In Defense Of Cougars: Courteney, Susan, and Demi

With the spate of recently separated, divorcing, or rumored-marriage-in-trouble couples that feature older females and younger men, speculation is that May/December reversal romances dont work. But can we make that that assumption given the relative longevity of these relationships?

First, several of the couples in the news have been together for a reasonable amount of time. Courteney Cox and David Arquette have been married for 11 years; Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins were together for 23 years; and Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have been together for 7 years, including 2 years before they married.

Although the average marriage in the U.S. lasts 24 years, that figure has been plummeting since the 1980s and will doubtless continue to decline. Considering the average length of marriage for couples that divorce is 8 years, and considering marriages and relationships often flame out earlier for Hollywood couples, these romances have lasted as long or longer than those with no older female, younger man factor.

Second, each of these cases is different, and Cox, Sarandon and Moore are not Mrs. Robinsons, into younger men solely for the purpose of seduction.

Courteney Cox and David Arquette have, perhaps, the most ironical break-up, since Cox is starring in a TV series called Cougar Town about a divorcee back on the dating scene who is paired with younger men.

Cox knew when she married Arquette that he was a handful, having grown up in a family of eccentric actors. Even Arquette admits that he is the classic boy who doesnt want to grow up. Sadly, he demonstrated this to everyone when he called into the Howard Stern show to dish on his separation, revealing that they had not had sex in months. But this is not a case of an older woman not being able to keep up with a younger mans desires. And its certainly not the case of an older woman losing her looks and thus her hold on a younger lover. After spilling the beans about sex, Arquette went on to say that Cox did not want to be his mother any more. Courteney is a class act and it makes sense that a woman wouldnt want to have sex with a man whom she feels is behaving like a child, especially when they have a 6-year-old daughter to raise. Arquette knows he is immature and perhaps irresponsible and admits hes in therapy to try to learn how to grow up. In the meantime, he has had a fling. Not very grown up, especially since he wants to get back with Cox, but classic behavior no matter what the female to male age span difference.SusanSusan Sarandon (age 63) and Tim Robbins (age 52) had such a solid relationship for 23 years that people thought they were married. Robbins doesnt relate their split directly to Sarandon, but admits having a midlife crisis after a film project he had been working on tanked when his financier pulled out.
Unlike Arquette, Robbins does not talk of getting back together with Sarandon, with whom he has two sons, and has changed up his life by moving from New York to Los Angeles and releasing an album of music that he is promoting by touring in Europe this fall.Sarandon is sad but philosophical, musing that perhaps relationships run their course after raising children. Still a catch, there is speculation that she is carrying on with her 33-year-old business partner at her ping-pong club, which she laughs off, saying there are many people in her life currently. Neither has criticized the other and both seem to be handling the separation gracefully so maybe what Sarandon says is true. DemiDemi Moore was 42 and Ashton Kutcher 27 when they married in 2005 after a 2-year courtship, giving them the widest age spread. They have demonstrated the stability and maturity of their relationship over the years by including Demis ex, Bruce Willis, and his various young girlfriends in their extended family. By all accounts Ashton seemed to be a helpful, caring, and fun partner while Demi was raising her girls. But he had his show, Punkd, which may have accommodated any desires to act out, as he had a chance to showcase ridiculously immature and provocative behavior. At any rate they seem to have a loving united front amid rumors that Ashton cheated and that they may have an open marriage. And the fact is, so what? If both parties are happy and secure, what does it matter if one of them got caught by the tabloids?Judy Kirkwood hopes Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins eventually reunite.
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