12 Women Share What It's Like to Marry a Much Older (or Younger) Man

Wendy Robinson | Jul 21, 2017 Love & Sex
12 Women Share What It's Like to Marry a Much Older (or Younger) Man
Image: Yuri G.

Yuri G.

When I met my husband, I was smitten by his brown eyes and his warm smile. We hit it off immediately, and it wasn't until we already had our first date scheduled that he mentioned he was 43 years old. I was 25 and couldn't imagine falling in love with someone over 40. Four months later we were engaged. We've been married 12 years now and sometimes I forget that there are 17 years between us -- until I realize he can't name a single 'N Sync song and thinks that the 1970s were the golden age of movies. 

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Love and marriage are always complicated, and the truth is that having a big age difference can sometimes add another layer of challenge.

I talked to 12 women who are in relationships with large age gaps to find out what makes their relationships work -- and what they wish people understood about why love is love, no matter how many times they had to remind them that Justin Timberlake got his start in a boy band!

More from CafeMom: 11 Women Confess the Toughest Things They Decided to Tell Their Partners

Take a look at our favorite stories of couples who found that age isn't anything but a number. 

And then let us know: Are relationships with huge age gaps a good idea?

  • Young at Heart

    Tracy B.

    "I am 49 and my boyfriend is 26, so it's a 24-year age difference.  To us it doesn't make any difference. He's a bit of an old soul and I am definitely young-at-heart and have tons of energy (too much for men my own age, usually). We have been dating for almost two years and the age thing has never been an issue for us. I have a few friends that that don't understand how it works but some get it. People assume that we won't really have much in common or that we won't get each other's cultural references but he's seen a lot of '80s movies and I have a teenager and work in social media so I'm up on most trends. We totally get each other and also have really great chemistry so it works well for both us." -- Tracy B., Los Angeles, California

  • Same Values

    Alison T.

    "We have a 15-year age difference. For me, our marriage of nearly 33 years works (and has always worked) because we have similar values (trust, loyalty, commitment in the tough times, faith, and lots of laughter).

    "I had many people 'warn' me that Brian would age and I would be left either widowed early or frustrated by an aging partner who couldn't or wouldn't want to participate in things that interested me. Pleased to report that isn't an issue -- I think quality/satisfaction/team work/joy/retaining a positive attitude to life in a relationship is much more important than longevity in any case.

    "Each season of our life together has had its ups and downs, but we've gone through them together." -- Alison, Auckland, New Zealand

  • It Works!

    Stefani S.

    "My husband and I are 20 years apart -- I am 30 and he is 50. We have been together four years. We got married last year in Ireland and it was the best day of my life. 

    "When we met I had no idea the age difference was so huge; he looks really good for his age! We share many similarities and interests! I think common misconceptions are that there is a secret to making things work with an age gap. If it works for you it works for you!" -- Stefani S., Sarasota, Florida

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  • Facing the Future

    hands holding

    "My husband is more than 25 years older than me and, let me be honest, sometimes it does make a difference. Sometimes I get scared when I think about the future. He is getting ready to retire and I'm still midway through my career. I wonder what will happen if he gets sick or disabled. We have two young kids and the thought of raising them alone scares me.

    "But I love him and he is my favorite person." -- Name withheld by request

  • Positive Impact

    Yuri G.

    "I am 32 years old and happily married to a man who is 50 years old. 

    "The age difference impacts our relationship in a positive way. Since my husband is 17 years older than me, he has more experience and already knows what he wants, has very clear goals and he is not wasting my time. Also, I find our relationship more emotionally stable than it would be with a younger man." -- Yuri G., Katy, Texas

  • Better Together


    "I did not want to fall for my partner. We met on a hiking trip and I called him 'kid' for five miles, which he hated. I'm 13 years older than him and I worry that he's giving up things by being with me. I have a child from my first marriage but the ship has sailed on us having kids together and I hope he doesn't regret that later. 

    "But we're better together than we are apart and I can't imagine life without him." -- Emily T., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Making It Work

    bride and groom

    "My husband is 20 years older than me and my parents didn't approve. Partially it was the age and partially it was because this was his fourth marriage. They actually didn't come to the wedding, which hurt a lot. 

    "Facing the judgment and disapproval from my family was a tough way to start but we're making it work." -- Lael D., San Diego, California 

  • Together Again?

    Alyce B.

    "Oddly enough, I was 13 years older than my son's father and my husband is 13 years older than me. 

    "We separated a few years ago but are (sort of) getting back together. He had moved to Wisconsin and he is moving back. We are gonna give it a go. Our age difference didn't have anything to do with our separation though. We aren't a traditional success story." -- Alyce C. 

  • The Big Question

    feet in bed

    "The most annoying part of having a husband who is 18 years older than me is that WAY TOO MANY people feel comfortable asking questions about our sex life. News flash, people -- 55-year-old guys still want to have sex, no Viagra required!" -- Jamie J., Tucson, Arizona 

    More from CafeMom: 5 Reasons to Marry a Younger Man

  • Tough Choices

    family walking and creating shadows

    "I wish people knew that you can't help who you love and that most couples with a big age difference probably talked a lot about what they'd be facing. Like, I wasn't unaware that there would be tough choices that came with marrying someone two decades older than me. Like, for us, we decided that we'd only have one child and we'd have her right away so my husband would have as much time with her as possible. 

    "In a perfect world, I wanted three or four kids. But I'd rather have one kid with him than have three kids with someone my own age." -- Autumn D., Des Moines, Iowa

  • Stay Tight


    "My husband is 14 years younger than me. It actually inspires me to try to take really good care of myself. Not only am I trying to keep things tight as a tiger, but I want to live as long as I can so we can have the most time together as possible." -- Jessie M., Clearwater, Florida

  • Same Fights

    pile of coins

    "My husband is 19 years older than me but I honestly forget about it sometimes. When I compare our live to the lives of my friends who are married to people the same age, they look basically the same. We have the same fights and struggles as everyone else. We fight about money and the kids, all the usual stuff. 

    "We're just a basic couple, you know? I'm not a trophy wife and I don't have daddy issues! I just love this one person." -- Sarah T., Oakdale, Minnesota 

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