How I Escaped the Biggest Mistake of My Life with a Rich Older Man

Meet­ing the ex-wife and the three adult chil­dren of the man who was my lover, but who was also old enough to be my own father, was finally over. I can’t really say that “I passed the test.” In fact, I don’t think there even was a test. I think all of them—maybe with the excep­tion of his old­est daugh­ter, Juliet—had their minds made up before they met me, and they just hoped their dad’s rela­tion­ship with me was fleet­ing and tem­po­rary. There was no doubt in my mind that they feared that his remar­riage to me—or any­one else for that matter—would threaten their future inheritance.

Unfor­tu­nately for them, they were dead wrong, at least as far as their father was con­cerned. How­ever, I began to have mis­giv­ings about my rela­tion­ship with him, not so much about his fam­ily, but about the one I didn’t have. I was in my mid-30s and I had to decide if stay­ing with Patrick was worth giv­ing up hav­ing my own kids. Was it worth giv­ing up being a mother someday?

I knew I had to talk to him about it, but I put it off until after we had returned from yet another fling in Hawaii. I just gave myself over to him while we were there. He was ecsta­tic about the sex, which was usu­ally three times a day. Who was I to com­plain? He was an expert between the sheets and I enjoyed what he had to offer.

When we returned to Chicago, I went back to work with a vengeance and it wasn’t long before I got a pro­mo­tion. I now had a cor­ner office on the 35th floor of a sky­scraper with views of the Sears Tower, Wacker Drive, the river, and Lake Michi­gan. I also had a staff of 30 to super­vise. And I had to travel even more, although the loca­tions weren’t bad, like Cal­i­for­nia, New York, and Atlanta. I loved all of those big cities. I was extremely busy and it was some­what threat­en­ing to Patrick, who called me far too often dur­ing the day just to tell me he missed me and loved me.

One evening, while we were out for din­ner in a north­ern sub­urb, I broached the sub­ject of kids. I told him I was in the prime of my child-bearing years and I didn’t want to make a mis­take I would regret all my life by not hav­ing kids of my own. I assured him there was no one man I could sin­gle out who would fit the bill as a father, but I was con­cerned that if I stayed in an exclu­sive rela­tion­ship with him, I would never meet that man. He was crushed, to say the least.

I could tell he was think­ing about ways to make it OK, ways to make me happy, ways to try to find a solu­tion. He always wanted me to feel as though I had every­thing. But this one, he couldn’t solve or fix. Nor could money help. His vasec­tomy was over 20 years old; he was not a can­di­date for a rever­sal of that surgery. And quite frankly, he was just too old.