Do Age Differences Matter in a Marriage?

Demi Moore made it okay for younger men to date older women, much to the cheers of women worldwide. It was through her marriage to Ashton Kutcher that the world first heard the term "cougar" (which, whether you like it or not, is here to stay).

People like Anna Nicole Smith made marrying a much older man part of mainstream pop culture when she and J. Howard Marshall, who was 62 years older, walked down the aisle. Not, perhaps in the most flattering of ways, but nonetheless, you can't think about age differences in marriage without thinking of those two.

But does an age gap really matter in marriage? How much of a gap is too much?


I'm of the opinion that an age gap can be a bonus for many types of relationships - if there's common ground. Two people the very same age can be as different as night and day just as easily as two people 20 years apart can be.

I don't know that society is ready to see a significant age gap in a marriage as normal. But having two different generations as a united front can be an amazing combination.


Well, there's always more to learn from someone who didn't grow up with The Internet jammed down his throat or the Beach Boys played on every radio station. Learning from each other is the hallmark of a good relationship, because there's ALWAYS something new to learn in this crazy, mixed-up world.

I don't doubt that there are drawbacks to dating and marrying someone who is quite a bit older or younger. It can be hard to understand each other sometimes. It can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings. You sometimes find yourselves in different places.

Then again, the same can be said for marrying someone closer in age.

I'm all for whatever works, and I'm very interested to hear stories about what an age gap in marriage is really like. I'd certainly never take a big age difference as a dating no-no.

What do you think about dating and marrying someone older or younger than you?

Image via p r o m i s e/Flickr

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