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Is this normal, bereaved Dad seeing another woman....

(13 Posts)
kemptownlady Mon 24-Jul-17 09:00:31

My mum died less than a year ago, after a very brief illness - she was dx with cancer and died two months later. She was in her late 70s. it was a massive shock to us all and my dad was heartbroken. He's now started spending a lot of time with his female cousin. I was initially pleased as I was worried about him being lonely. However I've never met her and she came over for lunch yesterday. My dad was like a puppy around her - he almost looked loved up?! I didn't like it one bit. This time last year my mum was horribly ill and that seems meaningless to him. They are both going away together, shes staying at my dads flat, they are very very close. A few weeks ago he asked me if I was ok with him spending so much time with another woman, to which I said firstly she's your cousin and secondly, why would I begrudge you having someone to spend time with. I took him out for lunch two weeks ago and he asked if I could have them both over for lunch so I could meet her, and he said that if they continued to get on so well together he'd be wanting to spend a lot more time with her. I'm really confused by it all. it just doesn't seem right? I'm torn by wanting to support my dad, but also wondering what on earth is going on in his head???

123rd Mon 24-Jul-17 09:05:46

I don't have first had exp-as in not my dad - but two close friends have been in this same situation.
Both lost their mum to cancer and quite quickly the Dad had started "seeing" another lady. Both of my friends found it very hard to deal with.
I don't think the Dad(s) were trying to replace their wife...just that they were so used to having company that's what they were trying to replace.
Very hard on all involved.
Just don't lose the relationship with yr Dad.

kemptownlady Mon 24-Jul-17 15:49:12

Thanks 123rd. I completely get what you are saying. I'm still coping with my own grief so this is a bit hard to take, but like you say, he has to get on with his life and I don't want him to be alone, but I just hadn't expected it to work out like this. I'm finding it very confusing.

Meow75 Mon 24-Jul-17 15:58:14

My mum died aged 45, nearly 20 years ago, and my dad - who was the same age - started dating within a year, and remarried about 9 months after that. A lot of relatives - especially on Mum's side of the family - found it hard, but I was pleased for him.

He was a rubbish single man, and they had "only" been married for 25 years. He neglected himself nutritionally, he stayed at work (self-employed) until 9 or 10 o'clock at night, and was quite simply a heart attack waiting to happen.

You will only ever have one mum, but we all know that multiple spouses are a possibility, and in this day age, a likelihood for a large %age of the population, but only a fraction of it due to the death of a much loved partner.

He's lonely, and spending time with you, although lovely, is not the same as spending time with a significant other. He's found someone who's making him happy, and is significantly older than my dad was (even now he is only in his mid 60's). I know it's hard to see your dad with someone else, but please be happy for him. He hasn't replaced your mum, he's making sure he's not sad and lonely (and maybe even viewing himself as a burden on you and any siblings you may have), as he gets further into his old age.

I feel for you, but please don't tell him. Speak to a close friend about it. Do you have one who's parent has also remarried after the death of their partner?

babyboomersrock Mon 24-Jul-17 16:01:08

I'm not surprised you're finding it hard, OP. It does seem that some people move on very quickly to another partner, which makes the children feel they're the only ones grieving the missing parent.

I have to say it's always been the man moving on, in the cases I know. Sure, I'm glad they're happy and getting on with their lives but it can be hard for other members of the family. It happened in my extended family some time ago - my relative died quite soon after a cancer diagnosis, in her 60s, and her DH was engaged to a new partner within a few months. The adult children are reeling.

I suppose - trying to be positive here - that if you had a choice between a parent who's so grief-stricken that he can't do anything, and one who has clearly found someone else to make him happy, you'd choose the latter.

I would, however, tell him that you still want time alone with him - you can be pleasant and welcoming to this woman since she's your dad's friend, but that shouldn't mean you never see him on his own.

Take care flowers

tellitlikeitispls Mon 24-Jul-17 16:07:35

Its hard OP but you aren't the grieving spouse. Your grief is very different. You need to support him.
My step-mum was asked out by someone 5 months after my dad died. It was shockingly soon, but she was lonely and took up the offer. She's still with him 7 years later and actually I feel quite sorry for him. She doesn't even like him that much, but has decided that companionship is better than nothing at all. He compares poorly to my dad in her eyes and she just about tolerates his company.

Try not to judge outwardly. He is coping and seems happy. I say seems because you really don't know and lets face it, he's probably unlikely to tell you otherwise. I'm so sorry you lost your mum flowers

kemptownlady Tue 25-Jul-17 15:22:42

Thanks everyone for listening and your understanding. I absolutely don't want him to be unhappy or lonely, but the emotions are really confusing.

If I'm honest, my own little family has had a very tough time over the last 8 years - my little girl has been very ill as well as losing both in-laws and my mum - and I fully understand that if my dad wants a bit of happiness he should pursue it, but I also feel like with this new relationship my life just got a bit more rubbish and complicated. Selfish of me maybe but this is what I mean about being totally confused by it all. And now there's Christmas to worry about.....

123rd Tue 25-Jul-17 16:59:26

As PP wrote, your loss is different to your Dad's, & your siblings( if you have any) and your dc.
It doesn't distract from your feelings. And you are allowed to feel how you do.
I'm sorry for your loss. It is horrible. And I know no one wants to stop their loved ones being happy... but you are allowed to be pissed off by it
Do you have anyone in RL that you can talk thru it with ?

kemptownlady Wed 26-Jul-17 11:52:59

Thanks 123rd, I have my dh to talk to. Very sadly my BF has been battling cancer for 4 years and is now terminally ill and facing the prospect of leaving her DH and two children so I can't talk to her about it, it's too close to home. I have mentioned it to her but I just don't want to go on about it with her. My other BF's dad died five years ago and her mum remarried recently and she's basically cut off any contact with her mum and wont' acknowledge the new OH, so I can't talk to her about it either because I've spent so much time trying to persuade her to make up with her mum and now I feel like a hypocrite!

Ironically my DH's dad died unexpectedly a few years ago and his mum literally gave up on life and died two years later, so we've experienced first hand how bad it can be, and loneliness has always been a real worry for me with my Dad so at least that's not going to be a problem. I just need to accept things for what they are and get on with it I guess. xx

StayAChild Fri 04-Aug-17 13:42:44

My Dad did this. I felt same as you - I didn't want him to be lonely but found it really hard to understand why so soon. I think it was around 12 months.

I tried so hard to accept it, but the truth is she and her family/grandchildren became more important to him than ours and it hurt me and my siblings so much. I hated Christmas and family events. He would push her on to us all the time when I just wanted to spend time with him.

He apologised to me on his death bed, for all that I'd had to put up with for the last 20 years, so he knew, and that hurt even more.

So sorry about your Mum. If I had my time again, I wouldn't have tried so hard and wouldn't have put up with so many family events. Just do what you want to. flowers

riskmatrix Sat 23-Sep-17 21:23:45

My father did the same, In fact he first went out for a drink with this woman 3 weeks after my mother died. He wanted to go away on a weekend break with her after 6 weeks and he moved her in after 4 months.

It destroyed our relationship as he just went head over heels for her and refused to accept anything other than adoration for her from us (that wasn't going to happen), plus she turned out to be a nasty piece of work who insisted that he 'put us in our place' when we spoke up about it.

3 years later I still can't get my head around it, I never will.

Dowser Wed 11-Oct-17 10:00:00

I'm so sorry to read about how soon your loved ones got into a new relationship.
My husband was a widower of 8 months when we got together.
We fell head over heels for one another.
Thankfully he had no children but I see how it could have got very difficult if he had.
My cousin started dating two months after her husband died.
People just don't like being lonely I guess but care and consideration should be given to the partners children.

Mxyzptlk Wed 11-Oct-17 10:11:16

To a bereaved partner/wife/husband it can seem to be a very long time that they have been alone and grieving, even if it is only a few weeks or months.

The OP's Dad seems to be taking his new friendship/relationship at a reasonable pace, not rushing into anything.

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