25-Year Age Difference: Can It Work?

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age difference
She was 17, he was 42. Advice about how one couple handled their age difference.

The last thing I expected from my senior year high school internship was to fall for an older man. I was looking to learn about the TV news business. I wasn't interested in finding romance and I certainly wasn't after a husband. But when I met Tom our connection was immediate. I was 17; he was 42—old enough to be my father (though my real dad was 59 at the time). But the significant age difference didn't impede the attraction either of us felt. It was easy to forget about the 25 years that separating us while I was busy daydreaming about Tom's deep voice, hearing about his crazy, drug-fueled life in the 70's, and seeing the authority and respect he commanded wherever he went. Like an ice cube that's rubbed down my back, our age difference seemed to melt away.

Over several months, our relationship slowly progressed. We went from two people with a mutual attraction to an employee and intern that had crossed multiple lines. For the first time in my young life, I felt confident and knew our relationship was the major reason. The early stages of our affair were exhilarating. I always thought I was having a much better time than my classmates. But reality was not far from my mind—a quarter-century age difference was extreme.

A month prior to the end of my internship, my father, a retired Nassau County, N.Y. detective confronted Tom outside the local Holiday Inn early on a dark, dreary Saturday morning. Word was out on our affair, and it wasn't pretty. My parents couldn't believe their teenage daughter had spent the night with a much older, very married man. Andrea, Tom's then wife, was distraught—and rightfully so. My parents made me call her to apologize, and the conversation was agonizing. What do you say to the wife of the man you're madly in love with? "I'm sorry I had sex with your husband" doesn't really roll off the tongue, especially when you're far from sorry and your connection with her husband is stronger than hers. I also figured it best to forgo telling her I loved her husband—not exactly what a wife wants to hear from another woman or, in my case, a teenager. Diary Of A 23-Year-Old Mistress

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