What to Do When the Age Difference Starts to Matter
Many end up marrying people who are significantly older or younger than them. You have surely heard the many
jokes about the older men who marry younger women so that they can feel young again. Today, older women are
marrying younger men in a lot of cases. The age difference is not an issue for a lot of couples who marry out of
their age group.
In some marriages, though, the age difference becomes an issue for the couple. This doesn’t usually happen until
after the couple has been married a long time. People don’t always think ahead about the consequences of the age
difference when they get married.
For example, if a young woman marries a man who is 10 years older than her, she probably thinks 10 years is
not that big of a difference and it won’t ever affect them. However, 10 years down the road, when he cannot
keep up with her in some of the activities they used to enjoy with each other, the age difference becomes an
The situation works the same for the older spouse. An older man initially find his young wife to be energetic
and beautiful. A few years down the road, the age difference begins to matter. They don’t share a lot of common
interests in things like movies and music. The little differences can build up until there are some petty arguments
about the age difference.
The age difference can actually cause some pretty serious arguments. If the older spouse is focused on saving
money for when they retire and the younger spouse wants to travel, buy expensive things for the home, or buy new
cars, there will be a problem. The age difference can cause a difference in how the spouses look at the situation
and cause problems with their decision-making.
It is important for couples talk about these important issues before they get married if they want to stay
together and have a happy marriage. Issues like handling finances and having children need to be addressed early on
so one spouse does not end up upset at the way things are in the marriage.
What Happens as Time Passes?
A lot of couples don’t discover that the age difference matters until many years go by. If two
people with a 30-year age difference get married, it is not likely that they are going to enjoy
the same types of activities and have a lot of common interests. The younger wife may love going hiking, while the
husband may prefer playing golf.
Over time, the frustration and resentment will build up as each spouse has to do the activities they enjoy alone
and start spending more time apart. If the couple doesn’t deal with this situation, they may end up divorced.
Couples can take action to make sure the age difference doesn’t destroy their marriage. They should find
activities that they can do with each other and some they can do alone. They could join a group in their area that
is of interest to both of them. They could also find groups that appeal to their individual interests and join
They can also take turns doing things the other spouse wants to do even if it is not of interest to them. The
older spouse could go for a hike every so often with the younger spouse, and the the younger spouse could have a
movie night with the older spouse. They could also do things with friends as a couple.
Acknowledging the Difference
It is important that a couple communicate about the issues related to the age difference so the resentment and
frustration do not build up. If the younger spouse starts to feel as if she has aged by many years because of being
with her older spouse, there will be some serious problems to deal with and discuss. This feeling could result in
the end of the marriage if it is not addressed.
Both spouses need to tell each other what they need. If being with your older spouse makes you feel like you
have aged, tell him how you feel. If the older spouse feels like the younger spouse is not behaving in a mature
way, he needs to talk to his spouse about his feelings. You cannot ignore the problems caused by an age difference
because they will just get worse over time.
A lot of successful marriages are between couples with an age difference. As long as the couple talks about
their needs and their feelings and makes sure they work together to solve any problems they have, their
relationship can succeed.