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We've all heard this doozey: Welcome to the old, married club. Ouch. In the throes of engagement, it stings to think that tying the knot with the man or woman you love automatically sentences you to an unsatisfying life. "Nobody wants to think about being an old anything," says Lesli Doares, marriage coach and author of Blueprint For A Lasting Marriage, "but being an old married couple implies that your life is dull and boring."
Our experts are here to turn that thinking on its head, however. And after you've read these six reasons why being an old married couple actually rocks, you'll be excited to become one yourself.
1. You (should) have regular, safe, and truly intimate sex.
In your dating days, sex may have been sporadic. But with a longtime partner, you can get down on the regular with a man or woman who knows how to push all the right buttons. "Having a regular partner allows real trust to develop over time that allows for more comfort with experimentation and vulnerability that, in turn, increase pleasure and intimacy," explains Doares.
2. The grass is not always greener on the single side.
Let your single friends make fun of marriage. As more people you know couple up, you might be glad you tied the knot, too. "Many single adults often find that they are left out of couple and family gatherings and events," says Toni Coleman, psychotherapist and relationship coach. "It's so much easier to be coupled." Not only that, she warns, but if you think it's tough to be single in your 20s, it's even tougher when you actually hit old age. "Loneliness is a big problem for older people without partners," Coleman says.
3. You could be more financially stable and secure.
Sure, when you get hitched, you also hitch yourself to your partner's debts, so to speak. But, says Doares, "marriage also creates wealth because the financial burdens of life are shared. You serve as each other's back up if there is a crisis such as an illness or job loss. And you frequently can do more because the total financial pot is increased."
4. Your old, married spouse will also be your friend.
You may be an old married couple, but you'll be an old married couple together. "The old marrieds have each other's backs," says Coleman. "They get one another, are each other's go-to person, and have an easy and comfortable companionship. They have the emotional security and trust that can only come from a long-term and trusted relationship." If you ask us, that's something to aspire to, not worry about.
5. You'll create something bigger than the two of you.
As Susan Sarandon said in Shall We Dance, when you get married, you have a witness to your life. Put another way, "when you are together with another person for years ... you build a shared history that is both your foundation and your future," says Doares. "This history is both the roots and the trunk of your life tree that supports your individual branches. The person you become is more complex and interesting as a result of the intertwining of your lives. You share private memories and unique experiences that bond you together in a deep way."
6. Old married couples are the happiest couples.
Warns Coleman, "Marriage brings many challenges throughout the years, and there are periods of particularly high stress when relationships are most tested and couples report the highest levels of dissatisfaction." But after you've passed through those challenges, she says, "life slows down, people become more content and life satisfaction increases sharply. This is what the old-marrieds have."