DEAR ABBY: My mother needs help, but will not listen to my brother or me. She has always respected your advice, and she needs it desperately now.
Mama is a retired nurse. A little over a year ago, she moved from Florida to Virginia to live with her boyfriend, "Rudy." Rudy is extremely wealthy. He owns three homes and commercial real estate. However, he suffers from mental illness. Mama has told us that Rudy is bipolar. He also has no respect for women. He orders her around, and she must answer "Yes, sir" or "No, sir." Even though this man has millions, he and Mama are living in one room above a barn.
Rudy's wife died several years ago. He has two sons, neither of whom speak to him. Mama says she moved from her lovely home to live with him because she's "looking at the big picture." Because Rudy is wealthy, she wants us to benefit from what he has, even if she doesn't.
My brother and I can't bear her living like this. Their room has limited plumbing and -- to put it politely -- it smells. There is also evidence of rodents. Please, Abby, how can we make Mama see what she's doing to herself and to us? We love her. We don't want her to sacrifice her last years for our future financial comfort. -- HURTING FOR MOM
DEAR HURTING: Please forgive me if this seems harsh. Your mother is living in squalor with a rich man who treats her like an employee, and she thinks it will somehow benefit YOU? She is seriously misguided. Because your mother and Rudy are both adults, and presumably not a danger to themselves or to others, it could take a crowbar to separate them.
However, if you want your mother out of there, talk to his sons about what's going on and your feelings about it. I'll bet they'll not only start speaking to their father, she'll be out of there in a jiffy.