Age differences between couples had been a subject of debate among Nigerians while some lauded it others described it as a violation of cultural norms.
Some FCT residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Abuja, that the age-gap between couples had tremendous impacts on making or marring relationships.
But Mr Sunny Idowu, a resident in Asokoro extention, married to an older woman, said age difference between couples was inconsequential, as other factors now played more vital role in a relationship.
“ I don’t see age as a factor inhibiting a good relationship between couples, as my wife, who is four years older than I accords me the respect usually deserving of a husband,’’ he said.
Idowu said his decision to marry his wife was borne out of love and the respect she shows him in spite of their age differences.
Similarly, Mr Taiye Benson, a civil servant criticised the discrimination by the society when women marry younger men, while also applauding men for performing similar act.
Benson said his fiancée was a year older than he and that his family was in support of their engagement in spite of that difference.
“It’s sad that the society tend to label a woman that marries a man she is younger than as “sugar mummy’’ (mistress) , while that same society applauds and sees nothing wrong when a man marries a younger woman.’’
Mrs Chioma Eze, a resident in Karu, Nasarawa, said she had been married to her husband who she was seven years older than.
“It has not in any way changed the love, affection and respect we have for each other.
“It took a while before his family accepted me and allowed us to perform the traditional marriage rites and English wedding because they thought I might use my age to control him,’’she said.
On her own part, Miss Jessica Danjuma, a business woman said she cannot marry a man younger that she, as the society will label her “desperate’’.
“I will not give him the respect expected as his wife, because I will always see him as younger, which will definitely affect our relationship and my friends will laugh at me,’’ she said.
Also, Shakwaga Moses, an unemployed graduate said he could not marry an older woman because he would not get all the respect he deserved and might be called names.
“The society will laugh at me and some may even think I married her because of material gains, even if I have more money than she.
“Also, the age difference will definitely show as women look more mature and older than men, particularly when they start giving birth,’’ he said.
Speaking, Mrs Patience David, a marriage counsellor, advised couples to disregard the age factor and channel their energy towards building a good relationship.
“ If couples in age-gap relationship believe their families and friends and the wider community disapproves of their union, it will definitely affect their commitment and the risk of break-up increases.
“ So, I would advise such couples to focus on their relationship and ignore pressures and judgment from outsiders.
“ Also, the society needs to stop condemning such couples and rather encourage them to marry within religious or customary laws so as to reduce the rate of producing `illegitimate’ children,’’she said.