Max and Elaine were both rather traditional and had good relationships with their children and grandchildren. At first, their children were happy that their parents met someone who would give their remaining years some meaning. But when Max and Elaine started to see each other exclusively, they had some concerns.
Robert, Elaine's eldest son said to his mother, "We're all very happy that you met a nice man but, how do we explain your wanting to bring Max over to the grandchildren?" Translation: "You're being disloyal to Dad."
Steve, Max's middle son, was even more concerned. He said to his father, "Maybe you want to take this slowly. Do you think that maybe she wants to enjoy the money that you and Mom saved over the years? Mom never did get to travel very much and already you mentioned that you're planning a vacation with Elaine." Translation, "We want the money."
Ashlea Ebeling wrote an article entitled "The Second Match" in Forbes (2007) citing Bowling Green State University demographer Susan Brown that older heterosexual couples make up the fastest-growing segment of people living together. There are many factors cited as contributing to this phenomenon. Everything from taxation factors, expenses associated with advancing age and convenience.
What should concern us is that, unfortunately as a society, we're not sufficiently supporting older couples in their right to make the same choices that younger couples take for granted. And what about respect from children to parents? Since when is their money, your money? In this case, don't Elaine and Max have the right to enjoy themselves and choose what makes them happiest, using their time and their resources in whatever manner they choose?
For all of their lives, most children have benefited from their parents. They have received and taken from them in a multitude of ways. It seems only fitting that children then encourage their parents to make the most of the precious time they can still enjoy. And teaching the grandchildren the same respect will benefit all generations, present and future.
Do you have aging and divorced or widowed parents? How do you feel about traditional or common-law remarriage for them? Are you supportive? Why or why not?