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Sheryl Sandberg Is A Role Model For Middle-Aged Women

She’s busting the narrative of finding love later in life

Whether you are a fan of the advice in Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 best-seller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, or not, the Facebook executive has made a lasting impression on working women. And she’s doing it again — this time when it comes to finding love.

She had a starter marriage

In 1993, Sandberg married Washington, D.C., businessman Brian Kraff. She was just 24. Her parents told her to find a man in college in addition to focusing on her schoolwork, and she did. But they split just a year later. As she said:

I got married at 24. By 25, I was divorced. For years, I felt like I was wearing a scarlet letter “D.” I was worried — that no one would want to date me, that I wouldn’t have children, that I would end up alone. It wasn’t until a decade later that I understood who I was and what I needed in a relationship. That’s when I found the right life partner: my husband, Dave.

Takeaway — A starter marriage can help you clarify what you need and want in a partner.

She’s been dating — at midlife!

You know the narrative about middle-aged women, right? We’re washed-up, past-our-prime menopausal messes who’ve lost our beauty as well as our interest in sex. No guy’s going to want to date that!

She’s older than her fiance

Sandberg is 50 and Bernthal is 46. OK, that’s not a huge age difference, certainly not like actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who’s 24 years younger than his wife, Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam, or French president Emmanuel Macron, who’s 25 years younger than his wife, Brigitte Trogneux.

She’s a multiple marrier

This will be Sandberg’s third marriage, making her typical of a good number of modern marriages. In fact, among women who married in 2017, 27 percent had been married before. I predict that number will increase soon; given that we are living longer than ever before, with some predicting we may live to be 150 years old, multiple partnerships are almost a given. In any event, marriages don’t have to last forever to be successful.

She’s the real breadwinner

Sandberg is worth about $1.7 billion. Bernthal is estimated to be worth $5 to $7 million — substantial, sure, but nowhere near his soon-to-be-wife’s worth. We’ve all heard the stories about women who make more than their husbands — the men feel threatened and the couple is more likely to divorce.

She’ll be a stepmom

Sandberg has two children from her previous marriage; Bernthal has three, making them a soon-to-be blended family of five kids, thus the five tiny diamonds in the engagement ring he presented to her.

Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

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