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Telling my son about VYM

EllenL

New member
Hi everyone,

I met a guy a year ago, about when I was deciding to separate from my husband. We met whilst running at the park and struck up a rapport and eventually i agreed to go on a couple of dates. I didn't know much about him, including his age (though I had guessed quite a bit younger than me) but it was only after going back to his house I found out he actually knew my son. He didn't know who I was either but eventually we both worked it who the other was and I broke it off.

He was a bit persistent about it, though in a sweet manner, but I kept rebuffing him. Eventually, I did meet him a few times, through my son, and we hit it off again a few months ago. So far it hasn't been anything serious, but it's coming to the point that I need to tell my son or I need to break it off. They're both at the same university, so they do see each other.

The age gap is pretty significant, 18 and 45.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Ellen.
 

melody

New member
Hi Ellen

You really are in a dilemma. Is there any reason why you can't sit your son down and talk to him?
 

Slow Worm

Member
I found out he actually knew my son .... and I broke it off......

I need to tell my son or I need to break it off. They're both at the same university, so they do see each other.

Ellen, is there a special reason which you have not mentioned to think there is a problem here, or you just assuming that one might arise for some reason?

31 years ago I was in a relationship with a woman whose daughter was a fellow student at my university, and taking the same subject albeit in different year groups. I did not anticipate any problem because of that, and none arose. In the event my fellow student, her brother (a couple of years older than me) and I all got on perfectly well. Their mother and I were together for the following five years.

I think from your phrasing that you are in the USA. I'm in England and not very knowledgeable about American culture, so there may be a problem I'm just not aware of.

Notwithstanding any such cultural issue, do let me assure you from experience that a relationship like this can work out smoothly. If you think about it, there is really no rational cause why it should not. Best wishes for the future!

SW
 
G

gorillagirl

Guest
because you're still in the very early stages, i would consider asking the guy if he's looking for a long-term relationship or he just wants to score a few times with an older woman.

you don't want to 1. get hurt or used for your "MILF" status (hookup!) and/or 2. freak out your son for no reason. unless you know this YMs true intentions, you can't really assess the situation correctly.
 
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SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
I think that if he has not told his friend (your son) that he is dating you, is because he figures that he can keep your relationship a secret for a while. I suggest that you let him take the lead in this. Maybe, as GG says, he is not looking for a long term relationship. Or maybe not yet. When I started my relationship with my YM I was in no hurry to make it known to anybody, least of all my son. Actually I waited until my YM was moving in with me to let the world know.
 

EllenL

New member
Hi,

I realise I started this thread over half a year ago, but, partly on your advice, I slowed things down. For a few months, the relationship was very casual, mostly because of me. I wasn't sure if this was the right thing for me to be doing and I am still married, even if I have been separated for nearly a year now (though I said divorce to my husband a few months ago, and he reluctantly agreed it was for the best).

In April/May, however, things became a little more steady and regular between my boyfriend and I and since then we've been in a pretty good place. To be honest, he was pretty understanding with me even when I was umming and ahhing before then.

The only person I've told is my best friend, and though she said she was there for me, she didn't seem like she wanted to talk about it and even said she wouldn't know how to react if she found out either of her kids (20 and 17) were dating someone our age.

My 46th was a few weeks ago, and, in addition to doing things with my kids and friends, I had a private meal with my BF. I really enjoyed it, there were moments i thought, I've brought an 18 year old to my 46th birthday, people probably think he's my son. It just made me nervous that if I can't even completely quash the judgemental side, how could I hope my son can?

Thing is, my son didn't always get on with my boyfriend. It was teenage squabbles when they were at school together and by the end I think they were friendly enough, but I don't know if that's better or worse than if they had been close friends.

My boyfriend wants to have a 19th birthday party in the next three weeks, and wants me to come. I'm happy to be there but one, I'll be the oldest by about two and a half decades and two, I need to decide what to tell my son. Is this all a bit too crazy?

Thanks,
Ellen.
 

EllenL

New member
Hi,

I realise I started this thread over half a year ago, but, partly on your advice, I slowed things down. For a few months, the relationship was very casual, mostly because of me. I wasn't sure if this was the right thing for me to be doing and I am still married, even if I have been separated for nearly a year now (though I said divorce to my husband a few months ago, and he reluctantly agreed it was for the best).

In April/May, however, things became a little more steady and regular between my boyfriend and I and since then we've been in a pretty good place. To be honest, he was pretty understanding with me even when I was umming and ahhing before then.

The only person I've told is my best friend, and though she said she was there for me, she didn't seem like she wanted to talk about it and even said she wouldn't know how to react if she found out either of her kids (20 and 17) were dating someone our age.

My 46th was a few weeks ago, and, in addition to doing things with my kids and friends, I had a private meal with my BF. I really enjoyed it, there were moments i thought, I've brought an 18 year old to my 46th birthday, people probably think he's my son. It just made me nervous that if I can't even completely quash the judgemental side, how could I hope my son can?

Thing is, my son didn't always get on with my boyfriend. It was teenage squabbles when they were at school together and by the end I think they were friendly enough, but I don't know if that's better or worse than if they had been close friends.

My boyfriend wants to have a 19th birthday party in the next three weeks, and wants me to come. I'm happy to be there but one, I'll be the oldest by about two and a half decades and two, I need to decide what to tell my son. Is this all a bit too crazy?

Thanks,
Ellen.
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
Do not go to his birthday party. You do not want to be introduced as a girlfriend, you are still married, you definitely do not want to be introduced as his cougar. Wait until the divorce is final and then decide.

On a separate note, what are his plans? Does he want to go away to college? Is he working?

In my personal experience, with a slightly smaller age gap (21 years), I kept my relationship secret until my now husband and I were ready to live together. There is no need to put a new relationship through the grinder of public judgement, family arguments, criticism from friends, etc. Plus... again, you are still married.
 

Slow Worm

Member
Hi,

My 46th was a few weeks ago, and, in addition to doing things with my kids and friends, I had a private meal with my BF. I really enjoyed it, there were moments i thought, I've brought an 18 year old to my 46th birthday,

You had, straightforward fact.

people probably think he's my son.
They might, they would be wrong. Does it matter?


It just made me nervous that if I can't even completely quash the judgemental side, how could I hope my son can?

All intelligent people make lots of judgments or assessments every day. Do you really mean 'criticising' ? If so, for what? If you really think there is something wrong with your relationship due to your boyfriend's age, (and what?) why are you in the relationship? If you see nothing wrong with it why do you assume your son will? My own experience is exactly the opposite.

Thing is, my son didn't always get on with my boyfriend.
That can be a real problem, but it is not apparently linked to the age gap.

My boyfriend wants to have a 19th birthday party in the next three weeks, and wants me to come. I'm happy to be there but one, I'll be the oldest by about two and a half decades and two, I need to decide what to tell my son. Is this all a bit too crazy?

Staying away from your boyfriend's party does seem crazy, yes. Will anyone care that you are "the oldest by about two and a half decades"? If they do, will it be to criticise or the opposite? (As Shakespeare put it, "why, the fewer men the greater share of honour, no, wish for not one more").

For that matter, will you really be the oldest? Most such events I've been to have been attended by friends and relatives across the age range. E.g. I recently attended the 68th birthday party of an ex-girlfriend's ex-husband's widow where the ages ranged from into the 80's to a 3 year old. At about 2.00 a.m. the birthday girl had to take a break from dancing to check that some of the teenagers present got safely to bed, as they were the worse for wear. She was fine next morning but the worst casualty, her great-nephew's boyfriend, wasn't the same for three days.

SW
 

EllenL

New member
Hi,

Thanks again for the advice, and SW, I forgot to say I am British too.

SheLikesKitties, I take your point about still being married, but I feel it's already over, now its just the legal process of ratifying that, so I wouldn't delay anything with anyone else on the basis of that.

SW thanks for your comments, I think it's made me feel more confident about the situation. I should say that I will be the oldest at the party because its my boyfriend's friends. He is doing something with his family, but I wasn't sure about going because I haven't told them yet.

I suppose I just don't really know how to broach the subject with my family or his.

Thanks.
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
The way I broached it with my family when his living with me was coming up, and I had no other choice but tell (you cannot hide a 6 feet tall American indefinitely in a closet), was just to sit my family down and tell them. The immediate reaction from my mother was to disown me, but I told her that I had been a good daughter/mom/person all my life, responsible, no vices, self-sufficient, and that I deserved to be allowed improper behavior once in my life, that if she wanted to stop talking to me, I was willing to accept that.

After two hours of not talking to me, my mom called me and all was well.

My son and dad were outwardly ok.

My friends believed this was all for sex, and one thought there was a waiting list for "services" and told me she was next when I was done. That was 11 years ago. I guess she is still waiting. :D

So my advice to you is: just tell, and be ready for negative reactions, mockery, threats... and acceptance. Just be brave. And that is exactly why I advice telling the news as late as possible, to let the relationship develop and become what it will ultimately be, before subjecting it to destructive forces. If your love and resolution is strong, you will withstand earthquakes and tornadoes. Good luck. :)
 

EllenL

New member
Hi again,

I should perhaps apologise for not saying thanks before for you guys taking the time to give me advice. I did read it and take it on board. We told our kids that we had started divorce proceedings at the end of July (it went through a few weeks ago - so I'm officially divorced...) but, as part of telling them about that, I also told them about my boyfriend. My older kid (21) wasn't thrilled, I think she was annoyed I'd moved on, but I think she's calmed down quite a lot recently.

My son is another matter though. He said a lot of angry things, partly about me being too old to be seeing someone of his age and partly because I had to pick someone he knew and didn't like. As I said in a previous message, they got on now, but when they were younger they really didn't get on. My boyfriend actually made the effort to unconditionally apologise to my son for everything he'd ever done to upset him (stuff from years and years ago) but he's not avoiding both of us.

I don't know what to do. I'm seriously thinking about ending it, and I even wrote to my son asking him if that's what he wanted, but he didn't reply. I don't know if I should just wait for him to calm down and approach him in a few months time, but I can't help but feel I'm being selfish by continuing.

I realise this is different because this isn't just a case of someone not accepting an age gap relationship, he does have real reason to feel uncomfortable with this situation but I really do care a lot about my boyfriend. It's been over two years since we've known each other and he's really been patient with me and done everything I've asked

Thanks,
Ellen
 

Slow Worm

Member
He said a lot of angry things, partly about me being too old to be seeing someone of his age

Which is silly.

and partly because I had to pick someone he knew and didn't like.

Which is more serious, but by his age he must recognise that he cannot dictate his mother's choice of boyfriend, any more than you can dictate his.

he's not avoiding both of us.

Should that read 'now avoiding'?

SW
 

Magnolia

New member
My VYM and my son are friends. They are members of the same pack. It seems to me the pack doesn’t have any leader. My son is very active, friendly, very social, has sense of humor but he is the quite one in that pack. My VYM is loud, funny and has a talent to turn a tense situation into a lighter one with words. He is the de facto spokesman of the pack; however, my son is the representative of the pack. When they were in high school it was my son’s responsibility to talk to the school administration in situations required. But it was my VYM’s responsibility to arrange necessaries if the pack wanted to venture into unknown uncharted territory. They are good friends.

I wasn’t looking for a fling let along any relationship. . . I was still married to my ex. My VYM was there for me. Most of the times we were quite. . . Silent. We wouldn’t look at each other. When we had conversation it was I who did most of the talking. I opened myself to a young man who barely grew facial hair. I blame that to him. He listened to every single word I had spoken even the word I didn’t say. . . even my breathe. He can listen.

The only person I've told is my best friend, and though she said she was there for me, she didn't seem like she wanted to talk about it and even said she wouldn't know how to react if she found out either of her kids (20 and 17) were dating someone our age.

The only people knew about whatever we had (I can’t name the relationship we had at the time) were my younger sister and her daughter. My sister didn’t say anything and perhaps, didn’t want to talk about it but she was supportive by not saying anything repulsive. I and my VYM visited her home together. My sister treated as if two human guests are in her home. That’s about it. My niece, on the other hand, was very supportive. She even treated us as a couple and never brought up the age thing. Interestingly her personal point of view is age gap in a relationship shouldn’t be more than five years. I don’t know why we are exempt. It is good have supportive people especially family.

My son is another matter though. He said a lot of angry things, partly about me being too old to be seeing someone of his age and partly because I had to pick someone he knew and didn't like. As I said in a previous message, they got on now, but when they were younger they really didn't get on. My boyfriend actually made the effort to unconditionally apologise to my son for everything he'd ever done to upset him (stuff from years and years ago) but he's not avoiding both of us.

I didn’t use words to tell my son or my sister. I can’t talk about something like that. When I needed a job I couldn’t find anything. No one was interested to hire a middle aged woman who had zero experience. Despite my reservation, my father took the initiative to talk (request) to my cousin. My cousin is very rich. Her husband has both wealth and influence. They treated me very well. My cousin gave me a ride to her husband’s office in their expensive car and gave me ride home in a different car. That night I cried and prayed so Almighty wouldn’t put me in a situation like that. I felt like a beggar at my cousin’s office. I guess I am over sensitive.

I didn’t have the talk with my son. My son didn’t bring it up either. He talked to me when it was absolutely necessary. It was an uncomfortable situation. My VYM offered to talk to him but I asked him not to. I gave my son time and space. Honestly I didn’t know what to say. He came around. But relationship between my son and my VYM is not the same as before. They are still good friends but it is different now. Suddenly my son has become much more mature than before.

When I was my son’s age I didn’t know what MILF was. Probably I didn’t pay attention. I understand my son’s emotional state. May be his friends make crude jokes. . . May be people talk about me behind his back. I am afraid he has to listen to MILF jokes, locker room talk very uncomfortably. This is because his mother is married to his friend. I made things difficult for him.

I can’t blame my son if he starts to avoid me.

I don't know what to do. I'm seriously thinking about ending it, and I even wrote to my son asking him if that's what he wanted, but he didn't reply. I don't know if I should just wait for him to calm down and approach him in a few months time, but I can't help but feel I'm being selfish by continuing.

I sat down with myself. I had a very long conversation with myself. I was honest and open to myself. I didn’t hide anything from myself. I was avoiding myself. But I finally sat down with myself. My son is very important to me. I shall be always his mother even after my death. My ex-husband left me. He is now no one to me. My present husband can leave me. That’s what a lot of self appointed well wishers have told and are telling me. He can and I wouldn’t force him to stay if he wants to leave. But my son will be my son always. I don’t want to hurt him in any way. I’ve always put his needs before mine. I’ve sacrificed a lot of things for me and if situation arises I will sacrifice again. I want him to be happy always. His happiness is my happiness.
I think my son still having difficulties adjusting to this new scenario. But he accepted it. Although he didn’t say anything he showed his acceptance. He respected my decision. No matter what he is facing out there because of me he is not showing any anger or frustration.

I was being a selfish. I’ve found a man, very young man, who makes me happy. He is the type of man I wanted when I was younger. I’ve found him late. He makes me very comfortable. Even only his presence in the same room makes me happy. I’ve become selfish for my happiness. I believe my son knows it. I also believe he wants me to be happy.

I would’ve talked to my son if he hadn’t turned around. So I would have tried harder to show my emotional state (very difficult for me to express). Just like my VYM I need my son in my life. Fortunately, my son didn’t put me in a situation where I had to choose one.

I realise this is different because this isn't just a case of someone not accepting an age gap relationship, he does have real reason to feel uncomfortable with this situation but I really do care a lot about my boyfriend. It's been over two years since we've known each other and he's really been patient with me and done everything I've asked

Done everything I’ve asked

I think it is very rare to find a young man who is very patient while uncomfortable. Most young men burst into flame or leave when he finds himself in a tight corner. I think if a young man stays in that kind of circumstance he genuinely wants to have meaningful relationship. I wouldn’t let go a person who is showing this rare characteristic.

I understand you are in a very difficult place. Whatever path you decide won’t be a wrong path. We are middle aged women. We don’t make decisions carelessly. If you yourself are not happy (because of your son) you cannot make someone else happy. In my opinion a relationship is like a joint bank account. The currency is emotion. Both needs to make deposits so other can withdraw when it is necessary. If he is making all the deposits and you are only making withdrawals. . . I am afraid someday your check will bounce.

I wish you all the best.
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
I don't know what to do. I'm seriously thinking about ending it, and I even wrote to my son asking him if that's what he wanted, but he didn't reply. I don't know if I should just wait for him to calm down and approach him in a few months time, but I can't help but feel I'm being selfish by continuing.

If you are going to end it, end it for reasons that have to do with you, not with your son. Evaluate if this is a relationship that will survive his growing into a full adult, in 5 or 7 more years. Where does he see himself in 5 years? Does he want children? Will he want to move to another city or country? What about you? How much do you love him, could you fall in love again with someone more compatible? How will you handle finances?

If you decide to end it, do not tell your son it was on account of him. A child should not have that much power on a parent's romantic life. Maybe he will not like the next one, what would you do?

I just celebrated my 13th anniversary with my husband, 22 year gap, so these relationships can succeed, despite all odds, but only you can know if you both are up to it.
 

EllenL

New member
Slow Worm said:
Which is more serious, but by his age he must recognise that he cannot dictate his mother's choice of boyfriend, any more than you can dictate his.

I never thought of it that way, thanks for that but at the same time, if he said 'its me or your boyfriend', If i said I won't listen to ultimatums, isn't that effectively like telling my son I'm putting him second. It just feels selfish.

Slow Worm said:
Should that read 'now avoiding'?

Yes, thanks.


It just sounds like I need to be patient and give him time. Thanks everyone.
 

Slow Worm

Member
if he said 'its me or your boyfriend', If i said I won't listen to ultimatums, isn't that effectively like telling my son I'm putting him second. It just feels selfish.

If he demanded that you paint all your walls purple and lime green or he would leave home, would you feel that refusing to re-paint was being selfish and putting him second to your taste in decor? Or would you just think this was an unreasonable demand and that you would ignore it?

I suspect, looking back at your earlier posts, that you still have a vague idea that there is something inherently wrong with your relationship, which inclines you to think that your son in some way has right on his side. Assuming that your b/f is not actually currently conducting himself in ways which give your son rational grounds for offence, his objection to your relationship is really no more valid than his objecting to your choice of home decor.

Your strategy is quite right - give him time. But don't confuse the issue by feeling you are doing anything wrong.

SW
 

SummerBob

Super Moderator
Hi,

My 46th was a few weeks ago, and, in addition to doing things with my kids and friends, I had a private meal with my BF. I really enjoyed it, there were moments i thought, I've brought an 18 year old to my 46th birthday.

Ellen.

Lucky you! Sometimes I wish I had stayed single long enough to have done that (with a girl of course!).... but I digress....

If you've found love, however and wherever and with whomever, then more power to you. That's more than a lot of people can say. Don't let the naysayers and scandal mongers discourage you. They're the ones who are unhappy if they have to make an issue of it. You're not breaking the law, your're not doing anything wrong, and you both want to be with each other. That's what counts!

Good luck and happiness to both of you!
 
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