There’s a pretty good chance that if you choose to be with an older man, he will come with baggage. Sam was 46 and had been married over 25 years by the time he divorced. He had four children with his wife. I was 24, so with a little math, you can conclude that his eldest child was around two years younger than me. “Cold” is too soft a word to describe my first meeting with his son. I spent 10 years with his father, and the second time I saw him was 11 years later at Sam’s funeral, where he looked right through me.
The second child, another son—now we’re talking four years younger than me—I did see a few times. He was not as distressed over the 22-year age difference, because he was quite preoccupied with his own life, and furthermore, he told Sam I was nice! I guess “nice” only gets you a few meetings in 10 years.
As if that wasn’t enough, I also had to meet Sam’s two daughters. You’d think after meeting his sons I would be prepared, but even still, my unusual experience with his daughters caught me by surprise.
Next were one daughter and then another daughter born five years after her, whom Sam described as a “surprise.” She was the surprise that prompted him to get a vasectomy. (No more children for Sam. So, think hard about what you want in your life!) These last two children were just young enough that the age difference was not as apparent to them as it was to their older siblings. What they recognized was that I was good to them and that their dad was happy. I saw a lot of both of them, and I have to say, I have some very special memories of those times.
Let us not forget the ex-wife, however! Chances are you will share some of your man’s time with issues regarding the ex-wife, like issues about money, housing, and kids. He may also see a lot of her since they did have kids together. Former spouse matters can also lead to arguments between you and your older man, which, years later, I wondered why I expended so much time and energy on.
Now, back to those younger children. While we were able to do things together, what about those many times when I was not part of their events? Special occasions like graduations, birthdays, school events and when they wanted time just with their father. That will happen, and you will feel hurt and left out. You will feel like you have just taken two steps back regarding your relationship with those kids, and you will feel animosity not only toward the “ex,” but toward your man, as well.
Only you can decide if the relationship is worth it. Look deeply into your heart and first figure out what you want for your life. Go over the positives and negatives in your relationship with your older man. Consider if you are holding yourself back from anything that could make your life fuller or more satisfying if you were not in this relationship. Remember, you are in the driver’s seat, and only you are in control of your destiny.
Not every first meeting with your older man’s kids will be like mine, but it doesn’t hurt to prepare for both the best and the worst.