What do you do when you meet your soul mate -- but your family doesn't approve? Shawn, age 40, says she found the love of her life six months ago. She has already traveled to Brazil to meet his friends and family and the couple is planning to get married soon.
Unfortunately, her family has reservations. Along with being 12 years her junior, he's Catholic. "Everybody in my family married someone Jewish," Shawn explains. "I grew up conservative, but I would hardly call me that now. I think at this point in my life, it's kind of late in the game, and I think what's really important is to find the person you love."
"It sounds to me like you have lived a lot," Bell says. "And this person has come into your life and it's extraordinary. So you probably ought to marry him."
He advises Shawn how to stand up to her family in a respectful way, saying, 'I understand and I love you all, but I need to do this."
Bell just wants Shawn to do one other thing before the wedding: pre-marriage counseling. "I would go to a therapist or a counselor who will ask you the harshest, sharpest questions," he says. "I would say, 'Put us through the grinder. Ask us everything that we wouldn't have known to ask each other, that could haunt us down the road. Make it as hard as possible for us.' And see what you come up with."
This way, Shawn hopefully will have fewer surprises in the future. "I would go there, and then you ought to get married because it's the best thing ever," Bell says. "That's what I would say."
Shawn is all smiles. "I'll send you a wedding invitation," she promises.
Watch more advice from leading spiritual teachers, like this exercise to embrace your vulnerable side, on "Help Desk" airing Sundays at noon ET on OWN.