‘My husband is my father’s age…’

Published: March 14, 2012

Age is not just a number.

A few weeks ago, I happened to witness the unfortunate crumbling and subsequent break-up of a close friend’s marriage. After hearing both sides of the story, I arrived to a conclusion regarding the main reason behind the failure: The husband was 20 years older than his wife.

Although common in an eastern society where arranged marriages are the norm, such large age-gaps (10 years and more) often have great drawbacks in a relationship as intimate as marriage. In our society, parents are in a rush to marry off their daughters before they hit the twenty-fifth birthday mark (or even earlier), and the foremost attribute they seek is financial stability, even if the candidate is a whole generation ahead in terms of age and experience.

True, such marriages have been surviving for generations, mainly because the wife is a simple woman devoted to her home and children. Moreover, she is completely financially dependent on her husband. The stigma associated with divorce and unmarried life for a woman, is such that they learn to compromise with a man who they have absolutely nothing in common with.

But where there is freedom of choice and financial independence, the general perception is that, the marriage may be doomed. My friend, in her early thirties, wanted to mingle with friends and party frequently, taking it as a means to enjoy her youthful years. Meanwhile her husband, approaching his mid fifties, had already had his share of fun a long time back and now sought a peaceful home life. The constant partying and outings became a huge barrier in their marriage, which ultimately came down in shambles as neither individual was willing to compromise.

With another couple, where the age-gap is once again twenty-years plus, I became aware that the husband was reaching the end of his career whilst his wife was just starting hers. They have young children and the man does not have the energy to take care of the children while the woman pays attention to her career. This played as a major reason of discontent, between the couple who should have ideally been enjoying the same stages of life together.

Another problem I came across was in a distant relative’s marriage. In this case the wife has barely settled into her mid- twenties while the husband is entering his forties. The girl liked a same-aged cousin but was persuaded to marry a much older man because he was financially sound and could provide a good future. However, she is unable to relate to her husband and thus often calls her cousin to chat or discuss her issues. Thus, leading to issues brewing that could explode any day; leaving the tattering marriage on an unsteady hook.

Delving further into what could form a permanent gap in marriages, I observed that many older husbands suffer mistreatment at the hands of their younger wives. Once the wife acquires a certain power and control in the marriage, the husband stands little chance at arguing with her. Some couples, I witnessed, indulged in using the age gap as an insult. One of the wives chose to admit to me that she often rubbed in the age difference when the couple argued or disagreed about something. And although she admitted to feeling guilty afterwards, she said it was something she could not help saying in the heat of the moment.  She also confided in me that she often wishes she had a younger companion with whom she could enjoy life more.

Men are usually quite eager to marry younger women because of a number of reasons; they believe younger women would be beautiful, youthful, more fertile and likely to be more energetic than a woman closer to their own age. Moreover she may make him feel young and perhaps desirable as well. A common ailment suffered by men during mid-life.

Unfortunately, things may not always turn out the way they seem. In fact, men who marry women closer in age may command more respect and intimacy from them. It is more likely that a woman will truly love a husband who is closer to her in age rather than one who is many years older and with whom she may be attached simply for financial dependence.

Age gap is not a factor that should be taken lightly. Age is certainly not just another number when it comes to marriages. One of the key factors needed for a marriage to work is a level of understanding between two people but if they are generations apart, it may be difficult to reach that level because the couple may not agree with one another’s opinions, tastes and likes. Friend circles may clash, while socializing; people may mistake the relationship to be something other than husband and wife, which is an opinion that tends to stay with the couple.

Two of the couples I have mentioned in this article face this problem often, where a waitress or customer service representatives have assumed that the husband is actually the wife’s father, salting the wound further by saying something on the lines of;

“And what will your father have?”

Not only does this severely bruise the husband’s ego and self esteem but also causes him a sense of insecurity.

Although marriage is like a gamble and we never know which one has the capacity to endure the test of time and those of which that won’t, there are certain things we can look for in a partner to avoid the pain of a mismatched marriage.

I hope that all the bachelors and bachelorettes will learn from this article and seek to marry those who are closer to them in age, with whom they can enjoy a lasting companionship, which is — after all, what a marriage is all about.

Ayesha Pervez

Ayesha Pervez

Currently pursuing TESL in Canada, Ayesha Pervez is an English Literature graduate from the University of Karachi who has completed courses in short-fiction and journalism from Harvard University.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • zzz

    Hey ayesha, I used not believe in this all and that age differences etc ( agreed with this write) and i married to a girl 2 years older than me, now what ?
    And if i add further; we broke, we both were intependent both have their own jobs and salary and one day she just walked away
    so the reason can be any but point is both don’t want to live with each other, we can’t draw a rule what is failure of marriageRecommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    Hi zzz…. please read carefully… in my blog I have specifically mentioned age gaps larger than 10 years. 2 years is nothing. Thanks for your comment :)Recommend

  • khan

    Thank you for a good artical on a very important subject.Recommend

  • http://www.hunzaholidays.com Nadeem Akbar

    I know a man who is 23 years younger than his wife and they are spending a very pleasant and joyful life. I think Age is not a factor but the understanding is the main factor for any relationship. There must be mutual understanding for any relationship rather than depending on any tangible thing like money, car etc…Recommend

  • Arif Ayaz

    This piece is an honest attempt to throw light on the issue of generation/age gap between partners. The article, however, is engineered with generalisation fallacy. Being Positivist, I have observed that in our society, many marriages (with greater age difference) do survive successfully without slight failure. We cannot generalise that these marriage do not materialise successfully because there was an age difference. There might be some other reasons as well i.e. Biological reasons(Women sexual desires become decreases with age because of hormonal activities)Recommend

  • muhammad shahzad

    It’s disgusting how men in our society explicitly demand a girl much younger to them.in our society a lot of the marriages are arranged ones and i’ve seen men telling their family members that they want a girl younger than them.i guess it’s their inner paedo speaking but still it can’t be condoned.The girls who agree to marry men older than themselves are contributing to the problem.If less girls agreed to marry an older man then maybe attitudes would change. Recommend

  • TMohsin

    A very good topic and a very nicely written article. In my opinion, age difference should not be of more than 5 years. Upto 5 years its okay. Even in same age marriages the husbands are usually immature as compared to the girl. Especially young couples of 25-26 years.Recommend

  • Qasim

    Hi Ayesha, I kind of agree with zzz’s point here. We just could not blame age as the only factor ruining the marriage. There are couples who have more than 10 years age difference between them but are living happily. Similarly, there are couples with no age difference finding difficulty in spending time together.

    We can debate on the same lines with the topic that marry the person who can provide financial stability. If there is no financial stability no matter what the age difference is, the chances of marriage being over are high.

    Just my random thoughts.Recommend

  • kay jay

    Only an insane man would marry a girl 20+ year younger to him and expect her to be happy, an old man of fifties cannot fulfill the needs of a young girl, both mental and emotional. in fact he would always feel insecure as a young wife needs to be guarded more and requires more time attention and “action” if you know what i mean :)
    people should realize why marriages take place, for happiness and contentment, life is too short to just depend on finances…
    hope this practice ends soon…
    People think of girls as feeling less individuals who probably do not desire someone young and energetic…God knows when this mindset will go Recommend

  • faraz aziz

    Men just want to get married to younger girls so they appear more younger themselves to the world.A young wife is the need of insecure,unconfident men who are self conscious about their looks or their age.They just want a trophy wife so their friends,relatives,colleagues might see them as some sort of studs who can get much younger women to marry them.
    A man with a younger wife is a man with deep insecurities.Recommend

  • Ahmer

    mr zzzz…. i m sorry about your marriage life.. but tolerance getting down day by day in both gender.. so reason to be divorce are so many… welll ayesha nice article and very good topic..Recommend

  • xxx

    you should have included about the girls who want to marry a mature, well set husband, with good money. you can not just blame men.Recommend

  • tanveer zafar

    The girls marrying older men need to share the blame for encouraging this reprehensible to go one.If there was no supply there would be no demand.These girls who marry older men are just setting bad examples for other girls .Recommend

  • Mumbai Dude

    Its great that your friend knew how to enjoy life and had the courage to take bold steps. Few few women in the subcontinent can dare do that. Bravo!!! Hope that her old loser husband would find a woman of his age to settle down rather than scouting for younger girls.Recommend

  • Aryan

    Those are my views also. No one should get married prior to 24-25 years of age.Recommend

  • ather

    i think it is a personal choice. many people marry of their same age still they get early divorce. and i would say it is much frequent to see divorce taking place when husband and wife are of same age. it is better to marry a woman who is younger . because men have to be able to feed his family. but women need to be fertile. Recommend

  • Rebecca S.

    YEAH my ex is 20 years older than me, and the part about mingling with friends and enjoying a youthful lifestyle hit the nail on the head. He would condemn me for doing things he did when he was my age. Recommend

  • Jhana

    Most of the time a man will marry a much younger woman because of insecurities and ego. When a man is secure within himself, financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually, he does not need this young woman to make him feel whole. On the other hand when you have an arranged marriage by the girls family, she has no choice in the matter…………
    Being a Westerner I do not understand this practice at all! Any person should be able to “choose” their life partner, then you won’t have young girls wanting to go out and party nor will you have older married men looking for sex outside the marriage. Women are equal to any man and should have the same respect! Just my opinion! No, actually women are smarter than most men, proven scientific fact!!!
    Thank you Ayesha for starting this dialog, maybe it will make people start to “think” before going into a marriage that is most likely doomed from the start……..We are love <3Recommend

  • furqan

    Nice written article, good judgment, marriage is based on mutual compassion and respect. We have many stories in front of our life in which age difference between spouses are quite large but sharing joy and complement each other is the only key to success in every marriage.Recommend

  • Javed sahibzada

    Look at the situation old husband but very rich, young husband but poor, young husband at the sometime rich but womanizer, religion has nothing to do with that it’s the culture based on ignorance and sometimes the selfishness of father mother or daughter.Recommend

  • sick of this nonsense

    I know a man who is married to lady who is 15 years younger then him. Both of them are truly in love and cant be happier. So we cant just judge a relationship according to age. Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal


    “i think it is a personal choice. many people marry of their same age still they get early divorce.”

    Exactly. Thats purely a matter of choice and in our society, only men enjoy the privilege of choice. They choose to marry younger women and girls are forced by their families to marry older men who could guarantee financial security and bright future. This usually leads to two results.

    A: A disastrous marriage subsequently leading into a break up.
    B: Girl repressed by social norms submits to her husband against her will and devotes her youthful years in service of her ‘master.’ Recommend

  • Urooj khan

    sometimes this age difference gives more power to men and they treat their wife like a slaveRecommend

  • Sardar Hussain

    I think the most important thing is trust and respect. If one succeeds in achieving this from both sides, there is no issue then.Recommend

  • tz07

    your friends is in early 30s and still wants to mingle with frnds and party? lol.. the partying decreases after 25 and ur frnd was still trying to be “young” enough.. may be this is the reason for it…

    as far as reasons are concerned, there can be many. No matter how much you interview the couple, no one will accept responsibility and an analytical analysis would show that both are responsible and not the age. Coz exactly the same problems can also arise with same aged couples. Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)

    Well, what if it is the other way round. Times have changed. With the women being Empowered they choose young men as their partners.Doesn’t last long as the famous saying goes that”A women is old when she looks old,A man is old when he feels old”. Recommend

  • http://Austin Hafeez

    I think Ayesha considers age gap as one of the factors that can lead to break-up. Ofcourse it is not the only factor. We can see around divorces where age gap was not an issue. Similarly, even in West, where divorce rate touches in some countries around 50 percent, age gap is never the issue. Recommend

  • Samina

    Agree with the article. I had a gap of 10 yrs and my marriage lasted for 23 yrs with 7 yrs of separation. It took so long just because I was committed honestly with the relationship and my children were small . Too large of a gap is never a sensible thing but then it is also a fate and I believe in it.Recommend

  • Asad

    Don’t blame men for women’s parents greed who readily serve up their daughters to financially stable men. How many parents do you know who would readily marry their daughters to fresh graduates or struggling early-mid twenty guys? Recommend

  • Questioner

    sometime I question whether only man having choice is myth or not? Most of time “a Man” does not have any power of choice also. He is much like the females in the society, enslaved by the responsibility, peer pressure and family obligations.
    And family obligations are not defined by only men of house, they are defined by your sisters, mother, sister in laws, so-called auntys, everyone chipping in to make sure he understand where they stand.

    Infact I believe in most cases both males and females are in defrauding each-other. This “Oh girl did not had choice”, robes all the sympathy from us for the man who marries the girl thinking she has not problem with him (regardless of age or money or personality). Is he not the real victim here? he did not forced her to marry him. Why he be blamed for living with a person who on daily basis is coning him.

    Solution is not blacklisting age-difference marriages it, it is about empowering our people to freely choose whom they want to marry, destigmatize courtshipsRecommend

  • Ameena Tariq

    While in my opinion age does play a role, I don’t think its important! I would agree with the comments. Understanding, respect, sharing the same goals and mutual interests are the important factors. I have seen couple with 15- 20years age difference living happier than the so called ideal age difference.Recommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    Parents most of the time choose best for their childrenRecommend

  • Bushra

    It wasn’t coz of the age gap but bcoz of different mindsets and non-accomodating and non- compromising nature of the spouses. In first case,trust me not many men want party wives even men of younger age. In second case she should have known better,husbands can’t always be friends. In my opinion she was the weaker link not the husband coz she pursued other people. Such excuses were usually given by men that their wife couldn’t make them happy and blah blah. Now women demand and expect more they r no longer the compromising and flexible ones like previous generation women which has led to an increase in divorces in my opinion.Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com Shumaila

    Well written – you made your case well, and I agree with you. Recommend

  • Tariq Siddiqui

    You definitely need to grow old together, otherwise go can easily get out of synch with each other.Well wriiten Ayesha.Recommend

  • Adil Ahmad

    It is not inconceivable that chemistry may exist between a man and a much younger woman/girl. Economic security is naturally an important consideration in any marriage. Also a much older man is theoretically more mature and better able to nurture a young bride. But the real problem arises when marriage is viewed in the context of ’till death do us apart…’. This dominates the consciousness causing claustrophobia. Marriage is a Contract to legitimize the status of the coupling in the eyes of society, and provide the woman legal rights on her husband, no matter what the age difference. When the coupling becomes untenable then the woman is not entirely bereft of status and security… No matter what the age difference, the couple should enjoy the relationship while it lasts :)Recommend

  • Questioner

    @Yasir Mehmood:
    Only problem is they are no more children, e.g. can they know their child now grown features desires what kind of physical features in the partner?
    or does he/she have same mindset. which parent will know that his child wants a wife that can e.g. sky-dive with him, or likes certain kind of literature?
    They try to find what they think is best, including best for them and family in general. They try to measure best according to what is important to them.
    Not that their heart is at wrong place, just that that it’s too important decision to be left in only their handsRecommend

  • x

    Honestly, if the marriage is consensual then it shouldn’t be an issue. There are many things that cause strain on marriages and then there at many things that cause strain on life, but we cannot get rid of each and every strain and we cannot decide which one is a bigger issue. That is, even being in a marriage where the people are the same age there are many different issues that can arise that can damage a relationship. And there are many examples where people are of different ages and have a gap of 10 or more, but live out happy lives.

    We must realize that the people making the decision clearly have more knowledge of their own situation and preferences, and can evaluate and make better decisions about their lives than someone sitting on a high horse giving out fatwas about the way other people should be based on peripheral data.

    Secondly, i find it interesting that you jumped to the conclusion that it was the age gap in both the cases, it could have been many other issues as well. I also wonder if you are qualified to make such judgements, that is, I wonder if you have a marriage and family therapy license or atleast a masters in applied psychology or if you just decided to take up a cause and write about it.

    I also wonder how the example of two couples can be generalized to the rest of the community, have studies been done to show that age gap is a big issue in marriages in Pakistan (and establishes causality) ? If so, please cite these studies as that will really help you in making (or disproving) your point. Recommend

  • sashayub

    is age the only reason? don’t think so….i’m sure there were other reasons…..Recommend

  • Optimist

    Girl you are harsh. Are there any underlying issues here? I feel as if a cradle robber passed you over and married a fresh debutante. The fact is relationships are what we make them and with divorce rates approaching 50%, it will happen to 50% of all marriages regardless of age difference and this subset will also have failed higher age difference unions. Remember, mard kabhi boorhaa nahin hotaRecommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    it happend every where in the world in the west for money and status and many other reason
    like women are just a tool to used and throw away and they get marriage after two to three babies with them at the time of church cermany.Recommend

  • http://mezaajedeen.blogspot.com Tribune Reader

    Age can prove to be a generational gap even if the age difference is 5 years, I can not relate to people who are even 5 years younger than me, let alone worry about an age difference that is 10-20 years. I would like to say one thing though, age difference is not the only thing here that matters, at times it is rising individuality in our society that manages to kill off one’s ability to feel emotional empathy for the other and pursue self serving interest. Recommend

  • Crook

    Unfortunately no one in our society is ready to face the truth.

    The article did not mentioned it and comments does not have courage to uncover the ugly face of our society. Reality is that mothers and even educated girls in our society prefer an older man who can not only give good life to girl but also support in-laws jobless male members.

    The consideration is money and future of in-laws, sex and joy, some cousin can provide. This is a reality.

    A girl with MBA ‘fell in love’ with his school drop-out neighbor who have lots of money. Now in-laws have bought a banglow, expensive cars and girl eats as much she can to gain 200 pounds weight target. Although nothing common in couple but it is working perfectly! In laws got good life and man got an ‘educated wife’. That is the deal.Recommend

  • Anjaan

    This is not a new issue …… an Indian film of the 80s, ” Baazar” starring Nasiruddin Shah, Faroukh Sheikh and others had depicted the issue quite effectively.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Ayesha Pervez:

    Girls should be allowed to have a final say when choosing their husbands. I don’t think marriage is more likely to work because the husband is 9 and a half years older then if he is eleven years older. Your friend is already in the thrities but still prefers to party more then get settled into the married life. I don’t think all 50 year old men don’t want to party. All thrity years old women also don’t want to party frequently You just go to any social website on the nternet and you will find a lot of married MEN looking for fun. Relationships work based on personalities of the couples. Married couples with good social life are likely to succeed. Cousins marriages should be discouraged because these kind of marriages can lead to increase in occurence of genetically transmitted diseases.Recommend

  • OS

    Agree with author – she should also have explored marriages with older men who already have a first wife and kids. A disgusting practice in our society. Recommend

  • El shaka

    My Husband is my father age well i think its a good thing two in one.Recommend

  • S.F.Ali

    @Ayesha Pervez:
    yup, the gap of 10 years or more is almost a generation. Recommend

  • SAA

    Thumbs up!!!Recommend

  • asfiya

    I agree with this view point. Age is one of the most important factors in making a marriage successful. Men usually have no qualms marrying a girl much younger than themselves whereas most females are reulctant to marry a man way older. I believe that women who opt for a man 10-20 yrs older, they should weigh the pros and cons of it before getting into the relationship instead of repenting over their decision later. I have seen a few cases where girls married older men and repented later as the age difference did create a gap bw the husband and wife BUT they did not get out of the relationship , may be because girls are more compromising by nature and come to terms with such things. And personally, it is not something that should end a marriage (unless ofcourse there is zero compatibility). . As for myself, I will never want to marry someone who is more than 6 yrs older than me :) Mental compatibility with someone your age develops faster– my opinion!Recommend

  • Big Profit – Marry Me

    Marry Me PLEASE! I am 40 I am looking for a 50% discount on age, i.e. 20 year old master’s student would be perfect for my kitchen and of course..yes. Recommend

  • Adam Khan

    It’s a positive sign that people are now openly debating these issues than cursing in their heads? I appreciate and think that for marriages to be able to sustain the following factors are key other than the impugned age-difference: a) the Qura’an says that Allah will choose/give good woman for good man and vice versa; b) the willingness of the less-aged-person to accept the match….but who knows what will happen next except Allah; c) what if you live in a village where there are surplus girls crossing their marriageable ages than boys who are mostly out (if not brain-drain) for educational or livelihood purposes; d) and what if a widow or a woman living with some disability seek even older man, should the men disregard these…looking for the same-age? Men always support women in every respect!
    It’s all about ones mindset and opportunities, which depend upon special circumstances at the time of deciding to marry; and we (Muslims) believe in divinely ordained destiny (taqdeer or qadar), don’t we? I married a vivacious woman around eighteen years junior to me, at her independent will, we’re alhamdullillah thankful to Allah for this choice (rizq), as at least I can’t deny or disapprove Allah’s will for me which certainly carried certain “hekmat” (and as all know Allah’s every action/will carries “heknat”). Lastly, did anyone know, Monica Lewinsky wanted to marry former president Clinton then around 27 years older to her. Current American presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s wife is also around 25+ years junior to him, but both looks of the same age and seems to be so proud of their partnership. In America, it’s said that despite freedom of match choice, the divorce rate is 50+ percent; and in our society despite these so-called age differences, divorce rate is perhaps lesser than 1%. So friends — it’s all about ones mindset, so please keep your minds positive and pray that Allah fill everyone’s heart and mind with wisdom and peace! Aamen.Recommend

  • T

    Age gap, tolerance, nature and many things matter in marriage life. So, your point of view is also genuine.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/adnanjabbar Dr. Adnan

    I disagree, as having relationship with the same age group is much more difficult than the other ones and that’s a experience I would rather not forget.Recommend

  • SMA

    Marriage is what about compromise & respect with each other along with the taste of friendship, so they keep growing their relationship & trying to closer with each other. One thing I must mentioned to Ayesha that dependency of what anything would be the key factor of any relationship once the bird become independent he/she leave the nest, that’s why the scenario of our society become worse & worse. Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    Female body is 3 years ahead of male body in terms of sexual and mental maturity. So, groom being older than the bride by three years is ideal. One can give or take 2 years max.

    Anything more than that, the couple should be prepared for possible mis-match of libido levels.Recommend

  • Adnan

    Nicely written. It is difficult for ppl to accept, but this do exist in our society; not toforget that this is not a common issue, but ppl are affected more or less.

    We all should realise that marriage is not a work that has to be done, but it should be observed as a lasting companionship.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/sxahir Syed Zahir

    I think it all comes down to the need and expectations from marriages. In your examples, the common thing was the unfulfilment of expectations of partners which lead them to separation. I believe, there are people who marry for reasons. Some marry a financially strong partner because to them its the most important thing. So its important to marry a person who fulfills your expectation. Statistics says that people of same age group marries more now than they used to 30 years back.Recommend

  • http://Australia Naeem Siddiqui

    Dear Ayesha and ET,

    Marriage required only following two basic things

    1) Man and Woman both must be adult (as per local law)
    2) Man and Woman both must have consent

    There is no ideal age and no ideal age difference for marriage. Please don’t make marriage more difficult it has already been made difficult enough in our society.

    What is the logic of comparing the age of husband/wife with close relatives!!??

    If I marry a girls who is 2/3 years younger then me and my sister also 2/3 years younger then me, should I be ashamed of marrying a girls of my younger sisters age :)Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali

    You are right but it happens only in the same-family marriages where age difference doesn’t matter and out of families it happens only when money matters rather than religion.Recommend

  • Rehan Ali

    Nice write-up. Men seeking financial soundness and delaying marriage should also know that when you marry at the appropriate age (26-30) the whole mohallah is happy and in the cases mentioned only the mohallah is happy.

    Don’t ward-off marriage. Recommend

  • Nobody

    @Arif Ayaz:
    So does a man’s buddy. Testosterone levels go down as men age. Recommend

  • Nobody

    “i would say it is much frequent to see divorce taking place when husband and wife are of same age.” Source please? And yes fertility is important, but most women don’t become infertile in their 30s. Doesn’t explain why skeezy old men in their 40s and 50s marry women in their 20s. Fertility is a weak excuse. Recommend

  • My Weak Wedding

    Woh Hamsafar tha…!!!!Recommend

  • Nobody

    Why does mingling with friends have to stop after 25? Granted the ‘style’ of partying as a younger person may differ a bit but I don’t understand the notion that older people can’t have fun in their life. Doesn’t make sense to me. My older sister and her hubby are 31, they still mingle and socialize, and not because they’re trying to be ‘young.’ Any rules against that? Recommend

  • Nobody

    You just pinpointed the very problem in society today. Women of previous generations were TOO flexible, to the point where they sacrificed too much while men were often unbending (not ALL, but some). That’s not a healthy marriage at all. Women need to stop being overly flexible for men. BOTH need to be equally compromising so neither one is secondary. So typical in Pakistani society people always blame the woman. And if women being a bit more rigid and inflexible is what’s causing an increase in divorce, the way to resolve that isn’t to go back to an unfavorable system, rather start teaching men and women alike to understand an equal compromise. Cheers. Recommend

  • Nobody

    “Remember mard kabi boorha nahi hota” Once he needs the assistance of a little blue pill, I’d say he’s a boorha ;) Happens earlier than people typically expect. Recommend

  • Mustajab

    @Ayesha Pervez:
    First of all what I concluded from your article is that you had a really bad experience when it comes to age difference in marriage. In the whole article you shared your own personal experience without any proper authentic reference or survey. Do you think that these few examples can summarize the overall mentality of all Pakistan. It sound’s similar when people say that we are terrorist due to some ignorant people.

    Sister you are showing the negative side only, of these marriage. It is not about age that matter it is about understanding. By the way you are suggesting us what should we do in case of age difference can you tell me that what you steps you have taken as there is a tradition in your family and relatives to marry a women of daughter’s age (as per you)?Recommend

  • ali

    Poverty is the main cause of this issue. We cannot apply the western idiologies to a country only because of the poverty pakistan faces. Parents give much more priority to education, bank balance and reputation then love, affection, age difference and looks. Who else would want there kids to become poor and struggle in there life. The only solution to the change of this mindset would be to improve the living conditions, not only of the rich but everyone. To give equal rights and financially stabilise them :) Recommend

  • ali

    glad to see atleast someone thinks this is wrong! Why are people soo greedy and care to only success. Success usually comes when someone is happy.Recommend

  • ch. sheraz

    @Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd):

    Y u army men after retirement use your designation..lol…u r no more in service dude.Recommend

  • http://Karachi Kazmis

    An unnecessary debate of a poor nation, entangle with lousy issues. It is better move toward development of individuals characters and development of nation.Recommend

  • AIN

    I totaly agreed…Recommend

  • abdm

    Well, this article is based on few stories which is not the full picture. I never wished to marry someone around 12 years younger than me but somehow the marriage got arranged in a typical Pakistani way. Things are great since we married and my wife is very independent and educated girl. We both think that we are lucky to have each other. All what matters is the nature of your relationship. If the love has grown, there is hardly any issue.Recommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    Hi everyone … I really appreciate all the comments however some people are mistaking this blog to be a result of a personal experience. I am married and my husband is 6.5 years older than me. I wrote this blog after my friends marriage broke and when I asked her what happened the first thing she said was, you know he was 20 yrs older than me. Then I gathered all the other experiences I had been noticing around me and wrote this blog. The main purpose for this blog was to educate men to look for wives closer to them in age rather than marrying a girl 15-20 years younger because it can create problems for themselves in the future. I mean which of you men would like to be mistaken for your wifes father? Furthermore, this way, single women who have passed the ideal age (that is after 30) to get married may also be considered rather than be passed on for younger girls.Recommend

  • Nasamajh

    Marriage is an important part of life and life is an art which has no specified formulas whose application can always solve the issue.. it is simply a matter of fate where wisdom or no wisdom with a stroke of luck can set things sailing smoothly..Recommend

  • Vikram

    “Men usually have no qualms marrying a girl much younger than themselves whereas most females are reulctant to marry a man way older” If girls are reluctant to marry older men, why do they get married to older men in the first place. Do older men force families of “young girls” to marry their daughter to them?Recommend

  • Vikram

    If a family has a choice to marry their daughter to a young man (about her age) and an older guy with similar financial background, which one do you think they will choose? People marry their girls to older men for most likely for financial reasons. Islam allows 4 wives. Many Ararbs in their fifties go to poor countries and marry teenage virgin girls. Many Muslims think it is OK to do it because prophet Mohammed married a six year old girl (Ayesha).Recommend

  • peshawari

    i would had believed in all this had i had not been raised in a home where my mother was ten years younger than my father and i never heard any arguments as listed in the article…. so i must have to say that it depends upon the chemistry of the couples rather than their ages… their personalities and how they understand and accept each other ….Recommend

  • Mustajab


    My friend as your name suggest you are not possibly Muslim ( forgive me if I am wrong :) ) as I need to clear it for better understanding your comment. Well I am unclear about the point you want to make here.nRecommend

  • Vikram

    @tanveer zafar:

    Girls are married to older men because most likely giirl’s parents are poor or they want to marry their daughter to an older relative then take a risk of marrying her to a man they don’t know. Poor man has little choice, marry her daughter to an older man or keep her home. In many places people marry their daughters to older married men as to pay of their debts. This happens because Islam allows a Muslim man to have 4 wives. Islam allows a man to beat his wife or control her life as to if she can go out or work etc. Muslim women are supposed to be less intelligent. I don’t think if a girl has a choice to marry a young man and a much older guy with same financial status, she will choose an older guy. Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Ayesha Pervez: “The main purpose for this blog was to educate men to look for wives closer to them in age rather than marrying a girl 15-20 years younger ” Does not matter what men look for, why a girl’s family would marry her to a much older man? Your freind’s family had a choice to marry her to a young cousin or an older rich guy, and they decided to marry her to an older guy. Before you blame age of the husband for the problem, you should hear his side of story too.Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/sxahir Zahir

    Gandhi sums it very well
    ““Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

    So compromising on age difference for financial “stability” isn’t a good ideaRecommend

  • Mujtaba

    This article has dwelt upon a cultural issue rather than some personal preference. To suggest that anyone would follow the authors advice – albeit a sensible one – would be a tad too naive. Here in the west, the idea of a woman getting married to an older man would suggest maturity and genuine affection for one another from such a couple. And I don’t see any reason why society in Pakistan would think otherwise, despite the odd remarks people would make like “And what will your father have?” – which I doubt many in Pakistan would really ask, considering the inherent culture of ‘such’ marriages in that country.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Jhana: “Most of the time a man will marry a much younger woman because of insecurities and ego.” In some countries people are so poor that they marry their daughters to much older guys to pay of their debts. Some older rich Arabs go to poor countries and marry teenager girls by paying money. Islam allows a man to have 4 wives. I think in Pakistan also poor people marry their daughters to older guys for money and/or to send them abroad for better lifeRecommend

  • Vikram

    @Sana Iqbal: says “girls are forced by their families to marry older men who could guarantee financial security and bright future” I agree Recommend

  • Vikram


    An older brother and sister eating in a resturant can be mistaken for a husband and wife, but how many 30+ year old women go to eat with their dads alone especially if they are from Pakistan.: Recommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    @Mujtaba thank you for your nice comments… however allow me to clarify about my friend being asked “What will your father have?” She lives in North America, not in Pakistan and told me herself several times that such situations have occured when CSRS (Customer Service Reps) have asked something along the lines of “What will your father have?” I am pretty sure my friend wasnt making up any of it. Ive known her for some time and I know shes not the type to make up things. Thank you for your nice comments anyhow :)

    @Vikram It is usually the mans choice who he send a proposal to, so I think its pretty safe to give him if not whole then atleast a larger share of the blame for marrying a much younger girl. They have age and experience at their side and can easily dissuade their mothers for choosing much younger companions for themselves. Recommend

  • Vikram

    “My friend as your name suggest you are not possibly Muslim ( forgive me if I am wrong :) ) as I need to clear it for better understanding your comment. Well I am unclear about the point you want to make here.n”I made few comments, I don’t know which comment are you talking about. You can email me at viccram99. I use AOLdotCOM. or you can comment again and being more specific.Recommend


    @Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd): ”A women is old when she looks old,A man is old when he feels old”. If you adhere to this saying then thats an extremely narcissist and chauvanistic approach!

    @Ali Tanoli: Aur Ali fit hai? Bas kar Shehzaade… why do you have to drag the Church in this? As if this doesnt happen amongst Muslim women in Pakistan or Hindu women in India… Recommend

  • http://Islamabad Awais Ch

    What a crap!!! wastage of time and totally against the Islamic values.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Crook: says “A girl with MBA ‘fell in love’ with his school drop-out neighbor who have lots of money. Now in-laws have bought a banglow, expensive cars and girl eats as much she can to gain 200 pounds weight target. Although nothing common in couple but it is working perfectly!” How do you know nothing in common but marriage is working perefctly? I think this couple should become marriage counselors. Bill gates is a college drop out too. As far as aI can see there is no requirement of a college degree to love some one. Even Shehzada Salim fell in love with Anarkali. I smell some jealousy.Recommend

  • Asif ilyas khattak

    Stupid Article…Recommend

  • http://www.zealforwriting.blogspot.com Sarah Batool Haider

    @Kazmis: This is certainly not a lousy issue. Ever came across a discipline called applied sociology?? If not, do some research how various social issues (including marriage and related problems) contribute to social disintegration.Recommend

  • http://Islamabad Awais Ch

    At the age of 23 our Holy Prophet P.B.U.H married Hazrat Khadija R.A who was 40 at the time of marriage, Our Prophet MUHAMMAD P.B.U.H also married with the daughter of his best friend Hazrat Abu Baqr R.A when Hazrat Aisha R.A was far more elder that Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H.

    So please stop spreading evil in the society, our society is already much damaged.Recommend

  • yousaf

    @Nadeem Akbar — In your story,if the case were other way round,Ayesha will prove right.I can betRecommend

  • Vikram

    “The girl liked a same-aged cousin but was persuaded to marry a much older man because he was financially sound and could provide a good future. However, she is unable to relate to her husband and thus often calls her cousin to chat or discuss her issues.”


  • Bo Derek

    with 35 yrs. under the belt and a professional, I’ll advise:
    1. look for closer age to marry
    2. both ought to be close to same educational level
    3. both with common family background, in family status, finances, culture
    4. never go to bed with unresolved issues
    5. do NOT tolerate liesRecommend

  • Anaa

    I am a 20 yr old single girl and I would not want to marry someone who is more than 5 years older than me… it gross me out to see young woman married to someone 12-20 yrs older…. I asked my all friends this question and they all said that they only wanna marry someone who is max 5 yrs older…. all peoplz who r disagrreeing with this are the men who are married to younger woman n dere wives dont love dem. Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Bo Derek:
    1. look for closer age to marry
    2. both ought to be close to same educational level
    3. both with common family background, in family status, finances, culture
    4. never go to bed with unresolved issues
    5. do NOT tolerate lies

    Learn to accept people as they are. I hope you are not a mental health professional. Why create unreolved issues in the first place? Every one lies, some people lie a lot others maay lie less. Choose peace over arguing over who is right and who is wrong. Most fights among couples occur over trival matters. Stop chatting on the Internet. When people love some one they tend not to notice short comings in their love object. Nothing under my belt.Recommend