This was my quandary for a short while. I knew I wanted a child, very much. That desire surfaced powerfully in my late twenties and early thirties. In my younger twenties, while I already knew Him, I did not think about it being a strong possibility given our age difference. I was more critical of such a decision back then. He already had kids. Having another child who would be a whole generation younger was a much harder choice to make than marrying Him for that matter. I just wasn’t sure if having a child with Him would be the best decision. I was not concerned about Him or me, or others’ opinion about our choice. I was concerned about the child and (1)what the child’s reaction will be once he/she grows up, (2) what if my husband passes away while the child is still young, (3) what is I pass away while the child is still young. I will address number (2) and (3) in another post. Regarding number (1), I knew the child would love us while young, carefree and learning about the world and people surrounding us. But once he/she reaches teenage years (read: the rebelling years), they would rebel even more than an average teenager, I thought. They would hate us. Sometimes, though rarely, I am still a little fretful about it, but no more than any other parent out there.

With all of the love we had for each other, we decided, we can’t go otherwise. We must have a child. Half me, and half Him. Our genes. Our legacy. Our love and fruits of it continuing to live, even when one or both of us are not here. We have so much life to live and we could share it with a little soul.

It took us a few months to fully commit to the decision. But once we made it, we made it. There was nothing and there is nothing today that would make me apprehensive or critical of making that decision. And if I see anyone looking weirdly at us, I would tell them – take a look at your life and see if it is super-perfect, worry-free and text-book like. Don’t judge others or their choices, because you may have skeletons in your closet that you need to focus on rather than criticizing others to make yourself feel better about your life and your choices. That’s really how I feel. It is not a bitter statement. It is the truth about life and people. We tend to disparage others to feel better about ourselves.

December and I are fully committed to being great parents. Although I work fulltime, I want to be the best mommy ever. This is a new chapter of my life now, and a new one in our wonderful journey through life.

Note: I feel I need to clarify one thing. That is, we barely talk about our age difference at home. It is mainly in these posts I use the numbers. After all, this is what this blog is all about… age difference in a relationship.

If I read one more article or mention that age difference in a relationship is explained by the female being drawn to a sugar daddy life style, I am going to scream (not really). I swear every time I read it I think it is written by a bitter, middle age female writer who may be insecure about her mate and future, who thinks younger females have only looks and sex to offer and are attracted to material things. Call me whatever you want, but I believe that many of us who find ourselves in an enduring relationship with age gap are not in it because of money. That maybe was true a few decades ago, but life is different today. And I am not talking about fleeting affairs, but rather about genuine connections. 

Financial security does not necessarily come with age. My case is a perfect example of that. We started our life here with a few hundred bucks and a mount of debt my husband had from his prior marriage. Debt that grew for a while because we could not pay it off at the beginning. We live a true life, had to have a plan to figure things out financially over the years. We believed in things getting better down the road. I was working full time earning intern-salary and going to graduate school full time. Once I got my graduate degrees (yes, two of them), things started shaping up financially. My work was getting more challenging and exciting. I liked it and still like it. I am able to continue to grow and develop myself professionally. You know in line with “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that! ” [from: Alice in Wonderland]. And because of my drive and good work, I am the main breadwinner in the house.

I think America is great. I believe in American Dream. If you are willing to get an education, work hard and stay honest, the sky is the limit. You can have any life and lifestyle you want. You just need to be willing to believe in it and yourself, work hard for it and be patient.

So, no, age does not guarantee financial security. I could argue the other side, with age you have more financial responsibilities to fulfill. Many times, older partners may have financial commitments and responsibilities resulting from previous relationships. My husband has grown kids. We did our best to help them with college expenses, cars etc. That is part of the deal when you step into a relationship with age gap. There are extras. Think about it, as it would be unfair to expect your husband to solely focus on your relationship. In our case he is not only my husband, but also a father to his kids. He plays an important part in their lives, their development and emotional stability and it is my responsibility to help him be the best father he can be given the situation, which, let’s be serious, not always is easy on the kids or even young adults for that reason.

So if not money, then what draws people with age difference toward each other? Well, in our case it was chemistry and mutual attraction. Attraction not only on a physical level. We were attracted to each other’s minds. I felt we were soul-mates. I still feel and know we are. We bring different and unique assets to the table (read: to our relationship). We respect and cherish each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and this helps both of us grow emotionally and financially, as well.

Supposedly true. There recently was a study at Germany’s Max Planck Institute that concluded that a man’s chances of dying early are cut by a fifth if their bride is between 15 and 17 years their junior. Scientists mentioned two theories that may contribute to that:

  1. “only the healthiest, most successful older men are able to attract younger mates”, and
  2. “a younger woman will care for a man better and therefore he will live longer”.

This is quite the opposite for women. Their chances of dying early are increased by 30 percent with that age difference.

They did not quote in that articles any theories about why women’s chances of dying early were increased with age difference relationships. I have been thinking about it and may write a post one day when I am ready.

So where do we stand with a thirty-year difference? Not sure what that age gap would do to the percentages. But I think, I could assume, he will likely live longer and I will likely die early.

Anyway, I happen to agree with the two theories about why men live longer in these relationships. My husband is not his average 60-year old with a gray flap on his head. He is tall, looks younger, takes a good care of himself. Nobody would think he is more than 50. He is educated and takes care of his health. Theory 1) – Agree.

I also happen to believe that I have a role in taking care of him. Be it with ensuring we have health coverage, eat reasonably well, are physically active, do things “grandpa types” would not be too interested in doing. Many times, he is the one initiating, attempting to stay healthy and fit for himself, me and the kids. He cares. After all, we have a life to live. And we want it to be a long life together. Theory 2) – Agree.

So while I concur with the study results, I do not necessarily look at them in terms of numbers. It’s not the age difference that makes for a successful and long marriage, it’s what the people in the marriage put into it. And, I believe in a one with an age gap, parties put in more to make it a successful one.

When you look back at your life, what do you see as the hardest life decision you had to make? What was the easiest? And I am not asking assuming that you necessarily were aware it would be the hardest or easiest at the time you were making it. And don’t focus on petty ones, think in the context of your life.

Decision making has been an easy one for me. It still is. I do not dwell on the subject too much. I gather the facts, look for desirable solutions/path, make it and go with the implementation and aftermath. It may be because I am at peace with myself and ready to deal with whatever the consequences might be. That accountability is there.

When I met [December], decisions about “our world” were easy, those about us interacting with “the rest of the world” were a bit harder and more complicated. You know, more about worrying what will he/she say etc. Will they accept us? As much as I want to say we didn’t care too much about the acceptance, the concern was always out there and still is.

When He asked “Will You Marry Me?”, it was an easy “Yes”. I loved him. And regardless of our age difference I was with him – that was my proof of love. If I was not ready to marry him, we wouldn’t be together for that long before we got married. I would have left him. Only my love for him kept me by his side. I know he was afraid to ask, worried I would say no, reject him. He told me about it later. I remember him jokingly asking me with a random ring-shaped object, trying to see what my reaction would be.

I think he was a bit insecure and unsure about me deciding to spend my life with him. After all, one can say, he came with “extras” from his previous marriage (which I will write about in another post: Not So “Sugar Daddy” in Our Case…). And what I had was potential, no debt and great future ahead. But I did not see it this way back then. To me it was all life. I have had my share of pain, bewilderment and disappointments prior to meeting him. I spent some time feeling sorry for myself and my life. And in the very late teens I have realized, it was not about easier or harder, richer or poorer, happiness or sadness. It was all about life. And we need doses of each antipode to be able to live and experience life. So, once I grasped it, for me it was “all about life”. And I wanted to live, love, be loved, experience, travel… I wanted to be alive and “feel” life. I was able to do it with him. I was able to fulfill myself. Life was good. It still is…

From my diary a couple of years ago…

It’s been several years since I have written anything in my diary. Actually, very little was documented over last ten or so years. My life has been full, happy, beautiful and filled with blessings. I am sure I will be referring back to the past as I begin writing again. I need to.  I want these pages to capture my life, my choices, my experiences. My wonderful twenties. I want it captured for me. Now, as I enter thirties, even more exciting events will take place and my life will continue changing, evolving. I will continue living a blessed life. “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything” – Thomas Carlyle. It couldn’t be closer from the truth. That’s how I feel, and how I will enter into the New Year. It will be full of hope. Hope that our lives will continue being blessed. That we will be able to welcome a new creation into the nest we have created. Yes, my husband, [December], and I decided to have a baby. Ever since we’ve made that decision, our lives have evolved around making certain we are following doctor’s orders, and what’s more important, we have started imagining our new lives. The joy and the happy moments the little human who will join our existence will bring, making it fulfilled. Making it even more meaningful. I can’t stop thinking about our chromosomes mixing and brining a child that will beginning as half my husband [December], and half me [May], and grow into a person of its own. How marvelous this nature must be! To give us such a gift! I can’t wait to live it! …

We will start another IVF cycle again next month. The first attempt did not work. Chances of getting pregnant are 30-55%. We had two great-looking embryos on day three, but they couldn’t “find home” the first time. I have been dwelling, looking for answers, explanations, that maybe I was a bit stressed with the injections, timeframes, circumstances, worrying about our age difference etc. Maybe I thought about having multiples too much? Maybe I thought it was a done deal too much? After all I truly thought, who if not me? I am a healthy 30-year old, no drugs, no pills, desirable weight for my height, never have suffered a serious disease, good blood pressure, always great results from lab tests etc… I thought both “would take” and in August we will become three or four, rather than just the two of us. I thought. But it didn’t happen. I found out the HCG levels were too low. A few more tests and the regrettable certainty was there. I was sad. Disappointed. Looked for reasons. Questioned if it would work the next time. Hundreds of thoughts. Trying to look for some logic so this chapter could be closed and a clear focus on a new attempt could began. I still think about it. What will I change next time? Will the doctor change anything? They say it’s normal, nature does its thing. The doctor can only help in the beginning stage, then the nature takes over. And the nature has its ways. In natural inseminations, there are millions of similar cycles. We just don’t know about them. How could we? It just happens, too small to detect. Hormone levels are too low to show. If nature doesn’t like it, it will take its course. If it likes it, it will nourish it, and let it grow…

Are relationships with substantial age gap more acceptable if a celebrity is involved? I happen to think so. Celebrities are perceived to typically have lifestyles that could be perceived cooler, more acquaintances to support them, possibly fewer financial problems, more money to spend on “looks”, and just general likeability with life choices that are typically not questioned. Many think being a star is tough, lots of pressures and many break ups. At least I can say that’s the general perception, not necessary the one I think is true. But we…, we are anything but that. I work every day from early morning hours to late afternoons. We manage our finances carefully. With our frequent moves, we are starting the circles of friends from scratch pretty much each time. I am glad we both are all right with ourselves and our thoughts and do not need crowds of friends to be happy with ourselves and our thoughts. It makes it easier. I think it’s safe to say we have no extraordinary need to be around other people for most of the time… not to say we stay away from people.

I do remember though researching and desperately looking for a success story of a May-December relationship. If you have never heard that expression, May-December relationship or marriage is one in which one spouse is significantly older than the other spouse. “May” would be me in the spring of my life, and “December” would be my husband in the winter of his life. Kind of a cold analogy, but logical. To stay on the subject, I didn’t care if that May-December relationship would be between famous people or not, just one between folks who chose that path and happily lived their lives surrounded by love, understanding and approval. But many findings indicated recent commencements of those type of relationship rather than a long, ongoing bliss. Celine Dion was in one of those ongoing successful relationships I read about, but she had world fame. Could we pull off a similar commitment? I think I felt the more success stories, the higher the likelihood we could pull it off. Kind of in line with “history repeats itself” and I did not want to see us failing. I wanted to read about successes and how we were going to be all right. I did not even want to think our loving relationship could end one day.

I suppose many people look at us and just can’t understand why we are together. Why my December after past failed relationships is looking yet for another one that could be “risky”? Why am I, a successful, well-educated “May” in a relationship that is going to somewhat “deprive” me of a portion of my life (read: I will not be as physically active because my December is physically, well, in the winter of his life…)? Many times, I feel they look at us thinking it’s a short gig that will end soon. Others, who know us better, “get it” and accept it, or at least do not talk about it when we are around. So while the reporters may write which celebrity couple with age difference is the hottest (see Celebrity Couples With Big Age Differences ), would they write the same about us, or just simply a different headline along the lines of insecurity and possible psychological concerns? I really don’t care, but think it is an interesting topic.

For your reference, here is a link to a listing of celebrity couples with age difference: Celebrity Research List.

There are quite a few articles on the Internet about relationships with a substantial age difference. I read many of them. Many written by observers, not necessary those living through a reality of such a relationship. The love is typically overwhelming, the parties to such a relationship are usually in type of a state of mind ready to concur anything and everything, thinking or knowing they found the cure, nothing matters or can stop the feeling of this marvelous state of bliss, joy, fulfillment and mutual understanding. Meeting of souls… If you are in a relationships like this, I bet you feel you can move the mountains… I was there once, it was overwhelming to both of us, like there was little we could do to stop it. Although, I had many dilemmas, unanswered questions and volunteered lack of vision for our lives together over the next  10, 20 or 30 years – it did not really matter at that point – we were in love. After all, we could figure out everything later as the challenges and life are thrown at us – and so we did. Some of you out there may feel the same way – I would not be surprised.

Yet relationships do not come with a guarantee or warranty cards. You get into one, you deal with it. And you will deal with other issues in a one with substantial age gap. Not necessarily deal with “more” than an average relationship, but deal with “different” challenges. And if you are both strong enough and have a vision enough for your lives at some point, there is little to stand in your way of happiness -one defined by you. However, if your doubts are slowly landing on the surface of reality, consider getting out as the road will not get any easier. It’s one thing when you have a lot in common at 25 and 45, and another when you are 45 and 65. One partner’s mid-life crisis now, is another’s mid-life crisis later.

I keep reading my diary entries from my early twenties, I see a young woman, undoubtedly in love dealing with conundrums of life, but more in private way, with the white pages of my diary. At each stage of our relationship, I know how I felt, but did not necessarily know how it would flow into the next stage of our relationship, I just knew it would. I was living in the presence, not past of future, yet I was uncertain about how my peers, coworkers and family would deal with my choice. I was living in “today”. Some choices and events in our lives changed the perspective… but more about it in another entry.