An elderly relative, in her eighties, widowed for several years, asked us to lunch to meet her new beau today. We were kind of stunned when she said she was seeing someone but after the lunch I have to say we are stymied. I need advice.
This lady is pretty much estranged from her children as she is very difficult to say the least. At times she suffers from mental illness and can be ecentric, defensive and paranoid but she is also highly independent, running her own life since her late husband's passing. However, we have noticed over the past year or so that her physical health is in decline. Let's say she definitely looks and acts her age physically.
Her adult kids are all wonderful people but she has made it almost impossible for them to be around her. That is why we were so surprised by the invitation.
Anyway, we met the gentleman today. He is at least 12 years younger than she is and looks to be in excellent health. He is handsome, intelligent, nice, articulate, an all-around nice guy. He just buried his wife three months ago after a two year battle with cancer. They were married for a long time.
Here is the problem....He and our elderly relative just do not seem to be a match at all. He could easily attract any number of women in their 40s, 50s or 60s. He looks like her son.
She is falling all over him, giddy like a school girl in love. He seems to relate to her more as a friend or son than a potential partner yet she is emphatic that they are dating and may become more. It just seemed very strange.
I am usually pretty good at sizing people up but this has me stymied. On the one hand an outright first impression of seeing them together one would have to wonder what his intentions are? Golddigger came to mind but he was just so darn nice. He does not appear to have any financial issues. She lives very modestly but is sitting on a very valuable farm property.
We hate to misjudge anyone...maybe he is just a nice person who enjoys her company, maybe lonely?. But our inner voices are telling us that this does not seem right. It seemed like she was seeking our approval. And although we were polite we just felt uncomfortable.
Would you tell her adult children? They would probably have a cow. They worshipped their dad and know how hard their parents worked on that farm. She would really resent any interference is our guess. Keep our mouths shut and hope for the best? What would you do? Or would you do nothing and just let it play itself out?
Re: Concern for Elderly Relative...need advice
I'd make sure the kids knew. If nothing else they need to know. Maybe a chance to make sure there is a prenup. Maybe they'll love him.... be glad that there is someone who will be there for mom, make her happy and for the chance to not deal with a grouchy, unhappy, mental mom, being willing to let him have it. Granted that might mean $1,000,000 now days.
My mom is 80, and very self sufficient at this time. She has stated she has no need for a man, and it has been 5 years since Dad died. If she did decide to fall for some Younger guy I would want to know. Although there is no real money left at this time. If mom is happy and he is ready to take care of her and the property I'd be okay. I do have POA if needed.
But, who doesn't need with elderly relatives????
Re: need advice
I would tell her kids, but tell them not to have a cow if they want any say in her life. Did they like it when Mom and Dad told them not to associate with certain people? Did they always follow this advice? They already aren't in the best grace with Mom and making an ultimatum is going to make it even worse. They should try to get to know this "boyfriend" and even do a background check if it would make them feel better. He should have no problem with this questioning if his attraction is purely for companionship. Do the kids have any financial interest in the farm after Dad died? If the entire estate went to Mom, they may have to go along with this relationship unless they can find something mentally wrong with her.
Re: need advice
Well, I haven't read anyone else's advice yet, so this is my first, knee-jerk reaction, gleaned from a lifetime of experience: Every con many I've ever encountered - and I've met several now - was 'the nicest damned guy' I ever met.
None of them looked like they needed the money they tried to cheat us out of. Part of their classic con schtick is to look like they do not need your money.
I know I am jaded, but I'd hire a private eye in a New York minute, if your business is involved; or, inform the kids and suggest that they might want to hire one, if not. In fact, we have a frequent flyer here who can tell you how to check him out.
It is a problem...and yes, you are in the position to ask the question: If it seems too good to be true, is it?
The answer, unfortunately, is usually so.
She and he may be the exception, but do you want to chance it? Your sense of unease is significant. Do not rationalize yourselves out of it...this is akin to the "gift of fear" that Gavin de Becker writes about.
Someone can check him out without him ever knowing. If he is the wonderful, super guy he seemed to be, then it will reassure you. If not, you may not be able to stop her from falling prey to him, but at least you will not second-guess yourselves forever on out.
BTW, you may follow up the visit with a phone call, and see how much info she will inpart about her "nice new beau." Gives you more to work with, and maybe soem contradictions will surface?
If she is a difficult B, then her kids will not want to be stuck with her in their homes, if he cheats her out of her wealth. If they check him out for no other reason, they need to conserve her wealth so she can have nursing home care available at the end, if necessary. in the meantime, she will probably add him to her will...if she has family counsel, that may be a place to start with your concerns.
Sorry if I am so negative, but I've seen it all, and then some.
Re: need advice
I agree with the above advise. There is nothing as sad as an elderly person acting like a giddy 5th grader over a beau. And when your gut reaction questions the situation that's even more unsettling. Her children would never forgive YOU for not letting them know of the situation. Tell them right away.
Re: need advice
Gut feelings: Stick to them, God made us have them for a reason! I had just an experience last weekend, the boys and I went to Cattleman's in OKC to eat supper after the stockshow, as we were leaving this chick opened her car door and asked for $$ in a whiney pathetic voice, she'd just run out of gas, and "I swear, you can go to the gas station w/me"....I declined her and after seeing her shopping in the store right across the street two days later, I was glad I trusted my gut.
Re: need advice
Thankyou all for the good advice. I read your comments over several times to reassure myself that we were not over reacting or jumping to conclusions. We decided to let her kids know and now the ball is in their court whether they want to involve themselves in it our not. For our part, we are going to quietly remove ourselves from the situation. It is just too uncomfortable. But at least no one can ever say that we knew and did nothing to prevent a possible bad situation.