I have been caring for my boyfriend's mom since May 2022 and I NEVER agreed to do this. In 2019, my boyfriend's mom was in and out of the hospital for back pain. For months they focused on her kidneys. Unfortunately, it was a spinal infection that caused her spine to collapse and now she's a paraplegic. She was in the hospital for a few months and then transferred to the nursing home where she was noncompliant and verbally abusive to the staff. On May 1st, her sister brought her home and then left a week later. We only get a nurse twice a week for an hour and a bath aide twice a week. They stopped physical therapy because she isn't going to be able to meet her goal of being able to transfer. She doesn't have control of her bowels and doesn't have a colostomy, which I feel she needs. We have always had a very strained relationship and she has made it known that she doesn't like me and hasn't for the entirety of the 15 years her son and I have been together. After her sister left, my boyfriend moved into her house, leaving me with our 3 children. He sleeps there at night, but if she needs care through the night, he calls me and I have to walk over and take care of her. Throughout the daytime hours, my boyfriend works and I am with her, so are the kids. I can't leave the house to shop or even allow my children to have extracurricular activities because she can't be left alone. Two weeks into caring for her, the doctor started two IV antibiotics that I became responsible for administering, I have ZERO medical training and I'm extremely uncomfortable with this. I also have a hard time transferring her with the hoyer because it's on carpet. Three weeks ago, she had to go to the hospital and they added in a 24hr IV of Lasik that has to be monitored. I told the hospital that I couldn't take care of her while she was still doing the IVs because it makes me uncomfortable performing that kind of care. I found a suitable nursing home for her for the 6-week duration of the IVs. Problem is, I don't want her to come home. I feel that her disability requires more care than I can provide and her family is unwilling to help, even though they were the ones who brought her home and dumped her on us. It's becoming a financial strain on our family and my children now resent their grandma because they can't have friends over and they can't do extracurricular activities this year. In addition, my relationship with her son is falling apart. How do I gracefully bow out? Is there any way to do so and spare my 15-year relationship? Am I in the wrong for wanting to put myself and my children first? Is putting my mental and physical health first?

Just adding for clarification that I only started caring for her because I was told by the nursing home she was released from that if I didn't take care of her that I could be charged criminally for neglect and abandonment.

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The NH lied to you. You aren't even related to this women and are not obligated to care for her. Even if you were her legal DIL you are not obligated. You tell the NH that they cannot release her because its an "unsafe discharge". That there is no one with her during the day. That you no longer can care for her since you have 3 children to care for. I really don't think you should be doing IVs. I thought only an RN could do it. Refuse to continue.

Then tell ur SO that Mom is more then you can handle because it takes a trained person to care for her. He is going to need to use any money and assets Mom has for her care and when depleted, he will have to apply for Medicaid. HE will need to do this because he is her son. You are going to need to take that chance or you will be caring for her. Tell ur SO that your children are a priority. They are entitled to lives.
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MJ1929 Aug 2022
She shouldn't be talking to the NH at all. She's not related to her.

This is 100% on the bedmate and his sister.
The Sequal:
Forced Caregiver Freed.

- 2 Aunts
- The 'Good Son' (BF)
- ForcedCaregiver (the OP)
- Grandmother (MIL, or BF's Mom as you prefer)

Grandmother got old & ill.
The Aunts poked their beaks in & decided NH was out & that The Good Son & OP should do all the hand's on.
** This is NOT their decision to make (& never will be) **

The Aunts may well fear a NH - they may think a son should do all the care. Whatevs to what they think! Their *thoughts* are not summons to be obeyed. Aunts need to stay in their place ie visiting relatives that care.

Grandmother decides to live in her home, not NH. This IS her decision (unless demented). She needs care, day, evening or both. She wants only The Good Son & OP. This is NOT up to her to dictate. That would be slavery. Grandmother needs to face facts. If she needs care - she arranges care from the options available. If that means paid carers at home or a NH, so be it.

The Good Son can offer hands-on care provided by HIMSELF but not for others, including the OP. She is a separate person & has the right to choose for herself. Again, otherwise slavery.

Chapter One:

Let's peel back that onion.

Is the OP selfish? For beginning to get resentful? For wanting to cease this ongoing, increasing task? For trying to put her own children first? For wanting to sleep in her own bed?

Or is this *reasonable*?

Is the BF selfish? For wanting the OP to caregive, lose sleep & wipe etc so he appear as The Good Son? So he can avoid the uncomfortable conversation of saying No to his Mom?

Are the Aunts selfish? For same? Wanting the son to do the caregiving while they appear The Great Caring Sisters. You betcha!

Is Grandmother selfish? For it is appears she cares NOT about the needs of her Son, OP or her own grandchildren as long as she has round the clock care.

Please let this be the takeaway: don't ever put up with being called SELFISH without pulling it apart to examine fully.

That word is weaponised to manipulate.
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XenaJada Aug 2022
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I agree with JoAnn; tell the hospital the woman is an unsafe discharge and that you cannot care for her at ALL b/c you have 3 small children to look after. You've been lied to from the get go, including by your own boyfriend who's saddled you with an UNREASONABLE amount of care required by his mother, with no discussion up front about it! No way, you're in way over your head and HE needs to step up and figure out how to keep mom in the SNF now permanently or how to bring in paid help FULL TIME for her at home. Which will affect you and his children in a negative way, and force him to get more jobs to pay for it!

I don't see how you can possibly salvage your relationship since he expects indentured servitude from you on behalf of his mother, including getting up with her in the night! And to take care of your 3 children at the same time. Your children are being neglected in the course of you being forced to care for his mother, which you did not sign up for in the first place. Have a Come to Jesus meeting with the man immediately, letting him know you plan to tell the hospital she's an UNSAFE DISCHARGE b/c you will NOT be caring for her at home for one more minute PERIOD. See what he has to say about that, and go from there. I would be livid if this were me and I was put into this situation to begin with. He has some nerve saddling you with this outrageous situation and NO you are not wrong for putting your children first! You are not a trained medical professional NOR were you on board with this 'assignment' you were given under FALSE PRETENSES (being told you'd be charged with criminal negligence & abandonment for someone you're not even RELATED TO ffs).

Please look after yourself and your children now, that's the most important thing you can do. IF and when your b/f comes around and says the right thing, including that he WILL place his mother in a nursing home under Medicaid, then you can think about whether or not you want to continue with this relationship. But I'd wait until she's actually LIVING in the nursing home first and not rely on cheap talk from him until it actually happens and she's out of the house permanently. This is way too much of a medical nightmare for you to handle; the woman needs professional care in a Skilled Nursing Facility moving forward.

Sometimes we have to ask the tough questions in a relationship and face the possibility of getting answers we don't want to hear. Why are you together for 15 years with 3 children and still unmarried? That's a question for you to answer yourself, not a forum of strangers. And why have you been scared to talk to your bf about this situation with his mother and are asking a forum what to do rather than him? A strong relationship should be able to bear the stress of all this. I hope yours can and does.

Best of luck.
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So let me see if I have your situation straight...

Your boyfriend of 15 years, with whom you have 3 children, decided - without the courtesy of a discussion with you - to become the full-time caregiver to his mom who is a non-compliant paraplegic. And in addition, he expects when he calls you, that you drop whatever it is you're doing to trot on over to mom's house and do the parts of caregiving that he finds disagreeable?

I think the time for a "tactful" discussion came and went some time ago, wouldn't you agree?

Has he always been this disrespectful of you? Has he made any other major, life-changing decisions without discussion with you?

I would tell him point blank that, whether mom comes back to her home or is removed to a nursing home, you are done with ANY caregiving responsibilities for her...that if he chooses to bring her back to her home, he might as well move in there with her, because you will be unavailable to help and he will be unwelcome in your home...that you will be shutting off your phone at night and otherwise blocking his calls. When you say it, you must mean it, otherwise it's any empty threat. You have kids, you know how those work. It might mean the end of this relationship, but anyone who would show you such total disregard is not someone worth wasting one more minute with.

If he wants to shackle himself to his mother for the rest of her life being her caretaker, that doesn't mean you are required to wear the chains along with him.
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First of all, you cannot be criminally charged with neglect and abandonment because you are not responsible for your boyfriend's mother. Not only are you not her immediate family, you're not even a relative. This is a classic lie that nursing homes use to either shakedown a family to pay out of their own funds, or to get an unruly and abusive patient out of their facility. Still, you have no legal or moral responsibility to this woman.
Drop her off in a hospital ER. She needs professional care that you cannot provide and nor should you.
Secondly, you should kick her son to the curb and go find yourself a proper man. One who will have enough respect for you to make an honest woman of you. No decent man sires three children on a woman and she's still the 'girlfriend'. You deserve better than that.
The second your boyfriend finds your upgrade (and he will) you will be out in the cold and without a legal leg to stand on because you're not married. This means there are no division of marital assets and no alimony. You may get child support for your kids, or you may not depending on whether or not their father fights you to be the custodial parent they live with the majority of the time.
Move on with your life, sister. No part of this situation sounds like anything worth sticking around for. Not for you and not for your kids either. What kind of moral example is their father setting for them when he won't make a commitment to the woman he has three children with? What kind of example are you setting for your kids to see that their mother allows herself to be so demeaned and disrespected by their father and his mother?
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Forcedcaregiver Aug 2022
I agree that it's not an ideal situation to not be married, but that's me not him. I don't want to change my name and I am fearful of marrying into his family. For now she's in a nursing home, October 1st is her predicted release date but I have already let them know, I did so this morning, that I don't think home is the right place for her. I know that she's going to be angry with me but that's ok. I let my boyfriend know as well the discussion I had with the charge nurse and, surprisingly, he was relieved. I feel like reading all the replies I received last night kind of lit a fire under me.
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Paul Simon wrote this song:

"The problem is all inside your head," she said to me
"The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover"
She said, "It's really not my habit to intrude
Furthermore, I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
But I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crude"
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover
Fifty ways to leave your lover
You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free.
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Beatty Aug 2022
I LOVE this!

Plus, it could also be used for BF to break up with his Mom!
That way he gets to KEEP his partner & kids 😃.

Some big scissors to cut the apron strings & the will to do it!

Just cut the string, Jim..
ForcedCG, you have received many responses, some advice is repetitive, and probably helpful for you to read that advice, albeit written in a different "voice". I hope that you have been able to take a breath, regroup, and take a different look at your situation. All to hopefully gain new perspective.

You have also been on the receiving end of some unbelievably ugly comments, that really do show the gaping flaws in a forum such as this. These are unavoidable I am afraid. I just encourage you to take from this WHAT YOU NEED, and what will help you in your current situation.

Please ignore the venom. As several kind folks have pointed out, it is NOBODY'S business what your marital status is--- nobody's. It is NOBODY'S business whether or not you have a trust fund. I think that you shared that information as a piece to the puzzle, to call off the wolves who were saying "grow the h*ll up and GET A JOB!" Which then led to lovely comments of "I don't feel sorry for her, she is playing the victim and martyr...don't feel sorry for her, she is rich as h*ll....."
Not to mention the total disrespect for the role that the FATHER OF YOUR CHILDREN. The only thing that has shut that train down is the fact that Peggy pointed out the well-respected contributor on these boards, Alva, is likewise not married to her partner. ForcedCG has pointed out she is not married BY HER CHOICE-- let it alone already....

Mymomsthebest, you hit the nail on the head in your comments directed at one vocal poster, "You somehow are angry at her for not standing up for herself ; which is likely what she came here to get the reassurance and support to achieve. Then you are more angry somehow that she has the financial means to help herself and her children in this situation . Now you continue on this thread to keep adding your resentful two cents , PERHAPS FORGETTING THAT THIS FORUM IS MEANT FOR HELPING OTHERS"

ForcedGC, I really do hope that as this thread continues, you continue to come back and absorb only the helpful comments-- and before someone jumps on this-- I do NOT mean ONLY those comments that are agreeable and will stroke her ego-- I mean those comments that are HELPFUL specific to her situation.
Leave the comments on trust funds, "baby-daddy", martyrdom, "make an honest woman out of her", etc etc out of this. SO not helpful, or relevant.
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Scampie1 Aug 2022
I didn't read through all of the comments, but some were not so pleasant to read. This is the first time I've seen this type of thing happen here on this forum since this is a support forum.

There are plenty of people in long term relationships who have children. Why they choose or chose not to marry is their business. Who are we to judge? I can understand her adding the part about the trust fund to shed light on her situation.

ForcedCG is at the crossroads where the majority of us eventually end up when it comes down to making a final decision of letting our loved-ones go in order to save ourselves. We make a decision to save our lives, marriages, children, homes, and sanity during the process. Sometimes we find ourselves trapped in situations out of family turning their backs on a family member and we step up. I remember what an advocate said to me years ago. She said that once we decide to give up, someone else will step up and fill the spot. Sometimes our loved ones pass on before they are placed in a long term facility. People who try to force us to take on the responsibility by guilting tripping us into not leaving are trying to protect their themselves out of their own guilt and fear. So, they project their feelings onto the person who is stuck in the situation and continue with their own lives. In other words, the person who is doing all of the work becomes the family scapegoat for family to dump and disparage.
Let’s all take a breath

im assuming after 15 years and 3 kid you love your boyfriend. And all these “LEAVE HIM” comments aren’t helpful

anyone telling you to get a full time job right now has no clue what’s involved in getting 2 kids to/from school, and have them home all summer. They have no clue the cost of childcare (for 2!). Mixin clothes for work, car, gas etc and…well it hard to break even. Lord help you if kids get sick

ok soooo. I totally get being in situations that start to avalanche, and even taking one step is tough

1. Find out who/how/when made you the caregiver on any paperwork. Then revoke it. Don’t need to tell anyone beforehand

2. Tell BF you love him/or you don’t, but you cannot and will not continue. I like suggestion of a deadline
”as of 10/1 (or any date WITHIN 6-8 WEEKS) I’m no longer doing this. It’s ruining my life, health,relationship, kids lives, our money).

3. Go WITH him to tell Mom. next steps are up to HIM and HER. Aunties can be told AFTER. By HIM. Don’t leave it for Mom to spin her tale of woe

4. Start looking for somewhere to move. He can go, or not. Tell him she can sell property to use $$ for HER care. Go tour places to live, find out what paperwork is required, rent prepay. Then tell BF he has 30 days then you’re taking step to go. Then start packing to show you mean it

5. Furniture/home goods etc can be found for next to nothing on apps Next Door, Facebook Marketplave, Goodwill, etc. if you can’t afford stuff, don’t be ashamed, stuff is out there.

one step at a time. But you’ve gotta be brave and stand up for yourself. Right. Now.
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notgoodenough Aug 2022
" Start looking for somewhere to move. He can go, or not. Tell him she can sell property to use $$ for HER care. Go tour places to live, find out what paperwork is required, rent prepay. Then tell BF he has 30 days then you’re taking step to go. Then start packing to show you mean it"

Isn't this just a different way of telling the OP to "leave him"?
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You are not obligated to care for her, that is pure **, they just wanted to get rid of her. Do not take her back in, the state will find a place for her.

Leave, inform your BF that you will not be party to this one more day.

In all cases your minor children come first. Your BF has his priorities all screwed up, don't you make the same mistake.
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So many great answers! In a nutshell, remove the word "tactfully" then proceed with telling your boyfriend that you can't take care of his mother anymore. Repeat as needed.
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