I am 65 years old and my partner is 45 years old. We have been going together for ten years. Our relationship is solid and we care and respect each other. My problem is that my relationship with a younger man has been the but of my friends’ jokes for years. They never seem tired of making a joke out of my relationship – they would say things like cougar, sugar-mammie, robbing the cradle etc. in reference to me. I laughed at these jokes on the outside but inside they tore at my heart and self-esteem. I had come to the point of breaking off my relationship. My partner asked me whether I cared more about my friends than him. The truth is I care more about my relationship with him. I’ve had older men and men around my own age and they cannot be compared to this man in my life. He is solid, he is kind and thoughtful How can I let my friends know that I am hurt by their insensitive jokes.
I think it is very rude of your friends to me joking about your relationship even when it has proven to be a serious relationship. Perhaps there is some jealousy happening here. Anyway, on the other hand, if you laugh at their jokes and pretend to like it, how can you blame them. You are encouraging them with your laughter. Just tell them to cut the cougar jokes and your relationship with this younger man is serious and that you would like them to respect them. It is not a sin for a woman to love a younger man. Men do it all the time. Enjoy your life.