Heidi writes, “I am 21 years old and falling in love with a man who is 56 (and damn good looking for that matter). I had known him vaguely for about 2 years because he comes into the businesses I run. We had exchanged information 8 months ago for business reasons. A few weeks later I got a text message from him asking to accompany him to a few political fundraisers in the city, offering to take me shopping and get me all dolled up! Now long story short, I said yes. We went shopping in the city, he spend thousands of dollars on me, it was like being a geisha! He is a millionaire. And I will not deny that the money was something that initially drove me into the situation. Who doesn’t want to be spoiled? We went to a few fundraisers and had a blast getting to know each other better while falling in love! The business he owns fights property taxes, the fundraisers give him a chance to get on the good side with major attorneys for future favors, and believe it or not, bringing me with him got him a lot of new business for him and his company! These Republican politicians can be a little scummy. Well, time goes on and he surprises me with a Honda CRV. This was something completely out of the blue. I tried not to accept but it was a done deal, and well, I couldn’t be happier! Now I know this sounds like a major gold-digging story but let me continue. It occurs to me at first that he was clearly using me for my looks and youth, so why not allow this to be a mutually-beneficial relationship? Well, I get to know him more every day. I am totally attracted to him and absolutely turned on by him. It’s been a few months since we have been together and things are starting to fall into place. And then he tells me he was diagnosed with IPF (idiopathic pulmonary lung fibrosis disease) about 5 years ago, with an additional 3-5 years to live. He is now on what doctors call “borrowed time” with all this wealth. He sees no sense in not spoiling and donating to anyone and everyone in this world because “you don’t have pockets in the casket to take it with you!” He is a wonderful Christian man and we attend the same church. We know lots of the same people, and we truly do get along so well, and are now intimate, and all I can say is whoa. Never knew someone could care so much and love so much as he does. Especially coming from previous relationships of cheaters and controllers, our relationship has really progressed and we are so close mentally, physically and spiritually. My parents support our relationship because my dad has always wanted someone to come into my life to bless me and influence me in Christ. Well he is the guy I tell ya!! He is now talking about moving in together, a baby, getting married. And this is where I get worried. How do I continue to get closer and closer to someone I know will be passing away, to someone I know will probably not even make it to my son or daughter’s elementary school graduation? I love him and I can only imagine how wonderful a future I could have with him but a major setback is thought of dealing with all the things people will say! I’ve already considered taking a break from obnoxious friends and family members in order to keep people from saying harsh things as you could imagine they said when a 21 year old salon manager got a brand new car handed to her. Please give me your thoughts and advice. I’m not looking to be called a gold-digger (although I’m used to it by now). I am simply attracted to a man who can provide, works hard and can help take care of me and my family knowing that my job is not going to lead me to the life I could only wish to live!”
First of all, as far as age difference goes, I have received dozens of stories like this and it did not surprise me at all. Secondly, it is not unusual to fall in love like this because we as a society have attached way too much importance to age in the past and a lot of smart people are now figuring out that it is people who matter.
Heidi, I sense that you can handle the eventual death of your husband, if you marry him, but as far as having a child together, you should firmly say no. And I say this from personal experience because I lost my father (due to an illness) at the age of 4 and I know how hard and painful it is growing up without a dad (despite not having any financial challenges as also would be the case for your child). While I am all for single women and lesbians/gays having children too, my personal experience tells me that life is just so much better when you have both a dad and mom (research, however, contradicts me and shows that children of gay and lesbian parents do as well as others). They both bring two different experiences in a kid’s life, and while no one can predict that a man your age that you might marry would not die prematurely or divorce you, knowingly depriving a child of his/her father is plain wrong. While I am an atheist, from what I know from talking to good Christian people, this is also morally wrong. He may want to be all romantic and sentimental about it and may want to leave a legacy behind in form of a progeny, it is simply unethical and immoral to have a child when you are living on borrowed time.
I hope that you can convince this man to drop this demand not only from you but abandon the idea altogether, and only then should you move in with him or marry him because maybe all the money that you are getting from him and may inherit, your child will never forgive you or him for bringing him/her into this world knowing fully well that s/he would be without a father pretty much his/her whole life. I also do not buy the argument many women give about having the child for the sake of keeping the memory of their husband alive because it is so selfish of them to think so.
This is a difficult and complicated decision and I encourage you to think it thoroughly and seek help from someone at your church, because as tempting as it sounds you still try to do the right thing because only then you can hope to happy and not have to live with guilt your whole life.