The Frustration of Developing a Mature Relationship Later in Life

Every married couple looks forward to having a stable, secure and mature relationship. A relationship where difficult issues have been resolved (or at least agreed to not resolve them), where the understanding and rules of the relationship have been firmly established and where both parties feel secure and understood. Unfortunately, there is one ingredient that is essential for a relationship to become a mature relationship and that is this: time.

Even if you do everything right, time is the only way to grow your relationship from a weak, immature one to a solid, mature one. This can be particularly frustrating for couples who are marrying or re-marrying late in life. If you are in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s, you undoubtedly have achieved a great degree of maturity in your personal life. You now have found that special other person, fallen in love and tied the knot. You look around yourself you see that many of your friends who are in the same age bracket have wonderful marriages that are secure and mature. You also assume that, since you are of a mature age, you too should have a mature relationship, yet yours seems to be a continual struggle. You ask yourself “We are grown adults, why do we struggle so?” or “Why do my friends seem to get along so good in their relationships but we are so frustrated?” I’ll tell you why: because your marriage is only a few years old while those in your age bracket have been married for 20, 25 and 30+ years.

You somehow believe that since you are both mature adults you should be able to fast track your relationship into the mature type of marriages you see in those around you, but you are not being realistic. It doesn’t matter how old YOU are – your relationship is just a few years old. In fact, one of the great struggles of getting married later in life is that even though you may be 47 years old, after just a few years of marriage you will have the relationship of a 20 something year old who just got married – and that can be very frustrating. It’s one thing to have a marriage of a 20 year old when you are 20. Its quite another to have the marriage of a 20 year old when you are pushing 50. And the truth is, the 20-something year olds are likely to be able to adapt to their marriage problems more easily than the 50-something year olds. What can you do?

First of all, you have to adjust your expectations. The only way you will have the marriage of a couple who has been married for 30 years is to stay married for 30 years – period. Just get used to that fact.

Secondly, stop comparing your marriage with those 30 year old marriages around you. Sure, they are the same age as you, but their relationship is a lot older than yours and there is just no way you can compete with that. It would be like being 50 and comparing your body to that of an 18 year old. I don’t care how much you work, cry and pray you will never have the body of an 18 year old again. Such comparisons are only likely to create a sense of depression. So, too, when you compare your marriage to those of your peers who have been married a long time.

When you marry later in life, it may seem like the one thing you don’t have is time, but like with a fine wine, time is the only way you can get what you truly want. So get as comfortable as you can with the notion that you are 53 and have the marriage of a 21 year old. Realize that staring at the water won’t make it boil any faster and sit back and allow what years you do have together to sweeten your relationship. And stop comparing your 5 year marriage to your friends who have been married for 35 years. Finally, be thankful to God for the relationship you do have (you could be alone). Enjoy what you have and let patience have her perfect work in you. Time is too valuable to waste while wishing that things were different.

Tags: ,

4 Responses to “The Frustration of Developing a Mature Relationship Later in Life”

  1. John says:

    I guess that’s true… sadly! I’m 51 and my wife is 40, and we got married on November 17th (2008, in Arizona)… and now, less than two months later, we’re separated and living in different countries! (She’s in Wisconsin and I’m in the UK.) We’re both Christians but I’m not sure how much difference that really makes. If God really exists (I guess He does) and if He likes a challenge, then I challenge Him (with all due respect) to make this relationship work! :-)

  2. Jaquelyn Steritz says:

    Love what you do…for the most part. :-) It’s a fresh perspective that is rarely heard elsewhere. And just so you know, your show helped my husband and I to understand and support our first-born, only daughter getting married at 20 to her first boyfriend who she met when she was 17 1/2. They “did it right”, and we are so proud of them for that. We continued to pay for her college, which she completed last summer. Without your input and guidance, I hate to say it, but we most likely would have been one of those parents who refused to support or help our daughter if she chose to get married before graduating college. So glad we did it your way! Thanks again and God bless.

    • Jaquelyn Steritz says:

      As for the article, I think it makes some very valid points. Although it doesn’t apply to my situation, I will share it for others to read. Very good material.

  3. SHERYL APPALSAMY says:

    I AM MARRIED NOW FOR ALMOST 5 YEARS AND 6 MONTHS – BEFORE I GOT MARRIED IT SEEMED TO BE THE PERFECT COURTSHIP – LOVE LETTERS, SINGLE ROSES, SMALL GIFTS, COMPANIONSHIP, BIBLICAL MATURITY BUT LOW AND BEHOLD ON THE NIGHT I GOT MARRIED AND FROM THERE ONWARDS THE TRUE SIDE OF MY HUSBAND HAD POPPED OUT – WE COURTED FOR 2 YEARS WHICH WAS BLISSFUL – PHONE CALLS IN THE MORNINGS – ATTENDED ALL CHURCH SERVICES BUT SINCE I WAS SO ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN CHURCH WAS CARRIED AWAY WITH THIS ATTENTION FROM THE OPPOSITE SEX. IT SEEMED THE NEXT STEP WAS MARRIAGE – HE CAME FROM A POOR FAMILY SO MONEY WAS NOT AN ISSUE AND STILL ISNT NOW – THE PROBLEM IS HE ACTED A PRO UNTIL WE MARRIED TO REALISE ALL THAT HE DID WAS A SHOW – HE IS SO IMMATURE AND NOT GOD FEARING – I DIDNT KNOW THAT THEN AS HE USED QUOTE SCRIPTURES WHEN WE WERE TOGETHER BUT SAD TO SAY HE WAS ONLY STRINGING ME ALONE TO GET MARRIED – I LEAD PRAISE AND WORSHIP/TEACH SUNDAY SCHOOL / MINISTER TO LADIES YET WHEN I GET HOME MY HOME IS NOT A GODLY ONE WHERE THE HEAD IS NOT RIGHT – HE GAMBLES, SMOKES AND REFUESES TO WANT MORE IN LIFE. WE HAVE A 4 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WHOM HE NEVER SHOW AFFECTION TO – IT SEEMS HE ONLY LOVED THE IDEA OF BEING A HUSBAND AND FATHER BUT CANT FULFILL THE DUTIES – WE HAVE BEEN TO 10 COUNSELLORS – WATCHED LAUGH YOUR WAY TO HAPPY MARRAIGE – EVEN FIRE PROOF – BUT NOTHING SEEMS TO CHANGE HIS THINKING OR LIFESTYLE – HE GOES TO CHURCH SERVICES BUT AS A PERFORMANCE OR RITUAL – IVE PLEADED AND ASKED HIM TO PRAY AND READ THE BIBLE TOGETHER BUT HE GETS ANGRY AND UPSET – IT SEEMS IM HIS MUMMY AND HES MY CHILD – I HAVE TO BABY HIM AND ITS TIRING ME TO THE POINT OF ME WANTING A DIVORCE FOR A LONG TIME – THE ONLY HONEST REASON I AM STILL WITH HIM IS BECAUSE MY DAD IS A PASTOR AND HE CONSTANTLY SAYS IVE MADE THE CHOICE AND I HAVE TO BE IN THIS MARRIAGE – I KNOW THE SAYING FOR BETTER OR WORSE BUT IT SEEMS HE HAS THE BEST OF LIFE AS I CLOTHE HIM/FEED HIM YET HE DOESNT GIVE ME THE SECURITY AND AFFECTION I NEED – I AM AT MY WITS END – PLEASE ADVISE – DO I STAY IN A MARRIAGE THAT IM NOT GETTING SPRITUAL OR PHYSICAL MATURITY FROM – WHAT DO I DO – OR HOW DO I HANDLE AND IMMATURE MAN THAT DOESNT WANT TO GROW UP AND TAKE RESPONSIBILTY

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>