age gap

(5 Posts)
coatonarack Sat 09-Mar-13 17:56:28

My MIL ran off with a married man 20 years her senior. A week after his divorce they got married and had DH and brother. But she was only in her early 20s and I feel slightly nauseous still at the thought.

However, of course, MIL was widowed at 50. Why don't you explain to your DD that he might be the love of her life but if she wants a long and loving and lasting relationship, then someone younger might be more appropriate.

Harsh, but true.

BOF Thu 07-Mar-13 00:53:17

How have you seen the texts, exactly?

At her age, all you can do is be supportive and show an example of being a good man. You can give her advice, but you can't forbid her or prevent her making mistakes. Tell her your worries, by all means, but you have to be respectful of her autonomy too, and I think she will take a dim view if she feels spied upon.

imrunningoutoftime Thu 07-Mar-13 00:47:40

Gooddad, I'm so sorry to hear about your fears. I know exactly what you are going through as I am in a similar position but know that this has been happening for the past 9 months at least and also feeling completely helpless. My DD (just turned 18 last Friday) has been seeing a 48yo man for about the last 9 months (known him for a year). Since she started seeing him, I have tried everything, everyone and everywhere to get help, but basically everyone says that as she is 16/+ that she is old enough to make up her own mind. I have a couple more avenues to try which I will tell you about.

Please see my posting on 'MaryZ's support thread for parents of troubled teenagers - Part 2': I posted a long entry (!) on Sun 17 Feb 2013 at 23:01:57 - you can put 'MaryZ' into the 'Search' on Mumsnet. Also some of the replies that followed.

Since that posting I had a visit from the police (the PC daughter of my work colleague had passed on all my information to child protection); he was again very sympathetic and asked me a few questions. Basically he said that as she was 17 ....... blah, blah blah, - but did say that he would have a talk to her and to him if I wanted him to / if I felt that it would do any good. He said that he would explain to her that grooming can take many different forms and that it is not always just procuring children for selling on for sex.

I've talked to DD about grooming, I've printed out information for her on grooming and I've told her how everyone says that she is being groomed, but she won't accept that it is happening. I tell her that the whole of the rest of the world can't be wrong, but she just carries on and ignores it.

I told him (PC) that I had had one session with DD at Relate and felt that the counsellor completely understood my predicament even though I had to chose my words extremely carefully in front of DD (otherwise she would refuse to go again). As things stand she has agreed to go again. The PC said that he felt that it may be better coming from Relate (completely detached person) rather than the police, but said that at any stage over the next few months, even though she is now 18 he would talk to them both individually if I wanted. I am not sure, at this stage of her relationship, that DD will listen to anyone, and 48yo will just find it all very amusing and probably make him feel even more chuffed with himself than he already is. DD doesn't even listen when her few (two ?) friends say YUUUUUKKKKK. She has had people asking her if 48yo is her dad, but even that falls on deaf ears.

I am hoping that, after a few sessions at Relate, the counsellor asks DD for 48yo to attend. IMO there is no way he will do this and am hoping that that might open DD's eyes, as discussions will inevitably follow as to why he refuses to attend if, as he always tries to make out, it's a perfectly healthy relationship and he's doing nothing wrong. OTOH, if he does attend, he will have some pretty heavy questions to answer, which I know he won't be able to. So hoping either way, he will be exposed for what he is.

Also thinking about going to my local MP who apparently is quite proactive: (1) as a way of getting 48yo's father in the picture (he is a county councillor), and feel that a less direct route to getting him to hear what is going on is less invasive to him and he may be more on my side - not sure if he will be able to help at all, but at this stage anything is worth a try, and desperately need to know some background on this creep (2) I intend to highlight this situation and go all the way up with it if necessary because it is clearly so very very wrong - the law needs changing (the PC agreed with me on this). Apparently, so I have been told from teenagers that I have talked to on this subject, in the evenings in towns across the UK, particularly in nightclubs, there are a lot of predatory older men hanging around waiting to prey on younger girls: so what hope do our naive / less-savvy / vulnerable daughters have? It's really not fair on them and on us, as parents, who have nurtured them and brought them up with our deepest love and attention to their wellbeing for all of their lives.

I feel that I have quite a lot of evidence to show that he is grooming DD: he gives her loads of love and attention, but intersperses it with mocking her immaturity and belittling her / putting her down, as he did on his Valentines card to her which literally reads (not able to put the derogatory word in this post, but it was written in full on the card): 'She's a s**g, she knows it's true / She's pretty weird, but then I am too / Known her a year now and I've cherished the time / So lucky to have her as my Valentine / Love you so much every time we part / You hold my dreams, my hope, my light, my heart / Yours FOREVER. **** xXx' - completely charming and a very mixed message I would say. Another of his made-up poems (this one inside her 18th birthday card, 2 weeks later) shows how he mocks her / makes fun of her need for me: 'There once was a girl from ******* / Who was pretty to look at, but clumsy / She slipped on a slope / Wouldn't see the joke / Wanted to run home to mumsy'. On the same card, at the back, were two other poems which were telling her how much he loves her and that they will be together forever. So the ridicule + love technique again. She hasn't shown me these as they are upstairs in her bedroom (ones from family are downstairs), but I get the feeling that I am meant to see them and react - so definitely going to ignore it for now (have taken copies of them though).

I'm not sure, Gooddad, that any of this is of any use to you as you are not yet sure that your DD is in this situation. I also realise that I am painting a very black picture, and your situation may not be anywhere near as bad - so for that I am sorry. I can only say (but not advise that you to do the same) that I have got a lot of my information by stealth, although ATM I keep it close to my chest. IMO you do need to know the facts, otherwise you are left questioning everything and you will drive yourself mad wondering whether you are becoming paranoid or whether what you think is happening is really happening. I think the first thing that you need to do is to try to establish whether there is a deeper relationship going on. If you find that there is, then you can start to work out whether you can do anything / how to go about doing it.

There must be lots of other people who are in this hideous situation and wondering what best to do or who have been in/through it and can advise, but amazingly you are the first person I have come across. I would love to try to get everyone who has been / is there on board so that we can DO SOMETHING - although don't know what yet, but there has to be something.

I believe that my DD is well & truly rebelling: she is trying to separate from me. Maybe as it's always just been her & me (& she has always found friendships difficult to both make & sustain, resulting in even more 'her & me') this separation is much more difficult for her & so she has to go the extra mile. She is VERY strong-willed (the same as your daughter). When I completely broke down in front of her the other day and told her how immature her behaviour is showing her to be, she said that it feels just the opposite to her: that when she is with him she feels more grown-up.

Apparently (from looking at definitions of grooming on the internet), older men do like to get the parents on-board if at all possible, so that when any comments are made about the age difference, they can justify it by saying 'I've met the parents and they are fine about it'. 48yo tried it with me and mistook my lack of aggression as acceptance, after which he thought he was home & dry and he (pretty much immediately) went back on several things he had told me he would / wouldn't do. I expressed my utter disapproval which was when the war started between him and me. This is just my opinion, but if I could replay it (and I can only say this in hindsight after I have got to know how THIS 48yo operates), I would have gone in much sooner, much stronger and told him quite clearly, calmly but forcefully exactly what I thought about him and the situation - end of discussion - no beating about the bush; & I would have done the same with DD. May still have had no effect whatsoever though. Unfortunately DD's very much absent - physically / emotionally / financially - dad is & has been 'head in sand' throughout: trying to blame me for obviously being an inadequate parent. After 48yo's attempts to get me on board failed, 48yo (+ he coerced DD into the same) started working on her dad (who she really has v little true regard for). They met (the three of them for a meal that DD's dad paid for - about a month ago - he has known about this for several months); apparently 48yo said very little the whole evening. Texts between DD and her friend indicate that DD's dad and 48yo 'got on OK' !!! This after I have had hours of conversations with DD's dad about what 48yo & DD have been getting up to.

Please, Gooddad, let us know how you get on (I will do the same, and hopefully others in a similar position will join in as well). Having said that, I will keep my fingers crossed that yours is a false alarm or that it turns out to be a more transitional relationship than my DD seems to have.

frazzledbutcalm Fri 01-Mar-13 22:50:29

OMG! I'm sorry I can't offer any help ...
But that's awful. I have a 19 year old DS, I can imagine how I'd feel, I just think it's so wrong. Nothing others say will make me think otherwise.
I hope someone can help you further.

gooddad Fri 01-Mar-13 18:49:40

I really need help with this one... ive got a really bad feeling that my 18 year old daughter is in a relationship with a 45 year old man, ive seen texts and overheard conversations between them. im really concerned about this and dont know what to do. She is a young 18 year old and quite head strong, i have asked her what their relationship is and she has said that they are just friends, the txts say otherwise, she has also lied about where she has been and who she has spoken to on the phone when asked. please help as i just want to rip him apart.

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