FELL IN LOVE WITH MY STEPDAUGHTER
This is NOT one of those tacky stories about the evil stepfather who has sex with his 16yr. old daughter. In fact, there is no sex involved here at all.
I first met my stepdaughter when she was age 25, shortly before she married. That was 14 years ago, and she is now age 39. We have been good friends for the last 6 or 7 years (even my wife had said so), but slowly I began to fall in love with her. It's not that she is any raving beauty, but she has a unique look, and most of all, a beautiful personality. We exchanged e-mails quite often at her work.
Recently at a family get-together she showed an unusual amount of affection towards me (i.e. rubbing legs on the couch, blowing a warm kiss across the room, a very long hug at my departure). I was convinced she also felt strongly about me.
Perhaps it was emotion, perhaps it was curiosity, perhaps it was my monthly testosterone shot (a known aphrodisiac), perhaps it was because my wife was out of town (or perhaps all of these), I e-mailed my stepdauhter, telling her how I felt about her, that I had "deep feelings" which I had been hiding for years. I received no response, but later found out that she had called my wife at the other stepdaugter's home, and forwarded my e-mails to them. Now everybody knows, and I am the dog of the family. My wife has insisted we go to marital counseling as well. Our marriage is almost on the rocks.
I know what I did was wrong....a betrayal of my wife (and with her own daughter, no less)but I feel strongly that my stepdaughter should have confronted me herself, and that going straight to my wife was destructive to everyone. A simple e-mail telling me I was "off base" would have been adequate. It was as though 7 years of friendship had just vanished. My wife, on the other hand, thinks I am just upset because I got caught (I have been totally faithful to my wife since we were married).
Complicating the matter is the husband of my stepdaughter. He had been an alcholic for 10 years of their marriage, and is now reformed through AA. When he got his second DUI, my stepdaughter left him in jail for 30 days to dry out. Everyone in the family agreed with that approach, especially my wife. The husband has never been very warm to either of us (but then he is not "warm and fuzzy" towards anyone). After I sent the e-mails, I understand that my stepdaugter went to him to ask him what to do, and that he responded that she should call my wife. I have great suspicion that he used this event as retribution upon me and my wife (his mother-in-law), and used my stepdaughter as his pawn.
My question is this: Should my stepdaughter have come to me first and tried to explain and work things out (YES) or was she right in going straight to my wife by telephone and sending my e-mails to her.(NO). Your input would be appreciated.