Should I tell him my real age?
age difference: What have been eight years
My husband is eight years younger than me. Now that ZEIT ONLINE asks about reports from women with younger men, it comes back to me. Is that something special? Our age difference has never played a role for him. Or I didn't notice anything. It was difficult for me at first. It took me half a year to admit to myself that I wanted to be with this person. We'd been spending every minute together and I was still saying, he's a friend. When we wanted to move in together, I could no longer deny it to myself: he is my friend.
But why was it so difficult to admit that to me? What was stopping me? The matter had long been clear to my friends. They were happy for me. Nobody made a stupid comment. Only I had the feeling that it wasn't supposed to be. I had this feeling for the first time when I discovered that my grandmother was exactly six months older than my grandfather, her husband. They explained to me that it was sometimes like that after the war, after my escape. It was a stopgap, but not the ideal, I concluded. The fact that my father was 14 years older than my mother had a much stronger influence on my everyday life, but it irritated me much less.
So what was stopping me? In addition to my childlike aversion to this constellation, there was another. It came from the tone of tabloid magazines reporting women with younger men. Madonna continues to make headlines, with men who are now 30 years younger. The Toy boy - that was an impression that I definitely didn't want to create. I didn't want anyone to think of us like that. Because I found the person I wanted to live with, who I loved, who was fine with me and who was fine with me. A rare encounter that is so precious that I did not want to expose it to any mockery, insinuation or gossip. And not a stupid question either.
Fortunately, I discovered very similar constellations in my environment. A couple from my parish got to know each other at the same age as us, she was thirty, he in his early twenties. Today they have a house with a beautiful garden and three children who are just about to fledge. My internship mentor also married a man eight years her junior.
The age difference also makes my husband more interesting. I grew up in the GDR, he in the period after the reunification. It looks astonishingly similar, but he no longer knows some things that were part of my childhood. It is also exciting to follow its development. Occasionally I have to defend myself against a motherly feeling that would like to give him good advice, know exactly what would be good for him or what he should take care of.
He can fail as I was allowed to, he can miss appointments like everyone else misses, he can oversleep, like everyone else, he can reverse decisions and try something new. And I'm not going to hang in there. I have deep trust in him and his character, he is on a good path. Without this freedom and without this trust, our relationship would not work. But doesn't that apply to every relationship?
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Our circle of friends has a wide range of ages. I had a number of older friends and some of my own age. With my husband's friends there were younger ones. And yes, it's strange sometimes to hear similar party stories every weekend. But it doesn't bother me. It won't stay that way forever. You're getting older too.
My husband and I are similar and we are different. We give each other a feeling of security, a home and space to develop - each other. He has a strong personality and a strong will. He is strong in opinion. I love that. We can deal. He values me because he thinks I'm smart, not age-wise or more experienced. I would not have wanted an insecure man, no matter what age. Our age difference doesn't matter to me. Unless someone asks me about it.
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