Senior's lady friend hates the entire family. Break up imminent. Depression setting in. How can I encourage new activities and people?

Follow
Share

A rant alert.


Senior's senior lady friend can't stand his family. He fears a break up and depression seems to be setting in.


She's always treated with respect and as family at various events. The women is very demeaning, snobbish & paranoid. She has medical issues which everyone understands and is very accommodating. But she literally now wants more personal attention including formal invitations from holders of events. She says the lack of personalized invitations shows the family doesn't care about her. She's so paranoid now that if she hears something in the background she assumes people are talking negatively about her and demands to know who, why and what. She gets upset if you have a different opinion. She cannot let anything go devouring hours on one single topic, issue or single word that was uttered.


She's constantly blaming others for anything, it's never her fault. She's drops pen she's blaming the manufacture of not only the pen but the table it was sitting on. And yet the same family she thinks hates her has helped her and given a lot of their time to help her with various tasks, projects, information etc. She's a technological idiot (she says it's unfair how complicated they made flip phones). It took her a decade to realize the X on the computer screen was to close the page. Yet her 60 year old liberal arts degree makes her the smartest in the room.


I can go on and on but the senior really seems depressed especially after he talks to her. And he does very little talking, he literally sits there tolerating her lectures. Even he tires of her sometimes but he wants the relationship to work. I want to get him involved with new groups and people but he seems unmotivated. I can't force him to go places but how would I encourage new activities and people?


Thanks for your time and considerations.

Find Care & Housing
16

Answers

Show:
My opinion...OP says

"I can go on and on but the senior really seems depressed especially after he talks to her. And he does very little talking, he literally sits there tolerating her lectures. Even he tires of her sometimes but he wants the relationship to work."

Maybe the depression is because he wants to break it off. How can anyone have fun with someone who isn't a happy person. This woman has some mental problems. My Uncle had a "strong" wife, she passed. His GF was nothing like her. This Senior needs a person he can enjoy to be with.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Ah. This revelation certainly makes a difference. I now have the picture of an elephant sitting on a mouse, and we know who’s who. Seems now like Ladyfriend (LF) certainly has emotional and possibly mental issues. She is misrepresenting herself to doctors to get private information and that’s against the law. Sounds like she’s also using Senior Gentleman’s home as a storage locker. I’m not sure, but if some of her stuff “accidentally” got misplaced or tossed out, well, oops! Might change her mind about toting her stuff over to his place.

I understand now where you’re coming from. LF needs to go. You’re right. The elephant needs to go back to her circus. Thanks for “the rest of the story”.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

A rambling vent alert.

For anonymity sake I have to be careful but issues with the senior's friend started showing almost immediately including some lies or misunderstood stories to say the least. No microscope needed. Shortly after they met she is asking him to store stuff in his house. What started as a temporary small pile has increased & spread around his house for the better part of two decades so right off the bat you have wonder if he was being used but his choice and did live with it for a while until he had to cut her off from bringing or sending stuff(everyone thought they'd move in together but apparently was never a plan). But that damage was done and an issue for him ,family and/or contractors because they are the ones that have clean & maintain the house working around/moving her stuff(dare not mention you cleaned the garage-'You didn't touch my stuff did you?'-Yes followed by angry panicked looks(90% boxed and still a major job) And that's only the tip of the iceberg. She came off as snobby, arrogant from day one. She's gotten into arguments with her family in front of others with them having to tell her not to lecture them. People walk away from meeting her from the first time like what the heck. Many simply give her a pass because of her age and medical issues. She is extremely nosey and tried posing as the senior's wife to one of his doctors to get & give information. She complained I could only tell the doctor things. She still constantly ask about his doctors including phone numbers. We ask why does she need all that information-he says she's looking for new doctors-for over a decade?

The biggest issue over the last 5 years or so she only wants to do stuff when she wants to do stuff and trys to control him by saying he is healthy or not healthy enough to do things(remember it's always someone elses' fault). She's responsible for most of the no's or cancellations yet complains to others he doesn't want to do anything and over the last couple of years actually calling him cheap. He spends money but he's not going to take you for a $50 steak and $20 bottle of whine every week either.

I am more worried for the senior because not only does he want a companion he's the one who did most the work(literally physical work) and is going to wind up with nothing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to biztap
Report

Oh, I totally agree with you, Jeanne. At this point, I wish people (my family) would realize I’m losing my grip. A simple, unprompted “How are you doing today?” would mean the world to me.

As I read the original post, I imagined this Senior Gent who may have been lonely and bored, finally finding someone to share some good times with. I got the impression that the OP, et. al. Has this guy and his lady friend under a microscope. The ladyfriend couldn’t open her mouth without being judged and pretty soon everything that came out of her mouth and her behavior was being criticized and analyzed. I still say, the Senior Gent doesn’t seem fragile. He seems quite able and fit. I’m certain he’s had challenging relationships previously. It must be annoying to him to just want the companionship of the opposite sex and to know that the people in his world so highly disapprove of her. It must be embarrassing (and depressing) to him as well.

I know the OP has his best interests at heart. They don’t want to see him get hurt and depression, especially in the elderly, can be very serious. I’d would absolutely LOVE to hear from this gent and get his take on it, wouldn’t you?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

Some of what you're saying about her behavior sounds like cognitive decline. The paranoia, repeating stories from the past, the inability to grasp new ideas with technology (although many people in her age group have that issue as well). In any event, she sounds like a sad but annoying person to be around. Like Sunset Boulevard of the gentrified set (for those of us oldies who like black & white movies).

Does your senior friend have any guy friends who could get him to the senior center? Men are at a premium at those places (I worked for a year at a non-profit housed in a senior center). For example, they had a speed dating event at our center and there were about 60 women and maybe 6 men who attended. So the guys would have had their pick of eligible women.

Was this senior involved before in a relationship where the woman was the center of attention? I find that people choose the same kind of partner again and again, whether it's healthy for them or not. So if she goes, he may find someone else similar to her.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to blannie
Report

Ahmijoy, good points. I hadn't thought of it from the man's viewpoint at all. Thanks for those insights.

biztap, what is your relationship to the man? Are you his caregiver?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to GardenArtist
Report

Thank you for understanding that my post was not meant to insult or judge. Honestly, my uncle and aunt were married for over 60 years and my aunt was absolutely the boss of that relationship. For his sake, we tolerated my aunt’s know-it-all attitude. She really was a kind person, and push come to shove, she would have gone to the mat for my uncle. Even if you don’t share your opinions of this lady with your senior gentleman, I’m certain there is no doubt how you all feel. He may feel it’s just easier to let his relationship fade away. In any case, my best to him, however this ends.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

GardenArtist-'too much self focus'-absolutely What gets me if you are talking and she can't hear at an event or hears background talk while on the phone she automatically assumes it's about her and demands, repeat demands to know who said what.

Ahmijoy , you're right we shouldn't and don't force our opinion of her although he expresses disappointment that we don't have the same enthusiasm. He says he gets it but still he over tolerates her which enables her behavior. When on the phone it's obviously a one sided conversation with most of his time talking saying uh-huh, ok, yes, no and let me speak! I kid you not.

He did show grip of reality by saying unsolicited he doesn't think they'll be seeing much of each other anymore. There are secondary issues that could make that messy but if she is out of the picture here I will give a big YES! with a fist pump.

Thank You all for an ear or eyeballs actually along with your input.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to biztap
Report

I’m going to ask for your indulgence right now. I am going to play Devil’s Advocate here for a minute. To me, in my mid 60’s, 75 years old doesn’t seem that old. Certainly not so old that one cannot choose whom to keep company with and pay the consequences if it doesn’t work out. Perhaps this gentleman who is said to be fit and aware of himself and his surroundings, just wishes to be left alone to make his own mistakes (or not). I have the funny feeling he is well-aware of his ladyfriend’s behavior and misbehavior. Perhaps his wish is that everyone get his relationship out from under their microscopes and leave him alone. Perhaps he’s quiet when in public with her because he’s afraid if he opened his mouth, he’d tell everyone to go to Hades. Maybe he seems depressed because he knows how everyone feels about her and now he feels like a silly, old fool for just wanting some companionship. He chose to enter into a relationship with her and I’m sure he wasn’t planning on having to have her run the many gauntlets of disapproval. Maybe he feels he doesn’t need anyone to guard-dog him, because surely, at the age of 75, he’s not a newbie to tricky relationships.

We get quite a few posters here who say their loved ones are in relationships with shady characters who try to rob them blind, abuse them and even refuse the family access to them. It sounds like this lady is a real character who, if she makes this gent happy, should just be tolerated for his sake. I doubt seriously if there is any chance she can be changed to conform to others ideas of how she should act. We’ve all known people who flaunt their educations, places in Society, and finances in our faces. All that’s usually required from us is a pained smile, an annoyed clearing of the throat and the changing of the subject. Leave him alone to make his own mistakes. If the lady friend disappears from his picture, let her fade from your picture too. Don’t show your relief to him. I’m sure, since he doesn’t seem feeble in body or mind, he will soldier on without being reminded of what a trial she was to everyone she encountered.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report
jeannegibbs May 2, 2018
Ahmijoy, I'll join you and the devil. At 73 I think I can pick my own friends and deal with the consequences. But biztap is not asking how to get him to change friends, he/she is concerned about his apparent depression at the end of the relationship. I have major depressive disorder, well controlled at the moment. If someone among my close friends (including relatives who are close friends) senses I've been "down" for a while I really appreciate their attempts to break into my isolating myself.

I think if it is not inappropriately intrusive, encouraging a friend to participate in activities (and maybe meet new people) is generally a good thing!
(1)
Report
"It's been all about her lately." And there you have it. It's not unusual for this to happen to seniors, or even caregivers, but when there's an expectation of social standing factored in, it segues into something else, too much self focus is perhaps a kind way of putting it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to GardenArtist
Report