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'AITA for telling my husband to put his chronically ill mother in a nursing home?'

'AITA for telling my husband to put his chronically ill mother in a nursing home?'


"AITA for telling my husband to put his chronically ill mother in a nursing home?"


My (30F) husband (32M) is the sole caregiver to my chronically ill mother-in-law. He leaves first thing in the morning and spends the majority of his days at her house, cleaning, cooking, taking her shopping, to appointments, etc.

He comes home for a few hours and then has to return to her house at night time. He’s currently unemployed due to this and, since her income is too high, she doesn’t qualify for any programs that would be a family member.

We have young children and I work a full time job on top of being a full time student. Lately, I’ve had no help whatsoever around the house or with the kids. I’m left to do everything on my own while trying to keep up with work and my schoolwork.

We have other family members willing to help with my mother-in-law, but she refuses any help that’s not from her son. She doesn’t suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or anything else that could affect her cognitive abilities or make her incapable of making sound decisions.

My husband has 2 children from a previous relationship that he has a child support obligation too and hasn’t made payments due to being unemployed. I cannot afford to make the payments.

My mother-in-law on the other hand has more money than she knows what to do with. We asked her if she could pay him x amount of dollars per month to at least pay his support obligation while he’s caring for her to which she flat out refused.

Aside from the financial burden, our marriage is starting to crumble. I couldn’t tell you the last time we had breakfast together, went on a date, or were intimate. If we do try to make plans, his mother wants to tag along because she’s tired of sitting in the house and takes great offense when she’s told that we would like to spend time together, alone.

Last night after an extremely long and stressful work week he finally came home and locked himself in our bedroom to scroll through TikTok. This was after I worked a 50 hour week, caught myself up on a mountain of overdue assignments, all while caring for children with the stomach flu.

He told me he needed some alone time and I finally lost it. I told him that I can’t do it anymore and he can either put his mother in a nursing home or I’m leaving. I do feel bad for saying it out loud, but I’m so stressed and tired. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA They cynic in me thinks your husband's mother is monopolizing his time in the hopes you ask him to leave and he's has no where else to go by Mama's house. You need to give yourself some time to think things over and let your husband know what you will and will not tolerate moving forward.

He's not pulling his weight in your household, with your children or in your marriage. You and your children deserve better. If things don't change, you need to evaluate what is your next move because you are living like a single mother with a full time job going to school and juggling all of these responsibilities by yourself.


NTA. Your MIL sounds selfish and knows exactly what she's doing and she doesn't care. She does not care about you or your kids or her other 2 grandkids. The fact she won't pay him or help pay his child support (he's unemployed so he can spend all this time with her) is proof that she just wants him all day every day. In fact, she'd like it if he were single and moved in.

I can understand snapping because you've had enough. I bet you he's also exhausted from having to be her caregiver 24/7. He needs to learn boundaries or else he's headed for burn out and divorce.

It's unfair to your marriage and to your kids that he has no time or energy. He doesn't even have time to himself. He's failing as a father and a spouse. The only person who's winning here is his mom.

Talk to him about your feelings AND your concern for him. You are a team and he's not acting like it. He needs to make choices that are best for himself and his family. His mom can afford home care or a posh independent living facility. Your marriage depends on him being able to prioritize his wife and kids.


Nta- your husband just assumes you'll keep doing it because you have been. I'd give him one week to decide. If at the end of the week, he is still behaving this way, on his way out to his mother's, tell him, " Take your shit with you, you're not welcome back in this home. You've turned me single mom anyway, and showed me I don't need you anymore, so thanks."


Nursing home is not the answer if she is able to go shopping, out to appointments, etc. It sounds like maybe assisted living instead? You could always move her in with you. I know, not really an answer.

If your husband refuses to consider other options, you may not have a choice. Was he always so submissive to his mother or easily controlled? Does he feel guilty because she seems so dependent?

My brother and I slowly became caregivers for my parents but we were much older. He's divorced and my husband is retired. One of my adult sons lived nearby and helped out at times.

We ended up having to hire a caregiver because my brother and I worked fulltime and couldn't be there to do all that was needed. If your mil has lots of money she can afford to hire a helper for meals, housekeeping, transport etc.

Your husband needs to put his family first but if he is unable or unwilling to do so, it seems you don't have a choice. If he doesn't pay his child support he will end up in court. How will that help his mother if after hearing after hearing he gets his driver's license revoked and spends 30 days in jail?

You're stressed and tired and I get that. Can you now apologize for losing it but tell him you two need to have a come to Jesus talk? She refuses help from others because she knows he will do it if she does.

Firm limits have to be set with her, let the chips fall where they may, she'll have to get used to it. But again, a nursing home is not the answer. A "rehab" center--glorified nursing home--killed my mother and two other elderly people I know.

They are usually hell for the person consigned to them. Assisted living can be pleasant and allow the person to remain independent while still helping them with things they can't do for themselves. or a home helper. There are plenty of agencies and freelancers even in the most rural of areas. You just have to thoroughly vet them.

There is no good easy answer unless you can somehow hypnotize your mil into letting someone else help so her son can have a life again. I say hypnotize because if what you are describing is true, she will not listen to reason and does not care about the emotional toll her behavior is having on her son and both his families. I hope I'm wrong. I wish you the best.


NTA. This arrangement is not sustainable, and will screw your husband in the long term with his missed child support payments. Does your husband not see how terrible the situation is? You both sound miserable.

He needs to stop being the primary caregiver. She can afford live-in care by the sounds of it. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Hopefully he will come to his senses before you are out the door.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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