Rushing into marriage leaves room for doubt, failure

Can you name a tradition as old as human sacrifice and equally as unwise? If you said young marriage, you are correct and may also be a mind reader.

In ancient times, average life expectancy was somewhere in the 20’s or 30’s – as death at the paws of a lion in the coliseum tends to dramatically cut years – marriage at the age of 16 made perfect sense.

But flash forward to present-day and people are still rushing to tie the knot. When the average person can expect to hang around on this rock in excess of 70 years – doing much more now than harvesting crops, selling them at the local square and simply trying to live past 25, some people still can’t help but race into marriage as if their lives depended on it.

Recently a friend of mine got engaged – for the second time. She is 24, still attending school, and she still no idea what she’d like to do with her life. Yet she is promising to spend her entire life with just this one person.

When examining reasons why young people are rushing into marriage, psychologists cite a multitude of reasons. Among them is the fear of growing old alone and all that is uncertain in the future. The theory that choosing someone now will make at least one part of life certain and stable often backfires when they grow and change.

Emotional scars aren’t the only issues left in the wake of divorce; financial burdens often plague young divorcés.

Call me a cynic, but I can’t see this arrangement working out in anyone’s best interest. The world is so different now; we are free to do so many things. When there is so much to do, so much to see and so much to explore about yourself as an individual, especially as a woman, signing a contract to make yourself essentially part of a whole for upwards of your remaining 50 or so years just seems ludicrous for someone so young. The proof is in the rapidly rising divorce rate, which now hovers at almost exactly 50 percent.

An article on young marriages in The New York Times stated that despite the image of divorce as a mid-life occurrence, most American marriages end before the age of 30 than at any other time in a person’s life. The divorce rate for young couples is more than double the already-dismal national average, according to the same article.

Truthfully, the only logical reason to marry anymore is for one of three reasons: money, attention or gaining citizenship. Take your pick.

Sure, you could be “in love” but that’s an overused, overstated and overrated phrase. And what’s the harm in waiting until, say… 30? Love is a flighty thing. Let yourself really grow, understand yourself and make sure you actually want to tempt this bull with a red cape; most likely, you won’t.

Considering this premature marriage ceremony, I can’t help but imagine that this must be how the ancient Romans felt when attending fights to the death in the coliseum. Seems people are still captivated by brutal games.

2 thoughts on “Rushing into marriage leaves room for doubt, failure

  1. Although this is in the opinion I felt the need to comment on it just because I feel as though there were a couple things I didn’t like. The only factor for young marriage that is list out of the many is the fear of growing old alone. In reality a larger reason for young marriage is teen pregnancy and young adults thinking that getting married is the best thing to do. Second I understand it is the authors opinion but I found it a little rude when it stated “Truthfully, the only logical reason to marry anymore is for one of three reasons: money, attention, or gaining citizenship.” Really? Love may be an “overrated, overstated, and overused phrase” to you but to some of us it has a huge factor to why we are with the ones we are. I have been in a relationship for 3 years out of Love with a man I have known since I was 6. The gaining citizenship part also upsets me, I have many friends that are here on education visas, or come to the U.S. to work in a job for the summer. Several of them have found relationships here that are with a person that makes them extremely happy and feel complete, to say that it is to gain citizenship to the U.S. you made a generalization and that can be taken wrong and was. I take the pick of none of those options and also feel as though that you should consider to some extent of how you are wording things because generalizing things the way you did can be and is insulting. I am in love with a person who makes me happy and feel good inside. I am with my best friend and couldn’t ask for more and I am happy spending every moment with him because of the memories we have together.

  2. What a bullshit this article is. Do you really think people were dropping dead at 20-30? No, they weren’t. Infant mortality was much higher compared to modern day. When people lived past 20 at the time, they could except to live into their 60’s easily. Yet they married at age 18-25, maybe because they weren’t such narcists and egoists like students are today? Grow up! Marriage is hard work sometimes, whether you’re 20, 30 or 70 years old, it really doesn’t matter.

    Read the book ‘The Case againt adolescence’ written by PhD dr. Epstein and you would be surprised. The narcistic adolescence does not exist, you’re either a child or an adult. Nowadays children aren’t given any responsibility, that’s why growing up to adulthood seems to take till after 25 years for many.

    O, and next time you write such an article, do some research as if you are a real student. Marriages betweet ages 20-24 aren’t nearly at risk of divorce as are 2nd marriages or marriages which take place at age 30+. Thank you.

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