Follow
Share

He drives, mows his own grass (on a rider), does his laundry and shopping but I have always been the only child close by. My husband has commuted for three years while he patiently waited for me to say put up the for sale sign. My father is replacing his past wife with me and now refers to us as “We”. I am lonely miss being with my husband but my dad doesn’t see that. Am I wrong or selfish?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
You are neither.

Your 70-year-old father is mentally and physically competent. You moving to rightfully be with your husband is changing his world. HE needs to shift his focus to taking care of himself and finding proper companionship. You can point in him the direction of a Senior Center and help him figure out his passions for mental/physical diversions.

Enjoy your new life and I hope for both of you that your father embraces his.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

You are right. Read the book "Boundaries". Form some and stick to them. Your father is 70. He has at least two more decades of life. You are responsible to your immediate family, your husband. Let your father know that you will try to see him weekly or bi-weekly if you are able, but that you will not be living near him now. Not everything can be fixed. You cannot be two places at once. Can you feel a bit "bad" about that? Sure. But it is time for Dad now to make his own connections. I am 78. I do my own laundry, as well, and garden and have hobbies and get out for long walks daily. Your Dad needs to make himself a life and connections now. As you said, you are not his wife. You father will fight to have his own way with what tools he has. It is on your to stand gently and lovingly FIRM.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report
usamurray Jul 15, 2020
Yes, please read that book. I read the "Boundaries", but I should have read it earlier. I moved next door to my dad in 2016 and set boundaries like coffee at 8 am each day and a beer at 5 pm each day, but we needed our life the rest of the day. He became less and less tolerant of the Boundaries. If I had read the book, I think I would have had scripts and tools to respond to his boundary violations, on an adult-to-adult basis. He is very close to passing away, and it has been a difficult year.
(2)
Report
Nope. You need to honor the vows you made when you married your husband. Your dad brought you into the world, but as long as he's cared for and healthy, he's fine. If he wants to move to be closer to you, he could. (If that would be okay with you and your husband.) You did not make any vows to your father. Your husband has been a saint and deserves your time. Your father *could* be around another 25 or more years. Do you want to let him decide how you live the bulk of the remainder of your life, rather than have that be the choice of you and your husband?
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

No you are neither.

You are not your dads wife, he needs to figure that out now and make some decisions about his future. Encourage him to find friends and get active with others. My dad tried to be the man in my life above my husband and was angry when I put a stop to it. I had to tell him like 50xs that my husband is my 1st priority, period.

Enjoy your new location and all the extra time you will have with your honey. Commuting 170 miles daily for work takes a lot of time away from life, he won't know what to do with himself 😀.

Dad will probably pout and try to lay the guilt trip but you do not have to accept it. He is after all a big boy.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

What?? He's only 70? My husband is 70 and why would you need to stay there to be with him? Call and or write him often...do FaceTime or Skype visits. Sounds like he's getting too dependent and it won’t get better as he gets older. You need to live your life...just like he did when he was your age. Tell him to get a dog if he's lonely.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Imho, your marriage is your priority.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

My husband is 70 and still working. 70 is not old and it sounds like he really is doing everything himself. Your father did not want to step out of his comfort zone and figure anything out on his own. You have nothing to feel guilty about except maybe for allowing him to stay in his fantasy world and not make him go out and forge a life for himself. You need to establish your own life now because his neediness is only going to get worse. He is being self-centered and selfish. So you need to just move forward and please don't make promises to him about coming to see him more often than you want to out of guilt and wanting to make him feel better.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Your dad is retired. He does not get to dictate to you and your husband how you take care of him or how you take care of your lives and your marriage. If he wants to be closer to you, then he should sell his house and move into a senior living community near your new house. I would research senior living communities in your new community and then address the idea with your dad directly.

Be candid that your husband has been commuting for years, you both are getting older, and you and your husband have decided to make a change for the better. And that your dad is still young enough to get a lot of benefits from moving into a senior community and being around people his own age.

Now that you're moving 84 miles away, it's also appropriate for you to bring up the fact that you will not be able to drop everything and drive to his house for every little thing "we" want or need. The time to manage your dad's expectations of you is now i.e. before you move.

And guilt for when you've done something wrong. You have done nothing wrong. Your guilt is irrational. Turn things around, change your perspective, and recognize that your father still has choices in how he wants to live his life. And there are consequences to those choices. If he wants to move to senior living, great. If he doesn't, that's his choice.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Of course you are NOT selfish. Your dad has romanticized his sunset years or not really thought about it/prepared for it at all. I'm an only also, so I understand the guilt/pressure. This just makes you human with a heart and conscience.

The wise thing to do is have a gentle conversation with him that you would love to be close to him and be able to help him but he will need to move near you to make it work. The caregiving arrangement only works when it works for both parties. He will eventually need to downsize and come to grips with his increasing dependence on outside help. If he doesn't get on board with this plan, please move forward with yours. He may follow later but make it clear that until he does, he will need to arrange for all help to come from outside services at his current home. He will soon learn he is not really "independent" and you should not help prop up this appearance.

Give him some time to adjust to this new reality since he's not really thought about before this point. He's "assuming" you into a position you have not agreed to. This is wrong and selfish and unrealistic. But, assuming he doesn't have cognitive decline or dementia right now, all you can do is inform him and he will make a decision. What you don't want is for him to make the decision to move a month after you've made your move and are all settled and then have to long-distance manage his house sale, etc. Whatever you do, DO NOT move him in with you in your new place, even temporarily.

You may want to move the process along by visiting IL communities in your new location and take your own pictures so he can see these places can be very nice. He will be with his peers, have activities and still be independent. He is of a generation that has a terrible concept and fear of NHs. You need to disspell this misconception in any way you can. I wish you success in having a loving conversation with him and peace in your heart no matter the outcome!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

At 70 one would think he would still want to be an active, productive member of the general society.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter