Counting the years: again! — thoughts and processes

Ok, people have been talking about this “age” thing and so I decided to write another blog post about it.

when my daughter was 17 and wanted to date a 30year old, I had my concerns and rightly so.
The man had other motives and I understood them.
Besides, I did not believe that my daughter should be in a relationship with someone who had so much experience.
In fact, she was in a relationship with a 24year old (against my advice) and it ended because she was at a different life stage.
She wanted to go out to concerts and such. And, this particular 24year old was ready to find a wife and settle down quietly.
So, I do understand some of the objections and believe me, I have looked at them all.
But, frankly, I am 40 and I have many experiences to learn from.
And, I believe that I am making a mature, intelligent decision.

I will copy some of the concerns that ppl have expressed to me:
_______
“Life stage issues: Is this actually a case  of two capable, established, self sufficient autonomous adults coming together, each with existing abilities
to make it  on thier own without the other? Or is there the possibility of an underlying , potentially disfunctional connection that makes it feel so right
on the surface because, unbeknownst to them, they are transferring their dependencies, unknowingly  recreating the familiar? For example, regarding Him, he has always had a mothertype figure in his life, been cared for in various ways—by his own mom, maybe another caregiver, his sister, and you. Does he have the capacity to be self sufficient without a woman performing so many of the traditional caretaking tasks? Has he ever had to be? Now he is at the threshold of figuring out what he is going to do with his life, postgraduation, and seperate from his sister, and he negotiates to transition into a relationship
with a dear friend who is soon to be his lover, intimate companion, and, yes, caretaker of sorts? Is he coming to you, as an established, independent man?
And are there any needs or feelings of vunerability, possibly unforseen or undefined, that contribute to this particular timing of this transition?
is it possible that you are recreating the status quo in your life by making choices that will require you live the old, familiar script rather than take the risks required to walk boldly into the unknown? And further, I hate to say this, but some therapists might speculate that, all things considered, you might be filling the empty nest with a husband who is so much your junior that his life is more likely synchronous to  that of your children more so than to your own.”
_______
“This might be fine for now, but what about when you get older? You would be 65 and might need some additional care and he would be in the throws of a great career. You will be at different life stages. Will he care for you as you need? Will he seek the comfort of a younger woman for an extra marrital affair?”
________
Let’s take the last questions first.
I know many “similarly aged partners” with one spouse who has cancer, or another life threatening disease. While age does dictate that my body will require more care, no one can predict the future. When two similarly aged people marry, they make the commitment to care for each other in sickness and health. Neither know what that might require and when it might happen. Thus, we will do the same. Certainly, it does mean that we have a higher probability of health related issues in our lives. But, we are both willing to accept this.
I am not sure how this next question actually came into the age debate.
We know enough 40something (and I am just picking a number) who married similarly aged partners who decide to have extra marrital affairs. I don’t think that the gap in age, his particular culture or any other single characteristic is a factor in infidelity.

The next set of questions deal with my emotional state and his and our bond.
What my wonderful mentor/friend does not understand is that I will still be walking boldly into the unknown.
I will still be socializing as I would like and I still want a career.
We have talked about children and if we have some, I will rejoice and raise them as I have done my first.
But, if we don’t, we have both accepted this and will live happy productive lives.
He will be a companion on my journey and I on his. Certainly, I will be there to fulfill some of his needs and he for me. But, he will not need care, as my children did. And, if he becomes that dependent, I promise, I will lose all desire for him as my husband. These two are quite different. I could not act toward him as I act toward my son and still consider him my husband.
I don’t want another child, not in the husband sense. If I wanted another child, I would start the adoption procedures for one and forego the husband altogether.
She asks: “does he have the capacity to become self sufficient without a woman performing so many of the traditional care taking tasks?”
Have you seen batchlor pads? I am not sure that most men actually “become self sufficient,” in the way we think that they should. (smile) Sorry men. What I mean is that while maturity can facilitate such experiences, it still is quite a meshing of lives when two people marry. Many batchlors report eating microwave dinners or take out until they marry. Sure, I will cook, clean the house (Acording to my standards and those who know me, know what that means) and perform some of the typically wifely functions that are expected in a marriage. Just as I would if I were younger and just as I did with my first husband. And, we were supposedly on equal footing when it came to maturity level… … because, he was only one month exactly younger than I. If a family is made: whether it be a young woman or an older woman, there are certain family obligations that one takes on. And, let’s discuss autonomy and independence! I have always believed that we are all interdependent. As one who has a disability, I realize that there are some things that I need someone else to assist me with. In fact, I realize when others might need my assistance, but won’t take it because they are just too proud to ask for any from someone who is disabled. (That is another subject, sorry). It is a fact of life. I am not an island unto myself. Neither is he. Sure, we will be dependent on each other. I look at other families: even if the couples were once quite autonomous, they become comfortable being dependent on each other as mates when they marry. if that relationship is severed, they must learn again how to depend on themselves. So, this, is not an age-gap problem. Here’s the thing, I know that I can survive on my own. Yes, it is a bit frightening to move to a new city and have to start over. I am moving…. …. hopefully in March. I say, Hopefully, because I was suppose to move in February. There is just some paperwork that continues to delay the process. He won’t finish college until August, so, in effect, I will be living by myself, as if I were single. And, lest someone forget, I have no children here and have not had any since August of 2009. I am able and capable of living on my own. I just “choose” not to; especially when I have found a loving and wonderful companion to share my life with. If I must choose between autonomy and companionship, the latter would win hands down.
We amaericans place so much value on “freedom” and being “independent” that we are actually quite lonely and try to fill the void with unhealthy relationships and other unhealthy habits. We were made not to stand alone, but to have a partner. It is that interdependence that weaves our lives together. Of course, if the interdependence is unbalanced or if there are other issues in the relationship, one might begin to resent their or their spouse’s dependence and wish for a more equitable existance.
But, as far as the age-gap, time will tell. Since I am blogging, you will all know if it will work out and how.

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2 Responses to “Counting the years: again! — thoughts and processes”

  1. computerguy Says:

    Dear blogger, your blog indicates that your companion has been living in america for several years now and therefore, it is safe to assume that he does most of his daily routine tasks himself. So the concern of relying on you for motherly comforts can be safely ruled out.

    • jamily5 Says:

      Hi Computerguy,

      This is Jamily5The point that she was making was that Imran, has always had someone take care of him. I understand her point and her frame of reference. My point was that if I wanted to be a mother, I would adopt another child. I am not wanting a child, but a lover which means that I don’t want to be “mothering.” Yes, there are “caretaking tasks” that wives and husbands do, but feeling too motherly and behaving as such just kills the passion. JMHO.

      Check out my written articles and comment at: http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/487125/jan_wright.html “Bonds of the Heart should never be broken!” “Dil kay rishton kay bandhan kabhi naheen tootnay chahiay hain!” — Urdu translation

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