Why I'm Glad I Married an Older Man

Self on 08.03.12
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Photo Credit: Chet Ellis

Most of the time the 14 year age difference between my husband and me doesn't bother me. But sometimes it does: I always assumed I'd be the cougar, not the much younger woman. But what can I say: we fell in love. I used Trey as an expert for an article I was writing about single parents and blushed my way through the interview.

My first husband and I were born 11 months apart. We were best friends and decent partners for seven years, but our split was brutal. When I met Trey a year later, my mother thought I was seeking refuge from an older man (partly true). Mom also admitted I'd been acting like an old lady since adolescence, so it was a wonder I'd made it this far without finding a much older best friend.

At first, Trey and I avoided talking in public about our ages.  He didn't mind the image of himself with a thirty-something woman on his arm, but he knew I wasn't comfortable with the stereotype. It bothered me when older women friends of Trey's would shoot me disapproving glances while they talked about menopause and back pain. I knew if the situation were reversed, I would be shooting them disdainful glances. 

Four and a half years later, I still don't love being on my side of our age gap. But I do love our relationship. Trey is the person he is today because of all of the years of experience he had before I met him. I truly think we have the most magical blended family in the world.  And this makes me care less about how outsiders see our age gap.

I am not saying I think age is irrelevant. There is a good chance that I will outlive my partner.  But I'm ok with that; I joke with Trey about my plans for a nursing home romance. In reality, none of us knows how long we have. My first marriage taught me that even relationships you are convinced will last forever end for all different reasons.  

You never know who will be standing (or wheelchair-bound) beside your bed in your last moments. This realization was cemented recently when a friend from high school died after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer. The only thing we can do is embrace the life we have one moment at a time, which is why we are currently planning a big party, small budget celebration for my husband's 50th birthday this year.  

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