I’m a 44 year old woman and have fallen in love with a 72 year old man during lockdown.
I was in a dead end relationship, totally bored of life with no direction.
I met him walking my dog and we became friends. As the weeks went on I craved seeing him and eventually fell in love with him.
I told him how I felt 3 months ago and the feeling was mutual so we started an affair.
I then ended my 10 year relationship a month later.
I am so happy at this moment in time, I’m treated like a princess, laugh all the time and feel my life has a purpose once again.
But nobody else is happy for us. My 3 teenage children hate me.
His daughter has disowned him.
All my neighbours are gossiping about me and I’ve lost a couple of friends.
I do not know what to do for the best, sacrifice my own happiness or continue this relationship?
My heart is ruling my head at the moment but I don’t know if this is the right thing to do in the long run.
Would appreciate some advice please.
Relationship expert Jessican Leoni said: “Poor you - I really for you and am frankly surprised and disappointed that embarking on this new relationship has sparked such hostility from those closest to you.
“Let’s deal first with your decision to leave your partner of 10 years. You weren’t happy, it was a ‘dead end relationship’ - that was entirely the right thing to do. I don’t doubt that there were happier times but the relationship had run its course, as lots of relationships do, and you needed to find someone new. It is clear that your partner is not the father of your children, given you have only been together for 10 years and they are teenagers. But I don’t doubt that your kids are hurting and may have had feelings for their stepfather and understandably have sympathy for him - being dumped for a much older man. You need to explain to them, as I am sure that you already have, that the relationship was not making you happy and, at 44, you deserve the right to seek happiness with someone new.
“Now let’s move on to your new lover. We all know what is going on here - your children and friends are making a moral judgement on you dating a much older man, a pensioner. They probably think it is a little bit ‘icky’ - a woman of 44 with a 72-year-old. They will hate the idea that you are having sex. Regular readers of these columns will know I am not a big fan of relationships with big age gaps. Yes, lots work but many don’t - often because the older person in the relationship is sometimes stuck in their ways and reluctant to change and adapt.
“I see no big alarm bells with your 72-year-old lover. He sounds lovely. You met enjoying a mutual passion for dog walking. You were friends and connected. And it sounds like you made all the running - telling him of your feelings. He reciprocated only when he had got the signal from you. Once you had fallen in love, you quite properly ended your relationship.
Your new lover sounds like a gentleman and one who is making you very happy at a time in your life when you deserve all the happiness you can get.
“Moving forward, clearly you need to get your children back on side, as he does with his daughter. Are there other issues there with your kids and his daughter which might explain their hostility, or is it just down to the fact that they don’t like you two being together? I suspect there might be more to this than just your affair. Get to the root of these problems and talk, talk, talk - tell your children how much you love them and do everything you can to bring them back onside. They have had to deal with your split with their father, your split with their stepfather and now this. I am surprised that they ‘hate’ you - hate is a really strong word - but I can totally understand why they are feeling confused and are taking their time embracing this new love affair. Give them time: I am sure you are a loving mum and they will come around when they see how happy your new man is making you.
“Finally, let’s deal with the friends you have lost. Stuff them - if they don’t want you to be happy, then they are not true friends. Sometimes you have to ditch friends when they behave unreasonably. Friends are not like children: they don’t deserve to be cut some slack when they are behaving like idiots. Cut them loose if they are making you unhappy. If they come back in time and say they are sorry, give them another chance. If they don’t, forget about them. Life is too short. And as for the curtain twitching neighbours, it’s none of their business. Ignore them. They are probably just jealous of your happiness with this new man.”
Jessica is a relationship expert for the dating site, IllicitEncounters.com
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