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Topic : 09/21 Does Age Matter?

Number of Replies: 733
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Created on : Friday, September 14, 2007, 03:48:41 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Can May-December romances really last? Christopher Knight, famous for his role as Peter on The Brady Bunch, and Adrianne Curry, winner on America's Next Top Model, began their relationship when they starred together on the reality show The Surreal Life 4, and the public watched as they planned their wedding on their own show, My Fair Brady. Now they both say their 24-year age difference is a huge problem in their chaotic marriage. Adrianne says Christopher treats her like an employee, and Christopher says if she worked for him, she would’ve been fired a long time ago. Can these two work out their generational differences? Then, 38-year-old Shelly wants to know if it’s wrong to be in a relationship with an 18-year-old friend of her son. She says he makes her feel beautiful but wonders if she’s causing him or her children harm. Dr. Phil doesn’t mince words when he tells her his opinion. Join the discussion.

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September 22, 2007, 9:07 pm CDT

Hey chari

Quote From: charimom

:) Tammy, you are absolutely right!  This broad generalization was just outrageous! To think that a professional should investigate and diagnose my relationship as though it were an illness!!!!  My relationship with my husband happens to be the healthiest, happiest thing that has ever happened to me, and everyone in my life agrees and is happy for me...


As to the guests on the show, I don't think either relationship is a healthy one,  not because of the age of the individuals involved, but because of the way they are relating to one another. Not all May / December relationships should be compared to the ones on this show.  As I said before, it probably wouldn't work for everyone, but that doesn't automatically make it wrong.


Dr. Phil, you have shown clearly on past shows that you do not approve this type of relationship, possibly because you don't understand them. So, while I thank you for doing this show and opening the dialogue on this topic, I guess we need to agree to disagree on this particular subject.


Seems we all do as a matter of fact.

I was thinking more about the show..and what you said, totaly agree with you btw.

One thing that caused me pause, is the fact that Dr.Phil used this young mans mother as a reason as to why the relationship wold not work. Honestly I have not talked to either of these people and really do not know them well enough to say if that is a problem or is not. What I can say though, is if an individual does not have a healthy relationship with their parent, and then gets involved with an older individual of the same gender as the parent they are having issues with, well one would have to really have to have a heart to heart with that person to see if it really is a problem.

What I mean is, I never had a father figure in my life and my childhood and early young adult years were really abusive and dysfunctional.

My father, I did not get to know till I was 18, and geez did I get an eye opener. This man is insestuous!

So that being said I have not had contact with this man since and many years have past, so would this mean that I am using my husband as a replacement father figure? Heck No! lol.

My mother was emotionaly and mentaly absent to due to her addictions as well, so does this mean that any relationships or freindships I have with women that are much older than me menas that they are replacement moms? UH no lol.

Do I wish I had parents? Of course, it would be great to have loving and caring parents that I could turn to in troubling times, and share the good times with too, but it did not happen that way, and well I have reconciled myself to that.

So with not having the information as to why the young man and his mother have a rocky relationship, it would be really hard to assertain as to wether that was a factor or not...Dr.Phil you know that is true! lol

Unless of course you are going to say that my stoping my father from interfering in my life with his toxicity is dysfunctional behavior on my part =(.

I think removing this man from my life was the healthiest thing I could do in regards to him, he broke my heart, he broke the covenant of parent, and there is nothing he could do to repair that, nor do I think he wanted to.

As for the second couple, I do feel bad for the young man, simply because he is emotially involved with this woman, but I don't think this womans shame will let her reciprocate that emotional involvement, and her son is clearly not a supporter of this relationship.

As a previous poster stated, it really was not about the ages but the interactions and lack of mutual reciprocation of respect and dignity.

Me too cheri, i am very happy with my relationship with my husband and have my eyes wide open, of course there is going to be things that others may not have to deal with.

My sister however, who got married at 16 and had two wonderful boys was a widow on at 19, when her husbands truck was hit by a semi on the highway. Yes her husband was much older than her as well, and yes my brothers wife is much older than he is lol, one sister is dating a man close to her age, shrug, it is their life and whom they choose to marry is thier choice, was so happy to have been able to attend my brothers wedding, and yes they have been together for many years now and have healthy happy children. Life is like that, and all we can do is live the best life we can.

No, it was not a case of me setting an example lol, the sister that got married to an older man first was my 16 year old sister.

This was a good show in the fact that it opened up discussing may/dec relationships, however the representation really was not there, honestly these relationships were not about age, it was more about interaction, like that other poster said.



September 22, 2007, 9:08 pm CDT

what the HECK!!

Dr. Phil  how can you say it's ok for The TV star and his wife who is 25 years younger than him but, not ok for this lady.  Would it be ok if he were 20 or 22 does age really  matter?  Is this just a case of it's ok for an old man to pick up younger women but oh my gosh what were you thinking when it's a woman and a younger man. Granted I don't agree because he was in high school but, come on let's be real.  Telling her you totally think it absurd was a bit much and way to strong.  Why didn't you say young man go to college get an education come back in 4 years and see if you feel the same if so then work something out if both of you haven't gotten over each other with a 4 year seperation.  Tell her to get over her seperation first let him grow and if after 4 years or even 2 at college if the feelings are still the same maybe then see what happens. 
September 22, 2007, 9:20 pm CDT

A boy hardly becomes a man at puberty, my dear

Quote From: Good2NoU

I am very passionate about this subject because I have been married to a man 4 years my junior before and currently am married to a man 9 years my senior.  What REALLY bothers me is everyone making reference to Shelly as a "Child Molester !"  A child is any person between birth and puberty, and molest means to accost and harass sexually.  These are definitions used by the dictionary.  I don't see any

of this happening in this situation !  I have to wonder if it was 10 years from now (Or Shelly and Mark

were 10 years older) would everyone including (or maybe especially) Dr. Phil feel the same way as

they do now ?

Dear rh21575

    Evidently your previous marriage to a male 4 years younger than you,  didn't work out.  Four years is hardly the same as 20!  And the situation is directly reversed.  There are great differences in the maturity level of girls and boys.  Are you aware of the difference of male and female maturity?  As we get older the age span becomes less important - but please!  A 38 year old woman and a 18 year old Boy!   A boy hardly becomes a man at puberty, my dear. 

    Folks are referring to Shelly as a 'Child Molester' because only a few months ago the courts would have put her in jail for her actions!   Do you really think this young man is not being used?  Do you have children?  Give your 18 year old child up to be used by a person 20 years their senior.  See if you feel the same way as  ' they' do now.


Knoxville, TN

September 22, 2007, 9:23 pm CDT

09/21 Does Age Matter?

Shelley, you can continue to live in denial, it is your choice.  Too bad your kids don't get a choice and have to be drug through all this emotionally unstable, unhealthy behavior with you. 


Needing a boy to make you "feel good" speaks volumes about your mental stability and lack of ability to be a good parent to your children.  


I bet you a million dollars if you just took the time to separate yourself from this kid, found a good therapist and worked really hard on uncovering why you are where you are in life - you'd look back and be really sad that you drug your kids and another mothers kid into all your pathology.  But at least from there you could face the truth and turn things around for the emotional well-being of your entire family. 


But something tells me that would just be too much work for you - you'd obviously rather take the more fun, easy way out.      I sincerely hope you will change your mind and find your conscience.

September 22, 2007, 9:48 pm CDT

17 Year Age Gap & Happy

My husband and I have been married for 14 years.  He is 17 years older than I am.  When we fell in love, I was 24 and he was 42.  I am now 39 (and holding) and he is 57 (not holding!).  We have two great sons together (11 and 13).  When we first married, we received a lot of "stares" because of our age differences.  Now that I am not so young, there's not too many stares any more!   


We were both married before to people our own age.  In fact, my husband's last marriage lastest 25 years and they had one son together.  My previous marriage lasted only 5 years but we did not have children together.


There are some challenges with our age gap.  He thinks in terms of retirement and getting things paid off and I am at the peak of my career looking to buy more things!  But we continue to make adjustments for each other.  We always take the other person into consideration.  And, we understand where each other is coming from.  We generally find something in the middle that compliments both of our goals.  I give in from time to time on those things that are so important to him.  And, he does the same for me. 


What I can say about my life and marriage with my husband is that I absolutely love him with the deepest love I have ever had for anyone.  Our love seems to grow stronger for one another as the years pass.  I adore everything about him.  And, cannot imagine a life without him.  He is my partner, my lover and my best friend. 


An interesting fact about us is that he retired about 8 years ago.  He is actually a "stay at home dad" for our two sons.  I work to support the family.  And, I believe I am very lucky to have a real man that can help teach and shape the minds of our two young boys.  He is very intelligent -- so they are very lucky having the smartest of the two of us as their day-to-day mentor.  :) 


On the weekends, I try to spend quality time with the boys doing "kid things" and also set aside date nights with dad.  My husband is not too much into those "kid things" (e.g. kid movies, waterparks, swimming, bike riding, etc.).  But I really don't think it is because of his age.  It is his personality.  He had a son from a previous marriage.  He never did those things with that son either!  Although his first son never learned how to swim or ride a bike, he has developed into a fine young man.  His first son has his PhD, MD and is a Nuerology Pediatrician.  He is 30 something and visits us regularly. Although I recognize he is now a man, he does still seem like a child to me because I don't think he has had too much life experiences outside of his 12 years in school!!!  I have taught my sons how to swim and ride bikes!  And, I am hoping they grow up to be doctors too!


Age in my family has always been a bit mixed up.  I have aunts that have older husbands.  My mother actually had a "second batch" of children.  So I have a sister that is the same age as my son (13) and another one that is 16.  I adore both of them.  I must admit is was a bit weird for my mother to be pregnant at the same time as me.  And, it sort of took the "thunder" out of it for me.  My mother does compete with me a lot in terms of the kid thing.  Sometimes I would prefer that she was just a grandmother to my kids instead of telling me all the wonderful things my sisters are doing exactly like the wonderful things I'm trying to explain about my two sons. 


In any event, we may be considered a disfunctional family in the eyes of society in so many ways.  But in our world, most of the time, things work very well and we all are very happy.


For the 38 year old lady dating the 18 year old boy, I would have to say that is wrong.  I agree with Dr. Phil's first statement that it depends on the maturity and life experience of the younger person.  And, at age 18....still in high school, deliverying Pizza....I would say you are just a baby and have not yet experienced life.  The 38 year old women would be "robbing" the young man of his future.  He deserves the right to have a "fresh start" and "baggage" free first love with someone his age that he can experience life and grow old with. He needs to see that side of life first.  Then, if he chooses an older woman, at least he will not always be wondering. 


Regarding Dr. Phil's statement about perhaps it is the younger man's strained relationship with his own mother that drove him into the arms of this older lady, there may be some truth to that.  I have often wondered that with my own husband because I have always had a strained relationship with my father.  Maybe my husband somehow filled that giant hole that my father did not fill with his strength and stability.  If that is the case, that is fine by me because it makes me complete.    






September 22, 2007, 10:04 pm CDT

double standard

Quote From: saratonin

I find it interesting that people were harder on the 38 year old woman than the 49 year old man.  There is a 24 year difference between Chris and Adrienne and a 20 year difference between the older woman and younger guy.  Yes, I realize that he is 18 and I would not be interested in an 18 year old myself, but if it were a 38 year old guy and an 18 year old girl the feelings would not be as harsh. 

why is it if a man dates a very young woman society thinks nothing of it? Christopher did  the same thing as  Shelley. He admitted starting dating her when she was 22 and he was 46. How is this different than Shelly and Mark?  Dr. Phil did not feel the need to tell them that this was wrong in so many ways. He was very harsh to the 2nd couple and very supportive to the 1st. Men have been dating younger women forever while women have only recently begun to do the same. I personally could not date someone  my daughter's age, but what is good for the goose should be good for the gander. There are plenty of posts from women who have dated older men when they were 18 and no one called the men pedophiles or insinuated that there was a huge problem.

. Shelley has a son as old as Mark and Christopher is old enough to be her father. What is the difference? I get that some men need a younger woman to feel young themselves and some woman need a father figure. If that's what you are looking for, fine. The whole thing just feel creepy to me.

September 22, 2007, 10:26 pm CDT

How old is too old???

Is 10 years too much of an age difference.  What about 15 or 20?  When is it too much of an age difference?  I am 31 and my boyfriend is 22 but we have only been dating for about a year.  Some people seem to think it is fine, but I notice that some of my friends think it is weird.  Is it weird and I'm just not seeing it?  I would appreciate anyone's response.  Thanks!

September 22, 2007, 11:03 pm CDT


Quote From: yds851978

Being a victim is sooo excusable for so many wrongs.


The woman who had a teenage lover is insecure and finds confidence in her ability to sexualy overpower this child.


Dr. Phil was easy on her.  This woman in my opinion is a pedophile and has probably abused other youg men if not only in her own mind. 



All the judgemental comments to a person you only saw for what 20 min on a show.  The quote always comes to my mind " He who is without sin cast the first stone" .  I notice you dont have any comments for the "married couple" Why is he not considered a pedophile too?  It all comes down to if they love each other and find a way to respect and uphold each other then I say who cares what other people think.  I was very disappointed in the way Dr. Phil handled each situation.  Its still the same way of thinking 30 years later, I woman is sick or demented but a man is still a stud...what a ridiculous double standard world we live in. What do a 49 year old man and a 25 year old woman have in common?? I sure know what hes thinking....An older man can take advantage just as easily as an older woman.

I wish all the best to all of them..


September 22, 2007, 11:08 pm CDT


Quote From: joe81gayle

I met and married a woman 10 years older than me......WHEN I WAS 18!!!!!  We just celebrated our 26th anniversary May 2007.  We have always been very compatable with each other, we share the same values, morals, interest and love our life together.  We have never been separated, neither of us have ever had and my advice to the people that disagree with May-Dec romance is to MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!!!!
Couldn't have said it better myself!!
September 22, 2007, 11:56 pm CDT

Younger Man Older Woman

Hello all,


Boy I must say if some older woman came to my door to pick up one of my son's for a date,  that would be his last trip outside for a very long time.


Think about the families and all of the people effected by such a huge age gap and then concider your own children in this type of romance, I think most would agree this is not what you would want for your children.




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