Too Many Differences
Q: I am 42, and I started a relationship with a man who is 34 and has two pre-teen kids. He is a Jehovah's Witness, and I am Catholic. His parents are adamant about not meeting me because of my religious beliefs. My boyfriend is very accepting of my age and my religion, and I accept him with his kids and his religion. We have a good relationship, but he is calm and I am very outgoing. I like his calmness, but sometimes I want him to be a little more aggressive. With so many differences between us, should I take it one day at a time or end the relationship?- Maria, 42
Dr. Susan: You haven't mentioned anything that would indicate that either of you is unhappy. "Differences" aren't enough to make a couple give up on a relationship. His so-called "calmness" is precisely what makes him so accepting of your differences. Don't expect him to become more aggressive. Although he's still fairly young, it's a situation of "what you see NOW is what you'll be getting LATER." Most of us would probably like to change our partners just a little, but it makes so much more sense to change ourselves to be more accepting. Why don't you give it a while to see how those differences play out?
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.