DEAR DEIDRE: MY 68-year-old stepfather made a pass at me and now my mum has taken his side.
He’s always been there for me, even giving me away at my wedding. I’m 42 and he’s been with Mum since I was 12.
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He runs a print shop and I went for an interview to join the company, where he started asking me about whether I’d be “doing extras for the boss”.
I thought I was hearing things so I ignored him – but then he tried to kiss me. I shoved him off and went home in tears.
I called Mum the following day explaining what happened. She said she was sorry – but she had no intention of throwing him out. I hung up on her.
I sent her a text message the following day saying that if he was staying, I couldn’t visit. She replied: “Thanks for your understanding.” It sounds as if she’s putting her relationship before ours.
DEIDRE SAYS: Although his behaviour is unacceptable my guess is, this is out of character and perhaps it’s the start of an illness. This may be the reason for your mother’s reaction.
Contact her again asking why she’s putting him first. Has it happened before? Or is she worried it’s early dementia, in which case she’ll find support through Dementia UK (dementiauk.org, 0800 888 6678).
If he’s not ill, going for walks with your mum could help you two maintain your relationship. Let her know that you don’t want to lose her but won’t allow him to treat you, or her, like that again.
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