Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Bored dad trades woman in for a younger model

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My father just turned 70 years old. He and my mom divorced when he turned 50, because he was having an affair with a younger woman, "Cherie." My siblings and I eventually accepted Cherie and grew quite fond of her.

About 18 months ago, my dad started to complain about how Cherie was too dependent on him. He quite suddenly decided to move out and dissolved this relationship after almost 20 years together.

We were supportive but concerned, as it seemed like a drastic move.

Within a week, my dad mentioned a new "friend" he'd been spending time with. They met when she sent him a random friend request on social media. She was married. Within a couple of months, he mentioned that she had left her husband and that they were seeing each other.

She is about 20 years younger than he (just two or three years older than my oldest sibling). He has paid for and taken her on trips, had her car repaired, and spends time hanging out at her job (he's retired, she works retail) to keep her company. For his recent birthday, she didn't get him anything. He dismissed it.

My siblings and I have never met this woman, but have mentioned to our dad that it seems like a very one-sided relationship. We're worried that she's taking advantage of him. He is very bored in his retirement and insists taking care of her gives him something to do.

 

We've suggested that he find some volunteer roles or a part-time job to keep busy, but he doesn't seem interested.

Last week he canceled plans with us at the last minute because she was having a 'crisis' and needed his help. He says he'd like to invite her to family events. We do not want to bring this woman into our family. Should we try to accept this woman, for better or worse?

-- Suspicious Daughter

Dear Suspicious: You worry that this woman is taking advantage of your father, and yet here he is, dating someone the same age as his kids, who left her marriage (presumably) to be with him.

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