Ask Sam letter


To Sam


so im 17 and hes 47, he loves me and i love him. but i know its wrong and i want to leave my family for him but i cant do it what can i do
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter. It sounds like things are difficult for you at the moment because you feel torn between your family and your boyfriend.

You say that you’re in love with him and he’s in love with you. But you also say that you know that it is wrong, and it seems that you’re experiencing some really mixed feelings.

There is a significant age gap between you and your boyfriend and I can understand that this could be causing concern. When one person in a relationship is much younger than the other one, it makes it really hard for both people to be completely equal in that relationship. Often the older person will have more experience, more independence, more money and more knowledge, which leaves the younger person at risk of being taken advantage of. It might be worth reading the advice about healthy and unhealthy relationships in Explore and on the Brook website.

You haven’t said how you met your boyfriend or how long you’ve been together. It’s worth pointing out that even though you are over the legal age to have sex (16), your relationship could still be illegal if his job means he has some responsibility for you (for example, if he works at your college or school).

I can see that you want to make everything right and everybody happy. But it is difficult when your emotions are involved and unfortunately we can’t just switch off how we feel. Like you say, you love him and he loves you and I imagine that you love your family too. You don’t want to be hurt, nor hurt anyone you love, and this is what makes things feel so complicated. 

You have asked what it is that you can do. I wonder how you’d feel about trying to talk honestly to your family about how you feel. I know this is easier said than done. However, talking about your feelings just like you have in your letter will give your family a chance to try and understand what things are like for you. 

I also think that you might benefit from speaking to a ChildLine counsellor. Perhaps they could even help you plan what you’d like say to your family. You can call the counsellors for free on 0800 1111 or log in for a 1-2-1 chat, whichever feels most comfortable.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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