My partner is older than me and my family does not accept it: what to do?

For the family environment it can be difficult to accept a relationship with a large age difference. Find out how assertiveness, boundaries, and maturity can help you deal with the situation.

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: July 13, 2022

The age difference in a couple is one of the aspects that continues to cause the most controversy at a social level. In general, it is thought that economic or sexual interest prevails in this type of bond, the desire to take advantage of the other and the injustice derived from a situation in which one seems to obtain greater benefit. Thus, if my partner is older than me, it is likely that I will have to face reactions of fear and rejection from my family.

To a certain degree, it is understandable that parents wishing to protect their son or daughter, and based on this type of prejudice, have certain reluctance to accept the bond. However, as an adult, it is my right to choose my partner and for that decision to be respected by those around me. Thus, it will be convenient to make certain approaches so that this rejection does not end up undermining family relationships.

Why does the opinion of the family affect us?

First of all, it is necessary to understand that we are facing a delicate situation. The solution is not as simple as turning a deaf ear to the opinion of parents and relatives or cutting off relations with them.

Even if we are independent adults, it is natural that we want our family environment to approve of our partner. And let there be a cordial and close relationship between them.

They have been the first attachment figures, crucial in the formation of our identity and our sense of belonging. They know us, they have seen us grow, they have supported and accompanied us. We take it for granted that they seek the best for us.

An attitude of rejection towards the couple will imply conflicts and fights, disappointment and disappointment on both sides. It is likely to lead to an estrangement. The person will be forced to choose between their life as a couple and the rest of their loved ones.

So that this does not happen, we can apply some guidelines and advice.

What do I do if my partner is older than me and my family does not accept it?

This won’t be an easy road and nothing guarantees that you will get positive results. However, here are some steps you can take to deal with your family’s rejection of your relationship.

Arguments over children’s partners are not something that can be resolved immediately or easily.

Talk, listen and ask for explanations

First, It will be essential to have an open and honest conversation with your family. Get together with them (perhaps one-on-one with each other if that’s more comfortable) and ask them why they specifically reject your link. Do not present it as an affront or an attack, but as a genuine interest in knowing their opinion.

In this talk you will probably realize that their fears and reticence are based on prejudices. If so, ask them to open their minds and allow themselves to know the relationship and judge it for what it truly is; not for what they suppose.

If your rejection is based on concrete, logical and respectable reasons, we can discuss and argue about it.

Be assertive, set limits and demand respect

Throughout the process you have to be patient and assertive, not lose your temper or manners and not resort to yelling or insulting. This won’t solve anything and it will only increase the emotional distance with the family. However, it is important to be firm and assertive; this is to respect our decision and our partner.

We cannot force any member of our family to love our partner, but we can demand respect. We must make it clear that we will not tolerate insults or humiliation, malicious criticism or ill-treatment towards ourselves or our partner.

This can force us to take certain unpleasant measures, such as ending phone calls or leaving family gatherings where we are being disrespected. It may also lead to less contact with certain people for a while, but it’s important to set limits.

Create a united front with your partner

One key is to work as a team and create a united front. It is hard to face the rejection of the family, but we cannot leave the sentimental partner alone in this affront.

parents and relatives they must see that there is unity, support and consensus. It should be noted that this is a healthy and solid relationship.

In this regard, it is appropriate talk beforehand as a couple and discuss your own opinions and points of view regarding the age difference and what this may entail. Laying these foundations will make it easier to go out into the world later, with clear ideas and a common front.

Provides small close-ups

Of course, anyone would like their environment to accept their partner from the beginning and without problems. However, if this does not happen, it is possible plan small approaches that allow both parties to get to know each other better.

This will help break down prejudices and offer the family spaces to see the type of person who is with their son or daughter, what their intentions are and what their bond is like. It is likely that, over time, their opinion will soften and they will assume that the age difference does not have to be a problem.

Problems regarding the age difference in a couple usually respond to prejudice. Work must be done to bring them down.

shows maturity

Finally, remember that it is of little use to approach the situation as a frontal fight against your relatives. Listening, understanding and persuasion may be more suitable tools.

Try to understand their fears and reticence. Make them see that both of you (your partner and you) are aware of the age difference and the difficulties it entails. Still, you’re fine with it.

You can explain the degree of affinity you have with your partner, the shared values ​​and tastes, the common projects and how their presence contributes positively to your life. In light of this reality, the age difference becomes irrelevant, both being adults.

My partner is older than me, but the love between the two is real

Ultimately, the solution is help the family environment to understand that it is a real, mature relationship based on love and respect. In fact, it has been seen that couples with an age difference, especially, can be satisfied with their life and their relationship.

As the family can see, understand and verify that both are people who are aware of their reality, committed and with a common project, it is possible that their fears will dissipate. This process requires time and patience, understanding and an open mind on both sides.

In any case, remember that if your partner is older and your environment does not accept it, it is your right to take measures so that your decision and your bond are respected.

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