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Wife refuses to let MIL with dementia move in; family calls her selfish. AITA?

Wife refuses to let MIL with dementia move in; family calls her selfish. AITA?


"AITA for wanting to leave my husband because he wishes to move in his mother with dementia?"


This is not exactly an easy post to write. I have been married for 8 years, and my husband and I are in our late 20s. His mother had him late in life. She is currently 68 and has been showing signs of dementia for the last two years, and she was recently officially diagnosed.

My MIL does not have much to her name, and both my husband and I do very well for ourselves, my husband wishes to have his mother move in with us, and I am against it. While it may sound harsh, I did not sign up to share a home with either of our parents. I have no desire to become a caregiver, and I want to have children someday. Raising a child while living with someone with dementia sounds like hell.

I truly do love my husband, but the truth is I know him. If we take his mother in, he will be so focused on her that I will become an afterthought. I know this makes me sound petty and jealous, but I cannot keep up with his mother.

His focus will be on her and rightfully so. Over the past year I have joined support groups, and read forums regarding this topic and to be honest, it looks like it hardly works out.

My parents understandably thought I was being unreasonable, stating I made a vow to be with him. My friends understand, and my husband is simply devastated. Nothing is official I just brought the idea up.

My husband was pleading with me, telling me we would be different from others, but a part of me just did not see it. I do not want to put my life on hold. She is healthy outside of dementia. She has no other health issues, which means she can easily live another 20 years.

My husband will never put her in a nursing home, and if he did, it would be private pay so that is a major financial commitment. I am torn. I love this man, and I know he loves me, but at the same time he loves his mother. He will wear himself out trying to love both of us equally. It is just not possible for him.

My brother told me he was disappointed in me, and questioned if I would do the same with our parents. I think I would; you only get one life. My family and my husband's feelings are making me question and second-guess what I want. Lay it on heavy Reddit.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


My dad had Alzheimer’s. During the last few years of his life, there was no safe way for my mom to care for him. It would have required her to be awake and alert 24 hours a day. It was incredibly difficult for her to make the decision to have him spend his last few years in a nursing home but it was the ONLY realistic option to keep my dad safe and to allow my mom to sleep at night.


Both my grandmothers had dementia. It is physically impossible for a single person to be a 24 hr caregiver in late stage dementia. It jsut is. There HAS to be a plan for the long term.


It may be an unpopular opinion but I would put her in a nearby assisted living/memory care facility. They are like apartments with staff to provide extra care. They make friends have shared meals and activities. You all can visit whenever you like and she can always come for a visit.

You definitely need to carefully read reviews and visit the place. Ask others around how their experience is there. There are amazing places though. I know three very happy customers from different areas who absolutely loved living there. NAH.


I took care of my then husband's (now ex husband's) grandmother with dementia while, raising our children, foster kids and working full time with fire/ EMS and I can promise it will eat you alive. My ex was absolutely useless for helping with the kids or grandma.

All he saw was his sweet wonderful grandmother while I got the sh*t, the vomit, the sleepless nights and endless amounts of snarky comments from his useless, drunk aunt. In theory, it should be a beautiful thing to help take care of our older family members however reality is rarely a thing of beauty. Best of luck but I don't see it going well if you end up being a care giver for your MIL.


Sundowning is terrible, and patients can become violent. That is not a good environment to raise kids in. Especially small kids. My grandmother had dementia and sundowned terribly.

My aunts kids were older, but still suffered. They heard her screaming, calling my aunt names, telling police who were called to the house she was abusing her and was a prostitute. I've already told my daughter if I got dementia and didn't take myself out before I got too bad, put me in a home.


My mom finally put my dad into care. By time she did it, I think she hated him. It wasn’t his fault, and she expected him to be able to do things he just couldn’t do. Finally she realized it just wasn’t safe having him in the house, he was wandering at night so she wasn’t getting any sleep.

I think it was harder on mom than dad when he went into care. Of course he kept saying he wanted to go home, but he was talking about the house he grew up in 60+ years earlier. NTH. It’s very difficult without outside help.

So, do you think this OP is being selfish or does she have a right to have control over her own life?

Sources: Reddit
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