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I am a 58 Yr. Old Married Man seeing 28 Yr. Old Div Woman

by Doug

This is much more involved than I can write here, but I'll try to be as brief, but thorough as possible. I am 58 and met this girl (28) online 2 1/2 years ago when she was going through a tough time in her marriage (she had just kicked her husband out and filed for divorce). My marriage of 38 years hasn't been the best for a very long time, but we have managed to stay together (probably more as roommates) and make it work, and say that we love one another "in our own way". In short, our marriage is "comfortable". My wife has suggested marriage counseling in the past, but to be honest, I really had no desire to go, so we didn't. I haven't really been excited or happy in my marriage for a very long time, even though she is really a good woman in all aspects. I guess it has just become very routine and her sex drive has dwindled to nearly nothing. I retired 2 1/2 years ago and moved from up North to Fla. to stay with my divorced brother for a few months over the winter. That was back in Oct. 2009 and have made a few "visits" back home during the last 2+ years, but am still here. She has mentioned many times to me that this is no way for a married couple to be (and I agree), yet right after coming here, I met this girl who I have fallen deeply in love with (and the feeling is mutual for her also) and now I can't imagine my life without her. I have within the last few months told my wife about this, and while she is hurt and trying hard to understand it, she is still hopeful I will come back, but both of my kids (28 boy and 26 girl) now totally hate me, and have disowned me and don't want anything to do with me. This is more hurt than I can bare honestly, and i just want to be truly happy in a relationship (which this girl has made me) but at the same time I love my kids more than anything and don't want to live my life without them in it. I am not even 100% sure that if I did go back to my wife now, that they wouldn't still feel the same for putting her through all that. I'm sure this is some kind of midlife crisis I am going through, but am wondering if I shouldn't forsake what really makes me happy (this other woman) and give her up to try and make amends with my kids? I have put myself in a no win situation either way as whatever decision I make it will either hurt this other woman deeply, or my wife will be crushed and my kids continue to hate me. Ideally all I want is to continue to be happy as I have been for the last 2+ years and have my kids understand my need to live whatever time i may have left in true happiness, but it appears as though if I stay with this other woman, then I need to give up my kids. I'm just really depressed over it all and struggle every day with this decision. It's not healthy I know, but i just don't know where else to turn and the one thing I don't want to do is make the wrong decision as I know there will be no turning back on either side once I do.

Noel's response

It is a catch 22 and I understand your predicament.
Would it be helpful to you to change the perspective on your choices from making the 'right' or 'wrong' choice to either choice simply having consequences?

I understand the anguish of being estranged from your children, but as you say, they may not forgive you anyway. Although the may.

If you haven't done so, you might try writing them a letter (not an email), explaining in details, much as you have here, why you did what you did, and how much anguish it is causing you to be out of relationship with them. They may or may not respond, but at least you will have done what you can to explain things to them.

The desire for happiness is very strong in all human beings, which is one reason your country's constitution guarantees the right to pursuit of happiness.

One old, simple but fairly reliable way of weighing two decisions is to flip a coin, with heads being one decision, and tails the other. Flip the coin, and see how you feel about the result. If you feel depressed or saddened by the result, chances are it would be the less satisfying choice. If you feel happy with the result, it is probably the more satisfying choice.

And know that making any decision is more satisfying than making none.

Good luck.

Comments for I am a 58 Yr. Old Married Man seeing 28 Yr. Old Div Woman

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Mar 20, 2012
Comments from the Wife
by: Anonymous

I am the wife in this man's letter. We have a combined family of 3 adult children. I gave my husband a new life. We have been together 8 years. The child he is with is the same age as his son. He thought they got along so well and of course at 30 the sex was great. Now they have already had actual physical confrontations. He realizes now that when we seperated I was very depressed, my mom died and I was working and going to school full time. Now, he recognizes his mistake and I pray that God will help me forgive him. We are both over 50 and I don't want to start over. I know it will not be easy but with God's help I believe it can be done. Men don't realize the number of lives that are affected by their infidelity.

Mar 05, 2012
Dated an Older Man
by: Anonymous

After a very bad break up with my college boyfirend I started dating a man 20 years older than me. At the time it was very exciting and he treated me very well. However, problems started when I brought him around my 22 year old friends.
The age difference became a huge problem for me and we broke up.

When I think back on the relationship I had with him I regret it very much. Luckily, I did not stay in it to long and eventually met and married my husband who it the same age as me.

So I say to Michigan man. Rethink your decision. What you need it time away to think and grow. Don't throw away the relationship with your children to try to recapture your youth. This woman will leave you in time...

Feb 26, 2012
Michigan Man rebuttal
by: Realist

Michigan Man is trying to rationalize his own behavior and egging on poor Doug in Florida. DON'T give up your family for a fling with a younger woman who will probably ditch you the first time illness or other problems come your way. I'm not saying you might still have a few years with her as you are now only 58. But look ahead ... do you really think that one you hit the big 60 or 65 that a young woman is going to feel good about being with you, showing you off to her friends, and most importantly, PLANNING A FUTURE with you? You aren't being rational if you think she will. Michigan Man is in the same position. If you recognize this as a fling or a dalliance, that's OK (if you can live with yourself), but no young woman is going to stick around when you're sick, on SSI income, having sexual problems, your grown kids have issues, and on and on ... it's totally unfair to her as well. Enjoy it now, but know that you shouldn't risk your real life for this temporary fantasy.

Feb 23, 2012
Speaking from the Horses Mouth
by: Anonymous

Get real, there will come a time when you will not be able to make her happy sexually and she will ditch you. Stay with your family or you will regret.

Feb 20, 2012
I'm there right now
by: Michigan Man

Married 35 years, 3 children, 2 grandchildren. Have very strong feelings for a woman 39 years younger. I realize we can't be together, but I still want to be. I have suggested to Her to let me be her hero for a little while, as I know that's all the time I probably have. She's probably smarter than I am, as she told me she likes me but could not have a relationship with me. At this point we exchange letters(infrequently) and have been to lunch once, but She insists she can not have a relationship with me. My wife and children are unaware of my feelings for this young woman (who they know). I probably look pathetic to her, but I do care about her a great deal.

So my advice to the original writer, is to pursue the woman you desire. Your kids are never going to forgive you anyway, and even if they did, they will never let you forget it. Enjoy what time you have left, you paid your dues, raised your family and sounds like still take care of your wife. Everyone has a right to seek happiness.

Feb 20, 2012
She'll move on
by: Realist

I totally agree with the first response to this man's situation. I am a female, age 57, and had something somewhat similar in my past. When I was in my twenties, I was attracted to a man exactly 30 years older than me, who was at the time in his fifties (a VP at the place I was working). He was married, but I thought I was in love with him, and we carried on a mostly flirtatious relationship, going to lunch, riding home together, playing around etc. Nothing major ever happened. However, just before he was to retire, he came to me and said he'd always loved me, started kissing me, etc. I didn't really respond, other than to wish him well. He and his wife moved to another city to retire. He had a great relationship with his four daughters, 3 of which were a bit older than me, but basically, I was his daughters' ages. He had grandchildren at that point (his early 60s, and I was in my early 30s). All I can say is BOY am I glad that nothing ever materialized with that relationship. I would be with an 87 year old man now, yet I am only 57. It would have been a TOTAL disaster and most likely would not have lasted more than a few years. While I understand that this 28 year old woman makes you "happy", you have to realize what it is and enjoy it for what it's worth, a fling ... she will (note I say WILL) eventually move on. Why destroy your life with your grown children and your wife for this prolonged fling into feeling young and desired? You were at a bored, vulnerable time in your life, but I think it would be better to rekindle what you had with your wife ... you can fall back in love with her again. Despite what this 28-year old says, I highly doubt that she will stick around for much longer. Remember the Eagles song .... You Can't Hide those Lying Eyes ... remember, "And it breaks her heart to think her love is
Only given to a man with hands as cold as ice."
Harsh, but true. Sorry to be so blunt! But as I said, I was the newly divorced young girl on the other end of something like this 30 years ago, and I am SO VERY happy that I didn't act on it. I have enjoyed realtionships with several other men since that time that I would have missed.

Feb 20, 2012
later on
by: Anonymous

I would like to suggest that rather than flipping a coin to decide your future--that you use your own logical brain. Just because we feel a certain way, doesn't mean we should act on it. Feelings come and go, wax and wane. Sometimes, I feel like I would like to wallop someone, but I know rationally not to do it, as the consequences are not what I want.
Consequences are what I want to address here. Perhaps you need to take a more long-term perspective on this relationship. I'm sure being with a younger woman who is newly in love with you is exciting and flattering, but it doesn't change your age.
I know a man who left his wife for a younger woman when he was middle aged. He is now in his 80's and she is in her late 50's. He is miserable. He is incapable of meeting her still active sexual needs. He knows that she is must now devote what are still good years for her, to being his nursemaid and caretaker. He resents all of this and complains that she doesn't understand what it is like to be his age. He has also slowed down mentally. He obsesses about all this and their life is pretty miserable, now.

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