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|Wed, 09-04-2013 - 12:01pm|
I'm in the middle of a somewhat delicate situation, and I'm not sure how I should handle it. My husband has been depressed for two years now, because he has been working himself much too hard for too long. He is now on medication, which helped him to slowly get better (although he's not cured, or anything) but this summer things got hectic for him at work again, and he's now on extended sick leave.
My mother in law refuses to acknowledge how serious the situation is. She just won't see it, even though we have both spelled it out for her over and over. Her abilities for empathy aren't all that great, it seems. She also really enjoys getting attention and help from my husband, and every time we're over there, she practically runs him into the ground with all the things she needs help with. These "problems" are usually complete no-brainers. She has absolutely no qualms about calling him several times a day, asking him favors such as controlling her computer via skype to help her print an email, or to call him from vacations to have him figure out the opening hours of some store over there.
There have been several instances where I've been planning a really nice, realxing day for him, because he's finally had a day when he didn't have any work to do. So I tidy up and cook a big breakfast, and he's actually looking as if he's having a good day. Then she starts calling to ask him to fix her problems, and before I know it, he's white as a sheet and having an anxiety attack.
I'm worried that her incessant need for help is part of what's keeping him sick, but I don't know what to do about it. I know enough about her to really doubt that bringing it up with her is going to do any good at all. She just refuses to understand it, and - although she seems to really like me - I fear that I will be considered the unreasonable one, should I say anything to her. I also don't want him to think that there's conflict between me and his mother, because I'm sure that would just cause him further stress. However, he doesn't seem to really be avare that her behavior is just plain...bizarre.
So what on earth do I do?