Dear Love Guru,
I am engaged to my fiancé who is 24 years older than me. We are both hard-working, tax-paying, independent people who currently live together. We are planning our wedding and our issue is that my family did not approve when I started dating him and they don’t even know that I am still with him.
I have already analysed all the concerns I can think of in relation to the age issue. I have examined them all and come to the conclusion that I am convinced that this is what I want. I love this man since he gives my life meaning and purpose. The qualities that make up his nature are exactly what I want in a man.
We have fantastic communication skills, we are both passionate about humanitarian service, share the same common interests and have common goals. Our trust, respect and honesty are reciprocated and we are the best of friends. We participate in many activities together and have an awesome understanding. We engage in really thought provoking conversations about philosophy, the meaning of life, the origin of the universe, God and how to better our world.
Sadly, my family does not know how happy I am or the beautiful life I have with this man since I don’t live in the same city as they do. Every day, it gets harder for me to keep this hidden and I have fear, anxiety, terror and sadness from what their response may be once they find out.
They knew about him when we dated and staunchly disapproved and made me break up with him but I never did, I just pretended to do so. I have stayed with him all this time and we are inseparable. He doesn’t even look his age in fact nobody in public has ever guested his age. He takes care of himself, is a vegetarian, works out six days a week and has a very beautiful and clean appearance.
I cannot envision my life without him, but my depression stems from my family’s rejection. How do I handle this and alleviate myself from the trauma and drama?
Unfortunately our families and friends don’t always accept or even understand our romantic relationships. They find it hard to empathise, particularly when said relationships do not fall within the usual ‘norm’ imposed by society. You are happy and in love. You are an independent, adult woman who knows her own mind, knows what she wants and is aware of the consequences should things go wrong. That being said, sometimes members of our family always continue to view their children as youngsters who do not know their own mind, and it is up to us to prove them wrong.
No one can keep a secret forever. Not that you should, since you are aware that you are actually not doing anything wrong. It is your life, and your choices are hurting nobody. You are afraid that your family might not support you and your partner, since they had already forced you to break up with him once. Perhaps, your mistake was to lie that first time – making them think that you had taken their advice and did what they asked and that therefore your relationship was not important enough for you to stand firm in the face of their disapproval. Now you find yourself at a point where you cannot hide the truth anymore.
You seem to have no doubts as to your future with your partner. As such, you have a big decision to make. Revealing the fact that you have been lying for so long will be even harder and more painful than telling your family that you are going to get married to someone they do not approve of. That being said, once again, you have come to an important crossroad in your life.
Do you believe that when they see how happy and determined you are to make this relationship a success, they will still point blank refuse to accept both of you as an established couple? If the worst should come to the worst, are you ready to lose members of your family, in order to be with the person you love? Have you ever considered family counselling?
In the end, it is up to each and every individual to make his/her personal choices in life, and then abide with the consequences. No one else has the right to force us to do things we do not want to do. Do what you know will make you happy. However, be prepared that most of the time, no matter what you decide, there will always be someone who does not agree with you. Life is not about making other people happy, but about being the best possible person you can be and about making YOURSELF happy.
Good luck and may you have an awesome wedding.