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My sister is dating someone 20+ years older than her....again.

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
My sister turned 18 in November of this year. She went to college a year early, so she will be a sophomore this coming school year. Let me start by giving a little background. She's 10 years younger than me.

When my sister was 11 she was sexually assaulted by an elder at my father's church (my father was the minister there who was in his 50's. She never returned to church, and she got counseling, and seemingly did really well afterwards. She was really open about everything, and told the family immediately after it happened.

When she turned 14 my parents found out that she had been chatting online with a MUCH older man from California , (she lived on the east coast). We'll call him "Sean" They talked to her about how it was inappropriate for this guy to be chatting with her, ect. They put some parental controls on the computer, she agreed to stop talking to him, and that was that. Almost two years later, my stepmother was review phone bills and saw that there were a lot of phone calls that she was making to one number. She called the number, no answer. She asked my sister who it was, and my sister said it was a study friend from school. The number never showed up again on my sister's bill, so my stepmom stopped investigating.

Right after my sister turned 16 my parents went into her room early in the morning and there was someone in the shower and my sister was asleep in bed. My dad woke her up, and told her to get whoever was in the shower out, and meet them in the living room. My sister walked into the living room with a guy who was 39 years old. Long story short, my dad tried to hit him with a 2 liter Mountain Dew bottle, the police took the guy to jail, and my sister revealed that this was Sean from California. He had moved all the way across the country to be with rape my sister. Seriously, he was twice her age and had been grooming her since she was 14. My parents pressed charges, but my sister was at legal age of consent so all he got was a restraining order and a charge for trespassing. Then my stepmom found my sisters other phone. She had bought a prepaid phone and kept it hidden so she could call Sean without being caught.

Sean moved to Kentucky when my sister moved here to go to college. We found this out about six months after my sister had started dating him. My sister dated him for a few months, and then they broke up and now he is dating someone who is 19 (and he is now 41).

Yesterday my stepmom told me that my sister has a new boyfriend, and he graduated from the same high school that my DH graduated from- only 15 years earlier. So this guy is from DH's hometown and he is an old perve dating my little sister. He doesnt have a car, he lived with his mom until he was 38. I just cant understand. She is 18 and can do whatever she wants, but she is SO deceptive and SO determined to date guys that are 20 years her senior. She is very, very immature for 18 and has little in the way of social skills. She meets these guys through her gaming websites and clubs. Also, its not like these guys are providing a "father figure" to her. She is for sure the dominant one in the relationship. I feel like this is something that we are going to have to accept and get used to, but I cant help but be really really judgmental about it.

Eventually I feel like she is going to wind up marrying or having a kid with some guy who is way way older than her (my parents are in their 40s) and its going to be really weird at family events. She has "loved" both of these guys, and she will do anything for them (including loan money, drive them around, lie for/about them, and completely deceive her friends and family for these losers.) I dont know what to say to her, and she often treats my DH and I like we are little kids (like I said, super immature) because her boyfriend is SO much more mature and SO much older and knows SO much more than any of us do...which just proves to me that she has no business dating people that old.

I just dont know how to be around her and Im about to spend a week with her on vacation.
post #2 of 47

I can speak by personal experience, I STRONGLY believe that a female who is sexually assaulted by someone significantly older than her is alot more likely to be more attracted to older men. It's not something I recognized until recently, when I felt like I was attracted to my ex husband for the wrong reasons(he's 10 years older than me) and I had also been with men that were my mother's age around the time of my abuse. Not only is it dangerous behavior, but she seriously needs therapy for this. Does she know that this is a problem more associated with her abuse? Did your parents ever seek therapy for her?

post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

 Im about to spend a week with her on vacation.


Why?

 

You don't have any control over her (no one does) and she sounds like she is going to have to really screw up her life before she realizes she is on the wrong path, but you don't have to hang out with her and act like ANY of this is normal. You don't have to have your kids around her.

 

post #4 of 47
Thread Starter 
Its a whole family vacation. Im not canceling my entire families vacation (paid for and probably my grandpas last vacation) just because my sister is dating someone. We have to share a condo with my parents and her.
post #5 of 47

I've had quite a few friends from high school through college who would date older men.  And although it did always creep me out, I came to realize that the age thing is not the important factor here, it's how she is being treated and respected.

 

My advice would be to look past this man's age and get to know him and how he is treating your sister. Ask her questions about him on your vacation and be interested in her life. She is probably so used to having to keep all her feelings secret from the family because of the age thing, that she might be happy to finally have someone to talk to about the relationship. And if, during these discussions, you find that she is not being treated respectfully, give her the same advice that you would give someone who was not being treated respectfully by a same-age partner, since it's really not much different. 

 

Don't focus so much on why she wants to be with an older man, just focus on how you can help your sister grow a healthy relationship, see the warning signs of an unhealthy one, and possibly how to exit if need be. 

 

If you just can't seem to step away from the age-difference, maybe you could share with her the idea of the "Campsite Rule" (it's by Dan Savage... some people love him and some hate him, but I tend to agree with him on this point):  "At the end of the relationship, the elder partner should leave the younger in 'better shape than they found them'. This includes no diseases, no fertilized eggs, no undue emotional trauma, and whatever education that can be provided."

post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat13 View Post

I've had quite a few friends from high school through college who would date older men.  And although it did always creep me out, I came to realize that the age thing is not the important factor here, it's how she is being treated and respected.

 

My advice would be to look past this man's age and get to know him and how he is treating your sister. Ask her questions about him on your vacation and be interested in her life. She is probably so used to having to keep all her feelings secret from the family because of the age thing, that she might be happy to finally have someone to talk to about the relationship. And if, during these discussions, you find that she is not being treated respectfully, give her the same advice that you would give someone who was not being treated respectfully by a same-age partner, since it's really not much different. 

 

Don't focus so much on why she wants to be with an older man, just focus on how you can help your sister grow a healthy relationship, see the warning signs of an unhealthy one, and possibly how to exit if need be. 

 

If you just can't seem to step away from the age-difference, maybe you could share with her the idea of the "Campsite Rule" (it's by Dan Savage... some people love him and some hate him, but I tend to agree with him on this point):  "At the end of the relationship, the elder partner should leave the younger in 'better shape than they found them'. This includes no diseases, no fertilized eggs, no undue emotional trauma, and whatever education that can be provided."


I agree with this poster completely. Great advice.

post #7 of 47

Very well said Cat13.

 

The age thing is not a big deal to me.  She is an adult.  Lots of women like older men.  I prefer men older than men.  

 

While her previous relationship was inappropriate every which way from Sunday...this one is a new a different relationship.  At least give her and the guy a chance.  get to know your sister for who she is and her boyfriend for who he is.  He may be great.

post #8 of 47
Thread Starter 
I dont see her as an adult because she isnt making any adult desicions. Her entire life revolves around playing games online and in people's parents basements. She lives in an apartment that my parents pay for, drives a car that my parents pay the insurance on, talks to him on a cell phone that they pay for and goes to school that they pay for. We are just way different people. When I was 18 I had an apartment in my name, paid my own car insurance, my own phone, had a job, was dating DH with plans to spend my life with him,and really felt like an adult. She is still pretty much 100% living off my parents only with a little more freedom. How is she any more of an adult than she was a year ago when she lived with them and went to high school? I guess she can vote and go to jail...but she isnt acting like an adult.


I understand older men...I just dont understand 20+ years older with no ambition, no job, and no car. Seriously, it seems like they are using a little girl who has her parents taking care of her to have her drive them around so they can go to their gaming events......
post #9 of 47


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

 Im not canceling my entire families vacation (paid for and probably my grandpas last vacation) just because my sister is dating someone. We have to share a condo with my parents and her.

 

I think your issues with your sister are a lot bigger than who she happens to be dating this minute. I also think you see your parents as enablers. I'm just going my what you say:
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Her entire life revolves around playing games online and in people's parents basements. She lives in an apartment that my parents pay for, drives a car that my parents pay the insurance on, talks to him on a cell phone that they pay for and goes to school that they pay for. ....

I just dont understand 20+ years older with no ambition, no job, and no car. Seriously, it seems like they are using a little girl who has her parents taking care of her to have her drive them around so they can go to their gaming events......


You posted this on Personal Growth. I think that your personal growth on this can be summed up by the Serenity Prayer:

 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference.

 

Your sister and your parents and the little mess they have going on falls into the category of "things you cannot change."

 

What you can change is how much time you spend with them, how to spend your future vacations, etc.

 

I'd lay money that your sister's life is going to get worse before it gets better, and that your parents will continue to normalize her behavior. Eventually, these deadbeats will be coming on family vacation, too. What you get to decide is what you model as "normal" for your own children.

 

You are going on vacation with them this year. Use it as a chance to watch their interactions and decide if these are the people your children should spend future vacations with. Practice active listening and non-judgment. Look at your family clearly but dispassionately, and think about what you want to do going forward.

 

I don't envy your situation. When I first realized what a mess my sister is, it broke my heart because I love her.

post #10 of 47
Thread Starter 
Thanks Linda. I wish I could change the situation, but I know you are right....its really beyond my control.

I do have other issues with my sister beyond this. She is ten years younger than me, but she acts like she knows it all. She is snotty to my DH and my friends. She just moved to the city that I lived in for 10 years, but of course will take NO advice or direction from me (ex. her GPS knows it all she does NOT need me to tell her a shortcut to her friends house. She gets lost all the time, but acts like she knows exactly where she is) She is always having to make up for something, and I think its because she was always younger than everyone else in school, so she always tries to act WAY older than she really is. But, when it comes down to making decisions, she still makes decisions like a child, not like an adult. But, she wants to be on the same level of respect in our parents eyes are me and DH are. Thats not really my problem, its hers, but she resents me for how much my parents dote on DD and how they love the life that we have created. They are moving here to be closer to us because we have the grandkids. She knows that, and I think it just makes her "rebel" even more to be the anti-normal child. The funny thing is, DH and I are anarchist who lived in punk houses with 10+ roomates for years, so the fact that we are being considered the "normal" ones is pretty weird. We were the freaks on all sides of our family for a long long time. Its funny how the moment you get married and have kids everyone forgets how weird you used to be, except my sister, who is still working to be more subculture centered than I ever was. And she has made this very apparent by insulting my youth, insulting my friends, and pretending that she doesnt know the bands that played in my living room. She would hate to admit that she thinks Im cool. eyesroll.gif

I have to figure out how to make a relationship with her work because she, my father, and my stepmother are really the only people in my family that I have contact with. I have completely cut out my mother's side because of the mess they are and how unhealthy they all are. I feel that they are a danger to my child and future children, but my stepmother is a GREAT grandparent and my father is really awesome too. They dont know what to do with my sister, and they keep thinking that its a phase she is going through and if they pay for her to have a good education then she will get a good job and meet someone that loves her and treats her well (and they dont care so much about the age as they do about the guy not being a deadbeat). I think they fear that if they cut her off then she will just go live with whatever older man she is dating and she will never stop being around deadbeats.


ETA: I know I was a mess at 18, even if I was making decisions that I knew I wanted to be making. I guess the main thing that I have to contend with, is the idea that even at 18 I was making decisions that I knew would change my life forever, and I wanted them to. I was moving towards making a life that I wanted to have forever, and not every 18 year old does that. My sister isnt planning on marrying this guy, nor does she plan on playing fantasy card games in people's parents basements forever. Im still planning on having shows in my living room (ok, tobacco barn) and sharing my life with a community of like minded people even 10 years later. I guess I just have to realize that I found my place in the world at a very young age, and not everyone is as blessed as I am with that. She's still searching, and I cant change the decisions she is making in the process.

Also, Linda, my heart breaks for you having to deal with your sister. My other sister is 20 and pregnant with a baby whose father is in jail for selling crack. She was using for the first two months of her pregnancy, and that situation breaks my heart to the point where I can no longer talk to her. The problems I have with this sister are like eating cake compared to my other sister. Im sorry you have had to experience it, I know it just tears you up inside to not be able to shake someone that you love out of making bad decisions.
post #11 of 47


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
 
She is snotty to my DH and my friends. ...

I have to figure out how to make a relationship with her work because she, my father, and my stepmother are really the only people in my family that I have contact with..... my stepmother is a GREAT grandparent and my father is really awesome too. They dont know what to do with my sister, and they keep thinking that its a phase she is going through and if they pay for her to have a good education then she will get a good job and meet someone that loves her and treats her well (and they dont care so much about the age as they do about the guy not being a deadbeat). I think they fear that if they cut her off then she will just go live with whatever older man she is dating and she will never stop being around deadbeats.
....
 
I guess I just have to realize that I found my place in the world at a very young age, and not everyone is as blessed as I am with that. She's still searching, and I cant change the decisions she is making in the process.

Also, Linda, my heart breaks for you having to deal with your sister. My other sister is 20 and pregnant with a baby whose father is in jail for selling crack. She was using for the first two months of her pregnancy, and that situation breaks my heart to the point where I can no longer talk to her. The problems I have with this sister are like eating cake compared to my other sister. Im sorry you have had to experience it, I know it just tears you up inside to not be able to shake someone that you love out of making bad decisions.


It sounds like it's really important to you to figure out a way to have a relationship with your sister, your dad and your step mom without it getting under your skin.

 

I'm wondering if setting some solid boundaries with her (including how she is allowed to act in your home) and not trying to give her any advice would help. There's an old saying, "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It will frustrate you and annoy the pig."  She is where she is and for now, she wants to stay there.

 

How is she doing in school? Does she have a plan? Does she make good grades? If there is ANYTHING in her life that is going well, focusing on that will help your relationship with her and your dad and step mom. I feel for them. I do think they are enabling her, but as a parent, I can see why they are doing what they.

 

I was an absolute mess at 18, and just making the mess bigger. I didn't start digging out until I had a moment of clarity at 22 (which is when it finally hit me that there was a link between my self-abusive behavior and the repeated sexually assault I suffered as a child).

 

My sister is a sad situation. She has a serious mental illness that could be controlled with medication, but she opts not to take the medication. She has money and insurance, but is truly crazy and makes life miserable for those around here rather than taking lithium. It's been nearly 2 years since I've seen her and I have spoken to her only once on the phone in 2011.  I remember what she was like before. But she's freaked out my kids a couple of times, so we just don't see her much.

 

I wish that we had magic powers to fix our sisters. greensad.gif

post #12 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


How is she doing in school? Does she have a plan? Does she make good grades? If there is ANYTHING in her life that is going well, focusing on that will help your relationship with her and your dad and step mom. s. greensad.gif



She is doing pretty well in school, and as I mentioned before, she is ahead of schedule. She is scheduled to graduate college at 20. Its hard to talk to her about it because she is a business major, and DH and I own and run two businesses. We didnt go to college, and she acts like we have no idea what we are doing because if we did, we would have more money. What she doesnt understand is that we want to run small businesses, with high morals. (for example, we pay a landscaping employee $14 per hour and she thinks that is WAY too high. I think its a living wage, and hes been a dedicated employee for three years and works almost as hard as DH and WE get paid $35 for every hour he works). She is way more corporate minded than small business in it for the little guy minded. She wants to make it big and get rich, buy a condo by the time she is 22, fill her entire house with comic books, and then start a horse farm on the side . I want to run my two small businesses so that I dont have to go to work for anyone else, live in my house in the country and have enough money for health insurance smile.gif

Its hard to dote on the positive, because she brags so much about everything she does and she know everything about everything. So a conversation about school goes like this:

How's school going?
Oh, fine. I have all A's. But its pretty easy to be on top when you go to school with a bunch of morons.
Oh, well good. Have you thought about doing something more challenging?
No, I just want to graduate so I can get a job and start getting PAID for being so smart.

eyesroll.gif:eyesroll:eyesroll

The thing about it is, I KNOW she got a C in math, but she would never, ever admit it to me. And (me, not a college graduate) its not like Im hard on her about it. If anything, I give her crap for not doing more social things in college and try to remind her that one day when she has a bunch of responsibilities she will kick herself for not going out.

After talking with my stepmother the other day, I think I know what is going on with my sister. Because she has always been younger than everyone else, she always feels like she has to be the smartest, most well liked, best person. So in order to achieve that, she hangs out with people who are not driven, have no motivation, still live with their parents (like 30 year olds that have gaming nights in their parents basement), ect. in order to make sure that she is the one who is doing the best out of all of her friends.

For example, there are geeks that I know who have $80,000 jobs, graduated college with honors, are super intelligent, and direct awesome youtube movies on the side that play the same games my sister plays, but she doesnt want to hang out with them because then she would be the small fish in the big sea. My dad does the exact same thing. As a minister he has always lived in small towns, where he is the only minister, and always moves to places that are in desperate need of a good minister. In the end, he always comes out looking like a hero (not that he isnt, he does do pretty awesome work, but if he did it in Chicago no one would even bat an eye).


Uh, okay enough with my novel. Thanks for your advice. I think if there is a way I can help my sister to have higher self esteem then maybe she wouldnt feel like she had to be on top all the time.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post




She is doing pretty well in school, and as I mentioned before, she is ahead of schedule. She is scheduled to graduate college at 20. Its hard to talk to her about it because she is a business major, and DH and I own and run two businesses. We didnt go to college, and she acts like we have no idea what we are doing because if we did, we would have more money. What she doesnt understand is that we want to run small businesses, with high morals. (for example, we pay a landscaping employee $14 per hour and she thinks that is WAY too high. I think its a living wage, and hes been a dedicated employee for three years and works almost as hard as DH and WE get paid $35 for every hour he works). She is way more corporate minded than small business in it for the little guy minded. She wants to make it big and get rich, buy a condo by the time she is 22, fill her entire house with comic books, and then start a horse farm on the side . I want to run my two small businesses so that I dont have to go to work for anyone else, live in my house in the country and have enough money for health insurance smile.gif

Its hard to dote on the positive, because she brags so much about everything she does and she know everything about everything. So a conversation about school goes like this:

How's school going?
Oh, fine. I have all A's. But its pretty easy to be on top when you go to school with a bunch of morons.
Oh, well good. Have you thought about doing something more challenging?
No, I just want to graduate so I can get a job and start getting PAID for being so smart.

eyesroll.gif:eyesroll:eyesroll

The thing about it is, I KNOW she got a C in math, but she would never, ever admit it to me. And (me, not a college graduate) its not like Im hard on her about it. If anything, I give her crap for not doing more social things in college and try to remind her that one day when she has a bunch of responsibilities she will kick herself for not going out.

After talking with my stepmother the other day, I think I know what is going on with my sister. Because she has always been younger than everyone else, she always feels like she has to be the smartest, most well liked, best person. So in order to achieve that, she hangs out with people who are not driven, have no motivation, still live with their parents (like 30 year olds that have gaming nights in their parents basement), ect. in order to make sure that she is the one who is doing the best out of all of her friends.

For example, there are geeks that I know who have $80,000 jobs, graduated college with honors, are super intelligent, and direct awesome youtube movies on the side that play the same games my sister plays, but she doesnt want to hang out with them because then she would be the small fish in the big sea. My dad does the exact same thing. As a minister he has always lived in small towns, where he is the only minister, and always moves to places that are in desperate need of a good minister. In the end, he always comes out looking like a hero (not that he isnt, he does do pretty awesome work, but if he did it in Chicago no one would even bat an eye).


Uh, okay enough with my novel. Thanks for your advice. I think if there is a way I can help my sister to have higher self esteem then maybe she wouldnt feel like she had to be on top all the time.


You know, it's really none of your business what your sister does with her life. She is an adult. It is her life.

 

You seem very  judgmental. You also seem extremely insecure and immature about the choices you've made (getting married, starting a business, not going to college), so you might want to look to the beam in your own eye before you rag on your sister about her choices and goals.

 

post #14 of 47

I have always been attracted to older men (and was never sexually assaulted by an older man).  My husband is 18 years older then I am.  Unless the relationship is abusive I don't see a significant age difference as being a problem.

 

I have always found guys my age childish and selfish... older guys for the most part seem more patient, grounded, and appreciative (I know there are exceptions but this has been my experience).  I think you should let her live her own life... there might be a great older guy out there for her. 

post #15 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post




You know, it's really none of your business what your sister does with her life. She is an adult. It is her life.

 

You seem very  judgmental. You also seem extremely insecure and immature about the choices you've made (getting married, starting a business, not going to college), so you might want to look to the beam in your own eye before you rag on your sister about her choices and goals.

 



First of all, this is the personal growth forum, its not a rant. My business or not, I have to learn how to be okay with her desicions because I think they are poorly made and not healthy. If my sister was a picture of a healthy emotional being, it wouldnt matter. But she isnt. And the thread was started so that I could figure out how to maintain a relationship with her, not what I was going to do about it or what I was going to say to her about it. So, is it my business? Maybe not. Is this your business? No. But you sure are judging me for seeking advice and help about how to deal with my sisters' decision making.

FWIW, Im not at all insecure about getting married, starting our own business or not going to college. I couldnt stand the four cinderblock walls of high school, and college just wants for me. I tried it, it sucked. I like my real life experience. I dont every want to work for anyone again, and I started my own business to achieve that goal. I dont like authority, and this keeps me from having to deal with it.

And as far as your assinine assumption that I am insecure with my decision to get married, Im not. DH and I have been together since I was 18 and we have pretty much shared cars, bank accounts, and a bed since then. We were living together and pretty much acting married for 6 years before the ceremony, so the "married" title doesnt really change much about our relationship.



My sister and I have very very different goals and lives. Hers is centered around money. Mine isnt. Its hard to get past that.
post #16 of 47

Can u please help im only 11 and my 15 year old sister Has been having a freind on ps3 Online And i thought they were freinds the guy is 22 years old i think i thought they were freinds but when i went to check My facebook she left her Self online on a chat with the guy And i saw stuff like: oh i cant to Be together bbe I really wana see you. and she said Oh we can move to the country side Baby Xx.  Please can someone Tell me what to do she has been in trouble with my mum befo With a 19 year old And she said never to chat with him again Im sure its not the same guy becuz they met on that hated place on ps3 called ps home Where many pedos Lurk and Well... And She did it again with a 20 year old who was a diff guy And now i think its the same guy they talk to eachother on mic could this be a misunderstanding? i love my sister but she just doesnt know when to stop And i dont want her to hate me :( I Dont know...

 

 

post #17 of 47

um, just tell your mom

 

post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post





. Also, its not like these guys are providing a "father figure" to her. She is for sure the dominant one in the relationship.
 

She could be taking back control due to what happened to her now she gets to be " in charge"

post #19 of 47

Why is this in TAO now?  Didn't it start out in Personal Growth?  Is the site flaky, or is it just me?

post #20 of 47
Thread Starter 
No, this did start out in personal growth. I have no clue how it got to TAO.
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