I believe my daughter in law has Munchausen. She has multiple trips to the ER over four different states, all the classic symptoms, abdominal pains, migraines, etc. as far as physical aliments. Sometimes she will go to the ER four times in one week. Some of my son's friends,(in the recent past) mentioned they thought his wife might be a hypochondriac. However, something deep inside me knows, she knows that her illness are fabricated. She will be ok for about 2 to 3 months, and then, 3 to 4 trips to the ER. I live in another state so I wouldn't have any access to her health care provider, even to suggest she might have this disorder without requesting any privileged health care info.
When she doesn't work for weeks at a time, my son calls me for money to pay their utility bills and I have assisted them. My ex-husband told me I was enabling the both of them, and I can see his point. As he explained, I am making it easier for her to run to the hospital and avoid responsibility. I understand this is an illness. She has severe abandonment issues and my heart goes out to her.
I can't talk to my son about any of this, as he becomes very defensive. I think deep in his heart he knows it isn't real, but if he verbalizes it, then he may have to address the issue. Don't get me wrong, my heart goes out to her, but at the same time, this is a huge drain on my financial and emotional resources. I know someone once said to me denial stood for: didn't even know I was lying - makes sense because someone in denial is actually lying to themselves without any real awareness.
Question is should I help them financially, like paying the electric bill? Like I said, I don't mind helping out when necessary; however, I feel like I am paying for his choice of a companion that has severe mental issues. When they lived in this state, I encouraged her to seek mental health counseling, which she did follow through. However, I can't ever imagine her admitting these illness are not real. So, how can she get any real help with these issues? I really appreciate this site being here, and reading what people who have this disorder go through. This helps me feel compassion for her.