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Offline desire_anonymitiy

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Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« on: January 11, 2010, 02:39:44 AM »
I am a 33 year old man, and after university I have worked overseas, lived in a number of expatriate communities, and worshipped in small ex-pat churches; at university, I was too busy with my life and didn't consider entering a relationship, and since then, until my current place of work, the only single Christian women I have encountered have either been in a relationship themselves, or, for one reason or another, obviously unsuitable. I am also shy and quiet, and have difficulties approaching women. This is therefore my first relationship of any seriousness. The scarcity of potential partners is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and possibly get worse given that I am getting older.

My partner is 48, and from a very different part of the world to me. She has had one serious relationship in her life; but ultimately the man was involved with didn't want to commit to marriage, and left her, coming here. She left behind everything she had to follow him, but he rejected her again and got involved with another woman. Time has passed, and she is now ready for another relationship. We have known each other in the Church, and been good friends, for several years. We started dating about 6 months ago; and during that period we fell in love. Last month, we decided that we wanted to take the relationship further towards marriage, and then she told me her age; she looks young, and I originally placed her at the same age as me. A few weeks ago, I was offered another position in another country and culture foreign to both of us starting in the Autumn. She is willing to come with me, and doesn't have much here, but because of visa issues and my commitments with my new job, as well as questions of conscience and morality, the only way we can do this is if we get married before I leave, a little under a year from when we started dating. We ideally have to make the decision whether or not to proceed with this in the next few weeks.

I am mature for my years, in both appearance and my character in every respect except my experience with relationships; she is young for hers, and we meet somewhere in the middle. Our Christian beliefs match each other well (we are both very strong Christians, and have been since we were children, with similar denominational backgrounds and beliefs); our needs, expectations and what we can provide for each other in marriage seem to be complementary (we are, of course, still in the process of evaluating this, so I'm not yet certain of this; and obviously won't make any decision until we are certain); our characters seem to fit well; and we have interests in common. Children are (in effect) impossible for her, but I have had certain medical problems in that area, and although not infertile, might have difficulty myself. That we will not have children is therefore something we can both accept; although it's causing problems within my own family. Physically, I am most attracted to women of around 25-35, but, as mentioned, she looks as though she is that age group, although I don't know how much longer that will last. I want to proceed with this relationship, and I have already made a large degree of commitment and promises to her which I do not want to break.  I don't want to let her down. However, I am aware that my judgement could be clouded by my emotion, so I want to get some advice elsewhere, which is why I've come here.

My concerns are that the following will happen all at around the same time:
Adapting to a new culture; Adapting to a new job; Adapting to marriage and each other's culture; her menopause. And of course, we will be getting married far faster than is usually recommended. Although I believe that our commitment to each other and strength of character overcome this; I have doubts about whether we should put ourselves into this position; whether the gains from this relationship will be large enough to justify the risk we are taking. I've come for an objective opinion as to what I should do.

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Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« on: January 11, 2010, 02:39:44 AM »

Offline chosenone

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 03:53:05 AM »
Hi and welcome Just some random thoughts about what you have said. (By the way I am slightly older than your girlfriend)

One or two things make me a bit concerned . The first thing that hit me was that you have known her for years, you have been going out for 6 months and you have only just found out how old she is? Did she know how old you are? I don't know but to me that seems very strange. I knew my husbands age on the first or second date.Its one of those basic things that most people tell each other very early on. It sort of makes me wonder what else you haven't talked about that may be important.

Also the child thing. Most people (not all) want children. You cant have any with this lady and she will be too old to adopt. Are you 100% sure that you wont regret that? A big thing to think about.You need to make sure that you wont resent that later on.Be honest with yourself.

Also the fact that you are coming here and asking opinions makes me think that you aren't 100% sure, and if you are not 100% sure then is it a good idea to go through with it? if you are slightly unsure could you carry on the relationship after you have gone, by email phone and visits until you know that you are 100% sure?  Maybe don't even think about marriage as yet, and see what happens till you go. If by that time (which will be about a year and 3 months after you started going out I think).,then you can always arrange to get married a few months after that. Either she could go there or you could come back for the wedding.

A slight warning. My husband met his wife in Australia. He is Australian and she is English. They married  6 months after they met, as her visa was going to run out and she was going to have to go back to the UK. It wasn't a good decision, he was never really happy and in the end she divorced him after meeting another man.
Now this is not saying that your case is the same in any way, its just a warning against doing something if you are not fully sure. 

As for the looks thing. yes she is somewhat older than you, she is nearing 50, and yes she will age more quickly than you. However your comments about liking 25-35 year old women will still be an issue even if you marry someone of your age. You will age. she will age and none of us will look like 30 years olds when we are 45, 50, 55 or whatever. You will need to love your wife (whether that is her or someone else) no matter what she looks like as she ages.

Must admit, I have a son who is nearly 32. I wouldn't be too happy if he was wanting to marry a woman in her late 40s who also couldn't have kids, so I can understand where your family are coming from, but you are an adult and old enough to make your own decisions.

Derek Princes first wife was about 20 years older than him and he loved her a lot,and was very happy with her, so maybe God is in it.
Obviously she died when he was still fairly young but that is a problem with marrying an older person. What do you get from God when you are asking Him?.What do you feel The Holy Spirit is saying to you? What is your deep down gut feeling?
In Him I live and move and have my being.

My determined purpose is that I may know Him - that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly."

It is by Grace we have been saved though Faith and not by works so that no one can boast.

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 03:53:05 AM »

Offline comfy

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 04:16:11 AM »
I'd say not to let circumstances argue you into deciding what to do. There is what God knows about circumstances, that you do not know; plus He knows what He simply wants for you. So, you can be naming circumstances, but only what you are aware of and how you perceive them. But there is simply what you do not know.

I am concerned that you may not be sharing this with people you know personally, who are mature and sound Christians > I mean a number and variety of brothers and sisters > including couples and pastoral people > who are stronger than you and are seniors in the faith, even.

It is possible to put too many emotional eggs into one basket with one person, and not be growing in relationships with different Christian brothers and sisters who are our Jesus Family. If you have gotten mainly focused with finding some one relationship > this can keep us from growing in God's love which has us loving various people, and getting fulfilled with a number of other really Christian people so we are satisfied enough in this love so that marriage is not such a big deal.

Marriage needs to be humbled, not exalted so much like ones do.

And we need to humble our own selves; so this would mean if someone loves me, she needs to humble me, not make such a big deal out of me. And humble the problems and issues, so that in prayer we are starting with our attention to "Our Father", and not so fast to our problems and sins and issues. Maybe, become able to in prayer get with God, and not bring up questions until and if He brings these things up. And enjoy how He will lighten and enlighten you ::smile::
Be patient, "with all lowliness and gentleness,
                       with longsuffering,
          bearing with one another in love," (Ephesians 4:2)

Offline desire_anonymitiy

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 06:44:41 AM »
There are times when I am 100% sure about this, other times when I have doubts, but only because there  are questions concerning our life together which have discussed, with favourable answers, but need to consider in more detail.  I am obviously not going to get married until I am 100% satisfied that we are suited to each other, and engaged before I am 100% sure that I can make the commitment that requires. I am hoping that it won't take us long to reach that stage; if it does then I will have to delay, as you recommend. Visiting each other when we are away will be difficult due to each of our work commitments; she will only have a little time to see me, and I won't be able to come to her. I won't get a chance for a break for at least three months into my job. My only concerns at the moment are about the age gap, because I don't know what effect that will have on the quality of our relationship. I am unsure of how great the difficulties associated with this will be, which is why I have posted here. I want to know if there is anyone who knows of similar situations, who can offer guidance about what problems might arise; only then will I be able to judge how well we will be able to overcome them.

We have, of course, consulted with other Christians, and will continue to do so; and my girlfriend with some professional marriage consultants whom she knows from back home. The answers have mostly been favourable. But, of course, nobody we have consulted quite knows what to expect from a relationship like this.

When we first started going out, we weren't planning to go in this direction. We were just in both in need of a friend to share a drink/meal with after Church. The relationship then just happened as we each started to realise that the other person might be what we were looking for. My girlfriend is generally private about her personal details, and didn't want to share her age at that time, although I was open about myself (we are, of course, from different cultures). I was puzzled that her life seemed to have had far more happened than I had expected considering what I thought of her age, and I should have thought about it more. Once we realised in what direction we were going,  we started to share everything.

My gut is telling me that I should proceed, but I usually try not to think with my gut. My prayers have not been so clearly answered. "All things work for good for those who love God," and this relationship is for my good either way; if it works out I get a good wife, if not, God is preparing me for something else. Obviously I'm still praying for guidance, and won't proceed until I get a clear answer.

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 06:44:41 AM »

Offline chosenone

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 07:22:15 AM »
So its only really been a month since you realised that you liked each other in that way and you found out her age?Maybe that is very soon for you to be thinking about marriage then.if up till then you were just friends and didnt even know her age, then I wonder if you need to leave it for a while yet.
What about children?. Most men would be really disappointed not to be able to have kids. Did you want to have children before you met her?

My dad married a women 24 years his junior (my step mum) yes there are some problems but the main one was that when he died she was still only in her 40's.
If you can accept that she will alomst certainly die some while before you, and that she will age long before you, then that doesnt have to be too much of a problem.As long as you can still love her when she is 60 and you are 45 and when she is 70 and you are 55, then go for it.
 I dont kwow, its just that your lady is only 5 years younger than me and you are only 2 years older than my son so to me it seems strange,Sort of like marrying someone of my sons age, but men marry younger women all the time dont they, so why does it have to be any different I guess.. 
In Him I live and move and have my being.

My determined purpose is that I may know Him - that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly."

It is by Grace we have been saved though Faith and not by works so that no one can boast.

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 07:22:15 AM »



Offline walker starr

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 07:48:38 AM »




                                                      ENJOY!
Have patience, I am 82 years old and new to computers. I don't belong in this century but I am enjoying some of it. JESUS is king. JESUS ALWAYS HAS AND ALWAYS WILL KEEP HIS PROMISES.

Offline comfy

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 02:21:20 PM »
Walker Starr is right > if I understand Walker right > most of all, just enjoy what you do have. No need to get tangled in a lot of analyzing, like I can do. But in case any of this can help . . . I'll offer some more detailed things >

Desire Anonymitiy, you shared >
Quote
I am hoping that it won't take us long to reach that stage; if it does then I will have to delay, as you recommend.
You can enjoy what you do have, and not be in a hurry to be elsewhere. Isn't marriage basically about appreciating all we do have, now, and enjoying discovering where God takes us from here? So, now you can learn to do this, so you become better at knowing God's will, and then, whether you marry or not, you will be able to keep doing this with God. Just have your fill of love with Him, and see where He takes you in His peace (Colossians 3:15) with clarity.
Quote
I am unsure of how great the difficulties associated with this will be, which is why I have posted here. I want to know if there is anyone who knows of similar situations, who can offer guidance about what problems might arise; only then will I be able to judge how well we will be able to overcome them.
I have older ladies who I suspect have tried to get intimate with me > and I clearly did not sense God taking me this way > I offered to them that *first* we need to be about pleasing God, and this including how Jesus wants us to love *all* people. And so, I can't have any favoritism for someone just because we can talk nicely and share personally. If you have been relating in love with elderly Christian people, you know how fulfilling this can be; so I suppose your experience with beautifully loving Christian senior women could show you how you can be with your wife if she starts to kind of get ahead of you into being elderly while you still aren't. Our senior ladies are more beautiful in Jesus, than our green teens and in-betweens > so more satisfying to me, than I ever have hoped to have with ladies more my own age ::smile:: because they are more mature, and ripe and sweet in Jesus love, the most beautifully pure and pleasant love there is ::clappingoverhead:: > as her "head" (Ephesians 5:23-29), it will be your responsibility to minister and escort her into this > 1 Peter 3:4.

You can learn and adjust to reality. Also, we can't assume she will die first or start having major health problems before you do, if either of you do.

Quote
Once we realised in what direction we were going,  we started to share everything.
However . . . as we grow in God's love, we become able to have better love relating with various people. As I get to appreciate different ladies my age, I am seeing I could be very satisfied with different ones . . . just depending on who is God's choice for me. His love can have us doing well with any other Christian who is relating in His love. A few minutes with a really Christian lady can minister me to be better in the Holy Spirit's love, than hours of talking with someone I do not really connect with.
Quote
My gut is telling me that I should proceed, but I usually try not to think with my gut.
Your *growing* is going to have an effect on things . . . as you grow more in God's love with His sense and guiding instinct, even for moment-by-moment discerning what He has you doing in relating with Him and with each person > "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment." (Philippians 1:9) 
Be patient, "with all lowliness and gentleness,
                       with longsuffering,
          bearing with one another in love," (Ephesians 4:2)

Offline EJ

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010, 07:30:49 AM »
When in doubt, don't.

Doubt gone, do.

Offline chosenone

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Re: Advice needed for young man /older woman relationship
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, 08:20:54 PM »
I do think that often we need to listen to our inner voice. if we have doubts then that is telling us something.If you dont have absolute peace about it then wait.
In Him I live and move and have my being.

My determined purpose is that I may know Him - that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly."

It is by Grace we have been saved though Faith and not by works so that no one can boast.