C.S. asks from Houston, TX on March 12, 2008
My Daughter Is Dating an Older Divorced Man with 3 Kids
Well the subject line has to say it all! My 19 year old is beautiful and so independent that she just knows this is what she wants! We have talked about it and I have said "I do not approve" but I have also not said "break it off". I want her to be independent but it makes my skin crawl to see my beauty with this beast! What can a 32 year old divorced man with 3 kids (the oldest one is 15) have in common with my beauty. If you talk to her she is very serious and responsible so she thinks she knows it all but isn't that all teenagers and young adults! I really do blame him, he should know better!
We decided to meet him over New Year's eve. I put my feelings aside and talked to him but this is the most arrogant man I have ever met. To say the least by then end of the evening their were "fireworks" and I'm not talking about the ones in the sky! One of my siblings told her to choose "family or him" and she has not spoken to them since.
Here's my question: Do I just ride out the storm? I can't imagine this will last!
So What Happened?™
Just wanted to take this time to THANK EVERYONE for their comments and stories, they have really helped me! I promise to keep you updated I hope in not too long of a time I can write "I'm relieved to say...." but until then I will remain supportive and pray, pray, pray!! Thank you all!
C.H. answers from San Antonio on March 12, 2008
I know what you are going through. My daughter is now 23 but when she was 18 she began dating someone who I did not think was right for her. He wasn't older but I just knew he was not the right one. At first I let her know how much I did not like him but eventually I realized that the more I spoke against him, the more she was determined to be with him. She actually dated him for about 3 years but I think if I had just gone with the flow instead of letting her know how I really felt, she would have broken up with him sooner. My advice to you is to ride out the storm. If forced to choose at this point, she will probably choose him just because kids that age don't want to admit mom is right. She'll probably drop him sooner if she thinks she is doing it because it was her idea & not moms. Oh, by the way, when my daughter finally told me they had broken up, I just said, "Oh ok" & that was it. I didn't make a big deal about it. Hope everything works out with you.
L.M. answers from Longview on March 13, 2008
I'm in my mid twenties and I still remember my days of rebeling. I was and am still very independent. I really think you should be there for your daughter. Let her know how you feel without being overbearing. If she is independent I have a feeling the more you push one way the more she will push another way and then it will more than likely get ugly. You said it probably won't last and your right it probably wont. So just be there because you don't wont to alienate yourself from her. You want her to feel like she can come and talk to you. Just bide your time and she'll probably get tired of being in the position of "step mommy" and want to do what normal teenagers do.... have fun and hang out w/people there own age. I'm sure it's just a faze. Trust your daughter after all I'm sure you brought her up very well. But, remember you can not pick who someone falls for.... she ultimately has to be the judge of who is best for her, but like I said she'll probably grow out of it.
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S.L. answers from Houston on March 13, 2008
I was 16 with a 51 year old man. At 17 I got my mom to sign papers so I could marry him because I had done had a child with him and at 19 was our second child.I thought I loved him maybe I did. Though this may be completely different my husband was a psycho. Shot me in my leg didn't care about our children or child from previous marriage. This man was well respect by his co-Workers.50 year old hard worker can be. Well my story could go on for ever but being 22 now here is what I can tell you. After my divorce and him acting so crazy. That man had no reason to be with someone so young. Though I was mature for my time which you can be at a young age there is still something missing from someone so young that makes them an adult. I was tired of dating young guys because they just wanted to party all the time or joke all the time and I couldnt carry an intellectual conversation with them that is what drew me to an older man. I liked the structured life style. That of a family but not really the one I grew up with. Being so young at 19. My mom felt the same way you do. I always did what I wanted. And I became successful most of the time. She will miss out on hanging out with her friends hopefully they will wait for her. So much to say about it. So many bad memories and wasted time I could have been doing things i enjoyed. Good luck momma.
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P.W. answers from San Angelo on March 13, 2008
Well being a young adults mom is hard. Have you thought of actively including the man and his kids in every family activity you can think of and being oh so nice and accomodating. Tell your daughter you now realize she is grown and had hoped she would have the type of fun young girls have college, first own apartment, ect. You NOW realize she wants to skip these things and go right to the hard stuff kids, responsiblities AND DEALING WITH AN EX-WIFE. One of 2 things will happen you will get to know him and his kids and will see what your daughter sees in him or your daughter will see he doesn't fit in her family life and that she is missing out. This will be hard but either way you win, you won't lose your daughter. Best of luck.
mother of 2 young adults
S.M. answers from College Station on March 13, 2008
I am no expert but I have been in your daughter's situation. The guy that I dated was a loser (I found out later) but the more my mom preached the more I was driven to him. I was young and always had to find out for myself what was going on, no one could tell me anything! But thank the Lord that I finally realized the truth and got out of that situation. Your daughter sounds a lot like me at that age. Now, I have a 15 year old daughter and I am remarried, we are very close but argue and fight, but it's always been me and her. Hopefully, you and your daughter had a good relationshiop before this. I think she will see the light, just be patient.
Don't preach!! She is sure to resent you and want him even more!! I've lived it!!
Hope this helps!
V.N. answers from San Antonio on March 13, 2008
Yes, ride out the storm. You should be able to voice your opinion, though. Focus on her though when you tell her. So she won't feel defensive. Like why would she want to have all the responsibility of three kids that are almost her age, with a man that is providing what for her? When she has some time to think about it, especially what kind of future is in it for her, she may re-think this one. After all your opinion is only that and we can only control ourselves. She has to make the decision and you need to support her. Good luck--grab your umbrella. V. n.
J.S. answers from Houston on March 12, 2008
I, too, can be a voice from your daughter's side. I was there. I was dating a 24-year old divorcee at 18 (thankfully there were no kids involved). My parents were beside themselves. My mother always told me that she did not like him and didn't approve of our relationship, but that I was an adult and able to make my own decisions. I won't even get into the part about my dad threatening to dismember him (yes, that actually happened).
I cannot tell you how important that support from her meant to me, even in the face of something she didn't agree with. She was allowing me to make my own mistakes and grow as my own person without trying to tell me what to do.
Your sibling who gave her an ultimatum sounds like my Aunt, who did the same thing. Trust me, trying to ban her from the relationship or make her choose will not end well. She will cling even tighter to this man.
Granted, my guy wasn't 32. But we did end up getting married 2 years later. After my parents really got to know him, he became the son they never had and we all enjoy a wonderful relationship with each other. I've now been married almost 7 years and I'm sure I wouldn't have made a different choice if given the chance to do it over again. But, then again, he was not arrogant, and he was only 6 years older, not 13.
So, I remain with the previous poster that your job is to love her regardless, and not force a decision on her. The likelihood is that she's not yet ready for a relationship like this (especially if she has not had to deal with the ex yet), and it will implode upon itself. Your job, as horrible and hard as it may be, is to be her support through it all, whatever decision she makes.
Good luck, Mom. Your self-advice was the best... ride out the storm!
P.B. answers from Houston on March 13, 2008
C., with all my respect - it seems that you've already lived your own life and made your own mistakes. She's 19 and that is pretty young but, as you mentioned she is very mature or responsible and you already told her that you do not approve the relationship. (You did not mention how long has she dated him). If the guy is indeed an arrogant person, let her figure it out by herself and most important, be there when she needs you. Just a thought!
N.C. answers from Houston on March 13, 2008
When I was her age, I went after some older men myself and did some other stupid things, but eventually came to my senses. I know one thing that just pushed me further away was my family nagging and telling me that they disagreed. You don't have to be happy about it, just love her and let her make her choices and be there for her when she needs you. I KNOW that what eventually brought me back to my senses is that I had A LOT of people praying for me. Just give it Him and let go of control.
Also, a person should never be asked to choose family or someone else. Family is family ~ they are to be there no matter what & if asked to choose and the choice isn't family, it will just make it worse.
I'll be praying for you and your daughter - have faith that it will work out!