He handled being along I believe at first very well. But his lonliness took over and he is now seeing some lady and lying to me about going out of town by himself and where he is going. My mother and father have been married 55 years. My mother has dementia but still knows my father is there and recognizes us. She is deaf and blind. And being lonely is a two way street- she goes to bed alone every day and night just like him. The only difference is she is trapped in a home and he is in the free world and has all the benefits. He cared for her until he couldn't lift her anymore. Maybe he thinks he paid his dues. I don't know. I had this picture of my dad my entire life until now - and I'm thinking he either pulled one over on me or he all the sudden turned into a different person. I just don't get it. And don't know how to handle discussing it with him.

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This is really tough. My father was devoted to my mother through several years of dementia. I know those were very lonely years for him. About a year after she passed away, he started seeing someone. Eventhough he certainly had every right to happiness, it was and is still sometimes hard to see someone else sitting next to him on the couch where my mother used to be. I cannot imagine how I would have felt if he had statted seeing someone while my mother was alive. Still, I do agree with Jeanne. Even though my mother was alive, the companionship was greatly diminished, and my father was very lonely. He has earned every bit of happiness he has now. Does your father have a hard time emtionally with your mother's illness? I know my father had a very difficult time seeing her struggle. It could be he just needs a companian to help him cope. If your mother is being well cared for, that is the most important thing. Your parents have been married 55 years. That is incredible.

Jeanne said exactly what I was thinking. When it is our father, we see things with a certain bias. I hope you can look at him with compassion. As Jeanne wrote, he has been through a lot and now he is lonely. If there were a chance that your mother would get better and come home, it is one thing. But with dementia, the likelihood of that is small. I hope that you can find heart to stand with your father and if he cares about his new friend, that you will come to care about her, too.

If I were in your shoes, I'd let him know that if he's going to move on the least he can do is keep the lies straight. Still, it hurts b/c your mother might be aware but there isn't much she can say or do about it. After 55 years of marriage, I imagine she knows him better than he knows himself.

I recently ended a relationship that quickly fizzled b/c we were married to our jobs. We both agreed not to resume our "love" life while she transitioned out of my home. She didn't honor the agreement. Two days ago I overheard a phone conversation with one of her girlfriends. They were to meet at the Shalon Bar/Restaurant 4 blocks away, 10 pm. Around 9:30, with the blow dryer full blast, she didn't hear the telephone ring. Voice-mail kicked in. It was Flaco. He'd be running a little late, but with meet with her at Shalon and then take her for the night of her life in Washington Heights.

A little after 5 am, she struggled to unlock the door. At first, it didn't occur to her that the stuff outside the door were her belongings and that I had changed the cylinders. I heard when she said people should be more careful where they dump their garbage. A scream, a few bangs on the door; "Let me in you SOB." She called the cops, I ignored the knocks when they came. I'd already unplugged my phone. The police asked her if she really lived there. She called Flaco to come pick her up; he said something to the effect he had enough problems with his wife.

To make a long story short, all I asked for was a little respect and that was just too cumbersome for her. Years ago this kind of insult would've gotten me in jail, but I know better now. In a way I don't blame her, but she could've waited until after the move. Still, any way I sugar coated it cheating is cheating. As long as she lived under my roof the relationship wasn't completely over, plus a part of me still clung to a glimmer of hope that things would work out between us.

They didn't. She's gone. ... Neighbors are still rummaging through her things, and I'm still coping with feelings of betrayal. I'll get over them eventually.

First let me tell you that the caregiver spouse of someone with dementia pays dues like you won't believe. There is no way to comprehend this without experiencing it.

Personally, I cannot imagine myself seeing another man while caring for my husband with dementia. But I have a hard time being totally judgmental of your father. Does he still see his wife often? Does he advocate for her and see to it that she is getting the best care possible? Or has he abandoned her? Is what he is doing hurting her in any way?

Gmeyes312, for many of us the rules change when dementia is involved. For example, people who would never have lied to their loved one when they are well often find that the kindest thing they can do now is go along with their delusions and to tell creative stories. The underlying overriding principle is constant -- behaving in a loving way, but now that suddenly includes lying. Caring for a spouse with dementia changes so many aspects of our lives. It is no longer possible to have an equal relationship. In her very useful book "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia" Pauline Boss talks about striving for a "good enough" relationship.

I suspect that your father has not been pulling one over on you all these years. And I also doubt that he has become a different person, but that he finds himself in a very different situation, one that he was not prepared for.

How to discuss it with him? With compassion and an open mind, please. In the end you may still be disappointed in him. You may still think his behavior is wrong. You may want to judge him and withdraw somewhat from your relationship with him. And that certainly is your right. But hearing his views might be very valuable for you.

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