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AIBU to be a bit shell-shocked

(113 Posts)
JSlondon Mon 09-May-16 21:47:42

My mum died two months ago and things are obviously pretty hard at the moment. My parents were together for nearly fifty years. Shortly after she died, a woman my dad went out with briefly before he met my mum got in contact with him, having heard the news of my mum's death through a mutual acquaintance. She's called/emailed a few times to see how he's doing. She lives in New York and is now coming to visit my dad for a week and stay with him sometime next month. She is widowed. Does this seem a bit fucking weird and inappropriate? And very bloody SOON?

pippistrelle Tue 10-May-16 08:31:38

I'm very sorry for your loss.

I can totally understand why you see this as unwelcome and maybe even as predatory in some way. But, to your dad, it might just feel like support from an old friend at a time when he probably doesn't know left from right. Or perhaps he's just finding a glimmer of happiness in a dark time in remembering days gone by when he was young and carefree. But, sometimes people behave in strange, previously out of character ways when they're grieving, and it can be hard for them to act in a way that bears in mind that they're not the only one grieving. I'm sorry that this must be compounding your own grief.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 10-May-16 08:34:14

Sorry for your loss OP.

In my experience, that is very very common. Men don't like to be on their own in general, in my experience. Especially ones who have been married for so long. Don't be surprised if he's not single for long.

ExpandingRoundTheMiddle Tue 10-May-16 08:37:12

Sorry your Mum died.YANBU. Have they not been in contact all these years at all?My parents died 1 after a long illness and 1 very suddenly. I think it can make a big difference if a person has been very ill and the end is a blessing.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 10-May-16 08:40:10

Very common, yes. My dad met his new partner at my mums funeral, which I think may be a record!

EmmaWoodlouse Tue 10-May-16 08:40:30

She's coming to stay with him - I don't see that as necessarily meaning that they already see themselves as going out. Would you be so worried if it was an old male friend? The fact that she is also widowed means she'll know what it's like for him and know what appropriate support to give.

If they do end up getting together... well, people vary a lot in how soon they feel ready for that. I know someone who met her second husband just a few months after her (very much loved) first husband died, and was married within about a year. They say wanting to marry again is a great compliment to your first husband or wife. (I also know someone who had a brief relationship about 9 months after her partner died, and called it a day quite soon because it didn't feel right. Both are normal.)

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 10-May-16 08:44:45

Forgot to add that yes, it is inappropriate.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 10-May-16 08:45:13

My MIL died a few years ago as a result of undiagnosed cancer. She and FIL had been together for just over 40 years.

She died in June and five months later FIL announced he had a "new woman in his life" and it was obvious he'd been seeing her for a few months otherwise he wouldn't he have told us about her. My DH was absolutely shell shocked and very upset. He actually walked out the room when FIL told us.

My DH told me that he wanted nothing to do with her and for a very long time it was extremely awkward between him and his dad.

It's now 20 months later and FIL and this woman are still together but it is never talked about. If it's just me and FIL I will enquire after her but my DH is still adamant that he wants nothing to do with it all. It's definitely the white elephant in the room.

We went to visit FIL unannounced about 6 months ago and she was there, it was the first time either of us had met her. I was polite to her, amid the shock of seeing her, whereas my husband was really upset to see her there in his mum's house. We left after 5 minutes and it was really sad to see how much it had affected my husband.

I have tried explaining to DH that his dad must be very lonely and this woman is good company for him but my DH can't see that.

I think they hurts is how quickly FIL got together with this woman after MIL's death.

blueskyinmarch Tue 10-May-16 08:48:05

katemiddleton My DH’s uncle also met his second wife at the funeral of his first wife. The family were horrified at first but then accepted that at that age it was perfectly fine and that both were looking for companionship more than anything. Sadly she too has now died and his uncle is once again alone. .

readytorage Tue 10-May-16 08:50:07

writerwannabe that's so sad sad it must have compounded your husband's grief. Yet I see what you're saying about being lonely. Such a tough situation.

OP, sorry about your mum flowers

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 10-May-16 08:50:38

Sorry, regardless of age it is just horribly disrespectful to the memory of their first wife.

I'm not hugely sympathetic to the 'ah, poor lonely men!' claims either!

TheFuckersBitingMe Tue 10-May-16 08:55:34

It must be incredibly hard for you flowers especially only two months later.

Perhaps their age means they don't wait about and take their time the way a younger person might in those circumstances. It doesn't make it ok, but it could be part of the rush.

blueskyinmarch Tue 10-May-16 08:57:30

I completely disagree. This man is an adult and can act as he wishes. This mantra is trotted out time and time again on MN when it suits. But in this case an adult is being taken to task for getting on with his life in the way he wishes because the family don’t like it. We only get one chance at life and need to grab it with both hands.

I am sorry for your loss OP and i do really understand that this will be hard for you and your family. But you have to accept your dad is allowed to have female friends and is allowed to have them visit and stay with him.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 10-May-16 08:59:14

Of course he can, and anyone is free within the confines of the law to act as they see fit. However, others don't have to like it either and that may impact on other relationships.

HazelBite Tue 10-May-16 08:59:15

After my Mum died, (my Father adored the very air she breathed) my Dad talked quite frequently about "meeting someone" etc and there were a few "girlfriends" which upset me and my siblings somewhat.
However nothing came of it as in reality every one was compared to my Mother and found wanting.
It may be OP when your fathers friend is "there" they won't actually get on too well , remember he chose your Mum over her.
I do agree with PP's that a lot of men, especially when they have been married a long time do not cope well with being on their own, try not to see it as your Mother being replaced but more as your Dad is not good on his own.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Tue 10-May-16 09:01:36

This happened to a friend of mine about 8 years ago, the new partner sold her house and moved in with the DF within months. My friend found it extremely difficult to deal with, not only the loss of her mum but the sudden acquisition of a large stepfamily. They married eventually and my friend has accepted the situation but it hasn't been easy, you have my sympathy. flowers

BipBippadotta Tue 10-May-16 09:04:37

I'm very sorry for your loss, OP. It's an awful situation, and so hurtful. It does seem soon, but people are going to do what they're going to do, and this is unfortunately quite common.

My FIL started a new relationship before his wife of 40 years had even been buried. They moved in together a few weeks after the funeral. He insisted the rest of the family should be happy for them, and got ragey with his son & daughter when they tried to express how they felt about it. Now he won't speak to them anymore.

Yes, he's a grown-up making his own decision. But I think it's OK for people to be upset by their loved ones' decisions, when it profoundly affects their family and spits in the eye of their grief.

cleaty Tue 10-May-16 09:05:51

I too think this is incredibly disrespectful and would be angry. But I don't think you can do anything about it.

HowardsEnd Tue 10-May-16 09:09:05

The people I know who had the very happiest marriages are also those who found a new husband/wife the fastest.

RhodaBull Tue 10-May-16 09:09:23

I read that actually it's the widowed person who had the happiest marriage who finds someone else quickly. I suppose it's logical: they have had a positive experience of marriage. The person in a duff marriage is keen to avoid the same.

Mil's will was such that if she died, fil only inherited half the estate and could live in house for his lifetime only. She said she'd lived long enough to know that men take up with "the first floozy who comes along" !

VestalVirgin Tue 10-May-16 09:10:38

You are not being unreasonable. It does seem inappropriate. If it was an old friend, that'd be different, but apparently, they weren't in contact all this time?

You cannot do anything about their spending time together, obviously, but do try and discourage him from making any hasty decisions during at least one year after your mother's death.

Decisions on marriage and the like are best made with a clear head, not in an overwhelming fear of being alone in old age.

Buddahbelly Tue 10-May-16 09:10:59

katemiddletonsnudeheels same here, the woman practically was leaping onto my dad at my step mum's funeral, she came across as very lonely but dad was given a glimmer of hope. it lasted around 5 months. then he was allowed to grieve on his own.

He's now with a lovely woman and they enjoy spending time together, she was widowed too. Im sorry for your loss OP. And yes while it may be too soon, he's probably not knowing morning from night at the moment, He should be allowed time to grieve naturally, this woman visiting may be nothing more than him trying to pretend all the heartache and pain isn't really happening. The grief will always be there until he deals with it though.

VestalVirgin Tue 10-May-16 09:16:09

I read that actually it's the widowed person who had the happiest marriage who finds someone else quickly. I suppose it's logical: they have had a positive experience of marriage. The person in a duff marriage is keen to avoid the same.

Interestingly, widowers are also most likely to remarry soon, while widows tend to stay single.
I do wonder ...

motheroreily Tue 10-May-16 09:19:13

I am sorry flowers.

I had a similar situation. My mum died 5 months after being diagnosed with cancer. I had a feeling at my mum's funeral that my dad and this lady would get together. I don't know for certain when they did become an item but it was definately within 6 weeks of her death. They are married now

I'm not really close to my dad (emotionally or geographically) so I think that's made it easier to deal with. Still hard tho

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 10-May-16 09:19:46

It's because of the poor, lonely men vestal

They can't be expected to be alone, you know hmm

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