DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law is 84 years young. She is dating a 58-year-old man. They met 18 months ago and see each other every night. On weekends he picks her up and they go to his place from Friday until late Sunday evening. This man says they are compatible.
"How can this be?" my husband and I ask. At times she doesn't even remember being with him the entire day before.
Abby, this man is younger than her four sons. Each of them has tried to talk to their mother about this relationship. She sometimes "hints" that the relationship is sexual, making comments like, "Well, at least I don't have to worry about getting pregnant."
She can't be talked to or reasoned with, because she starts screaming that her family is "jealous" and trying to "break them up."
We're at our wit's end and don't know where to turn. She has money. He has none. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts if you can offer any advice. -- READY FOR THE BOOBY HATCH, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
DEAR READY FOR THE BOOBY HATCH: If your 84-year-old mother-in-law's memory is impaired to the point that she doesn't remember having spent the previous day with her gentleman friend, one wonders how she is handling the rest of her affairs. Is this the way she has always behaved?
If the answer is no, she may be due for an evaluation by her physician to determine if she is still capable of handling her financial affairs. If a medical examination confirms that her memory lapses are severe, the family lawyer should be consulted to ensure that she cannot be taken advantage of financially.
Once that precaution has been taken, I see no reason why your mother-in-law shouldn't continue a relationship that both she and her friend enjoy.