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Age Difference Between Spouses

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#1 CM786

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:15 PM

Suhaib Webb
Question:
My question is in regard to age difference in marriage and understanding how realistic it is in the North American context. I am 28 years old and there is a particular brother I am interested in who has incredible character and whom I feel I really click with. The issue is that he is 8 years younger than me and is still finishing his Bachelor’s degree with intentions to do his PhD, so it would be a long time before he would be earning a decent income. Everyone I have spoken to tells me it is an impossible scenario because of his age/lack of ability to support a family. I understand that, but I don’t want to disregard the idea without examining it as I have never met a brother with such impeccable adab (manners); and he is very mature for his age. I know Khadija radi Allahu ‘anha (may God be pleased with her) financially supported the Prophet(peace be upon him), but is this realistic in our current context? I have a steady job with an average income and he comes from a fairly well-off family. I have also considered things like my aging much faster than him, resistance from the families etc., but his character seems to trump all of that for me. Am I considering something unrealistic?
Answer:
You are worried that a large age difference between you and your potential spouse would cause social and financial difficulties. This can be a valid concern for couples who have certain expectations about their standard of living and lack emotional support from family and friends for the marriage. As you mentioned, the idea of an older woman marrying a younger man is not a new idea and was beautifully modeled by our Prophet ﷺ. However, Khadija was 40 when she proposed to the 25-year-old Muhammad ﷺ. Since she was middle aged, she was not only financially established but she was emotionally mature and sophisticated. Her life experiences positioned her to probably have a strong sense of self as a woman and therefore when seeking to marry, she looked for a partner that had strong character over financial status. Economics continues to play a role in our current context as women attain higher education and the wage gap narrows between men and women. Many seek to find a partner who is compatible with their level of religious practice and personality more so than their financial status. With women becoming financially independent, they are less restricted to considering only older men for marriage who are typically more financially secure and thus the possibility of marrying a younger spouse, who is not financially secure, may become more prevalent.
Despite the Islamic precedence for marriages between older women and younger men, there continues to be a stigma within many Muslim cultures and even Western society which frowns upon these unions. According to a recent study, researchers found consistently positive attitudes among couples with women 10 years older than their spouse, despite the fear of stigmatization. The primary concern these couples faced was the aging of the wife. However, they found that women liked the vitality of their younger husbands and men liked the maturity and confidence of their wives. Therefore, marrying someone younger led to a happy union, but it was dependent on the maturity and intellectual compatibility of the couple as well as the confidence to brave the social stigma.
There are tangible concerns that you will need to consider when marrying a much younger man. For one, you may encounter generational differences that could impact your beliefs, values, and goals. You will also need to consider your biological clock; when and if you will be able to bear children or if you will consider adoption. You will also need to examine if a power struggle exists in the relationship due to the age difference or if both partners are flexible with their role expectations. Further, the one drawback researchers have found with women marrying men seven to nine years younger than them was that it increased the woman’s mortality risk by 20 percent. The researchers suggested that the reason for women’s decrease in life expectancy was because women who marry much younger men have increased stress and reduced social support as a result of their choice to step out of societal norms and marry a younger man.
You have a very important decision to make when considering a spouse for marriage. Are the economic and health concerns associated with your decision ones that you are prepared to deal with if you choose to marry a younger man? Are you emotionally mature and confident to withstand the social challenges? Does the compatibility you find in one another reflect strength in your role expectations? Whatever your decision, it is important that the decision-making process be one of mutually open and honest communication between yourself and the man you seek to marry.
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#2 Mounir

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:12 PM

Interesting. Jazakullah for sharing CM
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#3 coachMusa

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:12 AM

B-)
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#4 CM786

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:42 AM

sometimes I wonder that too does age really matters :sad: will that be the first question you ask when meeting someone you like :ermm:

Ive a young bro showed me all his checklist of a future wife and Im like 'all are wrong' :roll:
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#5 Mounir

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:32 PM

Why would age be an issue. If the personalities are in harmony with one another (ok maybe not a massive age difference) then things should work, but I guess it depends on what the guy desires. If he wants to constantly find her young and beautiful then he'll need to marry someone much younger than himself. But if thats not what concerns him then the age wouldn't bother him. The hearts can always remain young and vibrant but not the body
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#6 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 05:00 PM

According to a recent study, researchers found consistently positive attitudes among couples with women 10 years older than their spouse

I wonder if that is because men expect their wives to be like their mothers, to baby them, feed them, look after them etc. I am under the impression that men look for wives alike to their mother, and even woman will be attracted to men who have similar traits to her father.

Why would age be an issue.

because a man's age regarding maturity, is actually 5+ years less than their actual age :)
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
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#7 Alpha Dude

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:37 PM

because a man's age regarding maturity, is actually 5+ years less than their actual age :)


:raisedbrow:
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#8 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:43 PM

don't :raisedbrow: me, you know it's true
unless that face was because you didn't understand what i wrote?
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed

#9 Alpha Dude

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:46 PM

I don't believe it. It's a silly generalisation/assumption.

People grow up quicker than others, regardless of gender.

If you have a boy who experiences a troubled youth, you can bet your bottom dollar he will be more mature than a girl who's lived the life of a princess.
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#10 Mounir

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:59 PM

I kind of agree with both of you. Both of you made some good points.

I wonder if that is because men expect their wives to be like their mothers, to baby them, feed them, look after them etc. I am under the impression that men look for wives alike to their mother, and even woman will be attracted to men who have similar traits to her father.


because a man's age regarding maturity, is actually 5+ years less than their actual age :)


Is this an attack? Should I be worried? Hmm sometimes I cannot predict you lol
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#11 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:03 PM

i was referring to it in a general term anyway, i wasn't talking about extreme circumstances
haha i may have started war with the brothers, stop be so defensive and face the facts guys!
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed

#12 Mounir

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:05 PM

Not very "mature" of you to start a war now is it.
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#13 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:09 PM

i do not intend to start war, but if you decide it is suitable, i am not afraid to defend myself. you have been warned
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed

#14 Alpha Dude

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:16 PM

i was referring to it in a general term anyway, i wasn't talking about extreme circumstances
haha i may have started war with the brothers, stop be so defensive and face the facts guys!


I don't think there is any general rule you can apply. Everyone is different and raised in a different environment since our experiences shape us.

Another thing is, how do you define maturity and what do you use to measure it?

i do not intend to start war, but if you decide it is suitable, i am not afraid to defend myself. you have been warned


Careful. Us men won't be mature enough to back off when you start crying. :sad:
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#15 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:32 PM

Another thing is, how do you define maturity and what do you use to measure it?

oh man, can't a sister make a statement due to observation, without being asked for some daleel


Careful. Us men won't be mature enough to back off when you start crying. :sad:

and there you go making a generalisation, that due to the fact that i am a female and being bullied by a bunch of immature brothers will result in me crying


hahaha i have to give it to you though, it made me laugh!
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed

#16 Alpha Dude

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:41 PM

oh man, can't a sister make a statement due to observation, without being asked for some daleel


Think of it as a means to boost your critical thinking skills. People say and do things without really thinking into it. We should be more careful and analyse what we hear to see if and why it makes sense. :)

and there you go making a generalisation, that due to the fact that i am a female and being bullied by a bunch of immature brothers will result in me crying


Nope. No generalisation. Just you, in particular, strike me as a cry baby. :mrgreen:
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#17 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:14 PM

i still stand by my comment, of course there are exceptions, but that is generally what i see, and you're not doing much to prove me wrong

i'm not a cry baby, it takes a lot to make me cry *sniff* i don't cry that easily *sniff*sniff* *holding back tears* heck, who m i kidding, i am a cry baby :cry: but i shall put on a brave face :snooty: <_<
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed

#18 Alpha Dude

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:30 PM

I bullied someone into crying.

Excellent. B-)
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#19 Mounir

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:10 PM

^ :star:
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#20 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:33 PM

Alpha Dude (pfft Alpha) making a girl cry is nothing to be proud of
and Mounir whose side are you on?? i thought we were friends
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed

#21 Mounir

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:41 PM

i still stand by my comment, of course there are exceptions, but that is generally what i see, and you're not doing much to prove me wrong

i'm not a cry baby, it takes a lot to make me cry *sniff* i don't cry that easily *sniff*sniff* *holding back tears* heck, who m i kidding, i am a cry baby :cry: but i shall put on a brave face :snooty: <_<


^ :star: *

:mrgreen:
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#22 Alpha Dude

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:43 PM

Alpha Dude (pfft Alpha) making a girl cry is nothing to be proud of


I thought she could defend herself. :popcorn:

^ :star: *

:mrgreen:


Dude. I want my gold star back. :stop:
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#23 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:46 PM

smooth move Mounir, smooth move


I thought she could defend herself. :popcorn:
Dude. I want my gold star back. :stop:


i don't see you as a threat, that's all

and sorry, you snooze you lose
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed

#24 Alpha Dude

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:48 PM

i don't see you as a threat, that's all


Yet you cry. I'd hate to see your reaction on seeing what you consider a true threat. :mrgreen:
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#25 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:51 PM

i didn't say i cried, i just said i am a cry baby....sheesh, get it right!
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed

#26 Mounir

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:52 PM

All yours Alpha :star:
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#27 Alpha Dude

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:53 PM

it takes a lot to make me cry *sniff* i don't cry that easily *sniff*sniff* *holding back tears* heck, who m i kidding, i am a cry baby :cry: but


*confused*

All yours Alpha :star:


I deserve it. :blushing:
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#28 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:00 PM

yeah, i had something in my eye, duh!
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed

#29 Mounir

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:03 PM

Oh wow who ordered this truck load of excuses
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#30 SiStaAa AyYSssHhhAa

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:07 PM

over there, load it on Mounirs and Alpha Dudes porch
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"Hope: Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) was supposed to be killed, and Allaah saved him. He was supposed to be defamed, and Allaah elevated him. They tried to decreasae his father's love, and Allaah increased it. He was sold as a slave, and Allaah made him a Minister. Never despair of Allaah's mercy, there's a light at the end of the tunnel InshAllaah. O Allaah turn difficulties into ease, Aameen"
Sh. Alaa Elsayed



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