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Old 10-25-2018, 10:42 AM
Location: USA
1,277 posts, read 325,793 times
Reputation: 1156


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.

Old 10-25-2018, 11:05 AM
4,826 posts, read 2,142,556 times
Reputation: 12281
Sadly facts will take a backseat to the emotional discontent conveyed.
Pardon my humor as I chuckle lightly on the line...'now he thinks he can do what he wants'. Sure he can Since 18 he was given that priveledge. I presume though that attitude is ,in yours or your siblings perspective ,not in line with the Dad you knew.
Don't get me wrong...no matter the age...a parent is often boxed into this role..and as adults we tend to forget they have carried many roles.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your mom. I'm sure it's ongoing to come to peace with when your Dad is behaving different then the grieving spouse.
He hasnt forgotten his spouse ...he remembers....he also deserves people in his life that ease that loss. If Rose is a companion to see him thru his moments...let it be.
Keep encouraging your Dad to stay in touch though...it's what adults do for those we care about.
Old 10-25-2018, 11:12 AM
334 posts, read 147,853 times
Reputation: 911
My mother is a widow. Met a man at church and they dated for quite a while. It made her happy that her life wasn't 'over' after the passing of my father. In some ways she was like a teenager again. Freed from caring for a spouse was both sad and liberating. The only pressure I put on her was not to let him move in because if things went south she may never be able to force him out, lol.

During the two years they dated she was able to do lots of fun things and weekend excursions. I was happy for her.

My advice for you is to let the relationship run it's natural course.
Old 10-25-2018, 11:12 AM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,526 posts, read 42,694,765 times
Reputation: 57174
You children are being very selfish. Stop it. Your father has the right to do what makes him happy. He has waited a respectful length of time since your mother died, and at his age he doesn’t have time to waste.

You children should be glad that this woman loves and cares for him.
Old 10-25-2018, 11:19 AM
1,014 posts, read 1,688,878 times
Reputation: 3831
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
You children are being very selfish. Stop it. Your father has the right to do what makes him happy. He has waited a respectful length of time since your mother died, and at his age he doesn’t have time to waste.

You children should be glad that this woman loves and cares for him.

His relationship is none of your business. Often, and especially, men in happy marriages find someone else after a spouse dies because they were so happy in their marriage.

Your father is in his 80s. Let the man live his life and stop making this about you.

Be thankful he's living his life and not wasting away at home.
Old 10-25-2018, 11:25 AM
971 posts, read 274,991 times
Reputation: 1245
Let the man live his life. Hes in his 80s, hes healthy, let him have fun and be happy.
If you and your brother arent making him laugh, why shouldnt he find someone that does at his age?
Dont you think you would regret it if he died with regrets because "his kids didnt want him to enjoy his golden years"?
How long is he supposed to wait for you to be ready?
Old 10-25-2018, 11:40 AM
1,436 posts, read 509,451 times
Reputation: 4747
Just from the little you said about your mom, I bet she would be happy to see he met someone who brings a little sunshine into his life.
Old 10-25-2018, 11:45 AM
9,833 posts, read 5,715,842 times
Reputation: 9736
Why don't you want your elderly dad to be happy?
Old 10-25-2018, 11:53 AM
5,405 posts, read 3,382,449 times
Reputation: 20422
I have had a couple of friends go through this upset. In both cases, it was their father who was moving on with his life after the death of their mother.

In one case, the mom died in a car accident while the dad survived. Some time later he found someone else through OLD and moved to her town. Their son felt betrayed and was convinced it would never work. But it has.

Having a life isn’t being disloyal to your dead spouse.

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.
Old 10-25-2018, 11:56 AM
Location: SWFL
21,422 posts, read 18,139,040 times
Reputation: 18773
I am sorry for the lose of your mother. I am sorry that your Dad's friendship with Rose is causing turmoil for you and your brother. IMO your dad at least did the proper thing and wait a year after your mother's passing. That is the customary waiting period if one wants to resume life.

Who else should he turn to other than a friend they hung with? You said yourself that Mom was worried that Dad wouldn't leave the house. Most people who know they are dying want the loved one they are leaving to find a new companion. My husband out and out told me his wish for that.

I think you and your brother should just let the old man be happy.
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