Saturday, May 27, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceIt’s been 4.5 months and my parent is dating?

It’s been 4.5 months and my parent is dating?

The person I called “mom” died very traumatically and unexpectedly. It’s been a little over four months, and it still just hurts every day.

My dad (61M) apparently started dating and has someone who he claims is not a serious relationship but is now considering inviting on our family vacation in about a month. It’s a week vacation. The real cherry is he hasn’t told any of my other siblings—just me.

I don’t even know what to do or how to process this and have so many feelings. I want to be supportive of him, but this also just feels so very wrong. Part of me feels like I’m overreacting, but I also know she wouldn’t have wanted him to be alone. What do I say or do or how do I navigate this new situation?

ETA: My spouse and I have suggested therapy and grief counseling. He had what he terms as a religious experience where he was essentially told to start dating two months after the funeral. I also don’t know how to approach that portion either.

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  1. Tell your dad exactly how you feel. How you want to be supportive but how it also feels soon to bring her on vacation. I think you will get an very honest conversation with him and he will consider his choice with your feelings as wel.

  2. This is complex.

    A family vacation is for family, at this point you have not met this person and to spend a week with a stranger isn’t a family vacation plus no one else has been told, so I suspect he is testing the water.

    I would talk to him and say that you are not comfortable spending a week long vacation with people you have not met and that a month isn’t long enough to get to know someone well enough to spend a week with on holiday. That you have nothing against him having someone and you understand that he might be very attached and think a week is a long time on your own but he will have family there and they will make sure he isn’t lonely and facetime is a thing now.

    Now as the to the speed, I have experience that people often miss having a partner and find themselves someone a lot quicker at a later age, they don’t feel comfortable alone. I expect that being lonely he needed someone. They can justify it in any way they find acceptable but the being alone stuff at that age if you have been with someone for many years creates a strong need to find someone for company.

    You don’t have to agree with it or like it, but you can say that for this year a family holiday then an extra person needs to be known by the family and not a stranger as that would be very uncomfortable for everyone. If it is close enough to home perhaps he could visit her mid week? Will he be too busy to be lonely? Point out that she might feel awkward not knowing anyone as well.

  3. First, I’m sorry for your loss.

    Your dad is grieving, and yes, this is a huge red flag. Unfortunately if you stand against this he’s going to react badly because humans don’t react logically to confrontation. He needs a therapist. In the meantime be as supportive as you can without giving complete approval of this. I know that’s a complicated answer and I’m sorry, but this is an incredibly complicated problem.

  4. You’re not over reacting. Maybe he is processing things in his own way but he is also being incredibly callous and selfish. You need to tell him how you feel and explain that it’s just too painful and too soon for you and most likely your siblings too. To invite someone on a family vacation is a huge step and in this case it would be wrong of him to do so. Some people wait years after a spouse passes away to introduce someone new to the family.

  5. My mom started dating my current step-dad literally EXACTLY 4.5 months after my dad died. I thought it as a major betrayal and assumed it would be a rebound and that’s it, but it’s been 4 years since then, and they love each other dearly. They both still suck at parenting sadly and don’t understand how to handle people when they show their real emotions. But they’re inseparable and I hear them completing and caring for each other all the time (I live with them still, I’m 19). I’m just saying you can’t see this as an absolute betrayal or anything similar, maybe your dad just met the person he was meant to stay with. Maybe it is just a rebound.

    Now on the hand of going on the vacation you should talk to him more about that, because if it’s meant to be just a family vacation, a woman he JUST started dating shouldn’t have any problem with not going.

  6. Grieving for all individuals are different. For some they want to grieve alone and need space, for some they want to vent so they vent on social media or therapist or close friends andor family members while for some they fill the void by dating others.

    Obviously your dad moved on very fast and it’s very hard to process how coud someone move on when someone so dear and near to them died so unexpectedly. He chose to confide in you means he trust you to little bit more over other siblings.

    You should definitely voice your displeasure of not bringing his date around you or invite you or other siblings to their vacation. You’re still grieving and he should give you space. And he should neither mention about his date or their vacation together.

  7. People grieve in weird ways. Your dad probably has this fear of being alone and the new friend fills that void. He will either figure out that he has messed up or that he actually likes the other woman. It’s not on you to control how he grieves and with whom he is with. It might be strange, but it’s not uncommon for something quick to happen.

  8. Unless your dad is paying for the entire trip for everyone, you tell him that until he has told all of your siblings, and has all of their agreement, it is too soon for him to be bringing a date on a family vacation.

    If he’s paying for it all, then your opinion is don’t go, or put your feelings aside for the trip.

  9. My Mom did the same thing when my Dad died. I chalked it up to grief. She just couldn’t live without him and was trying to distract herself.

    I know it’s hard, just just try to remember he lost his wife/partner and he is going through it. Grief does weird things, and for some people the hardest part is being alone. I’m so sorry for your loss and what your going through. Maybe getting some therapy for yourself would help. You can talk through this with someone who can probably explain it better than I could. Just know, your not alone and it happens more than you would think.

  10. You may or may not have the full information.

    You may or may not have been given some lies.

    Suggest that you let your dad do his thing.

    If you do, and his path is smooth, great. But if not, preplan what to do if the new affair goes south.

  11. Men of a certain age just can’t handle being alone. My dad did the same thing. You need to talk to him about your discomfort about this being so soon after just losing your mom and also advise him of not springing this on your siblings. Suggest maybe this new lady skips this vacation not only because it’s so soon after he lost his wife but also because he has only known this woman a very short time. Maybe it’s better she comes on the next vacation.

  12. The religious part is bullshit and felt like this was all relatable up until I read that part.

    I say it’s bullshit because im not religious and any “God told me” is just someone rationalizing their conscious as some higher power instead of just owning it.

    Anyway… Before the religious part I was thinking it’s just how he’s coping. Maybe he’s super fucked up inside about it and just needs to suppress it by moving on.

    Perhaps he’s sad at the loss but feels relief about experiencing someone new (though this doesn’t seem very religious-aligning) especially if they’re doing the sexes.

    Honestly.. You can let your dad do his thing and cope with the loss on your behalf in your way and try not to judge. But depending on how he is maybe just ask him question’s yo that make him feel like you genuinely want to get to know his feelings on the situation – a check-in if you will.

    I’d argue there is nothing wrong with coping the way I’ve suggested but I know not everyone would believe that.

    If y’all share a home I’d say it’s a little odd to bring someone new into the house, I also think it’s super weird to bring this person on the vacation especially if he didn’t ask you about it. Maybe even more weird is “mom” was suppose to be there – I could see myself saying “let’s do this without the unexpected guest, I would feel better about it since ‘mom’ was suppose to be here and not this other woman”

    All that said I think there are some missing details about the characters involved.

    I’m a 36m and I typically move on quickly softer relationships end. Not usually to new relationships but new… Companions? Perhaps its a mechanism.. I’m not sure if I’d behave the same way if it was someone I was married to for many years though.

  13. It’s his life. Leave him be. If he felt he was ready to move on, shut up and let him move on. Doesn’t mean he isn’t still hurting but how long do you want him to just sit around and hurt alone? You deal with your grief, your way. Let him deal with his, his way. It’s different for everyone. Just stand back, shut up and be on stand by in case this shit goes sideways. That’s the best you can do bc you can’t tell him what he should feel, how he should feel and how long he should feel it for.

  14. You should have a heartfelt talk with him, starting with that you don’t think he’s a bad person for doing what he feels he has to do.

    A lot of older men can’t do with being alone after being married so long. And just because he’s dating again, doesn’t mean he’s stopped grieving for your mom. It’s an act of…something akin to putting that energy and focus somewhere else other than grief.
    But your feelings are still very much raw and you can’t refocus them the same way he can. It’s too soon for you to bring her on a family trip. You’re not ready. Most likely, your siblings won’t be either. He’ll need to take her on a trip with just the two of them.

    This conversation isn’t about pointing fingers or blame, but just…there’s a void in your family that still needs to heal over. Be very open, be loving, be his kid.

  15. On the trip, tell him this is a bad idea to invite her.
    On the rest, men, esp older men, are used to being with someone. You might be surprised at how many people I see lose their wives, wives they loved to death and doted on and adored and then they are dating soon after. It’s usually for companionship and as a distraction to their mourning. I’m sure most of them are still mourning even when they’re with someone new. And that person is usually very understanding but I don’t get it myself.

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