I’ve been dating a man 23 years older than me for four years.
I have children from a previous marriage, which ended in divorce.
I met my current boyfriend a year later, and have had the best times of my life with him.
Tragically, two years ago, his beloved business burned down.
He’s been unable to build his business again and feels hopeless.
A workaholic by nature, he now has no passion in life.
These last two months, he’s hardly gone out, isn't affectionate, and our love life is non-existent.
I try to be positive and he helps me out in my business, which gives him something to do.
Recently, I caught him watching porn at our business. I was shocked he was doing this in public.
He’s in his 60s, and I researched that in early cases of dementia and other age-related diseases, poor judgement is one of the symptoms.
I’m afraid he might also be doing other inappropriate things in front of staff.
He seems so different.
I’d hate to leave him, but I’m so unhappy. Physically and mentally, he’s not 100% there.
I’m wondering how long I can be with someone without intimacy, nor loving contact nor communication.
It’s likely been the most traumatic experience of his life – a devastating fire and his loss of purpose.
Without therapy for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and/or other counselling help to regain his self-image and drive, he’s naturally been struggling with his identity and what to do.
But your research cannot accurately diagnose dementia or any other age-related cognition loss, without a professional’s check-up, tests, and diagnosis.
His poor judgement and his withdrawal from emotional life, aren’t surprising, as a reaction to trauma.
They may be a cry for help to restore his self-esteem and your relationship. He needs to find the will to save himself.
Get him to a therapist regarding the trauma. The fire’s only a tragedy if you both leave it as such.
I’m a guy in my 20s with a younger brother. Our parents divorced long ago and our father raised us on our own.
He’s a local government clerk so earns decently and steadily. But he’s mildly intellectually challenged. Our mother hasn’t been on the scene in years.
My brother and I are coming to the time when we’ll both be out of the family home. We’re worried about our dad.
He’s fit, happy, and kind. We’re sure that because he had to be responsible for us, he’s had to stay on an even keel.
But when we’re gone, we’re worried about what will happen to him? What should we be doing to prepare him and ourselves?
Make sure he stays fit, keep him happy knowing you both care for him, help him find ways to continue to be kind to others, so that he’s involved with people once you’re not around all the time.
You can start setting this up now by making sure he stays connected to a gym or other fitness activities, like a group sport through a community centre (e.g. running group, volleyball, hiking, yoga, etc.).
Wherever you go away to schools or for work, stay in frequent contact, Skype, use face-time, visit when you can.
Encourage him to stay involved with friends, and to help out with neighbours who need visits, garden work, assists with getting groceries, etc.
You’re creating a new but similar pattern for him to maintain his good outlook and ability to manage his life.
FEEDBACK Regarding the best man who had a fling with a bridesmaid (May 13):
Reader – “The issue here is the best man’s behaviour, not whether his girlfriend can attend the wedding.
“The groom's real choice is whether he should still be allowing the presence of his best man.
“He caused the drama, so if anyone needs to be uninvited, it's him.
“Then his girlfriend won't be there either.
“Does the groom want to distance himself from a lying, cheating player?
“Or does he want to give his bride the message that he places little importance on fidelity, integrity and honesty?”
Ellie – A good point IF the bride already has negative feelings about the groom’s best friend, and especially if being a player is his go-to style.
If not, since the bride’s concern is about the bridesmaid’s feelings, and since that woman doesn’t care if he attends, both bride and groom can leave it up to her.
Tip of the day:
Don’t try to diagnose mental health changes after a trauma, without a professional’s help.