An Open Letter To Older Women Who Resent Younger Wives


Editor’s note: The following post was submitted in response to An Open Letter To Men Who “Trade In” For Younger Wives. It was originally published on The Tomboy Mommy.

I know this letter was open to men, older men, but it asked
a few questions of me that I chanced were not rhetorical and perhaps you wanted
As a woman married to a man who is 28 years older, I found An Open Letter To Men Who “Trade In” For Younger Wives raised more questions for women than the men to whom you were addressing.  I would like to answer the three you asked
Your first question of me (I will assume the personal for the
collective) was, “how does a younger
wife feel when she hears a joke implying that the answers to life’s problems
lie in a younger woman?”
My husband and I had a good chuckle at this.  He certainly got the fuzzy end of the
lollipop on that account.  I’m certain I
create more problems than I solve.  When
I responded to him that I was more high-maintenance than an older woman, he
agreed.  We were in a jovial mood so I
chose not to be offended – but also, because it’s true.
If a man has told you
he believes a younger woman holds the answer to life’s problems, he’s either truly
joking or he has only fantasized about the relationship and not actually been
in one. 
Can you remember yourself in your twenties and
thirties?  Seriously, how much have you
grown up and changed?  Things that would
have turned into a major fight or battle back then probably roll right off your
back now. Incidentally, that’s what I love about being married to an older man
– that ability to avoid getting worked up over nothing, or if it’s something, respond
in a measured and calculated manner.
Now let’s address the second part of your first question: is a younger wife’s main value her youth and
Was yours? Maybe to some extent – perhaps to a larger extent
now, or so it seems. I resent the presumption that if a younger woman marries
an older man, it’s because they must be an insecure mess to need a man so much
older – and that youth and age are the only things going for them.
You know what I value and valued then?  I valued being valued.  Isn’t that an outrageous concept for a young
woman?  I wanted a partner that was mature
enough to let me be the confident, outspoken, strong-willed woman that I
was.  The young men my age certainly did
not; they were too busy being self-absorbed with their own testosterone to
consider I wasn’t a threat to their masculinity.
In fact, around the time my husband and I started to date, I
re-connected with an old flame who was 4 years older than me. He was so
completely self-absorbed that I mattered very little.  A few years had dulled the sharpness of the
lesson I thought I had learned the first time around, and so we started talking
again.  I was forthright with my future
husband as to this conflict.  His
response: I know you’ll make the right decision.  The other guy’s response: What do you want
with an old guy
Thankfully, I did indeed make the right decision. I chose
the “old guy” who valued me for me.
Young men in their twenties turn into pudgy, hair-thinning men in their
thirties very quickly.  What’s left is
what’s behind the eyes.
There are plenty of older men I wouldn’t give the time of
day.  I wasn’t shopping around for an
old, bald guy whose chest had fallen into his drawers.  I found a nice, mature guy who validated my
self-worth.  No, my main value was not
and is not in my youth and age, nor will my self-worth be wrapped around a number
that indicates I am diminished because I am physically older.
As to your third question: How is a younger woman going
to feel about getting older, knowing that her man values youth in a woman so
My husband didn’t value youth so mightily, he valued me so
mightily. Maybe I got the greatest “older guy” on the planet – I like to think
so.  He often tells me I got cheated, getting
stuck with an old guy.
No, I didn’t get cheated out of a youthful husband with whom
I get to grow old, he got cheated out of getting to be old. We’ve had plenty of
rough financial times, so let’s assuage that perceived perk of marrying
older.  What has kept us together is our
mutual respect and admiration of the other.
You are somewhat right though, my husband values youth
mightily.  We have a 2, almost 3 year old,
with another due in 3 weeks.  I cannot
imagine starting over being a parent in my 60’s, can you?  But my children get an amazing father who is
calm and laid-back, not surprised by what parenthood throws at him.  Instead of getting two spaztastic young
parents, they get at least one who doesn’t freak out over spilled milk.  He always tells people that his two youngest
kids got a grandfather and a father at the same time.
It is not a
competition between you and me, young and old.
“We” are not stealing “your” men.  I don’t know what motivates a man to marry a
younger woman.  I suspect it has more to
do with them than their ex-wives.  My
husband tells me his ex-wife of 28 years just married the wrong man.  She left him, by the way.
I’m a single response, and every “younger wife” has a
different motivation and story.  I simply
wanted to make you aware of some stereotypes about women that you were buying
into, stereotypes that you were so careful to avoid when you were addressing
the men.  I am not a Porsche
Carrera.  I consider myself more a Jeep
Wrangler, something you can take off-road.
And don’t worry; I don’t think you came off as a feminazi.  You said little to bolster any females of any
age group. Your entire post boils down to a “slug-in-a-tuxedo”, for all parties
involved: young wives, older men and especially older women.
Read more at The Tomboy Mommy



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