I'm interested in knowing if age has any bearing on a marriage. I married a man 12 years older, and at first, it seemed like a good relationship. As we're getting older, there seems to be less interest in each other. We hardly do anything together, because all he does is watch TV. He asked me in the beginning not to work, because he hates paying the government taxes. I'm a good homemaker and cook, but I get very little in return for my efforts. I've been thinking of leaving this marriage. I'm just not happy -- there's no love making or touching. He does very little kissing. I really see a change in our marriage, but I'm afraid to leave because I have no income. Oh, I forgot, we are both retired. Now I know nothing is perfect, but an unhappy marriage is hard to stay in. We don't even sleep together and he has poor hygiene. What would you suggest I do?
Age is a factor in relationships since people mature and develop differently, but it is not one that should limit your relationship. It sounds like your husband is in the retirement rut and has turned to TV to placate himself. He is in the cycle of change, and he has recently experienced the end of his career and the loss of his identity within that career. People in this stage of their life tend to turn inward and become depressed, and he may need a little push to get him out of it. First thing you need to do is disconnect the TV and have a serious talk with him about the need to change your lifestyle. To address hygiene, introduce some form of physical exercise into your routine so that you both have to clean up after. Retirement can be an incredible time in your life and in your relationship if you approach it with adventure and creativity. Co-create a list of all the things you wanted to try in life, places you want to travel, experiences you wanted to share, and make a vow to each other to do one of these things a week. As for physical affection, many times the bond between two people is rekindled as experiences are shared and adventures are taken. Make sure to reconnect with each other every day and remind him that real life happens outside the box.
I met this man maybe two years ago. Our ages prevented us from seeing each other in the manner in which I desired. He was 28, and I was only 18. I'm a rare type of young female. I don't believe in sleeping with the first guy who tells me I'm pretty. I believe that my body is sacred, and I, therefore, plan to reserve it for that special guy. This guy and I talked extensively about various things. We were mainly trying to get to know each other's ways. I soon discovered that this was the first man whom I ever truly fell in love with. This guy seemed to be a rare gem. After maybe a year or so, he told me that he had a son, which was a major shock for me since I asked him earlier if he had any kids. After discovering this, I figured he had to be lying about his age. I found out he was really 35 years old. In a few months he plans to move to another state. He said he was going to miss me, and that he couldn't call me because I might get in trouble. I suggested that he set up an e-mail address so that we could talk that way. He told me that he would. I haven't called him in a few months or so because I felt that if he was truly interested in contacting me, he would. Do you think that I'm being too harsh on him? Should I call him one last time to say goodbye?
It seems that your relationship and friendship were built on lies and falsehoods, and that is not a sturdy foundation on which to build great love. If he lied to you about his age and he lied to you about having a son, what else do you think he lied to you about? I understand that may have some deep feelings for this man, but this is not love. Love does not manipulate the truth for its own gain, and love does not keep you in hiding. Love is respect and mutual understanding. I want you to do some research on what love truly is and what defines a healthy relationship. It's time for you to make a list of your own personal requirements (what you need for a relationship to work for you), your needs (functional and emotional) and your wants for a relationship. I know that you value yourself and you believe that your body is sacred, and those are fantastic beliefs to have, so I would recommend that you cut all ties with this man. Save your heart and your body for someone who is honest and loyal and who understands the definition of true love.
Rebecca Brody is currently a Life Empowerment coach in New York City. Her area of expertise is in relationship coaching. She is a graduate of Vassar and Ipec, and has trained with the Relationship Coaching Institute. She is ICF certified, and has been studying social interaction, relationships and coupling for over a decade. To work with Coach Brody contact Brody@theluvcoach.com, or go to www.theluvcoach.com