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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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  • Kristi By Kristi
    06.01.10  

    I'm surprised by the research on this one. I would think that being with a younger person, male or female, would make you think, act, and feel younger. Thus, expanding your life.

  • jh0816 By jh0816
    06.12.10  

    My husband is 10 years younger than me and just to be honest, I can see it because it is stressful being married to someone younger who you are having to kind of teach things to because of your own life experience. He went through the young and stupid years when we were married, I went through my young and stupid years before him. It was kind of like having a kid for a while, but more expensive mistakes (I need water in the car or it will blow up? I want video games, why do we have to pay the utilities, and so on.) I think our hobbies/interests are different too. I am 37 and I want to slow down. He is 27 and he is on the go. It is stressful/tiring to keep up at times. So I can totally understand this article.

  • kristinavet2b By kristinavet2b
    06.14.10  

    I think it all depends on the person, age isn't necessarily the only factor. My fiance is 6 years older than I am, and we have been together 7 years. It is just AS STRESSFUL as other's comments previously. I grew up the oldest and had many responsibilities placed on me at a very early age. As such, I had to grow up fast. My fiance is the youngest and had absolutely NO responsibilities growing up, so even today, at times, he still behaves irresponsibly and like a child. While he is very loyal and faithful, it does place A LOT of stress on me at times, and I sometimes feel overwhelmed having to deal with a 37 year old who sometimes acts like a child. As someone said above, my fiance is STILL going through the "young and stupid years!" So I think age isn't really the factor, I think it just depends on the individual.

  • Pseudolatina By Pseudolatina
    06.20.10  

    WOW this is surprising! My husband is 6 years younger than me. Should I be worried? lol Seriously though I don't feel anywhere near my real age and I'm just enjoying my time with my loving husband whether it is for 5 years or 55 years.

  • deelite By deelite
    06.21.10  

    Attitudes are changing and more and more women are ending up with younger men. Hello, we have no choice when men our age (40+) are hanging with 20 somethings. I am sure this will change if it is only based on society's norm. It is already starting to be normal to have a younger man. And ladies, we are looking better in our older age that I parents probably did so it's not like we look that much older than that younger man anyway.

  • Aspiringauthor09 By Aspiringauthor09
    07.20.10  

    Love is love. If you feel it for another person, then marry them! Don't break it down with science. Once you start doing that it looses it's magic.

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