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Why Would a Man Stay If He Can Have a Younger Woman?

A married woman on Quora wondered about this a few months back. She married her husband while both were in college. Today, in his 30s, he's got a good bit of money, success, and younger women who would like to "bag" him. They have no kids to tie him to her, and she wonders what would make him stay.

Here are a few things men stay for. Each one suggests a possible strategy for strengthening their relationship and another thing to watch for if you are trying to quit trying to mold your guy into some imaginary husband and Expect Love instead.

  • The respect his wife shows him is about much more than his looks or his income or his career status. She respects the effort, persistence, talent, curiosity, risk-taking, and sheer courage it has taken him to get here.
  • She knows money is far from his only goal in life and has supported the others for years, perhaps even without regard for his income.
  • Great sex matters to him, but not as much as a great life does.
  • He values all that his wife knows about the times in which he grew up, the music and art he likes best, and the questions that matter to someone no longer just getting started in a career and an adult life.
  • He and his wife have many wonderful memories to savor. New is stimulating but never as deep and rich as a decade of shared memories.
  • He takes pride in his ability to love a woman and build a relationship.
  • He doesn't want to show anyone the ropes. He likes being married to his equal in life experience and self-understanding.
  • His wife and he keep sex interesting and fun. Why give everything else up just for a different sex partner?
  • He is a man of integrity and would feel like a failure or a fraud if he broke his marriage vows.
  • He can't be "bagged." He loves knowing his wife accepted him for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, at a time when he was not at all sure he was a good catch.
  • Leaving his wife, or leaving the door open for a divorce due to infidelity, would mean giving up his business partner, dance partner, tennis partner, yodeling buddy, llama co-owner, steel guitar gig-getter, or best-ever source of book reviews. Life would be very different without her.
  • He is already planning his 50th anniversary or trips to take when they retire or buying a little house on the lake they both love.

Men, can you add to my list?


My first thought was why would he leave for a younger woman? What could a younger woman have that my wife does not have, have more of, and have better, and is far more willing to share?

I'm not against those who are younger than I am - most of my friends are younger than I am, some by half. However, it's importnat to be with someone who remembers the things I remember, and who's ideas and priorities are shaped by the similar experiences and time on earth.

A man who leaves his wife for someone younger is probably looking for many things, but a better, healthier, more mature, marraige is not on the list!

Thanks, Paul. So wise, as usual.

The only challenge here is to keep it short. How about he knows all those inside jokes will disappear; he may get someone who thinks a Coach purse is important; what are the chances the young hussy can write a blog with him?; what are the chances the young lady will like IPAs and pale ales and become a fellow aficionado?

Wonderful reasons to stay! Thanks, CJ.

I think any man who is in a bad marriage and doesn't leave for a younger woman is a damn fool ! I plan on leaving my wife for someone much younger. Why you ask ? She's fat, old and ugly with a bad personality to boot. Counseling isn't an option as there's nothing they can tell me that I don't already know or want to hear. That and I missed a lot by marrying late in life. If this sounds selfish, oh well. I'm not sorry for these feelings.

It's not often that anyone who's already made up his mind to call off a marriage arrives at this blog, Tony, so thank you for sharing your point of view with us and best of luck to you and your ex-to-be.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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