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Mom died 2 1/2 years ago, dad (almost 92 now) was her caregiver. He has been lonely, even though mom was a lot of responsibility for him and their relationship was tumultous, he says at least it was someone else sitting at the table with him. He now has a lady friend, a widow whose husband died in 2012. There seems to be a whirlwind romance going on even though he says they are just friends.



At first I was fine with the friendship which started in August. Now they seem to see each other almost every day. And I'm starting to get a little uncomfortable about this friendship because it seems to be moving very quickly. Interestingly, their paths crossed for years but they never met. Mutual friends at church introduced them to each other.



I keep telling myself that a second chance at love, no matter the age, is a good thing. And face it, at almost 92, dad doesn't have a whole lot of time left. He's so much more "alive" now when I talk to him each night. Last night, after they spent the day together at her house preparing her family Thanksgiving dinner, they went out to eat. She drove to the restaurant. His drink at the restaurant went to his head, so instead of going back to her house, she drove him straight home. (This means his car was at her house all night, are the rumors going to start?)



My husband, with a myriad of health issues, the worst being heart failure and dementia, declares that this relationship is an affair, that she's trying to steal my inheritance, and refuses to meet Joan and her family (we were invited to Thanksgiving with them, he refused to go). So that adds another level of tension for me because, darn it, my dh is often right when he feels something.



I should add that I have talked to Joan on the phone once. My first impression is that for a lady in her 80s, she is a real livewire! And the fact that she is preparing dinner for twenty -- including making yeast rolls from scratch -- tells me that she might be in better shape than I am!



Thoughts?

Thanks for all your replies. We ended up cancelling our trip to see dad for Thanksgiving. I was okay with it because our goal was for him to not be alone for the holiday and because of Joan and her family, he most certainly wasn't alone. We plan to go before Christmas. Hopefully by then dh will have gotten past his hostility. Dad had the best Thanksgiving he's had in years. For that I am grateful.
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lealonnie1 Nov 26, 2022
Don't rely on DH getting over his hostility toward Joan.......dementia is a difficult thing for all concerned. They get a thought stuck in their head & it can't be chopped out of there with an AXE. I've seen it first hand for years with my mother who had dementia, and it was something else. If DH still has this wild hair in him around Christmas, don't bring him along to see dad, who's entitled to live out his final days/months/years in peace & happiness w/o a crotchety annoyed son in law wrecking things for him, right?

So glad to hear your dad had a wonderful Thanksgiving! That's great news GG!!
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I'm going to post my answer and I know some of you won't agree. I've been on this site for a few years. I went through a long-term progressive illness with my husband for twelve plus years (with it originally being diagnosed in 1999). He died in July, 2021. A lot of questions / comments / answers over the years helped me with my thoughts, doctor's appointments, etc.

Moving forward... I took more than a year to get my thoughts / life together (paperwork, etc.) after his death. I had lost him both mentally and physically years before he died so I had already grieved, even though when he passed it was permanent. I needed time to sleep and figure out who I was as an individual and not as part of a couple after so many years.

I, too, met a man about two months ago. He is also a widower. We are 'just friends'. I am not looking for anything more than that. I made it very clear, I have no interest in getting married or living with anyone in the future. We have a lot in common - way back to childhood. We can talk about anything. We have fun together. Regarding the financial aspect... I am blessed to be financially independent. It was hard for him to accept, but I insist we split the cost when we go out to eat or take turn buying tickets, etc. If I went out with a female friend that is how we usually do things.

I know sometimes, especially children (no matter what the age), think that the woman is after their father's money (their inheritance) (or vice versa). I realize that sometimes this is the case.

Adult children, please try to understand, we were used to having someone around 24/7 - all of a sudden we are alone. Yes, I do have a lot of female friends that helped me over the years, but sometimes it is enjoyable to talk with men and get their perspective on a situation.

It's hard to cook for just one person - the motivation just isn't there. When was the last time you ate a meal by yourself? It can be lonesome.

Try to be happy they found each other. From your post, it sounds like they are eating well, enjoying each other, having fun, staying busy and your father is not relying on you for his entertainment and care.

I know it is hard to understand, but I think two people can be friends without wanting anything more.
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sp19690 Nov 29, 2022
I agree with this. Why cant dad have a relationship without getting married? Heck even if she moved in who cares at least not getting married means not having to deal with elderly new wife having control over dad as his health deteriorates. Why muddy things with a marriage it's just stupid at 92 years old.
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"He's so much more "alive" now when I talk to him each night." 

Isn't that what matters?

Mutual friends at a church they've both attended for many years, and whom you're presumably happy for your father to associate with, introduced them.

You say you're concerned that things are moving too quickly, but then again as you also say he hasn't exactly got time to hang around. He did his duty by your mother and kept his vow. She's got her own house and her own family. She doesn't allow him to drive under the influence, which shows that she doesn't let fear of gossip overrule common sense.

Seriously - what has anybody got against this relationship? Have you heard anything at all from anybody that tends to substantiate your husband's suspicions? May they make each other very happy for as much time as they're blessed with.
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sp19690 Nov 23, 2022
I don't know it sounds like she was taking advantage of him by getting him drunk and then going back to his place. I hope she didn't ruffie him.
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Graygrammie, I would accept the dinner invitation and hubby can go or stay at home but, he needs to be told to behave himself.

Your dad is happy, she is obviously a responsible woman. Who cares if gossip starts because his car was at her home overnight. People are going to believe whatever they want anyways, so why worry about it.

Tell your husband that he needs to love them both, right where they are. If they are behaving inappropriately The Lord will deal with them, it's not his place to judge.

I would love it if my mom could find someone that made her happy.

Being alone and vulnerable is not easy and we should encourage our able minded elders to enjoy their money while they can. Who cares if you get an inheritance if he enjoys his last years. I hope he spends every last penny having a fabulous time with his new lady.

Go and be loving, kind and happy for them. If you don't, you risk alienating him and causing him to be unhappy, surely that's not what you want.
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After moving my mom to AL because of dementia, she took up with a man that was quite a bit older than her. He was more physically broken down but sharper than my mom mentally. In the beginning it was a bit alarming to see them holding hands, but she had a companion. They ate every meal together, watched TV together, etc. They both needed that. His son immediately thought my mom was after his dads money. We had a phone call. He immediately told me that his dads funds were in a trust. I told him that I could care less about his dads finances and that if my mom didn't have dementia, she wouldn't be giving his dad the time of day. I told him that they are companions for one another...that is where it begins and that is where it ends and we should both be grateful that our parents have someone. After that, we were fine. My moms male friend did not care to spend time with his son. They didn't get along. My mom and her male friend came to my home for every holiday and sometimes I would pick them both up and get an icecream cone and go for a drive. When he passed, my mom was alone and worsened and had to move to memory care. I felt like I had lost a family member.

It sounds like your dads companion is in great shape! It's good that he has someone. You might want to make sure that his finances are protected so that if they did something crazy like elope.
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lealonnie1 Nov 29, 2022
I can see why your mom's male friend did not want to spend any time with his son. How lovely that they had one another during his last days on Earth, that was a blessing. I'm sorry your mom worsened and had to be moved to MC after her friend passed. It was very kind of you to respect their friendship together, James. Bravo.
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Neither one of them is married, so no, there's no "affair." Tell your husband to get his mind out of the gutter.

I say be happy for your dad. It really stinks to be alone, and if these two are enjoying one another's company, good for them.

Obviously it's important that his finances are protected, but otherwise, stop treating Joan with suspicion. You missed an important opportunity to get to know her better by skipping her dinner, not to mention that it was rude. The more you're engaged with her, the less likely she'd be someone who'd fleece your dad. I'd be more suspicious of someone who didn't want to get to know you.

This is more about you having trouble accepting Dad being with someone other than your mother. I get it -- my mother flipped out when my grandfather started seeing and ultimately marrying another woman four years after my grandmother died. I believe he was looking for not only companionship, but a caregiver for his final years, and that's exactly what he got in marrying a much-younger woman. My mom was never all that nice to Ruth which was really cruddy of her, because Ruth was part of our family for 50 years and was the only grandmother I really knew.

Don't be like that.
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graygrammie Nov 26, 2022
Hey, your first sentence is exactly what I have said to dh. He told me I was naive. Yes, I agree, I do need to get to know her. Dad has gotten to know her family and it turns out one of her sons lives about 30 minutes from us. (Dad lives five hours away from us.)
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"Are the rumors going to start?" Come on! Who cares? Your dad is admittedly so much more alive now than he's been, so what's the problem, exactly, besides The Inheritance, which is always ALWAYS at the root of everyone's problems when it comes to love in old age. The "other woman" is obviously a "gold digger" and yada yada, but dad's happy at 92 with very limited time left on Earth, so rushing things is a requirement, let's face it.

If they are having sex (sorry to upset you sp), good for them. If it's simple companionship they're having, good for them. If it were me in your shoes, I'd dismiss DHs hunch which is baseless, and get to know Joan at the thanksgiving dinner she was gracious enough to invite you to. Leave dh home to be alone if he can't muster up the decency to be social here, and see what you think. It's your father anyway, not his.

Every single human being is entitled to feel love, warmth, and affection from another no matter what their age or lot in life. 😚

Good luck to dad and Joan. And I agree with Fawnby in that Joan will likely be dad's caregiver if and when he needs one, so that's ANOTHER plus for you here.
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sp19690 Nov 23, 2022
Again why do they have to get married? Why can't they just spend time together without marriage?

As for a 92 year old getting it on it reminds me of one post where the mother told her son she was tired of having to give her husband hand jobs. I think they were in their eighties. Or other posts where the man or woman is incontinent, doesn't shower and still wants sex.

Let's not romanticize elderly sex because it ain't all the idealistic high fives and pats on the back people want to give when they hear about two octogenerians getting it on.
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How wonderful that your father has found someone that makes him happy and feel alive again. What a true blessing for sure!
Instead of being upset or suspicious of this relationship, you and your husband should be happy for him. I don't read anything in what you've written that should make you or hubby be concerned, as your father is a grown ass man and should be allowed to follow his heart.
And if your husband has dementia, you already know that his brain is broken, so I wouldn't take serious anything he has to say about the matter. You say that your husband is often right when he "feels something" but again, that was then this is now....a man with a broken brain, and paranoia is often a symptom of dementia.
So let your father enjoy whatever happiness he may have before he dies, and go and enjoy Thanksgiving with her. You can leave hubby home if he doesn't want to go.
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graygrammie Nov 26, 2022
Leaving hubby home is not an option, unfortunately. And I am happy for dad, just trapped by dh's gloom and doom attitude.
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It's his life, his money, and his chance at happiness. Your husband (the guy with dementia, which causes bad judgment) is way out of line. Remind him that if Joan is in dad's life or married to him, she's likely the one who will be his caregiver when he needs one. That gets you and husband off the hook, so be grateful for what dad has and both of you bug out of his private business. I suggest you get to know her better.
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sp19690 Nov 23, 2022
So he wasnt happy all the years he was married to his wife?

If thats the case he obviously is not capable of picking a proper spouse so he should not get remarried.

He's only been widowed 2 1/2 years. Most men looking to get married again at that age do it to have another woman to cook, clean and take care of them. Especially that particular generation of men.

And again why can't be have the companionship without another marriage? I just dont get it.
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Your husband suffers from Dementia. They become paranoid. Seems this woman wants to introduce you to her family. Gold diggers do not do this. They isolate the person they are going after. Put ideas in the persons head so they turn on family. From what you describe Dads friend seems to be very nice. Let Dad be happy and don't listen to a husband who can no longer reason.

I agree you should make an effort to at least stop in. Maybe go for dessert. Make Dad and girlfriend aware that with having Dementia DH would not do well in a crowd. Be happy for Dad, his days are numbered.

"This means his car was at her house all night, are the rumors going to start?" I had to laugh at this. I would say the neighbors would say "Good for them". I was 30 living on the highway when I was dating my DH. He had a regular size van with a big L shaped blue decal on the sides. No other Vans like it. Small town so sure everyone knew whose Van was in my driveway overnight.

My GFs father dated the nicest woman in his early 80s. His kids just loved her. He wanted to marry her, she did not want to marry. A lot of women do not want to remarry. IMO my Uncle had the best relationship. J had her house and he had his. They traveled together, went to dinner and came to family functions together but never married. Just be happy for Dad. Best thing you can do is get to know this woman.
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MeDolly Nov 23, 2022
Gold Diggers do introduce the target to their family, it builds a stronger bond. I have seen it over and over again, Florida is a hot spot for fleecing widows & widowers.
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