01/02/2013 01:55 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Hugh Hefner, Crystal Harris: Why It Could Work

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, 86, married model Crystal Harris, 26, on New Year’s Eve. Even though a fair share of people (ourselves included) have poked fun at the May-December romance, we wish the newlyweds nothing but the best.

It turns out we know a number of couples where the husband is considerably older than his bride -- you can see them in the slideshow below. But first, perhaps we should dispense with a few of your not-so-nice thoughts.

She married him for the money.
While nobody seriously expects Hefner to wind up on L.A.'s Skid Row, he is certainly less-rich than he used to be and has two ex-wives and four children sniffing around the pile. In his 2009 divorce paperwork he estimated his net worth at $43 million -- down from somewhere around $400 million at its peak; his Playboy stock had lost more than 80 percent of its value. And while he owns the property that houses the famous Playboy mansion, he pays an annual rent to cover his expenses. His salary, again claimed in divorce filings where -- dare we say -- some men have been known to lie, was a mere $116,667 -- barely the fortunes to keep Crystal in things like the $90,000, three-carat diamond engagement ring and Bentley he gave her as engagement gifts. Oh yes, he was also getting a mere $1,896 a month from Social Security at the time of the divorce filing. Hell, the guy is a pensioner!

He's marrying her for the sex.
Long live the dreams of 86 year olds, we say! But if reports are to be believed, no way he's marrying her for sex. After their June 2011 breakup, Harris told Howard Stern how America's Octegenarian Playboy wasn't actually seeing much bedtime action despite his silk pajamas. She and Hef had sex once and it “lasted like two seconds," she said, “then I was just over it." Maybe he's marrying her so others think he's still having sex, but it sure seems unlikely unless Viagra can be super-sized.

She's doing this for her career, the publicity, and it's all a charade anyway.
When the wedding didn’t work out the first time, Harris said, "it was because of me. I needed to explore out there and take the time away.” Maybe Miss Playmate of the Month for December 2009 figured out that her association with Hefner was about as much of a career as she was going to have, or maybe she genuinely cares for the old guy. As for Hef, this is his third go-round at the altar and presumably knows how costly mistakes can be.

May-December marriages are a joke.
Only if you chose to laugh. We know several long-married couples with large age gaps. Anecdotally speaking, they don't seem to stumble until the older partner starts to slow down. The ability to care for someone in failing health requires a foundation of strong love, and it helps if you have decades together serving as the glue. We'd add that doing anything in the public light makes it harder.

What will Crystal think when he's 96 and she's just 36?
May they both live long enough to worry about it.



May-December Couples