The Controversial Age Gap

Dear Mr. Knightley, 

I’m a divorced 54 year old with a 27 year old son. He recently got engaged and it was there that I met his fiancee’s cousin. She plays the most lovely music and being around her fills me with energy and excitement.  I feel for the first time in my life as if I am actually in love. But my son won’t even let me broach the topic. It seems to me that he thinks I am too old for her (she’s 22). I’ve been impressed by your advise so far, otherwise I wouldn’t have written. But I hope you can help me. I don’t want my son to feel that I don’t consider his opinion but at the same time it doesn’t really have anything to do with him, right?

-Feeling Fortyagain

Eeew

Age before Beauty

Dear Mr. Fortyagain,

I thank you for your kind correspondence and for the compliment you paid the blog. Rest assured that we take every letter seriously and even those we do not feature on the page still get answered whenever possible. Regarding your question there are several things that I will just briefly touch on, since this is a delicate situation.

You are absolutely correct when you say that this matter is entirely up to you. And you do not have to show any kind of consideration for your son’s opinion on the matter. However, I think you have handled it well up until now, by attempting to speak with your son before you go ahead with your plan. He has certainly not shown the same kind of restraint and decorum in temperment, which may only come with age.

And your age will definitely be an advantage to the young lady, and a compliment to her beauty. However, to make an appropriate decision a clear view of all the facts must be attained, and that involves counting not only the benefits but also the costs. And there are several you will have to face. First, while I hope that you can tell by now whether what you feel is a passing fancy or not, she may not be able to yet, so that while your feelings of affection may start out mutual she may lose interest all too soon. And either way, her own honor may be called into question, and you would not want to do something such as that to someone you admire or respect.

A second consideration is while this may not reflect poorly on you, it may reflect poorly on your son. Depending on how well your situation is known among society it may call your family’s honor into question and thereby disable your son socially. And while limiting love may seem unfair, it hardly seems fair that you should cripple your son so, when you have already enjoyed the prime of your life and he is only entering it now.

I think you should speak more with your son about this. Press the issue. Find out where his objections arise from. Is it merely sentimental from your previous wife’s concern or is he more anxious about the residual effects that may affect him and his own family. Whether you chose to go forward with your suit or not, speaking with you son and clearly establishing communication between both of you may still salvage your relationship regardless of the choice you end up making.

Cordially,

Mr. Knightley

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About Mr. Knightley

There is one thing a man can always do, if he chooses, and that is his duty. View all posts by Mr. Knightley

One response to “The Controversial Age Gap

  • missmariannedashwood

    Oh, Feeling! I admire the depth of your emotions, but what must your son be feeling at this time? Think of him, ever loving and constant, waiting to introduce you to his enchanting future bride, but when he does so, all of your attention is given to another! Not only have you turned the spring of his love into a rainy one, your affection to this young woman, who is two and thirty years your junior, is obviously unsettling to him. As your son, he expects Fatherly affection for one his age, and his fiancee’s cousin is even five years younger than he. And consider the lady’s feelings about the matter; she in the flower of her youth, and you in the autumn of life. Her energy and love is best spent exploring and savoring life’s wonders. There is so much to discover in life- things you have already learned, but she has not. Perhaps one with more experience in life would prove to be a better match for you. While you may change the direction of your affections, never cease to love with your whole heart! That is what we are meant to do. Humans cannot live if they cannot love!

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