One man’s question about whether to cut ties with people who call him a “cradle-robber” brought a strong response to “older man/younger woman” marriage (May 19):
Reader – “He wrote that his wife had befriended a friend's daughter of the same age and in first-year university. He said he’s “several decades” older than her.
“So she’s likely between 18-21, and he’s in his mid-to-late 40s.
“His friends are right - there’s definitely something wrong with this picture!!
“This isn’t an experienced woman in her 30s, who made an informed decision to commit to a much older man.
“She’s a very young woman, with no life experience.
“As the mother of two young women in this age bracket, I’m shocked to think of one of them marrying someone like your letter-writer.”
Reader #2 – “Their huge age difference presents a major red flag that I don't think should’ve been ignored.
“I'm all for two consenting adults doing whatever they feel is right for them.
“However, the amount of emotional maturing that occurs through the years at university, then finding your own place in the world, is when many changes occur within a person.
“Someone 40 or 50 marrying someone who still has a very malleable sense of self, raises serious questions about their choice to be together.
“Some of his friends do sound bitter and jealous, but some of their ribbing could be masking that they have real concerns about the relationship.
“He could be treating her respectfully and as an equal partner, and she could also be mature for her age.
“Nevertheless, I’d definitely have concerns (but not if she was 30 and he was 60).”
Reader #3 – “Your comment to cut the criticizing people from their life is bang on.
“My missus (24) and I are 26 years apart, and have very few friends. We cannot meet people.
“My “hillbilly” friends seem to deal with it better, but her age group has great difficulty with it.
“My group has always known I was different, but hers got their senses rocked. It’s not easy. Especially when you add into the mix an adorable four-year-old redheaded daughter.
“Nice to know there are more like us out there.”
Reader #4 – “I, too, married a younger woman and as the writer said, my wife is the start and end of my day.
“Some of our friends didn’t think our union was right, and said some rude remarks.
“We dropped those so-called friends and life now has much less hassle.
“Our real friends have accepted my wife with open arms. One of my buddies calls her his other mom because, when he stays with us, she does his laundry and looks after him.
“Just wanted your writer to know he’s not alone in this.”
Reader #5 – “I empathize with the man who married a decades-younger woman and faces criticism.
“The attitude against this runs deep in our society.
“For a year I've been dating a woman 30 years younger. A woman closer to my age told me, "She's a keeper."
“I could extol her virtues, but the simple fact is we have a connection. In 12 months, we’ve never had an unkind, critical, angry word between us even when faced with difficult issues.
“We simply look at each other with good humour, talk, and move on.
“I've had previous relationships including marriage and, in my experience, this is extraordinarily rare. We treat each other as equals, with kindness, without fear, and without power plays.”
Reader #6 – “Just because one “was able to” sport tight dresses doesn't necessarily mean that one should, and maybe her tight dresses were very inappropriate for the occasion.
“Maybe his friends aren’t the ones with the "problem," but she is instead.
“Her tight dresses sound like a desperate cry for attention. And I don't blame the other wives either! I can just imagine a backyard BBQ with everybody in tees and jeans and then you've got this woman with her Vegas-hooker chic.
“This guy's wife is not only too young for him chronologically - yes... people are calling you "an old fool" behind your back - but she sounds very immature and has a lot of her own growing up to do.
“No, it's not jealousy, which is such a lame, weak excuse, usually used by men towards women who dare to express their dislike of another woman, for whatever reason.”
Tip of the day:
Older man/younger woman unions arouse a lot of judgment and assumptions, despite having few confirming details.