Question: My friend, who is twenty-one , is marrying a thirty-two-year-old college educated woman. He is doesn’t have a career and is not seeking higher education. Is this a good match?
Response: I could make this the shortest column I’ve ever submitted and say, “No. This is a horrible match!” However, I must hold true to respond to the why for any of my replies to our reader’s questions, so…
Let me start by saying, I know women in particular are viewed differently (although we are moving toward a more positive outlook) by society when dating and marrying men ten or more years younger than they are. Personally, I feel the issue of a cougar and a cub seems to be of the least importance when compared to the other information you have provided. The most alarming thing you’ve mentioned is the absence of a career path. Better yet, a dream. It is understood that a lot of us have not decided what we would like to do at this age. However, at twenty-one, it is reasonable to assume you at least have a hint for direction in your life.
My question for your friend is, “If you are capable of making a decision about sharing your life with someone, why haven’t you made decisions about the kind of life you want to have with this person?” This mismatch not made in heaven has more than an age difference working to its disadvantage.
There are viable points for both sides to consider or at least, confront for a resolution they both can live with. I don’t know about the woman in this situation but there are some things that are deal breakers for some of us. Now, let’s look at this. This woman has sacrificed and invested time to improve her quality of life. Please, don’t muddy this up with thinking I’m focusing on the importance of materialistic positioning. However, if one has made a reasonable move toward financial security, they deserve reciprocity of the same benefit from their partner.
The sign of immaturity for your friend is not his age, but his lack to plan, position, and prepare for his future. Also, it is evident that neither one of them has thought this through thoroughly. Have they considered family planning for the future? They may not be in sync for having children. If she has postponed having children to this point, she may want to have children soon after they are married. Or, if she already has children, does he want her to have more children with him? Starting, increasing, or blending a family can cause incredible pressure and strain in a marriage.
A twenty-one year old with a wife, ready-made family, and more on the way, may be an arduous circumstantial challenge. I am not saying the relationship cannot survive but it is “fanta-whimsical” not to consider some things they may face. These factors alone can cause the undoing of a relationship.
While others may say they are incompatible in other areas, I don’t totally agree. They are probably physically, possibly intellectually, and most definitely sexually (truth) compatible. Educational inequities can exist in relationships; that in itself is not uncommon. Contrary to common belief, there are still some trade skills that pay extremely well.
If, they have a relationship where she can make more money than him and it does not cause issue for either one; that may work too. Maybe. Big maybe. The biggest flag seems to be an emotional incompatibility. The only thing that closes or lessens this gap is maturity. Often, that takes more time to develop than a person is willing to invest.
My advice to your friend to step back and honestly assess if he is able right now to be the man his woman deserves. Don’t let his or her impatience get in the way. Even if being married comes later than sooner, he should take the time to work on it and at it to give her his best. God bless.
Lynne C. Parker is an educator, prophet, minister, consultant, author of the “30 Day Intercessory Devotional for Leaders”, and consummate orator.
Lynne operates under God’s grace as she serves leaders, families, teams, ministry and community. She is the founder and Vision Steward ™ for the IC4U-Intensive Care for You, Inc. nonprofit para ministry. Lynne and the IC4U team serve servant leaders, servant families, and servant care teams in ministry and community settings.
Lynne is grateful that her years in corporate environments, life experiences, and education that allow her to serve His people. She holds credentials for adult learning and has a MA in Psychology Counselling.
In addition, she considers her role as an advocate for social justice and serving marginalized populations of women among her most rewarding life experiences. Lynne is grateful to serve existing and potential kingdom citizens by providing information and additional tools for victorious living!