My family doesn't like my boyfriend
"He served time in prison but that was a long time ago and he has changed. He says with me at his side he will lead a good, honest life"
I AM a woman aged 20 and in love with a man aged 35.
We have known each other for eight months and we adore each other.
My boyfriend wants us to get married as soon as possible and though he already has two children he would like us to start a family.
My parents are against the relationship, never mind marriage.
I am getting nervous because things are happening too quickly and I don't know what to say to them. They say he is too old for me.
Does age really matter? He served time in prison for beating up a person but that was a long time ago and he has changed.
He says with me at his side he will lead a good, honest life.
I love my family very much and I don't want to hurt them. Two months ago my father said he would disown me and stop paying for my studies if I pursued a relationship with this man.
I told them I was no longer seeing him but I continued to meet him. I hate the fact that I lied to them but I did not know what to do or say.
I feel as if this is all too much and it is stressing me terribly.
I cannot eat or sleep. All I want is to spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend and also not disappoint my parents.
What can I do to make everyone happy? - Impatient, Johannesburg
DEAR DUDU SAYS
This is not an easy situation and as things stand at present you will not be able to make everyone happy.
Fifteen years is a big age difference, particularly when the one partner is as young as you are.
Your parents are speaking with wisdom and from their own life experiences.
The problem, as I see it, is that you are rushing into marriage. Eight months is not long enough to know a person.
Why the rush? Take things a bit slower and get to know each other better. Have you discussed your life plans and common goals with each other?
How does he see his children fitting into your lives if they were to stay with you? Are you mature enough to cope with two children?
Your parents are justifiably concerned about your involvement with a man who has spent time in jail for assault. I am not saying your boyfriend hasn't turned over a new leaf.
Everyone deserves a second chance.
Your parents, however, want to protect you.
If your boyfriend is a good man he will not expect you to go against your parents' wishes and would be prepared to wait for you.
He is wrong to expect you to rush into marriage and start a family.
Don't lie to your parents.
They will find out and would be terribly hurt.
Your family are the most important people in your life, so you are going to have to be careful how you handle this situation.
Another serious consideration is your studies.
The choices you make now will impact on the rest of your life, so be careful.