Don't Let The Age Gap Define Your Relationship

Not everyone gets involved in a relationship or marriage to someone close to his or her age, or even in their same age group. There are always jokes about older men in a midlife crisis marrying younger women in order to feel youthful. But, now there are plenty of women who marry younger men, and there are situations where the mixing of different ages works quite well.

Naturally, there are also relationships and marriages where age difference causes problems. This often occurs after a couple has been married for a long period of time. When people marry, they often fail to consider the long-term consequences of their decisions. For example, the younger woman who marries an older man may not think a 10-year age difference is much at the time of the marriage because she is blinded by love. But in another 10 years, when he is unable to do some of the same things they enjoyed together, the age difference seems to become more pronounced.

The reverse situation is also true. An older man may think his youthful wife is fun and attractive, but over time the generational differences can cause marital problems. She wants to dance to punk rock and he wants to dance to 70s music, which she despises. This is a small difference, but it serves as an example of how age difference can cause petty disagreements.

In some cases, the disagreements are not petty at all. An older spouse may be more interested in saving for retirement while the younger spouse is still in the stage of spending money on travel, entertainment, or a new home. The differences in perspectives can cause a lot of problems when it comes to making decisions in a relationship or marriage. There are also major decisions that should be discussed long before a marriage takes place in order to prevent misery and divorce down the road. For example, it is important for couples to decide whether or not they will have children. Waiting to find out after marriage that the older partner does not want a baby can be extremely heartbreaking.

Passing of Time

In some cases, time passes before couples find out that the age difference is a problem. When you are 30-years-old and he is 60-years-old, there is a good chance that he is not going to want to do the same things as you. You may enjoy going to open air concerts and he only wants to watch movies. This can cause a lot of problems when the frustration begins to build. A frequent response to situations like this is that the husband and wife begin to go their separate ways. This will probably lead to divorce if the situation is not addressed.

There are many ways to keep the marriage strong despite age differences. First, you can begin to look for things you can do together sometimes and apart others. If there are local club activities that hold interest for both of you, then you could join in on the fun. Or, you can agree to do something of interest to your spouse on a regular basis, and vice-versa. He takes you dancing sometimes and you go to the movies with him. You can spend time with friends, which is always refreshing. Being with a group of laughing friends can make anyone feel young. Or, you can find a hobby you can do as a couple.

Recognizing the Difference

The one thing you should not do is let the frustration build up when you feel an age difference is causing problems. One of the signs a serious problem is brewing is when the younger spouse begins to feel as if the older spouse is making him or her feel older before their time. This is a dangerous emotion that can cause a lot of ill feelings and even lead to poor decisions.

Communicating your needs to your spouse is always important. If you believe your spouse is making you "old," then you should share those feelings. It works the other way, too. If your spouse feels like you need to act with more maturity, then there should be a discussion about the matter. Ignoring the issues does not make them go away, they only fester until one day, the arguing starts.

Relationships and marriages with significant age differences can work, you just need to be attentive to each other's needs and find ways to reconcile your activities so they accommodate your ages.