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Should I Divorce My Wife Just Because She Can’t Take Care Of My Mom?

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My mother calls her “My daughter” because she didn’t give birth to a girl. We are three boys. I was the first to get married. When I brought Lizzy home, my mother ensured her comfort. They developed a loving relationship. However, five years after our marriage, my mother had a stroke, and we feared she might not survive. Desperate to restore her health, my brothers and I took her to a top-notch facility that specialized in such conditions. Despite the substantial cost and financial strain, we did our best to keep her there until she stabilized.

Since my brothers live out of town, it was mostly my wife and I who made the trips to the hospital. My wife often stayed at the hospital, taking care of the woman who considered her a daughter. With my mother unable to speak or walk, my wife had to handle everything on her own. It was an incredibly challenging task, requiring great strength, but she never complained about her own limitations.

Every morning, I expressed gratitude to Lizzy and even bought her gifts to show appreciation for her kindness towards my mother. My brothers also sent her gifts and sometimes money as a gesture of gratitude for helping our mother. Everything went smoothly until the day my mother had to be discharged from the hospital.

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I told my wife, “We need to bring my mom home to live with us. There’s no one to take care of her where she currently resides. If she stays with us, we can all join forces to provide her with the care she needs.” However, my wife raised a valid concern, asking, “Who will take care of her when we go to work?”

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To address this issue, my wife’s sister moved in with us to assist with taking care of our children. Therefore, in my mind, the question of who would look after my mother while we were away seemed resolved. I believed her sister could handle it without any problem. Thinking I had everything figured out, I was ready to bring my mom home. However, my wife disagreed and said, “No, your mom can’t live with us. I’m already exhausted. I’ve been running around for three months. I need some rest, and I can’t find that rest if your mother stays here.”

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We ended up arguing about this matter. I pleaded with her softly because I relied on her help. Nonetheless, my wife remained firm in her decision. She asked, “For how long? How long are we supposed to take care of her? How long will she live with us? Taking care of three kids is already a lot of work. Find someone else to look after your mom.”

We spent days discussing this issue while the expenses at the facility kept accumulating. My brothers questioned why my mother was still there when we had previously agreed on a plan. I couldn’t honestly answer them, nor could I reveal that it was because of my wife. I believed it was an internal issue I could handle over time. However, due to the mounting costs, I eventually brought my mother home one day.

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My wife prepared a room for her, bathed her, and helped administer her medication. In my mind, I felt a sense of victory, thinking, “I’ve succeeded. Look at her fulfilling her responsibilities without resistance.” However, the following Saturday morning, my wife began packing her things. When I asked where she was going, she responded, “This is your house, and you pay the rent. Maybe I can’t decide who you bring in here, but I can decide where I want to be. I’m taking the kids to my parents’ place so you can have enough space to take care of your mom.”

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So, a month ago, my wife left home with our kids. A compassionate neighbor noticed my predicament and offered to help. She is a trader who stopped going to the market to assist with my mom. I pay her weekly for her help. I couldn’t keep this situation to myself, so I shared it with my brothers. They are furious and urging me to divorce my wife, believing that a woman who can’t support her mother-in-law is not worth it.

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However, I refuse to let them dictate the fate of my marriage. I know my wife well, and I appreciate the support she brings to my life as a loving and supportive partner. I need her by my side. I have expressed my desire for her to come back home repeatedly, but it seems that unless my mom leaves, she won’t return.

I want to discuss the matter with my brothers, suggesting that we rent a place closer to where we live so that the woman helping my mom can continue providing care. However, it feels like I am being forced to choose between my wife and my mother, and I anticipate my brothers will oppose this decision and potentially even fight me over it.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Eve

    June 27, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    I think you know the Bible said because of this a man must leave the mother and father and become one with the wife! My friend you must look for a different place for your mum and employ a nanny for her than destroying your beautiful marriage! Trust me your wife has done so very well by even helping your mum at the hospital despite having 3 children! Well if your brothers thinks otherwise then advice them to equally take your mother to stay with them since you’re not the only child! You will give an account to God about your wife, and children and not your mother! Your wife is not your nanny and has little strength and might end up sick too with too much stress! A word to a wise is enough! Thank you very much!

  2. Affiffi

    June 28, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Your mum and your wife are the two best women in your life. I really appreciate your wife for her effort which shows she truly loves you. I know it’s not an easy thing for her as a wife, mother, worker and nurse. Please, meet with her and explain to her that there’s sombody paid to be taking care of your mum to ease her work. I pray God should make her understand and come back to her home.

    • Ba'el

      November 7, 2023 at 6:58 pm

      It takes a woman with a good heart to do this, I must confess your wife has tried her best but the red flag I’m seeing here is if she can do this to your mum as a man, wouldn’t she do same to you too? But to salvage this,I would suggest you keep up with the extra hands to ease the stress on your wife and also talk to your siblings to make them see reason on your decision to avoid rancho later in the future. I pray God keep our home fir us all

  3. Anthonia Agawereh

    September 30, 2023 at 10:09 am

    I think you should take Afifi’s advice.

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