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Adult son's fiance is too old for him

Tagged as: Age differences, Dating, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (14 April 2019) 23 Answers - (Newest, 23 April 2019)
A male United States age 26-29, *ennyBenson writes:

My wife and I have been aware of our son’s dating preferences since he left home for college. He prefers older women. We believed it was a phase and did our best not to get bent out of shape. We have met several of his older girlfriends over the years. Most these women were 15 to 20 years his senior. They were nice. We were cordial. The relationships always ended, and when they did, he moved on to the next older woman. We tried to be patient and told ourselves it was only a matter of time until he came to his senses and began dating girls his own age.

Our son is 24 years old and could have any woman he wants. He’s athletic and good looking. He graduated from college and has a good job. He doesn’t smoke or use drugs and he drinks sparingly. He’s responsible with his money. So, why does he gravitate to older women when he has so many options?

Two months ago, out of the blue, he told us that he had gotten engaged to a woman we had never met or heard him speak of. She’s sixty-seven years old. My wife and I are both forty-eight. Sixty-seven is not “older”, it’s elderly! He told us they’ve been seeing each for eight months, but he held back from telling us until he knew their relationship was serious, because he didn’t want to upset us unnecessarily.

My wife and I accepted a dinner invitation at his apartment to meet his ‘fiancé’. We did not go on the attack, but we didn’t ignore the elephant in the room either. We’ve also seen them several times since the first meeting and have tried to peacefully dissolve the situation with polite reasoning. I like to think of myself as being an open-minded person, but there’s so much going on with their relationship that isn’t conducive to a good marriage and I don’t understand why they don’t see this.

She is not a bad or evil person. Under different circumstances, my wife and I could appreciate her as a friend or acquaintance, but not as our son’s wife. Unlike most of my son’s older girlfriends, his fiancé does not come off as the lecherous “cougar” type. She has a warm and sweet personality. She doesn’t try to dress or act younger than her age. She is more of a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of person.

As a man, I can’t understand what my son sees in her from a physical attraction point of view, unless it’s an extreme case of opposites attracting. There are also health concerns at play. His fiancé is a very heavy smoker and the addiction has clearly taken its toll on her health and looks. I don’t say this to be mean, because my wife and I are both smokers. When we brought this up to our son, he accused us of being hypocritical. Not only are we concerned about her health, but we’re also concerned about his. I didn’t start smoking until after I married his mother. It’s a fact that many nonsmokers take up the habit after they marry smokers. In my case it was a blend of curiosity and misguided romantic inclinations. It started with me lighting my wife’s cigarettes for her and it moved into the bedroom. My son probably has calluses on his thumb from lighting his fiancé’s cigarettes for her. I just don’t see how anything good can come from this relationship.

I wrote because my wife and I feel helpless. Somewhere along the line, we apparently did something wrong to be at the point we are now. Patience and reasoning haven’t worked. Their pending marriage is a train wreck ready to happen and we are desperate to stop the train. Is there anything we can do or say that will make a difference? I feel the only option we have left is to use a tough love approach by turning our back to our son.

View related questions: drugs, engaged, fiance, money, moved in

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A male reader, KennyBenson United States +, writes (23 April 2019):

KennyBenson is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Easter came and went without anyone in my family making a scene in front of Greg and Doris. At this point, I’ll call her by name, because I have accepted that she’s going to marry my son and there’s nothing in the world anyone can do about it.

I spent more time talking to Doris on Easter than I have in all the other times combined. Despite the situation, she’s a very nice woman with a warm personality. It wasn’t that I was ever mean to her, but I went of my way to make her welcome and it diffused the situation. Up until Sunday, Greg and Doris have been rather defensive and that’s because my wife and I made them feel uncomfortable. I pretty much came to the conclusion that this is harder on them than it is on anyone else. Doris so much as said so. She told me that she wouldn’t go through the stress of relationship if she didn’t love him and I believe her. I know this marriage will be more beneficial to her than it will be for my son because before she moved in with him, she lived with her daughter and her family. But after talking to her, I know she wants to marry my son because she loves him.

I don’t know what’s going on inside of my son’s head as far as his attraction to her is concerned. I’ve given thought to everything that was said on this forum about his possible motivation. He has never lied to his mother and I about his preference for older women. Because she’s the oldest woman he’s ever been serious about, I don’t think he has gerontophilia. If it was something like that, I think all his girlfriends would have been Doris’s age. However, I do think he probably has some kind of a smoking fetish. And if that’s the case, I think it makes him weird, but it doesn’t make him a bad person. He’s always been a good kid, and this doesn’t change that. The only thing that changed is that he found a woman he loves enough to marry. And I guess my wife and I should be happy that he thought enough to tell us rather than run off and get married behind our backs. That would have been a lot easier than all this, but he’s better than that.

Their next hurdle for them is to convince Doris’s pastor to marry them in her church. They have an appointment for premarital counseling on May 11th. If he doesn’t consent, Greg has said they’ll get married in a secular ceremony and she agrees. That’s why I say this is going to happen and I’ve accepted it.

I did talk to Greg alone and I told her that I think Doris is a very sweet woman and I didn’t lie. We spent our time together talking about his happiness rather than me trying to throw up road blocks or convince him to see things my way. That olive branch meant a lot to him and he said so. He also told me that he didn’t expect for his mother and I to understand his decision and he didn’t try to explain it either. I’ve always thought that he and I are close, but I guess there are somethings a son doesn’t feel comfortable discussing with his father and I respect that.

I’m not at peace with this yet and I don’t know if I will ever be. I’m pretty sure my wife won’t, but she’s accepted it too and she’s not going to try to fight it. The saying that comes to mind is “Time heals all wounds”. I don’t know if this technically qualifies as a wound, but that’s what it feels like.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (16 April 2019):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntUltimately, his sex life isn't something you should be thinking about, even in this context. He's happy. Tolerate it. Try to accept it. Don't allow yourself to dwell on the negatives. Just leave him be and welcome her as much as you can.

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A male reader, KennyBenson United States +, writes (16 April 2019):

KennyBenson is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I’ve read about Gerontophilia. I know what it is. I can’t say for certain that my son has this, but he seems to fit the description. I’m still holding out hope that it’s some kind of phase and that it will eventually pass, rather than last for a lifetime. Regardless of whether it’s a fetish or a psychological mindset, I don’t understand how a marriage like this can be sustainable.

I think WiseOwle is right. I know my son is happy now, but eventually, I think he’s going to feel like he’s married to his chain-smoking grandmother. This will be good for her, but I don’t see how it will be good for him or how he will be able to enjoy the relationship, sexually or emotionally, even if it is Gerontophilia.

Gerontophilia aside, I agree with Mystiquek’s thoughts on the relationship. Even if they really are attracted to each other, she’s not going to be able to keep up with him sexually because of her age and smoking. It’s hard to imagine a young man being content with just cuddling.

These are just my honest thoughts and I’ll keep them to myself when I see him on Easter.

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A female reader, mystiquek Japan + , writes (15 April 2019):

mystiquek agony auntOP, I truly do understand what you and your wife are feeling. As I stated before, my son is 31 and if brought home a woman almost 70 (I am 57) I know I would be thinking "WHAT THE HELL???" It would be hard to wrap my head around it. I get it. I am sure I would go through a whole range of emotions. You can't help what you feel. You don't need to feel defensive. I think we all get it truly. I am just cautioning you don't turn your back on your son.

He's not going to be able to have children with her and someday that could be a very serious problem for him. He is in his prime and lets face it at her age sex will not be something that she will probably want as a something wife would. She could also get in bad health (her smoking can't be helping) and he'll wind up taking care of her. And at the very worst...her life expectancy cannot be close to what your son's normal one is...so...don't turn your back on your son. He's going to need you in one way shape or form. Who knows? The engagement may not even make it to the marriage stage. All that being said though, he does definitely seem to have a "type" and it really seems to be that he likes older ladies. I am not sure if that will change.

Good luck sweetie..we all want is best for our children and lets be honest..when you see a possible train wreck coming, you want to avoid it for your child. I went through this with my daughter and her choice of a marriage mate. I tried and tried calmly and rationally to talk her out of it but I couldn't. I had to accept it. When you are older you just see things right? The marriage failed as I was afraid it would. I was there for her to pick up the pieces. My heart was breaking for her but there comes a time when you have to let them live their life and make their own decisions even when you are pretty sure their decisions are not good ones. Hang in there. Just love him and be there if/when he needs you.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (15 April 2019):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntOP, the thing is that almost all of us COMPLETELY understand and agree with where you’re coming from, if we were in your shoes. We can’t really fathom what they do have in common from a life perspective in terms of marriage, but we also see that it is his choice and you’ll lose him if you don’t both just tolerate it with as much acceptance as you can muster over time.

As someone his age, I can’t imagine being romantically compatible with someone his fiancée’s age, nor could most people. However, he has always preferred older women. He may grow out of it when he is a fair bit older, but he may not - at least not until he is the age of the older women he’s dated.

We do not blame you for how you feel. We put our hopes and dreams into our children, but they are their own people. We can’t limit their lives with our ideas of what we wanted for them.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (15 April 2019):

Honeypie agony auntOP, don't feel bad about your post OR your feelings.

I ABSOLUTELY understand you. I think most of us actually do. And as HIS parent, you are perhaps a LOT more invested in his future than any of us would EVER be.

I think you only really have the option of making the best of it, if you still want HIM in your life, and my guess is YOU DO.

You didn't write this post out of hatred for his fiance or your son's actions, you wrote it because you were HOPING that you somehow could "fix" this.

It's what parents do! And you came here to ask about it rather then follow the first instincts and cut him off. Which is good. FOR you all.

Take a deep breath and remember you CAN NOT live his life or make choices for him any more. You can, however, chose to support him... or not.

Chin up, I think your feelings are PRETTY darn natural.

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (15 April 2019):

YouWish agony auntThat's your son's type - older women! That's okay! If she's a sweet person and treats him well, then that should be celebrated! People don't usually bat an eyelid when the age difference is for the older man and younger woman, but if it's the other way around, there's a double standard!

You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but you said this:

"We’ve also seen them several times since the first meeting and have tried to peacefully dissolve the situation with polite reasoning."

He's going to take it as you wanting to bust them up, and you've pretty much admitted that. All you will accomplish is for a rift to be drawn between you and your son. That's not going to go your way, and to be honest, it would be better for you to open your arms wide and accept and love on this person. Sometimes love is unconventional to our standards, but when it's there, it should be celebrated! No one is using someone else for nefarious reasons.

Before you go on the path of trying to pry them apart, maybe it's time for some openmindedness, or he will no longer share his life's moments with you. He brought her to meet you because of love for her AND respect and love for her. This is the time to reflect that same love and respect to both of them.

Speaking up about a relationship should be reserved for noticing abuse, or a criminal record, or cheating, or other dealbreaking behavior. You yell "fire" when the house is on fire, not when the homeowner paints the house red. heh

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 April 2019):

Bless you, what a lovely follow up. But you can't make anyone else your hopes and dreams. That's unfair. Your son has his own hopes and dreams. He can't be yours as well.

All the very best

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 April 2019):

He's an adult. Free to make choices that you don't agree with. Turning your back on him will achieve precisely nothing, other than more heartache for you. He won't suddenly decide that he won't marry her. He will just think that his parents don't support his choices. Maybe you don't, but you are not in control of his life, or his choices.

I remember an old boss of mine going quietly crazy because her beautiful and talented daughter was going to marry someone she called 'the gnome'. She couldn't understand or accept that her daughter could have any feelings for this man. He was a lot older than her as well. My boss was visibly upset one day and at her wits' end. She said to me 'I can't allow this, I have to draw the line somewhere'. I said to her 'Jackie, this isn't your line to draw'. But she couldn't accept that and refused to attend the wedding. The wedding went ahead and she was estranged from her daughter from then on, because her daughter couldn't forgive her mother for not accepting her choice and being able to marry who SHE loved.

Your son has decided that he loves her.

It's been done before. I remember seeing a programme about a young man in his early thirties marrying a much older woman than 67. I think she was in her 80's. They have appeared in two programmes that I know of obviously because of the age difference. But I have rarely seen two happier people! No-one knows if this is a phase or not and he must have very strong feelings for her to want to marry, whether you can understand them or accept them.

I can wholly understand why you don't want this to happen, but this is not something you can control or prevent. Nor should you try. Support him and love him and accept both your son and his new wife. He seems very happy. Isn't this what all parents say? That they want their child to be happy? It's not your idea of happiness, but then you're not your son.

Support him and love him ….please. He will love you all the more for your support and you will achieve nothing by disowning him. Shame on you for even thinking it.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (15 April 2019):

[EDIT]:

"It will not work due to so many incompatibility factors, age-difference, and physical differences."

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (15 April 2019):

I can only imagine how this whole thing must distress you and your wife; but there is more at play here than the eye can see. It will not work due to so many incompatibility factors factors due to age and physical differences. Her body it too old and fragile to deal with his physical abilities and vitality. It would be like living with grandmother.

All wisdom and logic leans in that direction; but your son is convinced that he loves this woman. She is a lonely old female who seized on an opportunity that will never come her way again; and she couldn't live long enough for that to repeat itself. She may only be humoring him; because she is so lonely and he has been exceedingly persistent. Trust me, she realizes this isn't going to work. The court of public opinion will beat it to death, no doubt. Just be available to support him in any case. He's still a good person.

It is called gerontophilia, an attraction to the elderly. Some would place that in a the category of a fetish; along with many other inexplicable attractions for the unusual.

The more you fight him, the more he will resist you.

What can you do about it? Nothing. You simply allow it to happen. He is young, and he has somewhat of a fetish for elder women. It's a psychological-mindset that you can't undo; and it may be something he'll carry to the end of his days. If she's a kindly person, it is all you can ask that she will do him no harm. Children always use "hypocrisy" as their course of argument when they pursue impetuous and illogical life-paths. Nothing teaches like repetitive mistakes. Eventually one error after another will penetrate even the hardest of heads.

Your self-sacrificing love for your son, the embarrassment of his choices, and the defiance of reasoning is the parent's curse and nightmare. He is an adult, and he faces the consequences of his actions. Some things you cannot save him from; no matter how good of an argument you have. His choices are his to make; and if they don't break the law, no one can challenge them.

You can only seek prayer for divine-intervention; because the only thing that might change his mind is a miracle. You have to leave this alone; because he has an attraction to elderly women, in spite of how you feel about it. He thinks he's in-love, but it may never make sense to you.

I'm not going to make the ridiculous suggestion that you be happy for him; and pretentiously wish him the best. It isn't particularly healthy, and it opposes reason. It's not the typical age-difference situation. There's a drastic age-difference; but no one can stop two consenting adults. Today, people are inclined to condone the ridiculous and totally outrageous. Even the immoral! You don't have to, but you have to love your child.

He is a good son, and has done everything to please you his entire life. Now this is something he wants. Like it, or not. There will be no grandchildren, and her health will decline in the years to come. Nature places obstacles in the way; when we go against what is natural. That's all he can look forward to. So nature takes it's course regardless of his inexplicable choices and unusual decisions.

You have to learn to live with some things you don't like; and love your son all the same. Treat her as you would want to be treated. They may be happy; but she will start to feel foolish, and her own sense of decency may overcome her. If it doesn't, you'll simply have to deal with the reality of the situation. Be kind to them both. It's better than losing your beautiful son to something terribly worse.

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A male reader, KennyBenson United States +, writes (15 April 2019):

KennyBenson is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Not sure what to say, but I’m feeling a bit defensive. My son is only 24. Yes, that’s an adult, but just two years ago, my wife and I were paying his way through college. He is our hopes and dreams. Quite frankly, those hopes and dreams took a major detour with his fiancé. I think I’m dealing with this a lot better than my wife is.

I didn’t know my letter got posted until this morning. I thought there was a glitch. After the responses, I wish there had been a glitch.

I’m defensive, but I’m also ashamed of writing what I wrote. It’s one thing to be upset and bothered, but its another thing to suggest kicking him out of our lives until we get what we want. I never would have said something like to another person’s face. But when things are anonymous, it’s easier to be more careless with thoughts, but I was still wrong about that.

For what it’s worth, we’ll be seeing our son and his fiancé this Sunday for Easter. His mother and I haven’t said anything that we can’t recover from. We never threatened him with turning our backs. I’m going to try to make the most of this weekend and call it an opportunity to get to know her better. She’s a very pleasant person and regardless of what I think about the relationship, she’s not a terrible person by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t understand what my son sees in her from a marriage perspective, but she’s been nothing but sweet to me and my wife and that’s hard to do in an awkward situation. And this qualifies as an awkward situation.

I’ve got more on my mind, but I don’t have the time to spill it right now. Defensiveness aside, I appreciate all or most of the comments. They were well thought out, which is more than I can say about my original post.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (15 April 2019):

Honeypie agony auntAs a parent I can understand your concern and upset (yes, I get why you are upset by this). There will be no grand kids, your son will sooner rather than later be her care-giver more than her husband etc.

However, HER loves HER and wants to BE with her.

Why he digs older women, I have no clue. And honestly, I can't imagine many 67 year old women (men perhaps) who wants to date or marry a 24 year old, someone YOUNG enough to be their grandchild. However... SHE loves him and want to BE with him.

I think the BEST you can do is accept his choice in partner, as he IS a grown man and CAN make his own choices when it comes to partners, whether YOU and your wife like the idea.

Would I cut of one of my kids if they at age 24 dated a 67 year old? No. I would find it perplexing and well, a bit strange, but most of all I'd want my kid to be happy with WHOMEVER they choose. I RATHER they have an old(er) partner/husband than an abusive, violent one.

I don't think he is doing this to HURT you and your wife, only to make himself happy.

I know there is more BIAS towards an older woman with a younger man, than a older man with a younger woman. But they are not that uncommon.

I think the best thing you can do is support your husband. Maybe they will make it work, maybe they won't. You guy cutting him off won't stop it from happening and YOU will only lose out on being in your son's life.

The days where PARENTS chose their children's spouses is mostly over in the Western world. I'm sure you CHOSE your wife yourself as well. This isn't about YOU or YOUR wife, it's about him.

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A female reader, ClairM United Kingdom + , writes (15 April 2019):

I'm afraid he is an adult and has to make his own choices and if that is a mistake so be it. You have described him as sensible and I take it of sound mind, so he isn't in a vulnerable position and I fail to see how you think this means you have failed as parents.

As hard as it is for you to understand he has chosen this woman and turning your back on him may in fact keep him with her longer.

In short there is nothing you can do and if you turn your back on him you will create more heartache all round, you both clearly love him.

It sounds like you have made it clear how you feel so now he has to live his life and at the moment he thinks he wants to be with this lady.

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A female reader, singinbluebird United States + , writes (15 April 2019):

singinbluebird agony auntHe needs you more than ever if you love him. He is not thinking, he is using his feelings to guide him and he's young, this life lesson hes learning right now is crucial. He needs support, even if this means letting him "marry" this older person. What you're supporting is his growth and not the relationship. Change your perspective. Maybe this woman is the lesson he needs to grow out of "dating much older woman phase".

She is absolutely elderly. Yes for him it's emotional, that's why he hid the relationship at first. He knew its not logical. Yes of course it won't workout longterm, these relationships never do. As he ages he will prefer younger woman but his preference for now is older women. Yes its a phase. Yes he will grow out of it. Yes its hard sit back and let this unfold. Yes its even harder because you love him and he's great kid. Yes you need support him. Yes its a mistake but this is a life lesson he needs learn on his own.

Support him. Support the growth he needs. Understand that this is a phase and may take years for him grow out of but that is why he needs you more than ever.

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A female reader, ConfusedCarrie84 United Kingdom +, writes (15 April 2019):

Stop interferring in his relationship. He is a grown ass man who is responsible for his choices. What you should do is be inclusive with this woman and support your son and his decision. When and if it falls apart, your son will know that you've been there for him without judgement.

That's all you can expect in this kind of situation.

Good luck.

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A female reader, Ivyblue Australia + , writes (15 April 2019):

Ivyblue agony auntCant say I'd be too pleased however turning your back on him is not the answer. He is a grown man capable of making decisions that suit his needs and desires. Interfering will only put further strain on the relationship between you. If he is happy then you should try and do your best to be happy for him. If it is a mistake then it's his mistake to make.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 April 2019):

From the description you have given of your son he seems to be a very mature,sensable and level headed guy, probably that is why he is happier with older women but admittedly 67 is too old for him no matter what his preferances are, only the problem is you can't do much to stop him other than talk and advise him and you have already done that. Your only conciliation is that she is not going to get pregnant to worry about child custody if they ever decide to split in the future.

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A female reader, mystiquek Japan + , writes (15 April 2019):

mystiquek agony auntAs a mother, I truly understand where you are coming from. I have a 30 year old son and if he brought home a woman older than me, I am sure I would be shocked at first. I love my son though and I want him to be happy so I would try my hardest to accept whomever he would chose as a partner.

It is his life, it is his choice and darling..you don't have to live with the lady..your son does. If he's happy and has accepted her, who are you to chose? You said that she was a nice lady. At least he isn't marrying a drug addict or an alcoholic or a horrible person. Keep that in mind.

I strongly recommend that you don't shut your son out of your life. He has done NOTHING to you or your wife. The way you described your son he sounds like a nice upstanding guy. He just have different tastes than the average guy his age. So what?

What if your parents had not liked your choice in a mate? Would you really have given her up? Probably not. Love your son..be supportive.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (15 April 2019):

chigirl agony auntI have to roll my eyes here. Yes, I understand that this isnt what you wanted. But it is what he wants. And who is living his life? Him. Not you. If you are concerned about health, stop smoking yourself. You are being hypocritical.

Enjoy the train ride. There is nothing you should do to stop it. He is adult. Choosing his own life is his right. Just as you have the right to choose yours. Realize that it is only your own expectations that are being let down here. Expectations you yourself built up. Your son was never lying to you, never pretending to like girls his own age. He has been forthcoming. It is time to realize that a child/now adult is not a pet on a leash for you to rule over. He is free to do what he wants with his life.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (15 April 2019):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntWhy on God's earth would you turn your back on your son? Why? Because he is marrying a sweet lady who just happens to be older than you are comfortable with?

Some men prefer blondes, some brunettes, some redheads. Some men prefer slim women, some prefer "something to get hold of". Some men prefer men to women. Your son happens to prefer older ladies. That is his CHOICE. As you point out, it is not that he has no other options. It is that he CHOOSES to be with older ladies.

If I was his mother, I would worry about him missing out on having a family but perhaps he has no desire to have children. He has chosen this lady to marry and you have two choices: accept it or lose your son. Given what you have written about her (she sounds lovely), are you going to let her age ruin your relationship with your son?

It's always difficult when our children make decisions we cannot understand, but your son is now an adult. You will not be the first parents in the world to think their offspring is making a mistake but you cannot force him to marry someone YOU consider to be "suitable". This is HIS life and he has to choose how to live it.

I do feel for you because I am sure it is quite difficult but cutting him off will not change anything - except yours and your wife's lives. Also, if things do go wrong in the marriage, it will be harder for him to admit it and he will fight all the harder so as not to lose face with you. Stay supportive. Accept this is his choice. He is still your son, regardless of who he marries.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (15 April 2019):

N91 agony auntI’m sorry but what right do you have to decide who your son dates?

He clearly has a preference for older women. You and your wife don’t like it, I’ll be honest I find it odd also and I’m sure many of the other posters will do also. But what does it have to do with us? Is the relationship hurting anyone? No. Is it illegal? No. So who are we to say otherwise?

If you feel like this is a ‘mistake’, then you need to let your son make it. You learn from your own mistakes. Telling someone that they’re wrong and that they are making a bad decision will usually result in that person digging their heels in to prove you wrong. What about if he did let you guys into his head, so he broke up with her, how long until he got with another older woman? Then you’re back to square one again? He felt forced to find a younger GF and then wasn’t happy with it. Would you honestly put your own happiness above your sons?

And your son is right, you are being hypocritical about the smoking. You’re trying to preach to him you’re worried about his health yet you don’t care about your own when it comes to smoking so why should he believe you? Sounds like you’re just trying to use that as an excuse to split them up which I have to say is a very weak one. If he doesn’t want to smoke, he won’t do it. Many of my friends smoke so I’m around it a lot and I wouldn’t ever consider smoking, so maybe it’s just you’re not as strong minded as you think to stay away from them.

Why are you trying to make this about you and your wife that you have done something wrong? People grow up and become their own person, they gain their own preferences when it comes to everything in life, including dating. It would be extremely odd to influence your child’s dating criteria so this area is best left alone.

Leave them to it! He’s clearly not interested in women his own age. It doesn’t matter if we find it odd if that’s what makes him happy, so be it.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (15 April 2019):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntI feel like this is fake. The age range of the OP, the idea of turning your back on him for his own harmless decision, etc. If it is real:

Leave him to it. Sure; it’s unlikely to work out, but it’s his choice. You have to let him live his life his way and make his own decisions/mistakes. He’s young enough that he can marry again if they get divorced in 5 years or if she passes away in 20.

I understand why you’re concerned, but turning your back on him will NOT change his mind. Let him choose for himself.

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