My father and I recently moved to Huntington Beach. We used to live in Signal Hill.
My mother passed away a little over a year ago, and we both thought it was time to move from our old house, and start again.
My father and I have never been very close. I guess you could say that my mom was the “glue” of the family.
We moved into a one bedroom apartment for what was supposed to be a temporary arrangement. My father planned on retiring a few months after we moved in. He was then going to move to Nevada.
I have the bedroom, and he sleeps on the couch, but he has his stuff in my closet, and of course we share the bathroom.
My dad is now an emotional and physical wreck. He misses my mom, and he misses our old house.
He has now decided that he is not going to retire, and he’s not going to move away.
He and I went from a 2,000 square foot home to a 900-square foot apartment. Sharing space with him has been very difficult for me. There is a lack of privacy for both of us, and it has put a damper on both of our social lives.
I love my dad, and I am literally all of the family that he has left, but our new living arrangement has put a serious strain on our relationship.
Do you have any advice as to how I can improve our current situation?
Signed, Loving but Crowded Son
Dear Loving but Crowded Son,
Your dad is obviously having a very difficult time dealing with the loss of your mom, and the changes in his life.
You have been a very loving and patient son. However, since his original plan of retiring and moving out of state has been changed, that means your plan of what you both thought were temporary living arrangements has to change as well.
You need to determine what would be best for both of you. Either you should live separately, or you should move to a bigger place to share.
Since he has chosen not to retire, I suspect it would not be a big financial hardship to move. Rather, his reasons for not suggesting a move may that he really doesn’t want more change in his life right now.
So, you need to be the one to broach the subject. Let him know that since he has decided to stay for a while, you need a bigger place, for both of your sakes. Or, one of you can stay there, and one of you should move to another place.
Discuss the pros and cons of both alternatives. Also, help him to understand that continuing to live in the cramped and crowded space is not good for either of you.
Hopefully, he will understand, and agree. Then you can determine what would be the best living arrangements for the two of you.
Send your questions to: Dear Marilyn, c/o Garden Grove Journal, 12866 Main St. Garden Grove, Ca. 92840. Or, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.