Anger at family member who is moving away

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Hi, I'm not one for posting stuff in forums but I feel today that I either need to vent, or be justified or whatever, I just do t know. Sorry if in the wrong place.

For the last 8 years I have been caring for my wife and bringing up our 3 children, it's been tough, with a lot of sacrifices along the way, friends, employment, socially, mentally but I've always been resiliient, positive, and kept a cool head at times of crisis and just generally rolling with the punches as you do. I have the help of local community caring teams, occasionally the council(after fighting them) I have always put others before myself and considered their feelings and protecting them from the reality of my caring role. In other words put on a show and a brave face, which I suppose looking at it now may not of been the right way, but it was our way, to protect the kids that mummy is strong and fighting. And she is fighting, but the kids know about her conditions, so it's not lying to some degree, they know she's not well,they just know..... I'm going of topic here and waffling. Let's get to the point.

We have had the help and support of my cares mum. She has been our Rock through the years, helping financially, and being an emotional support for both of us, but mainly her daughter. They are very close, ring each other at least 3 times a day or Facebook messenger. Attending hospital appointments, watching the kids when I'm going to hospital appointments, she has been a great help, and family is everything, and that's what she's been teaching her daughter since she was a child. Your never leave your kids, espicially when there sick, she thinks the world of me as most men wouldn't of stuck around she says. Everything other than my wife being bed bound because of sickness is been good. I gave up my employment to look after my wife and kids as social services said that my kids would have to go into care. My wife's mum, although at retirement age continues to work, she absolutely loves her job and wouldn't give it up for nothing. It's a good job as well, we would be buggered without her financial support at times.

But something has changed. After her husband died(wife's dad) she began meeting up with old work friends, and meeting up with an ex husband. At first she was really happy, and she still is, and we supported her new relationship, they would go on holidays and have a good time, and quite rightly so, she deserves it, she did have a shit life whilst married to wife's dad. Honestly she really does deserve to be happy. But somethings changed. We've all been loved up and stuck in a love bubble where love is blind and all that, but she has completely changed as a person that we do t even know who she is anymore. Her morals have changed. Things she would never consider doing because she thought it was wrong, she's now doing. The phone calls have stopped, she's gotten rid of her dog, which is something she was so dead against, she's going to retire, and now she's decided she is going to move away and live in the same area with her new partner(not living together) 2 and half hours away!,
Obviously this was quite a shock, my wife is devistated and in bits, I am too, In fact we're are really angry with her at the moment, we cannot understand why she would leave, well we do understand, she's found her youth again, she's in love with the man she always wanted to be with and now feels she is entitled to do what she wants as she's suffered enough, and earned the right to enjoy her retirement as she sees fit. We are a financial burden on her, and are holding her back apparently. She says that her moving away doesn't change anything, she will still come and visit, go hospital appointments, and we shouldn't have to rely on her for anything, were grown ups and the kids are old enough to sort themselves out now (our youngest is 9). But the other two our older so I get that.
It's heartbreaking and demoralising for our family, it's like a complete switch has been turn on(or off)
She seems to think that she has thought it through, but I do t think she has, or what effect this decision will have on my wife, the kids, and me. If she goes then I have none else to rely on, and maybe she's right, we shouldn't have to rely on anybody, but you can't help not to, we as carers need support right? It's about having the support from someone for someone, each other, she's so hell bent on going on about the money that she's had to spend, but I dont think she has even considered the emotional support she gives to her daughter, and that's the most important aspect!, my wife is so angry that I've told her to not speak out of line in anger, because I think she's looking for the argument to happen so she can go and then blame ourselves for being horrible to her and justify her decision to leave. I've tried sorting it out amicable, to discuss why we are so angry but she doesn't want to hear it, so she's angry at us for being angry at her, so she hasn't spoken to us in 3 days, nor her daughter, and this has had a profound effect on her depression and mental state. The kids are sad too, it's a gucking nightmare for me right now. I think about the decisions I have made over the years that have been for the better for my wife's mum, like choosing to stay where we are and not move to my home area, where I would have had the support of my mum, sisters, brothers. If I would of known she was going to do this we would of gone. So yes I'm angry at what I believe is a selfish act after the what I've witnessed over the last few months, the lies, the betrayal.
Despite I'm angry we still love her of coarse, and we want nothing more for her than to be happy, so go and enjoy yourself, go on al the holidays you want, but please dont just turn your back on us now.

I don't think she ever really got the illnesses of her daughter, she has lived in denial for a long time, many times I have tried to talk to her about what goes on at home, the physical needs, the mental health, but she's always changed the subject, or pretended to ignore me. I gave up reaching out to her a long time ago and suffered in silenced and just pushed on.

I feel her excitement, and her eagerness to be happy and have the life she always dreamed of, but regardless of your children's ages, she's still your child that needs her mum, but it's like she just wants to wash her hands of us.

There we go, a little rant, so am I entitled to be angry? Am I justified for being angry? Am I right to feel this is morally wrong? There is so much more to this story than what I've said, but I can't go to deep. My concerne is my wife's mental health, and this decision hasn't taken that into consideration. I think the moving away part it a stretch to far, and I don't feel it's just OK to leave me here and get on with it why you are going to leave such a mess behind you. The kids have got me, my wife has got me and I have got no one really now, not local anyway. Yeah we're all grown up, were not kids anymore, but illness is illness, sickness is sickness, it's a time for family and the like to pull together for each other, not **** off when the going gets tough, or that it's not convienaint for ya, or because you've just had enough. We all have our breaking points, makes me wonder what you would of done if I done a bunk all them years ago. Would you of gave up your job? And everything else to be with the ones that need your love a new support? It's a bloody good job I stayed then.

Sorry anyone reading this.:) I feel better now I got that off my chest.:)
I was widowed suddenly at the age of 54, I found my husband dead in bed, cold, it turned out he'd had a massive heart attack, which must have been soon after I crept out of bed to sleep in our spare room after he'd been elbowing me in his sleep.

I cannot begin to explain how devastating this was. No one can begin to understand until it happens to them.

You have no RIGHT to any of her life, be grateful for the time she has given to your family out of love.

What it does mean though is that your family needs to review it's situation, and your bedbound wife needs to have additional support now so that the family can still function. Ask Social Services for an URGENT updated Needs Assessment for her, and Carers Assessment for you, as your situation has changed.

If your youngest is now 9 years old, then the two older children should be doing some housework jobs. They'll moan, but it won't kill them, and learning how to cook will be a skill they will value later. One night a week, they could take responsibility.

When I was doing my degree, eldest son was in charge of cooking the evening meal, just a simple casserole, all veg peeled for him in advance, he just had to put it in the oven and keep an eye on it. OH said one day "we can tell it's Thursday, burnt again". I replied that the only reason it was burned was that son hadn't checked there was enough water in it, and neither had OH!

No more burned food from then on.
Maybe you are angry because you are shocked and panicking about managing alone.

As a mother and Carer of a sick daughter I can understand both sides of the problem I would imagine that your MIL also feels she needs a life of her own but feels guilty as well. As you say she will still be helping but just further away. And with Skype and. FaceTime surely she can still be in touch daily.

Are you able to get Social Services involved to get extra help and give you a break. .? Let's face it your MIL could (God forbid) get hit by a bus tomorrow. None of us know what is around the corner so maybe having a plan. B or even. Plan C would assure you that you can cope.
I agree. Any type of change in life can be daunting. Whether it be something really good and exciting or difficult and challenging in a frightening way, fearing not coping, not being loved, not being considered etc.
You will stop feeling angry (I m sure). Your MIL has said she will continue to help when needed, so I would try to give your blessing on on her new phase in life.
It's a bit of reversal isn't it. Children grow up, meet someone they fall in love with, who become more important in many ways to parents family and friends. Soon settles to an even keel if accepted with grace. Now your MIL has met someone ( good for her!). It will balance out hopefully. Given time and the chance.
Life can be very lonely, even in a crowd.
Bowling bun, your are absolutely right, I have no RIGHT to what she does with her life and she is absolutely entitled to do what ever she wants to, and I don't want to say she can't do this and that. This is about a moral compass, and it's this that I'm struggling with. For years she has held me to account for our actions or decisions We have made or not made. When we had to move home due to disabilitys, I looked at moving us closer to my family so I had more support. She said that she wouldn't come down to see us or the kids if I did that, and that I would have to bring them to her, she didn't want us to do that as it would break her heart for me to take them away, so I didn't.when it came to giving up work, she said I needed to do that because it was the right thing to do to keep our family together, even though that meant giving up my career and money to provide, maybe my pension will suffer,and god knows what else. thought about giving up our dog because it was to much for me, but she said I would be a disgusting man for doing such a thing, that it was cruel. She stopped me playing football 2 hours on a Tuesday night because she said it wasn't right for me to leave her, made me feel bloody bad although my wife said it was OK for me to do so. When we first had the children, she always said to us that we chose to have children so we should look after them and not expect her to look after them, which we didn't, only when she offered to have them she would when she wanted to. I was working I could support and provide no problem but that changed when I left employment. She said she would help financially if it came to it, because she wanted to support us in need, but now she holds it against us, using as some sort of leverage, And now I'm beginning to see why she did it. I wasn't because of love, it was to shut us up. She said she would support and help and then say she couldnt do it, but here's some money so you don't/can't moan at me. I can't take anymore holidays or days of sick from work to go hospital appointments or watch the kids. But then do exactly that to spend time with her boyfriend. It's double standards. You can't hold me responsible for your own moral reasons, or a code that you have stood by and teach your family the same roots for 30+ years and then decide that those rules dont apply to you anymore. I did not realise that when you turn 60 or retire or whatever you then stop being a mother. People can change and do change I accept that, but this change is somewhat out of character, obtuse behaviour, I mean what's going on?
I do love and respect her and can appreciate everything that she has done and will hopefully continue to do, but do I not deserve the same? I have given up pretty much everything for my family, she hasn't giving up anything, her life stayed the same, on,y that dealing with her daughters illness, but as I mentioned I don't think she has really dealt with it, she lives in ignorance really, out of sight out of mind she used to say. We have no problems with her going on holidays, doing what ever makes her happy, we want that for her, we really do, but the moving away part is a step to far, she asked me to stay, I feel I'm OK with asking her to do the same for the sake of her daughters health and her grand kids. Oh and just incase anyone asked, I cannot move now to my old town, we have had work done on the house which we are now tied to being in the property for the next 5 years.

Maxwell, I don't think she feels guilty, she's angry at the moment, she won't talk about her decision, or want to discuss the effects it will have on all of us, she going, and we need to get on with it. It would of been better off discussing it I think. But she's been planning this for a long time, getting rid of the dog was the first clue, the daily phone calls stopped, she stopped comming over on a Sunday for dinner, making excuses for stuf,all these little behavioural things were odd. I mean what if something happens to her? How do I get to her to help out? How do I get her daughter to her to see her? And vice versa, she makes it sound that she's got it all work out but she hasn't considered much at all.and she doesn't want to hear my concerns because it's a negative on what's she wants to do and doesn't want to hear it sadly. I only know to well what moving away from home entails from my own experiance. It's very isolating and comes with its own internal struggles, but at the moment the grass is greener in her eyes and she's happy so what can I do.
Her current care provisions are in place, all that can be done anyway. There are no cures for her illnesses and is on palliative care. She either stays in a hospital or stays at home, staying in hospital would not be good in the long term, I know that sounds silly, but she ends up with more infections then when she goes in, and she's would only be taking up a bed in an already overstretched nhs hospital. She's better off here with me where I can care for her and tend to her needs, where's as the hospitals can't really. Although we have plodded on for the last 8 years, each year gets harder, her illnesses get a tougher grip on her. She could go on for another 8 years suffering, or I could find her dead tomorrow, that's the reality I live in everyday. If only her mum would recognise the struggles I face and understand. But then maybe I'm asking to much, or expecting to much from her, and just accept that it's not her problem anymore.
You cannot change someone. Only they can do that. This situation is something that you cannot change and you and your family need to conserve the emotional energy to your own situation and plan for extra external help if you think that will now be required.

It may be that in time this situation will resolve itself but in the meantime leave the recriminations unsaid and the bridges intact.
She sounds rather like a control freak from what you have now said, good riddance.
Bowling up, yes, like I said there is a lot more to the story, like 20 years worth.

She hasn't changed really, this is the real her now coming out. it was her that was controlled from her husband, and after some revelations, and some more deeper thinking from myself, it was always about herself, what kept her safe and convenient. All the time her daughter was able bodied, she was protected from her husband, when she became disabled she was no longer able to do that,but then he was to old and died, and I suppose now she was free from all of it.
I'm not going keep going on and on, this just runs so so deep. Counciling would probly be a good idea, but no one does house calls. It's all resentment with each other and anger at the moment, and I'm sure it will calm down. We're ready to talk it out, but she doesn't.
My priority is my wife's mental health, I've protected her from all the stresses I can but I can't protect her from what her mother chooses to do. It is having an effect on her, as off now the stress of this has cause her to become sicker, and from what I'm seeing it looks like she could have sepsis again. I've tried calling her and left a message to keep her up to date about her daughters health, but she won't answer my calls, only a message indicating I'm just trying to make her feel bad and that she would be in touch. I'm not trying to make her feel anything, just keeping her in the loop as I should, but I give up no, il just have to pick up the pieces. Hey ho I guess, good riddance indeed, easy for me to say, not so easy for my wife though. It's such a shame it's come to this. Thanks for your comments.;)
"There we go, a little rant, so am I entitled to be angry? Am I justified for being angry?"
Dean, whether you are justified or not is not so very relevant. The fact is you are HUMAN and have human feelings, emotions and reactions.
Forgive yourself and the other person. Try to spend even 5 minutes quiet time for yourself and spend it 'letting go' and refilling your positive energies and qualities.
I'm so very sorry about all your problems and the hurt you and your wife are experiencing.
Yes, I was thinking the same as BB.

Might do your wife good to be set free from her mum???

Maybe, trite though it sounds, when a door slams shut (your MIL moving away) another one may open......

can you remind us what is actually wrong with your wife?? do you think, speaking bluntly, that IF her mental health were 'fine' that the entire situation would be loads and loads easier - ie, that the 'worst problem' is her mental health NOT her physical disability?

Do I take it that the house you live in has been physically adapted for your wife? does that make it 'unsaleable', or that if you moved anywhere else now (eg, closer to your own family) it would be a total pain to get another place as adapted as the current one?

I woud 'step away' from your MIL for the time being - vent here, definitely (great escape hatch!) but just 'let her go' for the time being at least,.

As Pet says, times of change are daunting, especially when imposed on you at short notice, but it CouLd be that, as I say, this actually works out for better, rather than worse. it's a time to totally rethink your situation, and that might open you eyes to other options. you'e been 'firefighting' for so, so long I'm not surprised you are exhausted.and angry