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!)

fuzzywuzzy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:22:06

Let her get on with it, she's 23.

Whale2Waif Tue 18-Jun-13 13:25:09

As I 23 year old I say let her get on with it.

Do you know anything else about this man, previous marriages, relationships with staff etc?

Porka Tue 18-Jun-13 13:26:37

I am sorry but she is a grown woman, at 23 she can decide for herself. Just let the relationship run its course. TBH it sounds like she is impressed by all the presents; if the supply dries up, she may lose interest. I would be more alarmed if I was the relative of the boss!

BeckAndCall Tue 18-Jun-13 13:29:00

I'm with you lavender - she's fallen for a line.

Does he have children - because they could stand to lose a lot in this too, so their reactions might be key.

All you can do is point out the maths - when she's 30 he'll be over 75. When he's 80 she'll be 34 etc.
However old you are, point out how old he'll be then......

And if he wants kids, there's. whole different set of maths to do then - if she has a baby at 25, he'll be 88 when the child leaves school


zippey Tue 18-Jun-13 13:29:16

You've brought her up to have a sensible head on her shoulders presumably, so let her make her own decision, be happy for her, and be there for her if any problems arise.

zippey Tue 18-Jun-13 13:30:29

Im sure she went to school and can do simple arithmatics. Its no ones business but her own.

flipchart Tue 18-Jun-13 13:33:13

As a mother I wouldn't be happy either.
All the responses saying she is an adult aren't helpful.
You still have feelings and worries about your kids.

Just be supportive as others have said. You're probably right it won't end well but she needs to find that out for herself.

defineme Tue 18-Jun-13 13:33:27

I'm sorry-I'd be appalled in this situation too. However, she's a grown women and entitled to make her own mistakes.

Just smile and nod if she talks about him, this is not worth losing your relationship with her over.

Timetoask Tue 18-Jun-13 13:33:28

In your shoes, I would do everything in my power to open her eyes and stop her from making a huge mistake.

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 13:42:35

I don't think you stop worrying about your DCs just because they reach adulthood.

I'd worry that she has had her head turned by material goods. I'd be wondering if there was a real attraction to the person, or if she were becoming a gold-digger.

Thistledew Tue 18-Jun-13 13:57:03

Provided that he is not actually being abusive to her, then I would deal with it by way of quiet amusement. Has she got any siblings who could not be discouraged from subject her to a little ribbing about it?

The only thing I would take seriously with her is to strongly encourage her to save up a couple of months rent, so that she has a bit of a cushion to find a new job after she inevitably has to leave this one.

Other than that, you could just point out how incredibly sweet it will be that one day she is quite likely to have both her children and her husband in nappies at the same time!

fuzzywuzzy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:57:10

The thing is, she is an adult and there is not a thing a worried mother can do without pushing her away and possibly slamming the door shut behind her.

Leave the lines of communications open and don't try to part them that will only throw them closer together.

There really is nothing to do but let her get on with living her life.

lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:57:51

Thank you everyone, it's the first time I've ever turned to a discussion board for help, advice and support. I absolutely agree - she's 23, old enough etc, but I'm still upset by it. I suspect it's a serial thing with him - you've all given me a perspective. But should I welcome him into the family/home as I do my 18 year old's BF? I have to say I'll find it hard

lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:59:33

thistledew, thank you especially, you too fuzzywuzzy

LEMisdisappointed Tue 18-Jun-13 14:02:51

what flipchart said - my DD is the same age and to me she is still very much my baby, im protective but you really really do have to stand back and let her do what she wants, i am very worried about my DD at the moment, she has issues with her DP and they may be splitting up - I can't seem to say right for wrong so have decided to say nothing at all, it hurts but you have to let them do for themselves.

Have you met this man? maybe he just has fallen for your DD and using his charm and buying her affections? no more sinister than that - its unconventional but not unheard of. I would definately go down the road of giving your "blessing" no matter how much it hurts, that way when it does all go to shit, she wont hold back from turning to you for advice and love.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 18-Jun-13 14:05:19

lavender - I would welcome him into the family home, regularly and with open arms.

Be friendly, steer the conversation to things that happened before your daughter was born - show her that he is of your generation, or older!, and maybe some of the gloss will fall off if she sees an old man sharing a bottle of wine with her parents.

With any luck the sleazy fucker will decide it is too much like hard work and dump her.

sugarplumfairy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:09:33

I have the same problem though the age difference isn't as great. My DD1 is 20 and her boyfriend is 35.

She currently is living about 1.5 hours away from home, and has met this man through work, though he is not her boss.

We haven't met him yet, they went on holiday a couple of months ago and they flew from the airport near us, my DD came into the house to say hello before flying, and he stayed in the car! Whenever we go to visit her, he keeps away.

We have said we are not comfortable with it, and we don't talk about him. She will say stuff about what they have done together, and I just smile and nod.

My DS has been doing what Thistledew has said, he has the nickname of JS in our house, and he posted some photos of this person on her face book page! That's teenage boys for you.

We are waiting for it to run it's course, she gets bought nice things, lots of meals out etc. I think (hope) she will get bored eventually.

I understand what you are going through and yes they are adults, but they are still your babies.

Thistledew Tue 18-Jun-13 14:09:44

I would perhaps have a serious conversation with her regarding the fact that early declarations of love and promises of marriage are a serious red flag in a relationship, and that it is important that she should not feel pressurised into giving up her lifestyle to fit his - for example, they should be able to socialise together as a couple with her friends just as much as his.

But try to make it about relationships in general, rather than his age.

Saying that you won't invite him to family events until they are in a serious relationship could be a way to lead into the red flags of a relationship getting serious quickly conversation.

This must be so upsetting for you OP. I do not understand this attitude of "they are an adult, so nothing to do with you'. So it's normal to have no opinion or input in your kids life once they are an adult? What a sad pov. I will worry about my kids until I take my final breath, and if I think they are making a huge mistake in their life then I'll tell them - that to me is love.

Re your daughter, I would totally spell out the obvious pitfalls here and how creepy this bloke appears to be.

lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 15:01:34

you're all so right - DD had to leave uni as she got really ill with ME, and is now so much better, but the whole family has been so close, because of this. It knocked her confidence so much, I guess he's played into this. I don't think she's a gold digger - we're just a normal hardworking family, but she's definitely swayed by the spoilies. He's a real charmer. And I know she's an adult, and we leave her to make her own decisions, but you're so right - we worry about her and love her so much

lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 15:03:32

We have a family party soon, my youngest's 18th. Should we ask him?

lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 15:11:19

PS I'm new to this - I though OP was Old Parent!!!!

showtunesgirl Tue 18-Jun-13 15:23:18

I don't think there is anything you can do.

I have a friend who met her partner when we were both 21 and her partner was in his 50s. They are still together now and have a 7 year old DS so you just can't tell.

cleoowen Tue 18-Jun-13 15:39:58

Your daughter sounds very superficial if,she's only with him for all material things. I would,have a chat about this and find out if she actually likes him for him or just for the money. I would then try and chat to her about what she is prepared to do for material objects and what kind of person this makes,her, would she truly be happy with that?

Otherwise you might,just have to chat to her as much as you can and tell her your worries but at 23 you can't make her stop.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 18-Jun-13 15:52:17

Cleo what a vile post

MarianForrester Tue 18-Jun-13 16:00:35

I totally understand your worries. But my advice is just to treat him as any other boyfriend, be pleasant and invite him to things. If she gets in her head theirs is a doomed love a no-one understands! then it will just drive her away from you and make the relationship more intense and her depend upon him more.

Hopefully, if you just seem lovely and supportive it will run its course without driving a wedge between you.

When I was a teenager I went out with a man for probably about two years longer than I would have done because of my parents' horrendous opposition to it and things were never the same between me and them.

lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 17:34:07

Once gain thank you. Listening to all your comments has helped me get perspective, and hopefully will help anyone else who stumbles on this thread. Cleo, I honestly don't think she's superficial, he's not flash, but really clever the way he kind of involves her in his life. She's just really stupid. Showtunes, thanks, and Marian, you are right, I know - it's just difficult, but as mothers we are the bigger people, right?

hesterton Tue 18-Jun-13 17:41:19

You shouldn't say she's stupid before you've even met him. See how he is with her, invite him to the party and if he's making her happy and is a good bloke, let them get on with it. It'll either work or not, but you'll still have her.

Of course your worried and concerned, I would be with my dd (Id actually be quite devestated) but the others are right, you must stand back, keeping the communication open.

On the other side, a very good friend of mines mother met her DH when she was 24 and he was 62, (she was the secretary, he was the boss) they were married for over 30 years and he was the love of her life. Shes been widowed for many years at a fairly young age and never met any one else, no one has ever been good enough after him. So it can work.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 18-Jun-13 18:00:26

Let her think you are giving him a chance.

That way, when it falls apart, she'll feel she can talk to you and ask you for yelp. If she thinks you disapprove, she won't be able too. Us 23 year olds are stubborn like that!

MarianForrester Tue 18-Jun-13 18:04:40

I think it's really difficult- and much easier to advise someone else.smile Good luck

iwantavuvezela Tue 18-Jun-13 18:07:19

My advice is what alibaba said earlier ...... I think that could take shine off things for your daughter, and he might also see the generational difference .

RustyBear Tue 18-Jun-13 18:08:42

Sugarplumfairy - you may be in for a long wait for your DD's relationship to 'run its course' - my mum was 20 when she met my Dad, 22 when she married him - he was 16 years older. Their marriage only ended after 51 amazingly happy years when my mum died. You just can't make assumptions about other people's relationships...

DontmindifIdo Tue 18-Jun-13 18:09:40

I think you should invite him along to the 18th, will it be full of extended family? Aunts and Uncles the same age or younger than him? Then lots of her and her brothers friends, all young and dating young people? It might help her see he's got nothing in common with them, but lots in common with the parents' generation, and him to see she's actually very young when seen with her contempories.

neontetra Tue 18-Jun-13 18:18:50

I have often wondered what I would do in this situation - I really feel for you, you will inevitably be concerned. I have nothing against age gaps in relationships per se, even large ones, but this is something else. Plus the power imbalance (work and financial) could be worrying. Is she just having a bit of fun, or does she see this as a long term commitment? If the former I'd be much less worried.
Certainly I would invite him over - he will be more embarassed than you, I assume, and you may feel better once you meet him, if he seems nice. If not, well, better to know what you are dealing with! Also out of respect for your dd I think you need to afford him the same courtesy that you would any other bf, whatever you privately feel! Good luck - I do feel for you!

msrisotto Tue 18-Jun-13 18:21:39

I don't have kids just to get that out there but....jesus, this is beyond the pale really! I can 100% understand why you are concerned to say the least. But yeah, she is 23 and will see sense sooner or later, you just have to hang on for the ride...Hopefully it won't last long enough for you to worry about him showing his face in your vicinity! If it does come up, I would avoid and put it off....

DoctorAnge Tue 18-Jun-13 18:23:03

Fucking hell.

She will soon get bored of that believe me!

lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 18:23:54

What a supportive group. Onestep, that's so reassuring. Hesterton, we have met him, had him here to supper - coffee, etc welcomed him - he is charming, but I did think it odd that her new boss was so keen to meet the family - I just wonder whether it's part of the gaining her confidence and acceptability, thing.
Don'tmind - that's a good point. I need to feel a bit stronger and resilient to what everyone will be thinking. I'm really not a prude, not a snob, not a pushy mother, but I celebrate all the 'positives' and support all the 'negatives' of my children, and this has really gutted me - I guess I just wanted her to share her life with a contemporary, learn about the ups and downs of life together, empathise with their aging bodies together (as DH and I do) and if they have children, for their children not to feel conscious of their very old father. Oh well. It's not my life.

pooka Tue 18-Jun-13 18:24:53

My great aunt was about 18 when she met my great uncle.

They were together for about 42 years until he died, aged in his nineties.

lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 18:25:44

DoctorAnge - that was my first reaction!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lavenderblue1 Tue 18-Jun-13 18:34:11

No - rumours abound in the town, though, and a friend in the village warned me. I told DD in no uncertain terms, but you really can't tell a 23 year old not to take the job she's always wanted......Hey ho.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 18-Jun-13 18:34:41

As the mum to a 23yr old DD myself I would feel exactly as you do but I would do my very best to welcome him into the family. They are going to meet enough opposition to their relationship so I would want to be a person they felt safe and happy around.

Mama1980 Tue 18-Jun-13 18:40:21

I can totally empathise, but I think all you can do is be supportive, which I'm sure you are. Welcome him, and yes I would invite him, let her see him as a near 'contemporary' of you, other relatives. Plus if you don't she could develop the star crossed lovers thing and cling more tightly to him.
And if he makes her happy.....I think you will tell a lot by seeing them together.

JRY44 Tue 18-Jun-13 18:43:20

Of course you don't like it, I know I wouldn't. But all you can do is smile, be there for her and be civil to him. Treat him as you would any boyfriend, invites to parties etc. she may soon get bored

kitbit Tue 18-Jun-13 18:45:22

Oh yes, friends close, enemies closer! Invite him and welcome him with open arms. Keep your feelings to yourself. Watch and wait. There may be fallout but equally there may be happiness in which case you have been 'supportive' all along.
You may, though, find yourself in a conversation on the topic of finding another job, since a clear conflict of interest on both sides makes working together difficult obviously...

Good luck op, hope your DD is ok

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sugarplumfairy Tue 18-Jun-13 19:41:02

I know RustyBear, my FIL is 18 years older than my MIL, and my BIL is 23 years older than his wife, so know it happens.

It's the fact she is so young, and should be out with other young people, not having expensive meals out and weekend trips away, which young people can't afford.

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.

noddyholder Wed 19-Jun-13 10:01:34

He must have serious issues to be even contemplating it. An ego the size of a house and a controlling nature.He sounds awful I would move heaven and earth to stop it

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 10:02:36

She must have a really low self-esteem. I presume her own father is probably younger than 69 confused I don't know what to suggest but I wish you the best sorting it out. What a disgusting old lech he must be.

Tell her that it's ALWAYS BETTER TO HAVE HER OWN MONEY. to be with somebody with money is to be their puppet.

DowntonTrout Wed 19-Jun-13 10:06:34

I still think it will be the reaction of her friends that might make her see sense.

Do you know any of them well enough to sound out about what they think? I still would be wary of interfering though and giving her the impression that it is them against the world. That can make for a very heady recipe for love.

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 10:11:48

Yes. What on EARTH must her friends think. I remember at 23 I went out with a man 5 years older than I was, he'd lived in Denmark and Spain and he really acted like he was my mentor. That seemed like a HUGE age gap at times and he was only five years older. I dumped him at 26 because he didn't seem to grasp that he was not my spiritual leader/mentor/advisor/boss. He was quite easy going in some ways but he just had that ingrained belief that he knew better.

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 10:12:57

do all her friends know? maybe she is giving them a different story.

Dackyduddles Wed 19-Jun-13 10:14:32

Is her dad alive? Just say something bland like "oh good dad will enjoy having someone his own age to talk to" or " great, dad was looking for advice from someone older on x"

I wouldn't rock the boat to much as yet. Her friends should do most of the hard work for you. Having dated a much older guy myself its no fun in the end once you start realising what people are saying.

I give it to January....

Owllady Wed 19-Jun-13 10:22:47

I am pretty liberal but I would be worried as well and I doubt very much i could keep quiet

My husband is a decade older than me but I really don't think that is the same at all!

Buying gifts and falling in love' with your secretary is seriously unethical as well. I wonder how manyt imes this has happened before> (I realise this is seriously judgemental)

SanityClause Wed 19-Jun-13 10:27:30

I do get that this is upsetting for you. I would be worried if it were my daughter.

But, don't do any of the things people have suggested to try to put her off him. She can do the maths. She knows what the disadvantages to the relationship are, as well as the advantages.

You need to welcome him into your family, as you would a younger man. It is so important to accept that you need to have an adult relationship with her, now.

And yes, definitely invite him to a family party. Even if he declines, the gesture is important.

dufflefluffle Wed 19-Jun-13 10:27:40

Of course it's not ideal but it may just run its course with your DD intact. I remember a wise and calm friend being distressed over her younger sisters inappropriate boyfriend - she hid her feelings because she wanted her sister to always feel that she had a refuge/sympathetic ear in her. I thought it was extremely generous and caring. Her sisters relationship eventually ran its course and she survived - at least partially because she had such a supportive sister.

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 10:28:37

older men are more likely to father sons with autism. (my own son has autism before anybody 'attacks' me for this comment. I have read several articles that make this link.

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 10:29:08

My point being, he might think he's Pablo Picasso or Charlie chaplin but back on planet earth mortals do age.

Haven't read whole thread but see many posters saying to leave her to it .... well, just know there's no way I'd do that. I'd definitely want to talk it over with my DD (She's 14 now and I'm hoping we can stay close and keep talking !) Wish my parents/ Mum had kept talking with me about the stuff that was going on for me, but after I left for college they pretty much left me to it !
I'd be discouraging the relationship as I don't think it's a positive one for her. And probably helping her look for a new job too.
I don't see why as a Mum you can't aim to be there for your daughter and help her with her life choices and challenges.

wonderingagain Wed 19-Jun-13 10:46:12

I think it's also a case of intervening now because if you don't, and she gets sucked into a dysfunctional relationship for years and years, you will never forgive yourself for not at least trying.

Another thing I was wondering, is she doing this to make a kind if statement to you about her independence? If so, you could also read it as her testing whether you will step in. Girls can be complicated, especially when there are dependence issues through illness.

She may also be scared of independence, hence the sugar daddy/ grandad. Perhaps she needs help to gain confidence in her own capabilities? Life is challenging for young people at the moment, high prices, low wages, pressure at work, medical issues on top of that will make her feel even more vulnerable.

AmberLeaf Wed 19-Jun-13 10:56:19

All these 'put her off' suggestions are just ridiculous.

She is an adult but still young enough to dig her heels in if she sees your blatant objections to her choice.

OP you say she has been in this job for 5 weeks, how long has she known him?

AmberLeaf Wed 19-Jun-13 10:57:46

I can imagine my response if my Mum had tried to 'intervene' in my life in this way when I was 23 yrs old!

23 is not 17.

I think it's quite sad if people feel that mother's can't talk to their 23 year old daughters about life. At least you can try !

lotsofcheese Wed 19-Jun-13 11:40:25

I think that the more the relationship is held up to public scrutiny, the less it will survive. So I'd be encouraging her to introduce him to her friends & invite him to the family event.

I think the "novelty" will wear off rather quickly!

mrsshackleton Wed 19-Jun-13 11:43:14

I think Madamecastafiore is spot on

Of course you're concerned, I'd be horrified. But it's very early days and it will probably run its course. I would say nothing for now, step in (lightly) if/when things get really serious.

I think it's easier to break things off sooner rather than later.
And I think she's really going to need to find a new job too.

lavenderblue1 Wed 19-Jun-13 11:53:48

Once again your support is totally overwhelming. Thank you everyone, it's been so helpful. This is the plan.
We do have a great and open relationship.
DH and I are going to talk about it calmly and openly with her, and with him, if necessary, as she is an adult, after all. She needs to know what we think, and the situation as we see it. Knowing him, he is definitely a lothario (great word lunatic), and I strongly suspect habitual. I know she won't see it, but we will explain that (we think!) he has bought her affections, even though he seems to be 'in love' with her atm. (and I'm sure he is, but I suspect it's short lived). We will (and will tell her ) continue to support her and be there for her and demonstrate that we love her just as much as our other girls. In her heart of hearts I think she knows it's not right - she hasn't told her sister, which is unusual. The 18th is in a months time, which is too soon to make a family statement, I think. There needs to be a degree of commitment before we take that step. If there is, then fine, we'll deal with it. If not, then that's so much better.
Amber, she's only known him for 5 weeks!
Wonderingagain - you're right about the being scared of independence, I think, and we do need to have the emotional abuse/dysfunctional relationship conversation, too.

SummersHere Wed 19-Jun-13 12:03:18

So she started a new job 5 weeks ago and now her new boss wants to make her partner, marry her and have children with her! Red flags all over the place regardless of this man's age.
Maybe you should just have a general chat with your dd about the importance of getting to know someone properly before embarking on a relationship with them and a bit of advice as to what a healthy relationship looks like wouldn't go amiss.
I disagree with the 'let her get on with it' advice. I ended up in an ea relationship at a young age due to my parents letting me get on with it for fear of pushing me away. I wish someone had said something to me and saved me wasting 9 years of my life.

wonderingagain Wed 19-Jun-13 12:12:17

That's great that you have decided to intervene, although more subtly than madamcastafiore suggested!

Perhaps you could get her to read the links at the front of the emotional abuse threads, he is following the absolutely most predictable pattern of an abuser - showering with gifts, falling head over heels, asserting dependence (at work). The next step may well be one may well be 'cutting off from close family' so brace yourself. Warn her about this, and they always act fast (at the beginning), so fast that the victim can't keep up.


And if as you say it may be an independence issue for her, there are thousands of posts here from women have succeeded very well on their own and threads where she might find some inspiration and support to go out and live an independent life successfully.

AmberLeaf Wed 19-Jun-13 12:24:55

The next step may well be one may well be 'cutting off from close family' so brace yourself

That is a very good reason not to help him do that [if that is his intention]

Just be there and be very careful about expressing disapproval.

lavenderblue1 Wed 19-Jun-13 12:36:22

Thankyou wonderingagain - I know nothing about emotionally abusive relationships, and that hadn't occurred to me but I think you may be right. Forewarned is forearmed.

lavenderblue1 Wed 19-Jun-13 12:42:49

And ...more alarm bells, the adorable 9 week old cocker spaniel puppy - he kind of plays too rough with her - not to hurt her, but encourages her to play rough and play bite (she's very bitey anyway, I guess because of her age). He said they need the aggressive side of their nature bringing out as well as the adorable - whats that all about? again, I know nothing about dogs - we have 2 gorgeous cats and lots of hens!

Be very careful about not expressing disapproval too !

Good luck !

MissStrawberry Wed 19-Jun-13 12:44:27

Just because he has said he wants to marry her doesn't mean it will happen or she will say yes.

I would be making very sure she wasn't taking advantage of his feelings as I am sure you wouldn't want her getting a name for herself that isn't pleasant.

Maybe she likes him and is happy to see how things go.

Plenty of unpleasant names available for his behaviour too Strawberry

Keep on believing in your "lovely dd" lavendar and help her navigate life's sometimes tricky and stormy waters.

GiveMumABreak Wed 19-Jun-13 12:54:15

I think know this relationship will run it's course...just make sure you & your DD's relationship stays intact, so you can be there for you when it doesn't work out. (do you think your dissapproval may be a bit of a turn on too? the thrill of the forbidden? gross)

MissStrawberry Wed 19-Jun-13 12:56:53

Ask on the dog topic on here but I would be hmm about needing to bring out aggression in a family pet!

EldritchCleavage Wed 19-Jun-13 13:06:20

It's not just about his age, there are lots of worrying things about this, so some relationship pointers not related to his age might make her think:

-a general conversation about red flags, moving too fast, asserting control;

-the need for her to keep up her own life with her friends and family alongside the relationship;

-it's important to recognise that the material things he provides are not a reason to have or stay in an otherwise unsatisfactory relationship, she shouldn't rely on them ^or feel beholden to him for them^;

-in any relationship she deerves to have her needs met too including have autonomy and a chance to grow as a person, decide who she is and what she wants, have good sex, make key decisions;

-she's got to think of herself and take responsibility re career progression, having savings to fall back on, training, learning to drive etc irrespective of the relationship she's in.

A friend of mine spent all her 20s and part of her 30s being completely boyfriend-dependent (always moved in with whoever it was, had no savings despite a good career, no pension, no flat). When her worried father asked her what she'd do if the latest one left her, she said 'Move in with Eldritch!' She thought this was hilarious, I didn't. She married that boyfriend, if he ever leaves her I don't know if she'd survive. It's an awfully risky pattern to get into.

QueenofallIsee Wed 19-Jun-13 13:06:35

I would focus initially on ensuring that your DD makes no rushed choices, significant comlmitments so early on in the relationship - not due to his age but because that is just not enough time to really know someone. I would also be careful around alienating your DD - at that age, I was very loath to admit when I was wrong and thus did not change course as quickly as I should of. Be clear that you disapprove without labouring the point

chicaguapa Wed 19-Jun-13 13:24:41

Eldritch That's a great post.

Owllady Wed 19-Jun-13 13:39:36

<offers sugarlump to Eldritch>smile

lavenderblue1 Wed 19-Jun-13 13:59:19

absolutely agree

Dededum Wed 19-Jun-13 14:10:13

Is he attractive, my dad is 70, fit, successful, powerful, rich and I could totally see how the right sort of 30/40 year old would go for him?m Maybe even a younger woman.

Think the message you should be giving is don't have children, I am too young to be a granny. Then it can fizzle out without any repercussions.

Take her on a treat family holiday where there is lots of eye candy and she can see what she is missing out on!

EldritchCleavage Wed 19-Jun-13 14:20:10

Sugar lump? Fruit pastille instead please!

wonderingagain Wed 19-Jun-13 21:30:17

I think the best way forward is to buy some of the books on the EA thread and give them to her, that way she can make her own mind up and she won't be able to blame you. Did you read some of the stuff on there - does it ring true?

Every young woman should learn to recognise a potential abuser.

you could show her this link.... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2343901/Fashion-Designer-Roberto-Cavalli-given-VERY-personal-hose-younger-girlfriend.html

Remotecontrolduck Thu 20-Jun-13 17:06:43

MY EYES smearedinfood shock

Is there NOTHING some people won't do for money?!?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 20-Jun-13 17:10:45

Fucking hell.

lavenderblue1 Thu 20-Jun-13 21:02:29

Thanks all,
In case anyones interested in this sordid awful thing that's happened to me and my family DD now engaged WTF I think it's what eldrich or wondering said - he knows we'll disapprove - we're an honest hardworking close family, and it'll drive a wedge. But we're going to be sensible, say it's not wise (the hell it is) and we're always there if when when it comes to grief. According to her BF the abuse has started. Crap. Suggestions for parent support groups anyone, other than fab mumsnet

paperlantern Thu 20-Jun-13 21:08:45

Sorry to hear that. Hold in there express your disapproval once, by all means try and pursue a relationship with her alone, but keep that relationship going. She will need you [hugs]

chicaguapa Thu 20-Jun-13 21:09:35

If his game plan is to drive a wedge and cut your DD off from her family, make sure that you don't show your disapproval and let that happen. Your poor DD and you too. sad

lavenderblue1 Thu 20-Jun-13 21:27:32

paperlantern and chicaguapa, thanks. It means a lot. It really isn't the age thing anymore - it's all the other red flags just looking for advice on how to handle future situations e.g when she turns up married. OMG. (BF meant to be best friend btw)

paperlantern Thu 20-Jun-13 21:31:16

Incidentally not all abusers separate you from your family. My EA ex recruited my mum to his side frequently, when I left there were still telling me perhaps I could work it out. Eventually they figured it out for themselves. I still resent my Mum for some of the things she inadvertently sided with my ex on (e.g. DS' name)

I disagree with not expressing disapproval. I was very dependent on my family for there thoughts, unfortunately no-one spotted my ex. Please do express concerns. it tell her that she will be belived when she gets the courage to leave. Don't let it be the predominate factor in your relationship. hence me saying once and carry on

chicaguapa Thu 20-Jun-13 22:14:44

But doesn't the DD need to feel she can confide in OP without feeling like she is going to be told 'I told you so'? I would have thought expressing valid concerns about the pace and lack of independence would be ok. But the DD would need to feel like OP is on the same side and not an enemy, to be able to maintain their close relationship and for the OP to keep a close eye on how things are progressing and be able to offer support when required. But agree it needs to be clear that the OP is specifically on the DD's side, not the man's.

lavenderblue1 Fri 21-Jun-13 07:11:08

thanks will do that both of you flowers

lavenderblue1 Fri 21-Jun-13 07:13:53

smeared - that is so gross. I will!

horsetowater Fri 21-Jun-13 11:13:03

You could buy her a book - "The Emotionally Abusive Relationship" by Beverley Engel.

or print out this and give it to her


You could tell her that someone else suggested that you give it to her, keep it neutral.

I agree that disapproving of him is not going to help, but you should insist on meeting him - both with her and alone. I think if he sees you and your family as a tower of strength he will know what he's messing with. Ask him lots of nosy but innocent questions to find out who he really is - remember there is a slim chance that is a good relationship - go into it assuming that he is normal.

If he is abusive you have to understand now that these people are hugely intelligent and extremely manipulative. They have lied all their lives just to get what they want - and what they want is to be the controller, the master. I think if it were me I would be prepared to risk a bustup with my daugher order to get her to understand what she is involved with. If he is abusive he will already know that you will want to disapprove, he will already know that he needs to move quickly before you get involved. If he is abusive he is stringing you along right now and that's part of the plan. To him, you are an obstacle to his dominance, he knows this exactly and it is the reason he is acting so quickly. He is manipulating everything around her in order to achieve control. sad

You have to get your daughter to see this without driving her away - somehow.

EldritchCleavage Fri 21-Jun-13 11:21:46

Oh hell, lavender, that is bad news. It's hard to know what to suggest except that the key message to your daughter is that you are always, unequivocally and forever on her side.

AdiosMuffinTop Fri 21-Jun-13 11:57:51

oh dear., lavender. I hope her friends can make her see sense.


horsetowater Fri 21-Jun-13 12:11:43

Perhaps talking to her friends would be a good idea, but you may have to teach them the signs of abusive relationships - most girls don't know what they are until it's too late and her friends may just be wowed by the engagement in the same way that she is.

AdiosMuffinTop Fri 21-Jun-13 13:17:47

yes, I know at that age I didn't really GET how somebody else's selfishness could make your life hell. I just didn't really feel that anybody else had that much impact on me or my strength or my power or my happiness confused The naivety of youth.

There are lists online, the signs of a healthy balanced relationship and the signs of a dysfunctional relationship

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Fri 21-Jun-13 13:30:00

Rubbish news Lavender. Keep making sure your DD knows you are there for her no matter what. Arm yourself with all of this good advice. Unmumnsnetty hugs for you.

horsetowater Fri 21-Jun-13 13:39:11

This might be helpful


Michigan University

horsetowater Fri 21-Jun-13 13:39:26
neontetra Fri 21-Jun-13 18:11:25

That is a helpful link, horsetowater.
OP, so.sorry to hear of the engagement; even age differences etc aside it seems so rushed. Remember tho that many engagements mercifully do not lead to marriages, and also that many marriages, mercifully, end.
All you can do now is support dd, and, above all, stay involved. Tell her you would love to meet her intended. Even throw them a little dinner party, if that helps. Thus, she stays on good terms with you, and if he does have plans to distance her from you, it is made harder. Also you get to see him in operation. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer...

neontetra Fri 21-Jun-13 18:20:28

Just re-read your last post more carefully - you mention abuse, and possible support for you regarding this. I've not worked in this area for a while, so others will have better suggestions, but I do know that Rape Crisis support those supporting abuse survivors (families, etc), as well as survivors themselves. The abuse can be current, not in the past, and does not have to be sexual. At the very least, your local Rape Crisis line should be able to point you towards appropriate support in your area. So sorry it has got to this point!

MusicalEndorphins Mon 15-Jul-13 03:15:55

If she wants to marry him, insist on a pre-nup in her favour. Have it draw up by a lawyer, (not his).
Does he have children already?

lavenderblue1 Thu 29-Aug-13 19:11:24

OK, lovely mumsnet friends; how life has developed. We met him, welcomed him to our family before we knew they were in a relationship. Then we found out he has previous sex offences - installed cameras in the loo in his upholstery business, was charged and convicted, and 2 other rumours involving school age girls. So to protect my family and visiting friends I banned him from my house and seeing my mum who is in a nursing home. Clearly DD not happy, but she is following a path I can't condone. She hardly ever answers the phone or replies to texts, rarely agrees to see me, despite me repeatedly telling her that we still love her, it's not about her, etc. Didn't come to her sisters 18th birthday party with the family and friends, not going to another family party - all very very unlike her. Believes that he is the best thing that has ever happened to her, 'treats her like a princess' etc etc. Oh and he lies -£ 8.4m in a bank account, (clearly not true) sony recording contract, plays guitar with the Berlin Philharmonic, was an airline pilot (but as he didn't like the food on long haul he took his own BBQ and BBQed steaks!!!!) going ti but her a fantastic house with paddocks, yet they live in the shop...and to cap it all she told me they're getting married on 7th Dec. WTF Have pretty much decided that we're not going to the wedding, will try and keep contact, love her to bits, and trying to deal with all the grief and those lost dreams.
what do you all think? confused

lavenderblue1 Thu 29-Aug-13 19:12:19

Oh, and locally, known as 'the pervert or W* Street'

tribpot Thu 29-Aug-13 19:16:22

God that is so dreadful. However, she is an adult and has to make her own (appalling) mistakes. She can survive this, but what a thing to put herself (and you all) through.

Hookedonclassics Mon 02-Sep-13 04:36:45

I'm very sorry to hear about the developments sad, your poor DD, she is throwing her life away on a dirty old man.

Sex offender, liar and fantasist. I really hope she does not get married to him or have a baby with him.

Would he old school friends be able to get her to see sense, most 23 year olds would be horrified if one of their peers hooked up with such a creep.

FondantNancy Mon 02-Sep-13 20:15:54

Oh my God, this is terrible. sad Sounds like he is completely controlling her and has probably come up with explanations for his previous offences.

I think all you can do is just continue to make her understand that you love her and are there for her, and keep the lines of communication open. I feel so bad for you, OP.

Good luck.

EldritchCleavage Wed 04-Sep-13 21:09:59

Oh dear. He's so awful, I think you are doing the right thing not to have him over. Some things are too dreadful to be condoned, and his convictions are grim.

Just keep talking to her (not necessarily about him) and wait it out. I am so very sorry though.

exoticfruits Wed 04-Sep-13 21:42:21

Gosh! I was going to reply and then saw it was old and my advice wouldn't have worked-then saw your devastating update.

It is a nightmare, but as FondantNancy says :

I think all you can do is just continue to make her understand that you love her and are there for her, and keep the lines of communication open.

She will need you later on-it is only a matter of time. Keep strong-some people just have to go through it and learn by their own mistakes-even though it is clear to almost everyone that it is a mistake.

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