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Why Young Marrieds Are Doomed To Divorce

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Why Young Marrieds Are Doomed To Divorce

Why I Believe Marriage Shouldn't Be Allowed Before Age 25


Jennifer Nagy

Age is just a number... except when it comes to marriage.

Let's look at my stats:
Current age - 29
Divorced for - 8 months
Separated for - 1 year, 9 months
Age when I met my ex - 19
Age when I married - 24

Which brings me to my point: couples should not be allowed to get married before age 25.

While I know that this statement is going to make me very unpopular with readers, I do believe that it would be for the best -- better both for the institution of marriage and the individuals getting married -- if we could change the law to prevent couples from getting married before the age of 25.

In my experience, marriage before 25 was not the smartest idea. I met my ex at the tender young age of 19 (just a few months after my birthday). I was enjoying the freedom of drinking and partying legally for the first time (I live in Canada where the drinking age is 19). I had yet to figure out who I was or what I wanted in my life. I was naïve and impressionable, and when I met my much older ex, I was perfectly happy to let him take control of my life, creating a relationship dynamic that continued for the nine years we were together.

We decided to get married when I was 24. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time because everyone knows that after five years, you should be married or at least engaged, right? It was definitely the message that I was getting from all of our friends. So we took the plunge, getting married on the beach in Miami Beach in front of our friends and family.

That's where the problems began. Once the excitement of planning a beach wedding was over, after the suntan had faded, I was left simply living my life with my husband. Don't get me wrong, I loved him -- and a part of me always will. But because we had started dating at such a young age, he was marrying someone who had absolutely no idea who she was and what she wanted in her life. In short, it was a recipe for divorce.

People under the age of 25 are still discovering themselves; they are figuring out what is most important in their lives. They are discovering the joys (and heartache) of being in a relationship, and then the partying that often characterizes life between relationships. They are figuring out what their relationship "deal-breakers" are and who their most appropriate partners would be. While a person may be 100 percent certain that they love something -- or someone -- at the age of 21, by 29, they will most likely completely change their mind. Life is anything but certain.

My opinions are based solely on my personal experiences and the experiences of the people that I know and have observed. That being said, marriage and divorce statistics do support my claim. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 60 percent of marriages in which the couple marries between age 20 and 25 will end in divorce. A scary figure for young lovebirds... but definitely one that validates my opinion.

Who knows? Maybe there are 20-year-olds that get married and stay madly in love for their whole lives. Maybe puppy love can last forever.

Could be. Maybe there is such thing as fairies and unicorns too.

Just saying...

by on Jun. 9, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Replies (181-190):
by on Jun. 11, 2012 at 6:20 PM
1 mom liked this

I Mean this in the most UN-condecsending tone: if these people would support the de-criminalization of already curent illegal drugs and wish a ban on the use of bicycle helmets for their children, what for the love of God would you expect them to reply when you propose a minmum age requirment on marriage?! 

My understanding is that one can marry at age 16 (younger with parental consent)- time was, people woud marry young and start to reproduce- but life expectancy was something like 30 (younger for women who would die in child-birth).  Men would die by accidents leaving a wife and a brood of children. So there was no need for divorce. any "mistakes" in marriage was taken care of naturally.

I think the problem these days is the notion of romantic love. It's a fleeting feeling. People expect it to last forever for which only the most hardy and mature can survive and get past it.

by Dixie on Jun. 11, 2012 at 6:27 PM

I met my husband at twenty two and we went together for five years before we got married. I was twenty seven. We waited five years because we thought after that time we would know for sure if we wanted to stay together. Today is our twenty ninth annivesary

by Member on Jun. 11, 2012 at 6:50 PM


Quoting futureshock:

Quoting Numom61507:

 Marriage works for some and not for others. Age doesn't play a factor as much as maturity levels.. So because this beesh had a crappy marriage she thinks no one else is mature enough to handle being married before 25? Whatever! On to the next..

Age can be related to maturity levels.  For example, it is more likely that a person is mature by age 30 than by age 16.

 It is and isn't. Charlie Sheen and Diane Lane are the same age. Both are significantly over 30. One is mature. The other is not. Just an example. Another one? I would trust my 16yo sister to babysit my 5yo DD over my 31yo brother. My sister is more mature. The point is people will get divorced no matter what age they get married. The writer of the article is saying her marriage didn't work out so apparently all people under 25 are as immature as she was. That's what I have an issue with. She shouldn't be judging other people because she's bitter her marriage didn't work out.

by Gold Member on Jun. 11, 2012 at 7:40 PM

I have mixed feelings about this. While I do agree that young adults need time to be on their own, and figure out what they want out of life, younger people are also way more flexible. They haven't had a lot of time to form all their own impression of how it should be.

I think more couples would succeed in marriage-both young and old, if they had more family support.

by on Jun. 11, 2012 at 10:11 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm not sure if anyone has already responded to you with this point, so forgive my redundancy if so, but:

The author specifically used her own situation to provide the bulk of her argument. I would imagine that those who disagree with her are just doing the same. I do agree that there are some interesting points to be made about more than just personal circumstance, but the author originally set the tone for personal argument. In extension, I would say that people giving their happy stories are just their way of refuting the only evidence for her argument that she gave, so I wouldn't say it was "bragging" for most people.

Now, I do have to agree with you that it's very clear that your typical 20something is ill-equipped in modern American society to handle a lifelong commitment. Hence, the higher statistic of divorce. So in that, the author definitely has a point. My own circumstance has happily been better than hers, but there were a few times in the first year that I honestly doubted my ability to hold on. It takes a very committed and mature young person to be able to make a marriage work, but I definitely don't think that it's wise to discount the ability of all of them to do it. And it's asinine for her to say it should go so far as to be ILLEGAL.

In short (too late, I know!), the author had a point about young marriage, but she should have done more research for more arguments and she definitely shouldn't have let it lead her to the conclusion she came to (legislation). It shouldn't have been an article before she knew how to give more points than "I had a marriage end and so do alot of other people".

LOL I'm sorry, I just realized I was critiquing the actual WRITING as much as her points! Sorry about that! I'm totally going to leave the whole thing on here though, so you can see my whole train of thought. =)

Quoting Saphira1207:

Her main point was in paragraph 5.

Please re-read it ( I can't copy/paste for all of you, I'm sorry.  I'll convince firefox to do it someday! lol) - because she's got a very good point.  Assuming everyone stops bragging and bitching and starts thinking deeply about it, you will realize she's probably right.

This board may have a lot of short and long term marriages between people who married young (Kudos to all by the way!), but I would say those marriages are the exception.

The typical marriage between 2 not yet fully mature people is likely to fail, if only because they haven't yet learned how to behave in the appropriate way to make a marriage work in the long term!  Most of the 20-something I know (college city - so I know a lot of them!)   just don't have what it takes to do that.  They just don't!  They don't know themselves well at all, they don't know what they really want in life, work or a relationship, and so they certainly don't have what it takes to make a good long term partner!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE  think beyond your own experiences and see the bigger picture, because that is what the author was talking about.

(And yes, I get frustrated when posters make everything about themselves when it's quite clear the original post is about a more general and/or broad topic.  There are bigger, more important issues in this post than how long you've all been married and how young you were when you did so!  Why not discuss them!)

by New Member on Jun. 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM

It's ridiculous to suggest that it shouldn't be allowed. To each his or her own, you know?

But, it's hard to argue with the notion that young people might want to heed the advice to wait a little while before getting married---and particularly before having kids. My rationale for this is three-fold:

1.) Let's face it: Most of us don't truly mature until a certain age. This isn't bashing young people; it's just a fact of life.

2.) It's probably a good idea to know the person you marry for several years before getting married. Honestly, I feel like you don't really know someone super-well until you've dated them for 4 or 5 years and lived with them for a period of time. If you're 20, let's say, it's nearly impossible to do that.

3.) When you're young, spend your time getting an education and just enjoying your freedom. You have your whole life ahead of you to be a wife and mother.

by Member on Jun. 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM

 My adopted parents were 19 & 21. They have been married 37 years this year. I love that they are still in love.

Quoting celestegood:

 My mom and dad were 17&19 when they got married.  Thirty five years later, they are as happy as can be.

Quoting lalasha:

I'm just going throw this out there most of the older people I know that have been married a long time 30+ years got married "young". It's not about how young you are it's about how commited you are. Because you could be 35 getting married for the frist time and if you don't want to work at it and grow with your partner then it just isn't going to work, now is it?



by New Member on Jun. 13, 2012 at 2:21 PM
1 mom liked this

22 yrs and counting and we were a shotgun not really but our son was almost born at the reception. He was 18 and I was 19

Some things are bigger than just making yourselve happy all the time.  Marriage is not about perfection, building a life with someone takes sacrifice and patience.  We dont grow if we never allow ourselves to feel uncomfortable, and we cant grow together if we run away every time things get messy.

I am quite comforted by the fact that all our messes, we made together, as well as the memories that accompany them.


by Gold Member on Jun. 13, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I was married at 19 and seperated at 25 and divorced at 27.

I should have waited.

by on Jun. 13, 2012 at 2:27 PM
1 mom liked this
Well crap. I guess I better build me a time machine, go back 7 1/2 years & tell my 18 year old self it's a no go! Stop the wedding! SMH
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