MIL has cancer

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March 25, 2018

She's had it for a couple years. Treatment helped but it's now progressing again. Wife wants her to move in with us so she can take care of her. Seems like a reasonable and compassionate thing to do but I don't want her to move in and then live another 10 years.

My possible responses

  1. hard no.
  2. yes, but only if you're her hospice nurse. In other words, when she's terminal and it's clear she only has months to live or can't do normal things on her own.
  3. yeah sure, the more the merrier.

I'm going with #2 when she brings it up again. Do you guys have any thoughts on MILs moving in in general and in a special case like end of life care?

Post Information
Title MIL has cancer
Author Iammrp2
Upvotes 7
Comments 42
Date 25 March 2018 07:12 PM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Original Link
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Red Pill terms found in post:
hard no

[–]bogeyd6Mod / Red Militia17 points18 points  (2 children) | Copy

Cancer is a very serious thing and it’s when you need your family the most. There is no win to refuse unless you can find a 24/7 care center very close to the house where your wife can go at her whim.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelMod / Red Beret2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

This is truth.

[–]bogeyd6Mod / Red Militia13 points14 points  (0 children) | Copy

Just helped a close family friend in the exact situation. It’s an impossible situation. All he can do is accept and hold frame. Being the oak means more now than it ever did.

[–]Realworld527 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy

3 fuck cancer

[–]RedPillCoach4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy

I would consider a 4) hard yes and arrange it as the leader of your family. This is assuming this is the type of cancer she has is likely fatal and likely quickly. The MIL's age, type of cancer, chemo she is going to be on, her relationship to you and to your wife, and probably several other factors play in to this decision.

What do you think you should do?

[–]Iammrp2[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I don't think a hard yes is in order yet, because it's hard to say how long she has. She had radiation which helped but her health and age won't allow surgical removal of the cancer or chemo. So radiation to extend her life was the only option. If its growing back and it appears it is then she might have a year or 2 or 3 or even more. My guess would be 2 years but these things are hard to know. If she was more advanaced and it was clearly under a year then I can see a hard yes being the right move.

I'm going to suggest we make a room for her downstairs and she can come and go as she pleases. Basically she'll have two places she can live. And then when she gets bad off she can make the move permanent. That way we can get breaks from her and the wife can see her more before she dies.

[–]RedPillCoach1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

5) Construct a better alternative works even better.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

I have been through this march to death with 5 close family members in the last 15 years. It is never easy.

How you treat your MIL will send advance signals to your wife on what she can expect from you someday. Since cancer runs in the family, your wife will make the connection to whatever you do for MIL "could" apply to her in similar situation.

Be careful to have an even handed approach here. You must also balance and take care of your wife's needs. You have to help her, a working woman, to balance her life, or she could burn out just trying to do the right thing for her mom.

Your wife's best interests and yours are very similar here. Be thoughtful, and, lead/help your wife to make decisions that are good for her, and her mother, and you also.

In the death of a parent, you can be a rock, but you will never be the center of attention.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelMod / Red Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Not enough data. Without data, there’s no way to tell what you should do in these circumstances, other than the reasonable and compassionate thing to do.

Also, fuck cancer.

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red7 points8 points  (8 children) | Copy

I am in a cab and have a few mins.

To many questions to ask before we can recommend.

Does wife work? If so I assume this will continue?

Any kids still loving at home?

Define what “take care of” is. Is she cleaning up shit and spoon feeding her daily?

Does MIl have a living spouse?

Is MIl bringing animals or anything else with her?

What is MiL going to do with all her stuff?

Do you have a large enuf home for her to have her own space and bathroom?

Will MIL pay since she will no longer have rent or utilities?

Is MIl a reasonable person or will she get there and fuck your relationship over?

This is a business discussion for YOU first. Work the numbers and do the math. Then consider the FEELZ of your FO and yourself.

A hard no out of the gate is completely irresponsible without at least discussing it with your FO first. Even if you have ZERO intention of it then work the business side and prepare your case that way.

You clearly do not have the frame to handle a hard no so do what I say. Report back with more details.

[–]Iammrp2[S] 3 points4 points  (7 children) | Copy

Does wife work? If so I assume this will continue?

Yes. Yes.

Any kids still loving at home?

They live at home and yes they love it lol

Define what “take care of” is. Is she cleaning up shit and spoon feeding her daily?

I imagine she just wants to be close and spend time with her before she dies. She is not yet end of life but yeah it may involve cleaning up shit when it gets to that point but I'm sure we will use actual hospice too if it's covered via insurance or cheap.

Does MIl have a living spouse?

Divorced. Wife's biological dad is dead.

Is MIl bringing animals or anything else with her?


What is MiL going to do with all her stuff?

Good question. I'll have to make sure we don't get a bunch of crap dumped here.

Do you have a large enuf home for her to have her own space and bathroom?

If she wanted to stay downstairs yes. She would have her own room and her own bathroom. But it sounds like the wife wants her upstairs. So I may have to push for downstairs.

Will MIL pay since she will no longer have rent or utilities?


Is MIl a reasonable person or will she get there and fuck your relationship over?

She is reasonable and a good person. No issue here.

This is a business discussion for YOU first. Work the numbers and do the math. Then consider the FEELZ of your FO and yourself.

The numbers are easy. She won't cost much and we make a lot of $$$. The only real issue is her depending on her MIL emotionally instead of me.

Thanks for the good questions.

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy

Two things that would be non-negotiable based off your answers.

Her living downstairs and her contributing to the household income regardless if you need it or not. It is about respect.

She either pays for food, starts doing the laundry, something.

My grandma is 95 and lives with my mom and sisters. And she give my mom her full SS check AND does the laundry still to this day.

I am convinced the laundry literally keeps her alive. It gives her purpose.

No one gets a free ride in my car. Gas, ass or grass is a bumper sticker for a reason.

Other than that, sounds like you have a good head so you have to decide if it is worth it.

I would probably be in the “probably camp” if I was in your shoes. My wife and I are cool thou so I have that going for me as well.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy

So then, given all this info, what are you leaning to?

[–]Iammrp2[S] 1 point2 points  (4 children) | Copy

I was leaning to only if she's terminal but /u/red-sfpplus has made me consider it shouldn't be a hard no even if it's not terminal. And to consider her being downstairs.

[–]InChargeManRed Beret4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

If she is relatively healthy it might not be bad given appropriate boundaries. If she has a "job" it can be good for everybody. i.e. babysitting, dishes, laundry.

Absolutely she needs to be downstairs in her own quarters. Don't even entertain anything else as an option.

[–]Manny-Kid2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Just to throw it out there, a friend of mine had an older MIL in move in but the plan was for her to sell her house and extend onto the one they had.

I thought it was a brilliant idea, both parents came home to clean kids who had been fed etc; MIL seemed to benefit the most and took on a kind of housewife role.

[–]crimson_chris1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Just be prepared. Read up on the responsibilities of taking care of an aging and sick parent. If you don't have a plan it can wreck a marriage. Once she gets sicker you guys will be her primary caretaker - and it will be like having a sick, irritable child in the house. You will have to wash her, clean and pick her up when she falls. You will be responsible for doctors visit and possible multiple incidents of the kids seeing grandma taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

The upside is that you, your wife and kids get to enjoy more of your MIL before she passes- which is priceless. Just be ready for the good and the bad.

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I have slept on this an have a modified answer.

My wife was in medicine before she “retired” to become a SAHM.

There is one thing that dries her vagina up like the Sahara desert. When our kids are sick. There is literally nothing I can do. She is in full Dr. House mode.

The thought of a terminally ill person living with us would be no good for HER and US. She would be obsessed with her health and well being.

I would allow it while MIL is still active, but once she got to the point of no return she would get shipped to a medical place for her to get professional care.

That is my final answer. Good luck OP.

[–]Two_kids_in_a_coat1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Is she a good MIL? Has she treated you and your wife with respect? If she’s been good to you then I think you should own this. Be the leader your wife dreams of. Prove you know how to protect and comfort your family. Cancer sucks, but know that once you open your house you can’t shut that door again. She with you for the rest of her life. Does she deserve this? If she’s been a total bitch and undermined your leadership, pitted you and your wife against each other then don’t bring that snake into your home.

[–]WesternhagenWinner1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

The problem with "only if you're her nurse" is that inevitably your wife will offload some of her "other" household tasks onto you in order to do her nurse duty. Moreover, taking care of her mom, depending on how disabled her mom is, will be physically and emotionally exhausting, leaving your wife with that much less bandwidth for you and the kids.

After my mom had a stroke, she lived with us for a couple of months before she moved to assisted living. We had a nurse come in three times a week to help her bathe. It still sucked. She drove us fucking nuts. I would strongly advise anyone against having old, sick relatives in the house for any length of time. As for "just for a few months before she croaks", I think that's the scenario where you want her in a hospice not your house.

Let's put it another way. If you were dating your wife, and she lived with her sick mom, would you have married her if "she takes care of her sick mom who lives with us" was part of the deal? My guess would be no.

I lean towards "hard no" on this one.

[–]FoxShitNasty830 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

What if any would the financial arrangement be?

[–]Iammrp2[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

She is on social security, has her own car. Doesn't eat a whole lot. Financially there would be no impact. And whatever food she eats I'm sure we would use her as an occasional babysitter for free. That is, if she moved in before she was end of life.

So, finances are a wash. We are not paying her medical bills or anything like that.

[–]A-day-one0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I’m not sure what the alternatives are such as a nursing home, etc.

I have a great relationship with my MIL and I would do it. But I’d start by setting up visits with profession care (adult sitters for example) for evaluation and as someone else said, set the ground rules for when other help will be engaged (ie bathing, etc). Then you become more in control over the situation and how your family experiences it.

[–]rocknrollchuck0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yeah, cancer is super-serious. I took care of my first wife until she died. And then my parents moved in with us 2-1/2 years ago because they are elderly and needed help - they kept falling in their house and getting hurt.

I can tell you from experience, 1 is not a realistic option unless you just don't care. If that was the case, you wouldn't have posted this question here. 3 sounds good, until you have to deal with the reality of having her mother there with you day in and day out. This is what I'm dealing with now. So unless you are ok with that, 3 isn't the best option either.

2 is your only "good" option here, and your marriage WILL be tested and strained the whole time. Are you prepared for that? I've gone through hell doing this, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I'm doing what I feel is right, though, so to hell with what anyone else thinks - including my wife. Are you prepared for what you may face?

[–]weakandsensitive0 points1 point  (7 children) | Copy

If it were feasible, limited disturbance, and all the other jazz, I'd consider it with the contingency that "if it's not working, everyone has to agree to make a change quickly, i.e. a nearby nursing home or independent living elderly community."

there's a huge difference between living close and living in the same space.

mortality is an interesting thing and if my wife added enough value, i'd do what i could to make sure she didn't feel like there was "more" she could've done.

is the cancer terminal?

does MIL even want to move in?

[–]Iammrp2[S] 1 point2 points  (6 children) | Copy

Several people in my family have died from cancer. Cancer is unpredictable. She could have 5 years or 1 year. She has more than 6 months for sure but she will probably be bad off in another year.

Does she want to move in? Yes.

[–]weakandsensitive2 points3 points  (5 children) | Copy

Bogey makes a great point. You are guaranteed to lose if you outright refuse. Your job is to optimize the situation. I imagine it's more serious than early stage breast cancer or something. The fact that this is on the table tells me it's at least somewhat serious.

Imagine being the person that fails to lead during this situation, how do you think that will work out in the long term?

[–]bogeyd6Mod / Red Militia1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

The difference between trp and mrp could be the fact that we don’t want to die alone in a 21st floor apartment at 22.

[–]WesternhagenWinner0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

You are guaranteed to lose if you outright refuse.

No. You just have to frame it right. For example, "we want to make sure she has the best possible professional medical care and therefore she should be in assisted living."

Imagine being the person that fails to lead during this situation

He should lead grandma's decrepit ass to the local assisted living facility.

[–]weakandsensitive0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

That's not refusing outright. That's coming up with an alternative that checks the boxes too.

For me, refusing outright is "no. This is not my/our problem."

[–]Throwmeinthere19880 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Damn thats harsh

[–]MrChad_ThundercockChief Autist in Charge-3 points-2 points  (10 children) | Copy

Is she draining your balls on the regular?

[–]fuckmrpRed Beret5 points6 points  (8 children) | Copy

Even if she is this is a poor metric to factor into a decision like this.

[–]nonnimooseWoman, something something dark side4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

wait, he meant the wife? I thought he was being a sarcastic asshole and meant the MIL.

[–]MrChad_ThundercockChief Autist in Charge-2 points-1 points  (6 children) | Copy

Damn straight it’s a metric. OP gives no stats or info. If she is a harpy little sexless cunt, providing no value, the answer is no. Find MIL a high quality home and help with the payments.

OP said himself that he doesn’t “want her to move in and then live another 10 years.” Why? Because all the attention will be on the MIL. He’ll be jerking off under the covers at night for the next decade hoping his wife doesn’t wake up.

If she is DTF on the regular, providing value to his life, compassion it is.

Compassion should be in direct proportion to the amount of value she provides.

[–]emberkit4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy

I don't think you know what compassion means

[–]Rian_StoneMod / Red Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I think his point is "don't light yourself on fire to keep others warm"

Though it sounds like op isn't deadbedroomed

[–]fuckmrpRed Beret0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

If she is DTF on the regular, providing value to his life, compassion it is.

My point is why does she get points for something she should be doing anyway? Women never extend us as much do they?

The only real factor here is him, can he live with the changes that will be required. Is this a sacrifice, how much and is he willing to sustain it given how long is an unknown.

[–]MrChad_ThundercockChief Autist in Charge0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

If she’s taking care of the king, willing to sustain a lot.

I’m assuming she’s a sexless cunt, why else is OP posting here when he can post in r relationships? Such a serious topic (end of life care) to have nothing to do with fucking. I don’t get this post.

Don’t mean to be disrespectful to OP, not enough details. Yes cancer sucks. FIL diagnosed few months ago.

[–]WesternhagenWinner0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Ruthlessly phrased but I agree with it. There is a real possibility that "sick mom" will drain all the oxygen out of his marriage.

[–]Tebulus0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Assuming OP is owning his shit and getting laid regularly, how does your advice change?

[–]Senor_Martillo0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Damn dude even if she didn't have cancer, it's pretty gross to bang your mother in law.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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