Been with my spouse over 5 yrs. He is exceptionally close to his parents. Had them over to spend the night once a week for years. I always assumed that was a thing he did when he was single, but he continued that even when we started dating and even when we moved in together. Every weekend.
His father became sick 10 months ago and has been in the hospital ever since. Partner visits his dad daily, spending anywhere from 4-9 hours (including commuting time) at the hospital. His mother is healthy but meek and anxiety prone so she hasn’t been able to do things on her own. Eg wont drive by herself, needs the family to shuttle her around. He moved her in with us on a temporary basis because she doesn’t like being alone and he’s worried for her health. We’ve had to piece together their financial picture because the dad did everything and the mom isn’t capable of doing these things. We’ve become the parents.
He eventually lost his job because he was just going to the hospital and taking care of his mom. So now I’m supporting us both with his mother still living with us. There’s no end in sight to this arrangement.
How do I remain supportive. but still keep myself? It’s hard to not be depressed and we aren’t even at the point where we will be doing full time care. I’m at a lost on what to do.
Ay yi yi. I'm so sorry for your predicament. Would your DH (dear husband/damn husband) consider marriage counseling? Does he see that a problem exists or is he so caught up in 'helping' his parents that he doesn't realize there IS a problem? If he's agreeable, and has any spare time after hospital visiting hours are over, then by all means, go see a marriage counselor. But he will have to be WILLING to take the advice given to him, ie: get a job, be a husband, let his parents live their own lives, even if that means they move into Assisted Living, etc.
You don't know what you're up against here, I don't think. What your DH expects of you, of himself, or what his long term plans are for the future. I think you have to ask HIM what those plans are, first and foremost, and take things from there. Because if his plans are to stop working for good to care for his parents in your home full time, then you'll have some long hard thinking to do. Is that YOUR plan for the future?
Wishing you the best of luck coming up with a plan for how to tackle this problem you face.
With good boundaries.
Think of it like a sliding scale. The right support level of others leaves room for care for yourself too.
However, if too much support is given out, if there are no limits, this errodes into your own needs.
Eg Being 'supportive' of DH's decision to make extra visits to his parents - in a short term hospital acute care crises situation. It may look like.. You picking up a few extra home chores, temporarily.
However, having to run the househouse yourself, financially support the both of you - with no end timeline in sight.. IMHO crosses the line into 'enabling'.
DH is not feeling the consequences of his actions. You are. This needs to be rectified.
If he wishes to be unemployed, be at the hospital with his Father & with his Mother - he can.
But this has consequences.
He needs to move out.
Taking Mother with him.
Your DH has it good. A wife who works and supports him and cares for his aged mother and supports his choices to spend all day at the hospital with his sick dad. He is fine, trust me, if you asked him what the problem was that brought you to counseling you'd get a blank stare. In his mind, since you are there doing your 120%, why is there a problem????
My DH is not a bad guy, but a clueless one, like yours. I refuse to visit his mother or have anything to do with her care (she is housebound and fairly independent)..and he blames me for it. She does NOT want to see me, and he DOES NOT want to go to her house alone. So, ergo, his 'issues' with his mom are my fault.
Marriage counseling was an epic, epic fail. Dh would actually make appts and then I'd show up but he never would. Our counselor was about 85, an old fashioned alpha male if ever there was one and he NEVER called out my DH for 'missing' appts, etc and all the blame wound up on ME. I walked out halfway through our LAST appt and never went back.
Unless both parties are at least 50% 'in' to the counseling idea, it will not work. And it's expensive and usually not covered by insurance. That was another huge bugaboo. This 'counseling' cost us more than $2K and we got nothing out of it.
Your DH can find ways to be supportive of his folks while not being their only go-to. He has to want to. You wanting it for both of you is pointless.
Hopefully there will be many supporters arriving soon!
I would suggest relationship counselling. Sit down with a third party to have a chance to discuss the big picture of this matter. For it is big.
From your point of view I read: Spouse has dropped his responsibilities: to be employed, to earn a living, towards joint financial commitments, to your relationship.
Of course he may see things very differently. That he IS being very responsible: to his aging parents.
If you haven't read the Boundaries book by Drs Townsend & Cloud, get your hands in a copy asap. Ignore all the Christian talk (if that's not your faith - the message cuts across all faiths). It describes how helping can become enabling. But mostly about responsibilities & boundaries setting.
While he has been concentrating on his folks day to day living tasks, he may have missed the facts they need a whole new living arrangement. Also, that this is *their* responsibility to do.
I can't know the circumstances under which he took parents into the home. Did you discuss? Did you agree to do this? Did you agree to later assess or assess as you were going how this was working for each of you and the marriage in general?
At this point I would suggest marriage counseling. That is if you care to work on it that much, because this looks like some major changing of a marriage that you had little to say about, that you were not asked about.
I would sit hubby down and tell him that you were wrong not to tell him early on prior to marriage that you had some limitations and one of them was the moving of elders into your home and your marriage. That this is not working for you. That you feel you should both seek a marriage counselor to see if your marriage can be saved.
Meanwhile, you are making a salary and he is not. Time to separate your finances into accounts so that he cannot freeze and access your finances. You may be needing a divorce attorney.
Make it gently clear to this man that you love him, but having parents in the marriage who you do not love is a deal breaker for you. That you are sorry you didn't make that clear. That you love him. That you will support him, but need to separate from him if you cannot come to a time limit in which the parents will enter placement.
For myself this would be it. For you, you must make your own choices, and I sure do wish you really good luck moving forward. Don't argue, don't rage, don't enter discussion when angry. Just sit down and gently make clear that you are sorry for your limitation, but there you are; you have them.