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Wife Bringing Up Her Mom Moving In

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Old 12th July 2013, 3:38 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Wife Bringing Up Her Mom Moving In

I will try not to turn this into a novella, but I can't make any promises.

So, let's see, I met my wife almost 8 years ago. She had a 7-year-old son with Asperger's. His dad was not in the picture at all. We moved in together within a year, now have a 4-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter together, and everything is great.

Her mother, well. She's one of the most self-centered, selfish, and phony people I've ever met. She has constantly defied my wife's entreaties to treat her son (w/ Asperger's) age approriately. (She pretty much ignores anything else she's ever requested regarding her son). My MIL's relationship with my stepson is incredibly unhealthy and, honestly, cringeworthy.

My wife and her brother were physically and emotionally abused by their mom (their dad wasn't really in the picture and died while they were young). My wife isn't really close to either her mom or brother, though her and her brother have made strides at developing a stronger bond, it seems the efforts to do so last temporarily and they all go back to their routine. Over the course of our near 8-year relationship, I have not once heard her mom tell my wife she loves her (and we've been around a lot).

As far as my relationship with the MIL, I have always been extremely polite with her, as she has been with me. My wife and I have always helped her. She's legally blind, so we have always taken her places when she has required it, helped her move, etc. (This has been mostly my wife, granted.) I don't like her, a disposition I've fostered toward her over the years witnessing her selfishness, coldness to my wife, and more recent events, but I've never expressed this to my MIL. I've only treated her with respect.

Anyway, about a year and a half ago my wife got an email from her. It began, "If I were to see you face-to-face right now I would tell you I would never want to see you again." Etc. It was one of the most hateful, spiteful, mean-spirited things I'd ever read.

It all stemmed from the MIL getting a disability settlement for $80K. Good for her. Before she was officially paid the settlement, though she knew it was coming, she offered my wife approximately $10K to help her get a new car which I thought was extremely nice, except that when she got the settlement the offer became unspoken and never materialized. That's fine, I figured. She probably realized she needed the money and didn't want to part with the money to help my wife, but it bugged my wife that she at least didn't tell her this. Anyway, my wife pushed it aside. It was just money.

We were moving soon. We needed to downsize on space (heating and cooling a large house was draining our finances, as was the rent). My wife really wanted to move, but money was tight. So she swallowed her pride and asked her mom for $2K to help us move (which she would pay back as she could). I was vehemently against asking for this money, as we could afford to do what we needed to. Admittedly, the $2K would've been really helpful, but I'd never had to ask anyone for money and I wasn't about to start with her mom, but my wife insisted. Her mom responded by asking my wife to put in writing that she'd pay her back. My wife, offended, told her mom to forget it (my wife does not skip out on obligations). A back-and-forth ensued and so her mom loaned her $2K. Not a week goes by and she's asking where her money is. Wow. So my wife, over about six or seven months, pays her back.

Her mom kinda kept to herself after getting the money, skipping holidays, and only contacting us whenever she wanted my stepson to come over. I was fine with this. And then, out of nowhere, she sent my wife that letter. She pretty much degraded my wife, disparaging her for having her first son so young (she was 17 in high school), for not really listening to him, for using her to babysit our toddlers (we asked her to do so perhaps 10 times in one year), and even attacked my character because I accepted money from her. There was a lot more to it, but you see where I am going with this.

The MIL follows this up saying she didn't mean to send it and that writing that letter was an exercise prescribed by her therapist. That's it. My wife let me read the letter. I felt bad for my wife. It really hurt her. So a year and a half goes by.

About a month ago the MIL sent my wife a brief email saying she was sorry, that she didn't mean those things, etc. It was very brief. My wife didn't feel it was sincere, but decided to accept her mom's apology. They went out to dinner with the kids. It was apparently very awkward.

Then, about a week ago, my wife gets a voicemail from her mom. She was depressed and crying, saying she's spent all her settlement money, is going broke, has little to eat, and only has enough rent money for a few more months. My wife goes over to her mom's, buys her some groceries, and then invites her to spend a few nights with us. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was pretty ticked by this move, as she didn't even ask me, but I settled down. I was polite to her when she came over, but mostly avoided her as best I could (we don't have a big place).

Last night while my wife and I were having a few drinks she asks if we could talk about her mom. I have already told her that her mom is not moving in with us. My wife got really upset because I immediately jumped to that conclusion again, but my conclusion was right. She said it wasn't definite, but that if her mom doesn't get adequate public assistance, etc., that she can't let her be homeless. (Her SS was cut off when she got her settlement money.) Apparently she re-applied for it and she's claiming she's only being offered $112 per month. This makes absolute no sense to me. Anyway, I told her that we'll do whatever we can to help her mom out and that her mom has options (assisted living facilities for starters), but I refuse to let her mom live with us. My wife stormed off to bed.

Now, my younger brother lived with us when we first moved in together. I was initially planning on moving in with him before I even met my wife and wasn't going to back out on my brother, but since he and my wife got along so well we all moved in together. It was great for a while, but he would not hold a job and his irresponsibility wore out his welcome with my wife (and with me, honestly). He moved out.

Also, my mom lived with us for a bit. Again, she and my wife got along great and my wife welcomed the idea of her living with us. My mom loved our kids, always volunteered to babysit so we could go out to dinner, etc., but my mom is not mentally healthy and it did not end well with her staying there, so she moved out, too.

My wife is arguing that it is her turn to help family out. I totally understand, but the situations are not analogous. First, my brother and mom only moved in predicated on my wife's blessing. Second, she got along great with both, though eventually there was tension and ill feelings. We also lived in a much bigger house when my mom lived with us. We have nowhere near that amount of space now.

My wife has repeatedly stated in the past how she could not ever live with her mom again, that she is all the things I have described her as in this post, etc. And now I am being broached with the idea of her moving in.

And mighty funny how her mom is this self-sufficient bastion of wherewithal and dignity and only sees fit to half-ass apologize a month before her funds run dry. My wife even agreed with me that she didn't think her mom would've "apologized" if she didn't need help.

I don't want to see anyone homeless, but I don't see her moving in with us as a viable option. I don't respect her at all anymore. My wife's brother isn't helping her out for reasons that can be inferred. I don't want her around my kids, honestly, especially after bringing up babysitting them as being used. And she isn't patient with him. Will she physically abuse them like she did her own kids if left alone with them? Perhaps that is not fair. I don't know.

We live in a 3 BR house. There are 5 of us. I just can't envision how it would not be a tension-riddled fiasco.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling. All apologies.

Last edited by Manimal; 12th July 2013 at 4:07 PM..
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Old 12th July 2013, 4:08 PM   #2
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Wow. My mom lived with us for 8 years. When she moved in we thought it would be 2 years and that my siblings would help. Thankfully we were very close and she also loved and respected my husband. Even so we set groundrules first.

Flip side my husband has a tenuous relationship with his mother similar to what you describe. I can't stand the woman. However I did make the offer that if needs be she could move in with us WHILE WE WERE ARRANGING OTHER HOUSING FOR HER.

If I were you I would start Now to find her a place to live. The better AL facilities and nursing homes have waiting lists. Get her on them.

If she moves in (and I do think it fair and reasonable to do for your wife) make sure she's not alone with your kids. If she's on medicare or some similar plan that covers adult daycare do that.

I'm puzzled that you said she's legally blind but still bought a car? Maybe I misunderstood. But if she did buy a car the sale of that car to help pay for her to move to a permanent place may be one of the caveats to her staying with you for a short time. Also storing her things rather than unpacking everything. Maybe your BIL could help with that - storing her stuff instead of storing her.

I wish you well. I shudder at the thought of my MIL moving in with us - even for one night!
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Old 12th July 2013, 4:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

No, my MIL didn't buy a car. Sorry for the confusion. She initially offered my wife some money so my wife could put a nice downpayment on a car. My MIL never brought it up again once she received her settlement money, so my wife and I got the car ourselves. (Better scenario, IMO.)

I'm going to bring up my BIL helping out today, but I don't see it happening. He is very distant from his mother. He is a very reasonable guy, though. I like him a lot. He may assist some.
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Old 12th July 2013, 4:19 PM   #4
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Seems that she ploughed through that money fairly quickly.

Family's family, and I take my family obligations pretty seriously, but I wouldn't let her move in. She'll make you both crazy and cause some pretty serious problems in your marriage. My MIL living with us for around 5 years almost made me pack up and leave more than once, and she's not nearly as toxic as yours sounds.

What I would do is shake the trees on her behalf to find any other available public assistance or options.

And frankly I wonder if she's telling the truth about being destitute.
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Old 12th July 2013, 4:38 PM   #5
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I am skeptical as well, though I know she is terrible with money.

What doesn't add up to me is that she is supposedly on the verge of being a pauper yet she can't get SS disability. I helped my mom take care of all her SS stuff over the years and I have a slight grasp of how it works. Her mom is lying about something, whether it is about how much money she actually has or about qualifying for SS, and I see it only as an excuse to move in with us.
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Old 12th July 2013, 4:58 PM   #6
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What is MIL age? When was she most recently employed?
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Old 13th July 2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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OP, I think you see the situation very clearly here.

Help her to find supported housing. If she moves in your relationship will suffer.

Take care,
Eve x
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Old 19th July 2013, 3:25 AM   #8
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What is MIL age?
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Old 19th July 2013, 3:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Manimal View Post
I am skeptical as well, though I know she is terrible with money.

What doesn't add up to me is that she is supposedly on the verge of being a pauper yet she can't get SS disability. I helped my mom take care of all her SS stuff over the years and I have a slight grasp of how it works. Her mom is lying about something, whether it is about how much money she actually has or about qualifying for SS, and I see it only as an excuse to move in with us.
I'm afraid you married your MIL without knowing when you married your wife.
Do not let her move in, all stress aside, i would not trust a woman like that around kids ... any kids.
There is a reason why her son wants nothing to do with her and her own daughter somewhat dislikes her.

She is most deffinitely lying about something, and she is what i like to call ... a beast, an animal; something that is controlled by the barest of instincts.
She has power, she becomes abusive [the letter is proof enough she hasn't changed], she has no power, she grovels.
Democracy, the playground of the narcissist. Be the BCB.
Bugs is who we want to be, Daffy is who we are.
A shortcut that everyone knows about is an absolute oxymoron. - Howard Marks
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