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Dad - suggestions?


wondermom

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Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I last posted. Some of you may recall that my Dad started dating someone about 6 months after my mom passed away. We were supportive of the relationship. Although it was fast, she seemed to be good for Dad and got him out enjoying life again. Well, things have taken a bit of a turn and without getting into the details she is not who we thought her to be. Dad had tried to end things a while back but he only lasted a day without her and ended up taking her back before the end of the weekend. He just can't be alone. It is unbearable for him. I told him that he can't be with someone just for the sake of being with someone. Now a few months later things have gotten bad again and there was an incident that really upset Dad and made him realize he didn't want to go forward with the relationship. I really hope he is strong enough to stick with his decision. This woman has a lot of issues and I am sure will make Dad feel very guilty about leaving her. She has basically moved in with him and has a lot of her stuff there. He told me yesterday that after Thanksgiving he is going to pack up her stuff and move her out. But then when my sister called last night she was there! I pray that Dad can be strong in this situation and give himself some time to be alone. I know that is the last thing he wants...to be alone. I wish so badly there was a way I could help him get involved in something but he doesn't hunt or have any hobbies. Mom was his life. He didn't do anything with friends and now this is becoming a real issue. I hate that I can't make this better for him! Any suggestions on how I can make things feel less lonely for him? He tried a support group but didn't like it. I should also mention that he lives out in the country outside of a VERY small town so there is not much to do. I am talking small town, 700 people.

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Oh my... This was one of my biggest fears when my Dad started dating.

I don't have any advice... I don't. Except that as much as we want to fix things for our parents, we can't. He just needs you to be there. You can support him, you can listen, but you can't fix it. Keep encouraging him to be involved in different things. In our small town--lots of older men would kind of congregate at Hardee's in the mornings every day. Is there some kind of meeting ground where he could maybe just be around other people?

It's so hard to be a daughter, and see your Dad with this emptiness and know that you can't fix it. And know that you aren't the one that he wants.

Most of all ((((hugs)))) to you. I know you must feel so helpless. I hope things ease for your Dad soon.

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sounds like dad needs some volunteer time perhaps somewhere to get socially connected with people. There are 2 kinds the caretaker and the dependent. These 2 exist almost everywhere and each needs the other to exist. I think Dad needs to find someone a little closer to his age because she does not sound like she meets that requirement. I do not know this though but just guessing from what I am reading. sounds like she is a goldigger hoping to cash in and thats not good for dad at all. He doesn't need that kind of stress in his life right now!

Does he play cards or have a love for animals maybe that he could spend some time at local animal shelter walking pups maybe? Mine has saved my life thats for sure andI am still single after 4 years now!

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Actually Randy, she is the same age as Dad. There are just some things coming out now that we didn't see before. Dad has thought her behavior at times was a bit erratic. She blamed it on "the change" but it seemed to be more than that. Dad thinks she might be a closet alcoholic. This past week she rolled her vehicle and got a DUI. She lied to Dad about it saying she passed the test but when he went to get her the officer told him differently. She has never had a drink in front of us. I thought it was part of her healthy lifestyle. He wonders what else she has lied about. There are other things but I won't get into it here but that is just a bit of what is going on. It really is too bad. Dad said that she will go weeks and be just great. They have so much in common and really enjoy doing things together. But then it is like a switch gets flipped and she is a different person. He wonders if she has been binge drinking. I wonder if it is something more. Perhaps undiagnosed manic depression. I only say this because of the extreme ups and downs and based on her behavior as Dad describes it.

I have thought about getting him an indoor dog but I think it would take a lot of convincing. He isn't one to have pets in the house but I do think a dog would make a great companion and make the house seem less lonely. However, he does work a lot and it isn't really fair to leave the dog alone for long periods of time every day.

I probably just need to let him work through this on his own. I know I can't fix it but it is just so hard to watch. I know his loss is so different from mine. I miss my mom every day but I have my husband and kids to keep my busy and distracted. I can go on with my life and continue on with a "normal" daily routine. But Dad goes home and misses seeing mom and talking to her and living with her every day. I don't even think he was looking for a romance (I know he wasn't) with this woman. He was just looking for someone to spend time with. I know she wanted to get married and he told her he didn't feel that way. That is why they broke things off the first time. He knew he wasn't feeling they way he should to go forward with the relationship. But they must have come to some kind of understanding because they got back together. Now this time there are other things happening and I think Dad knows that it isn't right to stay with her but in addition to him being lonely he is also concerned with what she would do if he left her. She seems a bit unstable to him at times. I told him he needs to call her kids and let them know what is going on so they can keep an eye on her if need be. I also told him that it isn't right to be with someone just for the sake of being with someone. He needs to find something he is interested in. His response was, "Well, work takes up a lot of time." He needs something other than work!

Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble!

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No Problem. I do hope things get resolved for Dads sake and that she is not taking advantage of him being a widow. I know from personal loss that the scenario I described happened to a wonderful friend who was my godfather and the witch got him to change the will and leave her everything. She was only the caretaker though. After He died she got the house, the car, and everything. Then her family moved in with her!!

I hate3 that witch for what she did to my godfather but thats water under the bridge!

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This is a catch-twenty-two situation. I don't know how old your dad is but there is a point at which if you are still working a lot, you don't have much energy left to create recreational activities for yourself. I like the idea of finding out if a local group of men in that small town meet for coffee at a fast food restaurant. I know that men from our community meet in Key West at Mc D's. That doesn't take a lot of energy and may fill the bill on a Sat or Sun morning. Coming home from work in the evening is probably difficult. Maybe you and your siblings could have him for a simple supper a couple of days a week. But essential, what the others said is true. He has to work it out himself. I've offered suggestions to elders just to have them routinely reject them without consideration. That's frustrating for the person who want to help (you).

Good luck.

Judy in Key West

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I'm so sorry you are going through this with your dad. I second the motion for a pet. I live alone and thought I was fine until I was adopted by a cat. I always thought I was a dog person until that cat wormed her way into my life. Now I couldn't dream of a home without a cat or dog. A cat is better suited to my lifestyle because I travel a good bit and keep somewhat irregular hours. I would never have said I wanted a cat, but now can't imagine my home without one. She makes me laugh every single day and is someone to talk to and when I get lonely she curls up on my lap and purrs and I don't feel onley anymore. Maybe that would help your dad deal with the pain of being alone. Otherwise I'm afraid he might get into another relationship simply to avoid being alone and that's not a very good reason.

Susan

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This might seem wierd, but does he have a computer? It is a great wway to connect with a broader range of folks. And I know whhen I felt lonely without my mom, it felt good to connect with folks here.

It isn't a proxy for real life relationships, but it is SOMETHING that might help him not be dependent on the wrong real liffe relationship.

There is also the singles scene on line...yes that has its...issues...potentially, but its a possibility.

I get the 700 people town thing, but what more "bustling" area is within driving distance? Look there for events, groups, a big church...

I don't know...just brain storming.

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I like all the advice so far, the volunteering, internet, social events, etc...

Ultimately your dad is in control over whether or not he continues to see this woman, and you are being a great daughter by just being available to him, giving him support and love. He will figure it out, hopefully sooner rather than later.

I hope it all works out for the best. Please keep us posted. We are all here for you.

Hugs

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Thanks everyone!

Nick, Dad actually met her on e-harmony. I was really surprised as I didn't think he even knew how to get on there!

Dad is getting her into a treatment program this weekend. I didn't ask what he plans to do after that. Apparently her whole family is going to need to go through part of the treatment with her. She told him he would know everything after the month of treatment (which isn't just for alcohol but for emotional problems).

My sister and I are going home this Sunday to help him decorate for Christmas so I am thinking we may talk more about it at that time.

Thanks again for all your advice and for listening.

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