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So Shahid has married a much-younger Mira, but is it a good idea?

As 34-year-old Shahid Kapoor prepares to tie the knot with 21-year-old Mira Rajput, we ask experts about how such largeage gaps affect relationships

sex and relationships Updated: Oct 15, 2015 13:00 IST
Collin Rodrigues
Collin Rodrigues
Hindustan Times
Shahid Kapoor,Mira Rajput,Marriage

Age gaps between couples is a common phenomenon these days, and rarely raises eyebrows. But in some cases, it does. One such recent example that made news is the marriage of 34-year-old Shahid Kapoor and his 21-year-old wife, Mira Rajput.

While some relationship experts feel that marrying someone much older helps shape the other partner’s personality, some feel it is a bad idea.

A study conducted last year by a few professors at Emory University, Georgia, USA, concluded that couples with large age gaps are more susceptible to divorce than those with smaller age differences. Relationship expert Kinjal Pandya echoes a similar stance, saying, “Most couples with major age gaps are incompatible. This is because the age gap results in people having different beliefs and thought processes, which often leads to conflicts.”

Harish Mulchandani (40), an IT professional, who married Rohini Nihalani (30), a dance teacher, last year, faced a similar situation. “My wife had a lot of expectations of me. She wanted me to behave like people her age. Though, initially, I did whatever I was told to, eventually, I started feeling suffocated,” says Harish. Rohini, too, has issues. “My husband constantly gives me advice like I am a child. He wanted me to change the way I dress, the way I talk to other men, and the way I behave with my friends. There were too many restrictions. When I married Harish, I wanted a husband, not a father figure who treats me like his kid,” she says. They have currently opted for relationship counselling, and are trying to sort out their differences.

Rohini’s problem is not isolated. Even American supermodel Cindy Crawford, who was married to Hollywood actor Richard Gere (they had a 16 year age gap), between 1991 and 1995, didn’t feel like an equal in her marriage. “It’s important to marry someone you are friends with. Having been married before, to someone who was older than me — and someone who I very much looked up to — I didn’t feel like we were equals. So, having a relationship that has real friendship is important for a long-lasting bond,” she said, while she was in the city recently for an event.

Apart from compatibility issues, experts suggest that sexual dissatisfaction is another reason that leads to problems in such marriages. “When you are not able to satisfy your partner sexually, then that leads to problems. This results in interpersonal stress and dissatisfaction with each other,” says relationship expert Shyam Mithiya.

However, age gaps don’t always mean there will be trouble in paradise. Several couples in such an arrangement have had fulfilling relationships as well. “The first advantage is that in this kind of a relationship, you have someone in your life who is more mature. That person has seen and experienced the world more than you have. So, he or she would know what is good or bad for a relationship,” says relationship expert Riddhish K Maru.

He also adds that financial stability is another plus point of being in such a relationship. “One partner can also be assured of having a firm financial foundation. So, both the partners are not struggling in terms of their finances when the marriage takes place,” he says.

— With inputs from Susan Jose

First Published: Jun 25, 2015 20:11 IST