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Marrying a Younger Man May Shorten Your Life

Marrying a Younger Man May Shorten Your Life

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?

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  • ghostmom01 By ghostmom01
    05.19.10  

    Are you sure that marrying a guy older than you doesn't just make you FEEL like you live longer because I'll tell you that there are days that feel like they take FOREVER to end. :)

  • lorilola By lorilola
    05.19.10  

    My second husband of 10 years is 9 years my junior, and I agree it is exhausting trying to keep up with him at times, but I think men of any age take years off your life.

  • sunflowers1 By sunflowers1
    05.19.10  

    My opinion is it can be stressful to live with the younger man. We are all learning and growing and when I man does not mature as fast as the women it can be difficult. Women can be more sensitive than men about the expectations and dealing with the sometimes lack of maturity.

  • Wordsnob By Wordsnob
    05.19.10  

    Well, since I married a younger man, I certainly hope this is true!

  • Wordsnob By Wordsnob
    05.19.10  

    I meant, NOT true! LOL

  • LadyCrimson By LadyCrimson
    05.19.10  

    I can understand this. I dated a much younger man for a while and the stress level with me was through the roof.I had to deal with my issues and aspects of the age difference. Plus fitting in with what my family considers normal. Plus he was a run around too, which didn't help. I am now married to a wonderful man who is 5 years older than me. He has the heart of a younger man. But we are so happy, calm and relaxed. Guess I needed the bad to truly appreciate the good.

  • tarheel4ever By tarheel4ever
    05.19.10  

    I think the operative word here is "considerably" (younger). If there is such a big age difference, you have to wonder what you really have in common and the stress would most likely come from trying to be someone you really are not. A few years difference shouldn't cause so much stress whether younger or older.

  • tarheel4ever By tarheel4ever
    05.19.10  

    Glad to see you correct that, Wordsnob, cause I really kind of wondered..hehe.

  • cmclift By cmclift
    05.19.10  

    Was the study done by older men? Maybe they are just jealous that older women can get younger men and it's leaving fewer women in their playing field. LOL, just a thought.

  • supermommy828 By supermommy828
    05.19.10  

    wow, interesting, i do agree that if a couple is from different generations it may add stress to social gatherings amongst one or the other's friends and will add to insecurities or feelings of isolation.

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