Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this serious situation.
The scenario you describe is truly frustrating since it clearly shows how your mother in law has been systematically abusing you, mentally, emotionally and verbally. No form of abuse is acceptable, and for this to be your reality from day one that you have been living there, shows how dysfunctional your husband's family has been from long ago. You said he's been used to such dysfunctional and abusive behavior for the past 35 years, and you are absolutely right about your need to set healthy and clear boundaries about everything, in order not to take any further abuse.
You have tried everything to make this situation improve, but your experience has shown you it does not matter what you try, if she is unable and unwilling to respect you and your marriage, things would not significantly improve, unless you keep very solid boundaries supported by your husband, specially while you stay there.
Right, and because of such cultural and social reality, as long as you live together, you and your husband have to set very concrete and healthy boundaries and limits, for his family to know that no form of mistreatment, abuse or disrespect would be tolerated, as long as they want to live together. Having this duty does not mean having to take abuse or to expose you to be abused by anybody at all.
They are two adults who stay at home and should take full responsibility for taking good care of themselves and doing the house chores once they have no other responsibilities, while respecting you and the integrity of your marriage.
That could be his opinion based on how much he has adjusted to such dysfunctional relationships and life for most of his life, but now he has a new responsibility towards you, and needs to work on becoming more aware, assertive and responsible, acknowledging the impact such chronic dysfunction and abusive behaviors have in you and your marriage.
Then you need to reassess your priorities, core needs and expectation in this marriage and talk to him about it, for him to know what you are willing to afford or not in this marriage, since it is unacceptable for him to avoid working on finding real and responsible solutions to these serious problems.
I think your plan is absolutely reasonable, since they are obviously abusing your generosity and not being responsible adults. I haven't read that your mother in law or sister in law are disable, and that's why they cannot take good care of their own core needs nor of the house chores, since they have no other responsibilities whatsoever, right?
Please, set your individual health, integrity and well-being as your number one priority, since it is from there that you would have the insight, assertiveness and strength to support in healthy and acceptable ways those around you, but without exposing yourself to any form of abuse, mistreatment or exploitation. Your husband is obviously neglectful and lacks responsibility when avoiding working on these issues, enabling that way further abuse and dysfunction.
You cannot control your husband nor anybody in his family, but you can, have the right and responsibility to take good care of yourself before anything, and from there you would know how to cope and do things while keeping self-respect, self-love and support.
Absolutely, psychotherapy, as long as provided by a competent, ethical and experienced psychotherapist, could be not only positive but essential for anybody coping with a tough iife issue, to effectively work on creating solutions, while rehabilitating from the impact such issues may have, from stress, to depressive and anxiety problems, marital and family issues and more.
I think that would be the best and wisest approach, since that way he would continue to be able to support his mother without neglecting your marriage, nor exposing you to any further abuse, one he has been enabling with his passivity and avoidance.
Reality is that if things do not significantly improve soon, you would get more psycho-emotionally ill, it would impact your physical health and marriage even more, and nothing would survive this destructive reality, thus somebody has to do something about it. if your husband in unwilling to make changes, then you need to reassess your options and work on what you truly feel you need to do in order to take good care of yourself, integrity, health and well-being.
Marriage counseling seems necessary, but if he does not decide to work on his personal and family issues, it could be helpless. he needs to fully acknowledge the core serious issues he and his family have, and choose to work on making necessary changes, otherwise your marriage would deteriorate more and more with time.
I support you, and it does show the need for developing further mutual respect, understanding, caring and support, trust and intimacy in your communication and relationship.
You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust. Please take gentle care and consistent action to create the changes and improvements you need and deserve.
I am glad to know this has been helpful. Please work on it feeling confident respecting, loving and taking good care of yourself, are your first rights and responsibilities, from there everything else could be built in healthy ways.
Please work on developing a healthy support system, constituted by close friends and people who truly happen to respect and care about you, for them to support you, for healthy sharing, venting and mutual support.
You too. Bye for now.