I’ve been on about six dates with this guy I like a lot. We’ll call him Tom. Tom is the lead singer/ukulele player in a band. He is a feminist. He shares my politics and social beliefs. He thinks I’m very cool. He has pretty eyes and perfect teeth. He also just got divorced about two months ago and his step-daughter (we’ll call her Regina) still lives with him.

So on Friday we had a date and had planned to have sex before dinner. But when we got to his place, Regina was there instead of at her friend’s house. So instead we played board games and then went to a club where his band played.

Sunday he drove Regina to her mom’s house which is two hours away from here. Naturally when he got back to his place, he thought that he was alone, so he invited me over. We had some loud, grown-up playtime in the privacy of his bedroom. I left at a decent hour since he had to be at work the next day.

Advertisement

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, we were not alone. Apparently Regina had gotten a ride home with a friend and heard us going at it. She was so disgusted that she refuses to live in his house anymore. This would be only a sad ending to their guardian/child relationship in a rational world. Except that part of the divorce agreement with her mom is that he gets to keep the house, provided that he lets Regina live there until she graduates from high-school. But since she is so grossed out that a single grown-up man had sex in the privacy of his own bedroom with a grown-up woman, Tom may now lose his home.

The divorce happened in the middle of a remodel following a flood and plumbing disaster, so the house is not in good shape. They would probably end up owing on it if they tried to sell it. She can’t afford to buy him out since she is chronically ill, and he can’t afford to buy her out because of alimony. I really hope they figure this out because I can’t think of a way to solve this. I feel so bad about the whole thing. Sex isn’t supposed to hurt people!

Edited to add:

Thank you everyone for your advice and perspective. I see that I’ve been very insensitive to Regina, putting my shoes on her instead of trying to put myself in her shoes (to coin an awkward metaphor). In her position I would’ve reacted differently, but I’m also a very sexually liberated woman in my forties, not a teen who has chosen to live with her step-dad over either of her bio parents at a very sensitive time in her life. I hope that he can soothe her fears and convince her that it was in no way meant to hurt anyone and won’t happen again. I also (selfishly) hope that we can keep dating, because I like him more than anyone I’ve liked since my own divorce ten years ago. But like the dad in Clueless says, “We divorce spouses, not kids.”