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Son & his family want to stay with us until he finds another house. Worried about how to deal with this given our situation.

Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

As discussed on other threads I have been struggling with anxiety,  depression & exhaustion while caring for my husband who is blind & has a chronic illness which has led to frequent episodes of illness. In desperation I rang for help last week & arranged for a carer to assist so I could go away for a couple of days on a family camp over Easter. Unfortunately I developed a stomach bug so haven't been well since coming home on Sunday so fatigue is still a major problem. My husband has gone away for 5 nights with MDA & I promised I would try to rest & recover while he is away.

Today my son rang to say they had to move out of their house on Friday & have nowhere to live so can they stay with us. We downsized a few years ago due to my husband's condition so there is little room for 2 adults & a 2yr old & 11mth old. I feel like I'm in a no win situation. If I say no they have nowhere to live so I'm a terrible parent. My son also has a history of depression & has only recently started work again after a long period of being too unwell to work & being suicidal. If I agree to have them I can't rely on them to stick to any agreements. DIL is good at promising but never follows through. I find her very stressful. She yells at her son frequently which I find upsetting. They are both very messy & I would find it hard to prepare meals due to her mess. Having them here will also make it impossible to keep the house in a suitable state to ensure my husband's safety given his blindness.  Tiredness tends to lead to my husband becoming ill putting extra pressure on me. I don't know what to do.  

75 Replies 75

Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
My older son's wife would leave if her SIL came to stay & they have no spare room. I haven't told ny husband yet as he is away with MDA to give me some respite!!! I tried ringing re crisis accommodation for homeless people but they can't provide any advice to me. I wouldn't mind so much if it were any of the other children but they would never get into this situation. I think I'm trying to bury my head in the sand hoping it will go away as I can't cope any other way.

Hi Elizabeth, this situation is not going to resolve itself. You're going to have to 'come out fighting'. Your son and DIL are grown adults, it's up to them to get themselves out of this situation. If you didn't have the house, they'd have to. Just tell them straight out, it's not convenient. Okay, they may bluster, rage, etc, that's their problem. Don't take their problem on, it's theirs. You have enough to contend with. How long is your hubby away? About 12 years ago, my ex's two sons, their wives and one g'child landed on our doorstep. We knew they were coming, we only had 3 bedrooms (small at that). They were there 2 of the longest weeks of our life. Because my ex hadn't seen them for over 20 years, we accepted the situation. Luckily, the eldest DIL realised how cramped we were and said if they came again, they wouldn't expect us to put them up. Both my ex and I agreed never again, and, on that, we have agreed. Even though we are now separated, I know he would never have anyone stay with him again. Your son really should know better, does he realise how sick his father is? Maybe a note from a Dr advising against, might save the day. Your Dr knows the situation, see if you can get him to help. Tell your son the Dr advised against.

Hugs to you Elizabeth.....

I was just reading your thread. Yes sometimes it is hard to say no. It has something to do with boundaries or something. Do you think it will take a while for them to find another house?

Anyway my mum and dad allowed my brother and his wife to live in their garage, while my brother built his house. I am pretty sure it worked out. They had privacy as well as there own separate space. My brother just used his own furniture and stuff. So he didn't have to pay for storage or anything. Anyway they made the garage into almost like a little granny flat. They cooked there meals as well in the garage, using portable appliances.

Would this be an option Elizabeth? Do you have a garage?

Much love

Shell xx

The garage is not really suitable. It isn't well sealed & the floor slopes. There isn't much room & I don't want to do anything to encourage them to stay longer than absolutely necessary. We actually chose a small house when we moved to ensure they couldn't fit as we were concerned that this might happen. My concern is if I say no this could tip my son over the edge as he has only just recovered enough to be able to work. He has a history of depression & can become suicidal. This would make me even more stressed.

Hi Elizabeth. Sorry if this sounds hard. Your sons mental state is not your concern, it's his wife's concern. It sounds as though they're pushing all the emotional buttons here, stick to your guns. If your son goes downhill, advise him to see his Dr for referral to a psych. You need to look after you and hubby. Your son is a grown man with wife and children, I know it's hard when mental health issues are involved, but your and hubby's health are more your concern. It sounds as though your son doesn't care about your state of health either. I'm really sorry for your predicament, but 'tough love' is what's needed here. Why can't they see a real estate agent about temporary renting, there are 100's of options open to them. They seem to be looking for the 'easy' way out.

All the advice you are receiving here points in the same direction. I agree with Pipsy, you are being considered the easy way out and being taken advantage off. In spite of all warning signs and advice, it is entirely up to you whether you let it happen or make a tough but wise decision.

No one can do this for you but we're here for you.

I wish I could say I disagreed with all your advice. I appreciate your thoughts & support. It helps knowing others believe I'm not being unreasonable or selfish feeling like I do. I don't feel like I could cope with the consequences of saying no. I'm currently coping by burying my head in the sand as much as possible to give myself some respite before they come. I think they are staying elsewhere over the weekend. I'm planning to not make it too comfortable for them to stay longer than absolutely necessary. I will need every bit of strength to be able to stand up for my rights once she arrives. I tend to avoid confrontations with her because it is too distressing & it is impossible for me to speak to my son without her butting in. I will speak to my psychologist to get some help working out suitable strategies to deal with things. He understands what she is like.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Elizabeth, I'm not sure that the consequences of saying no are actually tangible. The only consequence you've been able to list is that your son might (might) have his mental health negatively impacted. But as Pipsy has said, you aren't responsible for this. It's clear from your post above that they have other accomodation options open to them, so you can't even take responsibility for 'turning them out in the street'.

On the other hand, the consequences of saying yes are littered throughout this thread, in fact, they were the whole purpose of your original post.

Burying your head in the sand will not solve this problem. It's not respite, it's avoidance. You could solve all this with a single phone call, but you appear to have made your decision.

It's good that you will be talking to your psychologist. It may be worth asking... and I really hope you take this in the spirit it is intended... about 'martyr complex'. I was this person in my family for many years, the person who never said no and was taken advantage of. Why did I let this keep happening? I eventually realised in therapy that I was choosing to suffer because I believed it was somehow noble, I had such low self-esteem that I could only feel worthy by sacrificing myself for others. I couldn't live with the drama, but I couldn't see what I was worth without it.

Every time you fail to say no and set boundaries, I believe you are feeding this beast.

Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

They told me they had no other options for accommodation. They told me they couldn't stay with her parents because her 2 year old upsets her brother who is autistic but they are staying there for the weekend. I am unsure how that is working. None of my other children are willing or able to accommodate them. It is easy for others to tell me to say 'no' but I need to come up with alternative suggestion to make because otherwise they have nowhere to go. Her mother is caring for a disabled husband & 2 disabled children/adults. I am trying to deal with a bad situation in the only way I feel able.

I need strategies to cope rather than being made to feel it is my fault because I'm not doing what others think I should do. I feel bad enough about myself without being made to feel worse. I know people are trying to help but it is now pulling me down.

Sorry all the advice is making you feel bad. It never intended to.

Your first post on this thread lists all the negatives that you fear would come out of your acceptance to help. Your other thread let us know that you are at the end of your tether and needing respite. Forgive us if our concern for your wellbeing only makes you feel worse.

I understand that at the moment you do not have the inner resources to say "no". It is not your fault. That's just the way it is , no blame attached to it. But please understand our confusion. If your decision is made and the situation is a given...what is the purpose of your thread ? What kind of support are you after ? What can we do for you ?