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Old 11-06-2015, 06:42 PM   #21
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:52 PM   #22
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There is a very big difference between my wife's age and mine, I bet quite a bit larger than you and your husband. Not only is she much younger, but also from a different part of the world. Before she came I prepared her for possible prejudice and remarks that she might encounter. Didn't need to prepare myself since I am to old to give a rat's afterside as to what people think. Surprisingly, there have been very few negative comments, at least to our face. One negative Facebook comment, we gave no reply, just immediate unfriending and ban. A very close immediate family member expressing normal concern, gets a one time short answer. Casual friends sometimes ask how we met, sometimes get a short one sentence reply, other's just get "I was lucky." I agree with the idea "don't answer after the first comment."

As far as something like that Botox comment you got, I would just say nothing in reply other than, "Excuse me" and walk away. That type of question is inappropriate in any context.

Now for the hard part, and please don't take this the wrong way. But it is not their problem, it is yours. I have found over the years that difficult people (like me) don't get much guff from others, they pretty much get the idea that we do what we want and don't care about what they think, and are not goaded by their remarks. While kind people, I think probably like you, get the brunt of peoples remarks, because they know it affects you.

My advice (it's free, so take it for what it is worth), don't try to be kind to people that make offensive remarks. You don't owe them anything, not even a reply. If they get the idea, good you can still be friends (or acquaintances), if not, you have lost nothing by loosing them.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:33 PM   #23
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My ex was 17 years older and nobody much ever commented on it. One great aunt told him he robbed the cradle. One little boy guessed I was 50 because my ex was 50, just not good at guessing ages. We were married 17 years and it really wasn't a problem for other people.
I had some problems with it because he treated me like I was not as experienced as him. When we met I was 18 and he was 35 so he had done much more in life and kept saying he had been doing things before I was born. He seemed to think in most things he was head of household. He did let me handle all the financial stuff. He wouldn't let me save for retirement saying I was too young to need to save. His plan seemed to be at 62 to have me still working and him get SS, when I was too old to work I could be a widow and have just SS and he seemed fine with that. I am glad I divorced him 31 years ago he has been dead 22 so I would have been a widow long before retirement with nothing.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:56 PM   #24
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I'm generally very poor at coming up with a good answer on the spot in cases like this, but here you have time to think about it.

If/when I can think before I respond, I think it is helpful to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they really didn't mean to be rude, maybe they just spoke before they thought, maybe they would be embarrassed once it sunk in. So give them a way out.

Maybe something like "Yes, there is an age difference, but it's never been an issue for us, we've been happily married for X years".

I bet that would settle it for most people. If they persist, some of the more 'in your face'/clever/snarky replies are probably in order. But most times, I'd think that comment would deescalate the situation, except for the truly dense/drunk/high.

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Old 11-06-2015, 09:21 PM   #25
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I'd say something along the lines of "no, we're married. How about you, are you his/her mother/father?" Especially vicious if they are the same age as each other. Don't get mad, get even.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:33 PM   #26
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I just tell people my wife's a mail order bride.

That usually stalls the conversation pretty well.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:23 AM   #27
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I would give them the benefit of the doubt. I suspect most are not snarky or malicious, just dumb (e.g. "is this your daughter?"). I once saw Senator Chris Dodd in my local greasy spoon eating breakfast with a girl about 6 years old. I popped out with "good morning, Senator, is that your grand daughter?" His "no, my daughter" left me feeling like the idiot I was. I only popped out with that because I have grand-kids who live down the block from Dodd and was about to mention that. Needless to say we didn't have that conversation.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:51 AM   #28
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Smile and wink and just say that he has some very special skills !
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:01 AM   #29
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Some people really are naïve. DW and I had 1 child and adopted 4 more. We have a very diverse family. A young waitress at a Chinese restaurant once asked us, "how did you do that?" I took the time to explain it to her. With her culture and history, adoption was a very foreign subject. She knew it existed, but had never seen much of it in her life, so it did not pop into her mind before she asked the question.


Also, some people are mean. Usually, I can tell by how they ask their first question or two. I do not waste my time with these fools, so there is no response other than me walking away.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:31 AM   #30
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my wife and I have a BIG age difference! But......very, very few people ever mention it, even at medical care facilities, supermarket check outs, banks etc . Maybe, just because we really look in love after many years of marriage.

Whenever, however seldom, if comes up either of will say, "we're the same age, DW just had a heck of a face lift, however" and then both laugh!.....

Frankly we're happy, don't care what people think, don't let it bug us......if they have a problem....that's their problem....both of our families including extended families love us and we love them.....it's all good.......remember part of this is attitude..... have fun and laugh about it.....make yourself happy! Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:01 AM   #31
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I believe the correct answer is "fo"...
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:06 AM   #32
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We met a married couple this summer with a very noticeable generation or more age difference between them--they happened to be with some other people we know and we had no idea who they were or their relationship to each other and didn't care, but after a few minutes of chatting it was obvious they were married to each other. Lovely couple. The minute they left, the other people started gossiping about them in depth to us (including the fact that there is a 32 year age difference). So watch out for your friends, they can be worse than the strangers. As Oscar Wilde once said, "A true friend will stab you in the front."

You seem to run into a lot of rude or sanctimonious people, Amethyst--it would be hard not to respond their comments in kind but I think I would let their comments roll off and then have fun later bashing them in the privacy of my own home.
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:07 AM   #33
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We are a teeny bit "PDA" ourselves, which tends to get nice comments. We aren't sloppy or gross, but sometimes will hold hands and make silly faces at each other, that sort of thing.

One time, an "is that your Dad" comment was made (in a store) and I said Yes and then went up to "Dad" and gave him a smack on the lips. Unlike Lot's wife, I didn't turn back to see the reaction :-)

There is no end of humor to be had, but sometimes people just don't deserve the effort. You all have given some good ideas (as usual). Both of us love the "fisherman" retort.

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m Maybe, just because we really look in love after many years of marriage.

!
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:57 AM   #34
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This must be an east coast thing. I doubt anyone would care enough about you to ask out here. And that is not necessarily a good thing.

Ever hear the cowboy era song "Tell me what was your name in the states, was it Thompson or Johnson or Bates, did you murder your wife, did you flee for your life, now what was your name in the states?"

Humans construct hierarchies, relationship maps, etc. To be expected.


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Old 11-07-2015, 11:39 AM   #35
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I'm generally very poor at coming up with a good answer on the spot in cases like this, but here you have time to think about it.

If/when I can think before I respond, I think it is helpful to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they really didn't mean to be rude, maybe they just spoke before they thought, maybe they would be embarrassed once it sunk in. So give them a way out.

Maybe something like "Yes, there is an age difference, but it's never been an issue for us, we've been happily married for X years".

I bet that would settle it for most people. If they persist, some of the more 'in your face'/clever/snarky replies are probably in order. But most times, I'd think that comment would deescalate the situation, except for the truly dense/drunk/high.

-ERD50
+1 Sometimes people are crude, but don't intend to be rude. Not quite the same thing, but here's a parallel: I don't advertise it, but I no longer hide that I have CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia). Many is the time I get the comment - "oh, that's the good cancer." Uhhh, no it's not. But I just give a non-commital reply and move on.
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:58 PM   #36
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Rude / Obnoxious people are never in short supply. Some are clueless of how offensive their comments are, some are well aware and intentional.

I have gotten less tolerant of these types as I age . Me I would say " No offence, but that is really none of your business. Have a nice day" . Then avoid both eye contact and speech.

Perfect example: neighbor couple next to my mom's place pull this kind of crap often, just can't mind their own business, The Husband does it deliberately for his sick entertainment, and his wife is clueless about how offensive prying questions are.

I ignore anything the husband says other than hello, and had to tell his wife " None of your business, don't ask me anymore questions ever again" . She was chasing me into mom's backyard trying to apologize.....Was I mean ? Passive-Aggressive ?maybe so, but I never get any prying questions from her again.

I should have done this years ago. Lettings fester just makes them grow.
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:51 PM   #37
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.. and had to tell his wife " None of your business, don't ask me anymore questions ever again" . She was chasing me into mom's backyard trying to apologize.....Was I mean ? Passive-Aggressive ?maybe so...
Well, maybe a bit more Aggressive than Passive. Geez, what did she ask you that set you off?
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:23 PM   #38
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And how did you respond to the shocking facts so revealed?

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W The minute they left, the other people started gossiping about them in depth to us (including the fact that there is a 32 year age difference).
One thing that strikes me about this thread is that several people have counseled me not to "let it bother me," as if I were at fault for being annoyed when people openly betray their bigotry.

It's funny; we have many lengthy threads about "what to do when people criticize my early retirement," and my thought is always "if they're happy, why do they let what others say bother them." I guess where you sit is where you stand, or words to that effect.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:26 PM   #39
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I don't blame you one bit. Those people weren't casual strangers, they were bullies bent on harassing you. A pox on them! It's a wonder you didn't call them a few choice things into the bargain.

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had to tell his wife " None of your business, don't ask me anymore questions ever again" . She was chasing me into mom's backyard trying to apologize.....Was I mean ? Passive-Aggressive ?maybe so, but I never get any prying questions from her again.

I should have done this years ago. Lettings fester just makes them grow.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:47 PM   #40
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Just don't forget to consider the counter-scenario.

Granted, I'm sure there are some settings where it's not necessary to ask, but there could be some situations (healthcare setting, where spouse has rights for medical decisions, as one example) where it is genuinely necessary to find out who the person next to them is.

And perhaps you will concede that the number of instances of a large age gap in a marriage is probably much less than the number of instances where you do have a legitimate case of 'just a parent and child' instead of the 2 people with a large age gap being married.

If you were in such a setting (where you were with a non-spouse relative who was indeed a generation apart), how would you feel if someone instead assumed you were married? Would the younger person feel insulted that they appeared much older? Would one or both feel insulated that they appeared as someone who just goes after someone younger as a sugar momma/daddy?

As I said, many times it's not necessary to ask - but don't forget about the potential ramifications of someone who is truly trying to guess for perhaps a valid reason, and is instead assuming the situation is one of the vast majority of cases of 2 different generations, rather than you being married to each other (which is a much smaller % of times).
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