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She's not dead and he's got a girlfriend

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by peppapug, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. peppapug

    peppapug Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    I don't know what to think or how to feel.
    My mum is 64. She has been in a care home with early onset for the past year. Since she went in to care my dad has actively searched for female companions. I have been accepting of this. He doesn't like his own company and says he's too young to be lonely. I have said i'm fine with it but today he asked me to meet his "girlfriend".

    I have said I am not comfortable with this whilst my mum is alive. He says she knows the situation but wants to meet his family. I feel I am betraying my mum to accept another woman into her role in the family.

    Mum is in late stages. We don't know if she knows who we are but she smiles and walks around and often is very angry.

    He has made me feel unreasonable that I expect him to attend family events and I should at least acknowledge her as his friend. I don't do family feuds but I feel strongly one way and he the other. It's one thing too many :mad:
  2. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    North East Lincs
    I fully understand why this is one thing too many for you. There is already too much to cope with seeing your mum deteriorate so rapidly. All I can suggest is to make sure your mum does not get hurt by any of this.

    I can understand that your dad wants company but he will have to take account of the feelings of the rest of the family. Some may feel that he could just have waited a little longer and concentrated on his current wife and family for a little longer. But it's easy for me to say that when I rushed into a new relationship shortly after my first wife died without giving a thought to how her parents felt about my new girlfriend, who eventually became my wife. Good luck. I hope things sort themselves out without too much upset within the family.
  3. peppapug

    peppapug Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    Mum won't be hurt by this as she doesn't respond to him at all and he does visit her everyday and says she will always be his priority. I just don't understand his determination for us to meet and why it is he can't bear to be on his own for five minutes!

    I appreciate his need for "friends" but his desperation to be part of a couple again I am not as accepting of.
  4. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    North East Lincs
    Perhaps you are going to have to explain to him that he needs to grieve for what he has lost rather than seek the comfort of someone who can never be a replacement. I know this to my cost: if he doesn't grieve he will never move on when the times comes and may regret his hasty need for a replacement. Guilt is the teacher love is the lesson - a very good book by the way!
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I've not been in this situation so I'm making a wild guess here but: is it possible he wants you to meet his friend because otherwise he feels like he's "got a bit on the side" and it's something to be hidden and ashamed about? And he doesn't want to feel like that?

    I would say you have every right to your feelings, but he has a right to his as well. Probably not helpful I know.
  6. peppapug

    peppapug Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    I have but he says the last two years as her "carer" at home he was alone already and he is probably right. He also keeps saying she isn't a replacement but he seems to go from "hello" to "shes the one" so quickly!
  7. peppapug

    peppapug Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    I would say you are exactly right Jennifer but I do feel she is a "bit on the side". He's married. He didn't divorce my mum, they were happily married for 43 years. I do feel ashamed of him and I know mums friends are struggling to accept it too but as they aren't local don't have to get involved.
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I wonder how much of this is coming from the girlfriend? Is it perhaps she that wants to be accepted and part of his family?

    I dont know - Im just wondering.
  9. peppapug

    peppapug Registered User

    Jan 11, 2014
    He says she is keen to meet us as he has met her family. My view is as a mother she must respect my decision for now. How can she be part of the family when mum is still alive!?

    Maybe i'm over reacting but my loyalty is with my mum and always will be.
  10. jimbo 111

    jimbo 111 Registered User

    Jan 23, 2009
    North Bucks

    Hello peppapug

    I sympathise with your feelings
    Many people will give their opinions on your fathers current situation both for and against
    In my opinion your father is very insensitive to expect you ( or your family to accept another woman to replace your mother as a partner
    I have my own experience to fall back on My wife was ill with AD and died almost five years ago
    Whilst the need for companionship is very strong , and I see no harm in accepting a friendship I think both your father and his friend are wrong and insensitive to show feelings beyond 'friendship ' to you whilst your mother is still alive
    It maybe difficult for him to accept your feelings , but equally he should accept that to you have a moral right to feel the way you do
    I sincerely hope that this situation can be resolved without causing you more heartache on top of the worries you have with your mothers illness
    Best wishes
  11. Gigglemore

    Gigglemore Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    British Isles
    I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. My boyfriend was widowed before I even met him yet I still felt very nervous of meeting his daughter and mother-in-law three years after their bereavement. I did not want them to be upset by the idea I might be trying to replace her. It may be that your father is seeking your approval of the relationship to salve his own conscience???

    If I was his girlfriend I would certainly be too embarrassed to want to meet you as I would expect you to feel dreadfully hurt by the relationship even though you are generous enough to understand his need for companionship.

    Hope you are able to make him understand your feelings.
  12. meme

    meme Registered User

    Aug 29, 2011
    much as your father has a right to other people in his life I do think he has no right to push you to meet her or involve her in the family whilst you feel as you do. You accept his need for a relationship and that must be enough for now. In time who knows.
  13. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    Please deal with this as you want, how you feel has to be the way you deal with it.

    Your Father meeting her family is totally different to his friend meeting your family.
    On her family's side there is no one else, you have your Mum. They should both respect your feelings. You might well feel differently in a while but if or until this happens they should be respectful.

    Take care,

  14. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    This is such a difficult situation to advise on, as I can see both points of view quite clearly.

    Loneliness is a horrible thing. I have been happily married for almost 30 years, and can't imagine being with anyone else, but having said that, if anything happened to my husband, I would hate to spend the rest of my life alone. Having had a happy relationship, someone to share things with, I'd want that again. Perhaps that's how it is for your dad?

    However, I can totally understand your reluctance to accept this lady as your dad's partner. That must be very difficult for you, especially as your mum is still alive. I can understand your feeling that he has betrayed her, and he is not really free to look for someone else.

    Oh dear, I'm not much help, am I?
  15. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Your loyalty to your Mum does you credit. When she dies, and all of us must, then is the time to move on. Your Dad is free to do what he wants with his life but your Mum is your Mum and a new love is pretty insensitive to you at this moment. Tell him you'll put his relationship on the back burner at present.
  16. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    I agree with what has been said. Your Dad has lost his partner and now visits someone who has no idea who he is. You visit your Mum so the only female relationship he can have is with a mistress. It's sad he can't see that and it must hurt so much.
  17. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    I think I'd be extra wary of your dad's new friend, if she can't see how awkward this would be for you.
  18. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    North East Lincs
    Sound and clear advice that I hadn't the courage to offer.
  19. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Further to my last post, Id like to say (though I didnt mention at the time) that I totally agree that your dad is being extremely insensitive to his families feelings.

    I suspect that the push to meet his family is coming from the girlfriend - I would say that she wants to be more than a mistress and has no idea (or doesnt care) how this is seen. I wonder what her family think, or do they perhaps not know all the details?

    Human nature being what it is, I suspect that your dad is not the only one in this position, but to flaunt the relationship under everyones noses is not the way.
  20. CJW

    CJW Registered User

    Sep 22, 2013
    I understand your reaction and sympathise but I also understand your father's point of view. i think dementia brings home to us the fact that our lives can be destroyed by this awful disease at any time and make us want to "seize the day" and make the most of the present. He says your mum is his priority and he visits her every day, which is more than most people do. It may be insensitive to impose his lady friend on you, but then again he is trying to be honest and it is obviously important to him that you be part of this new part of his life. it must have taken some courage on his part to talk to you about this.
    I think that if he has a chance at a bit of happiness, and if this does not hurt your mother, there is no harm in it and the real problem is your understandable shock and upset at the idea that he no longer thinks of your mother as his wife. But, your father hasn't left your mother, after all he is still present for your mum, but your mother, his wife , has effectively, because of her dementia, left him. This disease is so cruel and causes so much upset that the usual rules about what is and is not acceptable can't apply. I am sure that together with your father you will find the best way to cope with this situation for all of you. Please forgive me if any of this upsets you. My intention was only to try and help. sending love...

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