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Parent getting married shortly after passing of your other parent. Opinions/Advice wanted.

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Moosejaw

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Hi everyone...

I don''t share all that much about my personal life on here, usually just my opinions on others situations. So now it''s my turn.

I am turning 31 this year, and am unsure of what feelings are appropriate for my situation regarding my own family.

My mother passed away February 14, 2006. She was only 54, and our whole family was/is devastated. We are trying to move on but it is difficult. My father, who is 55, and a very attractive 55 at that. I don''t go a week without hearing how attractive he is, by DIFFERENT people. Usually 5-6 times per week.

Shortly after she passed, he began dating...and now is not only seriously considering marrying this other woman, he is going to be. He already bought a beautiful ring, which I want to show off one day, but am still disheartened in the fact he has moved on so quickly.

Has anyone else had to deal with this???

-G
 

Hudson_Hawk

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I''m so sorry to hear about your mother and your current situation. All I can say is that
1. people grieve differently. This attachment may be his way of filling the void left by your mother. If he says he loves this woman then that feeling should be respected and she should be respected.
2. Sometimes parents keep things about their relationship from their children. Your mother and father may have had a discussion about what he was goign to do after she was gone. She may have wanted him to find someone to love and share his life with. Or, 3. the not so nice other side is that maybe though they were committed to each other and you kids in their marriage, maybe things weren''t perfect within their relationship. He may have let her go in the romantic sense long ago.
(I know that''s not what you want to hear but it''s a possibility)

It sounds like this may be 1 combined with 2 or 3. Once again, I''m so sorry to hear of your loss.
 

chrono

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Moosejaw,
I have to agree with HH on all 3 reasons. Sometimes we the children are kept hidden from the true dynamics of the parents'' relationship. My condolences on your Mother''s passing.
 

oshinbreez

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I''m sorry for your mothers passing. Losing a parent is hard.

Was your mother terminal or was her death an accident? I ask because if she was terminal, your dad had time to get used to the idea of her passing. A friend''s husband died 2 years ago. He was terminal and went down hill very quickly. She started dating soon after his death, much to her kids disapproval. It almost destroyed her relationship with her youngest daughter and her daughter in law. My friend was torn, but felt like she had grieved while her husband was dying. She''s in her early 40''s, and needed to feel loved again. She got re-married 6 mos ago and is extremely happy. Her kids realized that she has a right to be happy. No one will ever replace their father.

If your father is happy, be happy for him. As long as the lady treats him good, that''s what matters.

I do understand your being upset, but your father does have a right to be happy.
 

widget

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Hi, MJ...you have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your mother.

I think it''s perfectly natural to have ambivalent feelings about your father''s remarrying.

I do have one thought that might be of some comfort. I think that his finding someone new fairly soon could be a testament of how good your parents'' marriage was. Had there been problems, he might not have been so open to finding another to love.

Just a thought...
widget
 

jcrow

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Date: 3/30/2007 12:30:41 PM
Author: widget
Hi, MJ...you have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your mother.

I think it''s perfectly natural to have ambivalent feelings about your father''s remarrying.

I do have one thought that might be of some comfort. I think that his finding someone new fairly soon could be a testament of how good your parents'' marriage was. Had there been problems, he might not have been so open to finding another to love.

Just a thought...
widget
i''ve heard the same thing - that if the marriage was very good, more than likely the other will remarry.

i''m sorry for you and your family''s loss. such a difficult situation, and i can see why this would cause friction.
 

luckystar112

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I kind of went through the same thing...except it was with my grandparents.
I was 14 when my grandfather died, and I still consider it the worst thing that has ever happened to me. My grandmother moved on very shortly (within the year), and for some reason I was the only one who cared. That guy ended up dying within months. (Talk about bad timing.) Then a very short time later she started dating again. She ended up marrying a man that used to work with my grandfather.

He is a nice guy, although we don't have anything in common. To tell you the truth I have never been able to "accept" him, even though its been 7 or 8 years since they've been married. We live in different states so I haven't been able to really get to know him either. To me, no one could ever replace my grandfather, and I was extremely HURT that my grandmother was able to move on so quickly. I'm pretty sure if he was still alive they would still be togeether. So, I guess it was my grandmother's way of not being alone...and she really lucked out by finding someone else to love so quick. But yeah...I've always felt like it was disrespectful to the family and to my grandfather's memory. He was really the only father I ever had so it was like a huge slap in the face.

Some people recover quickly from grief I guess.

I don't think I could ever be like that. But then again, to each his own.
 

Moosejaw

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Thanks everybody.

It has been tough. Some of the dishonesty, or lack of honesty has been hard in regards to the nature and seriousness of their relationship.

My mother was terminally ill, but we only knew for 3-4 months before she passed.

I can say the lady he is dating is great, but it really doesnt matter who it is...just that its happening. Also the fact I have an underlying feeling that if it wasnt her, it wouldve been someone else.

Thanks for the kind words.
 

Kaleigh

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I''m sorry for your loss MJ. It''s hard to think how someone can move on so quickly after a death. But people handle their grief so differently. I''d be happy for him, that he has found happiness again. If he had had a terrible marriage with your mom, marriage would be the last thing on his mind. So you can think of it that way...
 

Ellen

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moose, I'm sorry about your mom.


I knew before I opened your thread which of your parents had passed. I have seen this happen with 3 very close personal aquaintences (one was my BIL). All 3 men were either married or engaged within 6 months of the spouse passing. It seems that some men just can't be without someone. It doesn't mean they didn't love their spouse (in these cases I know they all did), or that they have just moved on and forgotten them. Far from it (one was dating but had the spouses pictures under his pillow), but, they cannot be alone. It's really that simple, in a lot of cases.

I can imagine how you feel, but as in these other cases, I really doubt your father has forgotten your mother for a minute, or that he ever will. It might help you if you tried having a heart to heart with him....

Outside of that, I would try your best to be happy for him, and try to embrace his bride to be. I know firsthand also, how hard it is for the "other" woman. Most are well aware of the childrens feelings, and have absolutely no intention of trying to replace the mom. They are really put in a very precarious position.

Take care, and I hope this helps.
 

anchor31

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Date: 3/30/2007 12:56:54 PM
Author: Ellen
moose, I''m sorry about your mom.


I knew before I opened your thread which of your parents had passed. I have seen this happen with 3 very close personal aquaintences (one was my BIL). All 3 men were either married or engaged within 6 months of the spouse passing. It seems that some men just can''t be without someone. It doesn''t mean they didn''t love their spouse (in these cases I know they all did), or that they have just moved on and forgotten them. Far from it (one was dating but had the spouses pictures under his pillow), but, they cannot be alone. It''s really that simple, in a lot of cases.

I can imagine how you feel, but as in these other cases, I really doubt your father has forgotten your mother for a minute, or that he ever will. It might help you if you tried having a heart to heart with him....

Outside of that, I would try your best to be happy for him, and try to embrace his bride to be. I know firsthand also, how hard it is for the ''other'' woman. Most are well aware of the childrens feelings, and have absolutely no intention of trying to replace the mom. They are really put in a very precarious position.

Take care, and I hope this helps.
I agree with this. Both my grandmothers became widows early enough to remarry, but never did. Only one of them is living now, and she says she has met quite a few men who were eager to remarry shortly after losing their wives.

My FI and I are young and not yet married, and we can''t imagine marrying someone else if the worst should happen... So I can understand how confused and hurt you must be. I''m sorry for your loss, and I hope everyone in your family will find peace and happiness.
 

fire&ice

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FWIW - two friends went through this a couple of years ago. Both had to realize that this isn''t a betrayal to their mother. They seemed to believe that his grief stopped. They came to understand that the grieving didn''t stop - but that life went on. They came around to grasp more the thought that companionship and happiness of their fathers trumped their feeling of betrayal. The one that embraced it the most is truly fulfilled by the union. Once an only child, he now has a whole extended family that all get together and share the happiness.

I am sorry for your loss. The loss of a spouse is different than the loss of a parent. I have to agree with Widget. It is probably more a testament to your parents great relationship that he is able to move on.

I TRULY would want my husband to move on and find good companionship after I go. It would make me most happy. The only thing I have said - don''t give her *MY* 3 carat diamond ring.
 

hlmr

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Date: 3/30/2007 12:56:54 PM
Author: Ellen

I knew before I opened your thread which of your parents had passed. It seems that some men just can''t be without someone. It doesn''t mean they didn''t love their spouse (in these cases I know they all did), or that they have just moved on and forgotten them. Far from it (one was dating but had the spouses pictures under his pillow), but, they cannot be alone. It''s really that simple, in a lot of cases.
This is so true....not that there are not women who also move on as quickly, but most men don''t want to be alone. Did they have a traditional relationship with your Mom taking care of her family?

Moosejaw, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost mine 15 years ago and I still miss her so much every day. Hugs to you and btw, you have a beautiful family! (pic in other thread)

If you can, perhaps write your Dad a note explaining how you are feeling. It is his life and at the end of the day he will do what he thinks is best for him, but that doesn''t mean you can''t share your feelings with him somehow. Make sure that if you do talk to him or write him a letter to use "I feel....." words and not "you make me feel bad or how could you do this to Mom - moving on so quickly" messages.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Heather
 

BZ

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Hi. I just wanted to say that I think you have gotten some really good advice here. I lost my mom very suddenly when she was 59 and I was 33. It was and still is very devastating to me. I think that my parents had a really good relationship, but was shocked to learn that my Dad started a relationship with someone not even a month after my mom had died. He didn''t end up marrying that woman (she is married - huge long story), but did end up marrying someone about three years after my mom died. I remember the day he told me he was going to do Match.com (yes, I guess it does work). He told me he was really lonely and that he needed to have someone in his life.

I can''t say that I love this new woman, but I will say that he seems happy (they have been married about 18 months). I guess when you have been in a marriage for so long, it''s hard to face single life. Perhaps that is what motivates people to find another spouse/mate so quickly after they lose someone. I saw my Dad last week and he did tell me that he talks about my mom with his wife (also has one pictue of my mom around) and she seems to honor the relationship that he had with my mother.

So, my few words of advice, focus on your relationship with your Dad and try to get to know his new gal. Your Dad hasn''t forgotten your mother, he just needs someone to share his life with.

Hope that helps. I know you are going through a tough time.
 

marvel

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Hi MJ, I havn''t read through the entire thread yet, but generally speaking, men tend to remarry quicker then women. Men seem to like having a women take on the day-to-day stuff. That''s just my two-cents that was passed on to me from a MFT (marriage family therapist).

~maria~
 

crown1

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i have to agree with most of what widget posted. i am in the age bracket of your parents. a couple in my area found themselves in a situation similiar to your parents. the wife lived about a year after her diagnosis. the husband says they talked and she wanted him to find someone and be happy. i do believe they were happy and had a good marriage.

she had been dead no time when he took up with an inlaw of one of his children. the gal was younger than his children. he and the girl had a very big church wedding and she immediately became pregnant. the baby was born in september of last year. it blew my mind as this guy is the kind who would have made comment to someone else who did the same. if i had done the same his comment would probably have been what are you thinking? i thought that of him but it is his life and he is the 56 year old guy starting out again.

it sounds like your dad found a nice woman. i think you are just going to have to go with the flow.
 

allycat0303

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Hi Moosejaw,

I''m very sorry to hear about your loss and the difficult time you are having now.

I heard once that the length of time someone grieves for their wife/husband has nothing to do with how much they loved the person. I think sometimes being alone, especially at such a difficult time is SO hard, that you need someone to be with you to help you through it, because the pain is unbearable. I''ve always talked with my fiance about this, and I told him that I wouldn''t want him to wait more then 6 months before dating someone else, mostly because I would hate to see him alone, and sad over something that can''t be changed.

Have you spoken to your father about it? Is it possible that your mother told him before hand not to grieve too long and to move on? It''s a difficult situation for you though, do you feel that if you like her it would be a betrayal to your mother?

I hope you feel better about the situation soon.
 

widget

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I just wanted to add that I truly understand how painful all this can be for the grieving children, even if they understand why their surviving parent has moved on...

One of the worst days of my life was attending my elderly dad's wedding, less than a year after my mother's death, in my mother's house. It was heart-wrenching. He may have been ready...his kids weren't.


You have my sympathy.

widget
 

eks6426

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I am sorry for your loss.

In a way, I have been your dad. My first husband passed away and I remarried within about 1 1/2 years after his passing (engaged in about 1). A lot of people seemed surprised at how quickly I remarried. But I guess my attitude was, that I only have 1 life to live and I didn''t want to live it alone. I didn''t want to sit around and wait until others thought it was appropriate, because honestly some people never see that it is ...or want widows to wait 10 years before remarrying.

The fact that your dad is remarrying this soon isn''t a poor reflection on your mother. It doesn''t mean he loved her any less. It just means that he has defined his version of happiness to include marriage...probably in part due to his positive relationship with your mother.

It''s really hard for children to see their parents as independent adults with needs and wants of their own. They just see them as "mom and dad." After your spouse dies, the bed is cold and lonely and all those people who are telling you that "it''s too soon" aren''t in that cold and lonely bed with you. I encourage you to find the strength to accept your dad''s new wife to be. She will never replace your mother, but perhaps, she can be your friend.
 

marvel

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Date: 3/30/2007 3:17:34 PM
Author: IslandDreams
I am sorry for your loss.

In a way, I have been your dad. My first husband passed away and I remarried within about 1 1/2 years after his passing (engaged in about 1). A lot of people seemed surprised at how quickly I remarried. But I guess my attitude was, that I only have 1 life to live and I didn''t want to live it alone. I didn''t want to sit around and wait until others thought it was appropriate, because honestly some people never see that it is ...or want widows to wait 10 years before remarrying.

The fact that your dad is remarrying this soon isn''t a poor reflection on your mother. It doesn''t mean he loved her any less. It just means that he has defined his version of happiness to include marriage...probably in part due to his positive relationship with your mother.

It''s really hard for children to see their parents as independent adults with needs and wants of their own. They just see them as ''mom and dad.'' After your spouse dies, the bed is cold and lonely and all those people who are telling you that ''it''s too soon'' aren''t in that cold and lonely bed with you. I encourage you to find the strength to accept your dad''s new wife to be. She will never replace your mother, but perhaps, she can be your friend.
Ohhhh...good point!
 

phoenixgirl

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My mother has told me at least 20 times, "Now you know that if I pass away first, your father will have to remarry" (this is a man who can''t stand being alone for the 30 minutes he drives to and fro work). I can understand your feelings and hope that your father is sensitive to them. I''m sure I would find it very difficult for my father to move on that quickly. At the same time, I think you need to be sensitive to your father''s new, unwelcome position -- that of a man who can expect to live several more decades who has lost the person he was going to share those decades with. I don''t think anyone would blame him for not wanting to face them alone.

That said, it needs to be done tastefully. One of the mothers of a girl at my high school dropped dead unexpectedly over the summer (no illness, no known heart condition, nothing). Her dad was engaged and had the fiancee move in with his high school age children within three months! Now that had to be traumatic and was irresponsible as a parent. The obvious suspicion is that this was a woman that he, ahem, knew before his wife''s death.

My great-uncle was widowed after 36 years of marriage. After that he married a widow, and they were together for 25 years. They are buried next to their first spouses, not each other.
 

Girlrocks

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My MIL passed away 6 months to the day after our wedding. My FIL started dating someone within the year, however, we did not know about her for another year. She is very nice, however it is extremely hard for my husband and his siblings. One problem is that she is still married, however her husband has had Alzheimer''s for 10 years and is in a nursing home, he doesn''t even know who she is anymore, so they have not been a "married couple" for about 8 years, but of course, she would never divorce him. The other problem is that she never had children, and also has no siblings so not even neices and nephews, so she does not get understand family committments. She doesn''t understand why on big holidays, my FIL wants to spend them with his grandkids (see them open presents on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc). She always tried to make plans for just the 2 of them to do things together, and then gets upset when he says he wants to spend holidays with his kids/grandkids. She of course is welcome to join us, we are not in any way trying to leave her out, but she thinks that just the 2 of them should spend the time together, I guess like her and her husband used to. Otherwise, she is very nice and a good person. But still, it''s very hard on my hubby. Also, my kids don''t understand why they aren''t married, and it''s too complicated to explain to them that she''s married to someone else!
 

Moosejaw

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Thanks for all the stories, opinions, and advice. They help a great deal when trying to gain perspective on a situation.

The lady in question is great, and I don''t feel there is anything to worry about. I am just sensitive to the time and respect ratio, since it was my mother. I try to put myself in his position, and like to think I would wait longer before moving on so seriously, but who knows.

I know since my dad has gotten it off his chest, even though it was pried out of him by me...he feels better about things, but I am still figuring stuff out.

To add insult to injury he paid about 12-15k TOO MUCH for the ring he bought at a well known retailer. I am very sensitive to my family members not wasting money. Not so much how they spend it, but that they get what they paid for. I am attempting to right that situation, so we will see what happens.

-G
 

Efe

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Moosejaw I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother 2 years ago and I miss her each and every day.

I think that when a parent dies, especially the matriach of the family, that people grieve individually for their loss, but also collectively as a family. Part of that process is to face holidays and special events without the loved one present. Something feels wrong and artificial when a new person is introduced into this process before it has come full circle. Does this make any sense? I think that your dad is dealing with his own grief and loss in his way but doesn''t realize the negative impact on the family.
 

Skippy123

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Date: 3/31/2007 10:48:16 AM
Author: Moosejaw
Thanks for all the stories, opinions, and advice. They help a great deal when trying to gain perspective on a situation.

The lady in question is great, and I don't feel there is anything to worry about. I am just sensitive to the time and respect ratio, since it was my mother. I try to put myself in his position, and like to think I would wait longer before moving on so seriously, but who knows.

I know since my dad has gotten it off his chest, even though it was pried out of him by me...he feels better about things, but I am still figuring stuff out.

To add insult to injury he paid about 12-15k TOO MUCH for the ring he bought at a well known retailer. I am very sensitive to my family members not wasting money. Not so much how they spend it, but that they get what they paid for. I am attempting to right that situation, so we will see what happens.

-G
I am so sorry for your loss. I would feel the same.

Since you are hurt about the situation; I would really try and seperate myself from getting involved about the cost of the ring. Vent to friends and spouse. I think it helps to vent to friends; they can give good advice and you feel better.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Date: 3/30/2007 3:17:34 PM
Author: IslandDreams
I am sorry for your loss.

In a way, I have been your dad. My first husband passed away and I remarried within about 1 1/2 years after his passing (engaged in about 1). A lot of people seemed surprised at how quickly I remarried. But I guess my attitude was, that I only have 1 life to live and I didn''t want to live it alone. I didn''t want to sit around and wait until others thought it was appropriate, because honestly some people never see that it is ...or want widows to wait 10 years before remarrying.

The fact that your dad is remarrying this soon isn''t a poor reflection on your mother. It doesn''t mean he loved her any less. It just means that he has defined his version of happiness to include marriage...probably in part due to his positive relationship with your mother.

It''s really hard for children to see their parents as independent adults with needs and wants of their own. They just see them as ''mom and dad.'' After your spouse dies, the bed is cold and lonely and all those people who are telling you that ''it''s too soon'' aren''t in that cold and lonely bed with you. I encourage you to find the strength to accept your dad''s new wife to be. She will never replace your mother, but perhaps, she can be your friend.
This is such a wonderful post. I feel that since it has been more than a year since the loss of his wife, there is absolutely nothing wrong with him getting engaged. If he had done so in the first three months or so after she died, I would think of it as being in poor taste, but after a year, I can''t say that I think it would be objectionable. It will be hard for the kids no matter how long he waited, because you can''t imagine anyone but your mother being there. It is very, very sad, but I think everyone should make a huge effort to be happy for your father and not lay new guilt on him. He has had a great loss, and now allow him to have some joy again.

And if that ring has not been given yet, and if it is still within the return period, I see nothing wrong with you offering to help your Dad get a better deal on the ring.
 

lumpkin

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I am sorry for the loss of your mother. It is very hard to lose your mom.

I understand your feelings. I think the advice you have gotten so far is very sound.

One thing to add, as you get older, you begin to realize that time is going by very quickly. When you are in your twenties, gosh you have all the time in the world. Hit your thirties, and you''ve still got some time to experiment and have kids, get married, buy a house, develop your career, etc. Hit your forties, HOLY CRAP, 50''s are just around the corner. By this time you''re in your 50''s you''ve probably lost one or both parents, or you are caring for them as they become elderly -- your children are nearly grown if not out of the house, and you begin to plan how to best spend the remainder of your "quality" life. I think along with everything else that has been presented, he may feel a push to enjoy and make the very most of that time. He really can''t be blamed for that, especially given that his own wife has demonstrated to him how short our time can be here.

Also, I don''t know how your father feels about sex outside of marriage. Not to go into the oogy place, but a healthy, attractive, verile man in his mid 50''s is probably still wanting to be active, and if his religion forbids sex outside of marriage, that could also play a factor. He may also feel your mother would not want him to have sex outside of marriage and that to do so would be disrespectful. I don''t know, that may be way off base, but I''d be surprised if sex didn''t factor into the situation.

I know that my husband would probably marry very soon after my death. He does not want to be alone, and honestly, he would not thrive alone. He just wouldn''t. So I can''t die until the kids are grown. If I did and he married someone who treated our children badly (they are still very young), I would literally come back and haunt him. And I''d make her life absolutely miserable. Once our kids are grown, if he remarried, I would really not be hurt or offended. Some men just really need to be married.

I honestly think this is harder on you than it would be on your mother, so if you feel you would be disloyal to support your father in his marriage, unless the new wife is just a beastly, horrible person, I don''t think your mother would be as upset as you might think.

Sending out cyber hugs.
 

Sparkster

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Date: 3/31/2007 9:24:29 AM
Author: Girlrocks
My MIL passed away 6 months to the day after our wedding. My FIL started dating someone within the year, however, we did not know about her for another year. She is very nice, however it is extremely hard for my husband and his siblings. One problem is that she is still married, however her husband has had Alzheimer''s for 10 years and is in a nursing home, he doesn''t even know who she is anymore, so they have not been a ''married couple'' for about 8 years, but of course, she would never divorce him. The other problem is that she never had children, and also has no siblings so not even neices and nephews, so she does not get understand family committments. She doesn''t understand why on big holidays, my FIL wants to spend them with his grandkids (see them open presents on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc). She always tried to make plans for just the 2 of them to do things together, and then gets upset when he says he wants to spend holidays with his kids/grandkids. She of course is welcome to join us, we are not in any way trying to leave her out, but she thinks that just the 2 of them should spend the time together, I guess like her and her husband used to. Otherwise, she is very nice and a good person. But still, it''s very hard on my hubby. Also, my kids don''t understand why they aren''t married, and it''s too complicated to explain to them that she''s married to someone else!
This is very similar to my further FIL. His wife passed away 8 years ago and about a year later, he started dating a woman (acquaintance) he had known for quite a while. Her husband had dementia and was in a home. Her husband didn''t recognise her, he couldn''t speak - his illness was at a very advanced stage. She has 3 children and one of them couldn''t accept the fact that she was seeing someone else. It was a VERY difficult situation - she was legally married but in reality, she didn''t have a ''real'' husband. My fiance and I were happy for the two of them. Her husband passed away 10 months ago - it''s taken a while but her son has finally accepted their relationship.
 
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Diamond Eye Candy

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