My husband and I have been together for 14 years, married for 10. Early on in our marriage, my father suffered from multiple strokes, I was 26 at the time and was still early on in my career path as a teacher. I discussed the situation regarding my father with my husband and asked if it would be possible for us to live off one income for a time.
My husband ran the numbers and, with some minor tweaks, it was 100% possible. I was torn but ended up ultimately choosing to do just that. While it was nice being able to care for and spend time with my father, being a caregiver utterly broke me as a person. But, I had committed, so I saw it to the end. My father passed away 4 years ago.
My MIL had a stroke in 2020, and my FIL passed away in 2021. My MIL has gotten worse and my husband wants to take off work. But, he logically knows it is not possible without making some major cuts. I do not even make a quarter of what he makes. The problem is he has currently been paying for his mother's care, but it is extremely expensive.
My husband asked the impossible of me and asked if I would be willing to quit my job. He offered some support, and he said he would still pay for care but at a reduced cost. Since, yes the cost of care did nearly exceed what I make in a year.
I told my husband I was not comfortable with that option and he got kind of upset with me. He brought up how I was able to care for my father because of him. I tried to explain that is unfair and the situation is very different.
I had barely started my career, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I am established in a school I love, and I also know exactly what this entails and I do not want to go through that again. He asked what I suggested, I told him he knew exactly what his only option was.
He was furious and said he did not once suggest that regarding my father, and he is correct; he did not. I apologized but said that, for my mental health, I cannot be a caregiver again. Financially, he knows he cannot sustain paying for her care. He will need to put her in a nursing home. I explained that, for now, we need to think about her safety rather than her comfort.
Understandably, he was p*ssed but he knows this is the case. Once again, he kept bringing up the fact I was able to do what I wanted for my father because of him, and I did not appreciate him taking a jab at my career choice. He threw my line back at me regarding what is logical. He said, if I made more money, he would be able to do what I did.
AITA here? I empathize with his situation, and I wish I could go through caregiving again, but I cannot. I feel it is unfair of him to throw what I was able to do because of him back in my face. I feel betrayed and need some advice.
Are you in the US? Tell husband to contact social services and ask them if there’s any resources. Some places have adult day care where they can go all day and then come home late afternoon/evening.
Some states also offer a Medicaid waiver called the home and community based waiver that provides so many hours of in home care. In my state, some people got 40 hours. It’s cheaper to keep people out of a nursing home but social services can help your husband determine if that’s an option.
Unless that's what you do for an occupation at a facility, never agree to be a caretaker. It's soul-sucking as you already know. Explain that to your husband.
I can understand your husband’s feelings about the situation, but I don’t blame you at all. Being a caregiver is HARD - and you know that definitively now. If you know that you can’t go through it again, that is entirely legitimate. NTA.
I've been a caregiver and I completely understand why you say you can't do it again. It does break you. A week or two after my mother died, I got a call from one of her friends asking me if I would be interested in taking a job as a caregiver for someone she knew who needed one.
I completely lost it on her; I was gobsmacked that anyone would think I'd ever want to be put in that position again. So I get where you are coming from, believe me. But your husband also has a point here.
This is a hard one, but you two need to sit down and seriously talk this out -- maybe with the help of a therapist since this is such a fraught situation. I don't know what the solution is, but you need to find one that you can both live with. I think your marriage depends on it. Good luck.
I almost wrote N A H. Then I read your comments. You are not willing to consider any options for the sake of your husband. He sacrificed for you without question. I totally don’t blame you for not wanting to be the primary caregiver.
1. Move to a smaller 2 bedroom home in a lower COL area. Yes, you’d have to learn to drive.
2. Your husband could reduce hours to part time and work weekends while you continue your work full time. Surely you could assist your MIL some.
3. You could move MIL in with you and stop paying for her apartment.
YTA. You keep shooting every idea down. Your husband is having a crisis right now. He has seen nursing homes. He does not want that for his mother. His wife’s answer? Sucks to be you.
You win, reddit. I am a POS. Sorry that I work a tough job and want to be able to enjoy little pleasures afforded because I do work. Having the ability to spend and enjoy your money is good for your mental health and helps reduce burnout, especially as a teacher. We need our small pleasures.
So, yes, my fun money is important. Without that, I would have burnt out from the grind. Working without having anything to show for it is not good for work-life balance.
This situation is different, my husband did not have to give up much he was able to enjoy his hobbies. He has always been a minimalist type of person. Give him a model kit and he is happy for hours.
I accept my judgment. I am a selfish POS, but I am not sorry. Caregiving is hell, and working and having nothing to show for it is a quick way down a very depressing road. I like I can buy the things I want.
Say we move her in. He is a doctor. Who do you think the care will fall on? Me. So, forgive me if I refuse to put myself in any situation where I am 100% reliant on another person, or in a situation where I end up having to provide care. I want to enjoy my house. That cannot be done when the person you are caring for lives with you. Your home becomes a prison cell, a place you want to avoid at all costs.
I get that my husband would love to care for his mom, and he is great at it. Reality is harsh, she is a female, and he is a male. Certain things she will not feel comfortable with him doing, so that means I will have to do it it when the aids are not on the clock. I want my home to be a place I enjoy to be, not dread. That is what caregiving does. So yeah, I am a POS.