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Mom's Gone...Dad's dating...


jtoli
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Good morning to all. This is officially my first post, so please bear with me here.

I am really needing some advice here. My parents were married for over 40 years when my mother had complications from surgery and died unexpectedly. I think the entire family took her death extreamly hard, however it effects me a great deal more. I was very close with my mom. (The baby and only girl.) My father wasn't around much when I was growing up due to his work. My father and I never got along until after my mother's passing. This past year has been a true blessing for me b/c I have developed a more close relationship with him.

Well, today my father tells me he met a woman and proceeds to tell me just how smitten he is over this woman. I have listened attentively but it is beginning to be sickening. It's almost as if he is a teenager all over again. The things he says about this woman makes me think she is far too forward and things seem to be progressing rather quickly. I don't want to rain on my father's parade, b/c I truly want him to be happy, but I am just far bothered by this more than I thought I would be. He's talking about her birthday coming up, omitting the fact that it's the same week as mine, and rambling about all the expensive things he would like to do for her(her ideas mostly). He ruled my mother with an iron fist and rarely spent anything at all on her. (She was on her death bed worried about her hospital bill and how she didn't want my father mad at her.)

I know it's not any of my business who my father is with...blah..blah..but I need some help dealing. It's as if she is the only thing in his entire world. Everytime I call and try to talk about something else, he's changing the subject right back to her again. He told me yesterday that my mother's death is water under the bridge and it's time for him to move on. I never thought my father would be dating again. Everything is changing so fast. I feel like it's a direct punch in the gut and an insult to my mother. It's like I'm feeling the pain of her passing all over again. Please help.

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Its really hard to handle I know.

 

My mother passed away Aug 25 was 2 years of her death.

 

My dad is dating again, I met her when I visited. But Ill tell you no matter what I was thinking, he is a grown man and really my mom would have wanted him to be happy.

 

Tell your father that you love him and if it makes him happy that is what you want, and then time will heal. I know its not as easy as that and Im very sorry for your loss.

 

My husband's father passed away also and in 2 years his mom had started dating, then married the new guy. It was very hard for him to deal with at first but like she told me, she just wasnt wanting to spend her life alone. It got very hard for her to come home to an empty house where her life had been planned and dreamed and lived with her husband. She needed to move on for her own healing.

 

I hope this helps, if nothing else, know that your not alone in that.

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Welcome to the forums sweetie,

 

I am very sorry to hear about your mom, losing a parent is very hard and my heart goes out to you.

 

As for your father dating....I know it is tough to see him without your mom, and interested in another woman, but he is right that life does move on, and I really don't think he means it as disrespect to your mother. Sure, they had a different dynamic then maybe him and his new girlfriend have but you would find that in any relationship, and this is also new, and exciting for him.

 

When I was 22, my boyfriend of 5 years died, and it was a scary step when I started dating again. I had friends of his/mine whom thought it was "too soon" or that I was disrespectful to him...but they could never put themselves in my shoes, or how I really was feeling. Dating was part of the process for me to know that love was still in my future, and knowing my late bf would of WANTED for me to move on and be happy with someone, and be loved. Life really does go on, and sometimes the appreciation of how short it can be, and quickly it can be taken away, makes a person more determined to live.

 

If it bothers you that he ALWAYS talks of her though, I would suggest next time he starts doing that just say "look, dad I am very happy for you and wish you both the best, but I don't feel comfortable myself at this point hearing about her yet all the time, okay? So for me, can we just limit the talk about it right now?" - make it about YOUR feelings, not his actions, make sense?

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jtoli, I am sorry for your loss. I know it's difficult, it took me a few years to begin to feel like myself again after my mother died too. Like you, my relationship with my father wasn't too strong, he was out of the house working, etc... but the death brought all of us together during that hard time.

 

When my father started dating (and it was about 6 years later) it was difficult. A few siblings took it very hard and were actually angry (but they still aren't over the death of our mother and it's been 13yrs). He met the woman in February and proposed to her in March. Yeah, fast.

 

She and her children (we're all adults) came to visit and I just thought she was wonderful. (My dad lives in Florida.) It was odd to hear him talk about her, his feelings etc. But I had the luxury of living 1500 miles away. Perhaps you can quietly tell your dad that while you want him to be happy it is just hard for you to hear about her all the time and could he maybe just take it down a notch so you can adjust.

 

I know I clung to my dad after my mother's death, I think that's natural. It might be too soon for you to break away just yet, you're not ready to give him up or share him just now. There's nothing wrong with that in my opinion, it's all still fresh.

 

I love my dad's wife (seems odd to say step-mother when I'm forty-something), she is a gem and I feel very lucky to have her. She takes such good care of my father and that is no small feat.

 

I hope you'll be able to talk with your father and that he will listen with his heart.

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Gosh, I also really feel for you. Because from what you describe, what's really going on here is that in many ways throughout your life, your father has shown insensitivity to your mother and his children. And here he's doing it again, and it's sparking all kinds of feelings of resentment in you about how he treated your mother when she was alive, and how he treated you.

 

The difficult part about this is that I don't see how your father will help you deal with these feelings. Not if he's got an insensitive streak.

 

Honestly, if I was in your position, I'd be feeling so much anger I'd probably want to talk to a therapist specializing in grief counseling to help me manage it. I just don't see talking with your father about it - at this point, anyway - as doing anything other than fueling your emotions. Some counseling might help you figure out and clarify a way to approach communicating with your father in a way that feels best for you.

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