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Need advice on what to do with Mother-in-Law

(33 Posts)
OprahWinfrey Wed 28-Oct-09 20:23:49

My MIL lives in India. She turns 65 soon and has asked to come and live with us. Apparently she can apply for permanent residency when she turns 65. I don't want to live with her. What can I do? I've asked my DH to not apply but he is getting pressure from family and guilt trips from her.

Can I write to the home office explaining that I am not fit to have an elderly MIL to look after as I already have a hard time with ds (3) and on-off depression? My DS is self employed and is never around. She would prefer it if I didn't go back to work and stayed at home to look after her. She has 4 other sons and 2 daughters and they all hate her. Help. Does anyone know what I can do. It's giving me sleepless nights. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

ib Wed 28-Oct-09 20:31:49

Just say no. Your dh will just have to put up with the pressure/guilt. It's your house too and he has no right to impose her on you.

Just say no.

mumblechum Wed 28-Oct-09 20:37:02

Absolutely say no.

It may be the done thing in India but it isn't here. Agree it's your house as much as it is his and so either of you can veto anyone coming into your home.

diddl Thu 29-Oct-09 13:55:03

Well, if the rest of the family is so concerned, they can have her!

Sorry, I know that European culture is different, but shouldn´t it be one of her own daughters looking after her?

If your husband would be the one at home doing the looking after, or if he was an only child, that might be different.

Tortington Thu 29-Oct-09 13:58:05

is he the eldest son?

toilettrouble Thu 29-Oct-09 14:12:31

Really, really don't do this. Explain to your DH that the pressure at the start is just a taster of what is to come, and that all three of you will be miserable. For up to 30 years, too.

I don't know about what the Home Office can and can't do, but they may well want to see someone sponsoring (ie provide food,accomodation,cash) your MIL before they let her into the UK - and you can refuse to do that.

Could you also suggest to your DH that, regardless of personal likes and dislikes, the finances probably won't work. How will your MIL support herself - after all, if the sweet old lady is demanding you give up work to care for her 24/7? Who will provide your missing wage and her upkeep?

Is MIL planning to hop onto a plane because her other six kids won't take her? Or, assuming the other children are based in UK,could you arrange a rota system?

MY deepest sympathies - I know appalling these situations can be. And a bir frightening too. Stick to your guns.

Heated Thu 29-Oct-09 14:12:35

Say no and keep saying it. No. Absolutely not. Never.

Maybe the whole family can club together and pay for a companion for her? As she gets older and needs more personal care it would be more appropriate for her her dds to do it.

DuelingFANGo Thu 29-Oct-09 14:14:50

Say no.

Or tell your husband it'llo be him who is looking after her.

diddl Thu 29-Oct-09 14:29:26

If he is the oldest son,I can see it might be seen as his responsibility.

But I find it really hard to think she would rather be looked after by a DIL than her own daughter.

That suggests to me that she doesn´t want care, but someone to wait on her.
Please excuse if I am totally wrong with that.

ZZZenAgain Thu 29-Oct-09 14:33:15

are any of her children near where she currently lives?

If you don't want to do this, I suppose difficult as it is, you have to make it clear now, what will you do if she comes and you can't cope with it?

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 29-Oct-09 14:42:43

Just say no and keep repeating the word no.
As hard as it is for you and her son to say no this is what you need to do.

I would seek separate advice from the Home Office Immigration people about her apparantly being able to apply for permanent residency when 65. I do not think you will find that this is the case at all. I also think your MIL just wants to use you as someone to look after her in her dotage. It is therefore not surprising that she sees you both as her ticket out given the grinding poverty that so much of India has.

mathanxiety Thu 29-Oct-09 16:51:40

So glad I am now divorced, as exMIL had the same idea and expressed it often (and she wasn't even Indian). She couldn't bear the idea of going into a nursing home. I couldn't bear the idea of having to take her in, even on a temporary, rotating basis.

Not only would it be bad for you, but your MIL is proposing to try to settle in a foreign country in old age, where she has no friends or social outlets, only you and your family unit. She is at high risk of becoming depressed and suffering health problems. Say NO and say it often.

allok Thu 29-Oct-09 18:08:42

If he's the eldest son then I'm afraid it comes with territory - but from her point of view and that of dh's culture.

My mum is Indian and is the most funky independent person I know - I love and depend on her. But it depends on mil. My mil - from a southern european country is like this and is very dependent when she comes here and hates UK culture- we live in a flat luckily although she thinks is great to stay here for months on end thus turning our two bed flat into a bedsit. She drains my life blood when she's around and it means ds cannot have friends around. She doesn't care.

Keep saying no - if this is something your dh won't entertain then can he put her in a residential home here say for 6 months of the year, near your home and she spend 6 monhs in India with other relatives. Quite honestly if she's that old and infirm and if she has limited english she'd hate living here as she'd lose her freedom. If you said, OK come over for 6 months only and you continue to work, or if not working, just live your life, she'd feel marginalised and probably want to go back home where she'd probably have a much better life.

What is mil like? Depends. What I find hard with my mil is that she's very scared (also in her country) a country bumbkin to the point she almost has the bit of straw in her mouth, she is xenophobic and homophobic (I'm about to post about a bit of an issue with ds and nail varnish) and the only way to make her feel comfy is to do things her way - sorry but it dooesn;t fit with London or UK life).

Depends on mil.

What does your dh think? This may not work for you or her.

vickyj52 Fri 30-Oct-09 12:02:20

i feel for you because my in-laws are also indian and it has always been expected that they would live with us eventually as DH the eldest son, they live in this country but are a couple of hours drive away which means that they will visit for 2/3 weeks at a time (usually unannounced).

This has caused prolems between DH and me in the past but now (after 10 years of marriage) we seem to be able to deal with this and have all realised that them living with us permanently just wouldn't work.

I have also realised that DH isn't being deliberately nasty and not understanding to me but is in fact caught in the middle where he feels that he should be there for his parents but also needs to support his DW. So it is a delicate situation.

Has she ever been to the UK - if not she would probably hate it anyway. Why not suggest a temporary visit so that she can see whats involved.

i have always found that when they come it is best to carry on with my life as normal, obviously be as accomodating as possible but let them do a bit of cooking, cleaning etc. So that they realise you are not going to be a servant and have a life too.

You never know she may be really helpful most elderly people from india are very fit and healthly i have found.

i think you need to sit down with DH and say that a temporary visit would be OK but then you should take it from there, i have found being open and honest is the best policy. Sorry this is loooooong

anonymous85 Fri 30-Oct-09 14:18:18

God I would hate that lol Goodluck!!

anonymous85 Fri 30-Oct-09 14:22:17

Like all the others - say no. Don't agree on the sake of guilt. You have your own family now. Good chance you'd set yourself up for a miserable life with her being there 24/7

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 30-Oct-09 14:38:32

Say no no no no no!

I don't care if your husband is the eldest, keep saying no! If the other children hate her, you and he will quickly appreciate why this is if she comes to live with you. It will drive you to divorce.

OprahWinfrey Mon 02-Nov-09 01:19:18

DH isn't the eldest. His 2 other elder brothers hate MIL. The eldest son and DIL do not speak to MIL at all (They live in the UK). The second eldest DIL who used to live with MIL recently just walked out and left a letter to say she couldn't bear living with MIL anymore as she caused her rift with her DH and spiralling depression. (This is true...I'm not making this stuff up!) My brother in law blames his mum. He has a 5 year old daughter to look after by himself now.

Because my DH has been the one sympathising with his mum through all her woes and battling against his brothers and sisters, he is the one now left holding the baby so to speak. I've stated the obvious but my DH seems to think that he can't abandon her. She came over last year to visit and she is a real piece of work! She has dh convinced that she adores me and that we would get on just fine. Gulp. I don't even speak the language. The thought just makes my stomach churn. DH is stuck also as the only one who could take her. The only way I thought was if the Home office would refuse entry? I'm so stuck.

TrippleBerryFairy Mon 02-Nov-09 10:41:57

Does not sound good at all. She will cause nothing but trouble therefore if you want to avoid that - scream NO! If your DH wants her here so badly let him rent her a flat and take care of her himself. You are not her daughter and even if you was the expectation that you will give up your job/ life to look after her is WRONG and selfish beyond belief!!! You have your own family and kids and they are the priority, you don't owe her anything!

Since you are not sure about what the rules are re her esindency here - investigate! Find out exactly what the law is and whether there are any conditions for her comming here. Call the Home Office and ask for advice... don't think they would stop your MIL comming to this country just because her family hates her but knowing the situation they might be able to advise you.

If I was you I'd do anything even give the ultimatum to DP: her or me. She sounds really really bad and you are not being unreasonable wanting to protect your family.

OprahWinfrey Mon 02-Nov-09 10:59:57

Thank you all for advice. I think the only thing to do is really say NO. I was trying to avoid a huge argument. Stay tuned .....

Aussieng Mon 02-Nov-09 11:10:53

Hi, the visa in question is a UK dependancy visa.

TBH if your MIL applies for this visa and your son sponsors her, I do not think that there is not a huge amount you could do with regard to the home office if he has the finances etc to support her (financially).

65 is not really that elderly - will she really need caring for (in the sense of you having to give up work and look after her)? If so then, if you are refusing to do this then you might have more influence on the visa application unless your DH could afford to pay for care.

The best way to sort this out is with your DH, not through the Home Office. As others have said, just make it clear that you are saying "NO". Let your DH tell her that you have said no - then he gets to stay the good son and presumably you do not care what she thinks of you as a DIL.

Aussieng Mon 02-Nov-09 11:11:27

x-posts. Good luck!

diddl Mon 02-Nov-09 11:14:00

If he doesn´t say no-make him look after her-or move out!

TrippleBerryFairy Mon 02-Nov-09 11:44:30

You say you are 'trying to avoid a huge argument'. You don't have much choice- you either have a massive row now or such huge arguments will very likely become an everyday event if she comes over!

Sorry to say this but your DH must be stupid blind if after what she has done to his brothers' families he still thinks of bringing her here. He is being a bastard very selfish thinking he can just dump her on you - I bet he would not be looking after her as he is constantly away. She'll become your responsibility.

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