Abby: Suspicion, deception surround dad’s younger wife
Dear Abby: My elderly father remarried after my mother died two years ago. He married an acquaintance who is 30 years younger at the courthouse with no friends or family in attendance. He told this woman beforehand that there was a large widow’s pension he’d paid into for decades that he wanted to give to her by marrying her.
She claimed to be in an “unhappy” marriage at the time, and promptly got a divorce.
Well, she and her now-ex have “suddenly started getting along just great,” so she decided to continue to live with her ex after her marriage to Dad. Despite agreeing to these terms and because the woman teased him before their marriage, Dad is angry that she still won’t have sex with him.
Also upsetting is that when they are out socially, his new wife still introduces her ex as her “husband” and Dad as their “friend.”
Now we learn, despite assurances during discussions with an attorney prior to the marriage that she would never exercise her rights as a spouse to any other funds or property, she’s asking my dad for a monthly allowance so she can retire, since she has no savings.
Abby, do we have any recourse in this situation? Do you think we are right to call my father’s marriage fraudulent, and would we be considered accomplices by not reporting it to any authorities before his death?
Stepdaughter in Revolt
Dear Stepdaughter: You are correct that the “marriage” was fraudulent, and you certainly do have recourse. Your father’s lawyer should be consulted immediately to discuss an annulment of this bogus arrangement. Because your father’s judgment is so poor, go with him to ensure that no details are left out.
Frankly, I think the woman may be guilty of elder abuse, and your father may need a conservator.
Dear Abby: I have a relative who has just been released from prison and is living with me and my family. He was incarcerated for more than 20 years for drugs.
It breaks my heart to say that he has relapsed and could be heading back down that same road. My mother doesn’t want a drug addict in her house.
She told him to make other living arrangements, and he has agreed to stay with other relatives where there are more job opportunities.
I feel guilty and my mother does, too. But she refuses to go through what she experienced during her childhood with this person. Is this the right thing to do?
Relapse in California
Dear Relapse: Yes! Your mother has made her feelings clear to this relative. Living with a drug addict is chaotic, and if she doesn’t want to repeat the unpleasant and possibly traumatic experience, she shouldn’t have to.
By getting him out of the house she is taking care of herself, and for that she shouldn’t feel guilty. However, because she does, it might help her — and you — to attend some Nar-Anon meetings. The group was founded in 1967 and its mission is to provide emotional support to families and friends of addicts.
To locate a meeting nearby, visit nar-anon.org or call toll-free (800) 477-6291.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.