband know it is not alright to have you be her main caregiver believe me you do not get any points for being the good DIL you just get dumped on more I so wish I started to speak up 46 yrs ago instead of just the past yr. I could never understand why no one else realized what I was going through-I kept saying to my therapist why in no one getting it she said I was waiting for someone yo rescue me and it was not going to happen it was only when I said I could no longer do this that I finally got support from others-I had been suffering for so long thinking I just had to do it and even with him being verbally abusive I did carry on but life is too short to have to go through this -she needs to use her money to hire daily help and if she has no money then your husband needs to get her on medicade so she can get help at home or be placed-it may sound mean but she is not thinking of what she is doing to you. You have certainly done all you could trying to help her and she is not trying to help you or herself and she is not going to change you do not want this life 5 yrs. from now so please stand up for yourself- do you have someone you could visit for 4-5 days and let your husband she how it is- when my MIL was first placed my husband took her home for a day in her house and she wore him ragged he never did that again because he was the one who had to keep getting to to fetch her things like he now does to me-or did now when he comes home and the aide is off he can just wait until I decide to help -I have given all I have to give-there is no more. Please do not think I am putting you down this is just the voice of experience talking-beem there-done that and good luck to you dear lady.
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If I'm understanding this correctly, you are both newly married and moved in with his parents to provide for his father after surgery, who has since died?

A couple of questions come to mind, although really none of my business are:

1) Did you and your new husband talk about doing/making this move?
2) Did you talk to your husband about the present situation with his mother?

This caregiving really takes a toll on marriages after many years of being together, but being newly married, I can't even fathom with all the adjustments getting along just between the two of you. I think this is where the rubber meets the road in starting your marriage.... communication.

This is not going to be easy, but I would sit down and talk with your husband first. Do not build up any resentment because of undiscussed caregiving issues. I am an only child and my husband helps me because I have no one else. Now for my husband, when his mother got sick and passed away.... I was there, but I did not get involved in all the errands, hospital runs, etc because he had family to help. I told my husband one too many times during the course of my caregiving, I could not get that intense into it again. I would help as I could, but not all of it.

This is going to be a crucial time.... make sure you know what you are not or are capable of and talk about that with your husband. Maybe as its his mother help a bit more or talk about other options?
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