Age Differences in Marriage calls for some adjustments but can be successful if the couple really love each other and are willing to compromise. Differences that include a younger woman marrying an older man are not scrutinized by society too much unless there is a fifteen to twenty year gap. However, when an older woman marries a younger man society is less accepting and more judgmental. One of the issues with an older woman is the odds of having healthy children lessen with age. If the younger man understands problems associated with age differences in marriage and accepts them then there is a better chance the relationship will work. Some sources say that men often marry younger women because the survival rate of having healthy children increases. "Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward" (Psalm 127:3).
Socially things can get a little awkward when there are age differences in marriage. Hanging out with friends can be awkward if there is a big gap in interests. An older partner may not relish the idea of partying all night or taking a vacation involving extreme sports. In addition, an older partner may already have children from a previous marriage and does not want to have any more children whereas the younger partner does. Best to talk this over before tying the knot so each person knows where the other one stands. In order for the union to be successful the couple should have similar likes and dislikes. Both should be willing to compromise if necessary. Couples who are devoted to each other will not have as much difficulty with age-related differences compared to those who are not.
Information about age differences in marriage can be found online. Research information is not very helpful in determining if the gap in age increases a couples chances of their marriage ending in divorce. Some sources believe that it does not increase a couples chances toward divorce. The main dilemmas that have been found to lead to a breakup include differences in moral values, how to handle the finances, sexual fulfillment, and not having much in common with other interests. Couples with no age gaps are still plagued by divorce. Before tying the knot a man and woman who are in love need to share with each other what their interests are so there will be no surprises later.
Respecting a partner's individuality along with his or her interests could help a couple to overcome age differences in marriage. Relationships work out much better if the partners have similar interests. Many times partners may influence each other to develop new interests but if there are extreme gaps in age then similar interests may be less likely. Couples have a lot of areas where problems can occur when it comes to, where to take a vacation, how to handle the money, the way the children are brought up, what church to attend, and so on. Having similar beliefs may make up for age differences in marriage. Couples who attend church regularly and pray together are less likely to have problems in other areas. Putting God first can make a difference in how couples tackle their problems. Reading God's word regularly can help to give couples insights on how to handle any problems that may arise.
Finances are a main reason why mates have conflicts more so than age differences in marriage. This is especially true if there is not enough money to pay the bills and live comfortably. Also, if one mate is a saver and the other one likes to spend there will be some disagreements. If both like to save then that is a good thing but if both like to spend then there are going to be problems with balancing finances. Debt problems lead to calls from creditors and eventually a bad credit report. When couples like to spend they are more likely to use credit cards. Credit card debt is the worse kind because of all of the added fees and high interest rates. Paying the minimum monthly payments will probably not have much effect on the overall balance owed. Mates that get into this type of trap are going to have more relationship problems that have nothing to do age differences.
Every person has his or her own ideas of how a mate should be. If your mother was a nurturing kind of person who did not work but was always home to take care of the household and the children then this may be something you look for in a mate. If your father was a good manager of the finances and always worked hard to bring in the income then this may be something that you look for in a mate. When one's mate does not live up to this idea of a role model then there may be disappointments and even disrespect issues. Couples should talk about these types of issues before tying the knot. Trying to understand one another will go a long way in resolving role model issues. Age differences in marriage can affect one's idea of how a role model should be. When partners are raised with similar values and expectations then there are going to be less conflicts and disagreements. Find out if your mate has the same ideas about married life that you do before going through with the marriage. If there are differences then try to be respectful towards each other even though you do not agree on everything.
Average Age Difference In MarriageWhile the average age difference in marriage is three to five years, trends indicate that men and women choose to marry older or younger mates (as much as fifteen to twenty years) based on personal needs. Some considerations for choosing a mate based on chronological age include: the ability to bear offspring, socioeconomic status, and sexual and emotional compatibility. Older men may prefer females as much as twenty years their junior if childbearing is a concern. Conversely, a twenty-five to forty-year-old female may seek to settle down with someone closer to sixty or seventy if the objective is to become financially secure. Regardless of birth year, most couples hope to marry someone with common interests in a mutually fulfilling emotional relationship. There are advantages and disadvantages to marrying above, below, or at the average age difference in marriage; and several factors will determine whether the union will likely succeed or end in separation or divorce.
When the average age difference in marriage is only a few years, husbands and wives tend to have more in common and share the same belief system, simply because they grew up in the same generation. Two baby-boomers, adults born during a large increase in birthrate after World War II, may share similar childhood and adolescent experiences which could pave the way for greater marital harmony. Boomers may have grown up in a two-parent household with a stay-at-home mom, as the societal trend in the late 40s and 50s favored the traditional family unit. Youngsters from that generation also were exposed to more conservative values with a clear cut line of demarcation between genders and the roles played. Today, post-World War II couples are no longer concerned with child bearing and most are experiencing the "empty nest" syndrome. Because of emotional, psychological, and socioeconomic compatibility at this stage in life, husbands and wives closer in age may cope better with the adverse impacts of aging like menopause, chronic fatigue, or sexual dysfunction, which could otherwise derail a long-term relationship. The relative compatibility between couples with an average age difference in marriage of three to five years could be crucial to marital happiness in spite of the adversities of growing old.
Elderly men who prefer women well below the average age difference in marriage-- as much as fifteen to twenty years their junior-- are quite possibly looking for a wife who can bear children or offer a second chance at the fountain of youth. Men whose birth year closely matched their first wives but who became widowed or divorced may have a tendency to choose younger women the second time around. Some are wary of growing old and dying, and many reason that a much more youthful female will provide the opportunity to enjoy a more sexually fulfilling union without the fear of becoming a widower again. The young trophy wife is sometimes proof that an older man still has the virility to capture the affection of a female half his age; and that alone may be the impetus to live longer! But a December-May marriage may present problems for both the younger female and the elderly male. Some men are vigorous enough to father children up until the age of 70 or eighty; but a 25-year-old wife might not want her figure marred by pregnancy.
Couples with a higher average age difference in marriage should carefully examine the pros and cons before saying I do. Twenty years presents a huge generation gap that could result in poor communication and compatibility, even though the relationship is sexually fulfilling and the husband more financially secure. But as an elderly husband ages, his much more youthful wife may need to be prepared not only for long term health care, possibly acute, but also a gradually decreasing ability to perform. Unless she is looking for a father figure, a long term union may not suffice.
Similarly, when older women marry men fifteen or twenty years younger, a greater discrepancy in average age difference in marriage can present a serious concern. Occasionally called "cougars," these older post-menopausal females may be looking for a final fling with a man who doesn't mind a wrinkle or two. Much like the older male counterparts, many elderly women are widowed or divorced and enjoy the attention of younger men. They are often lonely and have grown tired of appearing in public or at special events solo or with the girls. "Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth" (I Timothy 5:5-6). The disadvantage is that the greater the disparity in age, the more likely the union will be short-lived. A youthful male may not be content for very long with the affections of a woman old enough to be his mother, unless a mother figure suits him. Because women outnumber men three to one, the odds of a decidedly younger husband remaining faithful to a much older wife are slim. The Bible admonishes widows to find contentment in serving God after the pleasure of marriage has ended.
In the final analysis, men and women--regardless of the average age difference in marriage-- should choose a mate not based on physical appearance, financial stability or fleeting affection, but on genuine love. While statistics indicate the greater the difference in age, the more likely the marriage will end in separation or divorce; only a husband and wife can make the necessary adjustments to make the union last. Having similar interests, sharing a common faith and belief system, possessing the ability to communicate, and enjoying a mutually satisfying intimate relationship are all factors that make marriage successful--regardless of age.