We don't let the years between us, well, come between us.
Last year, I married a man 22 years my senior. I'm 41 years old.
Scott has grandchildren, a penchant for bands like Strawberry Alarm Clock (which I admit to thinking was a food-based app at first) and is an AARP member. I, on the other hand, never had children, still have a thing for the '80s music I grew up with and am a local gym member. But because we get along tremendously well and have a wonderful bond, we don't let the years between us, well, come between us.
Still, on several occasions, people ask me if I ever think about what our lives will be like in 10 or 20 years.
"I mean, when you're 60, he'll be 82," they'll say.
Well, thanks for pointing out the obvious.
Their statement, however, is one that my husband and I have indeed discussed. If life goes as it typically does, he could need assistance walking at a time when my aches and pains might only just be kicking in. If life goes as it usually does, he'll be retired while I'm still working. If life moves forward like it should, I might be caring for both my husband and my mother at the same time, since they're close in age.
However, I've come to realize that such thoughts, while they are possible scenarios, carry the same underlying — and false — notion about life going on as it "typically" does. Plus, there are a lot of "ifs" in there too.
The truth is, life is anything but typical.
There is no order in which things are "supposed" to happen just because my husband and I are of a certain age. After all, how many of us have witnessed the death of a loved one "before their time," the birth of a child by an "older" woman or a person winning a marathon at an age that defies what's typical?
Life is anything but predictable — a concept that Scott and I embrace. We opt to live one day at a time rather than fretting over what might happen to either of us over the course of our life together just because there's an age difference between us. Some may say we're ignoring reality. Quite the contrary. We're accepting reality exactly for what it is: an ever-changing, unknown series of events that certainly isn't based solely by a birth date.
Therefore, rather than becoming bogged down over over the "what-ifs" and "might-happens" that society tends to hone in on when it comes to an age difference in marriage, I prefer to believe in life's wonderfully unpredictable ebbs and flows. No one knows what tomorrow may bring in a marriage.
I also realize that our 22-year age gap isn't any more of a challenge than what many other married couples with "differences" face. Some marriages have partners with tremendous salary gaps. Others have major differences in religious upbringings. Some couples have a great divide in their political beliefs. It happens. You deal with it.
Do I think about our future? Of course I do. We both do.
But rather than looking at our age difference in terms of a shaky, questionable, scary future, I'm happily enjoying our marriage by focusing on the love we share instead of the birth era we don't.
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