Relationship Dilemma: I am 40, should I marry a 22-year-old?

Every week, The Standard posts a message from our readers on a relationship Dilemma.

On Wednesday, February 1, The Standard received and shared on the official Facebook page a relationship dilemma from one of its readers.

We have sampled some of the opinion shared by Kenyans, and also an expert’s advice on how the reader can come out of the confusing situation.

Every Wednesday mid-morning, The Standard publishes on its verified Facebook page (Standard Digital) a relationship dilemma sent to us via our Facebook inbox.

If in need of relationship advice – from an expert, or are seeking to get Kenyans’ opinions on a certain confusing relationship situation – send us a message via Facebook, with the title ‘Relationship Advice’, and we will escalate the message to the appropriate respondents.

We guarantee you dignity by hiding details that could lead to your identity being known or exposed.

Hi Standard,

My name is John.I am 41 years old, living and working in Nairobi. I’d say I’m financially stable, well-educated and well brought up.

I’m at that stage in life where I feel I should get married. I developed trust issues after my girlfriend betrayed me by getting intimate with my close friend six years ago.

About five months ago, I met this 22-year-old beautiful woman, whom I’m currently dating.

I want to marry her, but I fear the age gap of 19 years is too big. I also have an issue with her drinking habit and regular partying. 

On several occasions, she’s ghosted me during scheduled dates, only to later apologise and say her university friends had taken her out.

I also suspect she’s seeing a younger man, probably her age mate. There’s this particular man who usually calls her often when we are together, and when I ask who he is, she says he’s a cousin whom she grew up with.

I love her to the point of wanting to marry her, but I fear I might regret the decision. What should I do?

KENYANS’ SAMPLED ADVICE:

Chris Kirwa: A girl below 25 is note ready for marriage.

Kamasasa Amos Ephraim: Let the child complete campus. Let her enjoy what her age will bring forth. Find ger once she is done with her studies and boys. In the meantime, look for a relatively older lady than 22 and hook up. At 41, you need more of brains than jokes.

Patrick Mutwiwa: In my 20s I discovered that nice men attract bad girls and vice versa. The choice has been yours all through. At 41, you are more of a mbaba than a suitor.

Omari Eshuchi: You are too old for her, find a woman in her 30s +.

Tonny Masters: You will develop a heart disease the moment you marry her. There are those of your age who are late or disappointed by former relationships like you. Such is your category. Good luck.

Savine Dallo: Am happy you have no issue with her drinking and regular parties but if you give her money all the time, she might think you are her dad and she will start looking for a boyfriend.

Jimmy KE: To cut the story short, age gracefully old man. Leave love matters to Harmonize {Tanzanian artiste}.

Robert H Wanga: The young lady loves the fact that you are financially stable. Please do not cut off her supply. She has a life to live too.

Kajairo Papalolo: Get a better person and above all who doesn’t drink, party and God fearing but remember they are rare.

Nickson Odidi: Look fo someone your age. A woman 10 years younger than you should be the highest gap between you and her. You should have married 5 years ago.Be faster in settling down. You’re late.

EXPERT’S ADVICE:

Dr. Karatu Kiemo is a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Nairobi.

He says…

It is a great thing that you have come a long way in overcoming a past betrayal by someone you loved.

To some extent, it is possible that your suspicion of the new partner is unduly aggravated by that past experience. If this were the case, I think it would be helpful to visit a professional counsellor for guidance on how to move forward.

Fast forward to today and a twenty years difference in age is not enough to be a problem. There are enough examples of intergenerational marriages that worked well, and conversely, the many cases of divorce that you hear about are of better age-matched partners.

Certainly the age difference constitutes a difference in ways of thinking. Your interpretation of issues and your communication styles can be markedly different. Accepting this fact is a good start for you to understand her, understand yourself, and understand the relationship.

If she is seeing someone else and lying about it, the starting point is asking her for the truth. If you cannot fairly believe her, then consider adopting the view that only knowing her fairly well will make you want to marry her.

Finally, we live in Kenya where a few of her relatives and friends will dissuade her from marrying someone twice her age. Can she withstand the pressure? You should know that.

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