Erm yes, I think we know what we call this, don’t we?

The dilemma I have a 23-year-old daughter. Her mother and I split up when she was seven due to her mother’s infidelity. I still see my daughter regularly and she is close to my wife and the two other children we have. My daughter didn’t have a “proper” boyfriend until she was in her late teens. Last week I was informed that her new boyfriend is a little older than her. It transpires he’s 48! He also has a wife and two children who he is preparing to leave to be with my daughter. I am, in equal measures, furious, horrified, embarrassed, ashamed and desperate. This new boyfriend is older than my wife, who is 46. I am 55. My daughter wants me to meet this man, but I am too shocked and angry that a man of his age and with his responsibilities could behave in this manner. How should I handle this? I am too embarrassed to talk to my friends about it.

I think at least that we call this “Daddy issues?”

45 thoughts on “Erm yes, I think we know what we call this, don’t we?”

  1. As was said when some 70 year old was left by his 30 something ish and very toothsome wife. A decade of shagging that is a loss is it?

  2. Dad might tell her: “He won’t leave his wife and if he does that means he’ll leave you too. You’ll waste the best years of your life and squander your best chance to have children on a guy who just want to fuck someone bendier.”

    A lecture on the evils of breaking up a family might be worthwhile too.

  3. My daughter wants me to meet this man, but I am too shocked and angry that a man of his age and with his responsibilities could behave in this manner. How should I handle this? I am too embarrassed to talk to my friends about it.

    Which is exactly why she did it. Classic “Daddy Issues” behaviour to force attention from an absent parent who was only absent because of his wife’s infidelity.

    Who would want to live like this?

  4. If this were a scene in a book, it might go something like this:

    ‘Can I ask why you got involved with a much older man? Were there no guys around your own age?’
    ‘I told you,’ she said impatiently. ‘He was very charming, and didn’t act like his age at all.’ The line of questioning was clearly confusing her.
    ‘Okay, but a lot of guys would assume there were some daddy issues there.’
    She put her glass down heavily. ‘Oh fuck off! That’s a stupid term used by people who just want to judge a situation without finding out what it is!’ She’d obviously heard it before.
    I was in no mood to fight. I backed down further, meaning completely.
    ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘That’s why I wouldn’t use it.’ This was a lie. She was a dictionary definition of a girl with daddy issues, which is why I’d said it.

  5. Saw what you did there!

    Good!

    When’s it going on sale?

    Hopefully before Xmas. Putting final touches to the 3rd draft now: next step is to send it to an editor, hopefully within next 2 weeks.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    Theophrastus – “All part of the costs that family breakdown inflicts on the rest of us…”

    I don’t see any social cost at all. Girls should be seriously considering marrying older men. Maybe not that old I admit. But the social costs are in the divorce. Not in a younger girl who wants to get married to someone presumably solvent enough to support her and their family.

    We would have been better off stoning the slut. Well maybe just the pillory.

  7. I don’t see any social cost at all. Girls should be seriously considering marrying older men. Maybe not that old I admit. But the social costs are in the divorce.

    I don’t think anyone would have a problem with a 23 year old marrying an older man for the right reasons, but it is painfully obvious to all but her parents that she is with him for all the wrong reasons. The result will be the 48 year old will get divorced (and his own kids will turn out as fucked-up as this young chick), he’ll marry his young squeeze, and when he realises she’s got more issues than the Private Eye back-catalogue the arguments will start and they’ll themselves separate within 2 years. With any luck they’ll not have had time to breed.

  8. Mr Square has the correct idea.

    The damage has been done and life having given lemons then lemonade time is at hand.

    A local hall has an exercise class run by a lovely 23 year old. Why can’t she have Daddy issues as well?

    If Tim N’s book is a bestseller perhaps he could put a “daddy issues” trend in motion–akin to the “50 Shades” female nonsense. .

    Hell I don’t mind ill-treating young women as well if that is what they want.

  9. Tim Newman – “I don’t think anyone would have a problem with a 23 year old marrying an older man for the right reasons, but it is painfully obvious to all but her parents that she is with him for all the wrong reasons.”

    Are Daddy Issues the wrong reasons? She has a hole in her life. Who is to say that an older man is just what she needs?

    “The result will be the 48 year old will get divorced (and his own kids will turn out as fucked-up as this young chick),”

    He is 48. His children will be in university by now. Yes, divorce is a Public Bad. But it is not as if they are seven.

    “they’ll themselves separate within 2 years. With any luck they’ll not have had time to breed.”

    You mean like Bruce Forsyth’s last marriage? Born in 1928. Married a Puerto Rican beauty queen in 1983. She was born in 1957. So that’s nearly a 30 year age gap. She was all of 26. I feel bad for his two daughters who were born between his previous marriage in 1973 and his divorce in 1979. But this is the price we pay for legal divorce.

  10. > Girls should be seriously considering marrying older men. Maybe not that old I admit.

    That 25-year age gap is wider than Melania Trump (23) or Brigitte Macron (24).

  11. @SMFS

    “She has a hole in her life.”

    So does that 48 year old man: and the correspondent is worried that’s all his daughter is going to be.

    (Note to others- I don’t believe the 48 year old is married.)

  12. Are Daddy Issues the wrong reasons? She has a hole in her life. Who is to say that an older man is just what she needs?

    Indeed: knock yourself out, honey. She’s not my daughter.

  13. John,

    It transpires he’s 48! He also has a wife and two children who he is preparing to leave to be with my daughter.

    Would be interesting to know their ages. SMFS reckons they’ll be in university. I reckon they’re still in high-school.

  14. SMFS

    23 yo woman, whose parents divorced when she was seven because of her mother’s infidelity, takes up (probably for the wrong reasons) with 48 yo man who proposes to leave his wife and two children.

    And you don’t see any social costs in those two messy divorces and broken homes?

  15. @ TimN

    I stand corrected!

    “He also has a wife and two children who he is preparing to leave….”

    Ah, second only to ‘the cheque is in the post” in the all time list of statements believed by the gullible.

  16. @Theo

    “And you don’t see any social costs in those two messy divorces and broken homes?”

    That 48 year old doesn’t.

  17. Are Daddy Issues the wrong reasons? She has a hole in her life. Who is to say that an older man is just what she needs?

    A hole which may be often filled, yet is never full.

  18. Given the legion examples of turgid doggerel with which Murphy assaults the web every day, I imagine his poetry would make William Topaz McGonagall seem like the Bard of Avon.

  19. ‘but may be to do with his own unresolved past’

    Unresolved? He divorced the bitch.

    Frostrup is quite the psychologist.

    Adult men and women who find each other interesting is the only requirement for a relationship. Ages are irrelevant, except to outsiders.

    Getting involved with a married person is a bad idea. ‘Preparing to leave’ is false; they would have left already if they really were leaving.

  20. Frostrup was first married (1979–1984) to Richard Jobson, former lead singer with the punk rock group Skids. On a charity trek in Nepal, Frostrup met human rights lawyer Jason McCue, whom she met aged 39 and married two years later.

    If she cannot see the problem, maybe she should look in the mirror.

  21. “He also has a wife and two children who he is preparing to leave….”

    So she won’t be marrying him for a while then, regardless of the age difference.

    (Unless there is some undeclared ‘vibrancy’ in the 48 year old’s background we weren’t made aware of).

  22. Have you read some of the other advice articles? The comments on the one about a wedding invitation for a cousin, but no partner are full of selfabsorbsion and hatred, but that’s probably normal for the Granuid.

  23. Ignoring this case, and media fodder ‘celebrities’, is there anything wrong with a big age difference?

    I mean you’re cod-analysing this to shit, and certainly a 48 year old promising the world to a young twenty something, and probably spinning his orderly break from wife and kids, should ring alarm bells.

    But using what-ifs, if he was, I dunno, a widower or someone divorced, wouldn’t it be fun?

    Some surprisingly illiberal comments here. Two adults are attracted to each other shocker!

    In this case: mid-life crisis, obvs.

  24. My dear father married – at the age of 85 – a 49 year old woman four months after burying his wife (and not my mother) of 38 years. It “just happened” while said wife was in the process of slowing dying.

    I very much look forward to attending his funeral.

    As to Daddy in the article, all he has to say is the following:

    “So, you both are of the opinion that the best way to start a life-long partnership is by committing adultery? Could you explain that to me?”

  25. Ignoring this case, and media fodder ‘celebrities’, is there anything wrong with a big age difference?

    Over a certain age, no. But a woman who is 23 has still a long way to go in terms of mental maturity, and will be in a very different mental place than a guy of 40+. So as the relationship develops she will inevitably change, particularly insofar as what she wants to do with her life and overall outlook, but he won’t. In short, she’ll be a different person within a few years and he’ll be the same.

    Of course, this is true if a 23 year old girl hooks up with a 25 year old man, but at least the pace of change will be broadly the same and they can try to match one another’s paths, grow together as it were. Two people can develop together in the same direction, and although it’s a perilous business it is probably easier than one person developing and the other long past that stage.

    Once a woman is over around 30, pretty much any age of man is okay because she should by then know who she is and what she wants to do. I know of one woman who was 22 when she married a guy of 40+ and it was an unmitigated disaster, divorcing 2 years after. Ten years later and she was still single and blaming him.

    I’ve always found the “half the age plus 7 years” rule to be fairly sensible.

  26. It just doesn’t make any sense

    ‘I have a 23-year-old daughter. Her mother and I split up when she was seven due to her mother’s infidelity.’

    He is now 55 so he was 32 when his daughter was born, the age difference between him and the mother is 25 years (the mother was only seven when they split due to grannys bit on the side) which is the same as the age difference between his daughter and her boyfriend.

    Perhaps he regrets marrying a woman only nine years his junior.

  27. “In this case: mid-life crisis, obvs.”

    Agist!

    Seriously, ages of the couple is no one else’s business. There are other big flags here, but age isn’t one of them.

  28. ‘I’ve always found the “half the age plus 7 years” rule to be fairly sensible.’

    I read that in Autobiography of Malcolm X in 1970. An interesting, useful algorithm.

  29. I am surprised.

    Young girl gets some stability and the knowledge of an older man, the older man gets an attractive and young girl. Cannot see the downside for either of them.

    Ok they could split up in the future – but that could happen to someone her age she was with or someone his age he was with. This way they each get something and the future can go do whatever the future does.

    Not got a problem with the age difference. Not got a problem with the pair of them.
    Which apparently puts me in a minority.

    I’ve no interest in a 23 year old, wouldn’t know what to do with one if I had one. And I’m of no interest to 23 year olds. Doesn’t mean everyone is the same.

  30. Theophrastus – “And you don’t see any social costs in those two messy divorces and broken homes?”

    I think divorce ought to be illegal. It is likely to kill the seven year old five years before her time.

    But not all divorces are the same. Divorcing when the children are in university is likely to be different from divorcing while they are in primary school.

    And I do not accept that an age difference on its own is grounds for condemning this relationship.

  31. Tim Newman – “Once a woman is over around 30, pretty much any age of man is okay because she should by then know who she is and what she wants to do. I know of one woman who was 22 when she married a guy of 40+ and it was an unmitigated disaster, divorcing 2 years after. Ten years later and she was still single and blaming him.”

    Which is to say that as a woman’s sexual marketplace value drops – and no one is much interested in women over 30 – they will take what they can get. But if they are young they will shop around for a better offer. Growing apart is chick-lit nonsense. If a woman is committed to a relationship she will “grow” closer to her husband. What she means is that she thought she got a good catch and now she sees that she can still do better – but she had better hurry before she hits 40.

    The problem here is a divorce industry that rewards sluts with cash and prizes. The solution is to not reward them with cash and prizes. It has nothing to do with the age of the man.

    A good example of what is wrong:

    John Galt – ” Frostrup was first married (1979–1984) to Richard Jobson, former lead singer with the punk rock group Skids. On a charity trek in Nepal, Frostrup met human rights lawyer Jason McCue, whom she met aged 39 and married two years later.”

    A textbook case of Alpha f**ks and Beta bucks. She married a rock and roll Bad Boy. But then she decided what she wanted was a big house with a nice car and married a sack-less wonder who happened to be a lawyer.

    Why do we reward this woman for ruining two men’s lives? Why do we endorse and reward her bad decisions? Why should she walk away with cash and prizes from her own bad decisions?

  32. “. . . but I am too shocked and angry that a man of his age and with his responsibilities could behave in this manner. ”

    Shocked and confused that a married middle-aged married man with ‘responsibilities’ would run off with a 23 year old?

    Has this person ever *met* any men?

  33. “He is now 55 so he was 32 when his daughter was born, the age difference between him and the mother is 25 years (the mother was only seven when they split due to grannys bit on the side) which is the same as the age difference between his daughter and her boyfriend.”

    BobRocket, I don’t understand what you’re saying here.

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