Marrying a younger woman
Research has shown that there are benefits to older men marrying younger women. However, that doesn’t apply to women who marry younger men.
BY: Dr Samuel Cheah
Researchers have thought that this data holds true for both sexes. They assumed an effect called “active barometer” is at play; many older men (age 50-plus) who have younger wives are happier, healthier and live a higher life expectancy. It was also thought that a younger spouse has a positive psychological and social effect on her older male partner and can be a better provider in his golden years. This effect only seems to work for older men. (WRITER’S NOTE: A study at Germany’s Max Planck Institute, highlighted in the UK’s “The Telegraph” in 2009, found that a man’s chance of dying early are cut by a fifth if their bride is between 15 to 17 years their junior. The risk of premature death reduced by 11 percent if they marry a woman seven to nine years younger. The study also found that men marrying older women are more likely to die early. The results also found that sadly women do not experience the same benefits of marrying a toy boy or a sugar daddy.)
On average, many male baby boomers have fewer social contacts than women. However, a younger husband wouldn’t help extend the life of his older wife (age 50-plus) by taking care of her, spending quality time with her and enjoying the golden years together. She continues to enjoy her social circle of older friends for that matter.
This means that older women do not benefit by having younger husbands, but why does having younger husbands shorten their lives? One possible explanation I see is that much younger husbands tend to violate their marital commitments and in some cases, suffer from social scandals of sorts. Since marrying a much younger husband deviates from what is regarded as finding a diamond among the rocks, these older women could be regarded as looking for their personal priority to feel younger men can look after themselves better (especially those in smart regimental uniforms) but they may receive less social support from their circle of friends. Thus, adding in more stress, increasing the health problems and risks of mortality if there is suspicion of her husband’s clandestine affairs.
Good news for women too
It is not true that marriage in general is unfavourable. Being married raises the lifespan of both men and women above those that are unmarried. Married women are also generally better off than men in maturity and showing more care in their lifetime commitment. Globally, women’s lifespans exceed that of men’s by only a few years.
A longer lifespan does not necessarily mean a happier and healthier life. A good marriage relationship is a covenant of good feeling together, listening to one another and pulling down the isolation walls and scoreboards, allowing love to flow freely. While it is necessary for older couples to lead a healthy lifestyle together, researchers have discovered that men succumb to fatal illnesses such as pneumonia, heart disease, stroke and cancer, while women worry less and live longer with non-fatal health conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes, thanks to a hormone called “estradiol”. While not all older men will die from chronic ailments, younger spouses are happier to live with older husbands for as long as they feel wonderfully loved – at least that is good news to both sexes indeed!
Dr Samuel Cheah, 59, is currently working as a senior psychologist dealing with special needs students and family care. He takes it day-by-day and “enjoys life without boundaries”.
(** PHOTO CREDIT: Wedding Rings – African American by theswedish, stock.xchng; wedding bouquet by meisax, stock.xchng)