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Age gaps(25 Posts)
I kind of know the answer already but I'm interested in thoughts. I'm 42 with two children of 10 and 11. Both girls and very mature. I've met a man who I've dated for 4 years. Thing is he's 65. I'm so totally in love with him and him with me. We are just fab together and it's everything I thought a truly fulfilling relationship would be. It's at that stage where we either commit or walk away. Neither of us wants to walk away but I guess we are both underneath concerned that the age gap could become an issue. I am very much going in with my eyes open and if I walk away I know that I will never have this again. He's great with the kids and is really someone loving but who can be respected.
Both my mother and MIL married man who were 16/18 years, respectively, older than themselves. Both wondered why they were both widowed in their 60s.
I won't tell you how to conduct a relationship, but do bear in mind that you won't be growing old with him.
If you love him then stay with him. What's the point of thinking about 20/30 years time.. Anything could happen tomorrow or next week. Do what makes you happy today and don't have any regrets!
When my mother was 41 she married a man 16 years older than her. She died 12 years ago and her widower (my stepfather) is still alive aged 96. You can never predict the future.
Hi thanks for your response. I know I won't be growing old with him but many people have spouses who die before the other one. Yes I will in probability have longer on my own but I'd rather take ten years of happiness than ten years of misery and loneliness because I was too frightened to follow my heart. But I haven't seen other people's relationships with age gaps. Over ten years between my parents mind and it's never been noticeable.
I don't think you have a question to ask tbh, you've dated him for 4 years and he's involved in yours and your DC's lives. You are already committed.
Being widowed is shit, and being a carer for the man you love is incredibly hard. <understatement>
So I wouldn't put myself in a position of that being more likely than not to happen to me (again).
Maybe you can live with the chances of that happening though. Maybe you want to be there for the end of his life and to look after him. If so, a few practical things to consider:
-Presumably he's retired? You don't retire for another 25 years or so? By which time the stats say he's likely to have passed away. Can you both make your peace with all of that? He'll be tied to wherever you work/kids school etc rather than being able to travel or retire to wherever he wishes. You'll spend 25 years working while he's not and probably the second half of that providing care for him as well, and then be on your own from retirement onwards. (All that based on statistical likelihoods - I'm not wishing any of that on you.)
- Money? Does he have a first family he'll leave his estate to, or would it come to you? Would you marry each other to provide security or not? Life insurance would be very expensive for him, so it's unlikely that he can take a policy out to pay out to you in his death, which is what most people do who have a first family who they want to inherit their estate.
- The girls. Are they embarrassed by his age or does it hold back the activities and holidays you can go on with them in any way?
None of these things are judgmental, BTW. Just the kind of thing I'd be thinking about I. Your situation.
It's really your call OP. My DH is 66 and I am 48 married 26 years. I am under no illusions that we will grow old together but it's still been worth it. Hood luck whatever you decide x
OP - have you name changed or are you new to Mumsnet ?
Really worthwhile points to consider Somerville. Doesn't change my feelings for him but maybe I'm not being fair to him. I earn 100k in my own right so money isn't so much an issue. No the girls are not embarrassed and he is way more active than me. I honestly can't keep up with him!
My husband is 59, I'm 37. We have been happily married for 15 years and have a son (16 yo) together. He has two sons from his first marriage (now aged 29 and 35) who lived with us until they moved out of home, and who love their little brother dearly.
Age gaps don't matter if you are compatible and are realistic about cultural reference points. We joke about him getting divorced in the year I started secondary school, and that my parents are not much older than him. It works because we share the same values, immature sense of humour and musical tastes, even while there are things about him that annoy me (smoking, facial hair etc) and there are things about me that annoy him (spendaholic, everything having to be ironed etc). If you can laugh at those differences and truly connect, then don't worry about the future, it will take care of itself.
I do sometimes fear being left a young widow, as his older brothers became infirm in their early 60s and out of 9 siblings only 4 are still alive, but that didn't stop me wanting to share the rest of our lives together. Who knows, he could prove the exception and we could be married for 50 years!
My partner is 49 I'm 27. We have dc together and I don't even think of the age gap.
Men are immature anyway! If you love him then stay
Hubby is 14 years younger and I should die earlier. However if you love him, your children get along with him, why thinking of the age gap and not just enjoying what you have now?
We live in the present, not in the future.
I think the difference between the situation of quite a few PP's and OP is that relationships began as being between a young and middle aged couple. Whereas hers is middle age and retirement age so she's likely (statistically) to be dealing with illness/infirmity after not very many active years together. Quite different to all that being likely to be 20+ years away when a couple meets, and a very strong foundation (financial and emotional) having time to be built.
Also, the advice to live in the present and not think about the age-gap is potentially precarious if it stops the couple from planning. Wills, life insurance, marriage (widowed parent allowance and tax relief), pension, paying down a mortgage etc... are important for every couple to carefully consider, but especially couples where one is much more likely to die whilst the other has a lot of active years ahead of them. Which isn't so much the case for you, SomewhereAway - women live longer than men on average which cancels out 5 years of your age gap. Your life expectancy is only 9 years less than your husband's, but OP's boyfriend's is 28 years less than hers.
I think as others have said it sounds as if you really have already made your decision, OP. I hope it all works out for you.
I just wanted to say that some people in their 60s are extremely fit and active, and it sounds as if your partner is one of them. Nobody can predict their own or their partner's state of health in future years. You will know what risk factors he has and presumably also something about the longevity of his family. My parents are in their mid 80s and doing extremely well. If (horrible thought) one of them had died years ago and the survivor had remarried a much younger person, that person would not now be acting as a carer. Who knows, it might have turned out to be the other way around. My aunt's second husband, who was a lot older than she was, outlived her by well over a decade.
If I had found myself in your position, I am pretty sure I would have followed my heart. Good life partners are not so thick on the ground that you can throw one over on the basis of probabilities about what might happen years in the future. Present happiness is worth a lot.
All comments are gratefully received. I don't want to be blinkered by passion! His family history is of long livers and mine are shorter in most cases only just making it into 70's. He's not the sort of person to retire so as far as he is able I have no doubt he would be active in the community or otherwise. He has a big public profile locally anyway. I have been in an unfulfilling relationship before and I was miserable. Surviving not living. I was always a minute away from sobbing but I smiled outwardly to everyone. One of those that on the outside seem so strong but on the inside screaming! I've always done what I'm mean to and it hasn't bought me happiness. I'm happy with this man. I love him unconditionally and if in time he needs me I'd be there. I'm built to give. Some people just are. I'd rather have 10 years of true happiness than 40 years of being miserable with someone.
Well I've just come out of a marriage that lasted almost 20 years with a 19 year age gap and I think that you know what you need to know already! You have obviously weighed up the pros and cons and not found it to be wanting
So just enjoy it as long as it lasts, it's really that simple. Course adverse things can and do happen but count your blessings on each day that passes you U happy one:-)
Justaboy. May I ask why the marriage ended. Was it age related? Don't worry if you'd rather not say. Just curious.
There was 15 years between me and my H when we met and married. I was 28, he was 43. At the time it felt completely unimportant. However his health did start to go downhill and there were many occasions when we attended hospital appointments together and were greeted with comments like "It's lovely that your daughter's come along today" which was always embarrassing (for him, I didn't give a shit.)
We then split up (nothing to do with age gap) and he went on to have a relationship with a woman 25 years his junior. They were together about 2 years, I don't think particularly happy from what our son told me, until he unexpectedly died.
So his last girlfriend was coping at age 25 with losing her life partner, and as he was still married to me there were legal complications around the funeral, etc. He had no assets but he left her with a load of credit card debts.
Having said all that, I truly believe that if this man makes you happy, you should stay with him. None of us knows what the future will bring. He could live another 20 years, or he could go tomorrow. Equally, so could you, so could any of us. So when we find someone that brings us love and happiness, I think we should take it.
Just protect yourselves financially around wills, insurance (if possible), etc. I wish you every happiness
Justaboy. Thanks although can't see it x
Soz only just sent it DD2 needed ferrying somewhere!
Love doesn't come along that often. Somerville makes some good points - and it is worth thinking about all these things. You don't know what the future holds, sure - but if the immediate future appears to bring great happiness then I'd weight that most highly and go for it.
My husband is 26 yrs older than me I am in my early 40's with children, it was very special from the moment we met and I've never known love like it - we both considered the long term and yes it's scary but not enough to give up the fantastic time we have together. I decided I would rather have a few good years filled with love than never know it iyswim. Each to their own but I felt it is worth the risk - we've been together 5 years now, married a year ago, never been happier, my kids love him, we laugh every day and he's my gorgeous silver fox. Go for it I say
OP my situation is very similar to yours in terms of our ages and length of relationship. We are both absolutely committed to one another and don't feel the age difference as being a big deal (although he does like to tell me I'm weird for loving an old git )
I'm well aware that the time will come when I'm likely to be widowed but right now he's giving me the happiest years of my life and there's no way I'd change that.
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