Post # 16
OP, I’m so sorry! You sound like a wonderful and giving person who has hit her limit. It’s ok to recognize your limits and set boundaries.
Can I ask how large your house is? That is a lot of people.
I would see some boundaries immediately, it may cause some grumbling-who cares? You are grumbling now. Why should you be the one who is uncomfortable in your own home? If you are to the point that you consider leaving, I think you owe it to your marriage to see boundaries that will allow you to stay. Even if that means kicking everyone out of your house. If your husband won’t go along with it, then leave. If he doesn’t respect you and your needs, then you shouldn’t spend your life miserable to accommodate his families.
Post # 17
That sounds so hard. My M.I.L. also has aggressive cancer, and it’s really life-changing for the whole family. It’s kind of worse that she doesn’t live with us (her decision) because Darling Husband is away a lot taking care of her. I’ve gotten used to it, but I’m scared of what will happen when she loses this fight. She’s D.H.’s world and he’ll probably shut everyone out, or lose his mind… I’m still not sure what I will do then, because I can’t walk away while he’s grieving, but I have my own line even he is not allowed to cross (being mean to the kids). If your husband is also taking his mother’s illness hard, maybe that house full of relatives will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Maybe they’ll keep him grounded if the worst happens.
If he doesn’t want to go to marriage counseling, maybe just forget it and sign up for individual therapy? You need support too, and you’re clearly not getting it.
Post # 18
sensoda : thanks. Yes we have had his agreement that only his mother in law would live with us after marriage. But it’s been one crisis after another that’s brought people to stay temporarily, and then now the big one. It’s sad because our differences were initially a huge attraction. The huge gatherings, me by his side with all those people in support, the richness of his culture, the trips, etc. and now it seems to be a source of our problems, the differences. In Samoa I would be living under my mother in laws rule, unable to question her. But I have shunned those antiquated ideals and made it known there can only be one lady if the house. She and I had our troubles when children came along but thankfully we’ve been on good terms for the last year or so, and I’m happy to be there for her during this time of need. But I just can’t shake how intruded upon I feel. How inadequate and insignificant I feel. And I’m alone.
Post # 19
This is so hard. I would feel that your kids are getting short changed,too, with such chaos, and lack of your own family time. You do, have to look out for what’s best for you and your children,too. This is going to be your life, with this family. It sounds like his sister and her children will be always your responsiblity,too. You have to envision, if this is a life you can live with. I could not.
Post # 20
Our house is moderate size. 4 rooms, each of my two kids hasn’t their own and then I have the master. His moms room is a big bonus room we’ve made her bedroom, so people camp out on her floor or sometimes downstairs on the sofas. They aren’t very considerate either. Leaving messes for my mother to clean up while she’s trying to look after the kids. Lounging around when it’s naptime. And a big issue is my mother’s passive aggressiveness. She will send me slews Of texts about how she can’t deal anymore how she wants to quit watching them. And then I about lose it and try to get her to speak up to them and try to talk to my husband but that always backfires and he gets angry.
Post # 21
Can your mum look after your kids somewhere else? That would get her away from all the frustrations and would also mean she’s not cleaning up after other people.
I would also consider moving in with her temporarily if that’s possible. Your husband needs to realise the effect this is having on you and it doesn’t sound like he will without something big happening.
Is there anyone who could be a mediator?someone your husband respects and listens to but who would also understand your perspective?
Post # 22
sensoda : I’ve told her I’m more than okay with her taking the kids to her house during the day but it’s just that she doesn’t want to make accommodations, all their stuff and food is here, etc. it’s just always been easier to do it at our house and she’s done it this way since they were born but but something has to give if she’s not happy right?
Ill try and discuss if someone could mediate for us. I’m still planning to start counseling on my own in hopes he will eventually joine me. I contacted my companies EAP and just waiting to hear back.
Post # 23
fresitachulita : Oh, Bee, you have so much on your plate.
I hope you can convince your mom to set up care for your kids at her house–she will be happier, the kids will be happier and you’ll have an excuse to spend some time there when you pick up the kids or even stay over when you need a break.
Post # 24
fresitachulita : I would tell your mum it’s up to her where she looks after them but if she texts you her annoyances, you’ll ignore them. And then do so. Don’t even read the messages if possible.
Counselling will hopefully give you some other strategies and ideas. Feel free to pm me if you ever need to vent to someone who kind of understands.
Post # 25
This is really hard, OP. It sounds like you and your husband already had issues that needed to be addressed and then his mother gets sick and now everyone is in crisis mode and the connection with your husband, that might shore you up during this time isn’t there AND your needs are coming up against his entire family and cultural habits. This is a life and death situation where every decision is MAJOR.
First off- if you have been in this state for a long time, pretty much no idea you come up with is going to be the entirely right one right now. And that is okay. But you don’t want to look back and feel badly about how you navigated this process as his mother is dying in your home.
I agree with everyone saying that you need to get away for a while- take your kids and go to your mom’s house. Sleep and recharge as much as you can. Maybe do it 3 or 4 times- and then you can start figuring out your plans for the future.
You mentioned that you’re the ghost who lives upstairs and takes care of his kids and pays the bills. Does that mean that you are working every day and taking care of him and his family? Because, if that’s what’s going on, that’s a whole lot of fuck that taking place and you absolutely need to find a way to put a stop to it. Immediately. It’s one thing to respect his family and culture during a hard time. It’s another thing to be expected to take care of a bunch of adults and their kids without being asked if you are willing (or given the space to say no).
I’ve had loved ones be the primary caretakers of relatives during end of life illnesses. It’s hard on everyone all around and sometimes it can feel like there isn’t any room to care for yourself when someone is facing death- their thing is always the biggest thing. But you really have to make it a priority to take care of yourself right now. Your kids need you and YOU need you to be okay. No matter what the outcome is with your husband and his family.
Post # 26
So you work full time with two kids and have been expected to just let any of his relatives come and live in your house for an indefinite amount of time no questions asked? Culture or not that is beyond rude and outrageous. This is your home not a hostel. I will admit to knowing nothing about Samoan culture at all, but it sounds like they’re freeloading off you and not even having the courtesy or respect to tidy up after themselves despite living in your house for free. I understand this has been problem for a long time, if I was you I would have a serious talk with your husband and consider moving out if he refuses to compromise or give you any say in who lives in your own home and how long for.