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Posted by: | 2020/03/25

My elderly dad (in his 80’s) met a woman about 10 years ago, asked my mom for a divorce

Hi CS, please help me!! My elderly dad (in his 80’s) met a woman about 10 years ago, asked my mom for a divorce within weeks and then the spending started like I have never seen before (sometimes R30 000 a weekend on shoes and clothes for her) he kept printed out statements so my siblings and I saw all of this happening. He used to be quite well off, but after 10 years of this spending pattern on this woman, he is not in a good financial position and trying to borrow money from my siblings and I in exchange for a property of his that is not selling. We are drawing up legal papers to recoup our money if should his assets be sold one day and we will have control of the borrowed money and pay his creditors directly. While waiting for the legal work, my siblings and I gave him a cash sum because he was so desperate under the condition that not a cent goes to this woman, he agreed, then we noticed payments to this woman, and confronted him and he keeps saying ‘what must he do if she tells him she hasnt eaten if 3 days’. While his debt is running up and he is begging his children for help, he is giving every last cent to her, and please note, she has been refusing to move in with him for almost 10 years, she rents a nice and expensive property (he pays the rent, though he has never been to the property) and he only sees her once every few months in a shopping mall and she tells him he needs to get more money to ensure “their” future together and she wants him to give her something on paper to make sure she will be okay should he die. He begged me for groceries before the shutdown, I have a good soul and said yes of course I because he must stay inside because of Corona etc and while I braved the crowds to get everything on his list today he was spotted in a mall with this woman. I am so angry and frustrated right now I want to punch a wall until my hand breaks!!!! cannot have it on my conscience that I let my own father starve or go out and get Corona because I refused to help, but I also feel like the biggest sucker and fool. I have screamed and shouted at him and told him how embarrassed I am to be have to take groceries to him but it has zero effect on him, my sibling just spoke to him and he said he gave his last cash to this woman today because he believes they have a future. I am so embarrassed that this is my father and I wish with all my heart that this woman would just die

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Our expert says:
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- 2020/03/26

You don't mention how old this brilliantly successful gold-digger is.  Clearly he sounds deluded in thinking that they might have a future together : if she has avoided living with him for 10 years whole fleecing him for every cent she can get from him, she's not going to change such  successful plan now.
At his age, is it possible that he may be dementing ? He is showing no judgement at all, and this must be a relatively recent loss,  as he past history would have been different if he had been this daft from the start.
Would he be prepared to see a trusted doctor, maybe a GP, for an assessment, even if expects it to vindicate him and show how well he is ?  Such a doctor would need to receive from the family a summary of his sad recent history of financial ruin and exploitation.
I'm not sure of the likely success of the legal interventions you mention : discuss with your lawyer the more usual action in such circumstances, an application to a court to have him declared mentally unfit to handle his own affairs, and the court appointment of someone empowered to act on his behalf.  If successful, it would allow his finds to be used for his genuine benefit, NOT for hers. The appointed administrator would surely stop paying for greedfy madam's accommodation : why hasn't she bothered to provide for her own costs ?

I wonder whether a private investigator might find some interesting and relevant background in this woman, whether, for instance, she has done something like this before.
Meanwhile absolutely STOP giving him any cash at all. Ask him to give you invoices for his genuine expenses, and pay them directly, so he has nothing he can share with her.  She's not going to starve, so her interests and claimed needs are no concern of yours.  She might well have several old men in her collection. 
Don;t give him stuff he can five to her. If you really feel he might go hungry : invite him to visit and eat with you and your siblings. Speak with one of the old age oriented charities : maybe they have somewhere he could stay, or at least get meals, and could not invite her.

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