So dad’s thinkin’ about having her move in…

Sigh…

I was hoping to have a better topic to discuss on a Friday than this, but this one seems to be what’s on my mind as of this morning.

I talked to dad last night and it seemed that all he wanted to discuss was his new girlfriend, which was fine because I’ll talk about whatever my dad wants to.

During the conversation he mentioned that they had discussed the possibility of her moving in with him and my little brother.  I asked him if that seemed a bit much after only dating a few weeks. He said that they had been together for a month and it had only been discussed.  In addition, he said that he wouldn’t want her to move in until at least six months after mom had passed away…which by my calculations would be the end of August.

Sigh…

He noticed that I wasn’t enthusiastic about the conversation and called me out on it. He said that my little brother seemed to be “more okay” with the situation than I was.  I ended up telling him my thoughts on things…

  • How when I see the two of them together I can only see him and mom.
  • How it had nothing to do with dad or with his girlfriend but that I simply wasn’t ready for their relationship.
  • How I wasn’t against the relationship and still absolutely wanted dad to be happy.

I wanted to stress that last point because I wanted to make sure he knew this wasn’t me being against them together…this was me having difficulty moving on. Dad said they talk about their deceased spouses all the time and it makes things better (apparently).  He told me that he understood how I felt but that it seemed like I was having problems moving on because he and my little brother were fine. 

Sigh…

I wouldn’t say I’m having problems moving on, I’d just say that I’m still in the grieving process.  My mom just died five months ago. My dad is now dating somebody else and is considering having her move in with him because “at (his) age you can’t wait too long on these things”.

Sigh…

He told me that he was now the talk of the town with the seniors.  I told him that’s to be expected. His reply was that “old people like to talk about other old people”. I bit my tongue because I knew exactly why people are talking.

Dad’s trying to replace mom.  He’s not slowly getting back to life and moving on, he’s trying to fill the massive void left by her passing. He’s lonely and desperate for companionship and thinks this actually making him happy.  I don’t know if it will in the end, but it’s not like this is something he and I can discuss in detail or anything.

Some say that he’s being extremely selfish in this situation and really isn’t caring about the feelings of anybody else by forcing her down everybody’s throats.  Some say that he’s pissing all over mom’s memory by rushing into this relationship…as I’m sure that’s definitely a topic of conversation with the “old people” in the town.  I can’t say I disagree with these thoughts at all.

Sigh…

But what can I do? I love my dad and I genuinely want him to be happy.  He loves me and wants me to continue visiting with my son. Do I punish him and punish my son by not visiting simply because I’m the one uncomfortable?  Believe me…I’ve thought about it.  But in wanting to continue to grow as an individual, I think NOT being as selfish as he is and NOT causing ripples or waves through this already hurting family unit is what’s best for everybody involved.

My fear, though, is that this is going to culminate with a confrontation over the subject.  My fear is that he’s going to continue pushing his girlfriend on me and my son…and I don’t think that’s fair.  He needs to realize that while I’m okay with the situation, it doesn’t mean that I’m willing to jump into it with both feet like he is.  But my fear is that at some point he’s going to try to get my son to call her “grandma” or something and I’m going to lose it.  I’m going to do my best NOT to, but that’s a big fear of mine right now.

Sigh…

The weekend with my son can’t come soon enough.

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22 thoughts on “So dad’s thinkin’ about having her move in…

  1. I feel for you, man. This is a no-win situation on your end – you clearly want your dad to be happy but see things as moving too fast and possibly for the wrong reasons. But if you say too much it ends up being a you versus him situation…. I honestly don’t know how I’d react to a scenario like this. This is just a shot in the dark…. but perhaps he’s telling you these things because he’s questioning his internal logic for moving on so quickly?

    1. I’ve thought about that, actually. I think he’s just looking for some type of approval because inside he’s feeling guilty about it…but he’s so damn “old-school stubborn” that he’ll be defiant about it and brush off anybody who isn’t on board with the relationship.

  2. That is an incredibly short amount of time to move on…. I for one would say something- but it’s almost a known custom in my family to honor lost loves. I couldn’t tell you what to do, because every family is different. Just know you are definitely not alone in the situation, and some people wouldn’t stand to have a ‘replacement mom’ so soon. Chances are I would confront my own dad if he had ever decided to get a girlfriend so soon after. Whether it’s sacrificing his happiness or not, I feel it’s almost a little disrespectful to someone who has been so close for so so long- what would she think in this situation?

  3. Things are kind of moving fast—but he’s not 20, 30 or even 40 any more. He knows he doesn’t have tons of time to drag his feet. I would hope that I could be happy for my parents if this ever happened, but I don’t know if I could. Things are just…different…when we’re older and I hope for the very best for him! And for you, too. Set up some boundaries if you need to. It’s OK to do that!

    1. Yeah…I don’t know if I’ve reached a point where I even WANT to set up boundaries, y’know? I’m just so scared to chase him off or get him upset or feel like I’m pushing him away.

  4. Ugh, this reminds me of when my dad remarried. This reminds me of my sister’s new relationship that she’s forcing upon ALL of us, her kids included. It’s not easy when it appears someone isn’t thinking clearly and could possibly be making a huge mistake. It sucks when it seems like someone is being sooooo selfish. Sadly, all that you can do is allow that person to choose their path and whatever benefits & consequences that follow.

    I avoided my dad and I’m avoiding my sister…to protect my own feelings. So, I have no great advice except to say sometimes, another’s selfishness causes selfishness in reaction.

    Hugs to you, my friend.

  5. I’m not a senior citizen but I can imagine that a spouse dying, attending friend’s funerals, and being lonely can lead you to move quickly and get on with life. He’s living in the moment which isn’t a bad thing. In addition, he is probably tired of cooking and cleaning, men of his generation think differently than men of our generation and this may seem like a pragmatic solution to him.

    Make him stop and think about the legal issues of living together also, have him speak to his lawyer and accountant, they may tell him to cool it also.

  6. It’s refreshing to read your unselfish thoughts on this situation. Clearly you are thinking of everyone else even if others are not. But then again, maybe your dad is thinking on a more practical level about having someone help around the house and with your son. I do think he’s moving a bit too fast though.

    I don’t know how old your son is but kids often have difficulty identifying what they really feel and therefor they can’t always express it. Even when asked a direct question they are more likely to give an answer that seems right (or what they think others want to hear) than to try to figure out and verbalize what’s going on inside. They will sometimes bury their feelings so deep that they forget that they were feeling anything.

    As a mature adult you can think through your feelings. Maybe your son can’t yet, but he wants to please the adults in his life, especially when the family has been hurt or gone through difficulties. So he says he’s okay with anything if it will make his primary caregivers happy. He wants to move on from unhappiness, but is the situation good for him?

    If it were my son I would be concerned about what he’s learning from this real life situation. How to not let yourself grieve, how to bury your feelings, how to grab for your own happiness while you can get it rather than considering how your actions might be affecting others. I think you have a right as a parent to bring these concerns up to your father or perhaps to his girlfriend.

    If your dad really doesn’t get it, maybe a little chat with his girlfriend would help. Or is there anyone else close to your dad who could suggest that going a little more slowly on the girlfriend moving in would be better for your son? Sorry for the long reply but kids are a topic I have some experience with. I hope it all works out.

    1. My son turns 5 in September, so he’s still really young and shy around people he doesn’t know. I’m sure he’ll warm up to her eventually, but I’m just uncomfortable with that happening at this point.

      And this whole situation is bringing back the grieving process for me as I’m beginning to miss mom more and more every day. I think it’s really starting to adversely affect me.

  7. Sigh. Wow, It does seem to be moving quickly and your dad is probably very likely trying to find a replacement so he doesn’t have to feel so empty. I don’t have any advice either, except, well, I would probably be doing the same thing as you, avoiding in some aspect, and talking about it with him, carefully, when you can. Ultimately, of course it is his decision, and while you don’t have to agree with it, it is hard to stomach, at the same time. Hang in there.

  8. Twice now, I have started a reply, but just don’t know how to respond. You said it best in this paragraph:

    “I wouldn’t say I’m having problems moving on, I’d just say that I’m still in the grieving process. My mom just died five months ago.”

    That my friend, is spot on. And if you need longer to grieve, so be it. I can say that I grieved the better part of 2 years for my dad and even longer for my sister. (I had personal guilt with my sister’s illness.)

    Being torn this way can eat you alive and have a snowball effect on the rest of your life and relationships. I agree with Soccer Mom, set some boundaries. But, you can’t predict every situation. That too, can eat you alive. Have you thought about seeking professional counseling or even just a support group. Your Canadian Cancer Society probably has some excellent resources. I know guys aren’t really into asking for such help, but it could be very beneficial. Especially if he decides to go through with her moving in.

    Take care. Thinking of you.

    1. I feel like my blog is my outlet at this point and, as always, Sunshine is my confidant. There isn’t much for support in my area, so I haven’t really looked into counseling any more than I did initially after her passing.

  9. It might be too soon.

    It is a very personal question, but do you happen to know if there was any arrangement/talk between your parents about the possible situation like this one?
    The reason I am asking is because my husband and I had a conversation like that and I told him if anything were to happen to me, he should not grieve and feel guilty for trying to move on.
    I hope you will figure it all out!

    1. Yeah, I think there was some informal talk between the two of them. I believe mom was against it when she was healthier and things weren’t looking so dire, but then wanting dad to move on with his life once she knew she was going to die.

  10. A very upsetting scenario to deal with.

    My viewpoint is yoiu did the right thing mentioning your feelings about it all.You did it in a sensitive manner it sounds like.

    I am sure your dad is a man that can’t handle the empty space in his life without your mom and perhaps is choosing to not deal with his grief and just look for escpae and comfort.It’s all very difficult.
    Perhaps you need to articulate that you would be grateful to get a little time with him and your family more “one on one” in the next month or so and how much it would help you emotionally?

    Good to hear you aren’t hiding your emotions in grief.
    Having experienced some tragic young losses myself,I find it helped me in my healing to be as honest as I could with myself with my emotions,but to each their own healing…

    1. Right now, they’re together practically 24/7. I called him this morning at 8:45am and they were watching TV together…so I doubt I’ll be getting much “one on one” time going forward.

  11. M raises a good point, actually. Maybe you could talk to your dad about spending some “alone time” in the next little while before you start including her in all of your family outings…that you need to ease into things a little bit more. It might make it easier for you that way…

  12. It’s strange the directions people go in dealing with loss. Especially a long and painful loss that illness brings. The 6 year anniversary of my Mom’s death will be here in August. My Dad has yet to date anyone and I doubt he ever will. He tells me how he kisses her picture every night and talks to her. I hate that he’s all alone and still misses her and gets teary eyed when she is brought up in conversation. I see your story and think how I would have felt if my Dad had moved on that quickly. The words that come to mind are confusion, anger, sadness. What’s funny is those are the same feelings I have now with the way things are.

    1. It’s hard to say or determine how much time is “long enough” before moving on. It’s a personal decision.

      I absolutely want my dad to move on. I just wish he wasn’t rushing into things head-first like this and take the time to really grieve. But he wants the pain and loneliness to go away so this is his answer.

      I hope your dad can some day find a friend and move on, as well. I can understand not wanting to be with anybody else…but I can only imagine just how sad life would be.

      I would think your mom would want him to try to enjoy his life at this point. I hope he finds happiness in whatever he ends up choosing to do.

  13. I’m glad you talked to your dad about this, but yes, it sure does seem to be … quick! 😦 I’m sorry you’re struggling with this.

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