Gransnet forums

Age gap marriage

(73 Posts)
Jeannie59 Sun 19-Mar-17 10:00:12

I am wondering if there are any others on grans net who have a DH who is a lot older than them and how they cope with the age difference.
I am 61 and my DH is 76, 77 in sept.
We have been married for 20 years, together 23 years.
He retired 7 years ago, not long after the recession started, as his work was thermal insulation and all the companies were drying up. And then he was unable to return to work as he was considered too old. So he went gardening, now We have a registered dog sitting business.
He is really good about the house too, I work part time cleaning in sheltered housing and as a beautician from home.
My children from my first marriage (2 DDs ) have emigrated to U.S and Oz,and he has a daughter in Spain.
So my 4 DGC live abroad,
My problem is the marriage is lonely, we have seperate bedrooms as he has COPD and keeps me awake. There is no intimacy between us and we are like DB and DS .
I do love him but sometimes find myself wishing we were the same age group, I have a social life, he has none and no hobbies, the only thing he has is the dogs and TV.
When I get the feelings of loneliness, I miss my young GC so much as I would like to have some young blood around to help keep me young.
I do ballroom dance and Latin, plus yoga and Pilates, I have asked him to join a club, but he refuses.

Antonia Sun 19-Mar-17 10:24:06

I think you may need to accept that your DH's interests are different from yours and this may not be caused by the difference in your ages. My DH is 7 years older than me and like yours, he has few interests apart from TV. I once complained to my sister that he never does anything, but she said, 'if he's happy then leave him be, that's what the enjoys.' You have your clubs to keep you interested, and if you miss young people, why not offer to help at a local school, maybe listening to readers? Does your DH ever want to visit his daughter in Spain? Could you make visits to Spain a shared interest?

Jayanna9040 Sun 19-Mar-17 10:51:57

What you need is a lover! grin

Teetime Sun 19-Mar-17 11:00:00

jeannie59 I can hear your distress but I don't think its the age gap I think its your husbands illness that is the difficulty. COPD is so debilitating and I can well see how he wouldn't enjoy going out. You should continue to enjoy your activities but is there something you could do together that is less active. My DH is coaching a number of people with various disabilities inc COPD and stroke to learn to play bowls. It may be worth seeking out a few clubs that do other less active things that specialise in helping people with long term conditions and disabilities and go together.

TerriBull Sun 19-Mar-17 11:01:12

I don't think a lesser age gap necessarily guarantees a more cohesive relationship if fundementally you aren't soulmates, that's my experience from a previous marriage where the age gap was a conventional 3 years. My husband is more than a decade older than me we have been together 32 years and I can honestly say the age gap has never been a problem. I concede that as some people get older they can become more set in their ways, but if anything my husband is less so than I am being the younger partner. He has his own interests golf and learning Spanish, but we also do a lot together, aside from spending time with children and grandchildren, we cherish "our time" more than ever which can be anything from National Trust days out, cinema, reading together, holidays. I'm not sure you actually need a shared interest, for instance I don't give two hoots about golf, my husband's much loved hobby. Sorry to hear you are missing your children and grandchildren are there any trips planned to visit either them or your daughter?

Christinefrance Sun 19-Mar-17 11:05:47

I agree with Antonia, enjoy the things you do and your husband has his own interests. COPD is a very debilitating illness.
Don't give up on finding a shared interest but enjoy your life too.

aggie Sun 19-Mar-17 11:52:48

OH is 9 months older than me , we always seemed to have different interests , I bowled , he played whist , he played , then watched football , I go to paontong classes , he is more a tv fan . Now he is confined to a chair so tv on all day , politics football quizzes .Sometimes I wonder how we ever got together !

Chewbacca Sun 19-Mar-17 12:09:49

Age gap between me and OH is 13 years and, at the beginning of our relationship, that didn’t matter at all. But now his health has deteriorated dramatically and he is becoming increasingly immobilised. All of the actives that we used to enjoy together are no longer possible and he is often angry and frustrated about that. I still work and I have plenty of friends and hobbies but he's at home all day on his own and he's resentful of any time that I'm not satisfied at home with him. It's very sad to see that our relationship has changed from being a loving and outgoing life, and is now very limited and restricted and there's an element of resentment on both sides.

Marydoll Sun 19-Mar-17 17:21:18

My mother and father married later in life and there was a thirteen year age gap. My mother gave up her career as a senior midwifery sister, as my father did not want her working. People thought my father was my grandfather. As his health deteriorated, he too had COPD, my mother became more and more resentful and bitter, at having given up her career.
Money was very tight, as he had to take early retirement due to his ongoing ill health. My mother even tried to discourage me from going to university, as she thought I should be out earning money to support our family.
My 32 year old daughter is now in a very stable relationship with a lovely 44 year old man. She thought we would not approve because of the age gap. We love him like a son and despite remembering my own parent's unhappy marriage, I just keep my thoughts to myself. Carpe diem! Surely some happiness is better than none at all.

Chewbacca Sun 19-Mar-17 17:41:28

You're right Marydoll, and I'm grateful for all the good years we've had until quite recently. I appreciate that we've still had more fun and good times than many other people so I'm grateful for that. He has his "good days", like we all do but I'm very aware that our lives are becoming smaller and more restricted. But many good and happy memories still bring a smile and keep me relatively sane!

stillaliveandkicking Sun 19-Mar-17 18:11:00

You are still very young compared to him. I'd not waste the rest of my life. No one owns anyone else. He must have known this would happen. It's a fact. I'd leave if I were you but still care for him.

Marydoll Sun 19-Mar-17 19:18:00

What happened to "In sickness and in health" ? shock

mumofmadboys Sun 19-Mar-17 19:34:03


Esspee Sun 19-Mar-17 19:35:05

My husband was 16 years older than me which was totally irrelevant in our lives. I don't think that in itself is the problem you are facing. Seems you are married to a boring man who brings no joy to your life. You don't have to put up with it.

BlueBelle Sun 19-Mar-17 19:45:04

Oh blimey aliveandkicking that's very harsh The poster has said she loves her husband so why should she leave him he's not doing anything wrong she said he's helpful around the house and they have a business together He seems to have worked up to the age of 70 so he s been a provider You can't just cast him off because he's poorly I think the advice to do things with kids i.e. Reading in schoools or helping at a kids group which would keep you involved with young people is good keep up your friends and hobbies and even if you can't sleep together maybe a bit more cuddling will go a long way

Starlady Sun 19-Mar-17 20:01:33

I agree with those who say it's more about the illness than the age gap. So sorry!

But it's also about different personalities, imo, and comfort levels. Has dh always been less sociable than you? That would help you know if age or illness has caused him to keep more to himself or if he's just kind of introverted.

Either way, it's possible he's perfectly comfortable and happy with just "the dogs TV." Please accept what he enjoys the same way he accepts your activities.

If this is a major change for him and you think he might be depressed, please speak to his doctor. But otherwise, live and let live.

willsmadnan Sun 19-Mar-17 20:36:13

What a bloody awful thing to say stillaliveandkicking. Are you having a bad day? There was 15 years between DH and myself. I was 21 when we met. I was quite bonkers over him but of course after 53 years the novelty had worn off a bit, and the last couple of years we didn 't go out or socialise very much. I could have gone out on my own but I didnt want to, I was content to spend time with him as I knew at 87 the time we had left was precious. Are you actually aware how selfish you sound or are you a refugee from MN, bleating 'LTB' in response to every relationship posting?

Marydoll Sun 19-Mar-17 20:56:50

willsmadnan Totally agree with you.

glammanana Sun 19-Mar-17 21:45:08

Its not often I take offence to any posts I always live and let live but the response from *aliveandkicking was totally uncalled for lets hope you are still aliveandkicking if ever your partner walks away from you.

Niobe Sun 19-Mar-17 22:23:52

Aliveandkicking, that post is just plain nasty!

MargaretX Sun 19-Mar-17 23:15:49

What is COPD? When you no longer live in the UK like me the akronyms are hard to understand.

15 years is a large age difference in the later years. My DH is a year younger than me and I often think I could have had a husband of 90. That would be terrible.
But we took them for better or worse so you'll have to find a way ut of this isolation and try to live your own life and leave him in peace with his dogs and his garden.

Marydoll Sun 19-Mar-17 23:24:59

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Venus Mon 20-Mar-17 11:53:30

My husband retired 18 months ago and has had two cancer operations since. He hasn't any interests, but I try and involve him in going to talks and cinema with me. I have other interests, including dancing, which I do. We've been married for 51 years and I'll continue to support wherever I can. People change over time and that we must accept. I'm in this for whatever time both of us have left and marriage is a commitment which I take serously. Although there is no intimacy as such in our mrriage, we still have things in common, so I would suggest that you hang on in there and look for the positives, rather then the negatives.

Willow500 Mon 20-Mar-17 11:59:38

I don't think it's really anything to do with the age gap either. My husband is only a month older than me and we've been married 46 years - we don't really have much in common as he has no hobbies other than computing and tv - we don't actually do much either and have no friends or family nearby to spend time with so haven't much of a social life. We also sleep in separate rooms due to his sleep apnoea so I sometimes think we're more like brother and sister than husband and wife. Life is what you make it and if your husband is happy with his TV and dogs then that's fine - you have your own social life which is great. COPD is a debilitating illness so it's understandable he doesn't want to go out much especially if he also helps around the house. Just enjoy the time when you are together - are you able to plan a trip to see your GC abroad on your own - that might help with the loneliness a bit and give you something to look forward to.

hicaz46 Mon 20-Mar-17 12:13:44

Try helping in a school for contact with young children if your own GC are so far away. Also I am sure there are many young families who would love help from a 'granny' do some research via voluntary organisations. Sorry can't help with the intimacy problem!!

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