How do you handle an elderly father who is becoming more lascivious as they age?

Follow
Share

My mother-in-law passed away 18 months ago at the age of 79. My father-in-law decided 8-months later to move closer to his son and I (Nebraska to Alabama). Since my father-in-law has been in town (since Feb 2011), he has made several lewd and in appropriate comments in front of his grandchildren and has taken to "hitting on and pinching" waitresses etc.
He recently attended two of the grandchildren's weddings this summer and his behavior of lasciviousness became quite the topic.
He thinks he has "prowess" with the women. Others think he is senile.
He is also increasingly rude to others but he has always been this way around me. Others are just starting to see it.
He lives at an Independent living community and still drives. I don't want to be around him anymore - he moved down here to have a better relationship with his son/DIL and grandchildren but he seems to be pushing us all away.
He feels that at his age "he has earned the right to say, do and behavior any way he *amn well pleases" (HIS OWN WORDS)
Other than not inviting him over, how can I stay a "good daughter-in-law"? but protect my family?
My husband has never been able to confront his father over anything.
Thank you for advice.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
8

Answers

Show:
I am female and live in a room in an apt in an Illinois family home [not my family]. The family that owns the house lives downstairs. In October the family's female cousin and her kids, with whom I had shared the upstairs apt with a few years, moved out and the landlord moved in a dad and son pair to replace them. The son is employed, gentlemanly, minds his own business. etc. The dad at first he seemd nice but in my opinion he is not nice. He is home all the time and has a lascivious attitude. His bedroom door is right across from the bathroom and he leaves it wide open in the early morning when I have to be up and getting ready for work. I go into the bathroom for my shower wearing a long, closed bathrobe, with my legs showing only 4 to 5 inches between bottom of robe and my slippers. Routinely he comments on having seen my legs and how young they look. I ignore this. I have learned that if I politely tell him I am about to take a shower and ask does he need to get into the bathroom first before I occupy it for a while, he inevitably says "If you need a hand call me." He thinks that is a hilarioius thing to say. I think it is gross ansd disgusting and inappropriate. I have told him that and yet he persists. I asked him several times to keep his door closed in the morning so that I was not on display to him when entering and leaving the bathroom but he would not close it. I finally went to his son and told him what the situaiton was and that if I ever again came out of my room to enter bathroom in a.m. and his dad's door was wide open with the dad oogling me, that I was going to reach slightly into the room and pull the door to 45 degree angle so that my comings and goings would not be visible to the dad. The son as fine with that but the dad, furious. He was still making the inappropriate remark so last time he said that to me I told him that I know he thinks that remark is funny but that I do not like him saying it to me and not to say it to me ever again. He has not said it since. And if his door is open in the morning I pull it to 45 degrees.

When they first moved in the dad had a way of feigning that he had some kind of medical emergency when he was home and in bed [where he often spends large parts of the day]. I fell for it once or twice. He could call out for help and I would go to the door and he would act like he could not talk very well and I would step into the room, up to the bedside to hear him better. Then he would try to get me to lie down. The 2nd and last time I fell for this stunt, he grabbed my arm and tried to force me to lie down beside him in bed, THE DISGUSTING OLD COOT!!!! I got out of the room and told him off in no uncertain terms and told his son who blessed him out. Currently we have a moderately peaceable standoff but the old man swears he is in love with me and that I am breaking his heart. Wants to marry me he says. Asks a lot of personal questions which I do not answer. He also perceives in his warped mind that I am having an affair with his son [which is not true.] In the kitchen cooking at the same time as he and his son are, or in the liviing room watching TV, if the dad sees me speak to the son or if God forbid, the son and I should accidently touch one another momentarily by accident in cooking and washing up dishes, etc. the dad displays furious jealousy and has taken of late to flying into screaming tantrums in which he rails at me for having designs on his son. If the old man and I are home alone in the apt he makes these screaming accusations against me at random times. He also says he wants me to marry him (the old man). I think maybe he has onset of dementia. He is 89. I am 67. I could not possibly be less interested in him and I cannot afford to move out at this time. I have told him that I am a person who was living here before they moved in and that though I am okay with him as an apt sharer [well not really but I try to be polite], I have absoutely no personal interest in him and, besides, am not looking for a relationship. Yet he persists. His response is to wail and rail asking me why I hate him so much. I tell him I do not hate him but I am definitely not ever going to have a romantic relationship with him or to marry him, so please not to mention such things. He is stone deaf sometimes and sometimes not. Who knows what is up with that. And his hearing aid a lot of the time does not work. And he cannot read. Hard to communicate with. I am a 67 yr old heart patient [no femme fatale] who is well but sometimes I gets winded if I have to talk loud and long. The dad has to be spoken to very loudly or he does not hear me. He demanded at one point taht I repeat verbatim all conversations I have in his presence with his son, because [he is jealous if I say even "pass the salt" or anything to his son]. I told both dad and son that I cannot physically repeat whole conversations, screaming them at the top of my voice so the dad can hear: is not something I am physically capable of. It makes me dizzy. I refuse to do it. I also have still, on a regular basis, to yell really loud at the older man from time to time so I know that he hears me, that I am not going to marry him. Otherwise he starts up about that again. All of this is really not fun. I hate being mean but have to do it in self defense. What kind of an MD does the older man need to see about his problems? Any ideas?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

@naheaton - I LOVED your answer - and unfortunately for my family :) they KNOW I will be willing to do just as you've stated.
Yes, my husband knows that he should be the one to confront his dad, he's just never around when the man acts up so my husband cannot bring himself to do anything.
@agringo4u - I know my husband loves me and he has never been good at confronting people. and yes he will stand behind me should embarrassing the man in public happens.
How do I know? Because my daughter said I was mean to grandpa when I've told him to behave (I have done a fantastic job of shielding my kids - even in their 20's, from what has being going on.
I told my husband that our daughter thought I was mean and he said I probably was but that "he probably deserved it". Therefore, my husband uses me to confront his dad.
I love my husband enough to do what he finds himself incapable of doing.
Thank you to all for all your kind words and support - you all have been unbelieveable.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I really doubt this is something he suddenly developed. It usually isn't. Your mother in law probably knew he was like that and was okay with it or chose to ignore it. However, you don't have to. You said your husband has never been able to confront him but you didn't mention what he thought about it. I hope you do not let this in anyway cause problems between your husband and you. It is not his fault and some people just aren't good at confronting other people, especially parents. It doesn't mean he doesn't love you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Of course there will probably be a person that does have a family member with dementia that will come over and punch out your husband for letting his wife say that, but then again win win. ha
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Baxter, you need to tell your husband this his first priority is to protect you and the females in his family. If he fails to do this with his father, then you'll have to do it for him. BUT you have got to be able to back up your threat. If my father-in-law DIDN'T have dementia and couldn't help himself, IF he was just doing it to get attention then I'd act accordingly. I'd give him plenty of attention by going as far as to embarrass him badly in public if need be. I personally would feel that I was acting on behalf of those who are being menaced by his unwanted lascivious behavior and that would give me the gall to do this. Next time he assaults any female and causes them to be ashamed and embarrassed, I would stand up and announce to everyone in earshot, 'you'll have to excuse my father-in-law because he has dementia and therefore his perverseness is to be expected'.( or something like that) Now this is ONLY if he really DOESN'T have dementia for obvious reasons, but the point is to make him ashamed for a change and very unlikely to ever do something like that again in public. When your husband's jaw drops to the floor, you remind him how you gave him a chance to step up and do the right thing, but he didn't. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I believe it will only take once, plus the threat of doing it every time you're around for him to stop. If it's attention he wants, then by golly that's what I'd give him. Be the champion of every female that he has his perverted thoughts on.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My 1st husband was Hispanic (adopted an raised in Atlanta- he didn't even have an accent). My darling daughter - with my blue eyes and his coloring - was subjected to all sorts of racial slurs primarily from middle-aged white men or older - who somehow found my lovely daughter a suitable target for their racism. . . I learned quickly the only way to stop it was to call them out- quickly and publicly.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you so much for your honesty and taking the time to share. You are saying everything that I agree with.
I did tell him before my daughter's wedding in July that he better behave himself or I would slap him (we were somewhat joking) - at the time, he was referring to my daughter's fiance as "That mexican" (He is 3rd generation american of hispanic descent).
At my son's wedding a month later, he was rude and my new daughter-in-law slapped him on the arm and told him to stop being so rude! He said he did it because he was being ignored and she said, yeah, because you're being rude! I told him "see, I'm not the only one who is going to slap you if you're rude"! He's excuse? I've earned the right to do and say whatever I want because of my age and then went around telling people I was going to slap him.
As one of his best friend's for 40+ years said, "A little Kenny goes a long way".

Thank you again for sharing and encouraging me to go with my gut on this issue.

And no, you do not sound any more angry than I feel over my situation. I was just thinking today that I would either have to see him in person and discuss his behavior and how he will behave at my home and around the kids or something because this cannot go on.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I went through that with my father in law after mom in law died. It started with inappropriate jokes and worsened. he once said he wanted to see me naked. Ewww.

You might try going to see him, waiting for him to be inappropriate (shouldn't take long, and try to make it happen in front of witnesses) and tell him straight out that if he intends to remain a valued member of the family, he MUST clean up his act.

Tell him frankly that his family members are disgusted by his behavior - that there are other venues for it - strip clubs and hookers and such - but to keep it AWAY from the family. Period. End of discusion -if it EVER happens again he will not be welcome within the family circle anymore. And then be prepared to stop the invites, stop the visits. No more until the time comes he can behave himself.

Age is NOT an excuse for rudeness. Dementia is one thing, but his acting out because he has "earned it"? BS. No way you or anyone else should have to put up with that 'dirty old man' behavior.

This is what I did with my father in law - who did clean up his act from that point toward with me and my daughters. Unfortunately, he didn't with others, and forever lost some family over making passes at their wives.

BTW my husband never had the gonads to confront his dad either. Husband was both embarrassed and ashamed of his dads behavior, but didn't have the nerve to call him on it. So I either had to tolerate it or call him out myself.

As women, and as role models to our daughters, we must INSIST on being treated with respect by all men, and that includes leacherous old ones, family or not. If he can't control himself - then I would cut him out of the picture, and never look back.

Sorry if I sound angry - I had forgotten about how uncomfortable this man made me and my daughters, and their girlfriends, until I put a stop to it!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions