DEAR HARRIETTE: My parents have been married for over 15 years. They met in medical school. (My father is a surgeon, and my mother was a nurse.) There is a big age gap between them, as my father is 10 years older than my mother.
Growing up, I never noticed the age different, but as we all get older, I can see how such a huge age gap affects their relationship. My father is very traditional in the sense that he doesn’t bother with new trends in the world or updating his lifestyle. On the other hand, my mother is more up-to-date with technology and knows more about the way the world works nowadays. Yesterday, they had a huge argument about getting a new car. My father wants to keep the car our family has now, but my mother wants an updated, safer car. Is there a way I can help my parents solve this dispute? What is your take on martial age gaps? -- Parents' Age Gap, Memphis, Tennessee
DEAR PARENTS’ AGE GAP: It may be that the issue here is the age difference. It may also be that your father prefers to be in the role of decision-maker and doesn’t appreciate your mother’s pushback. Strategy may be useful here. Perhaps your mother can invite your father to go for a test drive of cars that she finds interesting. She can pose it as a fun activity that does not need to involve buying a car. She should ask him to humor her by going along for the ride -- literally. Exposing him to the new technology firsthand may open his eyes to what is available on the market and how much it costs. If your mother is able to give him this experience, they may be able to move past the rigidity that is currently standing in their way.