Dear Philip Kitoto,
I am a young man at a crossroads due to what I can’t understand regarding my moods. I sometimes experience dark moods that take control of me, to the point where I feel like I am losing my mind.
When they strike, these dark moods make me feel like a zombie going through the motions of life like a drifter.
Could it be bipolar disorder or something lurking in my subconscious that keeps recurring? I come from a broken home.
My parents divorced when I was a toddler, and was raised by an overbearing father who never inculcated any bond in our relationship.
Now he only seeks me out when he needs something, which I feel is not a basis for a good relationship.
Could my dark moods be exacerbated by this fact?
I have a family of my own and am trying as much as possible to be a sane husband and father. So at home I have to maintain my composure despite the inner emotions that make me feel as if I am not normal. In the office, I go through the motions just to make it to the end of the day.
I smile and laugh at jokes to look normal, but if one were to probe me inside, my emotions are dead. So in essence my life is a façade of sorts.
What causes such moods and is there any recourse I can seek for this menace.
I empathise with you or your parents’ divorce. Indeed, such cases can cause withdrawal symptoms, depression, anxiety, and even fear. I might not be able to pinpoint why you are feeling the way you do, however, I would encourage you to seek professional help, preferably a one-on-one session with a counsellor. What you have shared is great, but there is a need for a counsellor to dig deeper and see what might be the cause.
In the meantime, be grateful for how far you have come. You now have a wife and kids who love you, and a job that calls for your best efforts. I would suggest that as you look for a counsellor, you resolve to seek inner healing. Praying and focusing on the positive achievements you have made will help you reaffirm what you can become if you keep the faith.
A 12-year difference is nothing to worry about
Hi Mr Kitoto,
I refer to your response in the Daily Nation of April 30, where a 25-year-old woman was worried because her fiancé is 37, a difference of 12 years.
With your kind permission, let me say that this difference is insignificant. I’m a believer in the Bible and learn many things from it. Abraham was 100 (Gen 21:5) while Sarah was 90 (Gen 17:17) when they got their son Isaac, that’s a difference of 10, almost the same as 12. Isaac was 37 years when he married the younger Rebecca.
Although at the moment there could a difference in appearance, 30 years from today, the two will look the same because women tend to age faster than men. As you rightly said, the lady should look for other qualities and convictions like honesty, wholehearted love, compatibility with regard to faith, accountability, etc. Spark, attraction and chemistry matter.
What is the ideal age difference?
I am a big fan of your relationships column. It is very insightful and I believe it has opened my eyes countless times.
I read an article on April 30 about a woman who was afraid that the 12-year age difference in her relationship is too big. You replied that the difference is significant and cannot be ignored.
Your response made me reach out to you because I would love to know how important the age difference is in a committed relationship or marriage.
In addition, I would be grateful it if you would tell me the ideal age difference and whether the eight -year age difference between me and my girl is too big.
I’m planning to marry her if can make the relationship work.
I would appreciate your feedback.
Thank you for being a follower of this column. Indeed, this is a forum where we accept contributions like yours. As I mentioned, what is disclosed is in the light and a spouse has the chance to make a commitment with understanding. In addition, a spouse will be able to stand for what they know and believe to be a fair and rational decision.
I am glad that the two of you have gone through the disclosure phase and now have the opportunity to reason through the implications of such an age difference.
It takes two people to make a relationship work. The two must not only be committed to the ideal of marriage, but must also commit to stand by each other and the decisions they make together.
As I said, the disclosure about age is not an end in itself. Each spouse must ask basic questions such as: Would I still be proud of my spouse when they are 60 and I am 68? Or when they are 70 and I am 80.
This issue of age applies particularly to men. Women don’t seem to be so concerned when their men are significantly older. Therefore, getting a man convinced about their choice is key to the woman’s security and the duration of the marriage.
There is really no ideal age difference marriage. Many men are getting married at an older age and such men are choosing spouses from a wide range of age groups.
However, many couples studied have an age difference mostly of between one and five years.
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MANAGING YOUR AGE EXPECTATIONS
The Guardian newspaper carried an article on a study on age differences and its effect on men and women in the marriage. Some of the notable findings were:
1. Women who are seven to nine years older than their husbands have a 20 per cent higher mortality rate than those closer in age to their spouses.
2. The secret to a longer life is to marry someone the same age, at least if you are a woman.
3. Health records have shown that men live longer if they have a younger wife.
4. Marrying an older man shortens a woman’s life, but having a younger husband reduces it even more.
5. The greater the age gap between a woman and her husband, the shorter her life expectancy, regardless of whether he is older or younger.
Of course the context is different, but it is always important for each couple to count the cost. Every decision has consequences. As for age difference, consequences can come in many different ways. For example, at a point in marriage, age could affect how a couple functions: sexual compatibility, physical activity, health compatibility, and maturity levels. However, it is important to note that there are people who marry a much older person.