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Advice for a Moral Dilemna


lazarus70
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I met R when was 17 and I was 43. I was a teacher working at the school. She was a student at the school but was not in any of my classes. She reached out to me through an app called QuizUp, which is a trivia game that was popular at the time. It was December 2013. Over the course of six months, we became friends, maintaining an inappropriately close relationship for a teacher and student to have. I know that it was unethical but we never intended it to go any further. However, there was some physical contact during the last two weeks of school. After that, we agreed it was best to not pursue this relationship any further and remain friends. We fell in love with each other but understand that the consequences were disastrous. That was June 2014.

 

In September 2014 we said goodbye to each other as she left for college. We stayed in constant contact for the next few months. In December 2014 she returned for the holidays and our emotional affair became a full-blown love affair, although a secret one. I am married. I have a son. We kept our relationship discreet for the next 12 months.

 

My world exploded in January 2016. R and I had been in daily contact for two years. One of her cyber friends reported me to the principal because our relationship started when she was 17 (the age of consent in CA is 18). I was pressured to quit my 11 -year teaching career (for which I'd won awards). I was investigated by the police. R and I stayed in contact. She felt terrible for confiding in the wrong people. I felt terrible for betraying my wife. We had to move into my parents' house because my wife cannot work because our son has severe autism. He's 10. I have worked off and on but have been battling severe depression over losing my job and fearing for my son's future. My wife wants to work on the marriage.

 

I broke it off with R in March but we stayed in secret contact for the emotional support. She came home from college in May 2016. We finally saw each other in July 2016. It was secret. It was wrong. But we love each other. We've agreed to give each other space and work on repairing our lives. Her life is going well with school, work, friends and family.

 

My life...well, it's August and my wife, son, and I are still at my parents. The investigation was closed because told both the police and the DA that she doesn't want charges pressed against me because she loves me and she entered the relationship with open eyes. I confessed to seeing R last month. My wife and my mother are understandably furious at me for being dishonest and disrespectful. My wife still wants to work on the marriage in counseling. I have agreed even though my heart is not in it. I see no other option since my son is severely autistic and will need my daily care for the rest of my life. R wishes I would leave my wife for her but is not pressuring me. My wife wants me to cut off all contact with R forever. I have stopped communicating with her but I think about her all the time. My wife has said that if I begin a relationship with R that she will make sure R has no contact with our son even if that means limiting my custody to monitored visits. My mother has stated she will not support me or help me if I go back to R. The pressure all around me from friends and family is to work on the marriage, find a new career and leave the girl alone.

 

I am torn. The right thing to do is take care of my wife and son. I will do that for the rest of my life whether or not we are married. I am terrified of being aware from my son even though taking care of him takes an emotional toll on me. I adore him and would die for him. I am still severely depressed and sometimes suicidal because I miss my teaching career. I miss teaching so much. I'm more upset about losing my career than possibly ending my marriage. My credential might be revoked next month unless the teaching commission decides to merely suspend me or admonish me. Teaching was my calling and I ruined it. I never imagined having an affair with a young woman. Never. I never imagined having an affair, period. But I did. I hurt people and I'm paying the price now.

 

The only comfort I receive is thinking about R and our moments together, our conversations, our Christmas and Valentine's Day cards. We began planning a future together even though I was unsure the age gap would work between us. She's confident it would and she believes we have the strength to endure the ridicule and scorn. But then there's issue with my son. He needs me and will continue to live at home for the next 10-20 years unless his behaviors became unmanageable. Am I strong enough to raise an autistic son AND maintain an age-gap relationship after going through a divorce. Should I just leave this girl alone even though she has begged me not to give up on her?

 

I am unable to find a full-time job. I am either unqualified, overqualified or lack experience. I am ready to work at Wal-Mart. I have been dependent on the generosity of my parents for eight months and my self-esteem and confidence is little to none. I think about death every day as a way out of this mess but I cannot abandon my son. I cannot hurt my family or send the message to hundreds of former students that one should give up when facing difficult situations. But the truth is that while I love my spouse as a friend and the mother of our beautiful son, I am still in love with R. She's 19 now, turning 20 in two months. I am 45. Do I give her up? Is the relationship doomed because it began inappropriately and as a secret affair? Will it disgrace me? Most people do not know why I left teaching. Only close friends and family. Most students do not know and the ones who do are supportive of me teaching again.

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There is absolutely no chance that your relationship with this 20 year is going to work out. From what you have told us, she seems to be extremely immature and naïve. Does she know all of the hard work and necessary time and commitment that someone has to set aside to take care of an autistic child? Is she mentally ready to stick by you while you go through what is going to turn out to be a bitter divorce?

She is still very young and when she realizes the huge responsibility that she has accepted, she will leave you and go on to someone who is her age.

No one is saying that you need to be with your wife. You definitely need to sit her down and tell her that you are unhappy with the marriage and that your are not prepared for the counseling.

But running into the arms of this young woman will make everything absolutely worse.

She obviously has unresolved daddy issues that she's looking to you to fulfill and make better. The poor girl is the one who needs counseling.

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Boy you sure are and were thinking with the wrong head. What is wrong with you? You could be this girl's father and you have no business complicating her life the way you have. You've treated your wife and son and family terribly. You appear ashamed and so you should be. You need to stop seeing Miss 20 year old and get yourself some serious therapy and counselling to sort out why you did what you did. You have paid a very high price for your actions and I hope you can figure out how to redeem yourself.

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My opinion is that you need therapy of your own (whether you go ahead with marriage counselling or not). I say that because of the mention of suicide, you've lost a career that meant a lot, you're contemplating leaving your marriage risking your wife possibly limiting your access to your child if you go back to this relationship. Three very good reasons to be in therapy to help you work out what the hell you are doing.

 

The person in all this you should be considering first is your son. I understand somewhat the emotional pressure and stress of raising an autistic child but I could never fully understand it because I don't have an autistic child to care for and I'm a full grown woman with children. How do you think a 20 year old with little life or child raising experience could handle it?

 

If for example you do decide to leave your wife and set up with R and aside from the struggle you both will face with the opposition from your families and the general community what happens if in a few years she starts to resent the time you spend with your child... And if you both end up having kids together because more than likely she will want to have her own children eventually, how will she handle you spending time away from her child and giving your attention to your son (as you must because he needs you) ... What then? What do you think will happen when she realises she has missed doing what her friends have had the opportunities doing like travel, work opportunities, relationships perhaps even the loss of relationships with her friends and family. She doesn't know who she is yet. You've already lost a great deal how do you think you'll feel when she realises what's she has missed and leaves? Because the probability it very very high.

 

I'm not against age gap relationships I'm in one myself but the way your relationship began and her lack of worldly experience due to her age are the big factors here.

 

Don't you think you fell into this relationship because you were stressed and vulnerable because of factors that where going on in your marriage and the stress and responsibility you have for raising your son. You can forgive yourself for that... Get therapy work on yourself but I think continuing with any kind of relationship with R will do damage to her in the long run. Do you also want to end up destroying her as well?

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This girl wrecked your career. And because you can't let her go, you're allowing her to wreck your marriage and your family.

 

Where are your priorities here? No seriously? Your family should be more important than staying in touch with Miss Trouble college W*. It's really not that hard.

 

You need professional help.

Edited by Snny
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I'd speak with an attorney for legal advice on how to best get out of your marriage. Find out all of your options and the best tactics and strategies for each. This will enable you to make decisions about the important stuff. Ask him or her the impacts of taking up with a 20 year old girl during this time, and then you can consider the practical consequences of living out a fantasy.

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  • 4 years later...

Emotional Affairs or maybe better a better word is Emotional Connections but whatever you call it it can happen to anyone and it happened to me in my life. But the one thing that CANNOT happen is that it CANNOT go to a sexual level. Oh don't get me wrong having a sexual attraction to someone happens. But if you really care about someone that much younger than you. If you pursue that sexual route that means that you do not really care about that person.Because how can you care about someone when you know down the line that age gap is going to cause this person pain and heartache somewhere down the line. Now if your two consenting adults and you both just want to have fun no string attached.But if you have any feelings what so ever then do not pursue, Your post hit home because I had an emotional affair/connection with someone much younger than me and I made a lot of mistakes. But the ONE mistake I was NEVER going to make was to pursue any sexual relationship because if I did, That would have meant that I did not really care about her (Bye the way I apologize if I was harsh but this group helped me so in some small way I hope I am helping you or anyone who reads this or anything else I post) Have a great day!!

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You've been a foolish man and a terrible husband and father. What is wrong with your head that you would even look at a girl this young like you did? It was perverse, still is.

 

She could be your daughter.

 

You need serious therapy. A grown man shouldn't be lusting after a women who is this young. You need to ask some serious questions about yourself and why you've allowed yourself to degrade to this level thus ruining everything and anything that meant anything.

 

At the root of it all, it's not love. It's some serious emotional instability that you need help with. Stop obsessing. It's a sickness and was never anything good.

You've lost the plot and need to see it before you can get any kind of help.

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You're lucky you're not in jail.

 

Stay away from young girls, start doing everything possible to get your wife to forgive you and be the father your son deserves.

 

Is this some kind of midlife crisis? You do realize that you're damaging this young kid too, right? Young people don't emotionally mature fully till their early 20's. Right now she is confused and this will affect her for the rest of her life (and not in a good way). Leave her alone.

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