One day while channel surfing, I stumbled upon a preview of a new situation comedy, “Trophy Wife.” I chuckled as I listened to one of the actors discuss the role of his “wife” on the series. “She really loves her husband. . . .” said the actor who played the older husband, as he spoke about his character’s hot new trophy wife. “Yeah, sure she does.” I thought.
She Loves Me (Not) – She Loves Me Not . . .
I can’t say that I blame old men for wanting to believe that young, beautiful women could love them just for them. Heck, some women are searching for “Prince Charming!” But, unlike men, women usually grow out of that fairy-tale phase.
“She really loves her husband”? Come on, now! Although that’s what all the rich, old, potbellied, bald guys want to believe, it’s probably not true. Duh, do they really think the majority of beautiful young women hanging on their arms are with them for anything other than their money or power (or both)?
By George, I Think He’s Got “It”
For argument’s sake, let’s agree with the older actor’s statement that his younger TV wife really loves him. So, now the question is, what is “it” that makes a young woman fall in love with an older man?
Is it the old dude’s physical appearance? Oh yeah, I can see how an attractive young gal would fall for an old brute with a big gut, receding hairline, liver spots, halitosis, and excessive flatulence. That dear old pappy is just too irresistible—NOT!
Perhaps young gals fall in love with old men because of their character and integrity. Hmmm, I don’t know about that one, either. Most of those “stand-up” guys leave their families to set-up house with their new little ladies, and so character and integrity are not their strong suits.
Well then, it’s got to be an old geezer’s wisdom and fabulous personality, right? Well, if that’s the case, why don’t we see the same May/December romances for all those marvelous older dudes who are blessed with a fabulous personality but no money or power?
No, the character in Trophy Wife probably doesn’t really love her husband, and if She’s like the majority of trophy wives, she probably loves his wallet.
I wonder if there anyone who believes that infamous Playboy founder Hugh Hefner would’ve dated, let alone marry, all those beautiful young women if he didn’t have money? What if good ol’ “Hef” had been homeless; would the bevy of beauties flocked to him because he’s just so irresistible? Not likely. The probability is more likely that the infamous bunny hopper would be at home alone in his faux-silk pajamas.
Money appears to be the driving force behind a young woman’s attraction to an old guy, but the power that comes with the relationship may also be a significant factor. Becoming a part of a “power couple” may offer a female a sense of (unearned) empowerment. The gold-digger types enjoy a temporary sense of security, power, and bravado driving expensive cars, living in large homes, and having unlimited funds. The fact that she did not earn it (although some believe just being in the relationship is earning everything that’s given) bares little to no guilt.
The Cradle Robber—Daddy Issues Couple
The May/December relationship stars align when an older man with an affinity for robbing the cradle meets a young female with daddy issues. An affair of two self-centered and needy personalities usually takes minimal time to begin. Both participants are looking to gain something from the other, and regardless of what they say later, they don’t care who they hurt in the process.
The male ego is inflated like an enormous balloon when a young, good-looking gal acts like she’s interested in dating him. A young woman gains instant financial security by dating an affluent older male. But, nothing is perfect. The man’s balloon will eventually burst when he discovers his young companion is cheating on him or when she leaves him. For a woman, she has to keep her cheating partner’s interest, or he will soon move on to another young lady.
The age difference may seem insignificant when the May/December couple meets, however, if the couple stays together for any length of time, age will become a factor. The woman may find herself in a situation where she must care for an ailing husband right around the time she is in midlife and interested in becoming more active. Just as when they met, the two are in different stages of life, however, now the difference begins to take a greater toll on the relationship. Also, if the younger woman decides to have a child with her old mate, she is likely to become a single mother.
Big Screen Trophy Wives
Hollywood has always been notorious for showcasing the May/December romance. Charlie Chaplin was 36 years older than his significant other, Oona O’Neill. Also, who can forget the famous romance of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall; the onscreen chemistry of the famous couple sold lots of movie tickets, but left her a young widow.
Hollywood May/December couples include: Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris-Hefner (60 years difference); Billy Joel and former wife Katie Lee Joel (32 years); Alec Baldwin and Hilaria (Thomas) (26 years); Kelsey Grammer and Kayte Walsh (26 years); Larry King and Shawn Southwick-King (25 years); Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones (25 years); and Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart (22 years).
While there are some Hollywood males whose fragile ego require the constant reassurance of a trophy wife, there are many strong men who are confident enough to stay with the wife of their youth. These males don’t need a woman 20 to 60 years younger to make them feel good about themselves because they realize real confidence comes from within.
A confident, monogamous man is the real star and icon of Hollywood. It would be refreshing to see more longtime Hollywood couples such as: Alan and Arlene Alda (58 Years); Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss (56 Years); Frankie Avalon and Kay Diebel (54 Years); David McCallum and Katherine Carpenter (70 Years); Billy and Janice Crystal (49 Years); Denzel and Pauletta Washington (34 Years); Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross (33 Years); Tom Selleck and Jillie Mack (30 Years); and Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber (30 Years).
Trophies Rust and Fade—But Love Gets Better With Age
When people see a couple like Hugh Hefner and his young wife is anyone thinking, “Wow, what a stud he must be”? Perhaps a few young boys, but not the majority of folks. People are not dumb, they can see behind the façade. During a recent news story about Mr. and Mrs. Hefner, a female reporter said, “He just looks silly with her. I feel sorry for him.”
Contrast that to how people feel when they see an old couple together. Folks have respect for individuals who’ve taken their matrimony vows seriously, weathered the relationship storms, and stayed together. No one has a perfect marriage, but when a man chooses to leave his wife, and often his children, for selfish pleasure, to date a younger woman, he should not be celebrated.
There may be one consolation for the jilted wife, one day, her self-absorbed soon to be ex-husband will probably be jilted by his young trophy. Eventually, the young woman will tire of being with someone so much older than she. But, even if that does not happen, women need to remember that a man who leaves his family to set-up house with a younger woman is a man full of doubt, low self-esteem, and character issues. There are far better men than the one that just left.
If your “man” has left and found himself a young companion, take the opportunity to work on yourself. Cling to your faith, take those classes you’ve always wanted to take, join the social clubs that meet your interests, live your life. I hope that every woman who has been abandoned because she had a few wrinkles or put on a little weight will eventually find true love with a real man.
A young trophy wife who loves her old husband? Unrealistic! The proof was in the pudding—”Trophy Wife,” which was probably more suited for the sci-fi category, proved to be unpopular, and was canceled after one season. Now that’s something we can all applaud.
About the Author
Deb Wax describes herself as a “procrastinating perfectionist who is also introspective.” She is an avid photographer, ’70s music junkie, and writer. Deb has written for several online publications, and her writings cover a hodgepodge of topics from the hot-button issues and cracker-barrel philosophy of today’s coffee culture to the Gordian Knot on the secular view of faith and religion. Deb previously wrote for Squidoo as the “70s Disco Queen Contributor,” before the website closed its Internet doors.
Deb recently completed the 2016 Dogwood 52-Week Photography Challenge and is currently participating in the advanced challenge. She is a photo contributor on Shutterstock, and you can find a number of her photos, including her challenge pictures, on her blog: Introspective Pics @ https://introspectivepics.wordpress.com
Deb has been married for over twenty-five years and describes her existence as a Darby and June life.
You can follow Deb on Twitter, Google +, Flickr, Instagram, and Shutterstock @DebW07