DD in new relationship with 69 year old

(142 Posts)
lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:19:26

Devastated....lovely 23yr old daughter just announced that she is in a relationship with her 69 year old boss, sole owner, proprietor of the business. She's had the job for 5 weeks. Before this, he's promised to make her a partner in the firm, bought her an iPad (for work!?), given her a dress allowance for work, teaching her to dance tango, bought a 'shop puppy' and registered it in her name, now says he wants to marry her and have children. OMG want to cry, absolutely furious with him for manipulating her, and her for being so gullible. How do I manage this, maintain my relationship with her and give her a safe haven when it ends (of course, if!)

DontmindifIdo Tue 18-Jun-13 20:20:25

Is she an "old" 23 year old, and are her friends? Lots of discussing going to gigs and festivals - starting out careers, going travelling, etc, it might help highlight the vast difference in their life stages.

babyhmummy01 Tue 18-Jun-13 20:37:07

i married a man 23 years older than me, my mum made a HUGE issue out of it at first and unfortunately it made me ever more determined to make the relationship work. I was 26 he was 49 when we got together, admittedly I thought he was younger as he was the brother of a good friend of mine but I never realised there was such a big age gap between them, I thought he was only 40 ish. My mum's attitude made life very difficult and caused us to have a very strained relationship for most of the 6 years we were together. I know she was worried, but getting angry and preachy with me just made me more defiant and stopped me opening up to her when things went very wrong.

I left him last year.

I do get that you are concerned, but having been where your daughter is (admittedly with a smaller age gap) I can safely tell you that if you make a big deal out of it you will lose her. Your absolute best course of action is to say nothing negative, welcome into your home and wait for time to run its course. I know that isn't what you want to hear and goes against much of the advice above, but your choices boil down to the following;
1) Tell her how you feel and risk losing her
2) Support her decision and be there to pick up the pieces

VivaLeBeaver Tue 18-Jun-13 20:42:57

When I was 21 I met a man who was 15 years older than me. We've been married over 11 years now.

I know that age difference is smaller than for LavendarBlues dd, but its the same age difference as for SugarPlums dd. so don't assume it will fizzle out.

Be nice about him, don't comment on the age difference and see how it goes.

flipchart Tue 18-Jun-13 21:22:44

All those that are quoting their age differences are not hitting the spot at all. Most quoted are a decade and a half or so difference not half a century's!

That's two generations!

Xmasbaby11 Tue 18-Jun-13 21:23:39

I would be horrified too. Really hope it's just a fling. I'm not sure what you can do other than support her.

paperlantern Tue 18-Jun-13 21:31:57

Totally agree with what babyhmummy01 said.

I do think you should sit do and let her know your objections. But after that put it to on side acknowledge she's a grown up and entitled to make her own mistakes and successes in life and your be there for her whichever side this works out.

personally I would want to get to know him

DoctorAnge Tue 18-Jun-13 23:57:15

Lavender this will not last don't worry! I don't mean to be flippant but you both will laugh at this one day and she will think thank fuck I got out of that car crash...
Rest assured, I give it 3 months TOPS! Be patient...

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 19-Jun-13 00:26:05

flipchart - exactly!

RustyBear Wed 19-Jun-13 08:16:44

Flipchart- when I was writing about a 16 year difference, I was replying to Sugarplums...

DontmindifIdo Wed 19-Jun-13 09:14:27

thing is with people talking about 10 - 15 year age gaps, it's not the same thing at all, because a 23 year old with a 33 year old or a 38 year old, it's as shocking, because they are at similar life stages. She's out of full time education and working in a corporate environment, at DP in his mid to late 30s will be doing the same, albeit slightly higher up the career path. I have met men who are first time fathers who are in their late 20s and mid 40s, so there's a period in the middle like that where life stages can be very similar within a 10 - 20 year window. (Similarly, the same 10 year age gap when she was say 18 would be more of a worry as they'd be at a different stage if she was still in full time education.)

However, a 23 year old to a 69 year old is very different. This isn't someone who's just a bit further on in the same stage of life as the OP's DD, this is someone at the end of their career, past an age most people retire, this isn't someone who's just a bit older, this is someone who's old - bulk of their adult life over with. This isn't someone who's going to be doing similar things to the OP's DD.

IME when there's big age gaps (more than 20 years), the younger woman (and it's always that way round) doesn't keep the old man young, he makes her old early.

noddyholder Wed 19-Jun-13 09:16:08

He is near the end of his life and she is just starting her adult life and all the exciting things that brings. I know it is unpopular to say it but I think I would have a serious no holds barred talk to her about the real implications. He is buying her

doormat Wed 19-Jun-13 09:24:39

This is sickening...i wouldnt be happy....dirty old geezer

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 19-Jun-13 09:26:01

Dontmind - good post.

And whoever it was that said their friend had married a very much older man and been happy, but then been widowed early and never met anyone else so had spent/was spending a huge portion of their life alone. Would any of us really wish that for our children?
But even that age gap is 8 years smaller than the one that the OPs daughter has to her 'boyfriend'.

He must have a selfish streak ten miles wide to be trying to get a young woman to waste her best (and fertile) years with him. Don't tell me that that selfish streak won't manifest itself in other areas of their relationship.

DowntonTrout Wed 19-Jun-13 09:26:31

He is old enough to be her grandfather! It's nothing like a 15/20year age gap.

I would be horrified! But..... There is nothing you can do but sit tight, smile and nod, and wait to see what happens. It sounds like she is flattered. You know, when he turns 70, it might click in her head? That seems very old. Also her friends may play a big part in this, as they will no doubt have their views on it and maybe their reactions to him and the relationship will hold some sway with her, or at least start to put doubts in her mind.

Good luck!

LeGavrOrf Wed 19-Jun-13 09:32:36

I don't agree with those saying leave it, welcome him with open arms etc. I think there are serious red flags here. He is over 40 years older than her. And she may be an adult but she is a young one, who has had a serious illness so I would say more vulnerable than most 23 year olds.

If this was a friend I am sure most people would be open in expressing their doubts about someone who seemed to be trying to flash the cash, but ridiculosly extraavagant presents, express undying love so soon and as their boss to boot. All of these are red flags in a non-age gap relationship, let alone one with a (frankly) dirty old man and a girl two generations younger.

I am no opponent of age gap relationships - but agree 16, 25 years is a lot different to over 40 years.

If this was my dd I would do the same as a friend - gently ask her what she wants from life and does she not see how odd the situation is. There is something wrong with the bloke frankly. I would not be welcoming him to parties and swallowing my feelings. I would think it was my duty as a mother to express them.

DiskFix Wed 19-Jun-13 09:35:23

I would feel like you.

And the man could be getting Alzheimer in a couple of years (my dad was in his early 70s when he got it). How would she feel about that?

LeGavrOrf Wed 19-Jun-13 09:36:43

Look at all the things he has said after 5 weeks

Will be making her a partner in his business
Wants to marry her
Wants to have her children
Has bought her a dog (wtf?)
Gives her a dress allowance (dress nicely for papa)

And yet people are saying let her get on with it and invite him to family gatherings?

BIWI Wed 19-Jun-13 09:40:08

I would be alarmed about this too.

Is there any way you could talk to him, on his own, and make it clear that you are very concerned about your daughter? Try to cut through the charm offensive?

Do you know anything about his background/previous partners? I'd be wanting to know if there's any kind of pattern here as well.

But it is a difficult one, because obviously you don't want to force them together.

wonderingagain Wed 19-Jun-13 09:45:28

Lol OP / Old parent!

Please don't just leave her to make her mistakes. Give her solid advice and guidance, help her to recognise the red flags in abusive relationships, show her the links on the emotional abuse threads.

In the unlikely event that this is true selfless love, she will at least have that knowledge. Do invite him round, as much as possible, get yourself invited to his, ask lots of questions.

But don't just leave her to it, she is vulnerable and precious.

Ooooh yes invite him to the party and play music that will get him up dancing. From the 50s or whenever they would be.

Keep asking him if he is alright, if he needs to sit down, ask him if he'd like a cup of tea (old people have tea) and offer to get his good for him.

Talk about The Clangers and Dixin of Dick Green and what it was like to only have 3 channels and phones with dials on them.

Then as a grand finale show the episode of Sex in the City where KC's character shags am old bloke and nearly vomits seeing his saggy arse walking away from the bed

Ooohhhh give up your chair for him too!

Have you got a relative or friend who is that old who can reminisce with him too, warn then to talk about proper old stuff and prostate problems and get someone to offer round raspberries or nuts and then ask him if he should eat them? Saying they play havoc with dentures!!!

Sorry not trying to make a joke of it but would be a more sensible approach than saying something to her about your feelings about the age gap.

Remotecontrolduck Wed 19-Jun-13 09:58:41

This does sound quite bad I must admit, and I'm normally 100% for age gap relationships. I firmly believe it's how you both feel and things you have in common that matter, rather than a number. However, this does sound really, really weird.

Usually with adult children's relationships i'd say stay well out of it, but I think in this case you need to give her a talking to, and try make her realise that he is using money and power to seduce her. Make her think ahead to 5 years time, he's an old man! Can you rope some of her friends in, maybe she'd listen to them?

Hopefully it will fizzle out quickly when she comes to her senses. I feel awful for you though.

LeGavrOrf Wed 19-Jun-13 10:00:05

oh I don't know, knowing that people think he is a joke may make her more defiant and protective of him. Loves young dream and all that.

I think a mild but serious conversation about the fact that it is not just the age gap, but the other worrisome things which cause concern would be better.

Of course you can't stop her, but you can advise.

wonderingagain Wed 19-Jun-13 10:00:40

lol MadameC I am with you there. She needs to see him in perspective and drawing him in might work best.

Inviting him doesn't mean you have to approve, my guess is that he won't want to come anyway.

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