Caring for Elderly in Law Ruined Marriage




How do you deal with elderly in-laws

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When one spouse becomes the primary caregiver for an elderly parent, it can put a lot of strain on the marriage. In some cases, it may even lead to divorce. Caring for elderly parents is a huge responsibility, and if one spouse is doing all the work while the other spouse sits back and does nothing, resentment will build up quickly. In this situation, it’s important to compromise and help each other out. Otherwise, your marriage may not survive.

caring for elderly in law ruined marriage

Why Caring for Elderly in Law Ruined Marriage

Financial Stress

Financial stress is one of the main reasons why caring for elderly parents can ruin your marriage. When you suddenly face the cost of long-term care, it can be difficult to manage your finances and maintain your relationship. The added burden of caring for an elderly parent can also lead to arguments and conflict within the marriage. In some cases, the financial stress of caring for an elderly parent can lead to divorce.

Caring for an elderly parent can also be emotionally challenging. It can be difficult to remain positive and supportive when dealing with a declining parent’s health. You may feel like you are constantly worrying about your parent’s health and wellbeing. This can strain your marriage and make it challenging to maintain a healthy relationship.

Time Commitment

It is commonly assumed that caring for elderly parents or in-laws is primarily a financial burden. However, the time commitment required to provide adequate care can also significantly strain marriages. In a recent study, nearly 40% of respondents cited caregiving as a significant conflict in their marriage. The demands of caring for an elderly relative can leave spouses feeling overwhelmed and resentful.

Furthermore, most caregivers are women, who are already more likely to shoulder domestic responsibilities. As a result, caring for elderly parents or in-laws can significantly strain marriages and lead to divorce.

Different Beliefs

In many cultures, caring for elderly relatives is seen as a duty of filial piety. However, when one spouse is expected to provide care while the other pursue their career, it can strain the marriage. Different beliefs about filial piety can cause tension and conflict within the relationship.

One spouse may feel that they are shouldering the majority of the burdens while the other is free to pursue their interests. This can lead to resentment and feelings of unfairness.

Sometimes, one spouse may feel they are being taken advantage of. While providing care for elderly relatives can be a rewarding experience, it can also be a source of stress for marriages. Couples who can openly communicate their different beliefs and expectations are more likely to weather these challenges and emerge stronger than before.

Lack of Privacy

When people marry, they typically do so to spend their lives together. However, caring for elderly parents can strain even the strongest relationships.

One of the main reasons for this is the lack of privacy. When elderly parents move in with their children, they often expect to have the same level of privacy as they did when they lived independently. This can be difficult to provide, especially if the parents are in poor health and require constant care.

As a result, couples may argue over how much time and energy should be devoted to caring for the parents. In some cases, this can lead to one spouse resenting the other. Ultimately, lack of privacy is one of the main reasons why caring for elderly parents can ruin a marriage.

Feeling Trapped

One of the main reasons why caring for elderly relatives can put a strain on marriages is because it can leave one spouse feeling trapped. This is especially true if the caregiver spouse works full-time and has other obligations. Juggling all these responsibilities can be overwhelming, and it can be easy to feel like you can never take a break.

This can lead to resentment, which can, in turn, cause problems in the marriage. When caring for an elderly relative, ensuring that you’re taking care of yourself is important. This means taking breaks and getting help from other family members or professional caregivers when necessary. Taking these steps will help prevent your marriage from suffering from additional stress.

Emotional Tolls

Caring for elderly relatives can also take an emotional toll on marriages. This is because it often requires the caregiver spouse to make difficult decisions, such as when and how to provide care. This can cause guilt and resentment, leading to arguments between spouses.

It’s important that couples openly communicate their emotions to understand each other’s feelings better. This will help them work through their issues and prevent resentment from building up. Additionally, couples should make time for themselves, so they don’t become overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a loved one.


Resentment is a common emotion among individuals caring for elderly parents or other relatives. The constant demands of caregiving can be challenging to juggle with the needs of work and maintaining a healthy marriage. As a result, resentment can begin to build, damaging the relationship between the caregiver and the care recipient.

Additionally, the caregiver may feel unappreciated for their efforts, which can further contribute to resentment. Ultimately, this resentment can ruin the caregiver’s marriage if left unchecked. Caregivers must manage their emotions and maintain healthy communication with their spouse or partner. By doing so, they can help prevent resentment from destroying their relationship.

Ways to Keep Caregiving from Straining Your Marriage

Communicate regularly

Caregiving can be a complex and demanding job, but it can also place a strain on your marriage. One way to help prevent this is to communicate regularly with your spouse about caregiving responsibilities. This will help to ensure that both of you are on the same page and that your spouse is aware of the job’s demands.

In addition, regular communication will allow you to vent about the challenges you are facing and to receive support from your spouse. When caregivers take the time to communicate with their spouses, it can help to prevent the caregiving experience from damaging their marriage.

Respect each other’s boundaries

Caregiving can be a rewarding experience, but it can also strain your marriage. One way to help prevent this strain is to respect each other’s boundaries. This means being mindful of each other’s needs and limits and not expecting more than either of you can give. It also means being honest with each other about your positive and negative feelings. When caregivers don’t respect each other’s boundaries, it can lead to resentment, frustration, and even conflict.

However, when boundaries are respected, it can foster a sense of cooperation and mutual respect. As a result, respecting each other’s borders is crucial to keep caregiving from straining your marriage.

Share the caregiving load

Spouses who are caregivers for their sick or elderly partners often find that the demands of caregiving can strain their marriage. In some cases, the caregiver spouse may resent their partner for not doing more to help out. In other cases, the non-caregiving spouse may feel guilty or helpless, leading to tension and conflict.

One way to address these issues is to share the caregiving load as much as possible. This may mean hiring outside help or simply taking turns providing care. By sharing the burden of caregiving, spouses can help to prevent the situation from damaging their relationship.

Find time for yourself

In any marriage, it is important to find time for yourself. This is especially true when one spouse is taking on the role of caregiver. The demands of caregiving can be both physical and emotional, and they can quickly take their toll. If you do not take the time to recharge your batteries, you will quickly find yourself feeling resentful and overwhelmed. This can put a strain on even the strongest of marriages.

Additionally, it is important to communicate openly with your spouse about your caregiving duties. If you are feeling overwhelmed, let your spouse know. He or she can lighten your load by taking on some of the tasks or providing emotional support. Taking care of yourself and communicating openly with your spouse can help keep caregiving from straining your marriage.

Take advantage of respite care

Caregiving for a sick or elderly spouse can quickly become all-consuming, leaving little time or energy for anything else. Over time, this can take a toll on even the strongest marriages. One way to prevent caregiving from straining your marriage is to use respite care services.

Respite care provides temporary relief for caregivers, giving them a much-needed break. This can reduce stress and allow couples to reconnect with each other. In addition, respite care can provide caregivers an opportunity to take care of their health and well-being. When used strategically, respite care can be an invaluable tool for preserving marriages while providing quality care for loved ones.

Enlist help from other family members 

When one spouse is a caregiver, it can be difficult for the other spouse to feel involved in their partner’s care. This can lead to feelings of isolation and resentment. One way to help prevent this is to involve other family members in caregiving.

By enlisting help from extended family, caregivers can provide the support and companionship their spouses may be missing. This can help prevent resentment or helplessness from taking root in the marriage. It can also help reduce the overall burden of caregiving, allowing couples to spend quality time together.

Agree to disagree on care decisions

The couple may inevitably disagree on care decisions when one spouse is a caregiver. This can be especially true if the non-caregiving spouse feels they need more say.

However, when couples agree to disagree on care decisions, it can help prevent tension and resentment from building up in the marriage. Couples can avoid unnecessary arguments and keep their relationship strong by discussing the issue openly and respectfully.

Get professional advice and support 

Caregiving can be a complex and overwhelming task, especially if it is the first time you have taken on this role. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, getting professional advice and support can help.

Counseling or support groups can give caregivers the resources to manage their caregiving duties without damaging their marital relationships. They can also help couples strengthen their communication skills and build a more solid foundation for their marriage.

Investing in your marriage can ensure that caregiving does not become a source of tension or resentment in your relationship. Through open communication, respite care, and support from other family members, caregivers can take on their duties without straining their marriages. Ultimately, this will help create stronger and more fulfilling relationships for both spouses.

Discuss your financial situation openly 

When one spouse takes on the role of caregiver for an elderly parent, it can strain the marriage. The caregiver may feel overwhelmed and resentful, while the other spouse may feel left out and uninvolved. One way to avoid this problem is to discuss your financial situation with your spouse openly. This will help ensure that both spouses are on the same page regarding your shared finances.

If one spouse is shouldering most of the financial burden, the other spouse may need to pitch in more regarding household chores or child care. By openly communicating about your finances, you can help to keep your marriage strong while also coping with the demands of caregiving.

Talk about your feelings

Caregiving for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. If you feel like you’re starting to lose patience or become resentful, it’s important to communicate with your spouse. Expressing your feelings is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship while providing care for someone else. When you’re both on the same page, it’s easier to support each other and manage the stress of caregiving.

Plus, talking openly about your feelings can help to deepen your connection and strengthen your bond. So if you’re starting to feel the strain of caregiving, don’t hesitate to reach out to your spouse. Talking about your feelings is a great way to keep caregiving from harming your marriage.

Make time for your marriage

Caregiving is a demanding role. You likely have little free time if you provide care for an aging parent. Finding time for your marriage can be challenging between work, taking care of the house, and running errands. However, making time for your spouse is essential to keeping your marriage strong. Even if it means hiring outside help to take care of some of your responsibilities.

When you feel overwhelmed, take a step back and assess your priorities. If your marriage is suffering, it is important to take action to improve the situation. Don’t let caregiving become an excuse for neglecting your relationship. Instead, find ways to keep your marriage healthy and supportive through the challenges of caregiving.

How do you deal with elderly in-laws

Seek counseling if needed 

Caregiving for a sick or elderly family member can put a strain on even the strongest of marriages. The demands of caregiving can leave you physically and emotionally exhausted. If you’re not careful, the stress of caregiving can cause you to neglect your and your spouse’s needs. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are resources available to help you through this difficult time.

One way to reduce the stress of caregiving is to seek counseling. Talking with a counselor can help you to express your feelings and find ways to cope with the demands of caregiving. In addition, counseling can help you and your spouse to communicate more effectively with each other. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the demands of caregiving, don’t hesitate to seek out counseling. It could be just what you need to keep your marriage strong.


Caregiving can put a lot of stress on marriages, and it’s important, to be honest with your partner about how you’re feeling. If you’re struggling to care for an elderly loved one while maintaining your marriage, resources are available to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

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