The man I want to marry is 33 years older than me

Agony Aunt's picture


Dear Patricia Marie

Two years ago I met and fell in love with a wonderful man.  We adore each other and all the time we are together are constantly laughing and being happy.  He has now asked me to marry him and wants us to move in together.  This should make me the happiest woman in the world, but there is a problem – our age gap – I am 26, and he is 59.

My parents are very much against our relationship and won’t even allow him in their house.  They insult him, and insist he is trying to control me and wanting to change me, which is absolute rubbish.  My friends say they don’t understand why I would want to be with a man who is almost an old age pensioner, and never ask us out as a couple because they say it would be like having their parents there.  My sister is the only one who seems to accept us as a couple, and she says she is just happy that I am happy. 

I want to marry him and make our future together but am torn as I don’t wish to lose my friends and family over it.   

What should I do? 

Patricia Marie says....

There are certain types of problems that can arise from dating a much older person. However, there are also many who have entered into blissfully happy marriages with wonderful, caring, mature partners, just as others have found misery with those of their own generation. There is no blueprint for human happiness in a relationship. 

Parents can often be slightly irrational when it comes to accepting their children’s life decisions. Even the most understanding can overreact if they feel what their children are planning is not in their best interest.  Perhaps your parents are too negatively focused. Encourage them to see the positive side, such as the financial security your partner may have, a wealth of experience he could bring to your relationship, and the fact that if you were to have children together, he would likely be wiser with them than in his youth. 

I wonder if they are concerned that you could become this man’s carer in later life, or that he could die and leave your children fatherless? Often it is presumed that the older half of the partnership will die first, but of course this is not necessarily the case. When the legendary Joan Collins married a man 32 years her junior, and sceptics commented that she may not last the pace, she laughed off the age difference, quipping ‘If he dies, he dies!’

Talk to your parents. Tell them you are strongly considering marrying your partner, and that it would mean so much to you if they could try to accept him.  Perhaps your sister could act as a mediator at this time, to help encourage them to see how happy he makes you. Let your unsupportive friends know how disappointed you are by their judgmental views, and suggest that they may surprise themselves if they were to get to know him, and actually enjoy his company.

Whether you choose to marry a man who is older, younger, or a similar age, there will naturally be some necessary compromises. By stating that your age gap is a problem, you are expressing there are doubts in your mind.  You must listen to these doubts, but do not make your decision solely based on the opinions of your parents and friends. 

Patricia Marie, our Agony Aunt, wants to hear your problems, dilemmas, and quarrels. Just email them to