Question: Dear Luise: I’m a 50 year-old woman who has met my life partner, finally. We find it hard to plan a future as he has been left the family property under the stipulation that his mother be allowed to live there until she dies. His mother is bipolar, controlling and selfish and makes it extremely difficult for us to have a life together. I have my own place, which we enjoy, but his mother constantly calls with demands. I’m wondering how to plan a life with him when he is “stuck” to care for his mom who is 70 ears old, and controls his life? K.
Answer: Dear K.: This is his issue, not yours. I know that is hard to face when you have just found each other but it sounds like he was involved in this dynamic long before you appeared on the scene and it is his to resolve. Sometimes it is more important to pass on an inheritance than it is to be controlled by it but that’s for him to work through. I am 85 and in good health, so she could be around for a very long time. He could be selling out where his own life is concerned. It isn’t going to work if his mother is his 1st priority…willingly or unwillingly. We often think we have no choice when what is true is we don’t want to face the consequences of difficult choices.
If I were in such a bind, I would get legal counsel regarding that stipulation. In my own family, my parent’s home went to my eldest sister because she provided them financial help when my middle sister and I were unable to. We were fine with that. However, even though they could and did stay there until they died, she had no obligation to be their slave and at their beck and call.
I suggest you suggest his seeing an attorney and perhaps getting some counseling and that the two of you look seriously at relocation. Then step back. Blessings, Luise