I want to take a short break from the topic we have been on as regards look before you leap. You can see some of the My Divorce stories in that topic here and here. Today, I want to look at age compatibility. They say age is a number but is that really true? Can people still relate if they are so far away in age? What is the ideal age gap in marriage and what age is not ideal? A long-term ago in the age of arranged marriages between our grandparents, the age gap wasn’t that much of a problem because of the dynamics of marriage that existed then. You must remember that divorce was rare then for all kind of social and community reasons. Now the dynamics of marriage have shifted and things aren’t quite the same.

According to a study conducted by Emory University in Atlanta, USA, the bigger the difference the bigger the chance of a divorce. After analysing 3,000 people, it found that couples with a five-year age gap are 18 per cent more likely to get a divorce than those of the same age. Interestingly, that figure rose to 39 per cent for couples with a 10-year age gap and a shocking 95 per cent for those with a 20-year age gap. The lower the age gap, the more likely the marriage has of success. This is because of the various expectations and relationship distances between the couples. Today, We deal with the divorce story of Princess and the role of age difference in her marriage.

My Divorce Story 28, Princess: He Treated Me As His Maid

My name is Princess, I got married three years ago, I’m 24 now, and wasn’t happy in my marriage. Here goes my divorce story.

Recently, I discovered that my husband tried to sleep with my older sister before our traditional marriage but she kept it from me because she felt I would not believe her. My husband was even the one who brought up the matter but he said my sister was seducing him and that it was a test, so I shouldn’t ask her.

Asides that, I also found out that my husband lied about his age, he took a whole 10 years off his real age, he’s around 44 now, but claiming 34.  He also lied that he has a degree in economics (second class upper) but for all the years of marriage, I never saw any documents that indicated this, I only saw a diploma certificate, not even an NYSC picture anywhere.

When I asked, he said the certificates are in the bank which we both knew was a big lie. Those are minor issues you may say, but the major issue is that he nagged and complained about every little thing! It was so difficult to please him.
He even hit me once. He was always right and perfect… I was always the cause of any misunderstanding we had.

He would call me names and say he regretted marrying me. Yes, I didn’t have kids because we agreed to shelve that until I was through with school.  After I was through with school, I had had enough, I just couldn’t stand my husband anymore. Maybe I jumped into this thing called marriage too quickly, but I had thought he was the one for me, hence no need for any further delay which was why I agreed to his marriage proposal.

My Journey To Divorce

Before the crash of our marriage, I spoke with an ex of my husband, the lady he was supposed to marry before me and she told me a lot of shocking things she went through with him, some of which were exactly what I was going through as well at that time. She even said he’s fetish and does charms and that he is a dangerous man. I thereafter decided that I’ve had enough and had to leave him before my tragic end will hit the tabloids.

At that time, I didn’t know if I was overreacting……. but my thought was, a man who can try to sleep with my blood sister, is he even worth it?

In the marriage, I feel he sees me as a maid and not as a wife because of the way he talks to me, he’s so rude and disrespectful but badly seeks respect. Nothing I ever did could satisfy him.

I washed his clothes every week and he doesn’t repeat his wears not even jeans, yet he’ll say I’m lazy and I don’t do anything for him or add any value to his life………. So when I had all my reasons to leave, I felt the marriage wasn’t worth saving. I still have a lot ahead of me in life to be confined to an unhappy marriage.

My thoughts…

This marriage was headed for divorce right from the very beginning. There were just too many issues surrounding it. It would have been tough to prevent a divorce. What are the issues? Deceit, emotional abuse and the age gap.  The expectations from both ends would have been too unrealistic.

Princess would have come into the marriage with the expectations of having a companion while her husband would have had other expectations. His expectations of a wife, his understanding of her age, would have colored his relationship with her.  A 20 year gap is huge and it is that gap is what made princess think she was being treated like a slave. It would have been difficult to find common areas of relating. she would have been 21 and he, 41. Their perspectives of life would have been different.

The husband would have become under increasing pressure to exert some form of superiority that was loosening over a wife who was becoming more educated and independent, thus the lies and the emotional abuse. It is easy to lie about a university education to someone who hasn’t had one but as the person goes through that experience, some holes start to appear. For him to lie over his educational qualifications means that he was embarrassed by a lack of them.

This and some form of financial independence would have been the only hold he would se himself exerting over his wife.  As this hold was looseining, he resorted to the emotional abuse expressed through the naggings and words. It is very likely that the husband already sensed that his wife was going to break away and tried to abuse her into submission or leave her an impression that she wasn’t worth him so as to soften the blow when it eventually came.

My advice…

Age differences do matter. Educational and societal differences also do matter. One must carefully consider these things if they would want to get into marriage with a spouse on the other side of the divide. It might look as if it is something you would overcome but it is tough. It would be tough for a spouse to have the other’s friends come over and the discussion turns into University days or NYSC. As stories are shared, the spouse who didn’t go through such experiences would feel uncomfortable and could have symptoms of insecurity.

Thanks for taking time to read this. Please take out time and read other beautiful articles from Davina diaries. We do have a lot for you. You can reach me through Davina at davina.r@davinadiaries.com.
Much love.
Ross, T.

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