By Alley Einstein
Julie is madly in love with her own father.
Last year 32-year-old Julie Symonds* received an email from her mother, who had left her in care since she was six. Trying to make up for the years of neglect, her mum announced she had a surprise she suspected she knew who Julie's real father was.
Julie, who was happily married, was thrilled, but little did she realise that very soon she would be sharing the same bed as the man she should have been calling Dad and falling in love with him.
After passing over some details, Julie contacted the man whom she believed was her dad, via email. He was 52-year-old dad Jeff Thomas*, a war veteran living in LA.
"My mum dumped me in care from the age of six and I never had a father-figure. Finding out I might actually have a family was thrilling for both myself and my husband," says Julie.
Jeff and Julie were stunned at how alike their writing style was in emails, even down to using the same punctuation style and wording.
"It was like finding a twin or soul mate," says Jeff. The pair then exchanged photos, and were shocked at the resemblance. In March, Julie and her husband flew to Los Angeles.
Julie admits to feeling instantly attracted to her father.
"I saw my dad, but I also saw a sexy, attractive man. Imagine my feelings of horror and excitement, especially as my husband was with me," says Julie.
Jeff, too, admits to having feelings for Julie immediately.
"I recognised my role as Julie's dad, but I already found myself falling in love with her," says Jeff. "I actually thought 'Well, maybe that's the process" because we kind of fall in love with our kids when they're born. I thought that maybe I was just going through this same thing, only she's an adult, and it's perfectly normal, and I kept telling myself that."
Julie and her husband stayed in a hotel and met all of Jeff's extended family. A DNA test proved that Jeff and Julie were father and daughter, but with every passing day their mutual attraction known as Genetic Sexual Attraction was growing.
Research has shown that 50 per cent of brothers and sisters or children and parents separated at birth, who find each other as adults, experience some form of sexual attraction.
While Julie's husband flew home for work, Julie moved in with her dad and his then wife to get to know the family she never knew existed. A few days into the stay there was a chance for Julie and Jeff to be alone. Sitting on the couch, Julie finally came clean about her feelings.
"I admitted how I was feeling, and Jeff said he loved me too. We just sat, holding hands," says Julie, who began seeing a therapist after her first meeting with Jeff.
The pair kissed, and both claim the kiss and passion felt scarily right.
The relationship progressed. Jeff's marriage fell apart, and under the guise of bonding with her new family, Julie stayed with Jeff, sharing a two-bedroom flat with the man she still calls Dad.
Today Julie is still living with Jeff. Her husband believes she is spending time getting to know her father and doesn't know that the pair are sharing a bed.
"We have done everything but had actual sexual intercourse. It's like we're an old married couple we're in love and know that actually having intercourse cannot be far away," confesses Jeff.
The father and daughter also take trips away where they can act as boyfriend and girlfriend and relish every moment away from prying eyes.
"We love each other as a father and daughter, but the problem is that we love each other more as lovers. If we weren't related she'd get divorced and I'd be getting married to her," says Jeff.
Despite the criminal and ethical implications, Julie and Jeff are determined to keep seeing each other.
"My father has recently retired, and he's going to move near me and my husband, where we will continue our relationship," says Julie.
"My husband and I have always tried to be honest with each other and we've even promised each other that if we fell in love with another person, that we would admit it. But I'm afraid that it would be too much of a judgmental issue for him. I'm afraid that I'll become a social outcast in all of the places that I go."
And yes, if someone discovers their identity and secret, they have answers prepared. "I guess the way that I see it is what goes on behind closed doors is no one else's business but my own after all it is not as though I raised Julie," says Jeff.
"I don't know. If someone were to confront me on the street I am a little bit hard-headed and stubborn so I would probably come back at them with a smart-arsed remark using what intellect I have," says Julie.
Pictures: Big UK. Not posed by models.
*Names have been changed.
Woman's Day did not pay the couple for their story.