DEAR AMY:My wife left me. I still live near her family. Her family has taken my side because she left me, even though she and I have tried our best to avoid the blame game. Her 19-year-old niece started helping me out when I had my young sons on the weekend. We started having sex. I didn't seduce her. It just happened. I tried to stop, but we didn't. There's a 14-year age difference between us. My ex-wife figured out what was going on and called me. Instead of being angry, she teased me at first and then said she was happy that I was with her niece. Maybe my ex and I are a little too civilized. We were never all that passionate about each other, which led to my ex finding someone else. Her niece and I have been very passionate, but I wonder if it's the dark, taboo side that is the basis of the attraction. Now she wants to move in with me. When she told her mother, her mom took her to Victoria's Secret to celebrate. I want an objective opinion. Are we nuts?
DEAR WORRIED: There are children involved in your tawdry tale. Every choice you make should be for their benefit.
There is no such thing as being "too civilized," but you and your ex might be playing a mind game with each other.
This family seems to be pushing the two of you together (the mother taking your young lover to Victoria's Secret to celebrate your relationship is icky).
You have the freedom to have a sexual relationship with anyone; what you mustn't do is involve the kids in what is potentially a very messy situation. When this relationship cools (and it will), you will face the prospect of alienating your kids' extended family.
Whatever you choose, do not cohabit. You should explore your ability to have a relationship without leaping (or being pressured) into a domestic commitment.