Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Can we come out about our relationship without hurting everyone we love?

(50 Posts)
dreamingcity Tue 05-Apr-16 00:55:43

Since last year I have been romatically and sexually involved with my friends father. It sounds bad and I don't think this can ever come out into the open in a positive way but it really isn't so awful as it sounds. I am 24 and he is 43 his daughter was my best friend in high school and he divorced from his wife when we were about 16. It was never a good marriage as they only married because they got pregnant.

He got a flat in town and my friend would go up and weekends and sometimes I would tag a long. We liked it because it was in town where the excitement was and because her dad was nice.

Even when my friend moved away to uni and I attended a local uni I use to drop in on him now and again. When I started work I got a room in a shared flat in town near to where he was because the area was affordable and I saw him even more. If I wasn't going out or home for the weekend I would just go round to his and we'd get takeaway and watch a film or tv. It made me feel less lonely to spend time with him.

In the past year though things have changed between us we started spending more and more time together and last year after a few to many he kissed me. I should say we tried to cool it off but if I am honest we just fell into it. I did keep thinking we'd get it out our system but if anything it is getting more intense between us and I don't want to stop seeing him and I hate hiding it, I love him and he loves me.

I know we haven't met in the most conventional way but we are both adults so why should it be so wrong? I don't think it is but I know that being open about us would horrify my parents and upset my friend very much. She still lives in another part of the country but I still see her a few times a year the last time at christmas was really awful because I knew what I was hiding from her. He wants us to be open to but he is worried about how it will affect his daughter and his ex wife.

Is there anyway we can do this and not hurt people?

NotnowNigel Tue 05-Apr-16 01:02:34

I think your friend will be upset that you haven't told her as much as being freaked out that someone, and her friend, of the same age is seeing her dad. I think it would be better if her dad told her first.

Why will your parents be upset? If he is a nice man and you are happy and he treats you well I would think that they would accept it quite quickly?

... mmm not sure what to say about his concern for his EX wife?

One last thing, are you sure this relationship has longevity? It seems very convenient for him to have a lovely young lady enthralled to him. But while it's secret, it may not seem quite real (and therefore serious) to him. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it would be awful to go through an 'outing' for you to realise, actually, you're not that into him.

dreamingcity Tue 05-Apr-16 01:11:56

My parents are friendly with him, especially my Dad I think he wouldn't like it at all, at least not at first.

He and his ex wife had a very amicable divorce because it was what they both wanted and now they get on ok and are able to both be there for their daughter. His ex wife is now remarried and they are both much happier. He is just worried that she will see him as some dirty old man which he isn't at all.

I don't know if the relationship will last forever, I love him he loves me and we want the same things but I don't think it can last or grow if we keep sneaking around and hiding from people. At first we just thought we were having some fun so keeping quiet seemed best, why hurt anyone if they don't need to know but how we feel about each other has changed.

MsMommie Tue 05-Apr-16 01:13:35

Personally, I think it's messed up that a man who has watched you grow up with his own child (high school you were just a kid) can ever view you in a sexual way. Don't be shocked if others feel the same.
But hey, you love who you love.

dreamingcity Tue 05-Apr-16 01:16:40

MsMommie, I do see what you are saying and I would feel the same perhaps if this wasn't me. We spent a lot of time together after I was an adult so there was a lot of time for him to know me as I am now. I think at the start he felt like he was being a perv but he doesn't feel like that anymore as you say you love who you love.

MsMommie Tue 05-Apr-16 01:20:02

Well, you'll never know unless you try, but just be ready for the backlash because I'm guessing your dad will drop a bollock when he finds out.
You're an adult, you're responsible for yourself and ONLY yourself.
They're just gonna have to get over it.

dontcallmecis Tue 05-Apr-16 01:24:11

You want the same things? What, exactly?

dreamingcity Tue 05-Apr-16 01:30:24

Thank you Ms Mommie I just need prepare myself for the negative reaction and be prepared to wait out the bad times.

dontcallmecis we are both quiet laid back people who want a quiet life. I have never wanted children and I also have medical issues that make it almost impossible for me to have children naturally. That has been difficult for me with other men but he accepts this totally.

We both have many of the same interests in books, films and outlook, we both want to travel to the same places we cook together and laugh all the time.

houseeveryweekend Tue 05-Apr-16 01:41:00

Theres a similar age gap between my partner and I and ive never been happier. I just wanted to offer my support to you. I think it sounds like for whatever reason you do have strong feelings for each other and I know from personal experience that despite an age gap people can be very much in love and have lots in common. You are doing nothing wrong at all. Id just advise to wait a while before letting people know. I think because a lot of the time people are quite shocked about age gap relationships and theres the added thing in this case of it being a friends dad, that it can be a very difficult time when telling people and you do need to be secure in your relationship and very trusting in each other. Your friend and family at best are going to be a bit shocked but at worst may react with open hostility and you need to be prepared for that. His ex wife may act as though you are just part of a mid life crisis or similar. Your relationship needs to be in a stable place to get through all that. I think after a while people will just get used to it. At the end of the day as ive already said you've done nothing wrong and if your relationship is making you both happy that's the most important thing here. The mans daughter is an adult who doesn't live with him. His ex wife is remarried. You are an adult. Even though people may react with hostility, really you have done nothing to deserve that so just stay strong. Good luck to you!! xxxxx

houseeveryweekend Tue 05-Apr-16 01:49:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

houseeveryweekend Tue 05-Apr-16 01:51:08

argh sorry for double post xx

dreamingcity Tue 05-Apr-16 01:51:56

houseeveryweekend, thank you for your kind words and about your age gap relationship, its funny because that is what other people see but when your in one the age gap is pretty much irrelevent. It is good advice for us to wait for the right time to let others know. I am scared about the reaction but I am more excitied about my future with him so I know we can cope with it when it comes.

FredaMayor Tue 05-Apr-16 08:36:55

I think you are going to get quite a lot of negative reaction, OP, you have got/drifted into a relationship that has a kind of taboo in society. I think your friend may feel shocked and betrayed to find out that you are her father's lover. How prepared are you to handle that if it happens? You have a choice to end it, depending on who you care about most.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Tue 05-Apr-16 08:48:31

Initially, I was hmm, but...

I have two very dear friends, one the same age as the other's child. We were all pretty startled, but 7 years into the marriage we recognise that they're meant to be together. As with your relationship, children are neither possible or desired. Love's a funny thing, and there isn't enough of it about. Good luck and best wishes.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 05-Apr-16 08:50:38

If this is going to be a long term thing then I think you need to be open about it.
Is it long term?
Do you want kids?
Does he want to have kids with you if things progress?
He's not old but he's no spring chicken either.
If you both want the same things out of life and this has legs then I say go for it.
If it hasn't and you both want very different things at very different stages of your lives then keep quiet, enjoy it while it lasts and then move on.

mix56 Tue 05-Apr-16 09:03:58

If you father is appalled, he needs to reflect on the reality of a huge percentage of men with "mid life crisis", ditching their wives & taking a younger model. (I know this isn't your scenario) but the problem is this time, it's you, not just any other younger woman.
Your parents will think it is "incestuous"
You need to be prepared for ultimatums. Friend may refuse to see her father, xw may be angry as her daughters inheritance may take a detour
Your parents, will give you examples of when you are 50, he will be 70 etc. incapabilities, & illness.
I am not saying this is "right", just likely.

Are you are both certain that your relationship is stronger than all of your closest relations wrath ?

mix56 Tue 05-Apr-16 09:08:04

On the other hand, I have a family member who's daughter lives with a man of a similar age gap, I was surprised her Mother seems happy with it.

SfaOkaySuperFurryAnimals Tue 05-Apr-16 09:48:32

Its your life, you are both adults, you are both single, follow your heart life is too short. Your are doing nothing wrong, enjoy your life. But that's just my opinion..

EpoxyResin Tue 05-Apr-16 10:00:49

I'm sorry dreaming but the simple answer is no, you cannot come out about this without hurting everyone you love. If you expect them to be hurt I expect you're right, they very much will be.

Especially your friend. Her father is someone with whom she had a lifelong and blood-bond relationship, and rather than keeping a respectful distance and treating him as first and foremost someone who is somebody to her, he is now somebody very significant to you. I don't mean to be harsh, but she may (rightly or wrongly) feel her relationship with her father has been forever changed. I feel for her - she only has one dad. Lovers come and go.

Is there some reason you have to come out about this right now? I know you're excited but please think as long as possible about this. You may "love who you love" but you have a choice. You can choose whether or not you do this.

RiceCrispieTreats Tue 05-Apr-16 10:02:23

You met him in contexts when he was being a "parent" to his child and his child's friend. The fact that he chose to turn the relationship with you into a sexual one is predatory, as it was based on a completely imbalanced power dynamic.

But do live your life as you choose. And learn whatever lessons you eventually need to learn from it.

RiceCrispieTreats Tue 05-Apr-16 10:05:43

So it's not the age gap that's the issue, it's the fact that you were never on an equal footing. And that is not a sound basis for a relationship.

(There is a reason why there are internal rules about professors not dating their students, bosses not dating their subordinates... Because it's based on a skewed power play.)

HeddaGarbled Tue 05-Apr-16 10:11:31

I think that you are still very young and that you haven't been together all that long. It is quite possible that this relationship will run it's course. Do you really want to have created all that angst if you split up in 6 months time?

You were ripe for a relationship with an older father figure type because you were lonely in a new place and he was there and because your reproductive issues have made you think someone your own age won't want to be in a long term relationship with you.

My advice to you is to try to widen your social circle with your own age group, not necessarily to find a partner of your own age but to stop yourself becoming over reliant on this relationship and missing out on what should be the age at which you have fun, meet lots of people and find out who you really are.

mix56 Tue 05-Apr-16 10:21:24

Being 24 isn't all that clever !!!
I remember myself, & my daughter at that age........ light years from being intellectually mature !

EpoxyResin Tue 05-Apr-16 10:36:37

On the subject of naivety (I'm sorry dreaming, it sounds like I'm laying into you - I'm not, I've been there, I promise!) but I can't let this statement lie:

It was never a good marriage as they only married because they got pregnant

It takes a lot to go from dating, to living together, to walking down the isle, to signing the register, to sharing families, to raising children, to spend years together, I assure you there were in love. At least for a little while, at least a little bit, but probably an awful lot. It doesn't matter one jot in the context of your post but I think it's important.

The alternative is he married someone and feigned family life with them for a quarter of a lifetime, and that would be one ice cold bastard.

Kr1stina Tue 05-Apr-16 11:05:01

Some things stand out to me in your OP

When you were a student and your friend was in another town, you went round and spent evenings alone with her father . Why did you do this ? Most students are out all the time with their friends, even hanging out in each other's flats if they have no money .

Why didn't you do this and why were you lonely ?

Do your other freinds and colleagues know about this relationships and what do they say about it ? Have you met his freinds and colleagues ?

Do you and your partner have mutual friends , do you go out and socialise , have joint hobbies ? You say you like to travel - where have you been together ?

You say that your partner split up with his wife 8 years ago and you have been seeing him socially since you were at university , so I'm assuming that's about 6 years. During that time, did you both date other people ?

Are you exclusive ? Do you plan to live together ? how do you see your future together?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now