Red Responds: His Mother is Upset

Shelley in London writes:

My boyfriend’s mother is horrified that he is dating me, as I am 15 years older than him. We met this summer in Germany, while I was doing an art residency and we became good friends – then it became more serious. I admit that it doesn’t look good on paper – I’m 45, divorced and have a lovely 8-year-old-son with mild Autism. My son and my boyfriend get on very well, and my boyfriend and I have such an amazing connection.

He is a great person and we both love each other very much. I can understand why his mother is upset, she may also be worried that I will take him away from her. I live in London and he is talking about going to graduate school here in the autumn. We see each other frequently even though it is a long distance relationship and I am willing to take the time to see what happens. Am I kidding myself, though, sometimes I see this through his mother’s eyes and wonder if she is right about the age, cultural differences and that it won’t last long. I have met her twice and both times it seemed to go really well, but she is obviously very worried. I would love to be with him long-term. Any advice?

Dear Shelley,
Your boyfriend’s mother doesn’t harbor any ill will toward you personally, but she is a bit concerned about the situation. While she may play the devil’s advocate from time to time, she ultimately will be supportive of her son’s choices. She just wants him to be happy.

The difference in age doesn’t seem to be an issue with either you or your boyfriend. Since it doesn’t interfere with how the two of you relate, don’t let other people’s opinions interfere. They don’t know what you share.

Even though I currently am not seeing marriage for you and your man, I do see this as a long-term relationship. Your boyfriend will have times that he struggles with the responsibility of this relationship, but it has nothing to do with age, you, or your son. Just the normal anxiety that comes with any strong commitment. There will be bumps in the road, but I’m not seeing any challenges that the two of you can’t work through or overcome.

Enjoy what you have found. His mother will come to love you and your son, but it is going to take time. Just continue to be yourself, and she will soon be comfortable knowing that her son has found happiness with an amazing woman.

Brightest Blessings!
Ext. 9226

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