Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Looking for help with wife's family

Community Member

Recently married for second time. (55yrs old)- to a wonderful women.  Before we got married- i knew she still maintains care of her parents (both 85) - I agreed to stay in her home and help as well- I live a mile away in a house i purchased- Before the wedding- she still lived in parents house with her older adult children as well.  Her parents don't need 24/7 care- they are both able to get around and for the most part healthy- We are a mile away-  We live this "hybrid" marriage in that- she still feels the need to sleep in her home 3 days a week- I don't mind for most part- but it gets a little overwhelming for me to have to share the time-  it's part of her guilt with her parents- Is it wrong for me to feel this way?

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Guest_73735492,


A very warm and caring welcome to our forums….


Guilt is a very strong emotion/ feeling to have to live with, I know because I live with a lot of guilt from my younger self….Do you know why your beautiful wife feels guilty and feels she needs to spend 3 nights at her parents house?…I’m thinking maybe a sit down talk with her so you can tell her how you feel overwhelmed about it….


You say you’re just recently married, and before you both got married that your now wife was living with her parents and caring for them…it might be that after living so long with them, it’s hard for her to just completely move out…it might take her some time to do that…especially if she is the only one caring for her parents…Is it possible you could also spend those nights with her at her parents home….maybe she is afraid that something might happen to them….or that they are unable to care for themselves properly…because they are getting on in years..


My kindest thoughts dear Guest…






Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Feelings can't easily be classified as right or wrong.
If we feel a certain way it is because circumstances (real, presumed, or imaginary) lead us in that direction.


The tricky bit is going back a step or two to isolate the source of those feelings to that point where things first started to skew - or, more specifically, where what one initially believed to have been accepted with eyes wide open, has either lost its appeal or was anticipated as being only a temporary arrangement.


And this applies equally to both of you, where your suffering may be more from sympathising with what your wife is dealing with. A discussion with her to acknowledge that help is needed, might chart a course for the benefit of all in the longer term.

Perhaps with a little carer support (help with daily tasks) in place for her parents, you could 'renegotiate' 3 days down to 1 or 2; or you might even try to arrange respite care (either 'in home' or through an aged care facility) while you both have a holiday to start getting her used to the idea of separating from what will only become more demanding over time.

The expression: "Love me, love my dog" comes to mind where, in order to find acceptance with the latter, one must first embrace the conditions of the former regardless; but that does not preclude you from expressing concerns and support for her wellbeing and, naturally, for the health of your relationship.


Community Member

Feeling this way doesn't make you wrong or selfish; it's natural to have mixed emotions in a situation where you're balancing your relationship with your wife and her caregiving responsibilities. However, it might be helpful to have open and honest conversations with your wife about how you're feeling. Expressing your feelings calmly and respectfully can lead to a better understanding between both of you.

You could discuss potential compromises or adjustments that could make the situation more manageable for both of you. This might include finding ways to ensure quality time together, reevaluating the caregiving schedule, or exploring other forms of support for her family parents that could alleviate some of the pressure.