In Western culture, it is not unusual to see a man who is ten years older than his wife and among the rich and famous, this age gap can be respectably extended another ten to fifteen years.
Let me weigh-up the pros and cons of living in an age-gap relationship.
A twenty year age difference doesn’t present a problem if the younger partner is in their thirties, but roll forward the years by a couple of decades and the elder of the lovebirds will start to appear a little creaky.
This might not matter if the younger partner is prematurely set in their ways, or conversely if the senior of the two is unusually fit, but if you’re a young, spirited, woman, you don’t want to feel like you’ve just inherited another “dad.”
You might be quite right in thinking that the marriage between Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones has, to date, lasted really well, but there are three factors that gave him an unfair advantage over his less fortunate counterparts: Money, Fame and by his own confession, “Viagra!”
There is the double standard of ageing that treats women quite harshly and this attitude is strongly supported by Hollywood, which allows men to be macho leading men way into their seventies, while dispatching women to the sex symbol scrap heap when they are barely out of college.
There are a number of celebrity marriages that unashamedly buck tradition. Maxwell Caulfield and Juliet Mills, both British actors, whose marriage has remained strong for almost three decades, despite Juliet Mills being 18 years his senior.
The most high profile celebrity marriage to set tongues wagging due to an age gap, is that between Demi Moore and her 15 year younger husband, Ashton Kutcher. At the time of writing their marriage has remained intact for over 5 years, which is, by Hollywood standards, almost an eternity!
We can never choose who we fall in love with and if your perfect partner happens to be ten (or twenty) years older (or younger,) then so be it.
The real key is how much you are prepared to do to make a relationship work and the more it falls outside culturally acceptable norms, the more the pressures of friends and family, fans and critics, will attempt to introduce cracks into the “unacceptable” union.
My advice to any couple that are in a relationship with a considerable difference in their ages is to simply enjoy their time together and rise above those who would wish to adversely affect their happiness.
We must all live and let live, after all.