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DG46420

Dad Passed, Mom Dating, Husband Not Happy

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My father passed away on January 24, 2019.  He's always had high blood pleasure and an enlarged heart, but in 2018, doctors said he needed immediate open heart surgery to fix clogged valves.  We were all hoping for the best; reading stories about successful open heart surgeries and talking to people we knew who had the surgery gave us high hopes.  The day of the surgery, doctors found an 8cm aneurism, and after 14 hours, my dad did not make it.  After the memorial service and things somewhat settled down, my mom told me that my dad was battling prostate cancer and that she thought it had came back. At the age of 56, my dad lost the long fight.

My mom decided to get her cabinets repainted a month after my father passed. At a family dinner at my home, my mom told my husband and me that she met someone - one of the construction guys who worked on her cabinets.  At first, my husband and I were shocked, but I was happy that she wasn't home alone crying and that this man was keeping her company and actually making her happy during this tough time.  My mom suffers from depression, and my father was the only one who knew how to deal with it.  My mom believes that my father sent her this man so that she did not have to deal with her depression alone.  

After about two weeks, my mom texted the family saying she is no longer seeing the guy because she did a background check and found some questionable things, like crack charges...

She gave us his address and information in case something bad had ever happened.  In that case, we would have his info.  A week later, my mom started seeing the guy again. She said all the red flags and background check info was a huge misunderstanding; the background check was the wrong person and her guy was a great person who believed in God, was a football coach in the past (ironically at the school I work for now), and he makes her happy.  Well, my husband's defense went up and he was not happy that my mom was using this guy to fill a void and to cope with her grief (that's how he felt).  He also has an ex-wife and does not talk to his kids (there are so many sides to one story). Since my husband was now the head of the family, he felt it was his duty to protect the family from this guy.  He said the guy was not welcomed in our home nor at any family events.  This triggered my mom.  She felt hurt and betrayed.  Why couldn't my husband give her the benefit of the doubt? Yes, my mom was grieving but she wasn't an idiot.  A huge verbal fight broke out between my mom and my husband because they could not see eye to eye.  Now that it is 4 months later, and no red flags came to be, my husband is not speaking to my mother, and my mother feels as though we do not support her.  She did not attend my husband's sisters' graduation party and she bailed on Mother's Day because she was still upset. My husband feels like she is doing this to herself, separating herself from the family all because of this guy.  I am now stuck in the middle - I feel like I'm left to choose sides every time my mom or my husband texts me. My anxiety level and pain have tripled which is added onto my grief process. The whole family is now in turmoil.  I love my mother and support her decision to date this guy even though there were some questionable things that happened.  I love and support my husband even though him protecting the family is now causing a riff.  I understand everyone grieves in their own unique way, and I also understand that everyone's feelings are valid. 

After reading the post in 2015 and those comments, I feel like I have such clarity.  I choose to move forward and I choose to be happy.  I will support my mom in her decisions, but I will also honor my husband's feelings.  If my husband does not want to talk nor hang out with my mom, that's his choice; however, he cannot stop me from hanging out with my mom, because well, she's my mother, and she has done a lot for our family and it is her time to be happy.  I will have to set aside time to be with my mother.  My husband and I will still have our own lives separate from hers, but I will still continue to occasionally go out to dinner with her, go over to see her, etc.  If anyone has some words of wisdom, it would be much appreciate.  My heart will not be mended until my family is at peace with each other. 

 

UPDATE: I went over my mom's house last night.  She invited my husband and me out to dinner but my husband did not want to go.  Apparently, he needs time to process everything and doesn't appreciate how everything was handled.  But, if I can swallow my pride and support my mom during this difficulty time, why can't he?  To me,  it's a no brainer.  She just lost her husband and although things were said while emotions were running high,  why can't he attend a simple dinner with my mom.  First, her new guy was the issue and now he's harboring resentment towards my mom.  I will give him the time and space, but I don't really understand it.  He had a rough upbringing (parents divorced after father cheated), so I understand there's underlying issues, but I don't see how the two are connected.  

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3 hours ago, DG46420 said:

My husband feels like she is doing this to herself, separating herself from the family all because of this guy.

 

3 hours ago, DG46420 said:

Why couldn't my husband give her the benefit of the doubt? Yes, my mom was grieving but she wasn't an idiot.

 

3 hours ago, DG46420 said:

I love and support my husband even though him protecting the family is now causing a riff. 

Her being estranged from the family is not because of the guy, it's because your husband isn't giving her the respect to make her own decisions.  I don't see your husband as protector so much as controller.  All of this is putting you in a hard position.  You do not have to choose between your mom and your husband, you can love them both, support them both in their choices, but I would not support bad behavior which can result from this situation.  

Your mom may very well be avoiding her grief, which will present to her anyway, we can't circumvent grief.  It has a way of finding us and haunting us.  Trust me, I know, been there!  We are very vulnerable in early grief!  Our brains don't have clarity and we often have "grief fog".  Not saying that is what your mom is doing, but I sure had it!  Nevertheless, your mom is an adult and can make her own decisions...and own the consequences that come with those decisions.  No one can protect or prevent her from it.  The rift comes in when your husband tries to insert himself into her business.  It's easier for a mom to listen to her child than an in-law, just speaking from experience again.  Chances are at this point your mom isn't likely to hear what you say either.

I can't answer for your husband as to why he isn't making overtures or getting past this, but counseling could be of help.  Most often those who need it the most are the ones least likely to consider it though.  

I will keep your situation in my prayers, I am so sorry for all the stress all this is causing.  Your husband means well, undoubtedly, but it's not helping.  Everyone needs to realize whose place is whose, your mom, as an adult can make her own choices, your husband is NOT over her, and you are not responsible for either of them.  I wish you well!  It's always best to be the bigger person and it seems you've taken the high road, proud of you!

I am very sorry for the loss of your dad.  No one expects it so young...my husband was 51 when he suddenly passed.

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