You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…

Q: My fiancé and I have three beautiful children and a 15-year age difference. After careful financial planning, we are now planning a wedding this year. My question is, how do we maintain a fulfilling relationship with so many years between us? Also, we are having difficulties deciding if we should have a lavish wedding or a courthouse wedding. We know what’s most important is our love and commitment, but since this is my first wedding, i would just like some form of a ceremony. Can you please help us decide? 

Ms. Age Difference

Dear Ms Age Difference,

Congratulations on your pending marriage. You are right: love and commitment are more important than the type of ceremony you have. Without a basic foundation for the marriage, the ceremony does not really matter. We have all watched elaborate over the top weddings on TV that only lasted for a hot minute. So we should all know by now that marriage is more than the pomp and circumstance. Given that the two of you have three children and are financially planning for the future, you may want to consider a small private wedding ceremony and a large reception. This is a decision that the two of you need to make together.

Your wedding day should only be about the two of you. Please do not get caught up in trying to please others. Remember, people often spend money that they do not have on things that they do not need or want to impress people that do not matter. If your 15-year age difference has not been a problem in your relationship up to this point, do not make it a problem now, or in the future. It is not always the chronological age that is a problem for couples but the mental age. Keep your relationship alive by continuing to do the things that are keeping you together now. Couples often make the mistake of letting the spark die out in their relationship once they say “I do.” Then, they wonder years later what happened when the honeymoon is long over and the relationship has become boring.

Communicate your feelings openly and honestly in the relationship. If you do that, there will be no misunderstanding of your expectations for one another. Enjoy planning for your marriage, and most of all, always enjoy each other! — Dr. Sherry

Email us your questions for Dr. Sherry now and be sure to include “Ask Dr. Sherry” in the subject line.