I am making this video to accommodate a viewer request. They asked for a video about our age gap relationship and how our children dealt with it if we had any. Please subscribe to Love Beyond The Sea where I give higher Fil-West education to foreigners and Filipinas, and this is a good one. I had not put any thought into that before but it will be of interest to some viewers and for a while I was hoping to address this with my own child. Comments are welcome. Let me know your thoughts on how your children have dealt with your relationship with a younger Filipina and how you have talked to them about it.
Your small children-It would be normal for them to have some surprise, shock, or skepticism depending on how old the children are. If they are quite young, they might not notice it is different yet, but eventually they will be around other children whose parents are about the same age and will be curious why your parents are different; why they are so far apart in age. I can imagine other children making fun of your child as they often do, for something they don’t understand. There are things you can’t make them understand but there are some things you can say to a school aged child of yours.
You can tell them that married couples don’t have to be the same age and many relationships are like yours. They might not be aware of that but it is true. You can tell them that you chose a wife who you thought would be a good mother some day and that you love her more than any woman in the world. They will likely get challenged by some stereotypes the other children gather from their own parents. I would want my child prepared to know how to respond.
If they are asked “why is your dad so much older than your mom?”, I’d ask them to reply with “because he was born before she was.” If they continue to ask, they could reply with “my dad thinks my mom is very pretty” and leave it at that. Do you agree with me? I don’t have any idea if junior high aged children make fun of children with parents who have an age gap relationship, I can only speculate that they would. Let the last word be “my parents love each other”. I would tell them not to argue or get upset with the other children who are probing with their questions and hope that is good enough.
Your older children-This is where the biggest concern usually is with how children will react to an age gap relationship. The first time it comes up will be before the westerner marries a younger woman from the Philippines. A younger child might just have to deal with the unusualness of it, but as the child grows up, their minds will develop and they will have a different perspective. Yes, the relationship is still unusual, but here are some other questions they might ask you. Some might simply just want to know, but others might be very skeptical of your response.
The stereotypes-“She’s only after your money”-You might reply “I understand your concern however…” The same thing goes for a green card or visa. You can say “I don’t think that will be a problem because…”, or “I agree with your skepticism but here is why I don’t think that is the case with us…” While with a younger child you might get away with deflecting the questions, at the older child stage it helps to use reasoning. By the way, I would not get defensive at these questions, it is a golden opportunity to respond with reason, that’s all.
“She will leave you eventually”-How about responding “don’t you think I have considered that already?”, or “do you think I want that to happen?” If they say “these relationships never work out”, you could tell them that they often do work out, and that many same age relationships don’t work out either.” If they ask you what you could possibly have in common, let them know what you do have in common, whether it be religious convictions, shared interests, or that you both want to make each other happy.
Something I have said in other videos is that the foreigner and Filipina in an age gap marriage should enjoy finding things that they can find in common and enjoy together. I don’t get hung up on what we didn’t have in common when we married, I am more interested in what we have and can develop together.
My wife and I really like to watch Netflix together, just sit close together and watch a couple of shows. That’s new to me and it is fun as we ask each other how we think it is going to end and is there going to be a twist, etc. We just did this last night, turn the lights out and sit and relax watching a mystery movie. Doing some traveling is something we can share together.
You should certainly pleasantly tell them about the good qualities of your Filipina. You can point out that you are older and wiser than when you were younger and are making the best decision you can make. If they confront you with a question like “Dad, all you want is her body!” I would say “Of course I do, I think she is beautiful, but that’s not all she is, she…(talk about her other qualities). I don’t see any point in denying anything she says that is obviously true, like she is attractive and young. If they contend that this Filipina couldn’t possibly love you, let them know she will have to prove that she doesn’t love you. I would tell my children that I am glad they are concerned, and that I want to marry someone they can have respect for and I want them to give this woman a chance.
If children are close to the Filipina’s age-Yes, it would be strange having a mother figure who is the same age as the children. How is the foreigner to deal with this? Again, acknowledge the validity of their concerns and impressions, but don’t be apologetic for marrying a younger Filipina. I would politely let the older children who might be about the same age as the Filipina know that I want them to respect this woman for being my wife. She might not be their biological mother, but she is my wife and I expected them to treat her respectfully. I would tell them that this woman is my top priority, because she is my wife. I would remind them why I married this woman, that is to say, what qualities I saw in her.
Goal-I’d say the goal of such conversations should be to talk about qualities of this Filipina you are attracted to, and that includes her life in the Philippines which is more difficult than it has been for your children, and that this woman is more mature than they are giving her credit for. Give credence to your children’s opinions, acknowledge you think their concerns are valid. Ask for them to give the Filipina a chance. Ask them if they want you to be happy. You desire your children’s approval not just their acceptance but all you can do is your best to help them accept your decision.
If I was going to get married and either the woman I wanted to marry or myself could not gain approval of all of the parents, I don’t think the time is right to marry them. I did ask for and receive my wife’s father’s permission to marry his daughter, and that is not always a formality in the Philippines. As far as I know my mother was ok with it and I know if my twin sister had been alive, she would have heartily approved, age difference or not.
I think if you are going to be a part of another family and they are going to be a part of yours, that there should not be a problem right off the bat with family acceptance. Is this different from needing approval from my children, since both are family issues? Should the children’s opinion and feelings carry the same weight as the foreigner’s parents or his Filipina’s parents?
I almost wish I hadn’t asked that question. Up until now I have been speaking with the assumption there will not be major push back from the children of the man marrying a younger Filipina. But what if there is? If my parents or the Filipina’s parents were dead set against it, I think there is credence in at least waiting to get married. Perhaps in time, they will not object. If you state your position well, then I’d like to think your children would give you the benefit of the doubt.
If I had children who are skeptical, I would do my best to assure them this woman can be trusted, that I love her and want to take care of her, and think she will be a good wife. Acknowledge that any marriage involves risk, and in your opinion, you are giving this Filipina the benefit of the doubt.
If there is some protest, in time your children might fully accept your love beyond the sea.