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Yep that was the collective sound you doubtless heard a few weeks back when it was revealed that 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison had married 16-year-old aspiring pop singer Courtney Alexis Stodden.
Think on that one but not too hard. According to the couple, true love knows no age limit and while that may be true, the law certainly does and Doug and Courtney needed permission from her parents to tie the knot. It’s an odd pairing no doubt; she’s not even old enough to drink and by the time she is, he’ll be eligible for the senior special at Denny’s. Yep, an odd pairing indeed.
May-December romances are nothing new; there’s a 38-year age difference between embattled News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi Deng
A 24-year difference between Donald Trump and his model wife Melania
And a two-decade difference between the head of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen.
I guess I’d have to put myself in there as well, being that there is a 13 ½-year difference between Buff and myself. When we got married 17 years ago, I was 31 and never married, he was 44 and divorced. I knew that there would be things that would crop up between us based on the age difference, but in my mind, love would conquer all. Well, yeah, sort of.
Relationships are tricky without there being a lot of extraneous stuff, all things I spoke of on a CNN appearance on this very issue. In my own marriage, we make it work, but it’s not without a hiccup here and there. Most of them (like with most couples) tend to be over childrearing. As you can imagine, I’m the more lax parent, live and let live, whereas Buff is the taskmaster. Some of that is rooted in our personalities but much of it is in the way we view parenting based on our generational differences.
I’ll admit, I was one saying “Eww” when I heard about Doug and Alexis but is it our place to do that? I’m very leery about putting legal conditions and stipulations on love and relationships between consenting adults; there was a there was a time, not that long ago, where it was against the law for African Americans to marry whites. That’s the legal issue; it says nothing of the moral one. My personal take is that though the ick factor is high on the marriage between Doug and Courtney, it’s their life and they have a right to live it how they see fit. If that means them recognizing and being willing to work through the age difference, then so be it; who am I to say anything?
But that’s my take. What about yours? When do you think an age difference becomes too great? 10 years? 20? 25? Why or why not?