At 35, I have resigned myself to the fate of spending the rest of my life alone. For as long as I can remember, I haven’t been lucky with men. Two men I fell in love with and did everything to make happy ended up disappointing me. They both thought me too desperate to be married at all cost.
The first one and I were classmates at the university. After our youth service, I wanted us to settle down almost immediately. Since he appeared unwilling to leave his parents’ house, I rented a place from the money I saved during our youth service. I also started furnishing the place to entice him to leave his parents’. He didn’t say anything but when I went ahead to get pregnant, he blew his top and told me categorically that he wasn’t interested in getting married immediately or marrying a woman who would not give him a breathing space.
He told me it was my choice if I wanted to keep the baby as a single mother or terminate it. When all pleas to him failed to make him change his mind about us getting married and having the baby, I had an abortion and with that, ended our relationship.
The second man I wanted to marry was my boss in the office. I knew he was married but that didn’t stop me from dating him. He also ended the relationship when I insisted we got married. He said it wasn’t part of our agreement for me to be his second wife.
After these two episodes, I decided to stay away from men, because my best intentions always ended in pains and heartbreaks for me. In addition, my friends were also of the opinion that I acted too much like a desperate woman who lacked confidence in her abilities to attract the right man in the two instances. They told me to play it cool; that I would someday meet the right man for me.
Last year, a new tenant moved into the apartment beside mine. He came with two younger boys I later found out were his siblings.
We became friends from his brothers coming into my apartment to keep me company or borrow a match when they unexpectedly run out of it. I find them very funny and friendly. Each time they came to borrow an item from me, they would return it many times over and when I refuse to take it from them, they would simply tell me they were keeping the things with me so they can come and borrow them when they run out of supply.
One day, they forgot to drop the key to their flat with me as has become their custom. This forced their elder brother to stay in my apartment when he came back from an outing. During the hours he waited, we became good friends that he forgot to be angry when his brothers came back.
That was how we become close. I can’t say precisely when we took the relationship to another level. Soon his brothers knew about us as well as his family and mine.
He wants us to get married before the end of this year but I don’t feel comfortable because he is five years, younger than I am.
Whenever I try to bring up the subject of our age differences, he tells me to shut up; that age is a thing of the mind; that I should concentrate efforts on our being happy together. I can tell from the disposition of his mother that she isn’t too comfortable with her son marrying an older woman just as my mother has her fears.
I’m scared he might someday leave me for a younger woman he can display to his friends. I don’t know what to do.
Don’t brew storm where none exist. He has assured you that all he wants from you is to make him happy. So why is it so difficult for you to trust him and the love you both share? He knew about the age differences between the two of you before asking you to marry him.
At 30, he isn’t so naïve not to know what he wants from life. At that age, you couldn’t have been the first woman he has seen or dated. That he elected to share the rest of his life with you means he saw an extra special quality which he never found in the women before you in his life and which those men you were so desperate to marry, didn’t see.
The fact that you have been rejected by men who considered you too desperate doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough to be married. Those attempts failed because the men were wrong for you.
Even if you are younger than him, his mother would still have found a reason not to like you. Mothers are ever protective of their sons and consider any woman coming into the lives of their sons, not good enough. Don’t see her reactions to you as being personal. If you play your cards very well, showing her love and understanding, you will win her over eventually.
Honestly, a lot depends on you to make this relationship work. You have to forget that you are his senior by learning to be submissive to him as your husband. Never take a decision without first clearing it with him. Respect him at all times even when he is wrong. While your friends with older husbands can afford to be naughty at times, you cannot afford that luxury, because your actions can be misconstrued as being rude and disrespectful because you are older than he is.
Treat him always as the king and boss. Don’t ever make the mistake of viewing him as being younger than you. To do that would make it impossible for you to give him your full respect. Even when he hurts you, don’t shout at him, when you have an audience. In your bedroom, away from public scrutiny, you can vent your anger, but never where anyone is watching.
Learn to take proper care of him, his home and yourself. Be abreast with fashion to give you the confidence to walk beside him and trust in your love to be happy with him.
For the sake of your well-being as a wife and mother, keep friends out of your marriage. Bad friends can destroy your home, through their pack of lies and unguarded utterances. Keep only supportive friends and relatives whose support you need to navigate the attendant difficult terrains that come with sharing your life with another person. No marriage is easy to propel, but God’s wisdom, tolerance, faith, endurance, trust, understanding, determination, selflessness, sacrifice, friendship, patience and a prayerful heart will win you peace and joy in the union.
The choice to be happy or not is yours to make. Don’t forget that happiness is an attitude, a way of life we elect to choose or ignore.
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