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Researchers don't say why, but perhaps it's for the reasons researchers Caron, a professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Maine, and Proulx, a marriage and family therapist, of the 2006 study discovered -- society just isn't ready to accept December-May marriages as easily as it does May-December marriages. Robinson out of our mind, or maybe it's because there just aren't that many of them.
Just 5.4 percent of wives are five years older than their hubbies, and only 1.3 percent are 10 years older, but those numbers are rising; in fact they doubled between 19.
And, even if Demi and Ashton don't make it, we shouldn't give up hope on December-May marriages, either; if Hugh Jackman, 42, and his 55-year-old wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, can last for 15 years -- happily, one presumes -- so can the rest of us.
Not to say that they're not happy for a while -- certainly Demi and Ashton have appeared to be, as well as the eight couples in a 2006 study by Sandra L. Proulx in which the wives were a decade or more older than their husbands (an admittedly small sample).
Still, the women in the study admitted to a certain insecurity about aging, which is just never going to be a good thing in a relationship.
Plus, the couples felt stigmatized by others, especially the wives -- and those judgments may even impact a woman's mortality.
"Couples with younger husbands violate social norms and thus suffer from social sanctions," says Sven Drefahl of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.