Crossing boundaries. What do I do when my father wants me, his caregiver daughter, as a romantic replacement for his deceased wife, my mother?

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My parents were very close - physically as well as emotionally. But since my mother has passed away (two years ago), I feel that my father would like to cuddle with me and kiss me to bring back memories of my mother. I am a married middle-aged woman (Dad is over 90) and this just totally upsets me. He has tried this four times now - always when we are alone. I do not go to see hime without my husband (Dad stll lives alone and is able to drive) but yesterday, he came to our home when I was alone. I have been very abrupt with him (and this bothers me as I always considered him as very kind and gentlemanly) but he just does not seem to get it. I know he is lonely but he refuses to move to a retirement facility. I do not want to tell anyone as it could ruin family relationships with him and with me - especially now since he is elderly and alone. What to do?

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
What do you mean by being very "abrupt" with him. If you simply extracted yourself from his grasp, he still may think that it is okay. You need to tell him in very clear, calm, and distinct language that what he is doing is inappropriate and makes you uncomforatable. If he does not get it, limit your "alone time" with him. (btw, does your husband know that he is doing this? Maybe he can be an ally and talk with him.)
Has he had a stroke recently or been tested for alz.? This sudden change in personality seems to be more symptomatic of an illness.
Dad forcing you to "cuddle and kiss" at any age is abusive. Stop it now before it gets worse.
I thought that I had stopped it - I was very brutal when I screamed "don't ever do or say that again" - "I am not your girl, I am a middle-aged woman". And, getting my husband involved would only make matter worse. But, I have discussed this with my "nurse" friend who feels as you do that there could be a health issue involved. I believe that she used the term "filter" is going. I think that is part of the problem; but it is more than that - Dad being an only child and very coddled by my mother - I think he believes he is "entitled" to some comforting since Mother passed away. I think he spends too much time alone although he does try to "see" someone every day. I think he feels that Iit is my duty to help him "feel better" and it just is not fair! One question - would you speak to his docotr? I'm not sure if my Dad's doctor would even speak to me and if he did, I suspect that the doctor would "side" with my Dad as they are friends. In addition, my Dad's minister has changed churches and so that option is also not available. Maybe I just need a long, long vacation. Thanks for replying ....
Perhaps it is still just part of the grieving process. My dad had early dementia (I didn't know it at the time) - he'd call me honey in public and get confused and introduce me as his wife for the first year or so after my mom passed away. My mom catered to his every whim and need and I knew from the start (so did he) that I wasn't going to do that. However, as far as the loving and cuddling, I didn't get that! My suggestion as to the grieving process is just from my experience only. Am praying for you. This is a wonderful site - you are sure to find someone who can help or has gone through a similar situation. Hang in there. And a vacation is always good for the soul - even if it's just curling up with a good book with the tv and phone turned off - and then taking a nap! HA HA!
I have heard of this happening. I have also read that dementia can cause this type of behavior in the elderly. If I were you, I'd talk to your father's doctor about it. Definitely do not tolerate it even the slightest bit. You can firmly set limits without being mean or cruel.
When my mom died, my dad tried to abuse me as he did my mom. I know that he always disliked me for being like my mom in looks and personality, but when he would come over to fight with me etc. I just had to not answer the phone or door to him. It wasn't hard as I never bonded with him as a father anyway.. It is so sad to have to go thru so much hurt in this life, but I just do the best I can each day and try to do thru the eyes of God. Your dad will be OK in time and learn to respect you if you just keep doing as you have been. This is just my opinion. Hugs
Is there a senior center nearby?

When my dad was devasted after losing his devoted wife, still able to drive, he resisted going there even tho there were some pretty hot old babes hanging out looking for gentlemen. I was is daughter, his rock.

Finally, after moving into a retirement community, the gals were all after him! He settled into a loving relationship with a great lady who passed away last year.
More hurt & sorrow - but, for a whle, I was able to share him with affectionate Helen, who ardored & doted on him. We both miss her.

BUT - your situation is way different! YOU are uncomfortable & wanting to push him away! I can't blame you!
He is confusing his affection, there's a name for it, trans - something.

Everyone is right suggestiong medical assesment, but him being buddies with his trusted doctor & you being the child ... what a dillema!

I suspect he won't allow an outside source, another doctor or professional, to enter the picture.

Keep your boundries & good luck to you!
Let's hope he finds a new affection somehow & soon!

Top Answer
My Dad is doing the same to me. He is 79 and I am 49. my mom died 5 yrs ago. My Dad offered me $ to let him take pics of me nude to "help" him out. He had the whole thing planned. I would basically take a pill to knock me out and not tell my husband. We'd do this while my husband was out of town. He asked me this in graphic detail. I have expressed to him that it is inappropriate. I have even talked with 2 of his docs and one was in front of him, with his permission. Of course the doc said it was inappropriate. He asked the doc to tell me that hewas not crazy. Though he knows how I feel, he continues to talk about this. He'll call me and want to talk about it and ask me to go over to his house so we can discuss it. I am all he has. My sister died 6 yrs ago. I feel so uncomfortable around him. I feel violated. I hate the way I feel. I continue to grocery shop for him and pay his bills. I've only been over there once by myself since and the other times with my son. My Dad will comment that he can talke to me with my son there. I have been looking for help on this topic and this site is all that I have found. If anyone knows anything that can help my Dad, please let me know. I am heartbroken over this situation. Thanks!
I can't answer this question, because it's happening to me. My mother passed away after a terrible battle with ovarian cancer about two months ago.She was 75. Most of us knew when she was diagnosed over a year ago, how it would end and we basically did our grieving then. My parent's avoided thinking about her probable death until my mom was gone. Now, my dad has no idea how to take care of himself. He is in very good health, lives in his own house, drives, etc. I know my dad is still grieving, but I think he is trying to replace my mom with me. I have to say, that I live about two hours away, I have my own family, and am in the process of getting a MA and looking for jobs--maybe even moving away. My dad has gotten mad at me because I won't wear my mom's clothes, I see no need for my name to be on his checking account or his credit cards, he has grabbed hold of me and shook me to "bring me to my senses" about all this because these are things that I have to do, and has even called me by my mother's name a couple of times. I haven't visited and stayed over at his house since the physical event took place. He visited me this past weekend and said that he would like to come up again and stay longer because he is so lonesome. I don't mind him visiting, but he chose a weekend when my own husband wasn't here. I have to say that my mom was the social one of the couple. My dad's only friend in life was my mother. He never made friends and he sort of kept my mom to himself all those years-57 of them. I am at a loss of how to help him deal with this without him mistakenly thinking that I am going to step in and take my mom's place for him. I have tried to point him in the direction of some kind of counseling as I read these posts and think something physically is wrong also (my dad is 82, but was very, very mentally alert before my mom died). He just seems like if he can't get me to take my mom's place, he will lay down and die (he has said that too). I have a brother that lives an eight hour drive away and is trying to help as best he can with the distance and his own life, job, wife, and her job, etc. He is looking for places for m dad to live, but my dad won't hear of it. He says he is waiting for me to find a job and then move with me. I have never said anything about doing something like that because I know we would not get along. I am not doing that to myself and my own family. Is that a terrible way to think?

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