Role of the Mother-in-Law

I will post this quick since I have got to get out of the house but I am wondering if anyone else has this experience....

I have begun seeing a pattern and it is making me crazy! My fiance grew up in a very "accepting" household and by accepting I mean blind support for anything he wanted to do....I am talking when he was an adolescent here. He even dropped out of high school and his mother though he shouldn't but it was okay so long as it made him happy.

Don't get me wrong, his mother (a mother of 4) obviously loves her children very much and means well. However this woman is soooo increadibly blind to the world around her. I am 100% convinced she is the "source" (genetically) of my fiance's ADHD. Also keep in mind that everyone (not me) is very happy keeping her in the dark and letting her believe what she wants to believe. My fiance has chosen to not tell his parents about his ADHD.

She has  openly said that she does not know why any of her children have to leave the house. It actually confuses her. When it comes to my ADHDer, she has taken the stance (and I overheard this...no I was not purpously overhearing) that she "knows he has made a new FRIEND in me and it good to have friends come in and out of his life but eventually he needs to come home and be with his family". And she likes me! Trust me I know this! I want to scream.

That is only a little background though to my point. It seems as if every time he sees her, weeks and weeks of ADHD progress and getting him organized, and AWAY from the excuses he grew up with, after he sees her he comes home and sometimes it's so bad that it is as if months of work has reversed. She is a well meaning woman and I think that when he sees her, she makes him feel so perfect that he forgets about his ADHD progress. He was diagnosed after my suspicions at the age of 27...and once again, his mom nor dad have any clue about his ADHD because although his mom has it, this people live in a world that is not reality.

I know this may all sound confusing and I will answer any questions. I am just wondering if anyone else has a mother-in-law that brings out all the "worst" aspects of ADHD in their significant other?

MOther-in-Law Stopping Progress

Yes...I can related to this a bit.  My hubby and I had to move in with my mother-in-law because we could no longer pay the rent out our place when my husband lost his job.  We have been there for 2 years now.  Because my mother-in-law is OCD (never formally diagnosed but it is OBVIOUS), it makes living between her and her ADD son very difficult.  When my husaband leaves things around the house, it annoys her so much that she just goes out and buys sheds for him to keep his things.  We now have 2 sheds and one trailor full of my husbands things that he can't seem to keep organized.  Instead of providing structure and rules, she just provides more space for him to fill up.

I also have changed our diets (for my husband, 2 year-old and myself) as studies are now showing that better nutrition helps with ADD/ADHD traits and symptoms.  My mother-in-law, however, continues to feed my son and her son crap that is processed, even though I have asked her politely to please understand that we now have to eat a special diet to try to help her son (and her grandson who could possibly have ADHD). 

When my husband does a financial faux-pas, she tries to cover it up and offers him MORE money for him to spend or she will go out and buy him that new tool that he "needs" (even though he already has 2 of them).  It drives me CRAZY.  I am in such a hard spot because currently we HAVE to live with her and pay her rent (which is cheaper than the rent we were paying, but still more than low-income housing).  I have been on the list for low-income housing now for 2 years, but I am still waiting to hear back.  I will be a physician in another 6 years (I am currently in school and work 2 part-time jobs) but until then, we live below the poverty line.

So, yes...I can understand the "mother-in-law not living in the real workd scenario."  In my case, it is because my mother-in-law does not LET her son live in the real world.  Instead, she seems to try to cover up the problems and glaze over the bumps. 

I do believe, however, that telling her about the diagnosis is helping a little bit as she now starts to see the ADD symptoms.  I believe she is starting to see that there is a reason to his financial catastrophies, him dropping out of high school, the loss of many jobs, his need to be a pack-rat and his occasional angry outbursts.  I would recommend that your mother-in-law (or your father-in-law if he is more reasonable) be told about the diagnosis so they can maybe come onboard and be more helpful.  Of course, you will need to talk to your husband about this and make sure it is ok with him that you disclose this information.  I believe the more people who know about our loved ones needs who are in our lives, the better.  It should not have to be you against the world in trying to help your spouse.

God bless you, and best of luck!