{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My husband is having his mother stay with us while she recovers from some health issues. Both are expecting me to help her because I am a woman. I don’t know how to handle this, and feel that divorcing him is the only option.", "post_id": "61eef80b14f3d80036b1152a", "reply_count": 32, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting", "feed_type": "bowl" }

My husband is having his mother stay with us while she recovers from some health issues. Both are expecting me to help her because I am a woman. I don’t know how to handle this, and feel that divorcing him is the only option.

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If you work full time, you should not be expected to be his moms nurse. Hire someone. And if you want to help a little to show effort, Be clear about the time frame with which you can help (I have meetings at this time and deliverables at x time I need to work on, as well as see to my own mental health. I’d like for us to hire someone during the mid day and after work and I can provide support one hour before bed time). Communicate your needs

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I’ll share my perspective from the other side. My dad is in the hospital right now, and I’m temporarily living with my mom to help out. My husband spent his whole weekend helping at my parents’ house, and will be the one to help bring my dad home. In the meantime, he is holding down the fort at our house (with kids, chores, some contractors we already had scheduled to do work at the house, our dog, etc.). Honestly, he is the best partner and most supportive person at a super difficult time in my life. That’s not to say that your husband should insist on it being you to provide the primary help… but I think a marriage is about having a partner to help with the shittiest aspects of life, and I’d be very hurt if my husband didn’t want to help our family in some way. Have you thought about the ways you’d feel comfortable helping your MIL and suggesting what you’d be open to doing?

likeupliftingsmart
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You could start by saying no and just deal with whatever argument ensues. Divorce seems like a wild reaction if you haven't even tried to remedy the situation yet. One disagreement shouldn't end a marriage.

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Uhhhhh how did we get to divorce from this, I feel like you skipped like 50 steps in the process. I think talking and explaining your feelings and tactically figuring out how to split chores would be the first step.

likesmart

Don’t think you need to jump to divorce for this. You married not just him, but you also joined his family. I get where they’re coming from. But - you can counter and say you can hire an aide to help (and someone from the same culture if that helps). You can also reach a compromise and say what you’re willing to help with - maybe cooking her favorite meals while she recovers, for ex., or taking her to her appointments.

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Sounds like these are issues with him that existed prior to this particular event, I’d recommend marriage counseling to start with.

(Inserting some humor) “No problem, honey! By the way, Uncle Bob is coming to stay while his GI tract heals so you’ll be on point for him.” 😎

funnylike

That’s so unfair and sexist. Have you spoken to your husband and told him how you feel?

likesmartfunny

Both sets of parents shouldn’t be her problem either though.

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If it’s a woman specific health issue, then I can see why the expectation would fall on you. Tbh if it’s temporary, I would just suck it up.

likefunny

May I ask cultural upbringing? As a south Asian, fighting these stereotypes are exhausting. And cue Indian mother in law having expectations that her son has also internalized over his upbringing. I couldn’t bring myself to marry an Indian man for all of these reasons (had too many experiences that didn’t support my career, expectations of me were incredibly sexist, etc.). I don’t want to generalize here but if you’re dealing with cultural upbringing a bit too, having a very reasonable and fair conversation can become challenging.

likeuplifting

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Is this temporary or for the foreseeable future? Have you tried discussing with your husband first? While I would be annoyed as well, divorce seems like an extreme reaction.

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It seems like it’s going to be a long-term thing.

Short of divorce, you could move out to Airbnb or something while she’s there. If it’s like a week; two tops, I’d probably suck it up as work schedule allowed. I would probably insist some caregiver visit at least daily to check on her meds, progress, bathing. Longer than that they’d need a long term solution that’s not me or my home.

likesmartfunny

Not the only option. 😂 It’s his mother. He needs to hire somebody.

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I would hire an in home nurse or someone like that for a few hours a day to get her showered and dressed. I would make sure they are comfortable and help where needed but I agree, he should step up.

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If you’re talking about things like bathing, dressing, toileting, etc., I can see why he and his mother would want a woman for that kind of intimate care. No son wants to be bathing and dressing his mother. But TBH, you shouldn’t be doing it either. For his mom’s safety and her dignity, you need to hire a home health care aide. Talk to your county’s Office on Aging or senior-citizen services, or to her doctor’s office, for some direction on how to get the ball rolling. The hospital where she was treated should also have social workers who can help with this.

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Your mindset is alarming. Parents aren’t a burden and having your husband wash or assist with bathing his mom is weird. She is having a health issue so try to have some compassion for her as well. If the issue is that you can’t step up and help your partner when he needs, then hire somebody. If he wouldn’t do the same for you and you resent that, then obviously get some professional marriage help. There must be other, deeper issues at play here to jump the way you did. Explore those and write down some of your feelings so you can try communicating just what the issue is here with him.

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Some parents are, in fact, a burden. And this is her partner’s mother, so at least some of the burden needs to be on him. Taking his mom for treatments or doc appointments, keeping the house clean, cooking meals sometimes - all of those are things he can do to help keep the family running while his wife helps with personal care duties. The OP made it clear that her husband expects her to do EVERYTHING and that’s just not right.

What are the expectations on taking care? Did he detail it out? Are those things that can be delegated?as in hiring someone?

That seems a bit extreme , we are not in the old world anymore. Time for your husband to take a stand. Has it been naming for many days? While I understand specific caregiver duties i dont understand what cooking cleaning has to do with this and why can't your husband help

Marriage counseling seems like a good idea. Even if you come to a resolution that doesn't involve you conceding, it sounds like this is a big enough disagreement to warrant mediation.

Divorcing him while he's stressed out about his mom doesnt seem right and when you get married you marry the family. Do you have a desent size home where you can atleast get some alone time? Hire a cleaning lady once a week for now. See if her insurance allows an aid 3x a week.

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