Morning friends,

Don’t forget to sign up for tonight’s (Wednesday, September 17th) free live streaming event, 7:30pm to 9:00 ET with my guest, family law attorney Maryann Modesti.  She and I will be discussing how to be more informed of your legal rights and responsibilities if you are considering separating from a destructive spouse.  There will be time to ask your most pressing questions.

 

Todays question:  My husband and I have been married for 12 years and he is a good man and loves God. There has been conflict between us regarding my parent’s care. Two years ago my parents decided to move to North Carolina to live with my sister since they were struggling financially and without a car.

My sister bought a large house w a 3rd floor where my parents would have their own space (it has everything except a kitchen.) Three months later my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. Although she is stable she has been very affected by the removal of the tumor and radiation. She needs 24 hour supervision and care which my father provides. Needless to say it has been difficult on my sister and her family.

I live in Philadelphia so can do little to ease the burden. We live in a very small home not suited for 2 families and my husband does not like my father. My father came into our lives much later and never was a father to us. He has been a taker and manipulator all his life and my husband has very little tolerance for him. Last year they came for a visit (supposed to be 2 months) it turned into 4 months. This was very hard on my husband and our marriage and also caused a lot of conflict in my family between my sister and me.

My sister feels we are not doing enough and my husband's attitude is “this was all her idea” and now she feels we are better suited to have them live with us. My husband wants no part of this since the thought of living with my father makes him get anxiety. But even when it comes to a visit my husband is difficult. I tried to plan a visit for them to come for a month or so and he was not very happy about it stating they need to bring their own television (they watch television 24/7).

When my father suggested staying 2 months my husband had a fit. I told my father I would need to talk to my husband and get back to him. Now my father is saying they are not coming for a visit since they feel my husband does not want them here and why do I have to ask permission from my husband for my parents to come.

I am so hurt by my husband's attitude and feel bad that my parents realize he does not want them here. I would love to help my father take care of my mother but my husband says she needs to go in a nursing home or I can get an apartment with them. He is so ugly about this. I am praying for God to help me. I don't want to walk around mad or hurt. I realize this is a difficult situation. My parents are in a bad way since they cannot afford to live on their own (mostly due to my father's bad life decisions.)

If my mother lives a short time I was hoping to have her here so I can spend some time with her but my husband is not making it easy. Any input from you would be appreciated. Thanks

Answer:  There are no easy answers here.  It is tough for you and your sister (and your families) to have to bear the weight of your father’s fiscal irresponsibility.  Yet, God does call us to honor our father and mother (Ephesians 6:2),  and to provide for our family when they are in need (1 Timothy 5:8).

Your parents have two main needs.  The first is financial; the other is for support and care of your mother. So far, your father has been willing to bear most of that load as you say she needs 24/7 supervision.

Your dilemma however, is not with those realities, but rather with your husband who feels that this burden should not be thrust on him.  But in a healthy marriage, what hurts and troubles you, likewise should hurt and trouble him.  Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave (or sacrificed) himself for it. (Ephesians 5:25).

In addition, it seems like your husband has lost sight of God in this hardship.  Does he even ask the question what God would want him to do?  How would God want him to handle this dilemma?  For example, Jesus said, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be the children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”  (Luke 35,36).

Right now it sounds like your husband is only thinking about his own feelings. He’s angry with your father and sees him as a taker and manipulator. But when he gets caught in this negative emotion, he leaves no space to think wisely or care about your mother and you.  Your father is not the main person in this story. It’s your mother, your sister and you. These are the people he needs to show care for  (Philippians 2:4). He’s refusing to have any compassion on the three of you because he’s stuck being mad at your father.

You said your husband is a good man who loves God. If that’s true, then he will need to be encouraged to rise above his negative feelings towards your father for the good of the family and the welfare of you, your mother and your sister.  The Bible says that we are to love our enemies and to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Your sister is telling you she cannot bear the full load of your mother and father without a break.  Your mother cannot care for herself.

I’m not sure you’re going to get through to your husband without some pastoral or other Christian help.  What I fear will happen if you both don’t talk this out with a trusted and wise person is that one of you will feel pressured to give in, but totally resent the other. If your husband relents, he will resent your parents from the moment they enter your home. Thus making it more stressful for everyone than it already will be.  He will also miss what God might have wanted him to learn through this season of sacrifice.

Or, if he refuses to budge and you give in, you will resent him for his insensitivity and lack of love for you. If either of you just cave in without really talking this through, praying about it and knowing what God wants, trust me, it will take a huge negative toll on the future of your marriage.

I would encourage you to appeal to his good and godly self rather than his selfish and emotional self.  You might say something like this, (hopefully in front of a wise third party):

“I know my dad has not been a good father or provider. He gets under your skin and he’s hard to tolerate. I’m not asking you to like him, I’m asking you to love me. I’m asking you to care about the terrible dilemma I’m in with wanting to help my sister and my mother.  I’m asking you to dig deep and be the good and godly man I know you can be and put your negative feelings to the side for the sake of love and for the sake of your Christian witness.  

I believe God would not have us turn our backs on my parents.  The Bible is clear we are to help our relatives and love our enemies. My parents are not going to live with us permanently, but I do want to help my sister by giving her regular breaks.  My dad watches television because it’s boring to sit with my mother all day. It gives him something to do to keep his mind occupied. You may not like it but you’re not going to change it.  I agree they can bring their own television so they can stay in their room and watch it if they want.  

This issue has the potential to destroy our family and I don’t want Satan to get the best of us.  I know it won’t be easy, I understand my dad is tough to take. But I want to do it for my mom and sister and I want you to do it for me – without resentment. Are you willing to do that?” 

Friends:  What would you do or say if you were this woman?

34 Comments

  1. Brenda on September 17, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Leslie, I think you covered it very well.

  2. Miki on September 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Excellent wisdom Leslie!

  3. Jennifer on September 17, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Leslie, you are so wise!

  4. lynn on September 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I think that it takes a man of integrity to humble himself and give in to the things that “make him uncomfortable” but will please the Lord. I will share what I learned this morning. Thought it was interesting and if we claim to love the Lord then we need to be completely whole.

    Integrity comes from the word Integer. Integer is a latin word that means whole (e.g whole numbers, no fractions!). Integrity must be complete, entire, whole – in every aspect of life. Not just those that make us comfortable or dont cause burden.

  5. Lisa on September 18, 2014 at 4:02 am

    I am currently in a similar situation so I appreciated hearing your advice Leslie. My daughter, age 22, is going through a very difficult time in her life struggling with Lyme disease as well as lifelong anxiety and more recent depression. Recently she became unable to work and support herself. My second husband, her stepfather, and I have a large home with two extra bedrooms where she could stay while recovering but he does not want her to live with us due to his own anxiety issues. This has torn me up until recently I felt like God revealed to me that my daughter and I should not be the ones suffering from HIS anxiety, he should! I decided that I need to stay with her at her apartment to see that she is eating properly and taking her medications and has help when she needs it. She has been very isolated with no friends or other relatives in our city which has added to her depression. I told him this is something I need to do as a mother and if he can’t have her with us then I need to go to her. This upset him too, of course, because now he doesn’t have me there to take care of him. But to me this made sense. He can take care of himself. He is a mature, capable adult. My daughter has not yet fully come into her own and has a physical illness. He does not. So, I am here with her 4-6 days a week, going home for usually two nights and a day or two a week while working full time to pay her living expenses when she could be living with us. It’s working for now but his anxiety is being triggered which is ok with me. Maybe he will realize he needs to get help and that he doesn’t like the consequences, being left alone. I spent way too many years holding myself responsible for other people’s feelings. I’m trying not to do that anymore.

    • Caroline on September 19, 2014 at 4:01 am

      Lisa, I firmly believe sick children come before step fathers. Surely this man knew you were a mother before you got married. Her coming to stay in an extra bedroom seemed a very reasonable compromise from the information you shared. He does seem to be trying to make you own and carry his feelings. I pray he gets help for himself soon so you do not have to work so hard.

  6. Caroline on September 18, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Sorry, I am leaning towards the “uncomfortable” husband on this one. If my father-in-law moved in I would quickly move out…with all my kids. The dying mother yes, but not the manly-mooch. The bible has some harsh things to say about men who don’t work and don’t provide for their families.
    I really feel for the questioner but it sounds like she is easily manipulated into many things and her husband is possibly setting boundaries for the good of his family.
    While we are speculating on why this couple watch so much TV, can we also speculate on why the wife’s father is around now? I can see how the other daughters home was a nice landing place after he spent himself broke and car less, but does he also stand to get insurance money when his wife passes? Many rotten husbands will stay around (watching TV) for this money alone. This just happened to my sister who a few months ago.

    • Anonymous on September 18, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Thank you, Caroline. I fought the urge to disagree with Leslie’s advice yesterday because I feared getting attacked having a differing point of view here. As a life coach, I often see things beyond the Christian mindset but certain types of boundaries issues can be very difficult for some Christians to navigate and they are easily guilted. My hunch is that guilt has been a driving factor for decisions in this woman’s family for a long time. The husband seems to be the only one stating what his limits are and protecting his marriage and maybe wanting to stay outside of a dysfunctional cycle. She would do well to listen. It is a hard leap when everyone is caught up in a dysfunctional guilt cycle, but I promise, if the family collectively makes this decision from a better place than the guilt cycle, if will feel better and BE better for everyone, even the parents, in the long run. It will also open up a lot of other possibilities than are being allowed here. The speech that Leslie suggests sounded very manipulative at one point: “I’m asking you to dig deep and be the good and godly man I know you can be…” More guilt. The man has the right idea and I am afraid this will not come to a good end if his Christian wife, his Christian friends, counselor, wife’s family continue to use guilt to pressure him to go against his gut. Sorry for the woman. I know it must be an emotional time and judgment can be clouded.

      • Leslie Vernick on September 18, 2014 at 9:40 pm

        I love that we can look at things from different angles and I hope that the woman who submitted this question looks at it from all sides. There was nothing in her question to me that indicated that her husband was doing this to protect his marriage or set boundaries – although that might have been part of it. It seemed to me he was only thinking of his own feelings and how this would inconvenience him. But this dialogue shows us all clearly that there is not always one “right” answer or only one “biblical” way to look at things. Thanks for your input.

        • Caroline on September 19, 2014 at 3:47 am

          I love you Leslie!
          Please take no offence at my disagreement. There is a very fresh situation in my own family since my sister passed away and lef a great deal of money with an unfaithful selfish mean husband and I am seeing some things from a different side for the first time in my life. For all I know this woman is stuck between a selfish father and a selfish husband, that certainly happens a lot!

          • Leslie Vernick on September 20, 2014 at 5:11 pm

            I take no offense. I am happy to hear different points of view and I’m glad we have the freedom here to disagree – or challenge one another’s perspectives. I think one of THE most important things I want women to learn is to have their own thoughts and their own voice and I will always be a cheerleader of that.



        • Anonymous on September 19, 2014 at 4:52 pm

          Thank you both, Leslie and Caroline, for a great discussion about it. Having grown up in a family with some dysfunctional dynamics, then joining a church with them, then marrying twice without full awareness of how I was still, at least partially, playing into these cycles, I just know that often where there is smoke there is probably fire. No way anyone can tell a whole dynamic from one letter. She said her husband experiences anxiety in connection with this situation. She, herself, says quite frankly that her father came back into their lives, presumably from an absence of some sort and is a manipulator. Definitely things to note and file away. My friend just wrote and posted a great article (not from a Biblical perspective) about selfishness/selflessness that I would like to share that articulates some great insight about our human natures. http://www.uptitude.it/the-other-self/

      • Melody on September 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm

        I think sometimes family members think they can handle things they cannot and they take on things then try to pass off responsibility to others. I sympathize with this husband because I feel his inlaws do not respect him. They are upset that the daughter needs permission from her spouse. I don’t think permission is the best word, but when two people in a marriage disagree about inlaws shouldn’t inlaws back off without the guilt trip? It sounds a bit like there are some expectations here that are unfair on this husband. Of course, he should care about his wife’s feelings in this, but she is not to ignore his feelings either. There are some inlaws who do not respect that their daughters are now responsible first to their spouse, not them. I think that needs to be examined as a potential dynamic here before expecting the husband to simply change his boundaries.

        • Melody on September 18, 2014 at 10:29 pm

          Rereading that, and having experienced some very dysfunctional things when I’ve had family stay with us, I’d say my concern is two months is a very long time. I think instead of the wife telling her husband how long and allowing the inlaw to determine any terms, the husband needs to be respected enough to hear, “I love my mom, I know my parents are difficult for you to handle, but a nursing home is not an option I am willing to consider at this point. Out of love and respect for me and my feelings, what would you be willing to compromise and what could we work out together?” Like I say, two months is too long with a difficult relative, but perhaps this couple could barter it down to one with each other first, before involving the inlaws in any decision-making.

          • Leslie Vernick on September 20, 2014 at 5:12 pm

            Love your wisdom Melody.



    • janet on September 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Here are the facts from the woman who wrote in.
      Her father has been irresponsible his whole life and decided to come back.(why did he come back?) I speculate that this father had a need and is using the family since that is his past behavior. (the woman did not mention if her father acknowledges his wrongdoing hurtful ways and has made amends and built trust with his family through changed behavior.)
      The father does not keep his word according to this woman. They agreed to 2 months and he stayed for 4 months. Why would you let someone back into your home that does not keep their word.
      The sister invited the mother and father to stay in her larger home because she had financial issues and no car and the parents served their purpose for her sister. Is it right for the sister to take finances and then get rid of the parents. Why does this woman’s family who is writing in have to take over because her sister has had her fill but wants to keep having financial gain?
      I was wondering about this scripture in Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise.” It is certainly something to consider in the application of this father. Unfortunately the mother is suffering because of the father’s behavior. Why did the mother take the father back?
      I know many older people who live in very small affordable apartments for the elderly. Why don’t the parents be responsible and do that. They are able to care for themselves. I know many people who live off of their social security checks in these apartments, they visit senior centers and are grateful for what they have. The mother and father can visit for a shorter period of time to each of the sisters and agree to leave when they say they will. If the parents do not hold to their word, then I would not allow them to stay again in my home. I would also personally take my mother without my father for two weeks just to be with her in my home. If she needs around the clock care than take a two week vacation to spend with your mother. If your husband is not interested in that, so what. He can take his own vacation. Do what you can, but don’t destroy your life or marriage in the process. God does not call us to destroy our marriages because of someone else’s irresponsibility.
      The bible also tells us not to give our honor to those who don’t behave in an honorable way. And the bible tells us that we are each responsible for ourselves. My application of caring for my family as god asks us to do looks different than the application stated on the blog. My application would look like this. Let me help you find affordable housing, You are welcome to stay with us for one month. Please provide the dates of arrival and departure. Please bring your TV for your entertainment. We have to continue to work and the TV is disruptive to us. I would be happy to help you find financial consultation
      And keep you accountable to stick to your budget.
      What the sister chooses to do or not do is none of my business. That is on her.
      A marriage is a united separate family and mother and father shall not come between that. This father is behaving in unhealthy demanding, entitled ways. She said he was very difficult. Why is the husband being blamed and nothing is being required of the irresponsible father behavior. Seems like the father wants family benefits without having done any relationship work. This is the same advice that you give married people. There is no difference here. A parent cannot demand and expect whatever treatment they want without doing any relationship work. This is not in god’s design or plan. Adult children are not door mats to irresponsible parents. There are more ways to help someone than letting an unhealthy person destroy your family and relationship because of their demands.
      I hope you find this helpful.

    • Nichole on October 16, 2014 at 5:39 am

      I actually found some disagreement with this response as well, and waited a bit to post a reply. With great joy, I see healthy dialog here, presenting some of my concerns. My perspective is not from that of a counselor, but rather a wife with difficult in laws. Our counselor has even made it clear that what I, or we, really, have experienced has been spiritual abuse, and not just conflict. If my husband was pressuring me to host my in laws in our home for month, I would be anxiety ridden. Perhaps this husband has experienced similar offenses and is trying to protect the well being of his family. Based on my own experience, I do think there could be plenty of alternative solutions such as offering to contribute financially to the sister who is their current caretaker, working together with the sister to provide an assisted living or arrangement elsewhere. If the sister truly needs a break, why not rent a beach house for the week and take them on vacation, outside of the family home. I do better with my in laws when we are on neutral territory because it tends to minimize some power posturing that occurs from my MIL. She is extremely authoritative in her own home and I think her own arguments make her insecure in mine. There are many possibilities that could both provide honor to aging parents in the biblical sense, and still allow the husband to feel secure and as if he is protecting his family from possible manipulation. I suppose I wish the response had included such mutuality and concern for both husband and wife, and I wonder how the response would have been crafted if it was a MIL/DIL conflict. I do dearly love this ministry, though, and have found it as a great source for how to manage my end of this particular trail in my life. Blessings!

      • Leslie Vernick on October 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm

        I do appreciate the dialogue here and there are other valid perspectives and I appreciate you all chiming in on them.

  7. Brenda on September 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Caroline, You do bring up some valid issues and perhaps those questions do need to be thought through. I would have to wonder why there would be such a policy with him as primary beneficiary. I would have taken him off long ago. On the other hand this may be the only way he has to make amends. It is a tough situation no matter what they do.

    • Caroline on September 19, 2014 at 3:42 am

      Brenda, I have no information that indicates any such policy exists at all. I was just pondering other reasons why he might be around. Simply speculating that since life long sponging tendencies have not changed yet , that this man probably continues to make choices from a fairly mercenary point of view. Also, if the sick wife were the victim of the typical mean/sweet cycles of a manipulative narcissistic person then she would most likely not remove him as beneficiary, but feel sorry for him and responsible for his future, just like the daughters seem to. Mainly I’m going off personal experiences. I agree, for the love of mother, it is a very difficult situation.

  8. Brenda on September 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Lisa, From one mom to another, I would take care of my child and he could go fly a kite. If he doesn’t understand the severity of her situation then enjoy the consequences. He could make it easier on you by allowing her to come home while she is on the mend and I pray that she is healed.

  9. Brenda on September 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Caroline, I know what you are saying and all of the things you brought up make it a tougher situation. I was even thinking about it last night that perhaps she could ask her husband if mom could come and leave dad to fend for himself. I did realize through this conversation that I do tend to see the husband as abusive and didn’t stop to realize that in the question his being abusive was not mentioned, only that he didn’t want her parents to come to stay and it was because of her dad. That makes a different ballgame all together. That is a mindset that I need to change. Not ALL men are abusive. There are those that simply care for their own families. I believe God used your input for more than one reason.

  10. Sue on September 19, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I see the validity on both sides of the argument. My question: has the wife sat down with her husband and made decisions with him or not? If she’s not, then I can see how he might feel disrespected. At one point, she mentions that her parents were only going to stay for two months and it ended up being four. That sounds like a boundary issue and disrespectful to both the wife and husband. What a strain on the marriage relationship! My suggestion would be for the wife to sit down with her husband and ask, “if you’re not in agreement with my idea about how to care for my mother, then what is your suggestion? I know you don’t like my father and don’t want to spend any time with him, but I still want to help take care of my mother. How do you see this working?” Sometimes, just asking and taking the time to listen to what our husbands have to say can help bring that defensive wall down, have him open up and be more agreeable to working together to come up with a solution that is acceptable to both the husband and wife.
    Praying your mother gets the love and care she needs.

  11. tawnya on September 19, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Hi, Ladies it sounds like you have been doing your home work as God has moved you from numb and denial to truth and repair! We do have one side here and I have seen men that are godly and have good wisdom as to why they say no. Perhaps like some of the ladies stated that she may have come from a guilted cycle. Have you ever tried to come out from your cycles and then do life with family or friends who are stuck? Love to me has discernment and boundaries. This father in law can have a character about him that with repetition in this husbands home rubs to his wife and kids, while he may have stated boundries this father in law goes against them and brings harm rather then harmony. We are all going to be faced with trials. I have found doing the homework and counting the cost has me in a place of peace. They can sit down together and get outside info on what mom has and the needs that will be addressed. They can also hire someone to come in half time to delegate, so the families still have there priorities covered.The sister could be doing this also on her end. The father can work part time and tend to mothers needs part time and have breaks with sister. no one would have full load. I have even seen that people say they cant afford a rest home, so they buy a trailer outside of the house and care for them with other family members and friends that can come in and help, no having to leave there own door open to the member they cannot trust around their property or children. This is also a great way to still have your life and not be cut off. If you don’t have property, do you have a friend that does and is willing for you to rent the space and hire outside companions or high school students that will be a helper until you reach them after your kids and husband are tended to. It takes away from you having to deal with a large staff and potental abuse from unknown sources. You can hire help and have them background, finger printed and drug tested! Lord there are options and I pray for the communication to be there and willing hearts to explore a balance and a opportunity to have shalom! In Jesus name amen!!

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  13. angela on October 19, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Im 26. I’m living with a boyfriend of 3 years. 3 years ago my mother came to stay with me a few months after my divorce. She’s been sick for quite some time now. My bf lost his apartment and came to stay with us. Well he wasn’t being to nice to my mom so she left and stayed with a friend. 2 months ago things went bad and she went to stay with another friend. She’s been waiting to get social security and can’t work. Its in the trial process. Last week the lady she was staying with was mad that my mom couldn’t work and I was helping out with money weekly to pay her way. Now my mom is homeless and I put her up in a hotel but cant afford to keep her there. I talked to my boyfriend and he likes his privacy and isn’t too great about being supportive and isn’t keeping a job so im stuck with all of the bills and he just got a new job 2 weeks ago. My mother is ill and cant work and he’s giving me a hard time about letting her stay with us until I can get her some help. I don’t know what to do. Hes saying nothing but selfish things all about him. Its not forever. Its temporary and he’s threatening me that this will be a reason why we split up. He doesn’t like that I have a relationship with my mother and I feel its because he didn’t have one with his mother who sent him to stay with his father at 5 years old. On top of that I have a 7 year old boy hes already jealous of and im just losing my mind right now.

    • Leslie Vernick on October 20, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Angela he doesn’t sound like a very loving man to do life with. It seems he’s rather selfish and all about him.

  14. Brenda on October 19, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Angela,
    If your bf wasn’t nice to your Mom in the beginning, why did you allow him to stay. That doesn’t sound like a good situation from the very beginning. If he is not kind to your Mom now, he isn’t going to be later on. That is a big red flag in my book. He is manipulating and controlling you by those threats. That is no way to begin a long term relationship.

    Brenda

  15. Mary on January 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I have been married for about 11 years and with my husband for 15…we share 2 kids, my mother lives with us and while we work she takes care of our kids…she has now been living with us for 5 years. He recently lost his job and is frustrated with practically everything but he continues to state that he’s tired of living with my mother, today my mother is 72 she is healthy but we live in new york and her living on her social security check is nearly impossible. I feel that you do not get rid of people because they are no longer useful to you. I feel that he’s making her the excuse. I love my husband but he lacks consistency and whenever he decided to pick up his things and leave she was always there, without her I would have no one to care for my children and I would not be able to work in the peace that I do. I feel that he is being selfish in every way….

  16. Brenda on January 29, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Mary,
    Your mother should be treated with respect and dignity. Your h wanted her there as long as she was fulfilling his need. If he wants to “pick up his things and go”, LET HIM. Your mother has been good to you and will continue to be. It is his decision to leave and is destructive to your family.

    My daughter and SIL have both said there is a room waiting for me when I retire, which may be sooner than later. They are expecting a baby in February. I can’t even imaging my SIL treating me that way. He is a good man and has treated me as he would his own mother.

    Your h is making a conscious decision to make your mother into the bad guy and she is not. She is a part of your family.
    Brenda

  17. Mary on January 29, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Brenda,

    Thank you so much for your response, there have been times that I have felt confused about all of this because in my eyes he’s my husband he should be understanding to my feelings, and the truth is that if tables were turned i would NEVER do that to him. What example would I be giving my children and to be quite honest I would not be able to live with myself, I would hate him for it. He is my husband and she is my mother I think he’s being cruel in every sense of the word.

  18. Brenda on January 29, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Mary,

    I agree, 100%.

    Brenda

  19. Bee on January 1, 2021 at 1:04 am

    This is terrible advice and goes against what any decent psychotherapist teaches about healthy boundaries. This woman’s #1 priority should be her immediate family (her husband and kids) NOT her parents. Just because this woman’s parents have been financially irresponsible throughout their lives does not mean their adult daughters are obligated to shoulder the burden of caring for them. These women have their own families to support and raise. Lastly, no way would I let my in laws or parents stay with me for several months at a time. That’s insane, and puts a huge stress on the husband and wife relationship. My husband and I live several states away from both our families and the longest we will allow them to visit with us while staying in our home is one week. And our parents would never even ask to stay longer than that because they respect our boundaries and space! This wife needs to stop letting her dad push her guilt buttons and start siding with her husband if she hopes to maintain a happy marriage.

    • LR on March 2, 2021 at 10:35 pm

      Visiting is very different from Illness. For non-Christians your point of view is very matter of fact. But as a Christian we are called to help those in need. This woman’s mother is sick and needs help. She’s not stopping by or a visit. You obviously have a chip on your shoulder maybe from personal experience, but a person in need is a person in need. If God only helped those who were responsible and did the right thing we’d all be SOL!!
      I can relate to this woman. My husband’s mom fell ill and I was right by his side taking shifts to help her bathe, care for her, help her with medication, etc. I saw a person in need and did what I could to help. I knew it would not be forever and my husbands pain was my pain.
      But not everyone is wired that way I suppose.
      Now that my father has fallen ill and need help, I get nothing but anger and resentment from my husband. Definitely not the same response I had with his situation. Frankly I’m shocked and disappointed with his lack of support for me but, like I said, not everyone is wired to be generous and giving.

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