DEAR CHRISTINE: Daddy’s living with a golddigger
I write on behalf of my siblings, as we are very worried about our father, and his behaviour in recent times. Our dad is 64 years old and has recently retired after a long and successful career where he reached a fairly senior level position within the public sector organisation where he worked.
He has always been a good father and rather cautious and meticulous about almost everything he did. I had to use the past tense because his actions just months before retirement and since then betray the man we knew and his previous actions.
He had been divorced from our mother for almost 20 years and lived on his own since then.
We always marvelled that dad never once had female company when we visited him, invited or uninvited, whether we were there for the summer vacation, at Christmas or whenever. Indeed one sibling remembers spending about seven months with him and remarked that all he did was went to work, came home and looked after his dogs and would go to church or played draughts and dominoes.
About 18 months ago, that changed. Daddy met a woman and introduced her to his children and grandchildren.
He sees it as his duty to take them to and from school and collect them on evenings, take them to church and ensure they are involved in various extracurricular activities. What is worrisome is that this woman is, 35, since she is known to us, having studied with one of my siblings. She has changed daddy’s lifestyle.
He has recently placed a stud in his ear and has started sporting a chain. More frightening is the change of clothing, the fancy shades and wearing what I think would be more my husband’s style or for any man in his late 30s or early 40s. Daddy even indicated he could not keep the grands one Saturday night because he was going on one of those pleasure boat cruises.
We fear this woman is a gold digger. Daddy would have gotten his gratuity, was the recipient of his portion of his parents’ property and received money from the estate of an older brother who had lived in England.
He has actually put aside something for his grandchildren, the figure which we all know. He has bought a new SUV and recently bought another property in a much more appealing neighbourhood than where he lived since his divorce from mum. He has rented out that house.
This new woman wears short or very tight, revealing clothing and clearly uses sex to confuse our father. He has made it clear he is not interested in remarrying but the concern we have is that this woman might merely be desirous of living with him for five or more years which would entitle her to part of his belongings. Should we seek legal guidance on this matter? Should we tell daddy of our concerns? What is the best way forward?
– Worried Children
Dear Worried Children,
It is good to have your father’s best interest at heart, but in all that you have outlined, you haven’t indicated that he is either mentally incapable, suffering from loss of memory, or in any other way incapable of conducting his affairs. I well understand and appreciate your worries, given your father’s apparent 360 degree change in life.
Without condemning the woman perhaps you should speak to your daddy. All of your siblings should do so at the same time, to hear what is making him do what he is doing.
Sometimes, we overlook how devastating loneliness can be and having retired from work where he would have been around people at least five days a week, being at home all the time with a little visit from his grandchildren can be a major difference.
Your father has worked and inherited what is his financial nest egg. It doesn’t seem as if he is giving it away because an investment in a property could work to his children’s or grandchildren’s advantage.
The fact that he has indicated he is not planning to remarry should say something; that he has put aside something for his grandchildren is also a good gesture.
Your father may have lived a quiet and reserved lifestyle and feels that this is the time to enjoy a little of life’s pleasures.
Being able to buy a new set of clothing is good because he would not run the risk of being decried for his shabby look. The ear ring and chain, well, just consider them adornments.
Please stay by your father’s side and not worry about his inheritance. His well being should be your priority.
There is no reason to seek legal guidance, just continue to love your father and not just his material things or his assets.