How does an age gap affect your marriage?

Holding hands.
Does age really matter later in life?

Does an age gap make a difference in a marriage?

According to new research by University of Colorado Boulder, the answer is a definite yes.

The research shows that while men were more satisfied with a younger wife than an older one. No surprises there, but the same results also applied to women, who also were happier with a younger husband. However that happiness was very much short lived, lasting less than a decade.

The marital satisfaction of different aged couples was the topic of a paper published in the Journal of Population Economics last month. The result were from 13 years of data from thousands of Australian couples. 

Co-author of the study Terra McKinnish said after six to 10 years of marriage any age-gap satisfaction soon dwindled, but it might have a lot of do with the way they dealt with problems.

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“Over time, the people who are married to a much older or younger spouse tend to have larger declines in marital satisfaction over time compared to those who are married to spouses who are similar in age,” Terra McKinnish said.

“We looked at how couples respond to negative shocks and in particular, if they have a major bad economic shock or worsening of their household finances. We find that when couples have a large age difference, that they tend to have a much larger decline in marital satisfaction when faced with an economic shock than couples that have a very small age difference.”

That means if you are closer in age you are more in sync with big life decisions and more resilient in tough times.

What is the age gap in your marriage. Do you think it has any affect on your relationship?