Marrying an Older Man

I married an older man.  Not a couple of years older, like, older older.

Married to an older man.

Married to an older man.

If you are randomly here because you googled, “marrying an older man”, you might have specific concerns.  I’ll try to address a few of them.  If you are reading this because you are a friend or family who clicked on the link on my Facebook page, proceed with caution.  I’ll probably talk about sex with my husband.  No gory details, but perhaps more info than you require in your support of my writing.

My husband is 28 years my senior. We’ve been married 9 years.  I was 28 when we got married, he was 55.  I feel like this is a math word problem.  If the older man is 28 years older than his younger wife and they are aging at a steady rate, how old will his wife be when he is 65?  The answer: 37.

My husband is an old man, older than both of my parents.  Guess how many kids we have together?  Two.  We have two kids together.  That’s a grand total of six for him.  He has four adult children my age, give or take a year.

So, at the ripe old age of 61, my husband started all over again.  Can you imagine starting over again raising your kids?

Older man starting over.

Older man starting over.

He’s an amazing father though, having raised four kids to adulthood.  He can see the mistakes he made in the past, reflect on the things he did well, and incorporate those into his parenting style now.  Where I am inpatient and blow the kids off occasionally, my husband makes the time, knowing that the time goes by quickly.  He tells me often, “Steph, you’ll blink and they will be thirty-five with kids of their own.”  I don’t think this is condescending, it gives me some insight into appreciating the little parts of parenthood that are so easy for someone my age to take for granted.

Our modern family.

Our modern family.

Someone my age.  I’ll be 38 in a little over a week.  That’s the perk of marrying someone so much older, I always feel young and I am happy to reciprocate.  Age is relative. I’m almost 40, when most people my age have teenagers, and I still feel like a young parent.   Part of that is because in my mind I’m still in my twenties, and often times my teens.

I wouldn’t hold his hand when we first started dating.

When we first started dating I was still pretending like we weren’t and we were just hanging out a lot and he was paying for everything.

But when I did aknowledge we were dating I wouldn’t hold his hand.  It felt weird because I imagined people looking at us and trying to figure why I was holding hands with my father.  Also, I shaved my head down back then, so it looked like he was holding hands with a teenage boy.  Yet another perk of marrying an older man, he’s confident enough in himself to not need to insist I change.

Are you wondering about having sex with your older love interest?  Well, I can’t speak for all older men, but mine is very considerate and patient, thoughtful and passionate.  He’s not in a big damn hurry, and genuinly cares about my experience. Having been with younger men, I can say the experience is much more satisfying with my old guy. Is that put comfortably enough? Oh, and no, he has not required assistance from little pills, blue or otherwise, thank you very much.

We do get odd looks from time to time, and even judged.  The judging comes mainly from older women who feel like an older man is being ridiculous and insecure by marrying a woman young enough to be his daughter.  Or, maybe you’re just a bitchy and jaded older woman that he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his days acquiescing to.  I responded to a woman’s post on Modernmom.com about this very thing.  Here is a link to her Open Letter to Men who “trade in” for Younger Wives. I wrote this response, An Open Letter to Older Women Who Resent Younger Wives.

Don’t get me wrong, I can be a total bitch.  I exasperate him at times.

I never worry about him cheating on me with someone younger, I mean, you’d have to congratulate the guy at this point.

No, I worry more about an older woman, someone his age.  I mean, I can’t compete with that.  I can’t fabricate 28 years of maturity and experience, someone who can relate to him on that level.

I have all the faith and every confidence in my husband’s fidelity, but I sometimes wonder if he’s getting cheated his relaxed golden years.  He insists to me all the the time that I’m getting cheated with an old guy. I know plenty of young women getting cheated by their young guys.

Want to know what we talk about?  Do you wonder what we could possibly have in common? Well, now we’ve got two kids in common- a one year old and a four year old.  But before kids, we talked about our hopes and dreams, his accomplishments and failures, my ambitions reigniting his, and his experiences bolstering mine.  We grew up in the same town 30 years apart.  I love hearing his stories of what Norman looked like and what he did in the places that still exist and maybe didn’t back in his day.  What’s even funnier is that my mom’s husband went to high school with my husband.

My husband's high school pic.

My husband’s high school pic.

I encourage younger women who are struggling to find a man with whom they can share their lives to think about dating an older man.  Those young guys in their twenties will quickly lose their hair, physiques and looks, so if that’s what’s stopping you, imagine what’s left when that goes to seed.

My husband is tall and handsome, bald on top and has a goofy walk that endeared me to him from the first time I met him.

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I was dating strapping young men back then, but when we sat in the dark after going for a drive and all I could hear was his voice and feel his strong, mature hand laced in mine. The fact that he didn’t have the physique of a twenty something year old mattered very little.

That’s what I fell in love with first. I fell in love with him in the dark and suddenly, holding his hand in public didn’t bother me anymore.

Now that we have kids he is often told how cute his grand kids are.  Often times he’ll let it go, though with a sadness that maybe only I can see.  I know what he’s thinking.  He wants the credit of being their father.  Sometimes he’ll say, “Actually, these are my kids.”  He gets stunned looks as they try to make up for it, which is another reason he rarely corrects people, he doesn’t want to make them feel badly.  I see the sadness come over him again when our four year old talks about him being his kids’ grandpa.  The man isn’t ancient for crying out loud, but he’ll be in his eighties when the boys start having kids.

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I don’t think I could have had a successful marriage with someone my age.  Hell, I was 28 when we got married and hadn’t found a guy that could handle my tomboyishness and exuberant lifestyle.

It’s not all perfect, we do fight a lot, but again, that’s my husband for you.  He hates to fight and I love a good argument.  Most of the time he fights with me so I don’t feel like he’s a push over.  That’s the way he’s willing to fight for me.  I try to let things go because I know he hates conflict, but it’s something I’m still working on.

So, if you are here because you’re curious about dating or marrying an older man, my experience has been the best thing I’ve ever done.  Our life has not been easy.  I definitely did not marry for money.  But I value wisdom and experience, perhaps I’m a gold digger in that regard.

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