Relationship Issue

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

So here is a synopsis of my problem:

I’m a 24 year old female in a relationship with a 42 year old male. He came into my life at such a vulnerable time one year ago, when i was in major need of a loving genuine person to care for me. He swept me off my feet and showered me with mature conversations, romantic dinners and trips, gifts, love, and so much more. I truly am in love with him and have no doubt about that, but I’m not sure the relationship can work when you get into his side of the spectrum.

Here is a little background of his situation:

He’s been married 3 times. From the second wife he had two kids who live with us and are now 14 and 15. He divorced that marriage because she had a drinking problem and got full custody of the children. Later in his life he married for the third time and was in that relationship for 7 years and had two more kids who are now ages 4 and 2. This is part of his baggage that I’m having such a hard time accepting. He claims the marriage and love was diminishing on both sides so when he was deployed to Italy he had an affair with a 24 year old Italian girl.

Currently I’m have moved from Louisiana to California with him and his two teenage kids. His son is rebellious and i honestly can’t tolerate being in his presence at all. Also there are so many concerns about the fact that the man i love has two more little kids all the way in AL, and he doesn’t seem to have a problem with the fact that he won’t be able to see them very much any more.

I’m beginning to feel like i am giving up a lot to be with him. I feel as if at this age i should be discovering what career path i want and really who i am. I feel as if from being with him and all his situations, I am slowly but surely losing who i am and who i want to be.

What is your advice? Do you think i am in over my head? Doubt is fogging every aspect of my thought process and I simply don’t know the answer.

Thanks so much!

A. I believe you already know the answer to your question.

You wrote that you are effectively giving up your life to be with him. You’re having doubts perhaps because intuitively you know that this relationship isn’t right for you.

I don’t have many details about the relationship but based on the limited information provided it seems problematic. If you stay in this relationship, then you will have to accept all of his baggage. It also means that your wishes and desires will either be put on hold or they may never come to fruition.

The question becomes, are you willing to sacrifice your life goals to be with this man? That’s a question that only you can answer.

I would recommend meeting with a therapist who can gather many more details about your relationship and assist you in determining whether you’re making the right choice. Choose a therapist who specializes in relationships.

You’re at a crossroads and I believe therapy at this point would be highly beneficial. It would afford you the opportunity to objectively evaluate your relationship with the assistance of a trained specialist. You may only need a few sessions to sort out your next move. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Oct 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Relationship Issue. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/10/14/relationship-issue-2/