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Dad And Relationships


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Good Morning All,

I have been having a hard time with something. I'll preface with mentioning again that my Mom died suddenly on November 30, 2005...so, it's a little over 8 months. My Mom and Dad had been married for 44 years and had a good relationship. Since my Mom's death my Dad has gone out with 2 ladies, nothing serious but primarily companionship.

About a month ago he met a woman on-line through a Catholics singles website. She too lost her husband but he passed away about 5 years ago. They have been speaking every day via telephone mostly and often times email. They have not met in person. However, he is going to go spend Thanksgiving with her and her 3 children and grandchildren in Pennsylvania (where she lives, he lives in Arizona) for over a week. I know my Dad deserves to be happy. I think that it is saying something for my Mom that he wants a relationship again.

...but, I am feeling sad about it. Does it make sense. I worry that he is "rushing" into things. Gosh, I sound like the parent. He's talking about if they hit it off when he's out there and she wants to come here they will get married. There are so many logistics to figure out between the two. I guess I am just sad. I don't know why this is bothering me...like I said, he deserves to be happy, he lost the most but I can't help but feel a longing and a loyatly to my Mom. He told me that her kids are very excited to meet him and that they can't wait for him to come out but it's been 5 years since their Dad died, it's only been 8 months for me. I sound like a big baby about it. I, of course, have not expressed this to my Dad. I don't want to upset him...but I don't want to hear stuff about her right now. Call me selfish but I want things the way the used to be even though I know it is not ever going to happen. Has anyone had any similar situations?

Lori

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LoriW

I can kinda go by what you are saying but instead of it being with my MOM or dad it is with my Grandparents. My grandfather who lives in New York had a wife and she passed away due to cancer and right after she was gone not even a few months he had another lady living with him and when asked why he said it because he has a hard time living alone and feeling empty and not needed or wanted. So maybe your DAD just need that little extra boost to help him and probly has asked your MOM a few times if it was ok to do so. My grandfater would tell us that his wife said that she wanted him with someone so he would be taken care of and be easier on him.

This lady is not ever going to replace your MOM not to you or to your dad but just help ina way I no that sounds funny but think some men have to have some one taking care of them and making them feel important nothing personal to you its just that you are your own person and you have a life to live and your dad sees that and probaly does not want to bother you either.

I think you should have a heart to heart talk with yur dad and explain to him that you are having these feelings. I am sure he will tell you something close to what I wrote. Good Luck let us know how it goes.

Thanks

Haley

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LoriW,

I can't give you any advice to make you feel better because I can totally understand how you feel. And you are NOT being selfish. I also think it is so unwise of him to jump into this with a woman he's never met. But I also realize that it is his decision and all you can do is pray it comes out ok. But I would feel sad too and, I have to admit it, angry somewhat. I know this probably won't help you. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone (or selfish) in your thinking. Hope it goes well. Maybe he won't like her once he meets her! Let us know, will you, what happens.

Hugs to you,

Shell

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Thanks for your responses...

Haley...I know you are right about my Dad wanting companionship. He and my Mom had been married for 44 years, it would have been 45 next month. They did a lot together and were totally devoted to one another. My Dad did tell me that this woman is not my Mom's replacement and I understand that but it is still difficult. I know he has to live and I would not expect him to be alone for the rest of his life but I guess having 2 parents together for so long is making this difficult for me.

Shell...thanks for your concern. You know, I fully expected someday for my Dad to meet someone. My Mom did everything for my Dad and his life has changed so drastically but he has done very well. This is what bothers me...it's only been 8 months. It also bothers me that he calls me and he likes to talk about her to me. She may be the most wonderful woman in the world but right now I don't want to hear him talk to me about her like some school boy with a crush. He's not even met her. She's offered him some advice about one of my siblings that has give my parents some problems and I just feel that she's not met any of us how could she know the full scope of the situation. He told me that her children are excited to meet him in November...it's been over 5 years for them...it's not been that long for me, I can't get excited. I just never thought I would feel this way. :(

Lori

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Lori,

I fully understand how you feel. I would be horrified if I were in the same position! Your dad hasn't even had enough time to grieve. Do you suppose you could talk to him about putting off any major decisions (such as getting married to this woman) until, say, a year (or better, longer) has passed? I know you want him to be happy, but have you told him how you feel? He's probably still so lonely and confused he hasn't even considered how this is affecting everyone else. If I'm asking too many questions or giving too much advice, just tell me to butt out! I won't be offended. I just hate to see your dad possibly mess up his life (and yours) by getting involved in this way. But, then again, maybe she is a wonderful person. She just sounds "suspicious" to me, but maybe I'm being too paranoid. Anyway, good luck with it.

Hugs,

Shell

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Shell,

You are not giving too much advice. I just wanted to see if there were people here that would have the same feelings as myself or had had similar situation.

I talked to my brother last night, apparently my Dad tells me a lot more than he tells my brother, because we were comparing notes. I just am not sure I like my new role as "confidant" for my Dad. Yes, I like him to talk to me, I am glad he told my about this new woman, but it's the little things and how his voice sounds. I also look at it this way...his relationship with my Mother was so great that wanting that again is a testament to their love and commitment. However, it is not easy to listen to your Dad gush over someone other than your Mom after they have been married for so long and it's only been 8 months since she passed.

My brother, like others here, indicated that maybe I should mention to my Dad not wanting to hear so many of the details. But I know, I just know, I would hurt him. I think he wants so much to have his kids' approval on this...and I guess it's not that I don't approve. It's me with the problem...I lost my Mom and now my Dad is going to spend a very family oriented holiday with a woman he's never met, her 3 children and grandchildren. This makes me cry. I think it is also like you said that he might "mess up his life". I hope he doesn't think he is going to find someone exactly like my Mom, that is never going to happen.

He is going to see her the day before Thanksgiving and will be there until the 1st of December. This too bothers me...he will be gone on the 30th, the anniversary of my Mom's death. Maybe being away will take away some of that added pain, maybe dates don't mean much to him. I know my husband is like that. He always says to me that just because it's a certain date doesn't mean that it you don't miss that person any more or less than any other day. True, but I remember what could have been or what was and what happened and it's like replaying it over and over. Maybe my Dad is like him with dates. I know he will not remarry before the 1 year mark. She's too far away and they will not meet in person until November 22nd and then if things go well in November she will come visit here. There's a lot for them to discuss.

I love my Dad, I want him to be happy. I guess I have just hit a new "bump" in this journey that I need to work through. Thanks for your compassion and responses you are a great asset to this board.

Hugs

Lori

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Well, it 5PM and I am sitting here bawling my eyes out. My Dad called me and he had talked to my brother this morning and wanted to find out what I thought.

My brother will be near the same city he is going to during Thanksgiving with his family. My brother felt that it would be more comfortable for him to go meet my Dad's new friend at a restaurant. My Dad said that she is wanting to meet his wife and kids. My brother said he was not bringing his kids...they are 6 and 8. My Dad got upset and could not understand why. My brother said that he didn't think it was necessary. I could kind of see my brother's point, this relationship may not even work out and I explained that to my Dad. I did tell my Dad that maybe his mind will change if my Dad continues to talk to her over the course of the next 3 months. They have only talked for 6 weeks. I told him that if he has a wonderful time when he is there and continues to speak with her and she comes out to visit here after Thanksgiving I would have no problem introducing my kids to her.

He wanted to know how I felt about all this and I did not hold back. I told him that I thought it was going a bit fast and that it has only been 8 months etc..etc.. I said that I can't get excited for him right now. I don't know exactly how I feel. Like I said, I didn't expect him to be alone forever, but I didn't expect him to call me with all this and want me to be joyous over the news. Right now I am at one of those points where I do not want to burden anyone I know with my sorrow so I sit here at my computer, type and cry.

I didn't want to hurt my Dad. I told him that I couldn't believe that he was choosing to spend Thanksgiving with strangers and not me, my husband and kids or other family members. He said he needed to get away and hasn't been away since my Mom died. Although he was invited by me to come to my home after her death and my brother has invited him numerous times as well as his sisters. He has turned us all down. He said it sounded like I expected him to be alone and sit in the house by himself and in no way did I ever insinuate such a thing and that he was putting words in my mouth. Needless to say, our conversation became heated.

I know. He lost his wife. I lost my Mom. I am sitting here crying over this all over again....why does it have to be so painful? I hate missing her so much...I love her. My Mom is never coming back and I absolutely hate it!

I told him to go...I never said not to. I also told him that I am entitled to my feelings as a daughter. That every day is painful for me as well. We ended fine, but I just broke down after I got off the phone and instead of better, I feel like crap. :(

Thanks for listening.

Lori

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I hadn't contributed to this topic because its outside my experience, so you can print out my response and use it as kitty litter or birdcage liner if its more suitable for that.

But, anyway. I think you did the right thing. You had to be fair to yourself and to your Dad regarding how you feel about him and seeing this other woman so soon after your Mom died. He knows where you stand. Otherwise this would just be eating away at you from now till the holidays.

Your Father nor wanting to spend thanksgiving with the family may be just a part of his own grieving. Since your parents were so close, your Dad may intimately associate the holidays with your Mom and is not up to spending them with the family minus her just yet. The figurative empty place-setting may be too much. So he's going off with someone else. That may explain his comment that you expect him to be alone in the house during the holidays, despite having had numerous invitations from you and your brother. In his mind he just cannot link spending the holidays with his family. Your invitations just reflect that his wife/your Mom isn't part of it, therefore neither is can he be. Therefore he is going somewhere where his wife/your Mom was NEVER a part of the equation. He gets his holiday in a family setting, its just someone else's.

This may be just a fling, to take his mind off things. Its lousy that its caused you a whole lot of pain, but within families there are different ways of grieving, and these usually cause some heat. Boy, do I know all about that!!! I could tell you stories!!!!

Anyway, hope this helps, even a little.

Paul

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Lori,

I think it is good that you had your say. I'm just sorry it was so painful. I guess at this point you just have to hope everything turns out alright, and it might, you never know. And, as you said, your dad may change his mind. He also may be terribly disappointed once he meets her. I have to say, she is one pushy woman! Wanting to meet your brothers kids and all! Sorry, but that's the way I see it. Anyway, hang in there, things have a way of changing!

Hugs to you,

Lori

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  • 2 months later...

Lori,hi,

Reading your letter was like reading my own thoughts. I just wrote abut my dad in this forum an hour ago.

what is it with these Catholics LOL?

I feel exactly the same, it is the quickness of it all and you took the words out of my mouth about it being a credit to yur mum that he needs soemone, I said the same to my sisters.

my dad has spend three weeks with his lady and they are planning to marry.

I'm going to tell him that if they marry before the 10Jan, I won't be attending the weding. It's just too much too soon, to excpect us to accept htis whole change in our lives.

I wonderhow you are getting on these months down the track, I would love to know how you all got on, and how it is going now.

regards

Bee

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Bee,

I read your posts about your Dad and his new friend and you are correct, we are living the same thing right now.

Since my post things have been okay. My Dad and I got through our arguement and I did feel a lot better getting it off my chest so to speak. However, as the time approaches for him to leave for the Thanksgiving holiday next month those feelings are resurfacing. My Dad had backed off on telling me things about her but is back to sharing what she has sent him, what they are going to do when he is there etc... I swear, it's almost like listening to your best friend in high school over a crush. I let my Dad talk but I don't probe him for information.

My Dad leaves November 22nd. Thanksgiving is the next day. The 1 year mark of my Mom's death is November 30th and he will be there for that. Maybe it was his intent not to be home that day. He flies home on the 1st of December. My brother and I just found it odd he would spend that day far from home and with someone else. Anyway, I have come to terms with the fact that it is my Dad's life to live and she is probably a wonderful woman. I am still not in the total accpetance phase of this entire relationship...what confuses me is that she lives about 2000 miles away. Who knows what they are going to do? However, he has made mention that if he were to marry he would hope that he had family there to celebrate with him. I know I would go. However, I think he just needs to get through this first visit. There's talk of him going back for New Year's Eve and her coming to Arizona for Easter.

This is what I am having a difficult time with right now though. He has made my brothers and I promise not to tell our Aunts or our Grandma (my Mom's sisters and Mom)about his trip out to Pennsylvania! I asked him what is he going to do when they call him on Thanksgiving?????? He said he is just going to tell them he is spending Thanksgiving with friends. Hello? Red flag? I live an hour from him and what makes him think they would not question this? In the meantime, I will get a phone call with questions from them on his whereabouts. Then, what is my brother to do who will actually be there to meet her and my Mom's family ask about his Thanksgiving holiday? I am so confused over this. He wants us to be happy and joyful for him and yet in the same breath he wants us to hide the fact that he is going to spend time with this lady and have us be evasive to others. Frustrating

I can relate to so much you wrote of. I had to laugh when you said your Dad met this woman through a Catholic site. Same thing...and you know what? My Dad is 1/2 Italian and 1/2 Irish. Went from living with his parents to marrying my Mom at 20 years old. They did everything together and he worked in the yard and did little odd jobs around the house while she cooked and cleaned. His world has been totally turned upside down so I guess when he recieves a package from his lady friend full of homemade goodies so comforting familiarity is brought back into his life. I am just trying to understand.

I am glad you found this site. It's a comforting place for us all.

Hugs to you.

Lori

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Lori,

Thanks for updating us all. I have wondered many times how you were doing and what had happened. I think I might tell dad that I wasn't going to lie for him and that he was putting you and your brother in a very uncomfortable situation. Maybe if he has to "face the music", so to speak, with everyone it might make him realize this isn't as great as he thought it was! Just my own amateur shrink thoughts! And, he may meet her and be totally turned off!

Hang in there,

Hugs,

Shell

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Hi Shell,

I think I may say something to my Dad if he asks about the Thanksgiving deal and phone calls. I think one of the reasons why he may not being saying anything to them is that it may not work out.

I've been having a rough week though and don't want to bring it up unless he does. I am feeling very melancholy about the 1 year mark. I know it is not until next month but flashes of memories of the previous year when life was normal keep popping up in my mind. It's like a mini movie and as comforting as some of those memories are it's also painful...because how was I to know? It's all just making me miss my Mom that much more. No one really wants to talk about it, I think I may make them uncomfortable when I cry and yet it's like the elephant in the room sort of thing.

Thanks for asking. I hope you are well.

Lori

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Lori,

The first year mark is so hard. I know what you mean about thinking of better times, before this nightmare started, and it being sad. I read in a book (wish I could remember which one, but can't!) about how the womans husband had died and several people told her "You were just lucky to have experienced such great love!" Well, the author said that it would be like someone telling you that you won a million dollars, and then coming back the next day and telling you you hadn't won. Would you really feel better having felt for one day that you had a million dollars, only to have it taken away from you? I think we all feel sad thinking of the good times because we know they can't ever be there again. It's sad.

I'm doing ok, thanks for asking. Hoping a new supplement that my moms doctor gave her will help her memory and confusion problems. It's been so hard dealing with that in addition to everything else. I love her so much, I just suffer seeing her in this condition. It came on so suddenly that it took me by such surprise. Anyway, everybody say a little prayer for me that we can find something that helps her. I feel I have no "pull" with God at all these days!

Hope things get resolved with your dad. It's adding extra stress and grief to your situation, which you don't need!

Thanks.

Hugs,

Shell

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