Reader’s Commentary - Like the woman, 48, who’s dating the son, 25, of her ex-husband and his second wife (April 5), I married a man 22 years younger than me. His parents were upset at the age difference.
That was 15 years ago, we’re now 71 and 49. We were initially friends, and worried about the age gap. But it’s had little impact on our relationship.
I look younger than I am, and we share many similarities of outlook, interests, and goals. It’s the best relationship either of us has ever had.
Recently, my husband said his only wish is that we could’ve met somewhere in the middle of our ages.
The knowledge that he’ll likely outlive me is heart wrenching to both of us.
We’re the envy of my friends – some of whom have lost their spouses to cancer, etc. I respond that I wasn’t looking for someone younger, and that the seeming obstacle of age difference hasn’t proven to be one.
My in-laws were likely disturbed that their son and I would never have children together.
It was probably a blessing. I have four grown children, and am thankful that they’re not living with us. That complication would have added a layer of stress.
That 48-year-old woman should assess what type of reaction his parents would have to the knowledge of their relationship, rather than to their age difference.
Given time, age issues will sort themselves out, one way or another.
Ellie – The unusual factor for that couple is that the younger man is her ex’s son (though not her step-son).
The psychologist she sees told her she was “recreating” her first marriage, which, if so, adds a very complicating layer to this relationship, which could affect everyone emotionally – her ex, his wife, and the couple. My advice, since it was early days in their connection, was to not date him.
My two sister's married emotionally abusive husbands. At special events and holidays, their husbands exhibited terrible behavior to me.
Consequently, my mom suggested that I not come home for holidays. The husbands have both died, but the sisters continue to bully me. My mom’s aware of this, and doesn't understand why they’re like that to my family and me.
Both sisters’ families are very dysfunctional.
I felt that my mother chose, and that she accepted the way they treated me. Once, when a stranger assaulted me, they didn’t believe me and told her not to support me.
They recently said that after mom dies, they won’t have a relationship with me. I can accept that, but I feel abandoned by my mom’s response to all this.
Not Coping Well
From what you write, it seems your mom was trying to protect you from your brothers-in-law, not abandoning you.
She was also trying to maintain a connection and loyalty to her two other daughters and their children, while not understanding the bullying.
Re-direct your negative feelings back to those two siblings, who, for some reason, have been jealous of you. There’s family history there – perhaps you had more opportunities, being younger and able to take advantage of them.
It’d be beneficial to you to explore that history with a therapist, to ease your hurt and sense of loss.
Meanwhile, forgive your mom for not having the expertise to handle this situation better. Enjoy her while she’s alive…. and when she passes, you may decide you’re better off without a relationship with your siblings, or be able to handle them.
I’ve been seeing this guy for a month. I always have to ask when I can see him. If I don't text him all day, he gets annoyed.
When we’re together, his phone is constantly “dead,” though I see it’s on charge in his car or his room.
When I ask what he thinks of me, he says not to worry, I’m doing "fine." He claims he’s never cheated but I feel something isn’t right.
We talked very night, now it’s only three times a week. We only see each other once a week because of his work.
Only one month and four or five actual dates, yet you have to text him every day? This guy’s letting you do all the work in this not-yet-a relationship.
He may be seeing others, or he may be distancing from your neediness.
If he doesn’t make more effort, move on.
Tip of the day:
There’s more to recognize about unusual factors in a relationship than just an age difference.