My older man was certainly handsome, and always knew how to treat a lady. But as the years progressed, he became something else—tired. There was a 22-year age difference between us, and while his energy was good when he was in his late 40s, it had declined significantly by the time he was in his late 50s. At the time, I was in my mid 30s, and still raring to go. Our difference in vitality caused contention between us.
After we started living together—eight years into our May-December relationship—his energy began waning so much that it was getting hard to deal with. His idea of a good Sunday was turning on the television and falling asleep to a ball game. Sunday was my housework and laundry day, so I would move between the bedrooms upstairs to the living room downstairs with baskets full of laundry, each time passing this loud, snoring lump on the couch. As I’d look at him lying there, I’d get more infuriated every time. I tried to explain to myself that he was tired after a long week, but so was I.
When I had had enough of watching him sleep, I’d wake him up and suggest that we go for a walk, out for a quick dinner, or to the store—anything to get him to move. He’d admit that he didn’t have the energy, and would (sometimes) do what I asked, but I would just end up having to deal with his cranky attitude the entire time.
I realize that this scenario could also very well take place in a relationship with two similar-aged people, but the truth was that I could see his age was slowing him down—he was starting to act like an old man. We had been together almost 10 years, and although at first it didn’t bother me, our 22-year age difference now seemed to be blinking at me like a big, neon sign.
I decided that I wanted to join a fitness club, and thought it would be fun if we joined together. I also had an ulterior motive. He had just done his yearly physical and was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but he did not seem to be as concerned about improving his health as I was. He was “too tired after work” to go to any sort of gym—and he certainly did his best to discourage me from going on my own. I’d always hear, “Why would you want to go without me? Are you going shopping for a younger man who’s full of muscles? Is that what you want now?”
Always keep in mind that if your man is at least 20 years older than you are, there’s a good chance he will develop some health problems long before you ever do. The health issues may be minor, but they could potentially change the entire relationship game plan. He was tired, and I was nagging him. He put in a heavy work week, but I worked 40 hours a week, too. He wanted the couch, and I just wanted him to be with me.
We love our older men, but chances are you’ll find they get tired faster and sooner than you’ll want them to. So, you either have to start joining him on the couch, or realize that you have a lot more living to do, and it may just have to be without your couch potato of a man.