I’ve fallen in love with a younger man. Can it work? | Agony Aunt

Q: Eighteen months ago, I went on holiday to Spain and fell in love with one of the other people in our tour group. I’ve never done anything like it before – I always thought holiday romances were a bit of a joke – so it was certainly the first time I’d ever had a sexual encounter on holiday.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 9:55 am
A holiday romance has developed into something deeper. Picture: Shutterstock

We had a wonderful, passionate time together and when we returned to the UK, I thought that would be it. I certainly never expected to see him again, but he was determined to stay in touch. We met several times and were seeing each other regularly before lockdown happened, but over the past year, we’ve only managed to see each other twice face to face.

We’ve stayed in touch though and had video calls several times a week. I suppose you could say we’ve become serious about one another – I certainly feel as if I love him, but I can’t believe he really loves me.

He’s nine years younger than I am; he’s never been married, and I’m sure he’s going to want to have children.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I’m 41 now and I think it’s too late to start a family! He’s indicated a couple of times he wants to propose, but I keep distracting him as I don’t know what I’d say. I would love to accept, but can such an age gap really work?

Should I simply refuse him, if he asks, and let him marry someone younger?

GI

FIONA SAYS: IF YOU WANT TO BE TOGETHER, WHY NOT?

Have you concealed your age from this man? If he knows how old you are and it doesn’t bother him, why should it bother you? There are loads of men who prefer a relationship with an older woman.

You say you’re worried about your nine-year age gap, but there are plenty of women who have partners considerably younger than that. The actor Hugh Jackman’s wife is 13 years older than him; the French President’s wife is 24 years older, and look at Joan Collins’ with a husband 32 years her junior!

As for having babies, it doesn’t sound like you’ve even had any discussion on this subject together, so how do you know what he wants? Thanks to better medical care, women are now having babies well into their forties 40s, even 50s, so it might not be impossible. If you do both decide you want to have children together, just take medical advice first and scope out the options.

I do think it’s something you should talk about before you make any decisions about marriage though, which is the same for all couples. If having children is very important to him, then he does need to be aware of how you feel about it, and that it may be trickier. Whilst you say you think it’s ‘too late’, you don’t say whether you would like to have children or not. If one of you really does and the other doesn’t, that’s something I would suggest should make you think twice about marriage – not your age gap.

If he loves you and accepts that having a baby may not be possible (assuming he wants one), then I really don’t see why you need to worry. If you’re concerned about what other people think about the age difference, then go online and look at all the other examples of women with younger men – there are hundreds, not just the three I’ve mentioned.

If they don’t care and are making a success of their relationship, why shouldn’t you? If you truly love this man, please don’t let something as insignificant as nine years spoil things between you.

IS MY MARRIAGE DRIFTING APART?

When I got married two years ago, I thought my husband was the most wonderful person I’d ever met. He was loving, kind and supportive of everything I did. We were so happy together, but the past few months seem to have changed him.

He used to cuddle me all a lot but now the only time we are close is during sex. I also can’t remember the last time that he simply said he loved me. Why is he like this now; is it possible that we are drifting apart?

QV

FIONA SAYS: COULD YOUR HUSBAND BE DEPRESSED?

While lockdown has brought many couples closer together, it has also sadly driven many couples apart. Whilst it’s possible that this is what is happening to you, I think it’s also perfectly possible that your husband is simply depressed. That’s something a great many people are going through, as we cope with the pandemic and contemplate a difficult future.

Depression can drive people inwards and they may seem less engaged with others around them. If it’s not depression then it could equally possibly be inertia – there’s nothing to do, so he doesn’t feel like doing anything. All these things can make moods and motivation drop off. I’m sure, if you were to ask your husband how he felt, he would probably say he still loves you and may even be unaware of how much his behaviour has changed.

I’d encourage you to try and distract him – he’s probably spending too much time either thinking or doing nothing.

If you can at least get him outside for a walk regularly, it could start to make a difference – fresh air and movement helps a lot. If that doesn’t help, then it may be time to talk to his GP.

If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona Caine by writing to [email protected] for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.