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Old 02-04-2008, 05:27 AM
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I broke up with her, but I'm feeling confused..

I'll try to keep this short, but I'll probably fail. I broke up with my girlfriend. We dated for about a year..

I met a woman last year. She was 39 at the time. She's 40 now. I'm 26 and I was 25 at the time. We met at a bar and she started talking to me. We had a very nice conversation and the next day I saw her again. We continued our conversation and We made out. Things were quite steamy. Later I heard from someone that her real age was 39. Oh well, I didn't really care. This wasn't going to be anything serious, I figured. She admitted she was 39. No big deal for me at that time. We met again the next week at her house. We made out again and had sex. What started as a casual fling between us spiraled out of control.

I had been in an age gap relationship before and I wasn't really looking for something similar again. The last time my parents were really pissed off about it. Unfortunately, yes, I still live at home. I can't afford my own place because I'm still studying.

We hooked up more often. And eventually we fell in love. My parents weren't suspecting much. I just told them I was visiting a friend all the time I went to see her, but I knew eventually I had to tell them. Me and my older lover decided we weren't going to be a secret forever. One day, we had to 'come out'. But that was something I wasn't exactly looking forward to. The last time, my mother especially, made sure that everytime I came home she'd play games with me.

She would hardly respond to things I say. She'd tell me that the woman I was dating was crazy and a pedophile. Basically, the atmosphere at home changed for the worse. It put a lot of stress on me, and eventually I broke up with her.

Back to where I was.. Before we knew it, we had a relationship. We called eachother almost every evening. And we saw eachother every week. We clicked really well. I really enjoyed being with her, and she really liked having me around. We slept in a hotel just for fun, we saw a lot of movies, we made love pretty much everytime we were with eachother. Sounds like the perfect relationship? Well..

She's got three children. Even though she's always been open about that I never really knew how to handle this issue. Eventually I saw 2 of her children accidentally when I was at her place. Normally I'd only be there if her kids were at her ex's place, but this time they stopped by for some chores. So I met her two sons (she has a daughter too but I've never seen her). Things went pretty good. They seemed to like me and they were sweet. However, they are quite young. The sons are 10 and 13. Her daughter is 4. I was wondering if they'd eventually see me, a young guy, as a substitute for their father. I wasn't even sure if they'd accept that or want that. I'm not even sure if that's what I want at this time in my life.

She always told me that they already have a father, so I wouldn't have to take care of those issues. But if I would have continued this relationship, maybe that's what they would've expected from me. Maybe that would make me feel really uncomfortable. I've been giving this a lot of thinking. And I still don't exactly know how I feel about this.

My friends knew I was seeing her, but they probably never knew how serious it was. Same goes for her. Some of her friends knew, but she wasn't exactly very open about it either. She told her mother and her brother. I told my parents and my younger sister (I've got another sister, but I've never told her). My parents started suspecting I was seeing someone, so they asked me about it. Normally I don't visit friends THAT often. So I told them. They took it quite well, the first evening at least. After about a week, the pressure started to come down on me. My mom threatened to walk away and my dad almost cried. I can't stand situations like these.

Right before I went to see my girlfriend for the last time, I told my parents I needed their car. They asked me where I was going. Once again, they were angry and upset. When I arrived at my girlfriend's place she could tell something was up. We had 'the talk'. I wasn't even sure about what I was doing. It was impulsive. This was the moment that would arrive eventually, we both believed. We just kept hoping for something better. We cried and cried and cried some more.

It wasn't just my parents, it wasn't just the fear of how people would react to the 'coming out' part. A part of me knew she really wanted to have someone who would really get to know her children as well. I just wasn't sure if I'm ready for that yet. I guess it was all of these things combined that led to me making a rash decision.

We had broken up before. Sometimes she broke up with me, sometimes I broke up with her. We broke up because of the same issues but kept coming back to eachother. But this time it was real.

So here I am, I feel like a mess. I'm the one who broke up with her. Yet, I feel jealous. I'm afraid she'll make out with someone else this weekend or pretty soon anyway. Even though I'm not sure if she will. I'm just afraid of losing her forever, and I'm not yet sure if that's what I want.

I'd love to go back to her, but on the other hand. Maybe later I'll feel a bit different about it. I'm not sure what to do. I'm really really really confused and I'm feeling down. A part of me believes, or at least hopes, that this will turn out to be right decision for the both of us. I really hope so. I hope eventually she's going to be happy with someone who does not have these doubts and worries. I think it's what she wants too. She told me that sometimes.

Yet, we do click, we get along great and we were always enjoying our time together. That's what makes this so difficult. I wish we had fights all the time. It'd make the breakup a lot easier, I think.

I think THE ISSUE right now for me is to work things out for myself. I want to find out what I want. Do I really really want her? That's the question. How do I figure this out? Has anyone solved something like this before? Maybe some people here have experience with this?

PS: Yes, I posted this at ageless too. I just found out there are forums specifically tailored to my problem. Wonderful
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2008, 06:26 AM
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Hi there. First of all, so sorry to hear about your breakup. I think it's completely normal that you are having second thoughts about your relationship--the combination of your parents disapproving and your own fears of becoming a father figure to your ex's kids is a lot of pressure!

Look, you're 26. You've lived enough to know that there are pros and cons to everything, so I won't lecture and I won't pretend that I know more about your life than you do. But it is clear that your ex is a "package deal"--loving her by definition means loving her kids, which is a part of her.

I'd like to explore your fears about being a father figure to them. You do know that even if you marry this woman down the road, you will never be replacing their biological father, right? Are you concerned about possible financial obligations to them? (If so, don't be.) And regardless of whether or not marriage is in the cards for you, you can always strive to be their friend and also a role model for them, like a friendly uncle who cares about them. Do you have any younger siblings or nephews and nieces?

Regarding your parents, this is your life and only you can choose how to live it. How much longer do you have left in your studies? I think you should seriously consider alternative living arrangements--if you can't afford a place of your own, either from part-time income and/or a school loan, you can try to find roommates to help bear the cost. It's a small price to pay for your independence.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Emzak View Post
Hi there. First of all, so sorry to hear about your breakup. I think it's completely normal that you are having second thoughts about your relationship--the combination of your parents disapproving and your own fears of becoming a father figure to your ex's kids is a lot of pressure!

Look, you're 26. You've lived enough to know that there are pros and cons to everything, so I won't lecture and I won't pretend that I know more about your life than you do. But it is clear that your ex is a "package deal"--loving her by definition means loving her kids, which is a part of her.

I'd like to explore your fears about being a father figure to them. You do know that even if you marry this woman down the road, you will never be replacing their biological father, right? Are you concerned about possible financial obligations to them? (If so, don't be.) And regardless of whether or not marriage is in the cards for you, you can always strive to be their friend and also a role model for them, like a friendly uncle who cares about them. Do you have any younger siblings or nephews and nieces?

Regarding your parents, this is your life and only you can choose how to live it. How much longer do you have left in your studies? I think you should seriously consider alternative living arrangements--if you can't afford a place of your own, either from part-time income and/or a school loan, you can try to find roommates to help bear the cost. It's a small price to pay for your independence.
Hi. Thanks for the reply. I'll try to answer everything as honest as I can..

Father figure: I don't think she'd want me to have any financial obligations at all. It's like you said it yourself. The children already have a father. He and my ex girlfriend are taking care financially of the children. I do believe however, were I to continue the relationship in the future, that sooner or later I'm going to have to try to become a father figure, or at the very least, a friend. I'd be perfectly okay with being a friend to them. It might actually be very rewarding. I don't think I'd like to act as their father, I'd probably just do my best to keep them out of harm's way. That's all. I don't feel I have the right to tell these children what to do and what not to do. Although I COULD give them my opinion.

Marriage: That's not been an issue at all. She already told me she'd never want to marry someone else again. Her divorce distorted her ideas about marriage. She says she'd rather not marry again. That's fine by me. I don't feel like I need to marry someone to be happy with someone. I know that people may feel different about this. But that's just my opinion. So this is not an issue.

Parents: I need to get out of this house as soon as financially possible. All else will probably work itself out from there. Period. I don't hate my parents, but I really do believe that, especially my mom, they don't deal very well with some issues. It's just not helping me.

Experience with children: I do have 'some' experience with children. But those kids were younger. To give you an example: I worked as an intern at a company and the boss's daughter was often around since the studio I worked in was inside his own house. Very cute kid. Only 2 years old. Didn't have much trouble hanging out with her. Then again. That's probably different when you deal with children a little older than that more often. They need more advice, help, let's-sit-down-for-a-moment-and-talk-talks, etc. I'm not sure if that's something for me.

Basically what it comes down to is that I think I made the decision to end the relationship because of the recurring thoughts, fears and issues. I think I did what's best for both of us in the end. At least, that's what I hope. I can't stand the thought of her seeing someone else. I don't even believe right now I'll ever love someone else. That does mean something.

But.. Even if we would continue the relationship? What if I get second thoughts again? I already had those before. "Is this really the right person for me?" / "Can I even know something like this at my age?" / "Do I want someone 14 years older, what if her health starts to fail and I'm still in good health?" / "What if I will find myself attracted to someone younger years down the road?"

I'm afraid that all this is included in the package that comes with an age gap relationship. I'm analytical enough as I am already. Dealing with an age gap relationship isn't exactly helping me calm down my chaotic mind. Then again.. I really do love her. This is hard..

But when someone on ageless's forums tells me this:
Quote:
your own question. You know in your heart, what you need to do for yourself and her..I think it's very honest and shows great maturity on your part, to do this. Because, IF you have these doubts now, it's best to end it. Perhaps, time away, to do some thinking and figure YOUR life out is what's best...I believe, NO relationship can survive with the thoughts you are having right now..The heart is a difficult thing to get past..Because, your mind is saying one thing..yet, the heart is saying something different. I believe you need to listen to your 'mind' right now..

Maybe, it's just me, but I feel you will only hurt her more by giving in to your heart, and getting back together..then, what??? the issues will still be there, and you will make each other miserable...and in the end, might end up hating one another..Right now, you love one another...Why not leave it at that? I was reading this book "breakups" and they say that to go 3 months with NO CONTACT...then, perhaps go revisit the relationship again..that would give both time to heal the heart, and yet perhaps be able to talk to one another..Wouldn't that just be really nice, IF a couple truly loves one another..and was FRIENDS first, and they can eventually talk again..I also have this belief, that IF it's meant to be..it will be...SO, I think you know what to do now...it's going to be really difficult, because once you're in a truly good relationship, you'll both miss that...they'll be a hold left inside of you..but, this is ALSO the time to be your strongest..listen to your HEAD..
Then I'm thinking I might have done the right thing. (Only to experience second thoughts about 10 minutes later )

Last edited by Twentysixer; 02-04-2008 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:42 AM
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fos4snt fos4snt is offline
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The children already have a father... I don't think I'd like to act as their father, I'd probably just do my best to keep them out of harm's way. That's all. I don't feel I have the right to tell these children what to do and what not to do. Although I COULD give them my opinion.
My husband, Litical, is 13.5 years younger then me and he IS a father "figure" but not my two older children's father. He does have influence over them (a great deal, actually) and it's a good thing as he is a good influence. As a part of this household, he does have authority to guide and direct them while they are here and I am very appreciative he does not have an issue with doing so... he just does what feels natural to him.

Quote:
Marriage: That's not been an issue at all. She already told me she'd never want to marry someone else again. Her divorce distorted her ideas about marriage. She says she'd rather not marry again.
I said the same thing after my divorce. Yet, I love Litical so much when HE wanted to get married and have a life together with me, I eventually changed my opinion when I realized how well we DO work together.

Quote:
Parents: I need to get out of this house as soon as financially possible. All else will probably work itself out from there. Period. I don't hate my parents, but I really do believe that, especially my mom, they don't deal very well with some issues. It's just not helping me.
Our parents didn't like our relationship at first, either, but after seeing how good we were together and TIME to prove ourselves and our commitment to each other, they came around - my folks love Litical now and his folks love me.

.... now, a 14 year age gap isn't a big deal. It really isn't. I think the bigger issues are definitely the kids, and that can be scary to anyone - but not insurmountable. As far as health goes, what if YOUR health starts to deteroriate? Seriously. My Uncle married a woman 15 years younger then him when he was 50. She passed away last year. You can't live your life on "What if's." You only have the here and now... one day at a time.

The question is, are you happier WITH her or without her? If you can't stand being without her, then the answer is easy... everything else will work itself out in due time. Live and love with all your heart in the here and now, because you don't know you even have a tomorrow. No one does.

~phos

PS. Litical is 22, I'm 36 - I have 2 kids, 12 and 7 and we have a baby daughter together.
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:20 AM
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The question is, are you happier WITH her or without her? If you can't stand being without her, then the answer is easy... everything else will work itself out in due time.
I really really hope so. I THINK I took the right approach by ending the relationship for now. Maybe we'll get back together later. But I just don't how I can see things in perspective when I'm in the middle of it all. Does anyone understand that?

I think I need to see things from a distance. I really hope I'm making the right decision.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:12 AM
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I really really hope so. I THINK I took the right approach by ending the relationship for now. Maybe we'll get back together later. But I just don't how I can see things in perspective when I'm in the middle of it all. Does anyone understand that?

I think I need to see things from a distance. I really hope I'm making the right decision.
Only time will tell you if you've made the right decision. It sounds like you needed to step back, look at it from a different perspective. There's nothing wrong with that.

From everything you've said, it sounds like there are just too many issues to contend with and you're just not really ready to face all the issues of being with someone who has children. Again, there's nothing wrong with it.

Give it some time...see how you feel in a month or two. You'll figure out what the right decision is eventually.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:11 AM
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Just so you know, when you get to be 40, it will seem like only yesterday that you were 26. People do change in their 20's and 30's, of course, but the time goes by very quickly. I'm 54, almost 55, and it seems like a short time ago that I was 25 and 35.

If you're not completely sure about everything, you did the right thing in stepping away. If the relationship is meant to be in the future, it will work out. Everything always works out exactly the way it's supposed to.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:48 PM
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Yes, if you are feeling more unsure than you are sure (I disagree with the Grande Dame that people can be COMPLETELY sure--or at least I personally cannot, being analytically-inclined like you ), then you did the right thing by walking away.

I can certainly understand why you would feel jealous, but you already know that you can't ask her to wait around for you while you try to figure out what you want. I think you're paralyzing yourself with so many "what if" questions. Nobody can tell the future, and the key to finding happiness is to be able to live life one day at a time.

Quote:
I do believe however, were I to continue the relationship in the future, that sooner or later I'm going to have to try to become a father figure, or at the very least, a friend. I'd be perfectly okay with being a friend to them. It might actually be very rewarding. I don't think I'd like to act as their father, I'd probably just do my best to keep them out of harm's way. That's all. I don't feel I have the right to tell these children what to do and what not to do. Although I COULD give them my opinion.
Just so you know, either for this woman or if you meet another older woman with kids down the road, it's perfectly fine to "just" be a friend to the kids. I am 30 and my stepkids are 16 and 13. I would never try to be a mother figure to them, and in many step-family situations, you're better off NOT trying to be a parental figure, lest they end up resenting you for it.

It's perfectly fine if you don't want to deal with a gf with kids, but just know that if you did, the situation is very manageable, especially since her kids are still little. It would be much more challenging if they were in their mid- to late-teens.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:53 PM
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Yes, if you are feeling more unsure than you are sure (I disagree with the Grande Dame that people can be COMPLETELY sure--or at least I personally cannot, being analytically-inclined like you ), then you did the right thing by walking away.

I can certainly understand why you would feel jealous, but you already know that you can't ask her to wait around for you while you try to figure out what you want. I think you're paralyzing yourself with so many "what if" questions. Nobody can tell the future, and the key to finding happiness is to be able to live life one day at a time.
Yeah these what if questions have been bothering me pretty much all my life so far. It really really sucks.

What do you guys feel about me sending her an email. I'd like to tell her about how I feel. I'm not planning on giving her false hope, I'll have to be clear about that. But I'd like to put my thoughts into an email. Maybe it'll clear things up for me and her.

Maybe that'll bring some more closure? I realize that closure isn't something that'll come after a week or so. But it often feels like some things are still unsaid. And my stomache keeps aching. I feel like I could've gone into detail about some subjects, and I feel like I haven't really done that yet.. What do you think?
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:17 PM
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My advice would be to NOT email her. You've said that you guys have broken up and gotten back together a lot previous to this one. What are you hoping to gain?

I'm sorry you're going through this, but I'll be honest... it doesn't sound like you're completely ready for a relationship at this point in time and an AGR at that. You were worried about other's reactions too much. Yeah, that's normal, but there comes a point where you just don't care what others think. You feel confident in your relationship and shout it from the rooftop.

Jealousy is normal, but why are you so worried that she could go make out with someone this weekend? That doesn't make sense. Stop making yourself nuts with scenarios that may never occur.

I think you did the right thing in stepping back, but you need to step back even more IMHO. Concentrate on yourself. Sometimes women just gum up the works.

Every one of us has felt like we would never love again after a break up. It's normal, but you don't know what the future holds.

Time heals a lot of wounds. And this woman may have just been an introduction to something bigger. She needs time to heal too. By sending her an email you're likely to rip off a scab that has just started to form.

Get yourself sorted out in every way (school, work, alternate living arrangements, hang with friends) and everything else will fall into place when it's supposed to.

First things first... try to get your own place. I don't know of any woman in her 30s-40s that would be jazzed about a guy living with mom and dad regardless if he's in school or not. You're trying to please your parents too much. Can you imagine the meddling if you marry? Don't use the "I'm a student" excuse. Plenty of full time college students live on their own. You just have to make it happen whether it be a roommate, a loan, etc. Many of us on this board were students and had our own place. You will be better because of it. Trust me.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:31 PM
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Only email her if she is asking for explanations or needs some added closure. Otherwise, do not email her. Second time he's gotten the advice to not email her and I'm going through it right now. I could deal with everything so much better if I just knew why. Its cruel not to give someone closure. So, if she is asking for further explanations....give them to her.

Shan
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:33 PM
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Only email her if she is asking for explanations or needs some added closure. Otherwise, do not email her. Second time he's gotten the advice to not email her and I'm going through it right now. I could deal with everything so much better if I just knew why. Its cruel not to give someone closure. So, if she is asking for further explanations....give them to her.

Shan
It IS cruel to not let someone know where their head is at.

He hasn't said if she's asking for answers though. Like you said, unless she's asking... don't do it.

I hope you're doing okay, Shan.
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