A 22-year-old woman has reached out to Reddit for advice on the complex situation affecting her, her much older boyfriend and his wife. In a post on r/TrueOffMyChest, Interesting-Area-237 said the couple isn’t divorcing just yet, and she thinks “he’s still a lot closer to his wife than he says he is.” The post can be read here.
Interesting-Area-237 described her six-month-old boyfriend as 12 years her senior, “handsome, successful. But not everything is perfect.” She said he previously left dinner after getting a call from his ex, overheard her calling him “Daddy,” and he changed his phone lock screen to a photo of her and hers hired three children.
“I hate that I keep comparing myself to her,” OP explained, “I’m younger but she’s prettier. She has gorgeous hair and features and she looks so “put together”. Sometimes I feel like I don’t identify with him like she can (they are the same ethnicity) and I feel inappropriate.”
news week spoke to Victoria Beck-Williams, a licensed professional mental health consultant for Thriveworks, about the viral post.
“In my view, this young lady needs to reassess her relationship needs. It was brought to her attention that her boyfriend is still with his wife. The young lady has admitted that her boyfriend is still legally married. Since she is 22, she is at greater risk of being manipulated by this older man, perhaps because she feels his age is equated with wisdom.
“The young lady needs to identify the positive and negative aspects of this relationship and gain insight into how her needs are being met while remaining involved in the relationship. She needs to realize that he doesn’t place the same importance on the relationship as she does, and she should ask herself if she’s willing to stay in the relationship even though she knows it doesn’t live up to her expectations.
“As for meeting his children, since the parents are currently separated, the children will be a little confused when introduced to anyone in their father’s life in this role. Also, it’s unhealthy to compare yourself to your wife. No one should compare themselves to anyone else as they are not the same in any way to be compared.
“Realistically, this relationship is a very unhealthy dynamic right now. The boyfriend seems to have too many unresolved issues emotionally, which will likely prevent him from fully committing to this young lady at this point. She needs to focus more on learning what her needs are in a relationship in order to start a successful, healthy and stable relationship.”
A May 2022 IPSOS survey found that a significant proportion of Americans have engaged in age gap dating. Almost four in ten (39 percent) have previously dated someone with an age difference of more than 10 years. Men are more likely to have dated someone over 10 years younger than women (25 percent vs. 14 percent), while women are more likely to have dated someone over 10 years older than them (28 percent vs. 21 percent).
Overall, Redditors noted that the relationship was troubled.
OG-Hippie-1959 said, “I’m sorry but you are dating a married man with 3 children.”
skeletoncurrency wrote: “Don’t try to make peace with becoming a home robber. Being unsafe now will only make it worse and more toxic for everyone on the street.”
Mundane-Rip4759 commented: “Does she know you exist? It sounds a lot like you’re his mistress.”
news week has contacted Interesting-Area-237 for comment.
Have you noticed any red flags that made you want to end a relationship? Let us know at email@example.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.
https://www.newsweek.com/older-boyfriend-still-close-ex-wife-1769265 Woman who dates married man urged to stop comparing herself to ex: ‘Unhealthy’