Dear Ms. Vicki,
You recently posted an article about a May/December relationship and I wanted to write you and say that I am in a similar relationship with my girlfriend.
I fight all of the time with her kids (ages 17 and 24) because they call me a kid. Her kids call me bossy and mean. They won't let their mother have a life.
My girlfriend divorced their father about eight years ago, but her kids feel their father should still come by the house whenever he wants to. I insisted that he not come, especially when I'm not home -- where I pay the rent, mind you.
The house is technically mine because my name is on the lease agreement. I'm allowing my girlfriend and her children to stay there.
My dilemma is that I want her 17-year-old son gone by next month because he will be 18 years old in August. Right now, he just hangs around the house all day, eating all of the food and playing video games.
My girlfriend thinks I'm being too hard on him. I joined the Army when I was 18, and I've been in for seven years.
I love my girlfriend. I'm not sure when our relationship will move to the next level, but I don't feel like I have any responsibility to her children. How can I get my girlfriend's kids out of my house?
-- Sergeant with an Older Girlfriend
I think you have put yourself in a situation that you can't win. I get it: Younger people like to date older people, and older people like to date younger people. This is nothing new.
I think what happens is that both parties can be naïve to the dynamics in these relationships. I'm not saying they are good or bad, but people can act like they are surprised when they encounter certain situations.
Let's take you, for example. I think you are about 25 years old from your letter. Granted, this makes you a grown man, but here's the deal: How do you think that you can move a grown woman and her grown children into your home and everything is going to run smoothly?
Of course, her son and her daughter won't listen to you. You are like their peer, and they don't care if you are their mother's boyfriend.
They don't think they should have any respect for you. You can judge this by the way they are treating you in your own home.
You also said you insisted their father not come to your home when you are away. Let's be honest: You don't know what's going on in your home when you are away, right?
Perhaps your girlfriend loves you too. You didn't mention that, but let's say she does. You have to keep in mind that her loyalty is to her children. This is why she is not demanding they respect you.
I think your girlfriend is in her forties. Nothing is wrong with being 40 at all, but what is she doing? You didn't mention her job or career, which leads me to believe you are her career.
In other words, she is living off of you and what you earn. I think she is taking advantage of you. I meet many women who hang around military towns and prey on young service members (older ones, too).
They move into your apartment or your house, and pretty soon their entire family has moved in, too. The service member then runs up an insurmountable amount of debt because they have been used and abused.
I'm not trying to gass you up, but I think you are way in over your head. I think you should get out of this relationship and move on with your life. This situation will soon get out of hand.
-- Ms. Vicki