16 April 2012

Women Who Marry Older Men 100% Likely to Be Unhappy, Study Finds

Older husbands are much more likely to become jealous of younger, more artistic, politically aware and physically attractive men who are their wives’ friends, the study finds.

A new study released today finds that women who marry men considerably older than themselves are radically more likely to be unhappy. This raises troubling concerns for many women, whose age on average at the time of first marriage currently hovers around 27 years in the United States and who in recent years have been advised by a number of self-help experts to “settle” for any available man.

“We have found that a young woman who marries an older man is as much as 100 percent likely to be unhappy,” said head researcher Lewis Henry George of the Institute for Marriage Research and Statistics (I-MRS) in London.

The study, entitled The Key to All Relationships, is based on a random sampling of George Eliot’s Middlemarch and Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady; it has a margin of error of plus or minus 20 percent, depending on how much older Sir James Chettam is than Celia Brooke. However, George said, the cases of Dorothea Brooke, Rosamond Vincy, and Isabel Archer leave little room for doubt.

Even a slight difference in age can pose risks. In some extreme cases, one or both spouses turn violent.

“Forget about your biological clock — the possibility of childbearing is virtually nil,” George said in a press conference this afternoon. “Moreover, again and again, we see that an older husband is more demanding, less forgiving, often manipulative. He will use money to impose his will on his younger wife, and what prior to marriage seemed like an admirable interest in art and culture will generally turn out to be an unhealthy obsession.

“Simply put, a young woman who marries an older man is doomed,” George added. “It is for this reason that I must regretfully announce the termination of my offer of marriage to my assistant, Miss Bosanquet.”

I-MRS, one of Britain’s oldest polling organizations, first came to international attention in 1813, when it concluded that a single man in possession of a good fortune is 100% likely to be in want of a wife. The margin of error in that study was zero percentage points; in nearly 200 years, that study’s findings have never been seriously challenged.

Isabel Archer, among the cases studied, was extremely unhappy (albeit terrifically photogenic) in her marriage.

The photographs show Patrick Malahide as Casaubon, Juliet Aubrey as Dorothea, Rufus Sewell as Ladislaw, Trevyn McDowell as Rosamond, and Douglas Hodge as Lydgate in the BBC adaptation of Middlemarch (1994); and Nicole Kidman as Isabel Archer in Jane Campion’s film adaptation of The Portrait of a Lady (1996).


Anne said...

You KNEW my book group just read Middlemarch, right? right? right! Hilarious! Bravo, Bill!

Anonymous said...

Middlemarch? I detect the unconscious influence of Bill's having recently watched Titanic...
we all know what goes on among those characters.

-- Rick

William V. Madison said...

Ha! Thoughts of Middlemarch after Titanic are more like a antidote than anything else!

ABC-WFT said...

And you waited until now to tell me?

Anonymous said...

I know you were thinking of Kate Winslet/Billy Zane in Titanic when you wrote this. Or maybe Hugh Hefner and the 25-year-old fiance?

-- Rick

Anonymous said...

LOL! I suppose if guys marry older women we're supposed to be happy right

"B" said...

That is exactly right!! Older women are infinity happier with younger men. Do I know you, have we met?? Ha sorry I almost asked an older woman to marry me. But she married an old dude before I could ask. ;). Call me