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Mom Not Her "Old" Self, Stopped Making Family a Priority, and Moved in with a Loser Guy

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I am writing this in hopes of getting some outside views or advice for my sister and I.

Our dad passed away from cancer in 2016 - he was 66.  He was our best friend.  He and our mom had been married for almost 43 years when he passed.  We were a very close family with good values and morals.

Our mom finally relocated close to us a couple of years ago.  We thought it was to literally be closer to us, but once she got here (in her own apartment) she started going out, dated a loser guy (he was on drugs and had a violent criminal record), and was always putting her new weird loser life ahead of hanging out with us and her grandkids.  Last year, she moved this guy in who had just gotten evicted from his apartment, has some kind of past issue with drugs or alcohol, and had been dating some girl in her 20's who is really trashy and has 3 kids (he is in his 60's, my mom is 71).  She lied to us about him being evicted (or he lied to her, we're still not sure), we found out on social media that this guy was still messaging the 20-something year old girl that he loved her -- while living with our mom for free -- and he has 3 kids, one of whom is still a minor, and doesn't live with him; the child lives with his grandparents.  These were all red flags.  We tried to talk to her about the bad choices she was making, and told her that we understand if she is lonely, but we are here and want to be with her, and she needs to have patience and stop just picking up these weird guys who are nothing like our awesome, responsible, safe father.  She ignored us and told us why can't we stop trying to find things wrong with him and just be happy for her.

Presently, she is still living with this guy.  He has since started receiving his social security check and works at the grocery store, so at least he has money and she tells us he splits the rent with her ,etc.  It is a 1 bedroom apartment and they sleep together (which grosses us out).  We had told her a long time ago that we don't want him around us and our families -- we hoped he would be out of the picture -- but he is still here.  She has complied with our rules but continues, every so often, to try to force him on us and complains that it's not fair that she can't take him to our family gatherings, etc.  We have held strong because we feel like this guy is using her.  We always hoped our mom would find a nice companion after our dad died, one that we could be friends with too, but this guy is a complete loser.  We can't believe she lowered her standards so much.  This guy is exactly the kind of guy she always preached to us to stay away from.

Recently, it has become hard to watch her be upset and act not herself because she can't have him with her at events with us.  We are considering telling her , since it's been over a year now and he's still here, that fine, he can come with you, but we want to make sure she knows we don't support the relationship, we are just tolerating it.

She also doesn't seem to understand that after growing up with an awesome, hardworking family-man guy like our dad, it is hard to see her with her a loser like this, and we don't want our kids replacing the image of their deceased grandpa with this new loser guy.

Has anyone gone through anything like this?  We have seen some other posts on here about kids having a hard time with their parents dating again, but in this situation, it's not that we don't want our mom to have a companion, it's that she is making bad choices we think out of desperation.  And even that is weird because my sister and I and her 4 grandkids all live within 15 minutes of her now, so it is not like she is alone or without peple to be with, yet she spends all her time with this guy.  We feel at a loss with how to handle this.  We don't want to spend our holidays and other family gatherings in the company of this loser, but also want our mom to be happy -- how much are we supposed to sacrifice and why does she ignore our concerns?

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On 1/30/2024 at 8:13 PM, Summer79 said:

We are considering telling her , since it's been over a year now and he's still here, that fine, he can come with you, but we want to make sure she knows we don't support the relationship, we are just tolerating it.

It seems to me that you've already made quite clear to your mother how you feel about the man she's chosen to be with. The hard reality here is that your mother is a grown woman, free to live her life and to make her own decisions, whether or not you approve of her choices. Think of how you would feel if your mother did't approve of the person you've chosen to be with, and if she insisted that you couldn't have him with you at family gatherings. 

You say that since you all live nearby, it's not like your mother is "alone or without people to be with" ~ but "hanging out" with her kids and grandkids in the role of mother and grandmother is not the same as being with her partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whose primary focus is on her and their relationship. Your mother has been a widow for eight years; we can only imagine how it feels to her to have the attention and companionship of another man in her life.

You've already let your mother know how you feel about all of this, and for whatever reasons she's chosen to let this man stay with her anyway ~ so there's not much more that you can do without alienating her completely and cutting her out of your life. 

I encourage you to get some help with all of this by talking to a therapist or professional grief counselor, so that your own feelings about losing your dad and your current difficulties with your mother can be expressed, worked through and resolved. You may have no control over how your mother chooses to live her life in the wake of your father’s death, but with help you can find more effective ways to manage your own reactions and get on with your own life. Your community library or your local mental health association will have good grief counseling referral lists, or you can use the Yellow Pages of your telephone directory to call your local hospital or hospice. Ask to speak with the Bereavement Coordinator, Social Worker, or Chaplain's Office to get a local grief referral. I hope you will think of this as a gift you can give to yourself, and I hope you will follow through with it. ❤️

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Your mom already knows how you feel about him so why exascerbate the situation by telling her again?  She KNOWS how you feel!  She makes her choices, just as you make yours.  At the end of the day you don't want to ruin your relationship with her.  She was a grown ass woman when she had you, raised you, and even if she makes an unwise decision, it's hers to make.  Do you want her in your life?  At the end of the day you'll have to find a way to make peace with this.

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