This article, based on ethnographic materials collected in Tajikistan in the late 1990s, melds cross-cultural psychologies, (feminist) ethnography, sexualities and gender studies. It explores Zakari's marriage to his cousin, Sumangul. The cousins' different backgrounds produced distinct forms of (gendered) subjectivity, with Sumangul demonstrating greater intra-psychic autonomy. Their patrilocal marriage was enmeshed in gender-based violence, influenced by drug addiction and problematic intergenerational power relations. The article challenges gender-based violence as solely male on female, and shows the importance of age for gender identities in gerontocratic settings. It suggests a more nuanced approach to gender can improve development research and practice.