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Age-asymmetrical marriage: How to handle people's curiosity
Old 11-06-2015, 04:17 PM   #1
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Age-asymmetrical marriage: How to handle people's curiosity

My husband is a lot older than I am. He is my second husband, and eminently the better of the two. We have been married longer than almost anyone I know...some of the people who said it wouldn't last, are now dead My family and friends never cared about the age difference.

Still, I'm well aware that people are curious when they see any couple with a noticeable "difference" (race, age, what have you). Most people don't say anything. Lately, though, I have been getting an increasing number of remarks and questions from virtual strangers.

To me: "So you're father and daughter, right?" "No, we're married."

Embarrassed silence from the other party, as if they've just uncovered some dirty secret! This just frosts me. I feel like saying, "So, are you reporting us to the Age Gestapo?"

And then, some people - old men, especially - don't want to leave the subject alone. "Really! Are you using Botox?" As if they think I am really my husband's age, and just had some work done! That frosts me even more!

So, I want to nip the subject in the bud without a fuss. I can see the humor in the situation, and I've tried using humor to defuse it. However, I resent having to do this, because these people don't deserve it. Our ages, and even our relationship status, are truly nobody's business, except at the doctor's office. At the same time, I don't want to get all hissy and "that's none of your business," which could make me sound defensive.

Any ideas? This group is usually so good at coming up with comebacks!
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:25 PM   #2
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Just tell them he's your Sugar Daddy, wink and smile...
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:30 PM   #3
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Hmmm....

"Why on earth would you ask that?"

"I'll forget to answer if you forget you asked."

"Are you taking a poll?"

"My, that's rude. I thought you had better manners."
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:30 PM   #4
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I am 11 years younger than DH. That's not such a big difference, but occasionally I will get comments. Sometimes I reply "yes, I married a sugar daddy".
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:31 PM   #5
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I'm not big on the comeback route, why entertain unwelcome questions from people who hardly know you at all (friends wouldn't ask such questions)? Maybe giving the shortest answers possible and looking them directly in the eye will end the conversations abruptly. Any more and you may just be giving them something to build a next question. If they persist, stop answering at all after 2-3 questions. If the silence doesn't get them to move on, and you want to continue, change the subject very conspicuously to make it obvious you're not interested in their questions along the age lines.

To me: "So you're father and daughter, right?" "No."

And then, some people - old men, especially - don't want to leave the subject alone. "Really! Are you using Botox?" "No."
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:34 PM   #6
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"He married me for my money, and I married him for his looks." For all I know that's the truth!

I'd probably just take a long quizzical look at them, and then shake my head in annoyance and walk away. Pretty much the silent approach to Walt's good lines.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
"So, are you reporting us to the Age Gestapo?"
I liked that one very much!
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:47 PM   #8
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"And you're asking this, why?"

"He married me for my money"

Turn to your husband and say "c'mon honey, it's time for my OB/GYN appointment"

Just say anything but what they want to hear.



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Old 11-06-2015, 04:53 PM   #9
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Oh, you can have lots of fun with this!

After one of you says, "Oh, we're married" -- then either one of you can say:
"You are looking at The World's Greatest Fisherman with The Catch of His Life!"
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:54 PM   #10
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To me: "So you're father and daughter, right?" "No."
+1. I might also just look puzzled and add, No, why do you ask? Otherwise you are silently going along with the basic assumption that you and your husband look mismatched. I would not buy into that assumption in the first place.

When I was pregnant I remember people asking when I was going to "pop" I would just play dumb and ask them what pop meant. Then they would try to explain and I would still play dumb no matter what they said I would still say I didn't know what they meant and watch them turn red and get flustered.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:01 PM   #11
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Embarrassed silence from the other party, as if they've just uncovered some dirty secret! This just frosts me. I feel like saying, "So, are you reporting us to the Age Gestapo?"
Not to belittle the issue, but someone in the above case may be embarrassed that they made this error. Not necessarily trying to reflect on you.

It would not surprise me if some have trouble understanding it, but that is their issue.
It is your issue that you let it bother you. I remember many issues with peoples odd looks and comments to and about my parents. My dad was 8 years older than my mother.. ok not that much older. My dad was paralyzed on his right side and my mom on her left side (stokes as kids). My parents had to take it to court to get married in the late '50s (epileptics were not allowed to get married back then). Just imagine what kind of comments and looks they got trying to raise 2 boys.

Some people may have an initial misstep, but not have an issue long term. Others will never get over it. The first likely can be friends, the latter maybe not so much.

When I had an issue growing up, my parents would tell me "you have two good hands" ...not much I could come back with. I assume you have two good hand too?

A quote from the book Illusions by Richard Bach my help. “If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.”

Your friends will accept it, the others... not your problem

best of luck, pax
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:15 PM   #12
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This has happened many times to me over the years even though DW is only 9 months younger than me. I usually reply, "No, we're husband and wife. I've just weathered badly". It's none of their business so I make no comment on the age difference (or lack of), it just happens that DW has always looked much younger than she is and I have always looked much older.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:21 PM   #13
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My DGF is 12 years younger. When anyone says anything, I typically respond with "I know, she is going to be too old for me pretty soon".
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:22 PM   #14
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I'm definitely going to try "Why do you ask?"

Ick, "pop." (Would that it were so easy to give birth, eh? )

Quote:
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+1. I might also just look puzzled and add, No, why do you ask? Otherwise you are silently going along with the basic assumption that you and your husband look mismatched. I would not buy into that assumption in the first place.

When I was pregnant I remember people asking when I was going to "pop" I would just play dumb and ask them what pop meant. Then they would try to explain and I would still play dumb no matter what they said I would still say I didn't know what they meant and watch them turn red and get flustered.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:24 PM   #15
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We love it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by spncity View Post
Oh, you can have lots of fun with this!

After one of you says, "Oh, we're married" -- then either one of you can say:
"You are looking at The World's Greatest Fisherman with The Catch of His Life!"
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I'm not big on the comeback route, why entertain unwelcome questions from people who hardly know you at all (friends wouldn't ask such questions)? Maybe giving the shortest answers possible and looking them directly in the eye will end the conversations abruptly.
Actually, I've done this, and it seems to be the cue for old guys to dig in with further questions! The type who would ask in the first place, is not, I'm afraid, the type who responds to subtlety and class.

I believe your recommendation of "don't answer at all after the first question" is worth a try. Just going "mmm" and looking in the other direction....

[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:31 PM   #17
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Perhaps it shouldn't annoy me, but it does...thanks anyway, for sharing your parents' story.

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It is your issue that you let it bother you.
[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:32 PM   #18
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Remember Barbara Bush She looked like her husbands mom or grandma.... sometimes it is the other way...

I will ask, just to be nosey a bit... but how many years? DW and I knew a couple where he was 63 and she was 36.... one time he told me he thought she would be married to him long enough to get a green card and move on... he told me one time he was just looking for sex.... but they have been married for 10+ years.... she is loud and will embarrass anybody who asks...
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:02 PM   #19
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All these answers are wonderful !! I needed a good laugh
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:36 PM   #20
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why do you ask? is there a prize?
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I will ask, just to be nosey a bit... but how many years? ...
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