My wife of six years (we have a son, 5) is 45; I’m 32.
Our age difference will get even harder as she approaches 50 (it happened when she turned 40 and I was only 27). So we broke up for a year, even though I loved her.
I hoped she’d meet a good same-age man.
She dated someone late-30’s, with health problems - she said he couldn’t have sex, and they were just friends.
I decided to re-connect and asked her to stay away from him, but she refused.
When I moved back, I discovered, through her email, that they’d had oral sex many times during their nine dates.
Though I wish to stay together, I lost my feelings for her because she tried to keep us both.
Also, eventually, our age difference will create problems and a possible break-up. My son would be more affected later, than now when he’s young.
- DILEMMA in Ottawa
Put your son ahead of your age difference and discuss rationally whether you two can stay together, or would be better parents apart – without the drama of age crises, break-ups and sexual flings. Air out your feelings, and look for solutions.
Your wife clearly has her own problem with aging, and should consider positive ways to face it. There are countless attractive, successful and admired woman out there in their 50s, 60s and older, and she’d do well to find a friend or two among them.
Your reaction, to send her off to meet same-age men, was likely a disappointment to her, when she needed your assurances that age meant nothing to you and you were sticking by her.
The other guy was a short-lived fling (and a pathetic effort to keep her options open in case you found it easy to split again).
If you want to give this marriage and family life another chance, you’ll have to do so as a determined, committed team.
My husband and I recently married and “blended” three teenagers.
Our two girls have adjusted well, but not my husband’s son. He’s 17, and during his last year at school, he regularly refused to get out of bed, claiming he was either tired or sick. Doctors said there’s nothing wrong with him.
Both his parents don’t want to encourage therapy (which I suggested).
During summer vacation, we told him that he either works, volunteers, or goes back to school. He’s done nothing. We’ve tried to be encouraging but we’re both at our wits’ ends.
- Worried Step-Mom
Of course there’s “something” wrong… the young man is suffering from upheaval he neither wanted nor can control; he is depressed, confused, feeling hopeless and helpless.
All the parents involved need to get past “wit’s end” and focus on how to help him regain self-confidence and stability. His family’s understanding is the first “therapy” level needed.
Honing in on his own interests is another. A school guidance counsellor or outside education counsellor can probe this with him. Arrange an appointment, accompany him to make sure he attends, and make it a pleasant outing devoted to his future.
Once aware of his long-term interests and hopes, a plan should be initiated.
It may mean he stays out of school a year and volunteers in that field; it may mean switching to a special-interest school.
Show willingness to pursue such paths for his sake – to the best of your ability and affordability.
When he truly feels your emotional support, he’ll become more co-operative.
What should I do if a parent has requested that I don’t invite a relative to my wedding with whom they’re fighting? This person is close with everyone else on that side.
The only contact with me is birthday cards.
We’re paying for most of the wedding although money has been offered if we do as asked.
I don’t think this parent will attend my wedding if I don’t agree.
Choose your principles, not a bribe.
Tell your parent that your wedding isn’t a battleground; you’d rather pay your own way, have both attend, seat them far apart and expect decent behaviour on this special occasion.
However, if your parent is adamant about staying away, and you’re forced to this negative choice, inform your relative of your regrets, and hopes that he/she understands.
If you take the money instead, you’ll be pushed to cave in many times ahead.
Tip of the day:
Marital problems require discussion and search for solutions, not knee-jerk responses to drama.