I don't want his father to live with us


December 03, 2016

Dear Pastor,

I am 41 years old and I am a professional. My husband, like me, has a very good job and we have three children. My husband's father is in his late 70s and he has not been well.

My husband suggested to me that we should add a self-contained apartment onto our house for his father to live.

His father is not at the stage where he cannot help himself. He can bathe himself. We will be responsible for taking care of him. He is not a poor man. I suggested to my husband that we put him in a senior citizen home and pay for his care there, but my husband would have none of it.

Pastor, certain things in life can come back to haunt you. My husband and my mother were very close friends. To my mother, my husband was more than a son-in-law.

He did everything to help my mother. He knew all her secrets. When she wouldn't tell me her secrets, she told him. When she got old, she stayed at home, but it was my husband who got someone to take care of her and he paid all her bills.


When I questioned my husband as to why he is insisting that his father come and stay with him, he said that he could see that very soon, his father would not be able to function on his own and he is not as intelligent as my mother, who passed away few years ago.

If we were to have his father live at our home, it would interrupt our family life. I would like your advice.


Dear P.O.,

Your husband does not want to put his father into a nursing home. He believes that his father would not get the very best care there.

And if you were to continue to object to him adding a self-contained apartment to the house and have his father live there, he might believe that you do not love his father.

You know that there is a real possibility that that is the way he would see it.

I would like to ask you this question: If your father-in-law were to come and live on the same property in a self-contained apartment, how would that interrupt the family?

Your children would need to be told that their grandfather would be living with them. But he would not tell you what to do in your own home. You are the queen of your house.

I am sure your husband does not expect that of him. Perhaps your father-in-law would die faster if he were put in a home.

On the other hand, being in a home might be better for him because he would be able to interact with people in his age group and engage in activities arranged by the home.

May I suggest that you do not fight the issue? See the good and bad parts of this problem - if there is a bad part. Learn to compromise.

Tell your husband that he would have to employ a nurse to take care of his father when it becomes necessary while he is living there. I am sure he knows that.

He should be wise enough to know that his father could not come to live on the premises to rely on you to minister to him, so to speak.

My suggestion is that you do not fight your husband over this matter. If there is ever a time for you to compromise, it is now.


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