Do Age Differences Matter in a Marriage?

Love & Learn 59

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.

Why?

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

dating, marriage

59 Comments

To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

wamom223 wamom223

I have been in a 13 year relationship with a man that is 14 years older.  There are days that I talk to my friends that I am so glad about the age difference because I could not put up with a grown man letting video games get in the way of real life.  I know so many couples that all of the problems in their relationships are because of video games and all the couples I know where the man is over 45 this is not an issue.  I think my man has matured me and I keep him young.  I would say the only draw back is with having children.  We waited longer than we should and now that we are having trouble getting pregnant his age is a source of stress for us.  For us the journey has been great and we get a kick out of some of the insane questions we get asked.  My favorite was when the wife of a couple that had been together since high school asked what we possibly could have to talk about with the age difference.  My answer, what do you have left to talk about after all these years together?  If you love each other and you click conversation isn't a problem in fact it can make for some pretty interesting debates.

Shrew2u Shrew2u

My husband and I are 16 years apart and have known one another for about 16 years.  I had much more in common with him when we met than I did with my male peers, just in terms of where we were in our life goals, interests, value system and outlook on life.  We've been married for 8 years, and we're at a point where we are gearing up for his retirement and planning on making sure we have long term care insurance that will cover us both.  There is a definite upside to this, in that I've been able to work or not work as I want when we started having children, because he has an established and well-paying career  In some ways, our kids missed out on his more energetic years, but having a younger husband is never a guarantee of active engagement.  I can be energetic enough for the both of us; the kids will benefit from his wisdom far longer than they will want to horse around with him.

wamom223 wamom223

Shrew2u-Thanks for writing this- the kids will benefit from his wisdom far longer than they will want to horse around with him.-I needed to hear this and it effected my stress level a lot.  I can't wait to share this with my man that worries so much about having the energy to chase after kids.

Cel7777 Cel7777

My hubby and I are the same age, but I think that if you're lucky enough to find someone you love and are compatiable with, go for it! I wouldn't let age deter me any more than race or eye color or any other random thing. Life is too short for all that.

Ashley Anne Homenko

My hubby and I are 14 years apart. I'm 20 and he is 34. We get many weird looks from people because I look a lot younger than 20.

Albond86 Albond86

My hubby and I are 11 years apart! I don't really notice the age difference in everyday life. But he is much more mature than any other guy I had dated or was serious with. We don't always relate to each others pasts. He's stable, knows what he wants out of life, and is amazing with our kids and me!

Blues... Blueshark77

My partner is 13 years older than me. We have a lot in common, but occasionally the age difference shows itself. Nothing has come up that's a deal breaker though, and I can't imagine life without him. We've been together almost 6 years and are expecting our first child. He is going to be an awesome dad.

mahyla mahyla

Am three years older than my hubby, I tell you am the happiest person in the world, we love each other, respect and work very hurd on achieving the things we want, though we are from different cultures but we are able to blend and make our cultural differences work for us. Since am older than him, it gives me plessure to see him grow in all possable ways. So my take is that, an age gap is not a problem as long as you blend and gel well, respect and common values are the few of the utmost importence to have in your relationship as a couple..and last year march we became parents for the first time to a baby girl her name is LULO, he's an awesome dad and I love him dearly. In all of that it makes to become a better wife everyday of our life together, I wouldn't ask for any better partner,friend, hubby.

Heath... HeatherJo11

 15 years apart. No regrets here. Guys always seemed so lame & immature that were my age. I couldn't even get very interested. I was 22 when we got together..I've always wanted to get with someone older. I would have went with someone older than my hubby even. Age just didnt/ doesn't have much bearing on things for me. Its never been an issue for us in any way :) I laugh at his "old people music" & how he has zero interest in technology of any sort. Barely can work a computer. & I have no idea what athletes he reminisces about from "back when he was a teenager" cause I wasnt born. I heard the term "silver fox" the other day & laughed my ass off. Cause ya I am a girl that likes some silver hair on a man. Brad pitt is rocking it these days.

jnsdrf jnsdrf

My husband is 25 years older than me! We've been married for 6 years now, together for 8 and have 2 wonderful children. We pretty much knew from the start this was it. :)  I only see age as a number. It really doesn't mean anything if you love the person your with. We have always gotten along great and like a lot of the same things, no not everything but almost. He still has a kid side but is very mature compared to the men my age and I couldn't be happier.

1-10 of 59 comments 12345 Last
F