Does Age Difference Matter in a Relationship or Marriage

by jomol on June 23, 2011 · 112 comments

Does Age Difference Matter in a Relationship or Marriage

Generally, in India, marriages are fixed in such a way that the groom is always a few to many years older than the bride. This has been an age-old practice or custom and a bride older to the groom is considered blasphemous. This practice had gained significance back then because a woman in those days would give birth to 10 to 14 kids and with each delivery, the ageing process in a woman increased exponentially. After a few deliveries, if there was no age difference between the husband and wife, the woman would start looking much more older than the man. To gap out this difference, the big gap between ages of man and woman had been formulated. But, nowadays, since women are no longer giving birth to dozens of kids, the big age difference between man and wife has lost its relevance.

happy couple

But, does this age difference or the lack of it between spouses affect the relationship in anyway, which one is better? I may not be a relationship expert, but I am trying to find out logic and pinpoint about which one is better, when the man is older than the wife, or when the man and wife are of equal ages, or when the woman is older than the man.


In the first situation, where the man is much older than the wife, I will take my example. My husband is exactly 10 years older than me, that’s a decade between us, but when the proposal came, everything fell into place and the only drawback was this age difference factor, but since everyone felt that I was immature and childish, my husband would be the best life partner for me and yeah, I didn’t have much say at that time, but then our marriage has turned out to be a real good one and even though my husband regrets marrying me, I don’t regret marrying him .


Coming to the good things about our marriage and having a much older husband; my husband balances me out completely. I am very short tempered and impulsive, whereas my husband is calm, cool, and takes time to make a decision. I am the pampered one in the marriage and I am never the one to say sorry…err, I have never said sorry actually  :P . I have seen many wives complain about their spouses not appreciating their cooking even after the wives trying their best to do so; but in my case, my husband tolerates my cooking. I am confessing that I am the world’s most horrible cook. I generally don’t bother to by-heart any recipe. If I am cooking something special, I just write down the ingredients on a piece of paper and cook it my own way, and it never turns out to be good, but my husband till date has never complained about my cooking. Even when I have felt I have cooked the most terriblest of items, he never says anything negative. Another positive thing about this marriage is that I generally get away with any tantrum. Even if I am stubborn and adamant about something, my husband tries to talk me out of it gently and patiently.

Now, coming to the negatives in our marriage, since I am much younger to my husband, he never considers me grown up enough to get me involved in any major decision making. I am almost the last one whose approval is needed if something of significance is planned. This is quite irritating of course, I don’t have much say regarding where to invest and how to invest and other such matters. My husband is of the opinion that I do not have enough “worldly” knowledge to take decisions of importance. Also, my husband’s friend’s and wives are much much older than me and in a gathering or get-together kind of function, I feel very uncomfortable because there aren’t many people who come close to my age group.

The second case scenario is where the husband and wife are both of the same age. Coming to the positives, if there is no age gap, most probably, the man and wife will be having matching wavelengths in thinking and attitude. Since age won’t be a factor, these kinds of relationships can be friendship based. Decisions can be taken together and there may be a lot of common friends from each side to hang out with. Spouses can understand each other’s psyche and point of view better in such marriages. In such marriages, spouses are able to cooperate with each other better and handle responsibilities of running the house equally. The compatibility quotient among same-age partners also may be high.

Coming to the negatives where there is no age difference between spouses, ego problems that crop up between partners creates problems. In such cases, what I have seen, is that, ego plays a major part and spouses are hesitant to buckle down or mellow down in a fight or squabble.


Anjali Tendulkar is 5 years older than Sachin Tendulkar.

The third case scenario is where the wife is older to the husband, although, such marriages are rare even today, but most of them are successful. When a woman is older to a man in a relationship, she is able to handle the man sensitively and cleverly. Most of the time, the reigns and command of the marriage are in the wife’s hand and she pulls the strings effectively and efficiently to make the relationship work. In such relationships, the guy receives a lot of pampering and affection, and that makes him stick to his spouse for long. These women are sometimes called as cougar, but that’s a bad word to describe women. The best example for an older wife and younger husband is that of Anjali and Sachin Tendulkar. I think theirs is an almost perfect marriage. There are no hitches and Sachin and Anjali’s marriage seems to be going great guns even after so many years.

In spite of pros and cons in each category detailed above, differences do crop up between couples and divorces do happen. What works is the compatibility factor between the spouses and the levels to which they are willing to compromise and adjust to make the marriage work.

Which one of the above marriages do you think is the most feasible? Do voice your opinions too.

Image source:1,2

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