Rev. Stanley Carter, 73, married his wife Shontese Moreland in a backyard
ceremony during the pandemic.
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Native Sun
Michael Jones and Rosa Black found love later in life
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Native Sun
By Valerie D. Lockhart
Detroit Native Sun
The audience gasped in awe, as Rosa Black walked slowly down the aisle in a white form-fitting lace wedding gown with sequins on the veil that sparkled beneath the lights.
Waiting at the end of the aisle was her bright-eyed groom grinning from ear to ear, who uttered “I’m in heaven.”
It had been over 40 years since Rosa’s first husband had died.
“It was a shock to me, because I was the type that said I don’t need a man and don’t want a man,” the 73-year-old newlywed said. “Michael’s totally different from the other guys I met. When we met, my body did a strange thing that I never felt before in my life. My body reacted, before my mind. I said, ‘Oh wow’. I said this must be the guy for me. I never thought that I would get married again. Love was still in the air. I felt it was God’s plan and His will. I have somebody that I can talk to and be with. Now, I’m not lonely. God knew that I needed someone. We’re so compatible.”
Like Rosa, many individuals over 70 are embracing love and getting married later in life.
“I waited 20 years, and I didn’t mind it,” Rev. Michael Jones, 76, said. “I met Rosa, while dancing. I wasn’t thinking about marriage, while we were dating. Many were shocked and a few were surprised (when we announced our pending marriage.)
Those who choose to marry later in life say that there’s greater social security or friendship with maturity.
“There’s more maturity being settled, great companionship, love and peace, when you marry later in life,” Rev. Stanley Carter, 73, who married his wife Shontese Moreland in a backyard ceremony during the pandemic, said. “I deeply love my wife. We met at Great Commissioned Fellowship Church in Detroit. I would encourage others to take your time and make sure you get the right one.”
According to statistics reported in the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey report, the number of people in the United States aged 65 and over is about 49.2 million people. Of the 28.7 million aged 65 to 74, 15.3 million were female, while 13.4 million were male. There were about 2 million more females (8.1 million) than males (6.2 million) among the 75 to 84 age group. Nearly twice as many females (4.1 million) as males (2.2 million) were 85 and older.
The number of marriages among those ages 70 to 79 is increasing. Seniors who marry later in life say there are many benefits to be had including:
1. Greater wisdom and maturity
2. More financial security
3. Better understanding of an ideal life and how to spend it
4. More prepared to handle problems
5. Freedom to explore life
6. Fewer concerns about raising children or balancing work-life
“We have greater compatibility and no child worries. We’re together 24/7, have more money, and more fun,” added Jones.
Experts say that seniors getting married in life should also consider some of the financial drawbacks.
“Getting married is a wonderful, romantic thing and it comes with certain rights as well as certain obligations,” Pepper Schwartz, a University of Washington sociologist, noted. “It’s a dollars and cents exercise you’d have to take a look at.”
If the couple is receiving Social Security, a survivor’s pension or alimony income, they should consider how marriage would affect that income. If one is a widow getting a survivor’s pension, that income could be taken away by getting married.
Older couples should also consider how they will handle potential health problems or if one has to enter a nursing home for an extended period.
Although no marriage is perfect and will experience problems, it’s the way the problem is resolved that couples say matters.
Communication is key to enjoying a successful marriage at any age.
When it comes to working out problems, love will stimulate a couple to ignore past failures — and the resulting emotional injuries—and pay attention to the issue at hand. Couples who value one another’s views will allow each other to talk openly and attempt to hear what is meant, not just what is said.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that life expectancies have increased, allowing seniors who are widowed or divorced to search for love again.
“It’s never too late to find love,” Jones said. “Even when you’re not looking, love may find you. Trust God, stay prayerful, help where you can, and share love!”
And, that’s real social security.
Valerie Lockhart is the owner of Detroit Native Sun, which is a member of Diverse News Association (DNA).
Detroit Native Sun is a monthly free community newspaper that was founded in October 2015.
It is designed to attract readers of all ages and economic backgrounds.
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