Ask a Therapist: My 24 year old sister is bringing her 49 year old boyfriend to Christmas this year. How can it not be weird?

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Therapist Anastasia Pollock answers a viewer's tough question:

My 24 year old sister is bringing her 49 year old boyfriend to Christmas this year. How can it not be weird?

It is entirely possible that your holiday can still be enjoyable. The situation only has to be weird if people want to make an issue of the age gap.

First, don’t assume that this relationship is unhealthy based solely on the difference in age. Many couples with large age gaps have healthy and happy relationships.

Second, it is important that everyone realizes that your sister is a consenting adult. Her relationship is her business and I’m actually pleased that she wants to bring her boyfriend around. Perhaps she would like everyone to see how wonderful he is and get to know him. Hopefully your family will seize that opportunity, regardless of what his driver’s license might say about the year he was born.

Talk to your family members about the situation beforehand and encourage them to set aside judgments. Demonstrate an open mind and attitude about the situation and remind them that your primary concern should be that everyone in your family feels loved and supported.

If you are concerned about the relationship for reasons other than the age gap, Christmas is not the best time to bring up these issues. Wait until after the holidays to voice your concerns.

Focus on enjoying the food, activities, and most of all, the company. Set aside your discomfort with their age gap and work on being in the moment and appreciating that you have the opportunity to gather together as a family.

You can get more great insights from Anastasia here. 

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