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OAP Father & much younger wife in marriage breakdown.

(16 Posts)
CocoCha Thu 27-Feb-14 07:29:25

I'm at a loss here. My Dad has been married to a woman 20 years younger than him for 30 years, they have 2 adult children together but the marriage appears to be breaking down and I'm constantly being drafted in to 'talk to Dad'. She's thrown herself into her job and I suspect an affair thanks to a rather large amount of weight loss. He is a typical retired man but without a wife to spend any time with, she clearly dislikes and resents him, he craves her company which he doesn't get. He has some strange behaviours including hoarding but he hasn't actually changed much, he just can't cope with the changes in the house. He was a hands off Father to me and I haven't lived with him since I was under 10, he's also never been helpful with my children unlike my pils and my Mother.

Any ideas would be gratefully received. After not having an involved Father for all of my life I feel a bit angry about all this.

Hissy Thu 27-Feb-14 07:33:46

Who's drafting you in?

Tell them that you don't want to be involved, and that all are adults, and perfectly capable of working things out themselves.

TamerB Thu 27-Feb-14 07:39:02

I think you just need to encourage him to get a life. 'A typical retired man' sounds ominous. He needs to get out, volunteering - have interests etc. Either it will make him a more interesting person to her or at least he will have things to do.
If he is going to be 'typical' and walk off to get the paper and potter in the garden it is not going to work- she isn't ready for it (and I can't see why he is).
He can't be that old. I have retired. I am running a half marathon on Sunday. I am out all morning today working with children. Yesterday I had a training day for one if my other voluntary jobs. Get him out and about.

CocoCha Thu 27-Feb-14 07:39:09

His wife and their kids. I've actually said that this is a relationship problem which they then twist into He needs ago see a Doctor, his behaviour is erratic/irrational. Which I don't actually believe.

Cabrinha Thu 27-Feb-14 07:39:33

Is it your stepmother drafting you in? Talk to him as in just be company because she doesn't want to be, or talk to him about marriage issues?
Either way, you can say no.

TamerB Thu 27-Feb-14 07:39:44

If you can't get him out and about tell it is his problem- he has had your suggestion.

CocoCha Thu 27-Feb-14 07:41:22

He's 75, he should be more active but after a triple bypass, a valve replacement following a heart attack and stroke he's just not got the energy any more. He walks the dogs and that's about it.

Good luck with your Marathon.

Cabrinha Thu 27-Feb-14 07:43:50

"their kids" - the fact you don't say "my half sibs" suggests you're not close!
How much contact have your had with your father to be sure that he isn't ill?
Unless you have no relationship with him, I'd check in on him to reassure myself he wasn't unwell or in a potentially abusuve situation - in which case if I wasn't close to him if speak to adult social services.
I think there's a line to be walked between human kindness, and reaping as you sow. If he chose not to be part of your life, frankly you're hardly obligated now.

CocoCha Thu 27-Feb-14 07:50:32

We're very friendly and spend time together when the kids are home but I'm talking 3 or 4 times a year, but they're young adults and I'm a middle aged Mum of teenagers and I'm only 8 years younger than their Mum.

What a mess.

ProcrastinationIsMyMiddleName Thu 27-Feb-14 07:54:59

I think you're perfectly justified in saying that you don't want to get involved, and it is their problem.

You can't save their marriage, that is up to them.

Sorry this is happening to you

Aussiebean Thu 27-Feb-14 07:56:20

Are they trying to get you to help them help him out of a rut? Or to help the relationship ?

If the later- You might need to establish boundaries. You are the daughter who is not a part of the relationship. They are the parents and they need to not involve you at all.

Stubbed Thu 27-Feb-14 08:04:43

Erratic behaviour could be a sign of dementia?

CocoCha Thu 27-Feb-14 08:06:31

He is wanting me to be his friend and sounding board, she wants me to get him to admit to being ill. She's clutching at straws saying it's dementia but I'd be very surprised, my pils both have different types of dementia and he's nothing like them. I would say he's possibly depressed but there's a world of difference between unhappy and clinically depressed.

I might write all 4 of them an email rather than everyone coming at me with their own interpretations.

CocoCha Thu 27-Feb-14 08:09:48

Thanks for all of your suggestions. I'm really stuck with this.

Kikithecat Thu 27-Feb-14 08:10:37

Yes it sounds like their problem not yours. It's not surprising at 75 with health issues that he wants a 'typical' retirement - I guess that's a problem of a big age gap.
If he's been a hands off father since you were 10 I really don't see why you are being asked to step in. He has a wife, who should be his first line of support, and he has 2 other adult children who he actually brought up who should be at least equally responsible with you (more in my opinion).

TamerB Thu 27-Feb-14 16:31:27

I obviously got it wrong-if he is a 75yr old with health problems and she is 55yrs, active and working there are going to be massive problems. They were then 25yrs and 45yrs when they met. She either accepts it and manages, or she can't. I have a friend whose husband is now elderly and she is facing the problems most of us face with elderly parents-she just looks after him and has her own life. It is up to them to solve and not something you can really help with.

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