Should Younger Women Not Marry Older Men?
Malaysian Islamic Women’s Consultancy Council chairman Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim was quoted by Kosmo! as saying that picking an older husband brings a lot of pressure such as problems with the family from the man’s earlier marriage, acceptance by the bride’s own family, and the perception of the community. “Younger wives should realise that there will be emotional pressures and they will have to face up to the older spouse's deteriorating health especially when sex is concerned,” she said.
**** I wonder if Siti Nurhaliza's marriage to Datuk K prompted this 'think before you leap' advice? Ever since her wedding I too have off and on thought about it. I remember having blogged on the subject but can't seem to find the post just now. How practical is a marriage which has such a wide age-gap?
On the face of it the question seems complete in itself. However without other 'inputs' it doesn't really make any sense to talk about marriage and how workable it is, with just age difference as the only consideration, to the exclusion of all other factors that form essential 'ingredients' of a successful marriage. Firstly it would be difficult to say what the 'ideal' age difference should be. Conventionally it seems that three to five years is more or less the norm, but with so many divorces taking place in this group, one has to revise the wisdom of using such an 'ideal' figure as a yardstick.
One important requirement is compatibility. There is no point in having an ideal age difference (if there actually is one) if the couple cannot see eye-to-eye on most issues and every simple conversation turns into a heated debate. While it is logical to expect someone older to have views that are 'older' or 'outdated' when compared to those of his younger spouse, this more often than not is simply untrue. No age-group has a monopoly on an opinion or view that can be said to be peculiarly theirs. The mind very often does not go in tandem with the physical years of the body.
For sure, sexual performance will slow down with age and the vim and vigour of a forty or fiftysomething will not be quite the same from what he 'had' two decades earlier. Even that to some extent is partly psychological and no different from the anxiety of much younger men who deeply fear not being able to 'rise' to the occasion and the universal problem of men of all ages, which is talked only rarely and in hushed tones, premature ejaculation. With the advent of Viagra and the promise of better, safer and less expensive drugs in the near future, the sexual appetite and performance of the older male will fade into irrelevance.
Of course when the husband has children from a previous marriage, it can potentially complicate a new relationship, especially if the former spouse is hell-bent on preventing him from a 'and they lived happily ever after' scenario. This can also happen to those who have married and divorced after say 2-3 years of wedded hell and who are from the same age group. Therefore this cannot be held out as a reason for not marrying someone much younger or older.
If someone could keep a record of those married couples who have at least an age difference of 15 years or more and then see the results of their marriage after say 30 years, the Grim Reaper allowing, now that should make interesting reading. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the older man-younger woman marriage proved more durable and harmonious than the conventional norm.
Of course this is only my view and it would be interesting to know your opinion, all of you, young old and not so old.