For those who believe marrying a younger man will keep them young and energetic for longer may want to think again. A new study shows that women who marry younger men have a shorter life expectancy than those who stick with men their own age. Strangely, it has been proven in the past that the opposite is true for men who marry younger women.
The new study coming out of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany is reported about on CBS News. For years, many have assumed that women who marry men that are at least 7 - 9 years younger than them would have a longer life expectancy, in part because of the supposed psychological benefits of having a younger spouse.
It has also been assumed that since the younger man could provide care for the older woman in old age that she should, in turn, live longer than a woman whose spouse may have passed away or is also suffering from health issues. All of this has been proven to be the reason older men with younger spouses live longer.
Marriage itself has been proven to extend life expectancy of both men and women. But when a woman is married to a man considerably younger than she is, her mortality risk increases by 20 percent. However, when an older man marries a younger woman, his mortality risk decreases by 11 percent. The study found that anytime a woman married a man with a large age gap, whether they be younger or older, the woman's life expectancy went down. The largest risk is for the older women with younger men couples. Women live longest when they are married to a man the same age as they are.
So why are women's lives shortened from marrying a younger man? It is being theorized that when a woman marries a differently-aged man she suffers an increased stress level for not fitting in with society's norm and may have less of a support group surrounding her because of this.
What do you think of the study showing that women who marry younger men have a shorter life expectancy?
What do you think is the reason for this?