Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My 46-Year-Old Mother is Dating a 22-Year-Old!”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I am 24-years-old my mother, who is now 46, divorced my father when I was 13, after years of dealing with his alcohol abuse, many physical altercations, and his refusing to take his medication or go to therapy for his bipolar disorder. My dad is currently serving time in prison. My mom has not dated anyone since they divorced.

I live on my own, about a 40 minute drive away from the rest of my family, but both my brothers, aged 13 and 18, still live with my mom. I was talking to my grandmother on the phone yesterday, and she told me that she found out my mom was seeing someone. I was initially happy for her, and excited that she met someone. Then my grandmother gave me the rest of the details: the guy my mom is dating is 22 and is moving in with her in less than a month. Apparently, she has been secretly dating this guy for months. She met him online, and they met for the first time in real life this September. She told my grandmother that she didn’t tell anyone because she said she knew we would judge her (damn straight!).

Anyway, I will admit that I did not react well. I wrestled with the age difference, and my Grandmother talked me down from my state of dumfounded shock. She told me my mom was old enough to make her own mistakes, and that we would talk about it more when I saw her in person on Thanksgiving. I said okay, and I hung up. But the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. Yes, the age difference bothers me, but not nearly as much as her inviting a guy whom my brothers have NEVER MET move in with them! I feel like she is disregarding her role as mother in favor of some new relationship that gives her a sense of value. I know my older brother can (and probably will) move out, and I have offered my couch to him in case he is uncomfortable staying with her. But what about my younger brother? He can’t go anywhere, and she clearly doesn’t care how he feels about this situation at all.

I’m not really sure what I’m asking here. All I know is my mind is overwhelmed and I am upset. I’m not sure how to approach Thanksgiving, since she still does not know that I know about her boyfriend. I know I can’t avoid the topic for very long, since he is moving in at the beginning of December. — Not Thankful about This!

93 comments… add one
  • avatar

    TECH November 23, 2011, 2:13 pm

    You know what, I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do. If I were in your shoes, I would calmly take my mom aside and explain to her that I’m very happy she’s found love in her life. I would tell her that while you’re a little startled at the age difference, you understand she has her own decisions to make and hope that this new man treats her with love and respect.
    I think if you start the conversation with that tone, she will hopefully not be on the defensive. Then I would transition into talking about your thirteen year old brother and your concern for his well-being. I would say that mom, “While it’s great and exciting that you’ve found this new love, I’m concerned about how my little brother will deal with living with a new man he’s never met before.” And then see what your mom says. Hopefully she will understand where you’re coming from. If she is still insisting on moving in with this man, unfortunately there’s not much you can do, but at least you’ve made your concerns known. She will learn eventually when the relationship comes crashing down on her.

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    • avatar

      cporoski November 23, 2011, 4:21 pm

      I totally agree. It sounds like everything you know is hearsay. I might be reading this wrong but it sounds like you have spoken to your grandmother and your brother but not your mom. Go into this without judgement and start asking questions. Like, why are they moving in so quickly. You need all the facts.

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  • thatswhat-she

    Meg November 23, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I agree with Tech- while the age difference is shocking, I think your best bet is to focus on your concern about an unknown man moving in with her and your brothers, and not on whether she should be dating guys younger than you. Show her that you’re not judging based on that fact, and she’s more likely to listen to logic as far as letting her boyfriend (the one, or a future one) get to know your family gradually, rather than hasty move-ins.

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny November 23, 2011, 2:28 pm

    First thought: Go mom!

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray November 23, 2011, 2:33 pm

      Yeah but have you SEEN a 22 year old lately? They are YOUNG LOOKING. College football players excluded, 22 year olds look like little itty bitty babies. I can’t imagine having a relationship with one of them at my age, 32, let alone at 46!

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 2:44 pm

        This, as discussed, is why this 23-year-old will be going for slightly older men from now on. But 24 year age difference? HELL NAW!

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        iseeshiny November 23, 2011, 2:56 pm

        True enough… but heck, she’s been single for eleven years, her youngest is going into high school and is about to despise everything about her anyway… maybe she sees this as finally doing something for herself for once. Once he moves in and she sees she’s still cooking and cleaning and washing his batman underoos the magic will wear off and she’ll kick him to the curb. I may be slightly more laid back about this kind of thing because of my relationship with my (incredibly irresponsible) mother, though. I think a girl who sees her mom as “disregarding her role as mother in favor of some new relationship that gives her a sense of value” just cause she’s having one (very) young man move in with her is probably not used to antics of my mother’s caliber.

        For the record, I, too, think the age gap is ridiculous. I go by this formula when calculating the acceptable age gaps: cause xkcd is awesome.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 3:02 pm

        Honestly, the mom dating someone 24 years her junior wouldn’t bother me that much if she wasn’t moving him into her home. Maybe if she’d be dating him a year and he’d been “vetted” by the family, but she just met this guy in person 2 months ago. If she wanted to be a good mother AND do something for herself, maybe she should date him without imposing him upon her young and impressionable son.

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      • avatar

        Sarah November 23, 2011, 3:06 pm

        EX-ACT-LY.

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      • avatar

        kali November 23, 2011, 6:17 pm

        As an older woman who’s been living in sin with a much younger man (I’m 56, he’s 30) for 12 years now, I gotta say this Mom may be erring by moving her young beau into her home at this early juncture. I had no men in my home; not even dates, until my daughters were on their own. I know not everyone will wait this long, but my daughters are far more important to me than anyone else and I wanted them to know they were my priority.

        In this case, I think LW’s anger is not going to allow her mother to hear her very valid arguments and if she can voice her objections and concerns calmly and without judgement, she may have a better chance at her desired outcome.

        I wish them all good luck.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny November 23, 2011, 3:28 pm

        You are completely entitled to that opinion. I don’t think it’s a great idea either – it’s a pretty crappy one, actually. I just don’t think that it makes her a bad mother. The boy is thirteen, not three. It’s not the mother writing in for advice, so we can’t tell her we think it’s a poor idea. It’s the daughter, and honestly, there’s nothing that she can or should do to stop this move. And, I hate to bring this up when I know it’s one of those topics that get people up in arms on this site – but what if it were the LW’s father who was moving his 22 year old girlfriend in with himself and his kids? It would suck and everyone would say it’s terrible, but I don’t think everyone would be so quick to throw up the creeper flags and start talking about background checks.

        So, barring unforeseen circumstances like the guy being a child molester or a thief or an ax murderer, I don’t see too much irrevocable harm to the kids coming out of this, except maybe on their opinion of their mother’s judgement. I really think the LW and her sibs should just deal with it. Mom clearly doesn’t want her or anyone else’s opinion. She is, indeed, old enough to make her own mistakes.

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        Jiggs November 23, 2011, 3:46 pm

        THANK YOU! I was going to say if this were the father very few people would be like WHAT A CREEPY WOMAN.

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      • avatar

        amber November 23, 2011, 4:03 pm

        i think besides the age difference what’s creepy is moving someone in with you and your kids after only dating a few months and meeting just two months ago. man or woman i would think that was a terrible idea.

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      • avatar

        Sarah November 23, 2011, 4:08 pm

        Maybe because over 96% of pedophiles are MEN not women. Over 70% are men under the age of 35, btw. I’m not even going to go into the statistics there are about how more likely it is for a man to be an abuser than a woman. Or the statistics about how likely a woman who has already been in an abusive relationship to get involved in another abusive relationship. These are statistics we all know. Or SHOULD know.

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      • avatar

        Sarah November 23, 2011, 4:09 pm

        And also it would still be really gross the other way around.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny November 23, 2011, 4:28 pm

        Not to pick nits, but 70% of pedophiles are under the age of 35? Really? More were born after 1975? Or do pedophiles die sooner?

        By all means, keep an eye out for hinky business of the Sandusky persuasion, but the fact that a 22 year old man wants to move in with a 46 year old woman who lives with her 13 year old son to me just says that he found someone who is willing to do his laundry in exchange for nookie.

        My mom, at 25, had her 20 year old boyfriend move in with herself and her 5 year old daughter (that’s me) after a year of exchanging letters and seeing each other face to face once a month for a weekend. She came from an abusive background (my biological father being only the latest, we were hiding from him for years and I’ve still never met him, nor do I want to). He left college in the middle of a semester to move in with us. Now, the age gap was not as extreme – she was one hot mama, in fact – but you know what? It worked out. 19 years later, they’re still together, and very, very happy. They’re still in love. And never once did he attempt to molest me. I call him Dad. We didn’t always get along, especially not once I was a teenager and a horrible human being for a few years, but he’s my father in every way that counts, despite the fact that he’s only 15 years older than I am. I moved in with my fiance after three months (against my mother’s stridently voiced advice), and four years later we’re still happy and going strong.

        Maybe I’m letting this get a little personal, and I shouldn’t, and I’m not saying that this is what’s going to happen to the LW’s family – I happen to think it will probably end once he finds someone his own age – but aside from keeping a weather eye out and having a chat with the little brother about grooming behaviors, I just don’t think everyone should be so quick to assume that he must be panting after the 13 year old. I know some seriously sexy 46 year olds, and I’m 24. It’s possible to be attracted to someone that much older, yes, and love them too.

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      • JK

        JK November 23, 2011, 4:39 pm

        Sorry, but your story (nice as it is) has nothing to do with LW´s one, the age difference is a lot bigger, they haven´t known each other as long, the age difference between BF and kids is a lot smaller (LW is even older than he is).
        I wouldn´t want to say for sure pedophile, but I think something strange is definitely up, and LW is right in wanting to help her brothers.

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      • avatar

        Sarah November 23, 2011, 4:54 pm

        70% of pedophiles are under the age of 35 when they start abusing. Sorry if I said that wrong. They will continue into their old age, they don’t stop at 35.

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        iseeshiny November 23, 2011, 5:04 pm

        @JK: Really? Why don’t you re-read the reasons stated below for suspecting this guy is a child molester.

        And seriously, unless LW truly believes her brother is in actual danger from this guy, she needs to butt out. Her mother is a grown woman, and the fact that LW is a grown woman too still doesn’t give her the right to tell her mom who she can and can’t live with.

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        iseeshiny November 23, 2011, 5:05 pm

        @Sarah, about statistics: Sorry, it was an unnecessary comment and catty on my part, anyway. I kind of figured that’s what you meant after I’d given it some thought.

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      • avatar

        LSS86 November 23, 2011, 4:05 pm

        I think everyone would be just as quick to call the creeper flag if it were a 46 year old man inviting his 22 year old girlfriend to come live with him and his 13 year old child.

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      • avatar

        LSS86 November 23, 2011, 4:18 pm

        Edit: probably not that the girl was a creeper, but you can bet people would be saying the father was an inappropriate creeper.

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      • Amybelle

        Amybelle November 23, 2011, 5:40 pm

        Many of the people who are so appalled at the age difference were just fine with the 21 year old who had a 41 year old boyfriend and her uncles were making fun of his “wrinkly balls”. I don’t think it’s a good idea for any mother of young children to have a boyfriend live with her; I just think the risks outweigh the benefits. However, the age difference has nothing to do with it.

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  • avatar

    Sarah November 23, 2011, 2:34 pm

    First of all, can I just say that I am so pleased the letters are still coming in today, as I am the ONLY person in the office and I’m lonely and frightened.

    Second of all, WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR MOTHER THINKING MOVING A TEENAGE BOYFRIEND SHE JUST MET FROM THE INTERNET IN A HOME WITH HER CHILDREN?!?!?!?!??!?!?

    She met him two months ago and she’s moving him in. With her children. BEST case scenario is that he is just a lazy son of a b*tch who just wants a sugar momma. Worst case, well, you can only guess.

    I think this kid is very clear about what he wants here. He knows that your mom is inexperienced in dating and looking to feel less lonely. No matter was kind of a weirdo he is, he is definitely taking advantage of your mother. And there’s a DAMN good reason she didn’t tell you, because I think a part of her knows it.

    Get a background check on this dude. Seriously. Check Megan’s Law, check criminal records, check everything and anything to find out about this guy. If your mom wont protect her kids from a potential predator then you have to help. Make sure your brothers know to tell you if ANYTHING fishy is going on. If anything sends up a red flag, like the dude insists on putting your brother to sleep, or watches him change, calls him names, anything, tell your mother you are contacting social services and go through with that.

    You can’t change what your mom does and if she has her heart set on having this guy move in, all you can do is be a support system for your brothers. As for Thanksgiving, take her aside at some point, and try not to get angry with her, but point out the errors that she would know she’s making. So like, instead of accusing the boyfriend of anything, because she wont listen to that and will become stubborn, tell her that it is not right to move a man into the home if her son has not met him yet. Ask her if she wouldn’t mind taking some family counseling all together (SANS PERVO BOYFRIEND) so you guys can all talk about the situation and your brothers can feel heard.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 2:41 pm

      Yes, yes and yes. Background check this dude to the limit!!

      And secondly – really good point about making sure both of your brothers know to come to you with ANYTHING they want to tell you. Doesn’t matter if the boyfriend tells them not to, doesn’t matter if your mom forbids it…tell them that even in the worst case scenario, it’s still OK for them to talk to you about anything that’s on their mind. Tell them that they’ll both always have a place to turn to with you. The more they feel they can come to you, the more you’ll be able to protect them (the little brother at least) should they need it.

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      • avatar

        Sarah November 23, 2011, 2:57 pm

        Exactly! They need someone to talk to in case this guy isn’t just a lazy as*hole. I would even have a check off list of potential abusive/predator traits to share with them so that the brothers can know what is a red flag when/if it happens and can let the LW know about it.

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        ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 3:00 pm

        Yes, excellent idea, especially with the young one. He should be as primed as possible to notice signs red flags…either for himself, or for his mom.

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  • avatar

    Turtledove November 23, 2011, 2:36 pm

    You’re right, the main concern is not the age difference, but the fact that he’s moving in when your brother is still living at home and dependent on her. If all the kids were fully grown and out of the house, I’d say to butt out. But since your 13 year old brother will be stuck in this situation, somebody needs to stand up for him. Have you asked him how he feels and what his specific concerns are?

    If I were you, I’d pull mom aside sometime when you’re seeing her in person and say something along the lines of, “Mom, I am thrilled that you’ve found someone new. After everything you went through with dad and with raising us kids basically by yourself, you deserve it. I know you were worried about how we’d react about the age difference so you didn’t want to tell us or have us meet him. I just want you to know, I fully support you loving whomever fits with you. What I can’t get behind is you moving someone into the house whom little brother has never met or gotten a chance to know. Have you given any thought about how this will affect him or how confronting a 22 year old with a teenager he’s never met and will be sure to resent him will affect your relationship? Little brother is worried about X, Y and Z and older brother plans to move out when boyfriend moves in. I love you and I love my brothers and I want to support you all in the best way I can. So I have to admit that I’m worried for you and I’m worried for my brothers if this doesn’t work out in the way that we all hope.”

    Something like that will get at the heart of your concerns without passing judgment on the age difference. Making mom defensive isn’t going to help in any way shape or form, but reminding her of her responsibilities and the likely behavior of teenagers might help her see reason. I think the best that you can hope for right now is that she and boyfriend decide to hold off on moving in together until everyone has at least had a chance to meet and try to make nice. You can’t really form an opinion of the man himself, age difference or not, until you’ve met him.

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  • Will.i.am

    Will.i.am November 23, 2011, 2:37 pm

    Talk to your Mom about the potential effects of an unknown man living with your siblings. For your mother, she has been single 11 years, and due to your youngest brother being a teenager, she may feel that she can seriously date a man now. Most teens at that age are relying more on their friends for fun and activities.

    I don’t even find it that odd that your older mother has been dating a much younger guy. Some guys naturally like much older women and don’t treat them as “cougars” or anything like that. Sometimes that’s just the preference of certain men. Also, at 40, I would think your Mom may not get the same excitement from a man her own age. She can practically start with a clean slate with a much younger male, and she is the only one with the “baggage.” A single man her age would probably be more set in his ways and not want to have as much fun as she’s wanting to have right now.

    This relationship could last a lifetime or it could fizzle out by the new year, but the main issue is your Mother allowing a stable environment for her children first. Men should always come second.

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      cporoski November 23, 2011, 4:31 pm

      I agree. Talk to your mom. However be gentle. Because, her mom might be working something out. Isn’t it odd that her mom was 22 when she had her first child and now her kids are (almost)grown and she is picking up right where she left off. Frankly, it sounds like she lost her 20s to her ex husband. LW, if you rush in to this, guns blazing, and tell your mom that this guy is a creep and taking advantage of her, she will rebel against you.

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  • avatar

    bethany November 23, 2011, 2:41 pm

    Before you say anything to your mom about this, you need to hear what the situation is FROM HER. Your grandmother might have mixed up some details or put her own spin on it. Tell your mom that you heard she’s seeing someone, and ask her to tell you about it/him, before you confront her.

    If it’s true that she’s having this 22 year old guy move in with her (and your brothers), then you have every right to voice your concern. When you do it, put the emphasis on how this is going to effect your youngest brother. Personally, I’m on the same page as you- I think it’s a horrible idea!! They should spend some more time getting to know eachother, and your brother should be able to get to know this guy before he moves into their home!

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    • Will.i.am

      Will.i.am November 23, 2011, 2:46 pm

      Women in my area do this type of thing all the time; however, the LW’s mother, I believe, is very different than what I see. I’ve met women that have had 4 or 5 different boyfriends move in with them and their 3 kids and they aren’t even 30 years old. It’s not healthy but these women seemed to always think differently.

      They seemed to always view it as, “Well, I’m not out at the club and bars getting drunk and hooking up with strange men, while I leave my kids with my parents or the babysitter. I’m just moving my boyfriends in with me, often within 3 months, and I’m trying to make a “stable” environment for me and my kids.”

      Dating is just very hard when you have kids. So many people will automatically write you off if you have children. It’s hard and it can create the settle mentality. How many men or women can truly take care of themselves, raise small children, and get an education with no help from a mate or family (lots of help). For every 1 that does do it, you can see 20 that are rinse, washing, and repeating the same mistakes.

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  • avatar

    Jiggs November 23, 2011, 2:43 pm

    Call your mother. Tell her your grandmother mentioned she was seeing someone, you’re so happy for her and you can’t wait to meet him. Then shut up and sit down.

    Your mother is a grown-ass woman who does not need to be told by her child that her judgment is not valid. You have never even met this guy; your mother has. You are definitely in no position to rule who is appropriate for her to bring around your brothers, and even if you were you don’t know a damn thing about this guy. She’s your mom – she knows her children, she knows this man (for months, you admit in your letter – enough time to get a decent read on his character). She knows YOU well enough not to tell you about this guy because she knew you’d be all judgey about it, so I think she has full awareness of the possible impact on her still-at-home children.

    You need to check your judgment and be happy for your mother (or at least fake it). A couple months of “discomfort” around the new guy is a small price for her happiness. I’m guessing she’s pretty close to an empty nest since you are grown and one of your brothers is old enough to move out. Is she supposed to forgo future happiness so your brothers don’t have to man up for a few years and deal with the fact that their mom has other needs?

    TL;DR version: You need to back waaaay off and relax. You are fine. Your brothers will recover from their “discomfort” and get used to a new guy around. This letter is more about you and your issues with your mom’s new guy, which are petty – age difference, met online, OMG moving in! – than it is about how wise her decisions are.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 2:46 pm

      Whooooaaa. Telling a 13-year-old boy to “man up” and “deal” with a 22-year-old stranger that he’s never met, that his 46-year-old mother met on the internet a wee 2 months ago, is EXTREMELY bad advice. This is a child we’re talking about! It’s his mother’s responsibility to look out for HIS well-being first, not her own. And I don’t think moving a stranger into your home, no matter the age difference, counts as “looking out for your child’s best interests.” Not all mothers are good mothers. Not all mothers display good judgment. Some mothers need to be questioned…have you seen the news lately?

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        oldie November 23, 2011, 2:56 pm

        Too true. We already know that Mom has very poor judgement in men. How else did she have 3 kids over a period of a decade with an abusive, mentally ill, alcoholic, who now finds himself in prison. Certainly not the history that leads me to think it’s fine that she is moving in a far-younger guy whom she met on the internet and has known for 2 months. His main sexual interest might well be the 13 year old.

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        Jiggs November 23, 2011, 3:13 pm

        If she met him for the first time in September, then they’ve been dating for about 3 months. While I personally might not move in with someone so soon, it’s not unheard of and I don’t buy that it’s “putting her child in danger”. At three months you are certainly not strangers to each other as the LW suggests! She didn’t find him on the street and bring him home like a stray. While all mothers might not display good judgment, the LW doesn’t give us any reason to believe her mom is or has even been unstable or otherwise a poor mother. And if she truly hasn’t dated in 13 years she doesn’t exactly sound like she’s prone to whirlwind shitshow romances. So I’m willing to give the mother the benefit of the doubt here.

        Of course there will be some feelings to work through for all the kids – I’m not suggesting there won’t be – but that’s not what the LW is talking about – she’s already shrieking like it’s child abuse to move in with your new boyfriend. She doesn’t seem to have any other reason to doubt her mom’s judgment than “waaah he’s way younger and they haven’t been dating a time I feel is appropriate!” If it’s the lack of introduction part she’s super concerned with, ask to meet him as a family pre-move in.

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        ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 3:21 pm

        Moving in after three months is maybe not “unheard of”…but that doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly stupid. You know what, if you’re single, FINE. Have some dude you haven’t had sufficient time to properly get to know on a deep level, learn to fully trust and communicate with move in with you. It’s your life to screw up. But it crosses a line when you allow some guy you’ve known for less time than I’ve had certain leftovers in my freakin’ fridge to move in with your CHILD. A child he’s never met!!

        And Sarah is right on – predators look for weak women. Women who won’t stand up for themselves, who have poor judgment, who’ve been abused and mistreated before. And pedophiles look for children whose parents are vigilant enough or intelligent enough to properly protect them. So yes, saying this child could be in danger is NOT too far to go.

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        ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 3:22 pm

        **aren’t vigilant enough.

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        LePinch November 23, 2011, 3:26 pm

        I think you are being a bit naive about this. At 3 months there is still plenty of cause to doubt someone’s true character, people can still pretend to be someone they’re not.

        The mother may not be “putting her child in danger” at the time, but it does show poor judgement. She should know better as a (46?) year old woman that having someone move in after only knowing them for 2 months isn’t such a bright idea. Why the rush for him to move in anyway? And sure, she may not have dated for over a decade, but think about it- the kind of hellish marriage she was in can definitely leave someones judgement impaired, and 13 years of being single doesn’t indicate she’s making a smart choice.

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      • avatar

        LePinch November 23, 2011, 3:27 pm

        Sorry Regina, that above was at Jiggs.

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      • avatar

        Jiggs November 23, 2011, 3:34 pm

        I just think someone who’s an abuser or other no-good person and is exceptionally skilled at hiding their dark side could just as easily hide it for six months, or eight, or a year, or until he hits her for the first time on their wedding night. So I don’t think the sole fact that he’s been with her three months is enough to say “well clearly he’s a child molester or abuser in disguise!” Twenty-two year olds do shit like move in quickly and not consider say, the fact that your girlfriend has kids.

        Also, new thought: I feel like an abuser wouldn’t move in to a home with a fully-grown man (LW’s 18 year old brother) in it where he’d potentially have a rival for the strongest person in the room. Surely there are plenty of divorcees with younger kids on Plenty of Fish if that’s his MO.

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        iseeshiny November 23, 2011, 5:10 pm

        Yes! It’s not like abusers wear sandwich signs shouting “looking for victim” – and you could know a child molester for years and never guess he was one, so, really, any man, regardless of age or length of acquaintance, that this woman brings into her house could be a child molester.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster November 23, 2011, 3:36 pm

        Actually, someone who hasn’t dated in 13 years is EXACTLY the kind of person who can wind up in a whirlwind romance- especially if it follows a decade long relationship with an abuser.

        And 3 months is not enough time to judge his character. Especially since he hasn’t been introduced the the family; the single mothers I know do not have a wealth of free time on their hands for dating. And if it’s secretive dating then that free time whittles down even further. She does not know this dude. You don’t move strangers into your home even if you don’t have kids!

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        Sarah November 23, 2011, 3:51 pm

        No child should have to live with a grown man they’ve never met or know they can trust. Case closed. I don’t even know how this is a thing to debate. How is this a thing?

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      • theattack

        theattack November 26, 2011, 11:28 pm

        Exactly! Whether or not the person is a predator is kind of irrelevant because either way, it’s unfair to the child to move in with a stranger. (I mean, it’s not completely irrelevant, but, you know…)

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    • avatar

      Sarah November 23, 2011, 3:04 pm

      Please don’t take offense to this but are you out of your ever lovin mind????

      Have you ever met a pedophile? Or an abuser? I have. So have a lot of people. And if you knew ANYTHING about how they force themselves into people’s lives, then you would know how many red flags it raises that he’s moving after two months of knowing each other without even having met her son. Not to mention the fact that he’s moving forward so fast with a woman who has dated in 11 years after dealing with a nightmare of an abusive husband. Guess who predators look for? Women with a history of abusive partners. Guess who pedophiles look for? Women with a history of abusive partners with children who don’t have a prominent male role model in their life.

      Mothers are allowed to be happy, but that should NEVER come before maintaining the safety of their children.

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        ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 3:17 pm

        A-freaking-Men.

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        Jiggs November 23, 2011, 3:25 pm

        If he’s a pedophile or an abuser I’ll send you a signed apology. My money, however, is on “22 year old not thinking about what it means to move in with a woman who has kids”.

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        ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 3:29 pm

        Yeah, but even that has the potential to negatively impact her son. Just because he’s “harmless” doesn’t mean he’ll be a good influence on her son, or be a positive influence in his life.

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        Flake November 23, 2011, 4:46 pm

        Having a resentful mom would also negatively affect him. His mom may be thinking that she has dedicated enough of her life to her three kids. 13 is old enough to understand your mother’s need for companionship. Yes, she should definitely introduce the guy to her kids before he moves in, but I find that the mom knew how the LW will react and the LW’s negative attitude right off the bat, without talking to her mom, or the new BF, is a bit extreme.

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        Sarah November 23, 2011, 3:43 pm

        Your money? I’m sorry but having a feeling this guy isn’t a pervert doesn’t excuse this mother of putting her children in a dream scenario for an abuser/pedophile. Its not enough to think this guy is alright, she should be protecting her kids against any sign of danger, not inviting it in. And btw, how many 22 year old men think that its totally fine to live with two kids they’ve never met and become a father figure? You’re right, 22 year olds don’t think much about responsibility, which is why they AVOID it.

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        Jiggs November 23, 2011, 3:58 pm

        I don’t think we’d be having this discussion about how insanely dangerous this is if dad were moving in with the 22 yr old girlfriend.

        Also, 22 isn’t so far from the teenage So In Luurrve kids who want to move in and get married right noooow. They’re young, they’re impulsive, they don’t consider the ramifications of stuff. Moving fast isn’t a quality reserved for Bad People.

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        Sarah November 23, 2011, 4:11 pm

        Yeah, read my comment above about how waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more likely it is to be sexually/physically abused by a man than it is by a woman. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

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        Jiggs November 23, 2011, 4:25 pm

        It’s also more likely that you will not be abused by any one person than that you will. It just depends if this guy is one of the 90% of men who are not abusive or the 10% who are (by the way I made those stats up, but you get the drift, most men are not abusive). And if he really is an abuser and skilled at the kind of deception that makes people think he’s a nice guy, he could play that game for six months or eight or until he starts smacking her (or her son) around on her wedding night.

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        Sarah November 23, 2011, 4:52 pm

        I can’t even…..what?

        Soooo because you’re more likely to not get abused then get abused, its ok to have your children live with strange men they don’t know that you barely know either. And because you never know when an abuser will start being dangerous, you should just ignore that abusers commonly move very quickly with women and just go with it.

        Ok…nobody here is saying this dude is definitely a predator. What we are saying is that to ignore the possibility is wrong and dangerous on the part of the mother.

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        ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 5:45 pm

        Thank you, a million times thank you, for pointing out that this isn’t by nature a “fair” argument – because the vast, vast majority of pedophiles are men. The reason our flags wouldn’t up as high if the sexes were reversed is because we all know, whether we realize it or not, the likelihood of a woman being a sexual predator compared to a man.

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        Sarah November 23, 2011, 8:46 pm

        Right? The “if the sexes were reversed” argument just does not work here.

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        EB November 23, 2011, 3:54 pm

        “If he’s a pedophile or an abuser I’ll send you a signed apology.”

        Cool. I’m sure the LW’s 13 year old brother will find great solace in that.

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        Jiggs November 23, 2011, 3:59 pm

        Yes, because my comment would be the cause of that. Right.

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      • Jess

        Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com November 23, 2011, 3:42 pm

        Sociopath Next Door. Was a total revelation to me in understanding human nature and how many guiltless, loveless people are blending right in with the rest of us. Charming and fast moving are among the hallmarks.

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      Jess November 23, 2011, 3:13 pm

      you can date someone and be happy with them without living together. The fact that this guy *has* to move in with her (rent free im betting) for them to be happy just screams he is using her.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't November 23, 2011, 6:04 pm

        Also, have you guys MET any 22 year old guys recently??? I’m 23 and NO guy around my age, that I have ever met or known personally would ever even CONSIDER moving in (let alone dating) a 46 year old woman with three children. No matter how hot she was. Unless he was looking for a substitute mother. Something fishy is going on here.

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        Britannia November 23, 2011, 11:23 pm

        I definitely have to agree that this guy probably has something going on. Be it just that he has a personality “defect”, or some sort of emotional problem, I just can’t see a 22-year-old in his right mind with a solid background hopping into a situation like this. I’m not sure that this “something fishy” is as extreme as being a pedophile, but I’m willing to put my money on the fact that this kid has some personal problems.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't November 24, 2011, 1:39 pm

        I don’t know if the guy’s a pedophile, but I absolutely cannot deny that mom is putting her kids in a situation that is positively ripe for emotional, physical or sexual abuse. I think the more likely scenario is that the guy has some serious emotional problems and is looking for a “substitute” mom, or that he’s a con artist taking advantage of a vulnerable woman. Either way, not a situation that two teenagers should be exposed to.

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      amber November 23, 2011, 4:16 pm

      The thing is though, it’s not fair to the 13 year old to have his home situation changed that much without any notice. Do that mean parents have to give up dating, no. However, I think they owe their kids to be smarter about it. The two boys have, at least from the way the story is told, never met the guy. He is going to move in and that will be the first time they know of him. If the Mom was going to do this the right way, she’d include her children in her dating. Have them, oh I don’t know, meet before they move in. This is not a Mother of all adult children, she has a teenager at home. That child deserves to at least be prepared for a big change that is going to happen.

      As far as the LW goes though I don’t think she has a chance of changing her Mother’s actions or opinion. She’ll probably move the guy in and when the 18 year old leaves and the 13 year old starts acting out and wanting to leave, she’ll play the no one wants me to date card. No, no one wants you to move ever guy you date in. If this was a 46 year old with no children who met a 22 year old online and was asking if this was a good idea after knowing each other for such a short time, I would still say no way! However, it’s your life and if you mess it up that’s on you. However, if you mess up your kids life by introducing people you don’t really know and they definitely don’t know in to your home, that is on you.

      Just a side note my parents divorced and my Mother dated. We always supported her and she always included us. I think my sister and I have healthier relationships with men today because she was always open and honest. But, she never brought anyone in to our home that we had not met before.

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    LePinch November 23, 2011, 3:06 pm

    I am sooooo seconding all the above comments. Yes, your mom is entitled to happiness with another person, and while the age difference can raise eyebrows, its not as concerning as the fact that she wants to move this guy in after knowing him in real life for only two months. It is definitely not enough time to gauge a persons true character, regardless of age. Her responsibility comes to her minor children first.

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    Jess November 23, 2011, 3:10 pm

    My boyfriends little brother is living with us now because of a very similar situation. He is too young to live on his own. It was okay for the first month but now it’s horrible. He’s still at that age where he just dumps his shit everywhere and leaves it for the mysterious laundry-cleaning-cooking fairy (me). He’s not my brother so I feel awkward being angry with him, but he’s just in such a bad mood all the time, and yet his whole world is turned upside down so how upest can i be? I don’t know what to tell you LW. It seems like wendy leaves the hard ones for the “your turns!”

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      LePinch November 23, 2011, 3:14 pm

      I’m sorry you all are stuck in a crappy situation like that. I think your boyfriends little brother would benefit from being able to talk to someone in order to process his (legitimate) anger, hurt and frustration of the situation.

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      amber November 23, 2011, 4:21 pm

      I think it’s time for you and your boyfriend to sit down with him. Don’t be mean but try and set some rules, like please take your laundry to x basket, etc etc. It might actually be just what he needs right now. And I’m sure you guys have tried but maybe having some fun nights at home with the three of you? Ordering pizza and playing his favorite video game or something. Good luck to all three of you!

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    AKchic November 23, 2011, 3:47 pm

    This reminds me of MY mom about 11 years ago. Reeling from me making her a grandma before she was 40, marrying a guy who was only a few years younger than she was, she met a guy in WA in the warehouse of the international video distribution firm she worked for. He moved to AK and turned out – he was a momma’s boy. And younger than my husband. My nearly 40 year old mom with a 29 year old Momma’s Boy. I mean, he was surprised when I knew how to make a box of macaroni and cheese at 16/17 years old.

    Your mom gave up a lot in life. She had to deal with an abusive, mentally unbalanced, alcoholic husband and ex-husband. She raised two children and is still raising one. She is now in her 40s and is feeling like she lost her best years because of a “whackadoodle” that she procreated with. And she feels judged by those very children she bore, and her mother. She wants a young guy that she can be “in charge” of, while still feeling attractive (who wouldn’t with a 22 year old lavishing attention on them?), and not having to feel an “empty nest”. She gets to feel youthful because a young “stud” wants her.

    She shouldn’t be judged. She should be getting some sympathy. On the other end of the spectrum, she should be protected. Do your research on this “kid”. Check his background. Make sure he has no history of bilking women out of money, no abuse (sexual or physical), no pending criminal records, etc.
    This isn’t a “woe is me” situation for you. It’s a “pity Mom and show some consideration” situation.

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      Jiggs November 23, 2011, 4:19 pm

      I think this approach strikes a good balance.

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      Flake November 23, 2011, 4:35 pm

      Agree with you.. Although I would try to talk to the mother about my concerns but keep the age difference out of it. It doesn’t matter how old the guy is. It is not the age that makes a person a predator. What concerns me is the speed the relationship is moving at. I would, gently as possible, tell the mom that she has been doing great for 13 years on her own, what’s another 6 months, or even a year to take and get to know that man better, and let her youngest son to bond with him as well? If he is truly interested in her, he will understand her need to move slowly at this point in life and that her child’s safety and comfort must come first. But I truly would not jump to the conclusion that this guy’s a pedophile. It is very likely that he is preying on this vulnerable woman, but I doubt he intends to harm a 13 year old.

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  • avatar

    MiMi November 23, 2011, 3:57 pm

    LW, being an advocate for your youngest brother is the only role you have here – and only time will tell if he needs this advocacy. Your mother doesn’t require your permission, your approval, or your opinions to do as she pleases, so lay off on the dramatic flouncing around and family gossiping – none of this is about you. Make yourself available to your brother, like any good big sister, and let things play out for a bit until you can actually make an informed decision about whether your brother needs you to speak up on his behalf or not.

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    ele4phant November 23, 2011, 4:40 pm

    I was all ready to say, “I know its weird and uncomfortable, but for gosh sakes what’s the harm let the woman be happy”, but then I read you have younger brothers and the dude is moving in. I think it is your job as a big sister to say something to your Mom. It sounds like she isn’t thinking clearly in her newly found bliss.

    I’m not sure exactly the best why to approach things, but my best guess would be to try not to accuse her of anything, or come at her with blatant judgement. It would seem that a neutrally express concern for your brothers, and how the move will change the dynamic for them in an unhealthy way, is the best tact.

    If all else fails, you do live by yourself, so while 40 minutes is a long drive if I were in your position, I’d let both my brothers know there is a couch they can crash on if they need to, even if I’m not sure exactly how that would all work out. . Is there a way you can ferry your younger brother to school and back? Is there a metro system, or family friends who’d be willing to help out transportation-wise?

    Hopefully, the initial honeymoon period will pass, and your mom will see how her actions will affect her children and will at the very least hold-off on the move in.

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      ele4phant November 23, 2011, 4:50 pm

      I also want to add, it sounds like you haven’t met this guy yet (you said your mom doesn’t know you know yet). Perhaps, in the least judgmental way possible, tell your mom the jig is up, you know, and would like to meet him. Perhaps meeting him will put some of your fears to rest, or just the opposite, give you some legitimate concerns that you can discuss with your mother (he’s unmotivated, doesn’t seem to respect you, ect, ect).

      Because at the end of the day, its not really how old this guy is (although it IS weird), its that your mother is moving someone who’s basically a stranger into her and your brother’s home.

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  • Will.i.am

    Will.i.am November 23, 2011, 4:45 pm

    My Mom did something similar to this when I was 5. Moved a man in that I maybe met one time. He lived about 65 miles north of us at the times. Fast forward 5 years and they were filing for divorce. He ended up being physically abusive after about 3 years, and would somewhat touch me inappropriately. Not like, try and touch my wenis (Love Hangover), but would run his hand up my buttcrack. It made me clearly uncomfortable, but I never really even gave it thought till I was a teenager. I was never sexually abused or asked to touch him or anything like that.

    I love my Mom to death, but I know my Mom has the worst luck picking men. Probably why I’m almost 28, with no kids, girlfriend, or divorce papers. I’m just very picky with who I let into my own personal life, knowing what I grew up with and had to experience from the age 5-10.

    If I was the Mother, I would continue to date the gentleman but would not come close to considering letting him move in. He needs to develop a relationship with the children first.

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      ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 5:47 pm

      Wow. I’m sorry you had to go through that, and I’m glad it wasn’t worse. I wonder…I just wonder…if this man your mom married graduated to more than just inappropriate touches. Makes me shudder.

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      • Will.i.am

        Will.i.am November 23, 2011, 6:28 pm

        After he and my Mom divorced 17 years ago, they somewhat kept dating and talking for about 4 years. He never moved back in and I think I remember him staying over maybe once or twice. When my Mom was tired of his “Momma’s Boy” behavior she finally cut ties with him. This was my Mom’s 3rd marriage and in the last 17 years she’s only dated 2 men. Of those two men, both of them were cheating on their wives with my Mom. Like I said, my Mom ended up seeing the signs and questioning them, but she was still involved with these two men.

        Back to the guy though. After he and my Mom split, he ended up getting into drugs real bad. I started working for the place I work at now when I was 19 and he showed up at the branch I was working at about once or twice a week. I was really embarrassed, since everyone at the branch knew he was on drugs. When he would mention my name and say things that a normal Joe wouldn’t know, it was hard to defuse the fires. I would just say I know him from around the way and not air out my Mom’s dirty laundry.

        I ended up growing up fine; however, the things I saw as a child has affected me when it comes to marriage. I do get scared when someone starts to emotionally get close to me, and I start to get cold feet. Outside of that, I have a college degree and have had the same job for 8.5 years, have a loving family, and great friends. But, I still wouldn’t wish what I went through in my childhood on my worst enemy.

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      • Will.i.am

        Will.i.am November 23, 2011, 6:30 pm

        This guy also ended up having sex for money and drugs with men and women.

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      AKchic November 23, 2011, 5:52 pm

      *nods* There is a stigma to divorced mothers. Most of the time, mothers are the primary care-givers, and so they don’t have the time to dedicate to a real relationship. They try to rush it because they have to rush everything else in their life.

      Many women feel like they will never find another husband (if that is what they want), and so they fall in with the first guy who will have them. Unfortunately, these are the kids of guys that are looking for victims, not partners. Many of us are naive and desperate for a real human connection, a real relationship, and scared that we won’t find one because we’ve destroyed whatever chance we had by having kids, or have “baggage” of kids, divorce, etc. Multiply that with “psycho” ex-husbands (like the LW’s father) and the desperation can get worse.
      People are surprised at how picky I am about who I let into my personal life. I mean, I have no problems sharing things. I consider it a learning tool. I’m talking about actually letting people into my actual personal life. People get background checked prior to even being told where I live.

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    Christy November 23, 2011, 5:52 pm

    I don’t think we have enough details to make strong recommendations here, and I definitely think it’s a little extreme to say “he must be a pedophile!”. I don’t think it’s wise for the mother to move in with her new boyfriend after months, but as others have said, the mother is a grown woman. All the LW can do is find out all the details from her mother and express her concerns. I think it’s fine to let her brother know that he can lean on her, but she should be careful how she talks about it, because going to him and saying “Call me right away if he looks at you funny!” is going to be confusing and might make it even more difficult for the new boyfriend to establish a relationship with him.

    I was just reading an article today about how people “knew” someone was the One right away, and in the comments dozens of people were chiming in with stories about all kinds of short engagements. I was thinking how it’s ok to move quickly if it works out but obviously they weren’t the one if it didn’t. Sorry this is a bit of tangent, my point is that you can’t know whether something is a good relationship by how long they’ve been dating, how they met, or how old they are. Can we calm down with the assumptions?

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      Sarah November 23, 2011, 8:34 pm

      I don’t think any one said “he must be a pedophile!”. What we said was, protect your children from men they don’t know, because anyone, especially a man you have only known for a few months and who is moving so fast, can be something other than what he seems. No kid deserves to sleep in the same house with a strange man he doesn’t know. End. Of. Story. It is not fair to a kid, even if I’m wrong about this guy’s intentions.

      The LW’s mom wants to go ahead and shack up with a dude she knows for three months by herself, fine, more power to her. But in NO WAY is that enough time to judge if a man is safe enough to be live with her kids. She should be way more protective than that. Especially with her history. She is being reckless and you can’t tell me that there isn’t a decent chance her kids could suffer for it.

      Btw, side note, I’ve also heard stories about short engagements and “knowing they were the one”. Many ended poorly, some ended up in abusive relationships, and one woman in particular has to live with a husband with schizophrenia in an abandoned cabin because apparently their true love went too quickly to do adequate mental disease checks in the family before they got married. Yes, sometimes fast relationships work, but they should never take priority over your children.

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        Christy November 24, 2011, 9:04 pm

        I’m not sure where you get the three month thing. The LW said they had been dating for months (which could be any amount of time, really), and that they met in real life (after talking online for months) two months ago. They are also not moving in for another month. That’s *at least* three months, most likely more, and I’m sure the LW’s mother is planning to introduce the boyfriend to the sons before he moves in (in a month!).

        I acknowledge that it’s risky, but I think you and some others are making too many assumptions about the mother and the relationship, when all we know is from what the LW told us, and she only knows from what her grandmother told her.

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      • theattack

        theattack November 26, 2011, 11:32 pm

        An introduction is not enough, in my opinion. Children need time to develop a trusting relationship with the man first. A bond strong enough that they are similar to being a father figure. Trust enough to leave them alone at home. Incorporated in each others’ lives (ie: BF picks up the kids from school some days, or they rake leaves together, etc). Most people don’t select their own roommates before getting to know them. Why shouldn’t the kids have that same option?

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie November 23, 2011, 6:41 pm

    It’s completely understandable that the news is a shock but her mother raised 3 kids therefore knows a lot more about relationships then the LW. A close friend of ours married a man 10 years younger then herself while being a single Mom to two boys 5 & 8. That was 22 years ago and he was a wonderful pseudo Dad and a great husband. They have a good marriage and a happy home looking forward to grandchildren. So don’t be too quick to judge anyone you haven’t meet yet. Her mom seems to grudgingly approve which is good evidence that the relationship is healthy. If a 46 year old man got together with a 22 year old woman a few eyebrows would raise but most of us would give them a thumbs up.

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      ele4phant November 23, 2011, 7:07 pm

      I agree. The daughter at least owes it to her mother to meet this guy before she decides everything is all wrong. However, what concerns me more than the age difference is how quickly everything is moving, especially when there is a kid in the household that will be affected.

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      amber November 23, 2011, 9:27 pm

      i have less of an issue with the age difference than the moving the guy in to the house so quickly. and without the kids meeting him first. it just seems like the mom is skipping a lot of steps in the process. and while things might work out wonderfully between the two of them, taking a step back and moving a little slower and including the kids (who live at home, especially the 13 year old) just seems like a better idea than just bam moving some new guy in one day.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B November 23, 2011, 11:40 pm

        I, too, have no problem with the age difference. What I am concerned about is how fast this relationship seems to be moving. I mean, how can you know after such a short time that it has any kind of staying power? What if the guy is gone in another two months? Putting the issue of whether or not he is a pedophile aside for the moment, what if the younger brother actually likes the guy and they end up forming a bond? Then – he’s gone. And what if there’s another one after him? Things like this can be very confusing for kids. They can be afraid to bond with someone for fear that that person will be gone as soon as they get close.

        Most of my divorced/single friends with kids have instituted a rule: they do not introduce their kids to the person they’re dating until the relationship passes the six-month mark. This hopefully weeds out the ships-passing-in-the-night types. So far, it seems to work pretty well. Maybe after opening the topic with her mother, the LW could suggest this to her?

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    Meredith November 24, 2011, 1:29 am

    The age difference is a little weird but not all that uncommon, so it’s something you’ll have to get used to. But by all means I’d have a talk with your mom about this kid moving into the house. I’m sorry, but it’s just not right to have your boyfriend who YOU just met 3 months earlier move into your house with your 13 year old son who NEVER met the guy. That’s bad parenting, and if she is too in love to see it then someone needs to stand up for your brother and say something. Sounds like the someone is you. I don’t know how much good it will do considering his move in date is next week, but you should try. This is just my gut reaction. I’d feel the exact same way if the genders were reversed. Also giving me the creeps: the boyfriend is 24 years younger than your mom but only 9 years older than her youngest child. Oy.

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  • theattack

    theattack November 24, 2011, 12:36 pm

    LW, call an attorney who practices family law and has experience in cases such as custody and dependency & neglect (or whatever it is called in your state). Your little brother needs a backup place to stay in case this explodes soon. As long as you could get your little brother to school and your mom consents to you keeping him, there’s probably not any sort of legal issue. But you don’t want to all of a sudden have some sort of criminal charges related to kidnapping your brother if your mom isn’t okay with it. It’s worth it to bring this up in your conversation with your mother. (Not the kidnapping part, of course). If she insists that her boyfriend is still moving in with them, ask her if it’s okay for your little brother to come stay with you if he feels uncomfortable.

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    Renee November 25, 2011, 11:46 am

    In agreement with almost everyone, that yes there are red flags. You haven’t met him yet, which is a red flag in of itself since you mother is ready to have him move in and play step-dad to your younger siblings. If things become unsafe for your bothers, hopefully your grandmother or other relatives live near by for there to be a safe place for them.

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  • avatar

    cynthia. n. February 19, 2012, 3:37 am

    well your mother is grown and she can decide for herself who she wants to be with. i think this is just a fling, its nothing serious, first of all this guy is fresh meat to your mom, and she is an expeirienced older woman…its lust honey ,nothing to worry. your brothers will just have to respect your mom happiness. its been a long time since shes been with anybody apparently he rocks her boat. give it a chance. age is just a number, but one thing he must realize , when shes 60 ,hes only 40( give or take)…another wards when he’s ready to still go out and have fun stayin up late etc etc, shes gonna be ready for bed …BY TEN O CLOCK ! ANOTHER WARDS,, SHE WILL BE OLD, WHEN HES STILL YOUNG AT HEART. WILL HE BE ABLE TO HANDLE THAT? i dont think so, and if he does i give him props for that. so to me its just lust for the moment. i speak from experience ,i was married to my exhusband for 23 years and we are 19 years apart, he was 38 and i was 18 when we married in 1984.we divorced because he dint want me anymore . i got to old for him, GO FIGURE. IM 46 HES 65!! LOLOL BE COOL HONEY.GIVE MOM YOURN SUPPORT AFTER ALL SHE HASNT BEEN WITH ANYONE SINCE DAD LEFT.

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  • avatar

    kim July 25, 2013, 7:50 pm

    My main concern is that this 22 year old is up to no good. Worst Case having an eye on the younger brother. But it is not uncommon for Woman and Men to continuously date the same “type” of men. If LW’s father was abusive maybe this 22 years old is as well and the mother deep down knows it and that is why she is not having him “vetted” by the family first. I think a 22 year old and 46 year old with no children involved can do what they want. But I would have concerns that the younger partner is a predator of some kind and sees LW’s mother as an easy mark either for manipulation, free room and board or worse.

    I would try to diplomatically mention your concerns relating to your brothers to your mom. I would even go so far as suggest that maybe waiting for the boyfriend to get to know the brothers before moving him in would be a more comfortable situation for them. If she says something like “oh he needs a place by x date” or “oh no he said x is best” that would be red flag

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