How can I care for my mother without involving my father?



I am in my twenties. My mother and father are in their fifties. My mother has worked very hard all her life and deserves that I take care of her finances for retirement. She has never owned a home. Presently, my parents rent a townhome. I want to start my financial planning and saving now so I can purchase a home by her retirement age. They have very minimal savings of several thousand dollars.

Since I was about 12, I became aware that my father had a pornography addiction. I saw him looking at pornography countless times and he was always very unapologetic about it. He also lost his job three years ago and I suspect it was for this reason. I accused him of it once, and he did not deny it.

My mother is fully aware of the issue. I cannot expect them to separate. I've asked her before if she would like to leave and she does not. I've also had frank conversations with him about the topic. With his older age, his addiction does seem to have died down significantly. I have now very rarely found him in a compromising position. Since my parents will not separate, I will be forced to also accommodate him. I imagine I will buy a home that has a separate apartment suite for them to live in.

My fear is that when I have children that they might have to be exposed to this issue. When I was older, I have recovered some buried memories that suggest to me that he might've sexually abused me when I was a toddler (maybe 4 years old). When I was a senior in high school, my older sister confided in me that he did ask to touch her when she was 11.

How do I provide for my mother? I do not feel like I owe my father much, but he will inevitably be part of the picture. I also must protect my future children. I doubt I could support two separate rent or mortgage payments so that we could live separately (or perhaps I could become financially ambitious, but I can't count on this).

Please advise. This is the single most troubling issue of my life.

Many thanks.


Since your parents currently have their own apartment, I assume that they are managing to afford it. If needed, you can help your mother with her rent. There doesn't seem to be a requirement to bring your parents next door to your home. You have adequate reasons for not having your father near your children.

Perhaps later the situation may change, but there is no reason for causing problems now. When you do have children, then you simply make sure they are not alone with your father. Either you or your husband will be with them when they visit your mom and dad. If you need a babysitter, you ask your mom to come over without your dad.

Probably later you and your husband will be in a better financial situation to see that your parents are taken care of.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34).

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