Often someone meets a married couple, and it appears that one spouse is significantly older than their partner. The stereotype is that usually it is the man who is older than his female spouse. But that stereotype has been changing over the past decade. Marrying someone who is many years your senior or junior is becoming more and more common. It is becoming more common in both straight and gay married couples. There certainly is less of a taboo. However, there is a big question that researchers have recently answered. Does marrying someone who is older or younger than you increase the chances of getting a divorce? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be yes.
The Numbers Do Not Lie
Researchers in a recent study looked at over 3,000 divorced and married couples. One of the data points that was examined was the age difference between each spouse. The data indicates that as the age between the spouses grows, so does the risk of that marriage coming to an end. This increases the risk of divorce between spouses where one is much older than the other. All age groups were looked at as well as age differences between the spouses. Be advised, however, that when looking at this data, there are always exceptions to the rule. There are many, many couples who have been happily married for years and have a large age gap between them.
Married couples who were the same age were compared with married couples who had different ages, ranging from a one-year difference up to a 30-year difference between the spouses. For example, if there is a one-year gap between a married couple, that increases the divorce odds by a mere three percent. Couples who have a five-year age difference have an 18 percent chance of divorcing. Couples who have an age difference of 10 years have a 39 percent risk of becoming divorced. A 20-year difference in age increases the risk of divorce to 95 percent. Couples whose age gap is 30 years have an even higher divorce rate. Therefore, these numbers demonstrate that non-traditional couples who have a large age range between them have a much higher risk of divorce stacked against them.
Reasons Behind the Age Gap Divorce Rate
The reasons behind the divorce rate increasing as the age gap increases is not as clear-cut. The data behind the reasons are somewhat murky. One of the more obvious reasons behind the research data is that couples who have a large age gap between them come from different generations. People from different generations have different likes and dislikes and differing reference points, and the list can go on. The bottom line is that each spouse has very little in common with each other. And when spouses have little in common, it is easy for them to grow apart as the marriage ages.
The research indicates that the divorce usually does not happen quickly. Most of the time when the marriage has a large age gap, it takes a while for one spouse to become dissatisfied with the marriage. The data indicates that usually the older spouse is more content with the marriage, and it is the younger spouse that becomes dissatisfied over time.
Another reason similar to the differing generations is that people find themselves in different places in their life. Take, for example, a 50-year-old man who marries a 30-year-old woman. There is a 20-year age difference between them. Obviously, each person is in a different place in their lives at the time of the marriage. Of course, this does not mean that they will get divorced. But after 10 years of marriage, when the husband is 60 and the wife is only 40, this could cause stress in the relationship. This leads to another reason why marriages with large age gaps in them get divorced more often.
When one spouse is significantly older than the other, eventually the older spouse is just that, old. A 25-year age gap would mean that when one spouse is 70, the other spouse is only 45 years old. Although there are of course exceptions to the rules, most 70-year-olds cannot keep up with a 45-year-old. This could be a very big reason why the younger spouse becomes dissatisfied with the marriage and is not fulfilled.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients of All Ages Going through a Divorce
No matter your age, going through a divorce can cause turmoil in your life, even if it is ultimately best for both parties and both parties want it. The Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC are available to help you through the process. We will answer all your questions with honesty and compassion, understanding that sometimes a divorce can cause anxiety and stress. For more information and a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 443-589-0150. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.