Dear Dr. Romance:

I'm an Iraqi woman in my forties.  I am divorced & I have a daughter in her twenties. I read your article "Age Differences in Dating". 3 months ago I fell in love with a man a few years older than my daughter. At first I didn’t know his age.  He insists he wants to marry me but I hesitate for 2 reasons: first his age & secondly he has a family. He is very insistent.  I want your advice about what to do. You may not know about how Iraqis think about that and think I should refuse him, but I need a man to stand behind me to help me feel that I’m a woman.  Please help me

Dear Reader:

I do understand some of what it must mean to be an Iraqi woman, and I know what you mean by needing a man to stand behind you.

If this man wants to marry you, and you have reason to believe he will be good to you (which is very important) there is no reason why you should not marry him.  It sounds to me as if you need each other.  He needs help with his family, and you need help with yours. 

Please do everything you can to make sure you'll be treated well.   "Aspects of Love"  and "Asking for What You Want" will help you understand how to create a good partnership, and "The Challenges of Blended Families" will help both of you learn how to create a healthy blended family.

The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty is exactly what you need to help you think more clearly about the changes you want to make.  The exercises and information in it will help you make the right decisions.

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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.