Hi all, new to forum- I have a unique situation in that my father is elderly, but my mother is not, and dad is alone. Many of my friends don't understand because their parents aren't elderly, so I am seeking advice here.
My father married late in life to my mother, who is nearly 25 years younger. I am their only child, and they split when I was a teen. The divorce left me traumatized and depressed. Against my mother's wishes, I chose to live with my dad. Soon after my mom moved out, I began to understand why she had a hard time getting along with my dad. He can be very controlling and occasionally meets the criteria of emotional abuse. He has anxiety, especially when things don't go the way he pictured.
I'm similar to him in that I'm prone to anxiety and depression, with perfectionist tendencies. Our similar personalities can cause problems, especially when we have differing opinions. Overall, he loves me unconditionally and has devoted the last 30 years since I was born to making sure that I am set up well for the future. He took on the role of mother and father when I pushed my mom away. As a teen, I struggled with him greatly due to our differing opinions, but I have grown to understand him and truly believe that he means well and just lets his emotions get the best of him at times. He has always been there for me. I love him deeply.
I got married 6 years ago and moved out of state. My dad and I have maintained our close relationship over the phone every day. We do occasionally argue, but that is generally when one of us is under stress. I feel like our relationship has strengthened since I moved, partially because I have matured into an adult, but it could also be because we aren't living under the same roof.
Now that my husband and I have a baby, we feel inclined to move back to our hometown. All of our family and many friends still live there. We have no help with the baby here, and my husband works a lot. I'm currently unemployed, and since our baby isn't yet in school, the timing feels right for a move. My dad has offered for us to move into my childhood home. It is twice as big as our current home, and the mortgage is paid off. Financially, this seems like a great idea; the catch is that my dad would be living downstairs. I assume that the changes would be difficult for him but easier than moving him to another home or city. I like the idea that I could be there to help him (and he could help me while he's still in good health). I fear that he can't care for his large house much longer, and (selfishly) I know that I will be left to deal with the house when he's gone. His vision is poor, so it comforts me to know that I could be there for him. My husband is excited to be closer to his family again too, and giving our baby the opportunity to grow up near family is priceless. I'd like to think this could be a win-win for all; however, I have concerns about privacy/independence and my dad's controlling tendencies. I do think he would respect our privacy for the most part, but I don't want to isolate him in the basement. It is a finished basement with a full bathroom and mini kitchen, so he could stay there if we have guests and he doesn't wish to join the group, but I wouldn't expect him to stay down there 24/7. I want nothing more than to raise my child in a loving and happy home, and I know that we will have to move if things don't go well. I am scared to give up my husband's job and everything we have built for ourselves here, but I fear what will happen if we don't go back. My dad is 85, and I am his only surviving immediate family member. He has nobody except a couple of neighbors to check on him, and it isn't fair to expect them to do so. He doesn't want us to make our decision based on him and has been adamant that he wants us to do what will make us happy. I am very grateful for that. The rest of our family feels the same. I am torn and unsure what to do. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate any advice.