Gransnet forums

Relationships

Husband becoming obsessed with much younger single neighbour

(288 Posts)
Bettinalove Thu 15-Jul-21 00:31:29

Perhaps someone can tell me if i am imaging something here. DH is 72 and i am 68. We have been married for almost 40 years with never any problems until now.
Almost a year ago a young woman with 5 young children moved into the large bungalow opposite our property. I thought she was in her 30s but ive found out recently she is 44. She has always been very friendly, chatty, the house is always busy and since restrictions ease numerous men and women visit her house. She has always struck me as independent and (not at all wanting to pass judgement) appears to have plenty of money - lots of trips away, outings for the kids etc. she is at home a lot as she runs a business from home.
DH and I used to chat to her outside her garden. DH has even volunteered to help her with a crumbling wall around 5 months ago even though the work was hard for him. Since that day DH is constantly watches her house out of the window, constantly tells me everytime there is movement in the house. We had her mobile number that some time ago she gave us both but I know DH is messaging her on whatsapp. He has started to keep his phone on him all the time. Once when he left it on the sofa whilst he was in the bathroom there was scrolls of messages from him asking her how she was, could he do anything for her, would she like coffee. He told her he is free at any time to come round. She had replied to around 1 in every 10 of his messages. He also goes into the front garden when he knows she will leave and return on the school run.
I have tried to discuss this with him but he shuts me down or tells me he is trying to be friendly and implies i am the suspicious wife.
I am concerned. What on earth does he want with a 44 year old with 5 kids. she is younger then our oldest son. In one way i feel like he may be harassing her and causing awkwardness. In the other hand i wonder if she is loving the attention and there is more going on then i realise. If he sees young men - (30s/40s) go into her house he goes into a sulk for days on end. This is becoming unbearable. Or am is it really just in my head as surely - she is 28 years younger then him shes not interested is she?
As i said talking to him gets nowhere. He shuts down or doesnt speak to me for hours. Im feeling lost. sorry for length of post.

OnwardandUpward Thu 15-Jul-21 00:37:13

I'm so sorry. I'm sure this is really painful and awkward! I don't really know what to suggest but it might be a sign of him losing his boundaries?
I know an elderly man who behaves in an obsessive way towards females he lives near but it's not just one: there are quite a few and he follows them or patrols past their houses. I have been worried myself and don't know if it's a sign of dementia or not.

Calendargirl Thu 15-Jul-21 07:05:26

It does sound as though he has developed a real ‘crush’ on her. She seems like one of those people who is friendly, popular and enjoys the company of others. To be fair, if she has only replied on very few occasions to his messages, it doesn’t sound as though she is actively encouraging him.

Your husband is at that time of life where everything is very routine, and this must seem like a real excitement and novelty.

I have no solution, I’m afraid. She might be seeing him as a bit of a stalker, and trying to dampen things down.

I hope he gets over it.

gt66 Thu 15-Jul-21 07:29:18

Hmm I think you're right to be concerned as it does sound like he's gone a bit overboard.

I doubt he'd thank you for spelling it out to him, but she may well be thinking he's pestering her and making her feel uncomfortable.

Have you noticed whether she's withdrawing from him i.e not being as friendly, as that may indicate she's becoming a bit wary?

You could try talking to her and ask her outright if he's becoming a pest!

Esspee Thu 15-Jul-21 07:38:22

The fact that she responds to 1 in 10 of his messages suggests that the interest is unwelcome. It is harassment in my opinion.

If you can’t get him to see that he is being a pest and embarrassing himself and will possibly become the talk of the neighbourhood then I suspect you are seeing early stage dementia. He is delusional.

If he persists I would talk to her. Apologise for his constant messaging and explain that it appears he has started on the road to dementia and you are asking everyone he is harassing (she won’t know she is the only target) to please block him on What’s App while you try to handle his obsession with messaging.

Her response will give you all the reassurance you need. He will become a huge embarrassment to you if you don’t nip it in the bud.

I would also write to his doctor saying that you have noticed behavioural changes and could they please call him in for a “well man” health check.

“There’s no fool like an old fool”. So sorry you are having to cope with this.

Ladyleftfieldlover Thu 15-Jul-21 07:45:41

This sounds like a ‘schoolboy crush’. Perhaps a last attempt for him to appear interesting in a younger woman’s eyes. As you seem to be friendly with this woman, I would have a quiet word when your OH is not around. I’m sure you don’t want him to become a laughing stock in the neighbourhood.

tanith Thu 15-Jul-21 07:58:09

I agree with everything Esspee says talk to the lady yourself.

GagaJo Thu 15-Jul-21 08:08:37

Let's be blunt (and I don't mean to be rude, really). A 44 year old woman, with 5 children and her own business, is not going to have any interest in a 72 year old man. At least, not romantically.

If she isnt' replying to most of his messages, he is making a nuisance of himself.

I don't know how you handle it. I would probably have a very quiet word with her and apologise for him. But then, if he found out, he'd be furious and mortified. A difficult situation.

But I really don't think you need to fear that his interest is reciprocated.

OnwardandUpward Thu 15-Jul-21 08:14:09

Esspee

The fact that she responds to 1 in 10 of his messages suggests that the interest is unwelcome. It is harassment in my opinion.

If you can’t get him to see that he is being a pest and embarrassing himself and will possibly become the talk of the neighbourhood then I suspect you are seeing early stage dementia. He is delusional.

If he persists I would talk to her. Apologise for his constant messaging and explain that it appears he has started on the road to dementia and you are asking everyone he is harassing (she won’t know she is the only target) to please block him on What’s App while you try to handle his obsession with messaging.

Her response will give you all the reassurance you need. He will become a huge embarrassment to you if you don’t nip it in the bud.

I would also write to his doctor saying that you have noticed behavioural changes and could they please call him in for a “well man” health check.

“There’s no fool like an old fool”. So sorry you are having to cope with this.

This!

Yes I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this too and definitely recommend you have a chat with your neighbor.

I also agree its highly unlikely that shes "interested" but perhaps shes being polite and struggling- I think with that many kids she hasnt got time for this and maybe really uncomfortable. Is there another neighbour that could chat with her on your behalf if you can't get away from your husband?

I would keep all evidence of his behaviour as I think it counts as emotional cheating and is definitely very direspectful and distressing to you. You could threaten him with legal action or suggest he gets counselling for this addiction. It's very unhealthy! flowers

MissAdventure Thu 15-Jul-21 08:19:33

It's a crush.
He won't be the first silly old sod to think he's in with a chance with someone out of his league.
It's daft and embarrassing, but doesn't mean dementia.

MerylStreep Thu 15-Jul-21 08:21:52

I would imagine she’s just as peed off with him as you are.

Sparklefizz Thu 15-Jul-21 08:24:05

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this Bettinalove and agree with everything Esspee said above.

OnwardandUpward Thu 15-Jul-21 08:24:36

PS just wanted to add : some men (if you are polite to them) take it "as a sign" that you're "interested" sad

You really have to be rude to them to stop the behaviour because ANY form of niceness is "a sign" that you love them . Hes definitely delusional!! We women should not have to be polite to men just because they are men.

He sounds a pest and a stalker! Read this for reasons people stalk: www.joinonelove.org/learn/inside-the-mind-of-a-stalker/

Yes, I'd think your neighbour is uncomfortable (if she has time to think with all those kids!)

If you can see your husbands whatsapp you could get her telephone number and ring her when you're away from your husband (to stop him noticing you're going round there) If she says shes uncomfortable she needs to tell him- and if he persists after that she could report him or get an injunction.

Bear in mind that she may see him as a friendly harmless father figure and have no idea of the obsession.

MissAdventure Thu 15-Jul-21 08:27:04

I think perhaps if you speak to her, she will then feel comfortable to rebuff him without fear of offending you.

OnwardandUpward Thu 15-Jul-21 08:31:51

YES @MissAdventure! I agree. She most likely thinks OP is fine with it and is scared of falling out with you both.

Definitely talk to her! Be aware she could LIKE the attention without being romantically interested- but if that's the case she needs to be cruel to be kind to get him to knock it on the head.

MissAdventure Thu 15-Jul-21 08:32:47

Or knock him on the head. wink
Knock some sense into it.

OnwardandUpward Thu 15-Jul-21 08:34:12

HAHA grin

Either way, don't suffer in silence. He's not considering your feelings , so don't consider his.

Lovetopaint037 Thu 15-Jul-21 09:18:23

Definitely talk to her.

FannyCornforth Thu 15-Jul-21 09:26:09

Hello
This thread seems very familiar to me, have you posted about this before?

Shropshirelass Thu 15-Jul-21 09:26:35

This is infatuation, it needs nipping in the bud sooner rather than later before it causes awkwardness and embarrassment. I would speak to your husband and tell him that he is making rather a fool of himself, don’t let him shut you down, it will be difficult but he will be the laughing stock if he is not careful. I had this with a neighbour after my husband passed away, he was constantly offering to do jobs for me, I didn’t want him to and let him do one job. My daughter said he gave her the creeps so I stopped him doing work immediately and just politely refused. He later moved to the next village but it didn’t stop. I then started receiving gifts, expensive ones. I didn’t want them and returned them to him. It took a while but eventually stopped when his attentions were knocked back. It wasn’t very pleasant to be in the receiving end of unwanted attention, I suspect your neighbour feels the same.

muse Thu 15-Jul-21 09:29:10

You've tried to talk to him. You've chatted to her in the past, so I feel sure she will listen to you. Hope so.

Kandinsky Thu 15-Jul-21 09:37:57

Interesting 🤔

Luckygirl Thu 15-Jul-21 09:50:33

No fool like an old fool. hat a pain this must all be.

Callistemon Thu 15-Jul-21 09:50:35

I agree with what Esspee said.

Unless you talk to her and she is very understanding, you could find that she reports him to the police for harassment or stalking.

faringdon59 Thu 15-Jul-21 09:52:55

This is a difficult situation with the potential to escalate.
Maybe ask him if he has developed feelings for her? and it may well be a case of unrequited love!
Suggest to him that he could be accused of stalking, she could do a complete turn around, report him to the police, saying this unwanted attention is harassment.
If she is well off from running her own business she could pay tradesmen/gardeners to do any DIY projects.
And if he is still feeling the need to be helpful he could go along to his local Age Uk and volunteer his services to them.