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Juniper85
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2010

Hello everyone, I came across these discussion boards earlier and I thought I'd sign up becuase I need to vent a little. My fiance was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, and not long after, he asked me to move in with his parents, with their permission, because it was a couple hours closer to the hospital that he goes to for treatment. At the time I had what I thought was a good relationship with his parents so I agreed.

His parents are very religious and since we aren't married yet, they asked me to sleep on a cot in the attic, which is mostly storage space. A week or two after I moved in, my fiance's mother started complaining that she couldn't find boxes that she put in the attic. She said they were either moved or missing.

When I moved in, I offered to pay rent or buy groceries or help with bills but my fiance's parents refused. I have since offered a few more times and they again refused. But my fiance's mother continually complains about how much higher the electric bill is, how much more time she has to spend at the grocery store and how there's never enough food in the house.

Me and my fiance's mother take turns taking him to the hospital and the stays are usually a week or so long. When she leaves, she types out a list of rules that I have to follow in taking care of the house. They include things like you can only use the washer once per day because it's an old machine (she does laundry 4-5 times a day sometimes). So then I do laundry once per day and extra laundry piles up. The first thing she does when she gets home and sets down her luggage is walk to the laundry room and let out a loud sigh and complain about how much laundry she has to do.

I offer to help with dinners, she says no and then complains how much food she has to make. I offer to help with dishes, she says no and ten complains about how many more dishes she has to clean. The other day, I accidentally spilled a cup of water on the counter and she yelled out "Oh my God! What are you doing?" and body slammed me out of the way when I went to clean it up with a paper towel so that she could clean it herself. Then she brought up the spill 3 more times throughout the day and said how dangerous it could be if water spilled between the counter and the stove and grew mold.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. It's looking more and more like this living situation is going to be a long term thing. We're still paying rent on our old apartment so we can't really afford to pay for a new one closer to the hospital and we're not comfortable with leaving my fiance alone at home anyways. I love my fiance very much and I'm going to stick it out, but I'm going crazy here. This is the last thing I need on top of all the stress of him having cancer.

I've talked to him about it and he's said that's just the way she is and she loves me very much and appreciates that I'm taking care of him. But that doesn't really make me feel better about the situation lol

Are any of you also going through similar situations with in-laws or family, and how do you deal with them? Thanks.

-June

ketziah35
Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

See my discussion family Sabbatical. I can understand, because my mil is Japanese and traditional. I did not change my last name when I got married. You may need to talk to fiance about thIs and come up with a strategu, but this doesn't seem like a healthy environment FOR YOU! Can you maintain a separate household close to his parents house, but not in his parents house? It seems that living in the house is the issue. You may want to talk to fiance about the person who is going the primary caregiver. If it is you, since his mother is acting crazy, he may want to give you power of attorney.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1325
Joined: Aug 2010

They aren't your in-laws YET.

Your fiance can't make an unbiased decision/render an unbiased opinion right now. He's just dealing with too much.

Worrying about you, June, at this point because it is obvious your fiance has many people interested in making sure he has what he needs to do his best in this situation.

You could buy a new washer as a gift to the household and their generosity in letting you stay there but I don't know if that would really be welcome. And, as a mother-in-law myself, really can't forgive the attic thing. Surely there is a couch or some spare room. The attic? Really?

Sheesh.

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

June, it sounds like your fiance's mother is pushing all the control buttons she can find, and he's probably right, it's her nature. My mother is like that, too. Does he have a sister? If so, she could probably shed some light on the behaviors you are seeing.

If it's starting to look long term, maybe it's time to give up your old place and find something more suitable for yourself closeby. Anything would be better than niggling over spilled water.

My mother is really old now and we've worked things out, but there have been times since I've been her caregiver when we had to stop and talk. For you, that talk begins with "We both love him so much. We HAVE to get along and we are not. What can we do about that?"

Good luck.

Cindy Bear
Posts: 566
Joined: Jul 2009

First of all, I am so sorry you have to be here and I hope your fiance is doing better. You don't say what type of cancer he has or what stage but if he has to stay in hospital a week at a time, it must be pretty serious.. You have to have the patience of a saint. I realize you love him but come on.. sleeping in the attic??? and then saying things are "missing" Hello.. she's apparently accusing you of stealing. Secondly, she Body slammed you out of the way? because you spilled something? Oh no, sweetheart, you have to get out of that house... isn't there anywhere else you can stay close by? another friend or relative? Can't you get out of your old lease? And what does your future FIL say/do about all of this..?? I think if you stay there much longer, it permanently damage your relationship with his mother.
Good luck to you both. Hugs, Cindy

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 526
Joined: Nov 2010

I feel like I'm watching a horror movie and shouting at the girl on the screen "get out of that house!"

Really, your future mother-in-law is nuts. Totally. I honestly don't think you are even safe living there - her barely restrained hostility towards you is clear. You are certainly not emotionally safe, as you are starting to question your own perspective.

This is not about taking care of your fiance - she is going to make it more and more impossible for you to do that when you are at her house anyway.

We can all give you lots of good suggestions about where to stay, but only you know the area and your financial situation. All I can say is that you would be safer sleeping in your car near the hospital than at that house.

I don't think any appeals to reason to her or anyone in her family will help. She is beyond reason and her family are probably all terrified of her - I speak from experience, as she sounds just like my mother.

Good luck and keep your sanity.

ketziah35
Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

I prayed hard about trying to keep my mouth shut on this one, but I agree. When I originally read the post I thought of the book "Flowers in the Attic" or "Misery" or "Carrie". Your fiance is taken care of and if you need to help you can drop by, but get the heck outta there. I just thought of an idea. Can you contact some of the churches in the area to see if someone has a room to rent? Not in a rooming house, but maybe an older couple that needs to supplement their income or something. I am sure that if you honest about your situation, you will be able to find help.

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

I agree 100% with DrMary. The horror movie analogy is particularly apt. Get out of that house as soon as you can; I don't think his mother is going to get better with time, I think she'll get worse.
Penny

Juniper85
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2010

I appreciate the advice everyone but I can't imagine leaving my fiance to live on my own while he goes through this. He asked me to move in with his parents for a reason and he seems to rely on me for emotional support quite a bit. When he knows he has a tough week at the hospital coming up, he'll request that I go with him even when it's his mother's turn. The other day my fiance came up with the idea of making the basement into a separate apartment. There's a stove and a fridge down there. He said his mother didn't seem too excited about it but she might just have to deal lol

I'm not physically scared of the woman or anything, I'm not worried she's going to attack me in my sleep or go crazy and hit me or something like that. It's just very stressful and frustrating. She had let the dishes pile up for a few days today and to be honest it was kind of gross becuase many of them still had food on them. So when she went shopping this morning I did all of the dishes. When she got home she frantically looked throug the cupboards and complained that the dishes weren't stacked the way she likes them and my fiance kind of just looked at me, rolled his eyes and laughed. That made me feel a little better. I guess everyone else in the family is used to it. The father will often ignore her altogether when she talks and she'll repeat herself 2 or 3 times before she gets a response out of him, even when he's sitting right next to her and she's looking right at him. After she asks the second time and doesn't get a response, I usually leave the room because she usually ends up yelling.

It'd dysfunctional, but I guess I'll just have to deal. Hopefully in 6 months or so we'll be able to get our own place. Thanks again for the support everyone. I realize a lot of people on this forum are going through much worse situations and my heart goes out to them. I suppose I'm pretty fortunate in that my fiance appears to be improving. He's technically been in remission for a few months now.

-June

Cindy Bear
Posts: 566
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi. I am just curious so forgive me for asking.. but what type of cancer/stage doe he have? If he was just diag a few months ago and he's Technically in Remission, what are the hospital stays for? or is he done with the stays now? This family sounds very dysfunctional and unhealthy.. I think your fiance is really putting you between a rock and a hard place...but it sounds like you've made up your mind and are determined to stay. Good luck to you and him.

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 526
Joined: Nov 2010

Your future mother-in-law is certainly a control freak - cancer brings out the worst in us (I can usually control my control-freakishness. . . when people help you, you have to let go of things, like not having the silverware in the right place, but it can be tough). We hate to think of something that is not within our realm of control.

Combine that with being the mother of the cancer patient; not only can't she fix him, but her influence over him is being eroded by some **** (sorry, I'm saying what she's thinking, not what I think) and OMG now she is living in MY house and taking care of MY son and doing MY dishes and pretty soon she'll try to take MY place. . .

So, that's her side of it. I don't think she's about to push you down the stairs (on purpose) but I'd still be suspicious of anything she feeds me. Pet poop has been known to find its way into one soup bowl but not the rest. (Yes, I'm paranoid, but I grew up with crazy people.)

I still think you are better off out of there - I'm not sure I'd leave either, but I have this over-rated sense of believing I can deal with situations. I'm usually wrong.

The basement apartment is a good idea. Good luck and keep in touch.

ketziah35
Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

Am I the only one who wants to tell her that her future mil sounds evil abusive and paranoid schizo? Am I the only one that wants to tell her that when she gets married move far away form "this woman" and don't have her all up in her house cuz she will probably go thru your house with a critical tooth and tongue instead of being a gracious guest? Am I the only one who wants to say I wouldn't let her crazy a** too close to my kids, becuz she may tell them that breathing is a sin? Men never want to deal with issues between their moms And the wives. Since June Cleaver died and I failed Southern belle 101 several times, I had to let this out.

JuneN
I speak from personal experience. I am an engineer(with 2 degrees and no kids)_ and my mil traditional Japanese, she is always critical of how much money I spend, as if I am spending her sons money when in all actuAlity I am spending my own. I travel with or with or without my husband. If I see something interesting, I go and do it with or without m husband and although I don' advertise, my husband seems to tell his parents things. These are things she can not do. She doesn't work to have resources to do them. I never. See her doing anything nice for herself. She could do some things if she worked. She can work, but doesn't and all of her kids are adults. My husband is the first born Japanese son and culturally his mother is supposed to have a larger role in our lives than I allow his parents are atheist and I am not. No biggy, but their have been comments about us having a Xmas tree. As she gets older the first born son is expected to financially take care of his parents so his parents have informed me. Since this would be long term care affectng the quality of our lives, I have told them and my husband that any money coming out of my house is community property and I am not sUpporting anyone that is not motivated to help themselves as both of them are in good health and can work. Their finances are always in poor condition. Given all of this I think my mil is jealous. We have been married for 10 yrs. Her criticisms started small and they go larger like yours, but she did not complain about every little thing like your future mil. The situation will never go away unless you take charge. In mine I ignored it at first and then tried t answer nicely, but she didn't get it and it sounds like neither will your future mil. Finally I had to tell her get the heck out of my business, I work 12 hrs a day. Since I was blunt now everything is fine. Sometimes you just have to be blunt and move the heck on, but you can not tell her this in her house. I would really question the reasons that keep you 2 from getting your own place near his parents house for right now. I can understand financial and the necessity to have family around during times of illness, but after this issue is over with if he can not leave and cleave you have to ask yourself what that means.

God gives us red flags all the time and as women, we think that it is our responsibilty to endure and suffer for our family's. The book of Job should have bEen written about a woman. Although we make sacrfices during illnesses, once that time has past their is no reason to continue with emotional sacrfices. We are just as valuable as our families and our husbands and realizing this therein lies our strength to stick up for ourselves. This iSsue with your future mil will not be limited to your fiances illnes and yoiu will hsve to dea with it sooner or later since no one else wants to address it. My grand told me once "you don't let someone come in and crap on your clean kitchen floor". With that said, you are going to have to find your voice. Guys seem to want minimize situations like this. I work with them everyday and I doubt that you are going to be able to ignore her issue throughout your entire marriage or deal with her treatng your kids the way she is treating you.
Ps s orry for the typos I am n this dratted blackberry

Juniper85
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2010

Leukemia, he doesn't stay in the hospital. He stays near to hospital so he can get his treatments, we live a couple hours away so it's impracticle to go back and forth every day.

CherylMike
Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2009

June~ I read your post and you have my total sympathy. My husband died from head and neck cancer a little over a year ago. He fought for 2 years. During that time he had extended stays at the hospital and hospice. I also traded nights sleeping at the hospital/hospice with my mother-in-law. During the two year period, everyone (my children, in-laws, sister-in-law, my parents) all ended up having disagreements. (Some worse than others, one time my father-in-law made me cry for 4 hours straight). Now, looking back on it, I see things differently. My in-laws lost a child, I lost my husband of 25 years, my kids lost their dad and my sister-in-law lost her best friend. We were all in such pain going through this ordeal and everyone was dealing with it the best they could or knew how. But the bottom line was - this was about Mike, not us. Everyone loved him and wanted what was best for him - which everyone had a different idea on. Now, we all talk and spend time together. Thank God I have these people as they have helped me get through this time. I know that they loved Mike and they love me. What we went through has brought us closer. Your soon to be mother in law may just be in shock that her child was diagnosed with cancer. This is her baby. She may be having a hard time acknowloging what is happening to her son. This does not make it any easier on you. You and your fiance will need to make the decision to stay or go. If you decide to stay, you may have to just ignore her actions (sounds like that is how her hubby handles it) and keep thinking that this is what your fiance wants and needs now (Mike really wanted his mom there as she would hold his hand and talk to him - this gave him great comfort). This will not last forever, and you will get through it. I use to jog or get in my car and drive. I would cry and cry, but would always feel better. Just know that no matter what you decide, it is the right decision. You need to do what you need to do to get through this. Be strong. Take care~Cheryl

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