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Mom lives with us. Dad passed away 2 years ago. A friend has proposed marriage to Mom. He hasn't been around for months since we moved about 2 hours away from where she lived the past 40 years. And now out of the blue, he asks her to marry him.

He is about 15 years older than her. He seems healthy but he won't live forever. I'm not sure he's entirely sure of what her needs are. I am happy that she sould have companionship and also be out of our house. But I don't know if he will prepare for her future without him and she herself has no resources at all. Which is why she is with us.

One of my brothers and my sister both had big issues with him a 18 months ago when he tried to date Mom. I know part of this was that Dad had only just passed away and they were upset. But now, I am worried they will "blame" me if they marry. Of course, I don't think I can really stop them or "forbid" it. But I don't want to deal with my siblings on this or run interference for Mom.

My husband says that if Mom does marry, then she has proven she can take care of herself and doesn't need us anymore. And that if she moves out, she can't expect to come back (like if her new husband dies and leaves her penniless like her last husband, my dad, did.)

I don't even know what else to think at this point. Am I bad to want her to move out and let someone else take care of her? Am I bad to worry about what everyone else thinks?

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Yeah, guess I have to deal with my husband's view of all this. Sounds like he's resentful of having moved 1000 miles, changing jobs (or still in need of one for me), completely uprooting our lives, and having his MIL constantly around.
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cmcwrinkl1, I have long held the belief that young people -- both men and women -- should not marry directly out of their parents home, but should live on their own before they get married. I think we all need to establish our independence before we attempt interdependence. So I guess your husband won't like my opinions either. But I still don't see what that has to do with assisting your mother and with the claim that if she moves out you'll not assist her again if she needs it. Huh?

If your real issues are with your husband and his past history with the family, perhaps that is what you should deal with, and leave your siblings reaction and your mother's potential marriage out of it.
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I should have mentioned that she has said she does not love this man and that he could never replace Dad. But this man says he loves her. But he was saying this within months of dad's death, which even I have to admit is odd.

I am not wild about the man. He has strange opinions about health and politics, but so did my dad. I do wonder why Mom has to make the big change and move 100 miles to his house when he has only come to see her once since we moved 6 months ago. If he cares so much about her, why isn't he driving over (and spending money on gas) to see her?

The comments here are very helpful. I think the biggest problem is my husband's reaction. I understand it and there is some family dysfunctional history going on. Like the fact that when we wanted to marry ages ago my parents told my husband he had to move out of his mother's house (we were in college) and be on his own for a while to prove he was responsible. Now it feels like the tables are turned.

I think my husband also thinks another sibling will "take their turn" if Mom needs help in the future. I don't think they will. But who knows.

I understand her desire for companionship and I would hope this man would take Mom more places than I can since I have to work and he doesn't. But I don't know why this is happening out of the blue. Unless she has been misleading me, which I doubt. I more think she isn't completely aware.

Does she have dementia? She has imparied judgement from her stroke, and short-term forgetfulness, but not dementia, according to the doctor.
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How old is your mother? Your profile mentions some memory problems. How serious? Are there any signs of dementia?

Assuming that Mom is in her right mind ...
1) No you are not bad, on either count you ask about.
2) There is no reason for you to run interference for Mom with your siblings. Let her deal with them directly herself.
3) You cannot control your siblings' behavior. But it would certainly be crazy of them to "blame" you for anything your mother does. I wouldn't waste a lot of time worrying about crazy behavior you can't control.
4) If she marries this friend and he doesn't "prepare for her future without him" she will be no worse off when he dies than she is now, will she? She has no resources now, right?
5) Your husband is wrong. Marrying someone would not be proving that Mom can now take care of herself. It would be an indication that she doesn't need to live with you now. But who knows what the future holds? If she moves out she can't expect to come back? What kind of petty nonsense is that? If you love her and are willing to help her now, why wouldn't you continue to love her and be willing to help her again, if the need ever arises? And, of course, the need may never arise. Maybe if she marries again she will be better provided for if she becomes a widow again. Maybe in spite of their age difference Mom will die first. Maybe she'll win the lottery. Point is no one knows what lies ahead, but I can't imagine why her remarrying would disqualify her from further help in the future.

Again assuming that she is in her right mind, it's Mom's life. You are not responsible for how her decisions impact her relationships with her other children. You are responsible for your own behavior. I cannot imagine any justification for threatening to withhold future help if she doesn't make decisions your husband approves of, but that is up to you.

I think it is interesting that you don't raise any concerns about this man's character, his motives, his treatment of your mother, or her happiness. You seem worried about your role with your siblings and what might or might not happen if/when she remarries and her second husband dies. If that is really all that is worrying you, start looking for an attractive daughter-of-the-bride dress!
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Cmc, my mother passed away 5 years ago after a long illness that involved dementia. She required 24/7 care the last 3 years, which my dad provided. About 18 months after she died, he started seeing someone else. Was it hard? Yes. Sometimes still is. They have not married, and I don't think they will based on what he has told me. If you think it would be nice for someone else to take care of her, I would guess she would also like the idea of a husband taking care of her rather than a child. Also, there is alot to be said for companionship. My dad ldid nothing for 3 years. Now he travels, golfs, bowls. He is living. Which, I know is what my mother would want him to do. As long as this guy doesn't trigger any red flags, I would let it go where it is going to go. The only thing I would not do is put myself in a position where I am also taking care of him.
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cmc, have you talked this over with your mother? Is she of sound mind? Does she love this man? If she loves him, or at least thinks it's possible to love him eventually, and she's got her faculties, then I say let her go. My mother died April 2011 and my sister and brother and I, (well mostly us girls talked about it) what would we do if dad found another woman. The answer was, GO BALLISTIC is what we'd do! ha But that was the first year, that we took issue if even looked at another old lady! Now it's not as much of a big deal as it was that first year, so I guess it would be ok. I know that even though us kids try to keep him busy, he misses my mom who he was married to for 63 years. No one, unless they've been in that position personally, could possibly know how awful it must be to lose a mate of that many years. So I think the answer to your situation is to be open and honest with BOTH your mom and this man. Let it all hang out, and see what they have to say about your concerns.
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