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Old 10-25-2018, 12:10 PM
 
Location: northern New England
1,723 posts, read 700,406 times
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He is in his 80's, how long do you think he should wait?
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:25 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 526,936 times
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OP, just hope that the man has found happiness. Maybe it's a tribute to your mother in some way, that he was in the company of a loving woman for many years and now can't live without one.

My father is also a widower, mom died 4 years ago. He sounds similar in some ways, my dad has never been a social person either but he is a wonderful man. A big difference is that my dad is in his 50's so (hopefully) has a lot of years left. My dad has made no efforts to try and date and I really wish he would! It would definitely be awkward for me and my siblings at first but I really don't want the man to spend the rest of his life without a partner.

Your dad probably needs the companionship, nothing wrong with that.
 
Old 10-25-2018, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Extraction View Post
My mother passed away 14 months ago. Recently, my dad (early 80s, in relatively good shape) has been spending time with a female friend. This female friend - we'll call her "Rose" - has been a widow for a number of years. Rose and her husband were part of a large group of friends that my parents hung around with.

Shortly after the 1 year anniversary of my mom's death, my brother and I found out that our Dad has been spending alone time with Rose at her house and his house (which was my mom's house too). He says it's just companionship and that nothing will happen. He enjoys her company and she makes him laugh.

My Dad has never been a social person. It was my Mom who wanted to go out and do things with friends. My Dad was content to stay home and watch TV. Not anymore. In fact, in a conversation with my Mom while she was dying she said that she was concerned that my Dad wouldn't leave the house. Not true! I feel bad that my Mom worried about him.

My Dad has picked Rose up for group dinners with friends, etc. He says that she makes him laugh and he enjoys her company.

My Dad has indicated that he needs to get a life. He took a grieving class and he tells me that the class told him that his life is going to change. I feel like he waited a year and then decided that he can change his life and do whatever he wants because the class said so.

My brother is very angry about the whole situation, mainly because my Dad is keeping it a secret. Dad has gone MIA several times and we don't know where he is. But, now we know. I have asked him to stop keeping secrets. My brother wants him to only meet Rose in public places during the day instead of spending time alone together at night at each other's house.

My counselor has told me that seeking companionship is not wrong. However, she does understand that to me and my brothers it feels like betrayal. There is also the fact that Rose was a friend of my mom's. What happened to you don't date your friend's ex?

I feel that my Dad will not stop seeing her. I don't know if he will follow my brother's wishes and only meet her in public places (lunch, coffee) during the day. If my Dad doesn't do this, I'm afraid my brother will not want much to do with my Dad.

Any helpful advise is appreciated. Please don't tell me that I should just suck it up and be happy that my Dad is happy. I'm not there yet. I don't know when I will be or if I will be.
First, I am sorry for the loss of your mom. Just from your single post it seems clear that you valued your mom more than your dad.

Second, I am glad that you are bouncing your feelings off a counselor. A good counselor can guide you in a better understanding of feelings and relationships.

I have to agree that the selfishness being exhibited is unseemly and even unkind. Would you subject your father to solitary confinement to serve your lack of understanding and refusal to admit your mother's death? Humans NEED interaction and the desire for connection and closeness in a human does not suddenly evaporate at the death of a spouse. Different people react differently, but it is very much a finding of a new way, or even exploring a new life.

Perhaps, if you or your brother are married to your own spouses, you might get a deeper understanding of your unreasonableness if you can imagine your father telling you, upon the sudden unexpected deaths of your spouses, that you were not allowed to see people of the opposite sex for the rest of your lives, that in his mind doing so would be a disrespect to your dead spouses as well as him. Further, if you did have the temerity to do so, or heaven forbid, to date another person, he would summarily disown you and never want to see you again.

Is it hard to adjust to a parent finding another companion after their spouse dies? Of course. To discover that the person who loved your mother (or father) is more than just a parent robot, but a real individual with needs of their own, and able to express lovingkindness to someone other than the dead parent is disconcerting. That is not an excuse for churlishness.

I will not shy away from the elephant in the room that many times the attitude of children towards a widow or widower having a new relationship is less about the interpersonal issues and more about fear of losing an inheritance. That may happen consciously or unconsciously. Only you can bring that fear to the light of day for exploration with a counselor if needed.

Ultimately, IMO, you are not being kind or compassionate towards your father, and that is best brought to your attention so that you can discuss the reasons for that with your counselor. It may be that there are issues with your father unrelated to the death of your mother that are coloring your reactions. It may be that you have unresolved issues of your own that are preventing your moving on. You don't need to live in that atmosphere of hate. It is unhealthy.
 
Old 10-25-2018, 12:39 PM
 
Location: St Louis MO area
1 posts, read 141 times
Reputation: 15
My husband's family is going through this right now. His mother died unexpectedly in May. It threw everyone for a loop, but his dad was absolutely lost without her. Really - she had done everything for 50 years: paid all the bills, opened all the mail, cooked all the food, made all the appointments. He started talking about suicide being the only logical choice for someone like him who was suddenly alone at 75. The family pushed him to start going to a local senior center and he seemed to feel better on some days, but was still totally lost without her. Then he met a lady there and they have become an "item" even though he had only been widowed 4 months when they started spending time together. All of the kids are quite upset that he is dating so soon.

I can understand that the timeframe does not meet the kids' expectations but for God's sake, the man is unbearably lonely! He is not in the best of health but probably has a few years left. Why isn't he entitled to some joy? He doesn't have any money or property so clearly the new girlfriend isn't using him or trying to take the kids' inheritance. He simply wants some companionship.

I agree with the other posters - if your dad is happy and you don't think he's being swindled, it is not anyone's place to decide when a parent should be allowed to date or remarry again. Let him live his life.
 
Old 10-25-2018, 12:50 PM
 
44 posts, read 9,412 times
Reputation: 114
Give yourself permission to take time to adjust to this new relationship. My best friend's father did the same thing (including the best friend bit), and it was challenging for her as well. It's ok to feel upset or uncomfortable about the changes going on. Grief is difficult.
 
Old 10-25-2018, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,297 posts, read 3,477,426 times
Reputation: 14916
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
I have to wonder how many of these adult children are now worried that the new spouse (or potential spouse) will spend all the “family” money.
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I will not shy away from the elephant in the room that many times the attitude of children towards a widow or widower having a new relationship is less about the interpersonal issues and more about fear of losing an inheritance. That may happen consciously or unconsciously. Only you can bring that fear to the light of day for exploration with a counselor if needed.
That is absolutely a legitimate concern, but if things get serious between Dad and Rose, it's a concern a competent estate attorney can easily deal with. It's certainly not a reason to discourage the relationship!

Wedding vows say "until death do us part" for a reason, OP. Your mother is gone forever, and your Dad clinging to her memory won't bring her back. You and your brother need to let him move on with his life. He deserves to be happy in the short time he has left on this Earth.
 
Old 10-25-2018, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
9,865 posts, read 8,003,412 times
Reputation: 11210
Advice? Let go of this. Dad is happy.
 
Old 10-25-2018, 01:30 PM
 
9,268 posts, read 7,289,484 times
Reputation: 22747
Geesh. Your dad is 80. Let him enjoy his final years. You and your brother are grieving but you are out of line. Work on your feelings separately. If you love your dad, let him be happy.
 
Old 10-25-2018, 01:34 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,846 posts, read 57,851,863 times
Reputation: 29239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Extraction View Post
...my dad (early 80s, in relatively good shape) has been spending time with a female friend.
Rose and her husband were part of a large group of friends that my parents hung around with.
Good for Dad and for Rose too.
Brother (and you) can get some other hobby.
 
Old 10-25-2018, 01:50 PM
 
966 posts, read 536,271 times
Reputation: 1285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Extraction View Post
his life and do whatever he wants because the class said so.

My brother is very angry about the whole situation, mainly because my Dad is keeping it a secret. Dad has gone MIA several times and we don't know where he is. But, now we know. I have asked him to stop keeping secrets. My brother wants him to only meet Rose in public places during the day instead of spending time alone together at night at each other's house.

The last sentence is the reason for the first sentence.

Your brother (and you) need to back off and let him be happy in his remaining days. I'm sure that you (or other family) pushed him to the grieving class. Now he's using what he's been taught and you and your brother are acting like you're entitled to tell him what makes him happy.

Be happy he's here and enjoy your time with him. And let him enjoy his time however the heck he wants.
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