PNWgirl58 Asked September 29, 2017

My 87-year-old father married a younger woman (71) who told him she was previously married twice, but I found she has been married nine times prior. What do I do?

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My elderly father, who was in early dementia when he met this gal at his retirement apartment, proposed to her within two months of meeting. He then introduced her to our family and everyone had red flags! We all tried to talk to him, he didn't listen and they ended up getting married within six months of meeting. At first he seemed happy, now, as his dementia has progressed he has turned very quiet and watches TV or movies most days, which is fine. This past summer as I was thinking about why she never talked about her family or past, I got very curious and started looking at ancestry.com and low and behold, NINE other marriage surfaced!!! She had told my father and I she had been married twice before (divorced twice), which I am now thinking is a copy of how many times my father has been married, which is twice, though both my mother and his second wife have passed. She has become more and more short with me when I call to talk to my father as well as stopped being home when I come to pick him up for our bi-weekly lunch dates. I know my father wouldn't remember if I told him or even showed him all the marriages, but with her blocking me from seeing my dad, I am not sure I have a choice but to confront her about her deception. Thoughts?

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Countrymouse Oct 8, 2017
Hm. Well, if not yet then at some point it certainly won't be safe for him to be left alone. Do you think you might get anywhere with Lady Love if you suggested she plan ahead for when that's indisputably true? Supposing she agreed in principle to accept more support in the home, would you have any constructive ideas for how that might be arranged?
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PNWgirl58 Oct 7, 2017
Yes, several times. She is not concerned, she leaves him notes on the table with where she is and a phone number for where she can be reached. I feel this is not adequate, but she seems to think it's the best way to handle it.
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SueC1957 Oct 6, 2017
I'm assuming you've shared your fears with his wife?
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PNWgirl58 Oct 6, 2017
When my father married he was in early dementia, able to drive, etc.....It's now, in the past two years that his impairment has progressed and he is now legally incompetent. Whether his living arrangement is safe now is yet to be determined as he is left alone on a consistent basis, there is a stove he could turn on, or fall and have no way to contact anyone as he doesn't remember how to use the telephone.
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jeannegibbs Oct 6, 2017
JoAnn, having a diagnosis of dementia does not automatically also mean you are legally incompetent. "Dementia" covers a huge range of cognitive impairments. Some people with dementia cannot even safely decide what to eat, or they might have toothpaste for breakfast. Others can decide on what they want in their wills and who they want for POA.

Someone whom the courts have deemed incompetent cannot enter into legal contracts, but not all persons with dementia are legally incompetent.
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JoAnn29 Oct 6, 2017
How was he allowed to marry with Dementia.
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cwillie Oct 5, 2017
You say she is not a black widow and that you have taken care of any worries about any medical and financial influence she may have, so I think you have covered all the bases. The way I see it the worst she can do is break his heart, and whether she leaves sooner because you find evidence which forces her out, or later because she is ready to move on to the next challenge, that ship has already sailed.
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Countrymouse Oct 5, 2017
So how long have your father and this... very busy lady been married?

His assets are protected. He's in a safe living environment. As you say, it's natural for him to have slowed down as his dementia progresses. And it's not obviously wicked for her to be meeting up with girlfriends from time to time. Is there any particular need for you to break them up?

You were against the marriage from the start, and you haven't changed your mind. It's not that you don't have your reasons, but surely you can understand why she doesn't look on you as a friendly presence?
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PNWgirl58 Oct 5, 2017
GardenArtist...thank you for your response. Unfortunately we live in a no fault divorce state and most of the divorce decrees state "irretrievably broken". I have requested documents from the state in which her first two divorces occurred and have not received anything back yet.
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GardenArtist Oct 5, 2017
PNW, if you're up to the leg work, you can get an idea of the issues in why the men divorced her by checking the court files. The initial complaint would have some general as well as specific allegations, but would also depend on whether no-fault divorce is legal in that state. If so, the allegations might just be that the parties are no longer compatible, something like that (it's been years and I've forgotten the specific wording.)

The decree, or judgment of divorce, might shed more light as it will establish the terms of divorce.
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