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Pros and Cons of Marrying Someone Older

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by LinkH, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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    I have a few friends here where I live who are men whose ages range from their late thirties to just under 50 who have never married. They are all believers. One of them worked with some kind of ministry organization before and now has a really good job in IT. Another owns his own business and lives in a really expensive apartment building. Another one has worked low paying jobs for much of his life, isn't much of a decision maker, but since his mother passed, he earned a pretty sizeable inheritance apparently tied up in trusts probably. And another has a good job. They are all Christians.

    These men all want to marry younger women. The oldest one is interested in a woman up to her late 30's. The man in his late thirties is looking for a 27 year old or so, but would be interested in a woman up to 33 years of age. The reason most of them mention is children. Of course, men can have kids up until their 60's, but women have a narrower window of time.

    My wife has a lot of friends in her country, where it is socially acceptable to marry a western man, and a lot of young women find that desirable. So when she meets godly single men, she thinks of her unmarried friends back home and other places, and will ask if they want her to introduce them to someone. So far, no marriages or relationships, as far as we know, have started up, beyond one phone call someone told us about.

    I have a friend who is an evangelist and church planter of Indian descent. I don't know how many churches he has started in India, Russia and the Ukraine, and various other places. He was in his 50's, and his wife passed away many years ago. After that, my wife and I started thinking he might be a good match for this nice-looking, God-fearing woman we knew in her fourties who was also Indian who loved to disciple young women. Neither of them were from India. They were from the same little country, though. So we tried to match them up, but she was kind of scared about it. She even said she didn't see how their ministries would match together. I was thinking, you've got to be kidding. It seemed to me a perfect match in terms of ministry. But later she said she was gifted with celibacy and found peace with that.

    After some time, we got an email from our evangelist friend with a big JPEG attached of a nice-looking Russian or Ukrianian 30-year-old woman, where he was joyfully announcing his engagement, and I guess showing how God had blessed him. He went back to the Ukraine or Russia to do a seminar for the churches started through his ministry, and this young woman sensed the Lord telling her they were to be married. One thing led to another, and I guess he proposed to her, perceiving it was from the Lord. He badly wanted and needed to be married again.

    We've been in different countries, and have talked through Skype or email a few times. I'd really like to Skype him to see what's going on. The couple seems happy. They are planting churches and ministering in my wife's home country, now. They have had two or three kids since them. He had a three, I think, from his first marriage.

    I can see benefits to marrying close in age. But there are also benefits to women marrying older men. In some cases, finances is a good reason. Older men can be a bit more stable. They can also be a bit more mature in terms of taking responsibility and figuring out what they want to be and what they want to do. Of course, leaving a young widow is a big downside. So is needing care, and having less energy for a wife who is still younger.

    Anyone up for a discussion of the benefits and disadvantages of age differences in marriage?
     
  2. JaneFW

    JaneFW New Member

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    Well I'm 7 years older than my husband, so I think that's completely the opposite of what you are talking about.

    When I was in my teens, I was badly attracted to much older men. It was the whole substitute daddy thing. Then when I was 17, my boss at my weekend job asked me to go out to dinner with him, and I ran, lol! Not literally, but I suddenly realized how weird it would be, as he had a son my age, in fact older.

    When I was a young woman, it was okay to desire 'older men' and imagine that they would be so much more mature and level headed than guys my age. Now that I'm almost 50, I'm afraid that an 'older man' would probably be in his dotage. ^_^

    And Link, although men can keep on "making" babies into ther 60's, their sperm does deteriorate, and it can take him a lot longer to father a child than it takes a younger man, and there is evidence coming from the medical field that the ageing sperm plays a role in genetic abnormalities, so it's definitely better to, imo, have those children while both mother and father are relatively 'young'.
     
  3. Sailor_A

    Sailor_A Newbie

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    Well my husband is over 15 years older than me. I didn't really see him as an "older man" when we met. I'm not a great judge of age for the most part. He is handsome and wonderful to me :). We've only been married for a short time but I can comment on some advantages and disadvantages I've found:

    Advantages: Yes he has set up his career, he is successful, financially independent. He is confident and secure in who he is which I think comes with age and experience. He is more relaxed about things (done this and got the T-shirt feel).

    Disadvantages: We did not really start of at the same place. I think for some things you just need experience, you can't learn it from a book or others, it has to be lived and so we don't share as many life experiences as I'd like. Cultural differences also have a part to play with that. A big disadvantage I would say is that people tend to "baby" those who are younger than them. You really do not want to be "babied" by your partner :).
     
  4. JaneFW

    JaneFW New Member

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    I hear you on this one. I also have a cultural and an age gap with my husband and sometimes we are like what?
     
  5. gabrielle2012

    gabrielle2012 Newbie

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    I actually had a few dates with someone considerably younger than myself. Unlike Demi, I threw him back. Fun to date, but it just didn't seem right to keep him... Lol. It was flattering, though.

    Older men? I dated one of them too, considerably older and well established. Also didn't seem like a good idea. Had thoughts of possibly giving him a heart attack, if you know what I mean. The making babies into a man's 60s doesn't seem wise to me either. Eggs and sperm should probably have an expiration date. It seems irresponsible to me. But that's just my opinion.

    My husband Is two months older than I am. It works for us.
     
  6. Tamara224

    Tamara224 New Member

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    LOL, Gabrielle, a few years ago I went on one date with a guy 11 years younger than me. I was 31 and he was 20. (I didn't realize he was that young at the time, nor did he realize how old I was and it was also sort of a misunderstanding, but I won't bore anyone with details).

    The whole date (a movie, Transformers 2, I think) I was hearing this song in my head:

    Does Your Mother Know - Mamma Mia!: The Movie - YouTube


    Also, my husband is 6 1/2 years younger than me. We tease each other a bit about not getting cultural references but I think there's more overlap in our pop culture knowledge than not. Most of the time I don't notice or remember that he's younger. Maturity wise, we're pretty much on the same "level" so to speak.
     
  7. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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    I am about three years older than my wife, which is pretty normal historically and statistically speaking, I suppose. The age difference is so small, it isn't much of an issue in our relationship.

    My girls are still small. I was thinking the other day about if they had relationships with men who were older when they were grown up, what kind of relationship would I encourage. I wouldn't want one of my girls to marry some 60 year-old-man at 20 years old. If one of my girls at 22 or 23 had a relationship with a man of 40, I probably wouldn't be too thrilled. But if he were just an amazing guy, maybe a missionary who'd won a people-group to Christ, I might be supportive of the idea to an age past 40.

    The men that are looking that I know seem to be interested in women starting around the late 20's. That's probably somewhere around the mid to late 20's, people reach a certain level of maturity in the way they think about things. If I were single in my 30' or 40's, dating the typical 20-year-old would probably be pretty weird since they just don't seem like grown ups. But if I were thrown back in time in my current body to when my wife was 17 or 18, and she couldn't marry me at the point of time when she did in this scenario, I'd marry her at that age if she'd have an older man like me. I'd marry her if she were an unmarried old woman if the time machine went the other way, too.

    There seems to be a lot more acceptance in society for older men marrying younger women than vice versa when the age differences are large, like 20 years or so. Probably, there is more to attract women to much older men than vice versa, especially if finances and stability are added to the equation.
     
  8. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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    After a woman gets up into her thirties, the chances of her children having birth defects go up. Couples where both husband and wife are older probably have a much greater chance of this. Still, if I'm not mistaken, the percentage chance of this happening is relatively low.

    As I get older, I keep thinking about how old I'll be at each of the children's graduation. It would be nice to be around to be a grandparent to each of their children, too. On the other hand, having children in old age is seen as a blessing in the Bible. If you want to be around for your grandkids, you'll want to be around for their kids, too, and where does it end? I'm hoping to stay alive until Jesus comes back.
     
  9. JaneFW

    JaneFW New Member

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    There are also men who are attracted to older women, particularly young men without much money, who are looking for that same financial stability, and who don't particularly want children.
     
  10. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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    For the men, they have a nice sweet name, sugar daddy. But I've never heard people say sugar momma. They use the word cougar, which sounds pretty dangerous and not to flattering.
     
  11. JaneFW

    JaneFW New Member

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    The women who it applies to like it though. These older women don't want to be a guy's little sweetie, and be led by the hand by him and/or babied by him. They like being named after a dangerous, beautiful animal.

    And "sugar daddy" - you might think that's a nice sweet name. For me it conjures up images of an old man who has money (the sugar) and bestows it upon women who are "nice" to him. That makes me go :sick:
     
  12. Tamara224

    Tamara224 New Member

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    Rawr.


    ^ my cougar impersonation.
     
  13. chaz345

    chaz345 New Member

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    Not sure which, if either, is worse, the old "man" who buys the younger woman's affections or the younger woman who effectively sells herself to him. Both are pretty :sick: to me.
     
  14. LinkH

    LinkH Regular Member

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    I was being ironic about sugar daddy. That can be a nice way of saying 'dirty old man.'

    If they get married, as long as no one sins through divorce (e.g. the old guy leaving his wife for a younger women) then I don't have a problem with a young woman marrying an old rich man. It's none of my business, unless its someone I know personally or a family member. Some people will see a young woman with an older man and think "He must be rich", but that isn't necessarily the reason a young woman wants to be with an older man. Some women--a small percentage-- just like that for some reason.
     
  15. chaz345

    chaz345 New Member

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    I think that for many of them, it can be a case of looking for a replacement father.
     
  16. Athene

    Athene Grammatically incorrect Supporter

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    You think sugar daddy is a nice sweet name? IMV it's really pervy, a father figure with errr 'benefits' *shudders*

    As for your question in the OP. I tend not to bat an eyelid if the youngest person in the relationship is mid 20's and older. I don't think age differences matter so much when you're older, for example a 16 year old and a 31 year old (this would be legal in the UK) - it just looks wrong. Why would a 31 be looking at a 16 year old in that way? However, a 30 year old and a 45 year old - same age gap but without any of the eugh factor.
     
  17. katautumn

    katautumn Wandering, not lost.

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    I was 23 when I met my husband. He was 39. Yes, it's a significant age difference. He was once mistaken openly as my father by a woman selling me fireworks. She told me I would have to show her my ID, because my dad couldn't vouch for me just because he was with me. And I'm sure other people have thought things seeing us in public, but weren't tacky enough to say anything. My dad was really uncomfortable with it, since my husband is only six years younger than he is.

    Jim isn't a sugar daddy to me, and I'm not some gold digger. He is a labor worker, blue collar. We're lower middle class. He was living in a 1960s model trailer with his mother when I met him. But we fell in love. The age difference doesn't really matter that much to us. He says I make him feel young and he is so much more mature and steady than men in my age group.

    Now that we're about to embark on trying to have a baby, the age gap is somewhat more noticeable. We've made jokes that he'll be one of those late in life dads. He has a teenage son from a previous marriage, but will be almost fifty and have a baby. And when the harsh reality sets in, that I will likely outlive him by several years, that hurts. But we love every day God gives us together.
     
  18. peckaboo

    peckaboo Newbie

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    Beyonce has a song called "Sugar Mama". I'm not advocating her music, necessarily, before anyone gets upset! I'm just sayin'... some people do use the term :)

    The guy I dated before I started dating my now-husband was a good 17 years older than me. For us the difference was too great, largely because we were at totally different stages in our life. I was fresh out of university, all excited about all the opportunities before me, kind of immature still, a bit of a hippie, raring to travel and see the world etc, but he was well-established in his career as a lawyer, and running for US Congress (!) so we were just *worlds* apart. He was a great guy, very godly, and I'm sure he'll make a wonderful husband for someone, but I think he was a little worried I was going to ruin his political career!

    He did take kind of a father role in the way he related to me, too, which I didn't appreciate - I have a great relationship with my dad and have never been looking for a substitute father! So it didn't work out well for us.

    Having said that, my parents have a 9-year age gap (my mom's older) and they're coming up to 34 years, so it obviously does work for some!
     
  19. LovedSparrow

    LovedSparrow One Day at a Time

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    :thumbsup: Very well written.

    My husband is 7 years older (I'm 28, he's 35). Maturity wise I believe we're about the same. As far as the cultural differences, he'll mention a show that was on as a kid, and I'll be like huh? That was before my time. ^_^

    He's slowed down a little bit more than me, but besides that I don't see any big differences yet. Maybe when he's in his 60s.
     
  20. JaneFW

    JaneFW New Member

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    That's the thing. People catch up with each other - not literally - but in experience and maturity. When my eldest son met his gf at school, she was 13, he was 16. My h and I and her grandparents were uncomfortable with that age gap, even though they were both teens, still 13 is more like a child still. They didn't date until a year later, and only then as friends. Now that they are 17 and almost-20, the gap doesn't look at all strange, because she is almost an adult. In a few years, the small gap in their ages will have no relevance whatsoever.
     
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