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My Mom Is Moving On Too Fast

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My dad died August 08,2003. He was 55. My mom is 50 and look sa bti younger. I know shes a young woman and has lots of life left in her but shes got a boyfriend! I cannot understand how she can do this. I told her to do whatever she wanted as I did nto want to see her lonely but to have some respect for us as we were still mourning our dad. When I talk to her on the phone all she knows how to say is US. WE.. ME.. I and it is driving me crazy/ I get so upset that it takes me an hour to get over a call from her. She doesn't understand why we are so upset. SHe is now living with this guy! My thoughts are if you can physically.. sleep with another man then stop crying over the first one. she will cry when we talk about dad but yet is able to be with this other man.. anyone got any thoughts on this????

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The feelings you’re having toward your mother in the aftermath of your father’s death are understandable. When one parent dies and the remaining parent begins dating someone else, it can be very hard for the adult child to accept, no matter how soon after the death it occurs. Partly that is because you may be feeling a need to remain loyal to your father and respectful of his memory, and you may be worried that your mother will cease to remember and love this irreplaceable person you both have lost.

It may be helpful for you to keep in mind that you and your mother are grieving very different losses, and the relationships you had with the person who died are very different too. Your mother has lost her spouse, while you have lost a parent. I don’t know how long your parents were married, how close they were to each other, or anything else about their relationship, but I do know that however your mother reacts to your father’s death depends on many, many different factors.

In her insightful book Fatherless Women: How We Change After We Lose Our Dads, author Clea Simon observes that daughters of the newly widowed sometimes have trouble “balancing the real vulnerability of our newly single mothers with respect for them as adults.”

She goes on to say that

Accepting and encouraging our mothers’ independence can be awkward for us . . . Particularly in the social arena, we are not usually accustomed to seeing our mothers as women. We knew them as our mothers, not as fellow adults who raised us, who worked in the house or out to keep a family together. We do not usually picture them as women like ourselves, as partners enjoying or leaving relationships, as people like us who have lived with the mixed consequences of their actions. Unless our mothers had been alone for a long time before the death of our fathers, we tended to see them as part of a unit, as teamed with our fathers (or stepfathers or partners) in their roles as our mothers, not as women. Now fate conspires to show us the other faces of out mothers, and makes this time full of discovery for us both. For many of us, this can be an uncomfortable transition. If our mothers start dating, for example, we have to accept them as sexual beings. If we have not faced it before, we are now confronted with the reality that the tight parental unit – the monolith of parental support, discipline, and security that protected our childhood – was comprised of two humans, one of whom is now single and lonely as we have ever been. Some of us may experience this discovery as a betrayal . . . After the death of a parent, particularly a father, this . . . may become most pronounced when a widowed mother becomes sexually active again . . . (Fatherless Women: How We Change After We Lose Our Dads, by Clea Simon, John Wiley & Sons, NY, 2001, pp. 140-142)

To gain a clearer understanding of what your mother may be experiencing as a newly widowed person, it may help you to read what other widows have to say about dating and remarriage. See, for example, the article I’ve attached, “How Long Is Long Enough,” by Julie Donner Andersen.

I also encourage you to get some help with all of this by talking to a therapist or professional bereavement counselor, so that your own feelings about losing your father and your current difficulties with your mom can be expressed, worked through and resolved. You may have no control over how your mother chooses to lives 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.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T


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Thank you Marty for your reply. My parents were married 35 years. They have had ups and downs and I think there may have been an affair on her part a few years ago. I was not living home at the time but my younger sister was. My mom had lost a ton of weight and was quite social. My dad was a truck driver and was gone a lot. I do know that they moved 4 years ago and lived in the same city as me and it was the happiest times of their lives. They married young she was 16 and pregnant so they were kinda thrown together. Its not so much that she has moved on because I did expect her to I was just not prepared for how I would feel. I feel a sense of abandonment. She never asks how I am doing, she never asks how my older sister is doing all shes concerned about is how happy she is and how good this man is to her and on and on and on. She even went as far as to put him on the phone with my younger sister. It may sound even childish but I feel like she has forgotten us. I have a 4 year old she says poppy died and nanny moved away. So we lost our dad and them mom moved back home so it was as if they were both gone. I told my mother a few months back I would support anything she did but I did not want it pushed on me too soon adn thats what it seems like she has done. Shes upset and says we have abandoned her for being happy because we don't call her. I am afraid to call .. it takes me an hour to get over a phone call from her. I don't know.. I think time will play a big factor in this.

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  • 2 months later...

I lost my mother on 04-01-2004, the day of my mother's funeral 04-10-2004 , my father, announces that on 04-12-04 he has flight reservations for mexico. I am still in shock and deeply grieving the loss of my mom,when this announcement from my dad left me in a daze, I could not believe he was leaving so soon. I am 36 years old,yet I needed my dad.I felt alone and abandoned, and in a way it felt as though I had just lost both of my parents, how could he leave his four daughters, at a time like this ? Some say this was his way of dealing with the loss of his life partner ,(best friend ,mother of his children ) of 46 years. perhaps ,his way of not dealing with the loss at all. I was now left to stay strong and comfort my younger sister, and figure out how to deal with my own grief ,and how I could go on with life ,when my heart acked deeply from the loss of my mom / my best friend. I had to be encouraging and look for positive things in this heart breaking situation.well dad came home 1 1/2 months later, we did not say much at first,about moms death,yet we found our selves in tears quite often, none of us really knowing what to say. one thing was certain ,we all were in pain and miss mom very much. dad stayed home for three or four weeks,and asked if I would like to by the family home . because he was moving to mexico permanatly only comming home every three months to visit. I have been living in the family home since july 19 2003 ,taking care of mom until she passed on.so I was pretty settled any way. dad went back to mexico, but not before I had the chance to let him know the hurt ,and abandonment ,I felt ,when he left two days after moms service , he deeply appauligized, for the added extra pain I felt.and explained that he come home so soon because,he realized how much he needed us girls to help him with his pain ,and realizing if he needed us that much we must be needing him as well,and how un fare it was to run out so soon. I understand his need to go on, to try and re-build his life at age 63,and having been with mom since he was 18 , there life together was pretty much all he knew. then august 12 2004 dad calls to say..by the way you are about to have a little brother ,and a step mother, I asked what he ment and dad explained that on august 14 2004 he was getting married to a 20 year old women who has a 3 year old son. I just don't understand this ,as mom has only been gone 4 mo. 11 days. yet still ,mom and dad would of celebrated there 46 th. wedding anniversary on 08-25-2004. could dad have forgot mom so soon ? and how was I supposed to address this woman who is 16 years younger then me.there was know way I could look at her as a mother figure. my word she is the same age as one of my nephews ,and younger then my oldest nephew.dad's youngest great grandson will be two in january ,and he now has a step son one year older then,great grand son.this is crazy,not to mention dad has a great grand daughter due in feb.I can only respond to all this one way...that is to honor my mother and all she stood for, I decided to congradulate my dad and wish him the best, because I do love him and want him to be happy,and if this choice he made ,makes him happy ,and perhaps keeps him alive a few more years, then I can except his decission.one sister chose to walk away from dad,another expresses desire to be rude,and intrusive ,only they don't realize we are a reflection of our mom,(how we act ,the way we speak to and treat others,ect..) by behaving dissrespectfull, rude, and mean. then this woman might wonder what kind of mother did we have ? she may think terrible thing's about mom ,( what kind of wife did dad choose to raise there children.well to greet her with welcomming arms,and helping her to feel a part of our family,will reflect the goodness,instilled in me by my mother.moms golden rule = rather you are family or a friend of the family , moms home was open to every one. I have not yet meet my dads wife and step son ,but I feel I am ready to. Dad fully understands I will never call her mom ,nor would I call any one else mom. no matter if she were closer to dad's age. I have but one mother who now lives in heaven..signed butterflygirl

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I can totally understand where your coming from. I lost my mom on September 29, 2004 (about 2 weeks ago). Two days ago my "step-father" had told me that he was in "the friend zone" with this one woman. I didn't know how to take that. I asked him yesterday what he meant by that and the only thing that he told me was "I don't want anything serious". I asked him if he was going to try to pursue somethis sexual....he said that he'd like to try. This has made me VERY upset. His wife, my mom, hasn't even been gone for a month yet and he's on the prowl. I have VERY angry with him right now. But then again, I guess that it shouldn't surprise me, he's never really been a "father figure".

He and my mom were together for about years. Thats a long time. I thought that my mom deserves more respect then that. I can tell you that if I find out that he is having sex with this woman, he's not going to be a part of my life anymore. My mother deserves more respect then that. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your not alone. There are people out there that are worthless....unfortunately, my step-father is one of them.

Talk to you soon,


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