In a recent story shared on Huffpost, a woman shed some light on what it’s like to be married to a much older man.
Janet Albaugh first met her would-be husband through a friend. He was nearly 90, she was 65. They were both widowed and friends thought they would make a great couple.
“Mutual friends introduced us. His best friend was married to my best friend. Apparently I needed more of a social life,” she said.
Janet admits that at first, she didn’t think much of the friendship. She saw her new “friend” as just that, a friend. They did regular friend-like things like going to meals and he would hire help to fix things around her house.
As fate would have it, things worked out much differently. She broke her wrist and to make her life a little easier, he invited her to stay in his house so that she didn’t have to struggle with basic things like going up the stairs or driving herself to doctor’s appointments.
“He convinced me to stay at his house with no strings, my own bedroom and bathroom until I was well. I agreed. Honestly, it seemed reasonable and less lonely,” she says.
For six weeks she recuperated and when her wrist had healed they kept their living arrangements.
Her husband slowly started asking for her help with things around the house. For instance, she helped redesign his kitchen.
“He was investing in me and giving me a stake in his house and his life. I knew he wanted me to supervise his life so he wouldn’t have to.”
In a span of 18 months, Janet, who had no children from her previous marriages, lost all her living relatives. She explains that then, her husband seemed to be the only family she had left.
“He had become my family,” she says. “I moved into his house for convenience but his generosity really made me feel at home. Regardless of others, who focused on our differences, I truly came to love this man.”
Eventually, they became intimate and then he proposed several times, and each time she said no. “I was embarrassed about how old he was and how others would see it,” she admits.
Janet then started having heart complications and needed to be hospitalised. Her husband wouldn’t be allowed in to see her because he wasn’t family.
“By now, we had been together for about a year. He was as close as I was getting to having a family. That was reason enough to get married, so we did.”
Janet admits that being married to a man of an older generation is different. She believed in women empowerment, something her second husband understood. “But now my husband had an idea of a ‘woman’s work’
“I make all doctor appointments, refill all medications and troubleshoot all billing questions. The cable guy, telephone tech, plumber, etc. all deal with me.
“I am the hostess and social secretary,” she explains. He expects her to prepare his meals in a certain way and she gladly does so.
Janet explains that at first they slept in the same bed but they had to reconsider their sleeping arrangements because she flings her arms in her sleep and “he has restless leg syndrome”. It took a little more time for them to stop being intimate.
Even though her husband is much older, Janet admits that his companionship definitely beats the loneliness some of her single friends often complain about.
“I got a sweet man who is in good health. I don’t worry about his womanizing. I feel taken care of in my relationship. Sure, there still seems to be a slight generational difference and he likes to play out the gender norms, but I can manage it. I am happy, and that’s all that matters.”