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I love my son and this is killing me

Posted May 06 2009 1:32pm

Dear Dr. Romance:

   I just read your article about younger men dating older women. I would like your take on a
situation and hope you will have time to reply. My son is a bright guy with a good job. he has lead a pretty uneventful sheltered life - he has 4 years of college has had 2 serious girlfriends - one short term one long term. He really has not had many " life experiences" He has always been hesitant to do new things.
      Now he met a women at work who is 14 years older, and has her masters and a good position in the company. To be honest without any other issues I would be wary but could probably get beyond
the age factor if they were good together. However she also comes with a divorce, followed by a
second marriage. Her second husband was bipolar and committed suicide. She has 2 grade-school age boys. They had only been dating a couple of months when he started " sleeping over" about 4 nights/week. I consider my self a pretty open minded person. ( he is one of 2 sons and my younger son has lived with a girlfriend which i was ok with) I don' t think I am "old fashioned" as he tells me! I have major problems with this relationship - first with all her life experiences how can they be on the same page. Second I have a huge problem in how she has been as a mother. How can anyone think it is possibly ok to bring around a guy to sleep over after what those kids have been through let alone someone his age. I have major concerns about her character and judgment. I love my son and this is killing me. Normally my mode with both boys is to stay out of their love lives. We have both aired our views on this to on another and have agreed to disagree. As imperfect as this is we have tried to maintain a relationship and leave her out of it. Its not working too well. My husband and I encouraged him to move in to his own place (which he did) as part of the growing up process and frankly so we didn' t have to be aware of all his comings and goings. We were glad he did not move in with her. I really think because he has always been " scared on new experiences - this is " safe " for him. Women his own age are still trying to figure life out and that to him is probably unsettling. This has been going on for a year. very unlike me - I have not been able to meet her for fear that I would scratch her eyeballs out! I have never written a letter like this - but I am beside myself. Thanks for the chance to vent and hopefully get your perspective Help!

Dr. Romance responds:

I certainly understand your concern, but your son is an adult by law, and he has the right to make
his own mistakes.  Rather than judge the lady he' s with, keep her close, so if there' s a problem,
you' ll see it.  Your son may learn a lot from this relationship, and as long as it' s caring and not
abusive, let them be.  If they had asked me, I would have advised them not to let her children
know they were sleeping together, but you should keep those opinions to yourself.  Read my
article, "What is a Dysfunctional Relationship" at  It should give you some clarity.
There are also articles on my site about dating as a single parent, which you might want to show
to your son.  But let the negative opinions be mine, not yours.  Don' t push either your son or his
love away.  You might also find some clarity by reading my book, It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of DysfunctionIEWY Cover

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