Ideal age gap between husband and wife

Pros and Cons of Large Age Gap Between Husband and Wife

Updated on: by Emma Brown

Some hundreds of years ago, when societies all over the world were more patriarchal than now, a significant age gap between partners (particularly, when a man was older than a woman) considered to be a norm. The reasons for such type of marriage were various: from the importance of men’s wealth to women’s reproductive capacity.

One study found out that in preindustrial Finland representatives of Finno-Ugric peoples – Sami people – endorsed age gaps between two spouses. Sami men had to marry women, younger than him by around 15 years, to enhance their chances of having the most progeny that come through. At the same time, man’s wealth was in the first place as it could provide a stable future for the couple and their offspring. Love was the last thing that Sami people turned to when choosing a partner.

But times have changed. Men no longer have to be “hunters” and “warriors” who bring food and defend the territory, whereas women do not have to stay at home all the time to take care of children and all the chores.

Democracy and equality of the rights now allow both women and men of different age to earn fairly. People have started paying more attention to the genuine feelings, looking for partners that suit them most not depending on wealth or capability to have children, but on personal traits, compatibility and, of course, love.

But here come some other questions: what about age? What is the ideal age gap between partners in a couple? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of an age difference between a husband and a wife?

Case #1. A man old older than a woman

In this kind of a relationship, both of the partners tend to follow the pattern “father-daughter,” which could have been influenced by their previous relationships with other people.

Pros. Such a couple can be substantial as it comprises a self-sufficient man, who is ready to take responsibility for everything, and a young woman, who can bring fresh ideas and beauty into the partnership.

Cons. There is a possibility a man can treat a junior woman oppressively.

Case #2. A lady is senior to a gentleman

This relationship resembles a model “mother-son,” but there is nothing wrong with it.


Pros. This pattern is beneficial for both parties. A man will enjoy the presence of an experienced and mature woman, whereas the last one – the presence of a “fresh wind” in life in the face of a young husband.

Cons. Each of the partners may not show enough of respect towards each other given the age.

Case #3. The little age gap between partners

In this situation, both of the partners treat each other like best friends or siblings.

Pros . They move forward together, as their relationship is built on very common interests and joint agreement.

Cons. Both of them might lack experience in the relationship and can make desperate mistakes.

Overall, whatever the age difference between you and your partner is, it doesn’t matter if there are pure love and mutual understanding in your partnership. Nevertheless, it is always better to be aware of risks to avoid possible consequences.

Emma Brown
Renowned Dating Coach and Author
Emma has been working in online dating and matchmaking industry for over 25 years. Two years ago she joined YourBride as a contributing editor and relationship expert. Today Emma shows singles the way to find true love by sharing her dating and relationship tips.