True story: Once upon a time (back in the 80s), my then-girlfriend shared a house with a divorced woman and her two kids (aged 11 and 7). The woman had been a teacher’s aid and had started an affair with one of her 16 year old students. Her husband found out and divorced her, but (somehow) she got custody of the kids.
By the time I met her, the “kid” was now 20 and she was ~35 and they were still seeing each other. The “kid” confided in me that he was just using her for sex would only hand out with her for anther year or so. He had no intention of marrying her. So, the “kid” just basically looked a her as a trophy he would soon ditch—nothing more. He certainly didn’t respect or love her.
Of course, the woman actualy thought that he was going to propose any day now. It was a really sad and pathetic situation. I especially felt bad for her kids. You could see the shame in their eyes, especially her 11 year old son—who was old enough to know what was going on with mom. I’m sure that boy carries around some serious baggage as a grown-up. My impression was that the woman couldn’t face middle age and this was her way of trying to hang on too her youth. She was also financially irresponsible and would often not pay her share of the rent, but she still found $$ to buy the “kid” liquor and cigarettes.