Dear McKoy: My children’s father died a year ago from cancer. We have been together for twenty-two years and have two a 20-year-old and a 19-year-old. He cheated on me and had a son the same age as my youngest son. His son didn’t start coming to the house until he was about 16 years old. He moved in when his father got really ill to help out. He and I have recently started having sex and it has been awesome. My sons found out about it and now they are mad with me, they even went as far as disowning me. They have described the relationship as nasty and inappropriate. I think they are being unfair because we are both single adults, we are not related and I’m only twenty-five years older than him. I was not legally married to their father so I’m not officially his step-mother. It is my life and I choose to do as I please. What do you think?
Dear Carol: What you are doing is straight out wrong. You were the woman with whom his father chose to start a life with. Leaving that kind of impression on a child is extremely powerful. You say he is the same age as your son. What kind of example are you setting for your two sons. Most adults are free to make what choices they please with one another. However, it isn’t hard to see why your children are upset about what’s going on. You are having a relationship with their brother! You didn’t raise this young man, but you’re being entirely dishonest when you argue from a semantic standpoint when it comes to step-parenting. Think about your actions and how they affect your sons’ emotions. Is your desire to have sex with their half-brother more important to you than your relationship with them? I’m encouraging you to break it off immediately and try to regain trust and respect from your sons.