My husband and I are in our forties and so are most of our close friends. Many have divorced and remarried in the time that we’ve known them and a surprising number of gotten married for the first time in their forties or even later. One friend just married her old college sweetheart after meeting up with him at their 30th college reunion. Yes, they are both pushing 60.
We talk a lot here about the ups and down of midlife marriage as it pertains to couples who have been married to each other for quite some time, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything about getting married in midlife and what the benefits are.
It seems funny, really, when we have so many friends who are clearly enjoying those benefits.
Not long ago, I saw this article on marrying late in life on Huffington Post. In it, relationship coach Patricia Drury Sidman states emphatically that there are indeed several pluses to getting married (for the first time or not) later in life.
At middle age, there is more life experience so each person has more to give to the other. Attraction is based on more than instant hormones. At this age, we know how to make a commitment, and how to honor commitments once made. Marriage at this point in life is clearly for keeps; there are no illusions about there being some grass on the other side of some fence that’s greener.”
Sidman makes some very good points.
It’s very true that most of us know a lot more about who we are, what we want and what we need than we did in our twenties and thirties. This makes is much easier to find a mate who’s well-suited to both us and the lives we want to live.
I have to agree, too, that we’re probably a lot wiser about what commitment really means and what it really takes. When we’re young (and in love) we tend to think that all we need to get through the hard times is love. When those hard times come, and they do, we’re surprised that our relationship can also become hard.
I look around the dinner table or the patio at friends in their forties and fifties, all recently married, and I give them a much better chance of surviving than I do many young couples I know. That’s not to say that I think we should all wait to get married, far from it. But I am saying that I think these couples are wise enough, mature enough and experienced enough to really enjoy a good thing when they find it!
If you’re an older person who has recently married, I would love to hear your story and about how you think your age affects your new marriage.