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September 03, 2019

I am writing to you as I feel no one really will understand my dilemma. I am a 47-year-old widower and a father...

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Dear Nadine,

I am writing to you as I feel no one really will understand my dilemma. I am a 47-year-old widower and a father of a 19-year-old son. After my wife’s death 10 years ago, I decided to devote my life to my son. My mother and sisters asked me to re-marry many times, but to me my son’s emotional wellbeing was a priority. I couldn’t risk marrying the wrong sort of a woman who would be bad for my son. When my wife died, I was in Australia, but I moved back to Pakistan so my son would at least have the love of his grandmothers and other relatives. It worked well for me and my son has turned out very well indeed. The problem is that after all these years, I have fallen in love with T who is my sister’s neighbour. I met her a few times at my sister’s place and we both somehow started seeing each other. She is 42 and single. She works at a bank and lives with her brother and his wife; and due to family issue, she just could not get married when she was young. Now she is also sheepish about our affair and I am also sort of confused. What would my relatives think? More importantly, how would my son react? T does not have any such issues, as her relatives are selfish and care only for her money, but she feels she is too old to get married and people might mock her. We are both mature and independent, yet we are afraid. What should we do?

Conflicted Virgo

Dear Conflicted Virgo,

Bringing up your son single-handedly must have been difficult, despite all the help you got from your relatives. I am sure your son appreciates your sacrifice and realises why you did not re-marry. You have already devoted your golden years to your son; what more can any son ask for? You are a great father.

However, now your son is a grown young man and in few years’ time he will have a family of his own. Of course you will be a part of it, but you will no longer have your son’s undivided love. There is nothing wrong with this and this is just how life is. Parents give everything to their children and do all that is in their means to make them happy. In turn, when children grow up and become parents, they do the same. It’s not that they love their parents less; it’s just that they have more responsibilities and tend to give more time to their children. So you should consider your life and your own future. You are lucky you have found someone you love and the best thing would be to talk to your son. Don’t worry about what the relatives would say; they always talk. What is important is that once your son has a life of his own you will not be miserable. In one’s old age, companionship of a spouse matters a lot, and T will also have a need for companionship. Tell her not to feel sheepish; she is not too old to get married. Nowadays, age is just a number as far as marriages go. Just remember that it’s your own happiness and priorities both of you should consider. Life has given both of you a shot at happiness, don’t miss it. Good luck!

Problems that need a solution? You can e mail Prof. Nadine Khan at nadinekhan_34yahoo.com

Write to Prof. Nadine Khan, ­c/o Editor ‘You!’ magazine, The News, Al-Rehman Building (4th Floor) I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi.

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