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Friday, December 3. 2010
12 years is the average difference in age between men and women, in second marriages.
I wonder why...
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:07 | Comments (24) | Trackbacks (0)
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Men want a prettier second wife than their first wife? They want to be sure they will have a healthy nurse to look after them in their old age? They left their first wife for a younger woman? Sometimes a man's first wife was infertile, so he marries a younger woman so as to have kids? Love doesn't pay attention to age gaps?
Women didn't have many choices (very hard for divorced or widowed women to find second husbands, so they can't be picky)? Some women wanted father figures? Some women genuinely enjoy caring for people and admired an older man needing looking after? Some women are mercenary and marry a man who is older because they need a roof over their head? Sometimes women divorce frivolous husbands and choose a solid, sensible second husband who is older and not a flake. Love doesn't pay attention to age gaps.
I think, tho, it isn't about choice, but the misfortune of older single women. Because middle aged women who get divorced or widowed are seldom able to find a mate (unless very rich, or exceptional in some way), and mostly just the younger ones can. Correct me if I am wrong, but most men prefer younger women. Unless she is VERY rich. Not to be cynical or anything...
Because, with experience under their belts, each of them has a more realistic, more specific idea of what to look for in a better mate.
The woman thinks "first-hubby, despite appearing - superficially - to be an intelligent, secure, caring adult - someone with whom I could share my emotional growth, someone who would gladly accompany me deep into the essential ME in me - someone who cherished simply talking to me about what we each felt was important and worthy and true - well, he turned out to be a childish, self-absorbed little buttwad.
But New-Hubby - now HE'S exactly what I've been missing in my life. He's experienced, he's successful, he's open and sharing and honest, he loves sitting in the bedroom sipping flavored international coffees and discussing his feelings, and he's been around long enough to have lost those little-boy insecurities and selfishnesses that seem to rule men my age."
New-Hubby, sadly, has already tuned her out as he resumes thinking about her perky breasts and smooth skin, neither of which he's had a shot at for years.
Why? Because men can't find even younger women willing to marry them.
Generally, young men are poor and old men are rich. Men want a beautiful spouse, perhaps it is the desire for good genes or beautiful children. Young, attractive women are more likely to attract any man. (Caveat men do not care much about a woman's social/income status or intelligence level).
Generally, young women are beautiful and old women less so. Women like attractive men but really want physical security and security from want. For many women, a man's wealth can overcome other faults including unattractiveness, and personality flaws. (Caveat women also want a mate who is of higher intelligence and who has social/income potential greater than then woman.)
Strategy, young women have power in the relationship with any man. This power shifts to older men as ages rises. Young men and older women need to devise strategies to overcome these issues or learn to live with them. This is easier for young men since time is likely to better their position.
Unattractive and highly intelligent young women are at the greatest disadvantage. Attractive young women of average intelligence are at the greatest advantage.
Wealthy, high intelligence or high social/income status young men or younger middle age men are at the greatest advantage.
The twelve year gap is apparently the optimum age difference allowing men to obtain a sufficiently young and beautiful wife and allowing the woman to obtain a sufficiently wealthy husband.
What is more interesting is the fact that first marriages do not follow this rule and as such seem to indicate that young men have developed appropriate strategies to address their needs.
It is interesting that we balk at arranged marriages between young teenage women and much older men. Yet follow this pattern ourselves in second marriages. Our worship of Romantic Love is a Dark/Middle Ages artifact and a foolish one.
"Our worship of Romantic Love is a Dark/Middle Ages artifact and a foolish one. "
Torch, I think you and Maddog need to get out more.
While I agree that the success rate of arranged marriages is no worse (and maybe better) than "romantic" ones, I believe that the deciding factor is commitment. Without it, no marriage of any kind will work. But commitment + romantic love is bliss!
I am deeply and romantically in love with my wife of 22 years. I will be until the day I die.
I did not, however, go into the marriage with the belief that my romantic fantasy would be perpetual. Many people do and after the lust (what most of the romance actually is) wears off, it is hard to maintain commitment. This is particularly true of men since their sexual power is ascendant at about the time romance fails. I entered my marriage understanding it was a lifetime commitment based in respect, admiration, need and a host of other reasons, including the desire for a family.
My problem with Romantic Love (note the capitals) is that it has always been a mindless concept. It essentially stands for the proposition that if in true love, two people will always and forever be fulfilled and in love.
War plans and courtships have a similar latent flaw. Neither survives contact with actual war/marriage. Relationships with parents, siblings, in-laws, children are easy. Integrating your life with that of your fully adult spouse is not.
Hinging that relationship in any significant way on Romantic Love is disaster. Entering marriage with a clear head and a solid understanding of the positives and negatives at least levels the playing field a bit. Add to that an understanding of your mutual desires, needs and complements and you are most of the way there.
At that point, romantic love, er, lust is a benefit. Maintaining that romantic love makes the situation a likely success.
Sadly, modern family law makes the possibility of success much more difficult.
First, congratulations on your 22 years!
I think on some level we are saying the same thing.
As I've said before, it is too easy to get married and too easy to get divorced. I agree that people don't take marriage seriously and when that first, third, or thirtieth "BIG problem" comes, they bail. "We've grown apart" or "We fell out of love" or some such. It seems that that is what you are calling "Romantic Love".
I think you are saying that it is not enough to "love" your mate, but there has to be some hard-nosed determination to ALWAYS be there - to be committed - regardless of the circumstances or the story (excepting violence, etc.). That is my point also.
The thing that I found is that once I committed fully to my marriage and family, it was a lot easier and a lot more rewarding, but you have to burn your ships. There can be no turning back.
The reason arranged marriages tend to do better than mate-chosen marriages is because arranged marriages prevail in cultures where there is more pressure to remain married, especially on the wife.
A woman in Saudi Arabia, for example, has far less ability to leave her arranged marriage than a woman in California has to leave her unarranged one.
If older men where to get a second wife much younger than 12 years. One likely problem would be that the new wife will be close to the same age as your own children from a first marriage.
Meself has found the younger wife is able to get along better with an older sister around and i don't have to babysit so much, as long as they both stay out of me kitchen.
My husband is 8 and 1/2 years older than me. When we married, I was 36, and he was 45; it is my first marriage, his second.
Truth to tell, I've always preferred men a bit older, which is probably a factor in me having to wait so long to find Mr. Right. And we never think about our age difference.
And I'm still old enough to be my stepdaughter's mother.
I was 12.5 years older than my first wife, and am 11.5 older than my second wife, whom I married 11.5 years after #1 died. Her children are older than mine.
Sometimes it just work out that way.
What about women who have husbands who are 12 years younger than them?
The rule for men is half your age plus seven.
Works for a 10 year old as well as an 80 year old.
But you dance wilth the one that brung ya. The rule applies only to forced resets.
You wonder why there is a 12 year difference.
Would you still be wondering if the difference was 11 years or 13?
My husband and I met when I was 30 and he was 42, second marriage for him, first for me. His ex was already married to someone else when we met. No children were involved, so there were never any problems with child custody or visitation and so forth. In fact, we purposely didn't have children and have never regretted it.
Aside from the differences in pop culture growing up, we have a lot of interests in common and that is what drew us together in the first place. We really enjoy each other's company. This month we will celebrate our 26th anniversary and 29 years since we met. It has been one big adventure!
Sure, we've had our differences, but we never go to bed angry with one another, and I think that is a good rule to live by in a marriage. Trust and freedom to grow intellectually are also very important, as well as supporting one another's interests. In a world full of diverse personalities, we both feel lucky to have found each other.
So, bottom line, age doesn't make a difference in our marriage.
i was against my will booted out into the cold cold world of singledom after having been married since sometime around the birth of Christ, and i have to say, it has become remarkably easy to enjoy life out here in the cold cold world of singledom. If i have to cope with an adult with attitude or a case of the ennui or a need to find theirself or self-actualize or evolve, that adult will be me, and that is something i can and do gleefully and safely ignore.
Why do men die before their wives?
Because they want to.
(Old one, I know, but still cracks me up!)
I married a man 13 years older than me because I admired his old fashioned sense of responsibility, work ethic and devotion to family. These were all very lacking in men I had dated in my own age group.
Nobody trades in a car for an older model.
Unless there's a LOT of money in the trunk...