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I can understand the frustration...

Posted by on Oct. 15, 2014 at 5:06 PM
  • 14 Replies
Okay so I'm going to apologize in advance because this is going to be a relatively long winded post and it requires quite a bit of background info. One of my girlfriends is 27. She has a son and a daughter that she has taken care of herself since they were born. Due to the way that relationship had ended up and very few failed attempts at relationships soon after that she chose to avoid dating entirely. It didn't bother her at all considering that the majority of her experiences with men were just terrible. But little by little she retreated into herself to the point that she was defined only as a mother and not as anything more which just isn't healthy.

We all devote ourselves to our children but we also need to be living for ourselves as well. Five months ago she met a guy. They became close and their relationship has progressively evolved into something more. She was able to tell him things she hadn't been able to tell anyone else. He made her see herself as more than just a mother, that she had her own worth too. They came to rely on each other and they have an amazing relationship. He's only 20. This is not an issue for them. Their relationship has never been defined by his age or hers and that works for them.

She takes care of her own children and has never asked him to fulfill any role with them, all shes ever asked that he do with the kids is be respectful and treat them with the same kindness he has her. They are seven and eight. She has a well paying job and works full time and is also working toward another degree. He is a college junior. He goes to classes during the week. She does not bother him during class times or when he has things that he needs to get done. His grades have been consistently good. They typically spend the weekends together. But this weekend something interesting happened.

During their weekend visit this week, his parents called him concerning some letters they had found in his room. These letters were between her and myself concerning her feelings and being confused etc. She had vented her frustrations and her negative feelings. They were from months ago and his parents had discovered these letters while looking for a pillowcase (really? -_-) Now I personally feel that those letters were none of their concern. They were his personal property and they had no right to read them, but they did. They also looked into his phone usage and saw that he does spend a good chunk of his time talking to her which should not be a concern as long as he is still doing what he is supposed to be doing. They insinuated that she was trying to trap him with a baby or elopement which is completely ridiculous. They also said that they "see no value in their relationship".This is all judgement being passed on someone that they've met for all of 30 minutes. They have put him into a position where he feels that he has to choose between his parents and the person he loves.

I feel that this is unfair to both he and her and both have asked me for advice on the situation. My opinion is that A) his parents overstepped their boundaries. Big time. They not only robbed him of his sense of privacy but they read through her personal thoughts which don't concern them at all. As far as his phone usage, as long as he is still doing well in school and attending all of his classes and still able to do as he wishes, how often or how long he chooses to talk to her should be no issue. B) He needs to address that issue with his parents, respectfully. Let them know that he appreciates their concern but that its his choice to love the person of his choosing and that he shouldnt feel that he needs to make a choice between that person and his family. Whether or not they see the value in the relationship is irrelevant because it isn't theirs. They aren't a part of it. So how could they see the value in that? My advice to them is that if you are the only ones that can decide if you a right for each other or that your relationship has value...and it does. Even I as an outsider see that but he doesn't want to make it seem like he's blowing his parents off. I explained that choosing not to choose between them is a choice but that it's wrong for his parents to try and emotionally blackmail him into walking away from someone he cares about. What do you guys think??

And I've thought about this from a parent perspective as well. It's our job as parents to prepare our children and equip them to make their own choices. And sometimes they may make a choice that we don't like or agree with but it needs to be their choice. If we try to control their choices or make them for them, how will they ever learn to stand on their own two feet and have the backbone to stand by those choices? I could never put my child in a position where they would feel like they had to choose between myself or someone else. And as long as the person they were with wasn't dangerous, involved in illegal activity, taking advantage of them, etc....that relationship between TWO ADULTS is none of my business..
by on Oct. 15, 2014 at 5:06 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Oct. 15, 2014 at 5:11 PM
1 mom liked this
Awe.. omg they could write a book on this! How old is your friend? he is only 20? But yes it does put a damper on things because she is a mother etc. But if that's who makes her happy then everyone else keep their nose out of the matter!
Imperfectangela
by New Member on Oct. 15, 2014 at 5:17 PM
I know right?! She is my age, she's 27
morgiefae
by on Oct. 15, 2014 at 5:24 PM

I do not have any advice. so here is a bump, and I hope that they make it through!

offrdngal
by Bronze Member on Oct. 15, 2014 at 5:25 PM
As two consenting adults, it is their choice. His parents stomped all over their boundaries. They invaded his privacy by going in his room (I'm guess that it was without his knowledge), snooping through his personal belongings, reading his letters and by going through his phone usage.
At 20 years, he does not need their permission, for anything. Regardless of whether or not he loves under their roof. His parents need to butt out and mind their own business.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Oct. 15, 2014 at 5:34 PM
I say she should go for it! But he shouldn't be letting his dreams fall because of her..

Quoting Imperfectangela: I know right?! She is my age, she's 27
Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Oct. 15, 2014 at 5:47 PM

From a parent's perspective, I wouldn't want my 20 year old son strapped down with a 27 year old woman with children either.  I have 22 year old twin boys.  So, I can say I woud not be happy if they were in this situation.  At 20 and in college, they need to be concentrating on their studies.  THAT is their future. That is what affects their entire lives!  

I would wonder why a 27 year old woman would want to be dating a 20 year old college boy.  I would also wonder the same thing if the genders were reversed.  I wouldn't want my 20 year old dd to be dating a 27 year old man with children either.

I am smart enough to know that my kids need to make a lot of their own decisions.  However, if they are living under MY roof and MY money is paying for their education, I'm going to have a lot to say about things until they finish their education and/or move out.

The young man you speak of apparently lives at home. No, his parents should not have gone through his things.  But, they did.  And, in doing so, discovered he is dating a 27 year old woman with children.  I can see where MOST parents would react the same way.  MOST would definitely have something to say about this particular situation.  And, MOST would try aall they could to end it.  This young man hasn't even been out on his own in the world yet.  He needs to get through college, establish a career and life of his own before hooking up with a woman who already has children.

Now, as a sister of a man who married a woman 17 years his senior, I am torn.  My brother loves his wife with all his heart.  And that love is very much reciprocated.  However, my family was NOT very accepting for a long time. At this point 12 years later, she is now a member of the family.  But, the difference here is, my brother was 35 when he met this woman.  He had already been through school.  He had already been out in the world, married, had kids and divorced.  So had she.  

So, you see, I can bypass the age thing under certain circumstances.  But, under the circumstances you posted, as a parent, I would raise a fuss, too.

Just being honest.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Oct. 15, 2014 at 5:52 PM
1 mom liked this

If they are living under MY roof and I am paying for the bills and their education, I most certainly have a LOT to say about what they do.  I don't believe in snooping in their room and going through their stuff, unless there is just cause.  Perhaps we aren't getting the WHOLE story here.  If a 20 year old person is out on their own, footing their own bills, no, they don't need anyone's permission for anything.  But, living under their parents' roof living off their parents' money, that comes with stipulations and consequences of actions.

Quoting offrdngal: As two consenting adults, it is their choice. His parents stomped all over their boundaries. They invaded his privacy by going in his room (I'm guess that it was without his knowledge), snooping through his personal belongings, reading his letters and by going through his phone usage. At 20 years, he does not need their permission, for anything. Regardless of whether or not he loves under their roof. His parents need to butt out and mind their own business.


offrdngal
by Bronze Member on Oct. 15, 2014 at 6:09 PM
A 20 year man..not child...dating a 27 year old woman (with OR without a child) is not a action that needs a consequence from a nosy mother and/or father.
If the role was reversed and it was a 2O year woman dating a 27 year old man (with OR without a child), I doubt this would even be a topic of conversation. Seven years is NOT a big age difference. Having a child should not be an issue. How would you feel if you or your son/daughter were judged, like this, for having a child?
As long as he is still in school and not failing, why does it matter? Why does the fact that she's 27 and mother matter. Would it be better if he was hanging out at frat parties, dating/sleeping with drunk, slutty girls that are younger than or the same age as him?
Nutball3
by Member on Oct. 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM
20 and 27 is not that large of an age gap. My dad and stepmom have a bigger difference and no one has ever said a thing.

His parents may be the overbearing, pushy type. Yes, they crossed a boundary. My worry would be how they are going to behave towards the relationship in the long run and if he is able to set appropriate boundaries with them.
Imperfectangela
by New Member on Oct. 15, 2014 at 7:41 PM
I appreciate your honesty :) I understand what you're saying. However, if he is maintaining his grades, socially active at school and still being responsible should it not be his choice to see the person of his choosing? As I said, she doesn't interfere with his schooling as she has already graduated with several degrees of her own. He has I believe a 3.7 gpa. And while I feel that parents should be able to voice their concerns I also feel that at 20 the final say should be his as long as he is keeping up his end of the bargain scholastically. Being in a relationship with her won't hinder his ability to have a life or career of his own. It's no different than a relationship with any other girl aside from seven years and two kids. I guess I can understand the initial negative response but without her negatively impacting him in some way it loses its relevance to me :/

Quoting Anonymous 2:

From a parent's perspective, I wouldn't want my 20 year old son strapped down with a 27 year old woman with children either.  I have 22 year old twin boys.  So, I can say I woud not be happy if they were in this situation.  At 20 and in college, they need to be concentrating on their studies.  THAT is their future. That is what affects their entire lives!  

I would wonder why a 27 year old woman would want to be dating a 20 year old college boy.  I would also wonder the same thing if the genders were reversed.  I wouldn't want my 20 year old dd to be dating a 27 year old man with children either.

I am smart enough to know that my kids need to make a lot of their own decisions.  However, if they are living under MY roof and MY money is paying for their education, I'm going to have a lot to say about things until they finish their education and/or move out.

The young man you speak of apparently lives at home. No, his parents should not have gone through his things.  But, they did.  And, in doing so, discovered he is dating a 27 year old woman with children.  I can see where MOST parents would react the same way.  MOST would definitely have something to say about this particular situation.  And, MOST would try aall they could to end it.  This young man hasn't even been out on his own in the world yet.  He needs to get through college, establish a career and life of his own before hooking up with a woman who already has children.

Now, as a sister of a man who married a woman 17 years his senior, I am torn.  My brother loves his wife with all his heart.  And that love is very much reciprocated.  However, my family was NOT very accepting for a long time. At this point 12 years later, she is now a member of the family.  But, the difference here is, my brother was 35 when he met this woman.  He had already been through school.  He had already been out in the world, married, had kids and divorced.  So had she.  

So, you see, I can bypass the age thing under certain circumstances.  But, under the circumstances you posted, as a parent, I would raise a fuss, too.

Just being honest.

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