Wedded bliss? The ups – and downs – of marrying at 40

j0422245 Used to be that if a woman hit 30 and was still unmarried, at best she’d be declared an old maid. But these days it’s not at all uncommon to find women in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s getting married for the first time.

Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, who married for the first time at 40, told Barbara Walters she waited because, she “just never met anyone that was bigger than me.”  Even Gloria Steinem, who once declared marriage demeaning, got married for the first time at 66.  So what are some of the ups and downs of marrying at 40 and beyond?

  • You are who you’re going to be – While you’re never too old, or young, to learn new tricks, at 40 you’re pretty much the person you’re going to be.  You’re really clear on your likes and dislikes, and you definitely know a deal breaker when you see one. That’s both a pro and a con. Being clear about what you like, can make for for less unwanted surprises down the road. That same trait though, can make you inflexible and unwilling to change for the sake of a partner.
  • Elle magazine Canada said it best – you’re secure with your insecurities. Gone are the days of pretending to be someone you’re not. At 40, you’re too busy being you to pretend to be anyone else.
  • You might be particular about your stuff – too particular. If you’re fussy about your linen closet and your immaculately alphabetized book collection, you might find it difficult to share your space with someone new.
  • You’ve already established your career and completed your education – Married couples cite moving up the corporate ladder and attending school as time eaters that keep them apart. But if you’ve already wrapped those thing up, you’ve got more time to spend with your partner.
  • Kids. If you’ve both already had them – instant Brady Bunch…or not. Brady Bunch aside, blending families can be tough. And if you both still want children, having them at 40 is definitely doable.  But for some, just the thought of running around chasing toddlers in our 40’s is exhausting.
  • If you marry much later in life, you might not get to be one of those couples who celebrate their 40th or 50th anniversary together – sadly, Gloria Steinem’s husband died only two years after they were married. But, with advances in medicine and with people now living longer and healthier than ever, you just might get to celebrate that golden anniversary after all.

Did you get married, or are you getting married at 40 or later?  Why did you wait, and is it what you expected? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on our Facebook fan page.

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  • deb

    I'm getting married this year in June. While I've been with other people throughout my life there was no one I ever wanted to marry. I was content with living together in a committed relationship but it never dawned on me to get married! Now, I couldn't imagine not being married to J. I'm comfortable with who I am, who I'm not and able to freely express myself. I don't think I'm too stuck in my ways that I can't compromise on the little things but I've found someone where I don't have to compromise on the BIG things. I feel blessed in so many ways and thankful I waited.

  • womenatforty

    Congrats Deb! And I like that you said that you didn't have to compromise on the BIG things – beautiful! Best wishes for a beautiful wedding and an even more beautiful marriage and life together!

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  • genesis0218

    There is so much at stake marrying at or near 40 — much more than if you're in your late 20s or early 30s. Did someone say teenage or adult children? AGHGHHH Did someone holler back sacrificing career plans and refinancing mortages on your perfect house for one? WHHHOOAAA I know I didn't just hear someone mention past relationship drama or less-than-perfect financial histories?