When 18-year-old sales assistant Mohd Sufie married 42-year-old Dayang Sopiah Gusti, a single mother of five, it made the news. Newspapers find it newsworthy to publish the story due to the age difference of the couple, which makes the bride 24 years older than the groom.
On top of that, Dayang Sopiah has five children. That means young Mohd Sufie is marrying into a big immediate family. The couple met during volleyball match in May and last week, they solemnised their marriage at Kuala Penyu in Sabah.
Since families of the bride and groom had given their blessings, they are looking forward to their lives together with much hope.
“Since getting to know her, she has always been concerned about me. I told my family that I wanted to marry her,” Utusan Malaysia quoted Mohd Sufie as saying. “It does not matter what others say. I would surely do the best to take care of my wife.”
Alin @ Matalin Utam, 52, who is the father of the groom, was quoted by Harian Metro as saying that he knew about the relationship just a few days before the wedding and was initially surprised. However, he agreed to the marriage. “To me, Sopiah is the match for Sufie as decided by God,” he said.
The bride, whose children are seven to 16, said Mohd Sufie was quite mischievous. “He makes friends easily,” she added.
That means the step-father is only two years older than her eldest son. Two years don’t separate them much in terms of maturity.
Several questions arise due to their difference in age and how young the groom is. Boys generally mature slower than girls. Scientists have discovered that girl’s brains could begin maturing from the age of 10 while men start as late as 20.
In the case of Mohd Sufie, it is likely that he is mature enough since he has chosen a woman significant older than him and marry into great responsibilities.
Newspapers highlighted the marriage because its rarity is due to draw readers’ interest. What if the reverse were to happen?
Would we pay as much attention if a 42-year-old single of father of five were to marry an 18-year-old woman? In fact, it is common in many places in the world, although the groom wouldn’t have five children in tow. Many fewer.
This highlights how we perceive gender differences and what is readily acceptable in society, without even raising an eyebrow.
As political correct as we may want to be, there are concerns and questions to be raised in the marriage of Mohd Sufie and Dayang Sopiah.
To personalise the circumstances, a question was asked. Would you allow your son to continue with such a marriage in such a situation? Then with personal feelings in the equation, we know our actual stand.
There is also the concern about their difference in age, which matters even more in 15 years. By then, he would be 39, still very much in the prime of his life. She would be 57 years old, when we start to decline in our health.
The role of husband and wife as the caregiver and provider would change. We hope Mohd Sufie has considered and explore the later part of their married lives. We are not talking about sex, but the state of mind of a person in his prime and a partner reaching middle age.
In any case, they have found their match. So congratulations are in order. Now and forever, may this marriage bring you happiness and joy to your lives. Have a great life together.