detrees Asked January 2012

My mother is confined to bed and lives with my dad on the other side of the country. My dad is now openly having an affair. What do I do?

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My mother is on oxygen and has had many other physical problems in the past few years that have left her unable to care for herself. My dad is 8 years younger, relatively healthy and recently quit working. He has felt overwhelmed caring for her, and I had encouraged him to get what help and support he can. (They live in a major city.) I am an only child and live on the opposite side of the country.
He recently let me know he was going to find someone to have a sexual relationship with, but that is all. He ended up instead signing up for eHarmony and is becoming very involved with another woman. He became very angry with me when I expressed concern that he is going to leave my mother. He said he would never do that, but he is spending more and more time with this other woman. When he goes to see her he leaves my mother alone.
My mother is aware of his girlfriend, but didn't feel like she can tell him no.
My home is completely inaccessible for me to move my mom here, and I cannot leave my family and move back to care for my mom.
I have lost all respect for my dad. He contends that what he is doing is fine because he is open about it. He also expects us all to welcome this other woman in to our family and eventually include her in family activities even while my mom is alive.
I am at a loss as to what I should do. My adult daughter lives about an hour or so away and checks on my mom as much as she can but she has a baby and another one on the way.
I feel as though I am the only one who has ever faced this type of situation. I feel bad for my mom who is feeling sad about the situation, but is trying to accept it. I feel angry that my dad is doing something I would never have imagined him doing, and that he expects all of us to welcome this other woman.

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Veronica91 Jan 2017
Jughead I can only feel compassion for you.
You know that what you are doing is wrong in the eyes of most.
But if this is the only thing that makes it possible for you to continue to give your wife the care that she needs and the other woman does not find a way to let your wife know what is happening there is little more I can say.
Your wife will not be with you for much longer albeit from her own self neglect which is very hard to take.
I do not condone what you are doing having been the victim of infidelity and know the pain it can cause but I see why you need this support.
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Jughead47 Jan 2017
I've been married for 27 years and out of those 27 years my wife has been ill from diabetes and complications of it. Some things could have very well been avoided, by changing some eating habits and being more responsible. But to make matters worse, as a husband I really had to sacrifice a lot to keep and raise up or 2 sons and 2 daughters, she wasn't trained very well at home and it caused a lot of unbalanced home life. I did most of the cooking, cleaning, disciplines, and pushing morals and values even though with little support from my spouse, so I continued to sacrifice for the betterment of our family. I complained alot but continued my course. My wife has had multiple surgeries for abcests and blood poisoning from diabetes keatoma because of not taking good care of herself, I've missed work, changed careers and the OST goes on from trying to make up for money shortages. I really love her, and have stuck by her thru it all. She had stage 4 colon cancer in 2011, I took 2 months off to support her until, the Lord caused it to go into remission, then I had to bury my mother a month later. I needed a break so I went over the road driving trucks but because she couldn't handle the kids and her continually becoming I'll, and my daughter having a baby unexpectedly, that ended and it was difficult finding work, and the she had stints pp it in for clogged arteries, but because she didn't follow orders on taking blood thinners, within 2 days of the stints being put in she had a heart attack and damage her heart. With 20 percent infraction, she is in last stage of HF, cirrohsiss of liver, Dialysis, left leg amputated, fall stones removed multiple hospital and rehab stays. I eventually broke down from stress and being lonely without any intemacy or companionship, I always said and have been faithful but eventually met an older woman that encourages me to stick with my family because she's had to husband that died and she understands the family unit and putting the Lord first, but I have pursued her as she tried to back up and now we've been in a relationship for over a year now. I never thought this would happen to me, but until your faced with different life challenges, never say never. I still support my wife and I always will, but if it hadn't been for this other woman, I would have not bounce back to support my wife, because I had lost hope because I was overwhelmed and boxed in without the help I needed. I love my wife and our children and grandchildren, but her becoming I'll only compounded the problems that already exited because I have always carried everyone and covered everyone and me my self wasn't being covered. Thanks for yalls comments I m only human and I'm doing the best I can and continuing to work and help my single parent daughter and youngest daughter that lives with me
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OH please jennegibbs. That's ridiculous and a mean thing to say to a hurting daughter that may or may not have heard her mom. It's so open minded but uncaring to the ones affected- the kids and the spouse!
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pamstegma Aug 2016
Sexual surrogates are not uncommon, but there should be some rules.
Don't bring the "friend" into the home. Not even for a sip of water.
Don't bring this person to family gatherings. Ever.
If they show up, show them out.
So explain the rules to the wanderer. Write them down if you have to.
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kjs1951 Aug 2016
Whoa. I have not removed my help. The basement was always meant to be a temporary situation until I could find a place to live closer to my mom than I used to live. I am just trying to put that sex incident behind us and do what needs to be done. Maybe I am being judgemental. It's just that the sex thing would never have been something mom would have done before either. I'm praying for compassion.
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jeannegibbs Aug 2016
So you have no compassion for her because she apparently doesn't realize how sound carries to the lower level? If she'd been a little more careful, you'd be OK with the situation? Hmmm.

You went to their house to help care for Mother's husband who has dementia. But you disapprove of Mother's alleged behavior (which she denies and which you really have no proof of) so all bets are off and your offer of help is removed.

But instead you think you should "advocate" for the person with dementia. Advocate in what situations? What is it that your mother is neglecting to do or is doing that is harmful to her husband? You haven't answered that question yet.

"Loneliness" doesn't begin to cover what a spouse of someone with dementia experiences. And you do not understand it.

You think your mother is horrid. OK. I guess that lets you off the hook for helping her. As for helping her husband, how do you see yourself "advocating" for him.

And what about your views on forgiveness?
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kjs1951 Aug 2016
I do give her credit and I understand loneliness. There is such thing as discretion.
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jeannegibbs Aug 2016
kjs1951 I am so sorry that you are having trouble finding compassion for your mother. If she lied to you it was to protect your feelings. It is what mothers do, after all.

In what ways do you think Mother is neglecting/abusing her husband? For what does he need an "advocate"?

You have not walked in your mother's shoes. I have. I know what it is like to lose your soulmate, to have your equal partner turn into a dependent, to become a caregiver instead of a wife. I chose to be celibate, but I do not stand in judgement of others who make other choices.

Possibly what you heard was your mother relieving her own sexual needs, without a partner at all. Or the sounds you heard had another explanation.

Do you basic values include forgiveness? Or just being judgmental?

Your mother is apparently continuing to take care of her husband who has dementia. This is an enormous effort and commitment. Are you giving her any credit for that?
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kjs1951 Aug 2016
My mom's husband had Alzheimer's. I recently stayed at their home in the basement. I can hear everything while down there. Every footstep, door, water running etc. one night after he was in bed and I was downstairs I swear I heard the door, voices, the bed squeaking from sex sounds, and then later the back door close. I think my mom had sex with someone, while her sick husband was sleeping down the hall and I was in the basement. I spent the rest of the night crying downstairs. So I really don't think it was my imagination and if it was, what does that say about what I think of my mom? I asked her about it. She denied it and said she wouldn't lie to me. But I don't believe her. I moved out as soon as I could and while I went there to help her be the caretaker, I now feel like her husband needs an advocate. I have thought and thought about this and can understand how lonely mom is, but I just think if she really did that she's horrible. I am having trouble feeling compassion for her.
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freqflyer Nov 2015
Even though the original post was from 2012, for future reference I wonder how many husbands who are having affairs because their wives are ill, if the shoe was on the other foot, how would they feel if the wife was the one having an affair?
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