Has Brad Pitt Become Another Cliche?
He’s old, she’s young —but she’s also married, and that’s why this relationship just might work
And to add a twist to their May-December relationship, Nicole is reportedly in an open marriage with her husband of eight years, German restaurateur Roland Mary, 68, with whom she has a 7-year-old son.
Meaning she was 19 and he was 60 when they wed.
Lots of things to consider, but let’s start with the cliche thing.
I’m always amused at how women react when older men chose to be with younger women, as if this is something new or even bad. I can certainly understand the attraction, can’t you? I’m pretty sure all men can.
Not that we need proof, but a Stanford study confirms what we already know: The older a man is when he marries after age 40, the greater the likelihood his wife will be a lot younger — whether he’s rich and educated or not. Men in their 40s tend to marry women about seven years younger, men in their 50s marry women 11 years younger, and men in their 60s marry women 13 years younger.
Not that Brad is necessarily planning to marry the already married Nicole — he’s still quite embroiled with divorcing Angelina Jolie, with whom he has six children — but she’s a bit outside of the 11-year differential range for a guy his age. But he’s Brad Pitt and so pretty much anything goes.
Plus her husband has a good 12 years on Brad, so there’s that.
Still, the older man-younger woman dynamic is upsetting to many middle-aged single women who believe that if men their age are only interested in dating and marrying much younger women, they are limiting the pool of available men.
I can understand why some women might think that, but I don’t. Because if that trait — youth — is so important to those men, then they are no more truly available to women their own age than men many women are already overlooking because of traits they don’t want: alcoholism, smoking, obesity, financial insecurity, conservative/liberal, etc.
We’re all free to pick and chose whatever traits we consider desirable or not, and youth and beauty are just as valid as any other trait — even though some may consider such men shallow. That said, I wouldn’t want to be with a man for whom beauty and youth are the most — or only — desirable traits. What woman who wants an equal partnership — and, true, not all do — would?
Women seeking an equal partnership are much more interested in age-appropriate men and even younger men who are actually interested in us (don’t kid yourself that there aren’t). Those men are more self-aware, more interesting, more multifaceted, more experienced, more confident and more intriguing. And that’s incredibly sexy.
It makes sense that Brad would be open to exploring consensual non-monogamy at this stage of his life, and with two marriages behind him. His much-publicized experience with non-monogamy was his alleged affair with Angelina while still married to Jennifer Aniston. What he and so many other people are increasingly discovering is that there are many ways to love and be loved without being deceptive.
Maybe Nicole and Roland have an open marriage because she was so young when they married and she may have had few sexual partners and wanted more. That’s exactly what some couples I interviewed for The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels told me. Or maybe Roland’s health or age or both make sexual intercourse challenging, and this is how they have chosen to address that, again, what some couples I interviewed for the book told me. Or maybe they are in a parenting marriage that is all about raising their son as co-parents without any romantic/sexual entanglements.
There’s no way to know the hows and whys of Nicole and Roland’s open marriage, but who cares? It’s working for Brad, Nicole and Roland right now, and that’s all that matters.
Some may want to view a very middle-aged Brad as being a cliche having a Leonardo DiCaprio moment. And if it were just about him being with a younger woman, well, maybe that argument could be made. But he’s not just with any younger woman — he’s with a younger woman in a consensually non-monogamous marriage, and that’s a bit of a game-changer. It’s normalizing the idea that people can care for more than one partner at the same time, even if some partners are young and some are not, with honesty and transparency.
And there is nothing cliche about that.
Want to know more about consensual non-monogamy? (Of course you do!) Read The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels (Seal Press). You can support your local indie bookstore (please do) or order it on Amazon. And we’re now on Audible.