25 year age gap, please advise

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2014
25 year age gap, please advise
4
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 8:34am

I am currenlty 42, she is turning 18 in a couple weeks. We have held an online based relationship for almost 4 years.

We met in world of warcraft, a mutual friend of ours told me she needed help on how to play her character, i always helped anyone who asked, so i told her to get on our VOIP and i would tell her what changes to start with.

Before i go further i need to tell you more about me, i was 38, divorced, was in a marriage where my wife was manic depressive/bi polar and an alcoholic, however when i met her she was on medication and not drinking, i never knew she was on meds or had those condidtions till after her 6 mo depression started, she had a daugher who was 15, so we got married in march, by the end of april her depression started, she didnt shower, drank all day, never did any household stuff, so i became a single father. i was mom and dad to a 15 yr old, i found out she was cutting and i got her to stop, taught her how to drive, how to get a job, daily i drove her to school, then picked her up after , took her to her night job, picked her up, did all the shopping and cooking, and she was the only reason i didnt leave her mother sooner, i waited till she was in college, then i got out.

as i spoke with my new student about our game, i could tell something was wrong, i got ehr to finally tell me that she was upset and considering cutting, when i heard this i went right into step-dad mode. I instantly decided i was going to do all i could to make her feel special and help guide her away from many bad choices. It worked, she stopped cutting, made many other changes, was no longer suicidal ect. the rules were simple, if we were to be friends, then no lying, always tell me anything that happened to her, even if she thought it would upset me. her past was heartbreaking. a year before she met me she met a guy her own age online, and spent every day talking to him, she told him many things about her self, and thought he was her best friend. he was not her age, the pic was not of him, it was a 19 yr old guy who then stalked her, followed her home from school, abducted her, raped her very very very brutally, and she got pregnant. (for a not eof reference, she was raped/molested on 4 OTHER occasions as well by all different people) the guy got caught, and sentanced ect, however her parents blamed her, they were not supporting her like she needed and like they should have. she tried talking to a friend at school her own age, the friend went and told the other kids that she had gotten pregnant by an older guy, and so now she had to receed into herself and was slowly dying. i was always there for her, i influenced her to the point she would try to do whatever i asked of her, i gave her a basic set of rules, no drugs or cutting unless she had my permission, permission i would never give. as time went by it got harder for her to stay focused, she wanted what her school mates had, she wanted to have a boyfriend too. she went out with this kid, who then tried to get physical with her, she started crying and left. i couldnt tak eit anymore so i told her she didnt need an actual boyfriend, she could pick any picture of some guy, call him her boyfriend, and put the pic on my info in her phone. i told her  i would play the part of her boyfriend whenever she needed, and it worked, she stopped feeling like she needed it to fit in, my parents ogt divorced so thats why i was out of state, but if any guy gave her issues, i would have her find out their phone numbers, i would then call them and act liek her boyfriend (who was 17), and that worked too, guys were scared of her boyfriend, so they stopped harassing her.

her grades went thru the roof, she got more and more AP classes over the years, i had high standards, and she did beautifully. i knew she was falling in love with me so i kept reminding her that as much as she may want this to be real, it never could happen. first off it was illegal so that ened it quick enough, then i told her even if she wanted to try it for real at 18, that she would have lost her crush on me before then, she needed someone her own age. i promised to always be there for her, and this was literally a full-time job. She got flashback nightmares for the first 14 months i knew her. she would call me every night around 3 am sobbing, i would calm her down, and stay on the phone with her till she fell asleep, then i would listen to her sleeping for atleast 30 minutes, if she started to have a nightmare again, i would calm her down before it even woke her.

she was the first person i ever had a relationship that was so honest, and she was the sweetest girl i ever met, ofcourse i was falling in love with her, but i knew to shrug the feelings off, we were 1500miles apart, and that helped when things got bad and she wanted me to come get her ect. as the years passed by she more and more wanted to talk about our future. Even though im much odler, i am a profesisonal gamer, most of my friends are from online games, and ages range from 12-70, but most are 15-22. I also have a babyface, when i shave i look 30, and i clearly act younger being a video game nerd. so our lifestyles werent different, i was the same with lots of miles basically. deep down inside i did hope that she would still want me when she was old enough, we spent 4-6 hours a day online, while she did homework ect, we watched movies played games, it was safe for her, kept her focused and happy, and doing that for her made me happy. her desire to marry me only grew. so we finally had teh convo in a serious manner when she was 16. she wants a career, but she wants babies. i also want children of my own, and i would love to be mr mom, my work is from home anyway and i can easily accomodate being a stay at home dad. We are soooo very alike in soooooo many ways, i never connected with anyone like her. I also knew that after her multiple rapes, she would prob not be able to be physically intimate with a guy for many many years, maybe even never. I would be fine with babies or never having sex ever with her, i want to be with her, live life with her, for over 4 years we talked for 4 to 6 hours every day, and longer in the summer and on weekends. because of her past she still needs to be handled very gently, and i was mroe worried some horny kid would p[ay attention to her, then force sex on her and shatter her world yet again. (her world shattered numerous times since i met her, sadly predators can always spot the wasy prey and she was a walking target) so even when she was 16 and thinking that we would meet when she turned 18 and get married, i maintained whatever she needed to keep pushing forward. Then she was molested by one of the men/boarders that rented a room from her mom (which i could see coming, i told her to tell her mom abourt his touching and questions about her mom hearing things on their floor, her mom was mad at her and still refused to let her 16 year old daughter have a lock on her door, i made her pile books up in front of the door and then one morning the books were pushed away but her door closed. she started to get up and her vagina burned. this guy came into her room while she slept, molested her then left. as she was telling me about her burning, i already knew what happened, then her phone rang, it was the guy asking if she remembered last night. she was strong at first, i told her via computer to record the convo for the police and i told her to call her mom and tell her mom to call the police. she begged me to not make her talk to the police, her experience with them on the first rape i mentioned horrified her and she was so afraid of the police. they weould imply she wanted it to happen ect, and that broke her heart even more. i told her this was not up for discussion, so she did as i asked. the police were jsut as bad this time too, and on top of that, the rape kit they did on her cause her vaginal bleeding and extreme pain, when she got home she got ont he computer and started screaming at me, asking why i made her go thru that, she said she hated me and to never speak to her again.

i cannot begin to describe the absolute terror of never speaking to her again was like. taking care of her was my job for over 2 years at this point, i was also sad at losing my now best and closest friend. two days later she called me sobbing, i calmed her instantly, and promised i would never ever ask her to speak to the police again. She recovered quickly, she was back to her normal self after a couple months, now even more asking about details of how we would proceed with becoming a couple, i put it off as long as i could, she needed answers. so we started making plans, these plans kept chaing ofcourse, due to many different things, including telling her parents and having to deal with they would not approve, i reminded her over and over that ppl would talk and whisper rumors, it would be hard for her, not me, i was the older guy with this gorgeous young fiance. she loved the thought of that, and i love anythiing she loves. her smile is what fuels my heart, she put direction back in my own life. since my divorce iwas heartbroken and had no desire to date or be in a relationship, i was neve a guy to go pick up women, i have a shady past with drug use, but my sexual morales and many others are very "old school",  and having this beautiful young perfect gal to help guide gave me a reason to get up in the morning (which i woke up with her every day, even though i worked floating hours and was exhausted and would otherwise be asleep, i was always there for her. she convinced me she wanted this, she said she couldnt imagine a life without me.

Then came the occasional sad eyes from her, i asked why she was sad, she said she was going to miss out on so much college fun she always looked forward to. (not speaking of dating boys, but stuff like first year of college living in a dorm, having college roommates) i told her i understood and it was find that she was changing her mind, she then got offended that i would go to that conclusion, she was just merely having a moment of sadness in the loss, never even considering calling off our future plans.

so as her 18th birthday approached, it was my intent to move near her, and we could "date", then after a period of time, she could the officially accept my proposal, and we would get wedding plans going. (a cpl months before her sweet 16, her mom suspected that she was being sexual with me, her mom and ad both knew me from the game, they even knew we talked,i even asked her to go ask her mom if i could send her a stuffed WoW animal for her 15th birthday, so they knew we were friends, and now they thought i was a predator. her mom called the police, they did a full investigation, talked to me, all my friends in her area (several of our game friends lived there around her) and they saw i had not done anything illegal, so they closed the case. but now we couldnt talk for a while, my angel got so angry and was really making life hell for her mom, so her mom started taking all her items, including the lock on her door,(this i will never forgive her mom for, i blame her mom for what the roommate did to her, a lock would have prevented it, and her mom was told he was making advances at her 15 yr old daughter and  didnt care, thus letting that molestation happen). I got her to calm down, and play nic with mom do whatever it took to get her computer back, so i could contact her easier (she was using the family pc to email me which meant i was hearing from her once every 3 or 4 days), so now we also have to fit in telling her parents. she didnt want to have anythign to do with ehr mom, (i told her that hate would change, and it did) so now shes wanting to not run off and get married the day she turned 18, which was what i knew she would want, i personally want her happy, and i think she deserves whatever wedding she chooses. i was glad to see that that was changing now, but how to move forward? couldnt... i had to wait and see, but as her 18th approached (it is coming the end of this month) we were both just so exicted to actually be able to hold each other, to be able to do things again (she came to a few different guild functions, she it was  gourp of us, we all had a blast, always)

she has an older sister at college and went to her sisters dorm for new years. i asked her to not play drinking games, never take a drink from anyone other than her sister or her sisters roommates, ect ect, well she did play beer pong, and lost, called me and felt so bad for playing after i told her not to, and she was sorry and wouldnt do it again, but she was having so much fun with her sis, and she drank more, alot more. when i found out i made her go throw up, which she did, and then wanted to go lay down. she went to the guiest room, as she slept oine of the guys fromt he party came in and started to fondle her adn try to take her clothes off, her sister came in pretty quick and ended it. but the damage was done, every time she got sexually violated, she would recess back away from me, she always came back but each time it was brutal. mostly because when a rape victim goes thru those flashbacks, they cant imagine any pyhysical intimacy, not even with a man that they feel and are perfectly safe with, i learned this early, but it still aways hurt for her to tell me she had to break up with me, then after some time she would come back to her old self. except now it happened and she snapped. she told her sister about me but it wasnt told the right way, all her sister heard was some old guy is trying to make her marry him and she felt trapped.

now what the actual deal is, she is still in love with me, but as college approaches she is finally seeing what i told her all those years ago, college would be difficult with a 40 yr old husband, or boyfriend. so she called off our meeting, and said she needed to be alone. i was crushed, my life, my wonderful life of spending time with her was over. she lasted only a cpl days and expressed how she still wnats me in her life and still wants to be my wife, but she wants to enjoy college. i told her i wanted that all along, and if she wanted to, we would jsut stay friends. we would talk much less now, she jsut got an internship and is going to go to college there, and when she is ready i will fly out and take her to a movie, or dinner, or whereever she wishes, she doesnt ever have to explain anyhting to anyone, as i would remain out of sight. she is free to date other guys, however i know she prob cant ever do that. I cant explain what i see when she looks at me, it is pure love, and while some of you are prob thinking this is bad, i dont. i will never beftray her, i will never hurt her, men in my family live long lives, so its not like i am expected to die way before her. she will tell anyone at anytime, she says i saved her live more than once, when she hears my voice she feels calm and safe. i can provide for her, we have identicle desires for our future, it all lines up except for i am 25 years older, that is it.

Am i doing her an injustice by staying in her life? I woul,d always be what she needed me to be, i know how to make her happy and i am very good at doing it quickly and without her even realizing how attentive to her needs i truly am, 24/7. Am i wrong to hold on and wait for her? I want to be with her, she wants to be with me, im willing to do this from any distance. If i only saw her one weekend a year, yes i would crave more, but i could do that forever, whatever she needs i am exactly that. i just need some reassurance that i am not robbing her of anything.

{

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 10:46am

I think the good part about this saga is that she decided to go to college and experience normal teenage life and not settle down at 18--you know that has a very small possibility of working out, right?  I also think that you are more of a father figure to her than a husband or boyfriend type.  If you have a normal man-woman romantic relationship, the man doesn't have to tell the woman what to do all the time and give her "permission" to do or not do things--that just shows that you aren't on an equal footing.  I'll take you at your word that your motives are good and you want the best for her.  First of all, the best for her would include a lot of therapy to heal from things that happened to her in the past and to figure out what she should do in the future.  And I don't know, I think you have to have a little skepticism here--if a 14 or 15 yr old girl got raped by an older boy, do you really think that her parents would blame her & not be sympathetic?  Since you say that you know her parents, have you ever talked to them about this situation and gotten their side of the story on anything?  

Now I have to add that my best friend from high school married a guy who is 26 yrs older than she is--they are divorced now, but not due to the age difference and they were married quite a while and have 2 kids together.  the big differences are that she was 23 when they got married--she didn't go to college right after high school due to money reasons--she went to secretarial school and got a job and she met him at work--so she was living the life of an adult for several years before they got married.  Secondly, everything was out in the open--maybe her parents didn't approve of the age difference (they were older than him) but there was no sneaking around and they dated a few years before they got married.  But even later, she admitted that she married the guy because he was a father figure to her--her parents got divorced and at that time, her father had a drinking problem so he was not there for her.  I just don't think that a relationship where the parties are not equals and one is going to be very dependent on the other has a big chance of success.  I also think it's odd that a guy your age who has been married would even consider being with a teenager rather than dating women close to your own age.  I have a male friend who's in his 40's who likes  younger women (30's) cause he is still hoping to have kids one day--well he met this young woman who he thought was in her 20's and they didn't go on a date or anything, they just met dancing, but when he found out she was a teenager, he was totally creeped out.  I just think you have this kind of "white night" fantasy that you are going to solve all her problems--didn't you learn from your 1st marriage that marrying someone who has a ton of problems really isn't all that fun?  I was married to a guy with bipolar disorder and after that not so fun experience, now I want a guy who does not have major issues to deal with.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2014
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 11:34am

well the permission thing was only really like that for the first year, and it was more of a you have to tell me and we have to agree.  things evolved, and i think the best way to put it is there are things that i do not want her to do, like cutting, or running away, the things that were a danger to her, those were the things i made her agree to get my approval before doing them and that was necessary for us to be friends.

as far as the exact nature of her home life, there is sooo much detail, i watched this unfold over 4+ years, while i am certain she inflated certain tthings, the core of it was they were treating her depression after the rape like a "phase" and that is NOT the way to take care of a rape victim. i am by no means saying i  am a pro, i just nurtured her with attention and friendship while making sure she learned how to avoid potential situations, she was very trusting and nieve, and what scared me most when i realized this is if i didnt make sure to watch over her, she was sure to be taken advantage of again.

initially it was def a father figure thing, i intended it to be and nothing more. her feelings changed over to being in love with me after almost a year, i fully expected her to start to fade off of that due to zero actual contact/kissing ect (other kids making out in the hallway made her so sad and i saw no harm in telling her we could actually go out after she was 18).

Think about how few long distance relationships endure? add the impatience of a teenager on top of it, and long distance relationships still have personal time together. she has had none and has remained happy and faithful, yes it has been hard, but she knew i was the one. 

I havent been able to read my post properly to make sure i have all necessary facts, if anything isnt clear or seems missing please ask me specifically and i will add the detail needed for you to see that i truly have always had her best future in mind. if i actually am the best thing for her as a spouse, i would love the chance to spend the rest of our lives together, but i also dont think that could be certain till atleast a couple years after she has finished college, but i could never elaborate that with her, i was just going to agree to whatever she wanted, and as it changed i was ok with that too.

she was so hellbent on getting away from that house, and she felt she had good reason to, and it wasnt due to her parents so much as two other individuals. i wont go into those details, but she knew that if she got pregnant she could get emancipated, so she was wanting me to come get her pregnant, i absolutly refused so she then started to hint toward if some kid at school got her pregnant then i could swoop in and rescue her. so i really had to be careful about how i guided her, since she was 15, i told her we HAD to wait till she was 16, and if after then, she felt it unbearable, then i would do it her way. i never would have, i just kept finding ways to justify putting it off another month or two so whatever she was distraught over would pass and her urgency would fade.

when i say this was a fulltime job, i meant it. I kept her distracted with texts constantly, joined in with her complaining about how it was unfair, then change the subject and move on. lots of it im sure was overkill, however the results were ideal, she really changed her path completely.

                  

                                    

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2014
Mon, 01-06-2014 - 11:42am

me personally, i was very upset over my marriage failing. i took so much abuse from my ex, but i was determined to keep my vows. she started using meth and cocaine, drugs from her past as well as mine, we never used together, and when that started is when i finally left, i wasnt going to let her put that back into my life.

i was content with staying single and working. i had no desire or "need" to be with a woman, and had no plans to start dating again anytime soon. i was not looking for love, i saw a severe need from a hurting girl, and i stepped in to help.  my feelings for her evolved over time, but i never had any intentions of pursuing them, i purposly dismissed them, and i did not encourage her feelings.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Thu, 01-09-2014 - 9:47am

Did you know that the human brain isn't even fully formed until about age 25? And clearly this is true for this girl. She is thinking of solving problems by getting pregnant at her young age and trying to cling to you, a man she's never met, to try and escape her present life. She doesn't have an adult mind to make intelligent decisions for herself. And people like you who have a rescuing mentality usually end up not being a hero, but a person trampled and left in the dust, wondering why the person who you tried to save was so ungrateful and continued with their self sabotaging behavior and kicked you to the curb.

If she actually married and stayed with you, she may be dealing with issues far sooner than she would if she marries someone closer to her own age. Relatives and others I know who are in their late 70's or early 80's are dealing with issues such as dementia, no longer being able to drive, impotence, medical issues that require numerous doctor visits, and using canes or walkers. Why impose this sentence on a woman will at that time be younger and still in a career and wanting to travel and enjoy life, instead of taking care of an old man? 

Get out into the real world in your local community and meet women close to your age face to face. Wouldn't you like to cuddle up to someone night after night instead of having a relationship in the cyber world which is a fantasy? I would let your friendship with the girl go to the wayside gradually. You'll be doing her a big favor. For the sake of your future partner, you will eventually totally have to cut ties with the girl. You can't be emotionally attached to a new woman if you stay in contact with the girl. Just because a girl has the body of a woman, doesn't mean she has the brain of a woman. Please move on.