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.

Marrying a Tomboy

istockphotos.com/awertz

istockphotos.com/awertz


So you’ve found the girl of your dreams. She’s cute, confident, kind, loving, competitive… Wait a minute… How competitive are we talking? Are we talking, she enjoys watching football or she enjoys playing football? I mean, is she competitive where you will have a competitor rather than a partner? Will you be challenged daily on something as simple as to who can sink a paper towel in a waste basket from ten feet? Is this really someone you want to marry? Will she always wear casual, probably athletic clothes? Does she clean up nicely? What if she’s better than you at something athletic? What kind of wife will a tomboy make? Hmm… better find out before you put a ring on it, assuming she wears jewelry.

I don’t mean to sound chastising, but I’m curious what the title of this blog post means. My stats on this blog allow me to see some of the search terms people use to find The Tomboy Mommy. Recently, “marrying a tomboy”, popped up. I wonder what that person wanted to find out. I wander what he (presumably), wanted to assuage about marrying a tomboy. Clearly, if he is considering marriage, he must love her, or at leat possess an affinity in an amount that suffices the effort of considering marriag at some point.

Here’s the gist of a tomboy’s love life. We grow up being in tight with the boys because we play football with them on the playground, basketball after school, meet up for a game of shadows(hide and seek in the dark), and generally spend more time with the boys than any of our non tomboy counterparts and still spend time with our girl friends, moving between to the two groups of friends seamlessly. Then, middle school rears it’s ugly pubescent head. All of the sudden we’re spending a lot of time with the guys that our girlfriends wish they could, but without all of the tackling and skinned knees. The boys don’t look at us as girls really, but they’re noticing the other girls. We might have a crush here and there, but not on one of our buddies. Eventually though, one of our guy friends will become attractive to us. One of our girlfriends will think so too and, envious of the time we get to spend with him and our easy relationship, will want to know all about him. So you make your move, only to be told we’re one of the guys and hey, tell me about this friend of yours.

Welcome to the love life of a tomboy.

High school comes and your mom is still waiting for you to outgrow being a tomboy and starting conversations with, “One day when you meet your husband…or life partner”. The boys are too big and strong to play football with anymore, and besides, your old girlfriends don’t like you hanging out with their men. Some of the other tomboys are deciding whether guys are worth the trouble and considering whether they should try out girls (some always knew). The guys are happy to flirt with you one on one, but not in public and certainly have no intention of taking you out. You’re cuter and more compatible with them than their girlfriends, but, they don’t have the self-confidence to date a “strong female”, whatever that means. There are a couple of really nice guys asking you out, but they’re not the square jawed jock you have your eye on, and you don’t have the self-confidence to go out with them.

But high school is a brief stop and life after high school brings new opportunities and opens new doors. Outside of the clicks and clichés of high school, people can be themselves and make choices they wouldn’t and couldn’t make before. You can be yourself and people actually like you for it. You meet a guy who likes you for you, even with your skinned knees.

You fall in love, and with marriage being the next obvious step, the jerk googles, marrying a tomboy.

Ok, maybe he’s not a jerk, but, what the heck?

What is so worrisome about marrying a tomboy? Are you worried she might run off with one of her girlfriends? Will she eat her young? I mean, if you love someone enough to be considering marriage, why would the fact that she’s a tomboy give you pause now? You clearly knew this about her and yet fell in love with her anyway, despite this malady. Now it’s a deal breaker? Here’s what you get when you marry a tomboy:

A woman that is fiercely loyal and passionate.

A partner that not only wants you to watch football, but fights with you over which game has priority on the big TV.

A wife that is easy to shop for, because she prefers a new kayak to diamond ear rings.

A female that doesn’t take 2 hours to get out the door.

A lover that has great cardio and endurance.

A mother that teaches their kids how to be strong, confident individuals.

So, to the guy who googled, “Marrying a tomboy”, unless you were curious for ideas of how to make a wedding exciting enough for her, I suggest going with the instincts that allowed you to fall in love with her in the first place, but be prepared to never have a dull moment. I hope whatever sites you ended up on gave you great advice. I’m sorry I hadn’t thought of writing something about it before now. My best advice is, if you love her, marry her- you’ll be in for a hell of a ride.

An Open Letter to Older Women who resent Younger Wives

Ends up not everyone appreciates younger women marrying older men. Sure, my husband and I have gotten odd looks as he holds hands with a pregnant woman who looks like she could be his daughter- like we’re a little too chummy to be father and daughter, but it’s hard to reconcile the age difference to place us as husband and wife. Apparently some older women don’t appreciate that you love who you love. To each his or her own, but here is my response to An Open Letter to Men Who “trade in” for Younger Wives.

Family beach pic

Our bi-generational family

I know this letter was open to men, older men, but it asked a few questions of me that I chanced were not rhetorical and perhaps you wanted answered.
As a woman married to a man who is 28 years older, I found, An Open Letter to Men Who “trade in” for Younger Wives, raised more questions for women, than the men to whom you were addressing. I would like to answer the three you asked here.

Your first question of me (I will assume the personal for the collective) was: How does a younger woman feel when she hears a joke like, the answers to life’s problems lay in a younger woman?
My husband and I had a good chuckle at this. He certainly got the fuzzy end of the lollipop on that account. I’m certain I create more problems than I solve. When I responded to him that I was more high maintenance than an older woman, he agreed. We were in a jovial mood so I chose not to be offended- but also, because it’s true.

If a man has told you he believes a younger woman holds the answer to life’s problems, he’s truly joking or he has only fantasized about the relationship and not actually been in one.

Can you remember yourself in your twenties and thirties? Seriously, how much have you grown up and changed? What would be a fight or a battle then would roll off your back now. Incidentally, that’s what I love about being married to an older man, that ability to avoid getting worked up over nothing, or if it’s something, calculate a response. Let’s address the second part of your first question.

Is her main value her youth and age?
Was yours? Maybe to some extent, perhaps to a larger extent now, or so it seems. I fairly resent the presumption that if a younger woman marries an older man, it is because they must be an insecure mess to need a man so much older, that youth and age are the only things going for them.

Avenger! pose

Preoccupied with my youth and age

You know what I value and valued then? I valued being valued. Isn’t that an outrageous concept for a young woman? I wanted a partner that was mature enough to let me be the confident, outspoken, strong-willed woman that I was. The young men my age certainly did not, they were too busy being self-absorbed with their own testosterone to consider I wasn’t a threat to their masculinity.

In fact, at the time my husband and I started to date, I had reconnected with an old flame that was 4 years older than me. He was so completely self-absorbed that I mattered very little. A few years had dulled the sharpness of the lesson I thought I had learned the first time, and so we were talking again. I was forthright with my future husband as to this conflict. His response was always, you’ll make the right decision. The other guy’s response was, what do you want with an old guy?

Thankfully, I did indeed make the right decision. I chose the old guy who valued me for me.

Young men in their twenties turn into pudgy, hair thinning men in their thirties very quickly.

What’s left is what’s behind the eyes.
There are plenty of older men I wouldn’t give the time of day. I wasn’t shopping around for an old, bald guy whose chest had fallen into his drawers. I found a nice, mature guy who validated my self-worth. No, my main value was not and is not in my youth and age, nor will my self-worth be wrapped around a number that indicates I should diminish my worth because I am physically older.

Super Doug

Greatest older guy on the planet

As to your third question: How is a younger woman going to feel about getting older, knowing that her man values youth in a woman so mightily?

My husband didn’t value youth so mightily, he valued me so mightily. Maybe I got the greatest “older guy” on the planet- I like to think so. He often tells me I got cheated, getting stuck with an old guy. No, I didn’t get cheated out of a youthful husband with whom I get to grow old, he got cheated out of getting to be old. We’ve had plenty of rough financial times, so let’s assuage that perceived perk of marrying older.

What kept us together is our mutual respect and admiration of the other.

You are somewhat right though, my husband values youth mightily. We have a 2, almost 3 year old, with another due in 3 weeks.

I cannot imagine starting over being a parent in my 60’s, can you?

Starting all over again

Starting all over again

But my children get an amazing father who is calm and laid back, not surprised by what parenthood throws at him. Instead of getting two spaztastic young parents, they get at least one who doesn’t freak out over spilled milk. He always tells people that his two youngest kids got a grandfather and a father at the same time.

It is not a competition between you and me, young and old.
“We” are not stealing “your” men.

I don’t know what motivates a man to marry a younger woman.

I suspect it has more to do with them than their ex-wives. My husband tells me his ex-wife of 28 years just married the wrong man. She left him, by the way.

I’m a single response, and every “younger wife” has a different motivation and story

I simply wanted to make you aware of some stereotypes you were assuming with women, that you were so careful to avoid when you were addressing the men.

I am not a Porsche Carrera. I consider myself more a Jeep Wrangler, something you can take off-road. And don’t worry; I don’t think you came off as a feminazis. You said little to bolster any females of any age group. Your entire post boils down to a “slug-in-a-tuxedo”, for all parties involved: young wives, older men and especially older women.