Nine years ago, my wife died of cancer. I was 51. During the nine-year period that I was a widower, 13 women came into my life and disappeared one by one. During the same period, my eldest son entered the seminary. In April this year, he was ordained.
Of the 13 girls I’ve had, the ninth girl is still with me. And she’s the youngest, only 17 this November.
I know and we both know that her age and mine are wrong in this relationship. But she agreed that we seek her parents’ blessings when she turns 17 in November, and then marry when she turns 18.
My problem is: my other son, who has cerebral palsy, doesn’t want me to remarry. I don’t know his apprehensions, though the girl is kind to him and is doing everything to befriend him, like greeting him “hi” and sometimes bringing him Cornetto ice cream whenever she drops by.
My priest son, the more educated one, is the most unreasonable. He doesn’t approve of this relationship and doesn’t give the reason for his objection. I could only surmise that he cannot accept the disparity in our ages.
I love this girl, the ninth girl, and I know in my heart how much I love her. How will I convince my sons? Or should I decide on my own without consulting them?—LB
The question that beggars belief is: If this girl is only 17 now and she’s the ninth among your 13 lovers, when in heaven’s name did she start her relationship with you? At 13? And you’re 60 now?
What was a girl, possibly just out of elementary, doing then, having this relationship with a nearing senior citizen when you met her? If our society weren’t too permissive, you’d have been thrown in jail for pedophilia.
Do you honestly believe she’s mature enough to know the consequences of her decision? Isn’t she just being naïve at this point, thinking a fairy tale is happening to her? At that age and at that time, did you ever think of anything as heavy-loaded and mature a preoccupation as marriage? The most exciting “gimmicks” you probably had were how to ensnare the most desirable girl in school and give her her first kiss.
There were, of course, the rebellious girls who eloped with or got pregnant by other teenagers—but nothing remotely with men the age of their grandfathers, as your case is now.
Girls in this cyber-age of Facebook and Twitter may be more sexually active than during your time, but are they as mature as well? They know of virtual reality. They know life courtesy of the 24-hour barrage of media and the Internet. How grounding is that?
In 20 years, you’ll be 80 and she’ll only be 37—at the prime of her life. Do you think she’ll stand by you then? Do you have the kind of money to keep her and to give in to her wiles?
Your sons may be thinking 20 years down the line and imagining how you will be then. If they seem selfish and unconnected to how you feel about this girl, it’s clearly for a good reason. Their seeming cruelty toward you may be the kindest gesture you’ll ever get from them. But you obviously are blinded by love.
But hey, this is your life. Whether your two sons accept your marriage to this young girl or not is immaterial. You can marry her anytime, with her parents’ permission, and all will be well by you. But will it, really?