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Can't fully let go of his past "skeleton in the closet"

His Skeleton

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I am 38 now and he is 40. We've been together 2 years and living together 1 1/2 years. We each have a kid. Mine is 9, his 15. I knew fast that he was the one. He seem to have everything together. Very stable, financially, emotionally, ect. He's well respected among his job and friends. I didn't know him previously but I had a good friend that dated him for over 7 years. I trust her judgement fairly well. I am happy with him and trust him completely. I want to stay and make things work, even get married.


There's just one thing that I can't find a way to work through. It's causing me so much anguish still...after over a year of knowing and trying to let it go. He was open with me about most everything about his past and particulary with his child's mother from what I can tell, except one minor detail. After I was given keys to his place and practically staying there 24-7, after we became attached to each other and our little "family" it dawned on me one evening that I had never asked him how old his child's mom was when she had her. He told me 17. I feel like that's a relevant detail to make the full story make more sense. And it did make more sense after learning that. He was 25. Well, I felt like puking and couldn't look at him the same for quite a while. Then, he offered to talk to me about it. I didn't even know what to say so I just let him talk. Big mistake bc he downplayed and glossed over many details that I have since been informed of by his child. Such as 1) she was still 16 when she gave birth (so he stretched the truth by 2 months) 2) she was 15 when they met (and i'll never know when they first had sex) and 3) he was her manager at a restaurant. Of course he says he didn't know and all that jazz, but he knew full well she was in high school and frankly I feel like that makes him a disgusting sleeze bag. I don't think he's into young girls now or anything, but I have to live with the reminder every day of his disgusting past that he withheld from me bc his daughter likes to bring it up constantly about how young her mom is and was. I feel SICK, STILL!!! What can I do?? He seems too ashamed to really talk much about it. He gets mad at me and tells me I have to get over it.

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If you stay with him you have to come to terms with this teen mother thing. It sounds like moving in together at 6 mos in, you rushed into the relationship?


However it's clear you would do the math sooner or later, no? Are there other issues emerging besides this such as conflicts with the kids or blending family or the exes?


This is all he can do. He can't undo the past: "he offered to talk to me about it.He seems too ashamed to really talk much about it. He gets mad at me and tells me I have to get over it."

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I agree that I should have waited longer. That is such an out of character thing for me. I'm always slow and cautious. I just really felt that it was right. I honestly don't know, had he told me right away when we mad, that I would have continued to see him. I think it would have been a deal breaker. I wish he would have given me the chance to make that choice before he asked me to move in. I could have at least decided on my own terms what I wanted to do with the info.


There aren't any other major issues. It's not always smooth and easy blending families. We parent differently and I'm pretty controlling on that front, but nothing we haven't been able to work through and just accept about each other.


I wish I could find a way to come to terms. I carry this around and then it emerges in strange ways. Like sometimes when his daughter brings it up, I get upset and have to leave the room to hide it. Then I take it out on him when he doesn't even know what's wrong.


I wonder what others would do in my shoes? I don't want to tell my friends. Also I've considered going to therapy over it.

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It's getting close to 20 years ago. People say people don't change. I think they can that's a long time ago. I think if his actions don't show anything close to the past behavior then you have to let this go. If you cannot then you have to let this guy go.

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I feel like that makes him a disgusting sleeze bag. I don't think he's into young girls now or anything, but I have to live with the reminder every day of his disgusting past that he withheld from me bc his daughter likes to bring it up constantly about how young her mom is and was. I feel SICK, STILL!!! What can I do??


Based on what you wrote above, the answer that comes into mind is that there is nothing you can do. You can't change his past. If you can't move past it (and at this point it sounds like you can't) you are incompatible and you need to break up. You are entitled to your feelings but dragging this is toxic and a waste of time for both of you. If you want to stay and make things work then maybe it's time to seek professional counselling.

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If I had to guess, absolute best case, she looked or did herself up to look older, though would have undoubtedly looked questionably so, and he asked no questions and went for it. Growing up, my neighborhood had a lot of restaurants you could work under the table for without having to supply any real credentials particularly due to a lot of children being brought here undocumented with their parents. No idea if that could be the case here. It's a lot to assume and when you throw in the fact he was her manager and it's, at the very least, an extremely sleazy situation. Worse and more likely, it was knowingly statutory, and unfortunately we're not talking pocket change in terms of age difference between 15 and 25.


At the end of the day, though, as disgusting as it was, he is in fact correct in the sense that you either get over it or you don't. It was 15 years ago, so who knows... he could be a 100% legit, fully changed man. Up to you whether you want to assume he's the same sleaze bag or not.


Sorry you had to learn this later in the game, but you've also had an entire year to cope with it. It was probably a year too much time spent trying to mull it over. You know you can't. You know you're disgusted by your partner. Not a whole lot of people can blame you. How many more years do you want to spend cringing at the idea of sharing a bed with him? He can't change the past, and as much as I really don't want to catch myself defending someone who knocked up a 16 year old when he was 25, it's not fair to keep with him and hold something over him that he can't change.

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I think you should leave it alone. Laws were different perhaps then and if her parents accepted him, and he did marry her and do the right thing by the child - why make this an issue? maybe he was someone the family knew well. who knows. I am not for teens dating adults, but there is nothing you can do about the past. If he is a good father and good man, and this is the ONLY thing - then I would not give it another thought.


I think you moved in with him WAY too quickly anyhow. Why would you do that with a child of your own - move in with a guy you just met a few months ago and give them a dad figure and not even be engaged yet? That is the bigger question for me.

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I wanted to add - OR you break up because you can't deal with it and that's fine too. But if the daughter keeps bringing it up - that leads me to believe that she is uncomfortable with your relationship with her dad , like she is purposefully sabotaging it. That is the bigger story I think you should explore. If my dad moved in with someone in six months of meeting them, I'd really be hard on "the floozy" my dad's shacking up with (gradually introduced to family and dated a few years - then that's different) Yes, my mom and dad are happily married, but I am saying just "what if"

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I too wonder if his daughter keeps bringing this up because she knows it bugs you. 15 yr olds can be nasty and mean that way. She may not like you in her dad's life, maybe she is still at the point where she wants daddy all to herself. If you cant get over this then you will likely end up leaving him.

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I think the larger issue is you rushed into something with someone you didn't know that long, only to find out yeah that's a pretty big, nearly ending up on a sex offender list if the whole thing with his baby momma had gone southways, kind of deal.


The problem is you need to ask yourself why you rushed into this thing to begin with, why you moved in so fast, and now that you're finding out what is really there and who he really is, what you're going to do about it all.


Really, this sounds like your'e upset that the fantasy guy you thought he was isn't who you're finding him to be on a closer look. And why his daughter is bringing it up? Does she know it bothers you OR is she angry at her father about that or is something else going on, because that's just...weird.


Take a closer look at what your intuition is telling you.

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I came here because I needed to talk about this. Just to be able to get it off my chest, I think, may help. There have been a few helpful replies...Jman, particularly. Other's have come off as pretty judgemental , which makes me feel as though I must defend myself rather than focus on talking about it in a helpful manner. So, here we go, a few more details:


1) the baby was conceived when mom was 16. dad was 24. technically, in this state, that is not illegal. that doesn't make it any less disgusting to me, however. they both turned a year older within two months of the birth, which means that he knew her before she turned 16. i have no proof that he was sexually involved with her before then.


2) i do not have to take a look at the bigger picture and ask myself why I, as a mother, would move in with a man that quickly. I know why I did it. I am very cautious and over analytical type person so I can honestly say there was plenty of thought put into it and it was not purely impulsive. he is the same way.


3) I spent 6 years single, living alone with child and just dating. He spent 10 years single, living alone with child and dating. He has only ever allowed ONE other women in TEN years to meet his daughter. We both put our children before ourselves in making these types of decisions and both of our children were eager to all move in together as soon as we did. I think when you are nearly 40 year old parents who have spent years dating, you know what you are looking for and you know when you have found it. That means I was listening to my intuition. Which must have been pretty good considering I am overall very happy with him and want to continue the relationship. I met him on new years eve and I started staying at his place 6 months in while our children were away for the summer. Then, my child came back and I stayed with my son at our apartment during the week until my lease ran out at the end of August. So, I wasn't officially without my own apartment until Sept 1st and our children were begging us to just all move in together by then.


4) his daughter absolutely adores me, telling me often she wishes I were her mom. introducing me as her step mom and best friend to others. as a matter of fact, my biggest issue with her is how clingy she is to me to the point to where I can't get any "me" time when she's around. I can live with that though bc I love her as well. She has told me how devastated she'd be if I were to ever leave. As for why she brings up her moms age so much, I don't know but I know she doesn't do it to hurt me. I think she is just comparing herself to her mom at her age a lot of times. Other times, it's in reference to trying to understand why her mom is such a crappy mom. Who, by the way, has had numerous live in boyfriends over the years, and so has my sons father with women. We are NOT like them.


5) I refer to it as his "skeleton" bc he clearly didn't want to tell me her age and wasn't honest about it.


Now, can I get back to what IS the REAL issue here?


I will agree that I am extremely disappointed in finding this out about him. However, I did not have some "fantasy man" idea of him in my head. He was somewhat of a local celebrity back then. He wa sin a popular band that played around town and even toured regionally. So, I knew he'd had more than his fair share of women. I think a big reason he never brought woman around his daughter is bc most of them were more the party girl type. I accepted that. He also gave up the band when he became a father and tried to do the right thing by supporting her mother. It lasted 3 years. Honestly, that makes me even more disgusted bc I can't understand how a 25 year old can be in a serious, live together and raise family relationship with a 17 year old girl!! But, alas, apparently she had a troubled youth and was looking for a way out. Probably why she was out seducing 20+ year old men. Of course, according to him, she pursued him and he didn't seem to think it important to confirm her age.


J.man, you did bring up a good point: I recall him telling me this restaurant paid their employees under the table, so maybe there wasn't any documentation of her age. He told me she was hanging around an older crowd and so he didn't think much about how young she might have been.


He was in a committed 7 year relationship with a friend of mine whom is our age prior to getting mixed up with this young girl, so I know it wasn't a "thing" that he sought out young girls. I think he was just caught up in this rock star type lifestyle and was kind of just hooking up whenever a hot girl came 'a knockin. I can tell it must have been a difficult time for him bc he has a hard time talking about it. He seems ashamed but too proud to just say so. Instead he'll say that he got his daughter out of it so he doesn't regret it.


Anyway I must go for now. I really wanted to find out if anyone could help me find peace with this somehow with their input. Or, if someone could help me find another way to talk to talk him about it which might help me let it go and make it feel less confrontational for him. Or, maybe just reassurance that is ok to let it go bc it was so long ago. OR, maybe just opinions from others on whether or not they COULD let something like this go.


Thank you all.

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I would ask the doctor quite simply "why do you keep bringing up your mom's age. to me it makes me think that you mean..." or better yet, run it by your boyfriend first before approaching her. She is allowed to have an experience as a child of a teen mom that she is still trying to grapple with. if you "understand" why she says it - then why make it a deal?




2) i do not have to take a look at the bigger picture and ask myself why I, as a mother, would move in with a man that quickly. I know why I did it. I am very cautious and over analytical type person so I can honestly say there was plenty of thought put into it and it was not purely impulsive. he is the same way.


You can say this, but moving in with someone within 6 months of the first date is not anywhere near "cautious". that's pretty darn quick. I understand maybe because you were single for quite awhile you consider it not moving fast, but 6 months is the "just getting to know you" stage.


But now that you have been together, I think that you have to decide if you want to nail him to the wall in retrospect on this, even though you can see now how it could have happened, or you can let it go and see what kind of respectable man and father he has become.


I do think things have moved too quickly for his daughter and you and that maybe you need to take some space for yourself a little and go do things with your friends without her - but in a way she is craving an adult mother figure if she sort of "grew up" with her mom

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I have considered asking her if she could just not bring it up around me anymore. I have told her that her dad being with her mom when she was that age makes me very uncomfortable. It has nothing to do with HER or WHY, it is simply that I try so hard to push this all out of my mind but she forces me to think about it frequently. I don't really make it a deal, I keep it to myself. I just feel like I've suddenly been punched in the stomach and I have to leave the room. I hate thinking about it.


I think what I need to figure out is why it bothers me so much. Why I can't let it go? Maybe it's something more. Maybe it has to do with my feelings towards her mom. I do not like her much but I think there are certain things about her that I am jealous of. Maybe it's her perfectly youthful skin and the fact that they have a child together and he and I don't that amplifies this negativity. Maybe it's bc I have thoughts about us having a kid that is OURS together but feel that I am getting to old too have any more children. I don't know how all of these things could manifest into an obsession about her being a teenager when he was with her. Maybe it just simply makes me sick: an adult male being involved with someone that I view as still a child. Maybe it's bc I think of the older men that I was around at that age and I can't stand to think of him as a creep like they were. But he was. I feel so disgusted by the men willing to buy us teenage girls alcohol and drive us around. Back then I thought I was cool for getting their attention, but as I grew older I got so creeped out thinking of them guys. Maybe it's just that I feel betrayed bc he didn't tell me up front. Maybe it is all of that. I do not want to keep holding this against him, I just want to not think about it anymore and stop that horrible feeling that I get when I do.


I do really think I may need to talk to a counselor. I would prefer that he just allow me to talk about it with him until I feel like I'm done with the subject, but he's been clear that he's done discussing it. He gets so angry and defensive.


Anyway, I have always used 12 months as a guideline for how long it would take to know whether or not to make a big move in a relationship. Therefore, going by my own preset guidelines, I would have to agree 8 months is a bit soon. I always have known in the past within 3-4 months whether or not I was wasting my time with a man. I still had my own place that I went home to until 8 months. However, I did talk to family, friends, mull over it in my head, read books, articles ect ect before I decided for sure to give up my place at the end of my lease. i am ok with making that decision at 8 months. Most "professionals" say, according to my research, that once you get past the 4-6 months phase, you should know a person well enough to make a more long term decision so long as you are paying attention to everything. I do not feel regret about the 8 month mark and things are still the same between us. We still get along great, look forward to coming home to each other every day, love spending our time together, talk for hours, snuggle for hours....all the great things about being with someone that feels "right" I just need to find a way to let go of this one thing once and for all. I do feel like it was unfair for him to not be upfront about it though. And yes, I may have ran had he told me before I developed feelings.

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