This week, E! NEws Online is reporting that Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore may have a reconciliation in their future. We don’t know if that’s entirely true or even if it should be, but it sparked a discussion between us about the sadness of their troubles.
Aside from the fact that there are obviously some serious issues going on with these people as individuals, it’s also disheartening to us to see what seemed like a great May-December romance fall apart. Marriage between people of very different ages can be especially challenging and I think a lot of people wanted to see Ashton and Demi’s marriage work.
Ed and I are the same age, so we don’t have any first hand knowledge about having a better marriage when a couple are significantly different ages. However, we do a lot of relationship counseling with couples like Ashton and Demi and we have a few good friends who have managed to make their marriages work beautifully, despite being very different in age. We asked them for their best marriage tips for making your marriage work when you and your spouse are separated by ten, fifteen or even more years in age. Here’s some of the great advice they gave us to share with you.
Make the Most of Life-Stage Experience
In one way or another, this is one of the top tips we heard. You’ll both go through the same life stages, but at different times. This could cause problems for you, or you could make it work to a wonderful advantage. The older spouse can not only relate to a younger spouse’s particular season in life, but can also help them see past it and put it in its proper perspective. For instance, a husband in his fifties can give a wife in her thirties an experienced viewpoint on creating a proper balance between working hard to move up the career ladder and enjoying a full and satisfying personal life. In a way, the older spouse can actually “mentor” the younger spouse through different stages in life. When you’re thirty, you think you have plenty of time to enjoy life later. When you’re fifty, you know that work isn’t everything and time is shorter than we think.
Never Stop Growing and Changing
One of the wonderful things about being married to a younger man or woman is having someone so full of life and youth in your own daily life. It helps you to maintain some of your own youthful vitality, as far as the way you look at and experience life. However, as we get older, we have a tendency to become comfortable and to love routine a bit more than we used to. This can create problems when a younger spouse isn’t ready to get that comfortable or loses a bit of interest in someone that settled and routine.
Always be open to trying new things, whether it’s travel to a part of the world you’ve never been, a sport you never thought you’d enjoy or a hobby you never thought about. This will not only keep your life more interesting, but keep you more interesting to your spouse. It’s important that you do some of these things together, but it’s also important to do some of these things on your own. It helps maintain some of that “differentness” that attracted you to each other in the first place.
Making your marriage work requires commitment and passion.
This is even more true when you have built-in challenges like a significant age difference. However, if you’re both open to learning from others and trying new things, a May-December marriage can be a very exciting one!