Readers’ Commentary Regarding the man whose female friend of six years who’d “benefitted” from his affluent lifestyle, told him she didn’t want to nurse him in his declining years but preferred to stay friends and be a house guest without sexual benefits (April 17):
“While you called her behaviour “cold and calculating,” I call it honest and refreshing. Why should a mature-aged woman sign on to nursing a friend/partner through his final years just because they had fun together and she enjoyed time spent at his “assets”?
“That’s like thinking that a man feels a woman “owes” him more than a kiss because he paid for dinner!
“I know women in their 70s who’ve met a nice man online ten years ago, shared their lives a while, and now he’s got dementia, needs constant care and she’s doing it, despite him having money, exes and grown children.
“She feels trapped, watching her own declining years drift away. You can be sure she wishes she’d had that conversation!
“An elderly male friend told me once that, online, women lie most about their weight and men lie most about their age. I asked him, why do men do that?
“His reply was, it’s because they are looking for a woman/partner young enough to nurse them to the end.
“I think the dude who wrote to you had the same in mind and is peeved he didn’t get it after “investing” in this woman.”
Ellie - Despite that we disagree on this matter, I find it interesting that both you and the man you questioned consider relationships among older seniors - even healthy ones - as mainly transactional instead of emotion-based.
It seems that the answer you’d offer instead to this man is that she’s already given him years of happiness and has no obligation to also care for him as he declines.
So, she’s happy to just visit him and enjoy his luxurious lifestyle but no more sex.
However, that wasn’t the current situation as he described it. This man is still in “excellent health,” was still enjoying travel and their sexual relationship. He wrote that he still loves her but won’t accept her suddenly-declared “conditions.”
There’s no doubt that if she declined first - e.g., a sudden stroke - he’d have paid any health expenses and hired nursing care for her. And, as I wrote, he can well afford to pay for his own health issues and nursing care in future, but none have yet arisen.
Instead, the woman could’ve gently raised a discussion with him about what they should arrange for in the case of future decline or for either of them, as partners.
Some seniors - women and men - who can afford it, have planned ahead that if one ever has to enter a nursing home due to medical/nursing needs, they’d maintain visits and oversight, but not give full-time care themselves.
In cases where a spouse has advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s and visits can only provide some soothing touch, brief company and essential ongoing contact with the caregivers and nursing-home staff, some still-healthy spouses have felt free to enter new relationships. But that’s about a future that has no indication of happening soon if at all.
In sum, there were other choices at this time. The woman could’ve stayed in the relationship with a man who loves and provides for her... until another plan is or may be needed.
Instead, I still find her to be cold and calculating.
FEEDBACK “I’m a granddaughter who knows from experience why stepchildren sometimes cut off ties with their stepmother.
“It reflects the old story of how someone who remarries - e.g., a middle-aged widower or divorced man who marries a younger woman - and believes she’ll be fair to his children on his death and promises the same for her younger children. Then he fails to secure this legally.
“He passes, the second wife inherits all and wills it to her own kids.
“How sad for his legacy and a recipe for discord. His children are left asking themselves, “What kind of man leaves nothing, not even a token of remembrance, to his children and/or grandchildren?”
“And what kind of woman doesn’t acknowledge her spouse’s children or grandchildren? It’s too difficult to carry on a relationship with the stepmother.
“Any men or women entering late second marriage should learn from these stories.”
Tip of the day:
We can learn from each other even when viewpoints on relationship matters differ.