Post # 1
Roughly 9 months from now my fiance and I are getting married. About 3 months ago, my fiance’s dad died. Roughly two weeks after losing his dad we moved back into his mom’s house to help her out to get everything situated. She was losing a good part of her income and suposedly couldn’t pay all of her bills. We moved in to take over the house payment and everything else. The deal that was set between the three of us was, we would move in, take over everything and she could stay with us for a few months until she got her income straightened out. When everything was in order she was supossed to move into a smaller apartment that she could tend to herself (she is in her 70’s; my fiance was a late in life oops baby) we moved in, in the beginning of October. No motions have been made towards the deal being followed through. In fact, its the exact oppostie. Permanent fixtures are being made for her to stay forever. We have argued more over this the past month than we have ever argued before. I told him before we did this that I was only moving in with her if the deal was going to be followed through. I didn’t want to start a marriage off living with his mother and I wasn’t raising a family with her in the house either! We fought about it again last night. I’m miserable living with this women. I work 12 hour shifts so I only work 2-3 days a week and I’m home the rest of the week. I have to deal with her. He works 16 hours a day 6 days a week (farmer), he’s never home! I have basically come to the conclusion that the future I had envisioned and planned for, for us ,and hopefully one day a family, is no longer in sights as long as his mom is still living with us.
I have been told by many that I should move out and if he loves me he will follow in my direction. But I will admitt that I am way to scared and too weak to do so. How do you put someone in the position to choose between their mom and you? And I feel that if I go she wins (multiple reasons of why). But is this where I am suposed to postpone the wedding? Do I tell him we’ll wait until everything gets straightened out? I don’t want to at all! I have been looking forward to starting my life with him since we started dating! But it’s hard to get excited about the wedding and a future that no longer exists, as long as his mom is in the picture like this.
Please help me Bees! I could really use some guidance or advice!
Post # 3
@countrylove2014: Wow, what a sucky position for all of you to be in. I’m sorry.
It sinks that you all had an agreement and now the other two parties are backing out but I also see where they’re coming from, too. I think if you are going to get anywhere with either of them without being the bad guy everyone resents, you are going to have to approach this with extreme sensitivity to your FI and his Mom.
First, I’m sure you know your FMIL is still grieving and she’s also likely scared shitless. She’s facing situations and perhaps responsibilities she’s never had too before. Add to all that loss the idea of giving up your home to go live all alone when you’re 70.
Your FI is aware of all this and of course he feels sympathetic and responsible. I’m sure he feels he owes it to his Dad to sep-up and make sure his Mom is taken care of. How many people could push their Mom out of her home at the very worst time in her life? Maybe he even wants her to continue living with you. Or maybe he figures that she may have to come live with you eventually anyway.
When you talk to your FI, let him know you understand all this or are trying too. Could you possibly suggest giving it three more months (so she’s had a full year) and then start to look for apartments with her?
Or, alternately, Is is possible to add on a separate in-law suite to the house so you each have some privacy?
Post # 4
I can see how frustrating the situation is but at only 3 months on, your FI’s mother is likely to be still grieving. This isn’t the best time to start making ultimatums.
Having said this, that doesn’t mean you can’t agree a mutually reasonable timeline that allows you to make definite plans to move out.
Sometimes it is helpful to see things from the other side too. Would you be in a hurry to move out if your own mother was recently bereaved and struggling? Would you want to be hassled into making the decision to move out at a time you knew was wrong? Only this situation doesn’t have to last forever but you do all need to agree that it comes to an end at an appropriate time. Right now does not strike me as that appropriate time.
Instead of resenting your FI, how about being proud of how much he cares about his mother? Only compassion is a quality I rate very highly in a relationship. If he was prepared to leave her right now I’d be questioning how decent a guy he was.
Post # 5
She is in her 70s and her husband died THREE months ago! Give her a break! Where is your compassion? Quit arguing with him and become his ally and he will quit fighting you.
Post # 6
I don’t think you’re seeing her side. She’s 70, newly alone, and grieving. If you love your fiancé, stick it out for a bit. Talk again about your agreement and give a realistic timeline, but don’t force it to be now or you leave. No one likes to live with their mom, so I’m sure he’s not enjoying this, but he’s probably worries about her (with reason). She’s 70, she’ll be gone sooner or later (sorry to be morbid, but true) and you’ll have thrown out a marriage and a life because you couldn’t stick it out for him.
just my opinion, I don’t know all the facts of course!
Post # 7
@countrylove2014: It’s too soon. It’s only been 3 months. I know it looks like things will never change, but that’s because no one is ready to start to look ahead yet (except you).
These kinds of life events have a way of entirely changing a relationship. You should eventually have a talk with your FI about how you both envision starting your married life together – but that’s 9 months away still, so there’s plenty of time for steps to be made in the meantime.
I personally cannot imagine having either of our mothers living with us for any amount of time regardless of the circumstances, but you do what you have to do when it comes to family. I know that there will come a day in the next 10-20 years where I will take over guardianship of my younger autistic brother – life just throws these things at us and we have to deal with them the best we can.
Honestly I’d say to not talk about it for another 2 months – not one word. See where things go. There’s a good chance he will start to realize soon that he doesn’t want this situation, either, and maybe the pressure you’re putting on him isn’t helping him in being able to come to his own conclusions.
Post # 8
I will say this… Tread carefully first of all. I would state to you FI that there is a timeline – whatever that may be. Maybe give it 6 months? Or give it whatever you feel works for you. Tell the FI if his mom does not have her own apartment by then that you plan to move out. Tell him also you feel its best to hold off on the wedding because you don’t feel this mom living with you situation is the way to start offf you life together.
In the meantime be cool. Put some money aside to live on your own when the time period you gave him is over and things have not changed. As a side note I would ask the mother if she has been putting money aside to make her move to that smaller apartment. If she says no – you know what that means.
The thing is you can be cool about everything and still get your needs recognized by your FI. If things have totally fallen apart because of the death you have to ask yourself the hard questions not your FI. How much are you willing to bend?
Post # 9
For right now I’d focus on how you can all live together more peacefully. What is the problem? Is she rude to you? Do you not have enough time together? You should talk about it with your FI and he should talk to his mother (if appropriate.)
I would plan on her moving out in around 3 more months. That would be 6 months since the death of her husband and 6 months before your wedding. That will give you enough time to cancel things if you are still feeling unhappy. Best of luck.
Post # 10
@AlwaysSunny: Thank you all very much for your input, opinions, and advice. It actually means a lot. I really get where all of you are coming from and I have weighed the fact that it may be to soon to start going through all of this with them. I feel for her loss because my FI’s dad was an amazing man and a very good friend/ soon to be father in law to me! He was a wonderful man… I left out a lot of behind the scenes events in my post because I’m not here to bad mouth anyone and my FI’s mother is very important to him. He is the only one out of 4 children who takes care of her and basically talks to her on a daily (even weekly) basis, and I love him for that! Who doesn’t love a man who takes care of his mom?
I think my hardest part to deal with is it’s not my house and my comfort level has dropped. I don’t feel comfortable to sit out in the living room and watch TV alone because I might disturb her while she sits at her computer all day and she hates TV, I don’t feel comfortable to run throught the house in a towel from the shower let alone walk around in my underwear (although she feels totally comfortable walking around naked), or cooking in the kitchen becuase whether I’m warming up something in the microwave or making homemade chicken noodle soup she has to be in the kitchen over my shoulder supervising me and telling me all the things I don’t do according to her standards. My comfortzone is gone. I gave up my house, my privacy, and more to do this for him because I knew its what he wanted to do to help his mom and because I knew there was a plan involved. I try to push everything aside as much as possible because I knew this was important to him, but when does our relationship and our comforts come first?
Post # 11
It’s a tough situation to be in. I think you’re just going to have to ask yourself if this situation never changes, can you live with it? Since FI’s mom is in her 70’s, she may never be comfortable living on her own.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
@countrylove2014: I went through something a little similar when I moved in with my then FI and his parents for a while after I graduated college. I didn’t feel like it was my space, and felt stifled because I basically had just the bedroom as belonging to us.
After a while, I just had to get over it. You live there, you pay for it, so it’s your house, too. If you want to watch TV, just do it. If she complains, tell her too bad- you both should be able to do the things you want to do. When she criticizes your cooking, tell her that you like the way your soup comes out, and would be happy to let her try some when it’s done. OR ask her to teach you one of her dishes so that she leaves you alone for a while.
Post # 13
@countrylove2014: I’m on your side in this. I think what’s upsetting you the most is the deal was only for a few months and now it’s looking like you may be in a permanent situation. I wouldn’t want to deal with it forever, either. You were kind to agree to help her out for awhile but now it’s time for some other family members to step up and help you and your FI with her. She can’t take advantage of your kindness and generosity and not expect you to start feeling resentful about it. I’d be resentful as hell and I think your FI should back you up. But he’s between a rock and a hard place, too.
You can work this out. Don’t give up on your relationship, don’t push back the wedding and don’t move out or make any ultimatums just yet. You’re too emotional to make a rational decision just yet. But you have to make it clear to your FI that while you love and care about his mother some boundaries need to be set for the two of you to start your own lives alone together. You deserve that and she is going to have to learn to get with the program. After all, there are such things as nursing homes if she really can’t live on her own fairly soon.
Post # 14
You and your fi need to sit down with your FMIL and figure out what the next stage of her life will bring. At 70, she’s at or near the age where parents can’t be expected to live alone; the reality is that she will need either an in-home aide, or to live with her children, or to move to an assisted living facility. Note that an in-home aide and an assisted living facility would both be offered with varying levels of assistance; she may not yet need help bathing or cooking but may need help getting groceries. And living with her children may mean that all of you move to a different home with an in-law suite or carriage house.
When you discuss these things with her, keep in mind that many older people have serious negative images of assisted living facilities and in-home aides. While it’s true that some assisted living facilities are the stereotypical “old people jail”, many are now catering to a more lively and social crowd, and there may be a facility in your area that is more like a seniors’ condo with amenities like ice cream socials, cultural events (either bringing speakers in or taking seniors on feild trips), and such.
Any decisions on her living with her children need to be joint decisions with all children involved. If none of the other children step up, it may fall on your fi to help provide a home, in which case it’s absolutely right that the other children should contribute financially.
But you also have to see his side of things and the general reality of it all, which is that she is his mother, so he will always be loyal to her, and that she is alone and entering a phase in life where she won’t be self-sufficient. Someone is going to have to help her.