Dear Aunt Silvia,
I am a single mother of five teenagers. I work for an international organization and my work takes me around the world. All my children live and go to school abroad.
In one of my rounds in a foreign country, I met and fell in love with a man who is younger than me. The relationship has been going on now for the last one and half years.
I don’t want to tell my children that I have decided to settle down with a man because I attempted once and it was very bad. What do I do?
The man has proposed to me and I have accepted his hand in marriage but the big task will be talking to my children and family about it. Please advice.
There is no short cut – you have to face your children and family and talk to them about your feelings. However, be warned if the age difference is big; our society does not take such relationships well because it tends to believe the older party in such a union has manipulated the younger one into marrying them.
Many single parents have found themselves in such situations because they tend to worry more about their children and forget about their feelings for a while.
After the children are all grown up and gone is when the loneliness hits hard and they try to pick up the pieces from where they left- sometimes albeit too late.
Even though as parent it is only natural to put your children’s feelings before yours, sometimes is it fair if you put aside a little time for your affairs too.
You should be able to talk to your children and make them understand as to why you need a partner in you life at this stage.
Remember, whether you are 48 or 68 it doesn’t matter- age is just but a number. If you can love and be loved in return, why not go ahead and legalize your relationship and salvage the little time that life has to offer?
However your feelings for each other should be sincere and you should be ready to face any row(s) your age difference might cause among your families.
Take time to think about and go over it again. Whatever decision you will make, be careful not to hurt your children. Some children do not know how to handle such situations.
They can walk out of your life forever, suffer from depression or worse even try to commit suicide- then in the end you will have nothing to show for except a lover.
Your children are your legacy you have invested so much in them and sacrificed a lot too for their sake, don’t let this relationship ruin everything that you have so much built and worked for all your life. I wish you Godspeed!