High School teacher resigns after leaving wife, kids for student, 18 (Updated)

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While I'd be suspicious of why both parties did this, I don't blame the girl for wanting out and as long as he didn't initiate it and kept his hands off till she was 18 then I hope they're happy.

Brett Dumain:
...
I hate to say it, but you have just encapsulated Objectivism. Whether or not you agree with Ayn Rand, that is the core of her philosphy: man is responsible only for his own happiness, not the happiness of others.

When it comes to how to live out one's own personal life, that's exactly how it is. No one am obligated to continue a romantic/sexual relationship with others because it'd make the other person happy; The husband as little as the wife.

He apparently had no longer had any love for her, and hence the basis for the marriage was gone. What point would there be in continuing a loveless marriage?

Imperator_DK:

Brett Dumain:
...
I hate to say it, but you have just encapsulated Objectivism. Whether or not you agree with Ayn Rand, that is the core of her philosphy: man is responsible only for his own happiness, not the happiness of others.

When it comes to how to live out one's own personal life, that's exactly how it is. No one am obligated to continue a romantic/sexual relationship with others because it'd make the other person happy; The husband as little as the wife.

He apparently had no longer had any love for her, and hence the basis for the marriage was gone. What point would there be in continuing a loveless marriage?

Your point works, on the assumption that "love" is the only basis for marriage, or at least, this one. Can you please provide proof of this in either case?

Thank you.

OT: Not shocked to be honest.

Oh my God I'm losing my faith in humanity, I don't want to live on this sick world any more, when will this all end, woe is me... bah, pass me the bucket.

What a non-story. Guy leaves wife and kids? Pretty sure that's happened before. Older guy with younger woman? Again, I think a precedent has been set for that, and since they're both adults the age gap could be 80 years for all the law (or I, or anybody else) should care.

The only eyebrow-raising part is the fact that she was his student, which is a breach of the official mentor-student relationship. Resigning is probably the smartest thing he could have done given the circumstances.

..and the world, somehow, keeps on turning.

Sounds like the mother in her overprotective parenting has raised an ignorant, but loving daughter who has gotten herself into one of "those" relationships. People who are generally sheltered tend to be the most gullible as they are easily manipulated.

It could be love, but its still way too young. Then you add in the fact that regardless of the age difference this is still a high school relationship. They generally don't work out. People change so much between 18-30.

CM156:
...
Your point works, on the assumption that "love" is the only basis for marriage, or at least, this one. Can you please provide proof of this in either case?

Thank you.

My point is that "love" (i.e. staying with someone because you care for them and hence want to be with/there for them) should be the only basis for marriage, and that when it becomes absent, the marriage should cease.

As it would seem that the guy no longer loved this wife of his (at least not enough to stay with her in favour of another woman), I hence see no other reason for him to stay. He obviously didn't either.

EDIT:

If somebody is staying because of pity, conformity to social pressure, economy, or indeed a (false) sense of obligation, then I'm of course fine with that too, since it's their life; But I won't condemn them for not doing so (...but will condemn busybodies who think it's any of their business how consenting adults live out their romantic relationships with each other).

No one am obligated to actively be anything for others, unless they themselves want to, or am subject to legislation which force them to. Thankfully, a lot of people do want to be something for others, and should certainly be commended for that; But that doesn't mean those who don't should be condemned, for they have done nothing wrong (...just not much commendable stuff either).

Left his family? Horrible but it happens all the time.
Hooked up with a younger women? Eh, no issue with that. She's 18, so he can have at it.
Women was his student? That's kinda weird, but she's still 18 and he did resign beforehand.

All in all? I have no real issue with this. Kinda creepy, yes. But no laws were broken, it was just a guy being kind of a scumbag, which is the kind of shit you hear about every single day any way.

I'm not really sure what the outrage is about. She hit that magic number of 18, so she can make her own decisions! And the other one is long past it, so he can as well! None of you are him or her or had their particular experiences, so where do you find the nerve to condemn them? It seems that presenting any sexual or relationship scenario that is in any way different from the average will get some percentage of the population to cry foul as if it's any of their business.

Maybe two people found love. Maybe other people should get over it.

Kendarik:

Seekster:

Kendarik:

Compared to her teacher she is younger. She is not however a child.

Sure, 18 year olds can be mature and make mistakes, but that doesn't excuse you calling an adult a child.

Your suggestion that girls also have a longer and more screwed up time with puberty is a bunch of sexist crap.

Id call her a child in some sense at least. As my grandfather once said "some guys are old men before they grow up" (I assume the same applies to women).

Its not sexist...its observation. I don't know what the science is but at least in my experience girls get a lot more psycho in puberty...come to think of it girls get a lot more psycho out of puberty too but that is beside the point (that last one might have been sexist but ;p)

Without any science to back you, yes that's sexist, even before you get to the last part.

I can't be sexist...my mother is a woman ^_^ (you have no idea how long ive been waiting to use that joke).

Brawndo:
Oh look, it's the Escapist's uppity moral police brigade. What I see is two consenting adults in a consensual relationship. Sure I might privately question the teacher's intelligence or possible exploitation of the student-teacher relationship, but ultimately that's none of my business.

Also if the genders were reversed, this wouldn't even be a news story.

No if the genders were switched I would be every bit as outraged as I am now.

Also overall after reading some of the posts here acting like its no big deal...this is a case and point for what I am talking about when I mention moral decay and the rot of societal values. "Oh its two consenting adults so what is the problem?" Oh sure its legal but its also highly unethical.

Seekster:
Oh sure its legal but its also highly unethical.

Ok, let's see if we can directly address that as it is the more interesting question. WHY do you feel it is highly unethical?

Is it just because its teacher-student? If so, do you oppose teacher-student in University? Supervisor-employee in a workplace?

Kendarik:

Seekster:
Oh sure its legal but its also highly unethical.

Ok, let's see if we can directly address that as it is the more interesting question. WHY do you feel it is highly unethical?

Is it just because its teacher-student? If so, do you oppose teacher-student in University? Supervisor-employee in a workplace?

The Teacher Student thing is just creepy but since it seems they waited until she was a legal adult (and I assume they he wont be her teacher anymore) its more creepy than it is unethical. For the record though a romantic relationship between a superior and a subordinate is just an all around bad idea because it opens the door for so many problems and potential drama. Sure some people can remain professional in the workplace but when you are talking about a University or High School or whatever usually one of the participants is notably younger and less experienced than the other leading to a clear unbalanced and controlling relationship. Like I said though that part of this isnt so much unethical as it is just a bad idea for practical reasons.

What is really unethical about this is that this guy left a wife and kids for an 18 year old girl. People are going "sure that happens all the time", yeah so does drinking and driving so why is there a double standard? Is it just that its against the law? Really? So has the law become the deciding factor in ethics? I can find more than a few topics on this forum where people are arguing that a law is not ethical so that can't be it. So why does "it happens all the time" work as a valid excuse for the people trying to use it?

This guy wasnt in an abusive relationship and he clearly has more regard for himself than his own children and the woman he vowed to love and cherish till death do they part. His only apparent motivation is pure selfishness. He thought of himself and his own desires and disregarded those of all others.

Now let me again clarify that unless evidence emerges that they had an improper relationship before she was 18 there is nothing the law can or should do as far as criminal charges. However this man should be roundly shunned and ridiculed and shamed for this. I consider it a sign of societal rot and moral decay that there are actually people on here, not just defending this piece of garbage but actually acting indignant that anyone would dare criticize him.

The fact that he had children just makes him seem like a complete bastard.

Also about Santorum, shouldnt he be pissed at Gingrich for divorcing his wife while sha was dying with cancer?

Seekster:
This guy wasnt in an abusive relationship and he clearly has more regard for himself than his own children and the woman he vowed to love and cherish till death do they part. His only apparent motivation is pure selfishness. He thought of himself and his own desires and disregarded those of all others.

hey i just tore a new one for criticising the wife of a guy for leaving him in another thread so while i actually agree with the sentiment apparently that kinda thinking doesn't fly anymore...

cahtush:
Also about Santorum, shouldnt he be pissed at Gingrich for divorcing his wife while sha was dying with cancer?

as i mentioned before Gingrich and his new wife have exactly the same age difference as this couple...

Sleekit:

Seekster:
This guy wasnt in an abusive relationship and he clearly has more regard for himself than his own children and the woman he vowed to love and cherish till death do they part. His only apparent motivation is pure selfishness. He thought of himself and his own desires and disregarded those of all others.

hey i just tore a new one for criticising the wife of a guy for leaving him in another thread so while i actually agree with the sentiment apparently that kinda thinking doesn't fly anymore...

What doesn't fly anymore, criticizing people for acting like selfish ethically bankrupt scumbags?

Seekster:

Sleekit:

Seekster:
This guy wasnt in an abusive relationship and he clearly has more regard for himself than his own children and the woman he vowed to love and cherish till death do they part. His only apparent motivation is pure selfishness. He thought of himself and his own desires and disregarded those of all others.

hey i just tore a new one for criticising the wife of a guy for leaving him in another thread so while i actually agree with the sentiment apparently that kinda thinking doesn't fly anymore...

What doesn't fly anymore, criticizing people for acting like selfish ethically bankrupt scumbags?

believing in the commitment of marriage and honouring your vows...apparently

/shrug

here's the thread http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/528.352669-PC-David-Rathbands-Suicide

i don't think you personally were in it as its a bit UK specific

Seekster:

What is really unethical about this is that this guy left a wife and kids for an 18 year old girl.

What does her age matter? He left his marriage for someone else, would it have been better if she was 48, and if so, why?

This guy wasnt in an abusive relationship and he clearly has more regard for himself than his own children and the woman he vowed to love and cherish till death do they part. His only apparent motivation is pure selfishness. He thought of himself and his own desires and disregarded those of all others.

You don't know anything about his relationship with his wife, so you can't judge that. And you don't leave your kids when you divorce, you leave your spouse. This says nothing at all about how much he cared about his children. In some cases, leaving your spouse is the best thing in the long term for your kids if its a loveless and bitter marriage.

As for "love and cherish till death do they part", does this mean you are in the "ban all divorce" camp? Personally I support the biblical rules suggesting that divorce is often very appropriate. BTW, you don't even know he ever said those words, those most certainly aren't in all marriage ceremonies, they are a bit of a christian tradition and aren't even used in all christian marriages anymore.

The one place he did act scummy was cheating on his wife. You leave first, then look around for someone to date. That part is inexcusable, but that doesn't seem to be a part anyone in these threads has commented on.

Seekster:
This guy wasnt in an abusive relationship and he clearly has more regard for himself than his own children and the woman he vowed to love and cherish till death do they part. His only apparent motivation is pure selfishness. He thought of himself and his own desires and disregarded those of all others.

Has it occured to you that marriage and happiness aren't synonyms of eachother. Most marriages, especially in conservative religious environments, are long dead by the time people hit age 40.

Seekster:
I consider it a sign of societal rot and moral decay that there are actually people on here, not just defending this piece of garbage but actually acting indignant that anyone would dare criticize him.

So anyone who doesn't sweep the role that religion and conservative values have played in this under the rug in order to blindly blame a person, is morally wrong?

Jonluw:
Two consienting adults entered a relationship with a huge age gap, but did so according to proper procedures. Potential abuse of authority aside, they seem to have handled this extremely well.
Nope, I don't think you have any business telling them what to do. Sure, it's a little creepy, but it's a completely unimportant event.
It's practically one of the least despicable actions that happen every day. You would really be better served focusing your attention on actually illegal stuff and actual violations of human rights. Stuff like genital mutilation.

I think the problem stems from the fact that they were clearly romantically involved before she turned 18, who knows for how long. But I do agree with you this is hardly news, its normal for men to be into younger women. In this guys case it might be a little extreme, but who are we to judge the fetishes of someone else? Its not like the guy asked to be attracted to high school girls, it just is that way. Should we lock him up for it if she was 17? I dont know

Sleekit:

Seekster:

Sleekit:
hey i just tore a new one for criticising the wife of a guy for leaving him in another thread so while i actually agree with the sentiment apparently that kinda thinking doesn't fly anymore...

What doesn't fly anymore, criticizing people for acting like selfish ethically bankrupt scumbags?

believing in the commitment of marriage and honouring your vows...apparently

/shrug

here's the thread http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/528.352669-PC-David-Rathbands-Suicide

i don't think you personally were in it as its a bit UK specific

Yeah I wasnt in it. My view is that you should not take marriage vows unless you are prepared to live by those vows and follow them. There ARE cases where you could socially and ethically justify a divorce...this case with the 18 year old is NOT one of those.

Kendarik:

Seekster:

What is really unethical about this is that this guy left a wife and kids for an 18 year old girl.

What does her age matter? He left his marriage for someone else, would it have been better if she was 48, and if so, why?

This guy wasnt in an abusive relationship and he clearly has more regard for himself than his own children and the woman he vowed to love and cherish till death do they part. His only apparent motivation is pure selfishness. He thought of himself and his own desires and disregarded those of all others.

You don't know anything about his relationship with his wife, so you can't judge that. And you don't leave your kids when you divorce, you leave your spouse. This says nothing at all about how much he cared about his children. In some cases, leaving your spouse is the best thing in the long term for your kids if its a loveless and bitter marriage.

As for "love and cherish till death do they part", does this mean you are in the "ban all divorce" camp? Personally I support the biblical rules suggesting that divorce is often very appropriate. BTW, you don't even know he ever said those words, those most certainly aren't in all marriage ceremonies, they are a bit of a christian tradition and aren't even used in all christian marriages anymore.

The one place he did act scummy was cheating on his wife. You leave first, then look around for someone to date. That part is inexcusable, but that doesn't seem to be a part anyone in these threads has commented on.

"What does her age matter? He left his marriage for someone else, would it have been better if she was 48, and if so, why?"

It would not have been better it just might be less creepy. She is decades younger than him and it really makes him seem like a cradle robber.

I can look at what we do know. If there was some problem with his wife he certainly hasnt brought it up as an excuse. I am going off facts here, you are speculating.

This guy LEFT his wife and kids to go live with a student of his.

If he took marriage vows its hard to imagine that he isnt violating them here. Sure ok ill give you that I am assuming that one but regardless of what was in the marriage vows he still left his wife and kids to go and live with an 18 year-old student. That is just wrong.

I wish I could justify legally banning divorce in all but a few cases but I can't so while divorce remains legal, I would argue that frivolous divorce is just as unethical as frivolous marriage, more so if kids are involved as in this case.

Yes the fact that he was cheating on her (and at some point presumably with a minor even if he never did anything sexually with the girl when she was a minor) is also a disgusting matter but gets overshadowed by the fact that he not only cheated but abandoned his family for this girl.

Blablahb:

Seekster:
This guy wasnt in an abusive relationship and he clearly has more regard for himself than his own children and the woman he vowed to love and cherish till death do they part. His only apparent motivation is pure selfishness. He thought of himself and his own desires and disregarded those of all others.

Has it occured to you that marriage and happiness aren't synonyms of eachother. Most marriages, especially in conservative religious environments, are long dead by the time people hit age 40.

Seekster:
I consider it a sign of societal rot and moral decay that there are actually people on here, not just defending this piece of garbage but actually acting indignant that anyone would dare criticize him.

So anyone who doesn't sweep the role that religion and conservative values have played in this under the rug in order to blindly blame a person, is morally wrong?

Oh sure, the idea that once you get married everything in your relationship will be happy forever is a misconception society badly needs to rid itself off. A marriage is a commitment, people seem to be forgetting that. Ill ignore the snide comment that followed your point as its not worth addressing.

"So anyone who doesn't sweep the role that religion and conservative values have played in this under the rug in order to blindly blame a person, is morally wrong?"

And what role exactly does religion and conservative values play in this? If you are going to speculate like this then let me join in and point out that this story takes place in Modesto, CA which is a fairly liberal area east of San Francisco. In all likelihood the main characters in this tragedy are secular liberals.

Blab I know you have personal grudges against religion in basically any form and I wont go further than that in deference to you but I cannot countenance you trying to inject religion into every story. We all of us rapid atheists this guy would still be a scumbag.

Seekster:

"What does her age matter? He left his marriage for someone else, would it have been better if she was 48, and if so, why?"

It would not have been better it just might be less creepy. She is decades younger than him and it really makes him seem like a cradle robber.

So not an ethical issue, and not a decline in society, but you dislike the old fashioned idea of younger women and older men. Got it.

I can look at what we do know. If there was some problem with his wife he certainly hasnt brought it up as an excuse. I am going off facts here, you are speculating.

I never said they had problems. I didn't speculate at all. I said you can't judge because you can't know either way. And he'd be a real idiot if he went to the press whining about his wife, or his sexless marriage, ect. Most people don't put that shit out in the public eye. The reality is they could have had a perfect marriage, or a marriage in name only, we don't know.

If there is one thing we do know, it is somehow he thought he was better off with the girl. Unless she was the classic Lolita who was in fact the dominant in the relationship and manipulated him (which is quite possible and if that's the age and teacher/student problem are not a problem), for him to look outside would tend to indicate things weren't perfect at home.

This guy LEFT his wife and kids to go live with a student of his.

NO. He left his WIFE, not his kids. His kids are still his kids.

If he took marriage vows its hard to imagine that he isnt violating them here. Sure ok ill give you that I am assuming that one but regardless of what was in the marriage vows he still left his wife and kids to go and live with an 18 year-old student. That is just wrong.

I agree that it appears he cheated before leaving, that is not acceptable. But as I pointed out earlier, marriage for life is not necessarily in every set of vows and not everyone has believed in it at any point in time.

I wish I could justify legally banning divorce in all but a few cases but I can't so while divorce remains legal, I would argue that frivolous divorce is just as unethical as frivolous marriage, more so if kids are involved as in this case.

Frivolous is in the eye of the beholder.

Yes the fact that he was cheating on her (and at some point presumably with a minor even if he never did anything sexually with the girl when she was a minor) is also a disgusting matter but gets overshadowed by the fact that he not only cheated but abandoned his family for this girl.

No, not his family, his WIFE.

So it really does seem to come down to your dislike of divorce as the main problem here. I can understand that given your religion, but its one that not everyone shares, and many find divorce banning to be the unethical choice religiously or socially.

Kendarik:

Seekster:

"What does her age matter? He left his marriage for someone else, would it have been better if she was 48, and if so, why?"

It would not have been better it just might be less creepy. She is decades younger than him and it really makes him seem like a cradle robber.

So not an ethical issue, and not a decline in society, but you dislike the old fashioned idea of younger women and older men. Got it.

I can look at what we do know. If there was some problem with his wife he certainly hasnt brought it up as an excuse. I am going off facts here, you are speculating.

I never said they had problems. I didn't speculate at all. I said you can't judge because you can't know either way. And he'd be a real idiot if he went to the press whining about his wife, or his sexless marriage, ect. Most people don't put that shit out in the public eye. The reality is they could have had a perfect marriage, or a marriage in name only, we don't know.

If there is one thing we do know, it is somehow he thought he was better off with the girl. Unless she was the classic Lolita who was in fact the dominant in the relationship and manipulated him (which is quite possible and if that's the age and teacher/student problem are not a problem), for him to look outside would tend to indicate things weren't perfect at home.

This guy LEFT his wife and kids to go live with a student of his.

NO. He left his WIFE, not his kids. His kids are still his kids.

If he took marriage vows its hard to imagine that he isnt violating them here. Sure ok ill give you that I am assuming that one but regardless of what was in the marriage vows he still left his wife and kids to go and live with an 18 year-old student. That is just wrong.

I agree that it appears he cheated before leaving, that is not acceptable. But as I pointed out earlier, marriage for life is not necessarily in every set of vows and not everyone has believed in it at any point in time.

I wish I could justify legally banning divorce in all but a few cases but I can't so while divorce remains legal, I would argue that frivolous divorce is just as unethical as frivolous marriage, more so if kids are involved as in this case.

Frivolous is in the eye of the beholder.

Yes the fact that he was cheating on her (and at some point presumably with a minor even if he never did anything sexually with the girl when she was a minor) is also a disgusting matter but gets overshadowed by the fact that he not only cheated but abandoned his family for this girl.

No, not his family, his WIFE.

So it really does seem to come down to your dislike of divorce as the main problem here. I can understand that given your religion, but its one that not everyone shares, and many find divorce banning to be the unethical choice religiously or socially.

Um no its wrong to leave your family for someone else, the age gap just makes it even more creepy. It wouldnt be any less wrong if the girl were 38 instead of 18.

Most people don't do something like this either. Yes you were criticizing me based on what we do not know. I am focusing on what we do know.

Things are rarely going to be perfect at home but unless this man was literally beaten regularly by his wife I can't imagine any situation that justifies this.

Read the story. He packed his things left his house his wife and his kids. He did not take his kids with him. He abandoned his entire immediate family.

"Frivolous is in the eye of the beholder."

Indeed, frivolous isnt exactly an objective term. How would you characterize this action then? Personally I am sticking with frivolous and selfish.

He didnt take his children with them, heck technically I think he is still married to his wife which makes the 18 year old a defacto mistress. This man abandoned both his wife and kids both literally and metaphorically. You have no argument to the contrary.

I know she's 18 and all, but this still feels shady to me. Plus, the guy was at least 30 years older, and had a wife and kids. And the fact that this sort of thing happens often doesn't help...

Seekster:

Read the story. He packed his things left his house his wife and his kids. He did not take his kids with him. He abandoned his entire immediate family.

He didnt take his children with them, heck technically I think he is still married to his wife which makes the 18 year old a defacto mistress. This man abandoned both his wife and kids both literally and metaphorically. You have no argument to the contrary.

LMAO. I have no argument to the contrary? Wrong.

In every divorce or separation someone physically leaves the kids on day one. That doesn't however mean he "abandoned" his entire family. For all you know he will file for joint and equal custody on any of the kids still a minor.

Also once you have filed for separation/divorce (however it works where you live) as far as I'm concerned its done except for the rubber stamps on the legal documents from a judge. There is nothing wrong with a gf/bf at that point. (Obviously, as stated previously, pre separation cheating is bad)

He has done NOTHING to his children. This is between him and his wife, that's it.

I have a feeling we won't get past this sticking point, as I said previously, with your particular religious outlook on divorce it paints anything divorce related as evil. Personally I feel sometimes divorce is a gift.

"Frivolous is in the eye of the beholder."

Indeed, frivolous isnt exactly an objective term. How would you characterize this action then? Personally I am sticking with frivolous and selfish.

We don't know enough to judge it, as I've said repeatedly. You are judging based on your preconceived notions and assumptions and no facts. If it was a dead marriage then leaving the marriage was the right thing to do.

[

Kendarik:

Seekster:

Read the story. He packed his things left his house his wife and his kids. He did not take his kids with him. He abandoned his entire immediate family.

He didnt take his children with them, heck technically I think he is still married to his wife which makes the 18 year old a defacto mistress. This man abandoned both his wife and kids both literally and metaphorically. You have no argument to the contrary.

LMAO. I have no argument to the contrary? Wrong.

In every divorce or separation someone physically leaves the kids on day one. That doesn't however mean he "abandoned" his entire family. For all you know he will file for joint and equal custody on any of the kids still a minor.

Also once you have filed for separation/divorce (however it works where you live) as far as I'm concerned its done except for the rubber stamps on the legal documents from a judge. There is nothing wrong with a gf/bf at that point. (Obviously, as stated previously, pre separation cheating is bad)

He has done NOTHING to his children. This is between him and his wife, that's it.

I have a feeling we won't get past this sticking point, as I said previously, with your particular religious outlook on divorce it paints anything divorce related as evil. Personally I feel sometimes divorce is a gift.

"Frivolous is in the eye of the beholder."

Indeed, frivolous isnt exactly an objective term. How would you characterize this action then? Personally I am sticking with frivolous and selfish.

We don't know enough to judge it, as I've said repeatedly. You are judging based on your preconceived notions and assumptions and no facts. If it was a dead marriage then leaving the marriage was the right thing to do.

[

He hasnt divorced her yet as far as the story says. Yeah in most divorces there is an agreement regarding the kids but thats not what I am talking about. This guy actually packed his things and moved out of the house leaving his wife and kids behind. He will have to pay child support sure but that doesnt change what he did.

You would do well not to ignore what it does to a child to know that their father thinks so little of them that he would quite literally abandon them like this. Child support or even partial custody may be in the future for them but nothing will change what he did.

I am putting my religious views on divorce aside. All this outrage I am expressing is without the outrage I would feel if I factored in religious views...keep that in mind.

If something new comes out that changes the situation I will apologize for anything that I said that was out of line. However we know quite a bit and whatever happened to using what we do know instead of appealing to ignorance?

Then there is this:

"In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," Hooker acknowledged. "We keep asking ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?' "

Yeah he put his own feelings above those of his family, what a selfish prick.

Seekster:
And what role exactly does religion and conservative values play in this?

The girl's parents, even in the reports with barely any backgrounds, show them to be horridly sheltering and protective. Typical of the conservative religious household where the outside world, growing up, entertainment and mixing of boys and girls is evil.

This is the direct cause of someone fleeing her parents as soon as legally possible, and taking refuge with the first who's perceived as being able to protect her, in this case the authority figure of a former teacher.

A more sensible upbringing, and she'd never have done such desperate things.

Seekster:
He hasnt divorced her yet as far as the story says. Yeah in most divorces there is an agreement regarding the kids but thats not what I am talking about. This guy actually packed his things and moved out of the house leaving his wife and kids behind. He will have to pay child support sure but that doesnt change what he did.

As I said, that happens in ANY separation. Someone has to physically separate. If you have any divorce, that happens. It isn't an evil act.

You would do well not to ignore what it does to a child to know that their father thinks so little of them that he would quite literally abandon them like this. Child support or even partial custody may be in the future for them but nothing will change what he did.

That's a really ignorant outlook. Parents splitting up does not mean they "think so little" of their children. It's people like you who cause undue stress to children in separations. This is between the parents and has NOTHING to do with how either feels about the kids.

I am putting my religious views on divorce aside. All this outrage I am expressing is without the outrage I would feel if I factored in religious views...keep that in mind.

But it seems that your entire argument is based around "divorce is unethical" and "marriage for life", which are from your particular religious views. They are not universal concepts.

"In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," Hooker acknowledged. "We keep asking ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?' "

Yeah he put his own feelings above those of his family, what a selfish prick.

I don't think that statement automatically makes him a selfish prick. You don't even know who he is talking about. And sometimes you hurt someone even if it is the right thing to do.

To some degree anyone who only lives to make everyone else happy is someone destined to have a horrible life. It's about creating balance.

Agreed with Blahblahb in that it's hardly surprising that she'd end up with a man that age if she grew up in such a domineering household.

So other than that, pretty much a non-story since they're two consenting adults.

Blablahb:

Seekster:
And what role exactly does religion and conservative values play in this?

The girl's parents, even in the reports with barely any backgrounds, show them to be horridly sheltering and protective. Typical of the conservative religious household where the outside world, growing up, entertainment and mixing of boys and girls is evil.

This is the direct cause of someone fleeing her parents as soon as legally possible, and taking refuge with the first who's perceived as being able to protect her, in this case the authority figure of a former teacher.

A more sensible upbringing, and she'd never have done such desperate things.

Blab its almost like you didnt read my last post because you launched right into an ad hoc attack on the hollywood understanding of conservative religious lifestyles.

Kendarik:

Seekster:
He hasnt divorced her yet as far as the story says. Yeah in most divorces there is an agreement regarding the kids but thats not what I am talking about. This guy actually packed his things and moved out of the house leaving his wife and kids behind. He will have to pay child support sure but that doesnt change what he did.

As I said, that happens in ANY separation. Someone has to physically separate. If you have any divorce, that happens. It isn't an evil act.

You would do well not to ignore what it does to a child to know that their father thinks so little of them that he would quite literally abandon them like this. Child support or even partial custody may be in the future for them but nothing will change what he did.

That's a really ignorant outlook. Parents splitting up does not mean they "think so little" of their children. It's people like you who cause undue stress to children in separations. This is between the parents and has NOTHING to do with how either feels about the kids.

I am putting my religious views on divorce aside. All this outrage I am expressing is without the outrage I would feel if I factored in religious views...keep that in mind.

But it seems that your entire argument is based around "divorce is unethical" and "marriage for life", which are from your particular religious views. They are not universal concepts.

"In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," Hooker acknowledged. "We keep asking ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?' "

Yeah he put his own feelings above those of his family, what a selfish prick.

I don't think that statement automatically makes him a selfish prick. You don't even know who he is talking about. And sometimes you hurt someone even if it is the right thing to do.

To some degree anyone who only lives to make everyone else happy is someone destined to have a horrible life. It's about creating balance.

Hmm evil? Perhaps, perhaps not. What this man did was wrong though and the only thing that could make him right is if it turns out his wife abused him regularly and there is no reason to believe that is the reason for this.

Maybe it doesnt have anything to do with how he feels about his kids but it can't be good, especially for younger kids, to develop abandonment issues over this, whatever his intentions may have been.

"But it seems that your entire argument is based around "divorce is unethical" and "marriage for life", which are from your particular religious views. They are not universal concepts."

Thats not my argument here at all. This guy isnt even divorced (yet) and I dont see anywhere in the story where anyone has filed for divorce (yet) so he is committing adultery and even from a secular view, cheating on your spouse and lying to your family about it is just wrong.

I would appreciate it if you tried to understand my argument before you criticize it.

The statement in the context of what he did makes him a selfish prick.

Balance? Exactly what about this man's actions was balanced?

hardlymotivated:
Agreed with Blahblahb in that it's hardly surprising that she'd end up with a man that age if she grew up in such a domineering household.

So other than that, pretty much a non-story since they're two consenting adults.

Wow fail. Domineering household?

"I believe it was the stress of the lie," Tammie Powers said. She said her daughter was "always compliant," kept her room tidy at their Waterford home and minded her curfew. No R-rated movies until she was of age. No lone trips to the mall or the movies.

How how horrible! What kind of mother makes their child clean their own room *gasp*. A curfew? How dare the mother! No R-rated movies until she is old enough (which isnt specified though I assume it means 17 since R rating means that its not recommended for anyone under 17 to attend without an adult).

The only thing that seems a bit too much is no lone trips to the mall or the movies but quite frankly thats really not domineering, thats a mother that actually gives a damn about her child. Her failing as a parent we can only speculate at bu tI will not sit here and listen to people claim that this sort of thing qualifies as a "domineering household".

Throw all the condemnation you want at the guy, but you considering that something is 'gross' or, even better, 'just wrong', doesn't mean anything. I, personally, find it unlikely that the two are in love, but I won't claim that they aren't or claim that their acting on their emotions is somehow wrong. The only person in the article I find objectionable is the mother. She seems like a 'think of the children' shrieking moral guardian who tries to protect her kids from knowledge that reality exists.

kuroshimo:
Throw all the condemnation you want at the guy, but you considering that something is 'gross' or, even better, 'just wrong', doesn't mean anything. I, personally, find it unlikely that the two are in love, but I won't claim that they aren't or claim that their acting on their emotions is somehow wrong. The only person in the article I find objectionable is the mother. She seems like a 'think of the children' shrieking moral guardian who tries to protect her kids from knowledge that reality exists.

Ok seriously what does everyone have against the mother? Yeah she is a bit protective but she IS a parent. What should she do just not care how late her child stays out or where she goes?

Oh that is SOOOO AWESOME! Man I wish I had a teacher when I was young... wait a minute... the teacher was a man! This is a disgrace! BURN THEM AT THE STAKE, BOTH OF THEM! XD

Gah, the comments. Gah, the STORY.

First, there's a lot of red flags in this whole story, IMO. A couple of people pointed out, rightly IMO, that the girl's environment seemed repressive. There's also the reaction of the would-be stepfather-- his first reaction is to decide whether or not to beat the guy up? Way to be supportive to your family, there, bucko! Sorry, men who react that way piss me off, the only thing physical violence in a situation like that does is to make the guy doing the beating feel better. Then there's the panic attacks. I don't know, it just feels to me like a kid in a lousy home environment flees in a huge way as soon as she possibly could. (And the mother all over Facebook, that's not great either. Both the mother and her fiance sound like a pair of drama queens, making the whole thing all about them and their suffering.)

Now, the teacher. Yes, it's wildly unethical even if it isn't illegal. (And yes, it would also be unethical in a university or boss-employee. Relationships where one party has power over the other are unbalanced from the get-go. This is why most schools and colleges have policies against this.) And yes, the ages involved are a problem. It's not the gap itself, it's the fact that, developmentally, there's a huge difference between 18 & 40 than, say, 30 & 50. The 18-yr-old is a kid. Not in the eyes of the law, but there is no magic barrier that makes a 17 yr old substantively, psychologically different than an 18-yr-old. She has never lived on her own. She has never worked on her own. She has never *been* on her own, apparently, even to do so much as go to a movie or go shopping. She has no earthly idea what life in the world is, outside the bubble she's in, she has no experience with it at all. And I'm to believe this overgrown adolescent, midlife-crisis-having, grown-ass 40 yr old man has a basis for a mature, grounded relationship with a sheltered kid with zero life experience? She will be the stepmother of his children? REALLY? No. I don't care that she's a legal adult, she's nowhere near done growing yet.

Okay, that out of the way, on to what the teacher did to his family. Yes, TO HIS FAMILY. He left his kids. No, I don't care that he can still care for them, blah blah whatthefuckever. These children are now the center of a giant controversy-- even if this weren't an international media firestorm, he's the center of community hatred. I've *been* the child of the guy the whole town talks about because he's flagrantly cheating. If you don't think the kids are going to get hit with blowback from that, you don't understand the situation. (Christ, I had a guidance counselor tut-tutting about my father at me. When I was TWELVE. "Oh, poor you, and your poor mother, your father out with this other woman all the time". I was bullied for it. And my father wasn't out with a student, but some random woman in town.) These kids are going to be teased, asked questions about it, pitied, and it's going to follow them for years. Their town will treat them differently, as will their teachers, as will their extended family. So anyone who thinks the teacher's kids won't suffer can stow it. And that's if their mother takes it the best possible way and doesn't show her rage and grief in front of her kids. They're both going to take it on the chin, in so many ways, for the teacher's selfishness.

It's not about "divorce is wrong". Ask *any* credible expert on divorce and relationships, and they'll tell you that a relationship undertaken in the middle of divorce proceedings (or before them) is a mistake. Any adult going through a divorce needs some time to process it, time to be by themselves and rediscover who they are outside of that relationship. Especially if there are kids involved, who have their own grief and confusion to process. (Divorce is hard on kids, even in the best of circumstances. OTOH, so is a loveless marriage. Kids can be and often are resilient, but it's still hard on them.) So count up the number of things this guy did wrong. If there's "true love", it could wait until she's in school on her own and he's fully divorced.

Gods, what a mess.

Polarity27:
...
Now, the teacher. Yes, it's wildly unethical even if it isn't illegal. (And yes, it would also be unethical in a university or boss-employee. Relationships where one party has power over the other are unbalanced from the get-go. This is why most schools and colleges have policies against this.)

He quit as a teacher, and hence holds no position of authority over her. There has been no evidence that he ever misused his position.

You are of course free to condemn him, Freedom of Speech and all, but I wouldn't expect not to be condemned in return by others, as someone trying to impose your utterly subjective values and standards on the personal love lives of other consenting adults. I suppose one can always make up for knowing nothing of the specifics and emotions involved, by being extra firm in one's own moral beliefs, and eagerness to impart it.

And yes, the ages involved are a problem. It's not the gap itself, it's the fact that, developmentally, there's a huge difference between 18 & 40 than, say, 30 & 50. The 18-yr-old is a kid. Not in the eyes of the law, but there is no magic barrier that makes a 17 yr old substantively, psychologically different than an 18-yr-old. She has never lived on her own. She has never worked on her own. She has never *been* on her own, apparently, even to do so much as go to a movie or go shopping. She has no earthly idea what life in the world is, outside the bubble she's in, she has no experience with it at all. And I'm to believe this overgrown adolescent, midlife-crisis-having, grown-ass 40 yr old man has a basis for a mature, grounded relationship with a sheltered kid with zero life experience? She will be the stepmother of his children? REALLY? No. I don't care that she's a legal adult, she's nowhere near done growing yet.

Well, I'm glad you can say without fail that a relationship between a 18 year old and a 40 year old can never ever succeed. I'd not feel such confidence.

In part for knowing a couple with a similar age gap - guy was even a high school teacher too, though "only" 36 at the time I believe - and both they and their children are the nicest and most well adjusted people one could imagine. All three children are attending university, the wife have gotten her Ph.D degree after they've flown from the nest, and the father is two years away from retirement of the other job he got after leaving his old one for her sake; Hardly a sob story of social catastrophe.

In any case, if she's a spoiled and sheltered princess with no life experience, I'd say a relationship with a 40 year old man is going to be quite a short cut in acquiring some pretty quickly. No one's forcing her to stay with him any longer than she wish to do so, she's an adult of legal age, and can go wherever she pleases, with whomever she pleases (...though apparently not without being slandered for it by more or less well-meaning busybodies).

Okay, that out of the way, on to what the teacher did to his family. Yes, TO HIS FAMILY. He left his kids.

Glad you could join us here in the 21th century, where such happens all the time, without it really being all that big of a deal.

No, I don't care that he can still care for them, blah blah whatthefuckever. These children are now the center of a giant controversy-- even if this weren't an international media firestorm, he's the center of community hatred. I've *been* the child of the guy the whole town talks about because he's flagrantly cheating. If you don't think the kids are going to get hit with blowback from that, you don't understand the situation. (Christ, I had a guidance counselor tut-tutting about my father at me. When I was TWELVE. "Oh, poor you, and your poor mother, your father out with this other woman all the time". I was bullied for it. And my father wasn't out with a student, but some random woman in town.) These kids are going to be teased, asked questions about it, pitied, and it's going to follow them for years. Their town will treat them differently, as will their teachers, as will their extended family. So anyone who thinks the teacher's kids won't suffer can stow it. And that's if their mother takes it the best possible way and doesn't show her rage and grief in front of her kids. They're both going to take it on the chin, in so many ways, for the teacher's selfishness.

Which all seems to come down to the problem of the community being a bunch of nosy puritans clinging to archaic perceptions of the nuclear family as the one and only acceptable way of life.

Hence it is the community that should be reviled and despised for what it'll do to the children... assuming of course it'll actually react to this as you say it will. Criticizing the father for not yielding to the immense social pressure from such a bunch of narrow minded filth is neither here nor there.

It's not about "divorce is wrong". Ask *any* credible expert on divorce and relationships, and they'll tell you that a relationship undertaken in the middle of divorce proceedings (or before them) is a mistake. Any adult going through a divorce needs some time to process it, time to be by themselves and rediscover who they are outside of that relationship. Especially if there are kids involved, who have their own grief and confusion to process. (Divorce is hard on kids, even in the best of circumstances. OTOH, so is a loveless marriage. Kids can be and often are resilient, but it's still hard on them.) So count up the number of things this guy did wrong. If there's "true love", it could wait until she's in school on her own and he's fully divorced.

...wait, are you the guy's relationship therapist?

Swooning in to save him from himself, so he doesn't commit mistakes in his love life. So he's not swept away by passion, but can remain a good little neutered boy who goes around it all ever so delicately and rationally?

Sounds awful.

Seekster:
...
Thats not my argument here at all. This guy isnt even divorced (yet) and I dont see anywhere in the story where anyone has filed for divorce (yet) so he is committing adultery and even from a secular view, cheating on your spouse and lying to your family about it is just wrong.
...

How is he lying to his family when the story is all over the media? Seems to me he came clear - or was at least forced to do so - pretty quickly after relationship with the other woman became serious.

There's nothing wrong with "adultery" as long the cards are on the table. The partner can then react as they see fit. A marriage is not a contract of owning somebody else's body; It's still theirs to give to whomever they please.

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