Not a mom, but need help with one.

Sherry - posted on 06/09/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I've been dating a guy for a few years now and in less than a week I'm turning 18. The age of consent in my state is 16, before anyone goes on about that. I'm asking you guys for advice because you'd know better than me how a mom would react to such a thing than I would- me and my mom are not at all open with each other about relationships and boys and stuff.

So, my boyfriend has always been a secret. She's seen his name pop up on my phone in texts but that's it. I mentioned offhand once that I was talking to an older guy and she asked a few halfhearted questions and dropped it. We've decided we want to move in together when I turn 18, I even have a job interview lined up near his town. I really love him and I want to start my own life as well as a life with him but I'm beyond scared of breaching the subject with my mother. I regret not telling her about him sooner but I don't trust her to not lose it and try to convince the cops he raped me or something just to keep him away. I don't want to ruin his life or my already fragile relationship with my mom but now I'm in a very tough spot because I've got plans to leave home very soon and she doesn't even know I've been seeing this guy.

My question to y'all is this: how would I go about telling her? I want them to meet and I want her approval but the one time I tried to involve her in my relationships at age 14 it went very badly and now I'm pretty leery of her because of it. I feel like she doesn't want to let me go because then she'd have no one to clean up after her/take her crap every day but I still want her to approve I guess. How would you react to your 18 year old moving out to live with her significantly older boyfriend? I know logically there's nothing she can do when I turn 18 in a few days but I don't want it to turn ugly. My father is 14 years older than she is so I don't think she would have any room to be angry about the age difference but she's a little hypocritical, a do as I say not as I do type. Anyway, sorry for rambling. I just have a lot of stuff going through my head and I'm not sure how to organize it all. It's just driving me nuts and I need help. I'm sorry if this kind of post isn't allowed here too btw

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Raye - posted on 06/10/2015

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Even 10 years older, at your age, is a big difference. I'm not going to say that your relationship will definitely fail, because I have no way of knowing that. My grandparents married when my G-ma was 19 and G-pa was 30. They were married nearly 50 years when my G-pa died. So it is possible... with work. It's not easy under the best of circumstances, but an age difference like that can make it harder. My G-ma was highly dependent on my G-pa. He sometimes felt weighed down by her, and she sometimes felt resentful of him. But they toughed it out (I think on sheer stubbornness alone, lol).

I waited to get married until I was 28, he was 41. It lasted 9 years, and the last 4 were pretty miserable. So, even waiting may not guarantee that you'll find true love and happiness. You just have to try to be smart about it, and do the best you can. The second time I married (me 39, him 40), I married the love of my life. It hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies, but the hard times are worth it. We both have lived and learned, and are better for it.

I hope you achieve your GED and I hope that you keep a good relationship with your parents. You may need them down the road. They only want what's best for you, but you will have to make some mistakes and learn from them to gain your own wisdom. Try to be understanding of your mom's feelings when you drop this bomb on her. She has a right to her feelings, even if you don't agree with her reasoning. Try to talk to each other and not argue. If it gets heated, ask to take a minute to settle down and come back to it once you can speak calmly. If you have thought about your long-term goals before speaking to her, let her know that you have thought about the future and what you want to accomplish, and that you will try to make wise choices. Let her know that you realize your choice might be a mistake, but it's still your choice to make and you will learn from it no matter what happens. And most of all... tell her you love her.

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Sherry - posted on 06/10/2015

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I see him almost every weekend unless one of us has other things going on. When I first met him it was just about sex but we became friends and then entered into a relationship instead of it just being a one time thing. I'm sorry, I made it sound like he was a 40-something. He's 10 years older. I suppose that matters a bit in this case lol.

I have my own car that I pay for, I've been on birth control since I was 16. I haven't graduated high school but I'm working on my GED. My mom pulled me out of school in 7th grade to have me do online schooling because of her work schedule and her not being able to drive me. After that I was sort of left to my own devices and as you can imagine, a pre teen didn't have much in the way of self motivation for school and I quickly fell behind. If I continued on in school I wouldn't have graduated until I was almost 20.

Thank you for your thoughtful reply, it has definitely given me something to think about.

Raye - posted on 06/10/2015

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Sherry, so you've been dating this guy for a few years, huh? If he lives in another town, how often did you get to see him? And were your meetings only about sex? I don't see any reason a "significantly older" guy would be interested in such a young girl. If it wasn't illegal where you are, it still is creepy. Whether you want to believe it or not, he probably did take advantage of your innocence to get what he wanted.

I don't know when your mom and dad got married, but age differences when you are under 25 are drastically different than when you're older, because of mental maturity. Most people's brains are still developing until mid 20's. So even if you think you're mature enough for this relationship right now, you're going to do a lot of changing over the next 6-7 years or so. There's a high likelihood of you growing apart from this older guy, because your likes/dislikes, etc. are still being formed and his may be more developed and less likely to change. You really should not rush into living together until you can have an actual relationship (not in secret), and see if you still feel you're compatible.

Regardless, once you turn 18 your mom can't keep you from moving in with the guy if that's your choice. I'm sure she will NOT be pleased. Have you graduated HS? Do you have transportation to your prospective job? Do you have plans for college? Have you been using and/or will you use birth control so you don't have an unwanted pregnancy?

With your new freedom comes responsibility. Responsibility means you cannot engage in whatever selfish whim enters your head. Yes, you will lose a great many short-term and immediate pleasures (but such behaviors are often dead-end actions). In the long run, you will get greater freedom. When you act responsibly, what you will discover is that people will trust you more. And with that earned trust comes freedoms that you cannot imagine. Freedoms that don't lead to dead ends or trouble, but rather to long-term pleasure and gain. Right now, you seem to only be thinking of short-term wants. Make sure you don't lose sight of long-term goals.

My advice is write down 5 things that you want to accomplish in the next 5-10 years. If any of your actions take you away from achieving those goals, then you need to re-evaluate and see if the goal is still something you're interested in achieving, or if you are replacing it with a different goal. If it's something you are still interested in achieving, then you need to assess your behavior and actions to make it so you're back on the path to achieve your goals. If your man loves you, he will help you be successful, not hold you back or turn you from your dreams.

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