Ok, so my husband and I got married on March 15 2013. We'd been together for a bit more than a year before we got married. We've lived with his parents for little less than a year now and its been horrible. So, I'm really asking for help on how to deal with the situations I am subjected to every day...

My mother in law is a control freak. She dwells on things that happened in the past that for whatever reason, she just can't let go of. She is cruel to her husband, and he isn't so nice to her either. The worst part about the whole situation is the arguing and fighting that goes on day in and day out. Not one day goes by without my mother in law and father in law fighting. All the screaming that goes on here is really ridiculous. Recently, we were sitting at the dinner table, talking calmly, and she just stood up, slapped my father in law across the face, and began yelling at him about something that happened almost 20 years ago, then proceeded to attempt to slap him more, but I stood up and told her to keep her hands to herself Of course, that really did it. She then stated screaming at me that I have no idea what he has done to her over the past few years. He had mismanaged money, and she will never let him live it down. But I told her I didn't care what he had done, she has no right to hit him. Did I say these people are in their 80's?? Oh I guess I didn't. Howard (my father in law) is 85 and Donna (my mother in law) is 82. Donna is seriously losing her mind I think. She just starts yelling and getting hysterical for no apparent reason, almost daily. It's so hard to deal with, and I can't really do anything to help. My husband won't let me call the police because the last time I did, the police threatened to take us to jail for elder abuse! I was like WTF?! How do you get elder abuse out of me calling because Donna was about to really get hurt because Howard had enough of her crap.

I'm just totally at a loss for what to do, and living here in the middle of it all is really hard. Knowing that there is nothing that I really can do to improve the situation is the hardest part. I think I'm going to have a psychiatric provider come out and evaluate the situation. Maybe that will get both Donna and Howard some kind of help and sanity...

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Comment by Melvinotis on May 21, 2013 at 9:33pm
Violence is an early indicator of Alzheimer's disease. You might want to check that out, if poNewlywedsIf you and your husband are not caregivers of these two people,you might want to consider moving out. Couples are not meant to live together in my humble opinion. Especially newlyweds. The benefits of living together cannot outweigh the negatives.

If you are the caregivers try to spend as much time as you can away from them. Stressors happen even if you are not aware of them, and they can damage both sets of relationships.
Comment by Strega on May 21, 2013 at 9:40pm

Why are you living there?

Comment by Jennifer Click on May 22, 2013 at 12:47am
Yes, my first thought in reading your post (besides feeling bad for having to live in and deal with these circumstances), is it sounds like she is dealing with common symptoms of Alzheimer's. as a mental health practitioner and a daughter of a father who had early onset Alzheimer's this would fit the bill.
Comment by Stutz on May 22, 2013 at 3:20am

I agree with Melvinotis & Jennifer, it sounds like it could be the early stages of some form of dementia. I'm not in any way qualified to offer an opinion on whether it could be Alzheimers, but I did some maintenance work in a dementia ward one summer, and this type of behavior is not uncommon. They may need professional assistance. If they were in their 60s or even 70s I might not say that, but they're at that age that it's a potential concern.

Has your husband mentioned that this is new or worse than before, or have they always been so volatile?

Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on May 22, 2013 at 8:03pm

I'm going with the crowd, here. 

She needs to be evaluated by a doctor. 

Even if this is normal behavior for her (and your husband could probably answer that.) The best thing you can do is get it documented that there is domestic violence going on in that home between your in-laws. 

Because otherwise, you are leaving yourself wide open for abuse charges, yourself. 

Sadly, the numbers are against you. When the elderly get admitted for signs and symptoms of battery, it's usually their caretakers to blame. 

You need to protect yourself and your husband first and foremost. 

See if there are any resources available to you in your area. I'd be happy to look stuff up, if you need the help. 

It really sucks that your first year of marriage is being spent in a horrible environment. I can't imagine how scary that must be for you, or how psychologically damaging. 

If it is a deteriorating condition, remember that it's a disease and they are not to blame. 

If she's just an evil old woman, just use her as an example of what NOT to be. 

Best of luck. 

I'm here if you ever want to email and vent. 

Comment by Missy Hollingsworth on June 8, 2013 at 12:38pm

You know what's really sad? Adult Protective Services (APS) has been out to the house several times now and Howard has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, so APS wants to have a psychiatric evaluation on Donna, which I already knew they would want one, but she refuses to do it. She told the lady that came out that she is just fine, and her memory is perfect and she's the one who holds the whole house together... and APS cannot force her to have the evaluation. I wish they could. At this point, my husband and I will have to go to the courts to attempt to get a power of attorney for financial and medical decisions.

Sometimes it's hard to remember that she is old, and she may possibly have cognitive problems, when she refuses to take care of herself or have the required testing done to get her help. She insists there is nothing wrong with her, but it's obvious to everyone else that there is some kind of issue.

So, my husband and I do the best we can to take care of them, and love them, and make sure they have everything they need. I know I couldn't do this without him, and he says he could never do it without me. We support each other and that is what's important!~

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