Are We All Training For Divorce? A Case For Marrying Young

by Rachelle Hruska · September 3, 2008

    marry-young"Bristol Palin’s unwed pregnancy is not so unusual these days, but her solution --marriage-- is."

    So starts Rebecca Teti in her Faith & Family article posted yesterday "In Defense Of Marrying Young." The average age for marriage today is 25 for women and 27 for men, a far bit younger than the standards set forth on our fair island.  But Teti argues that marrying young is far better and her points seem reasonable:

    "The standard advice we give young people is to finish their education, get a good job and find themselves before taking the plunge of getting married. It sounds right, but here’s the catch. Psychologists tell us that character solidifies at about age 30. After that it becomes not impossible but vastly more difficult for the couple truly to knit themselves into unity.

    Youth, by contrast is more flexible and a young couple has the benefit of being able to build from scratch, if you will, instead of trying to remodel. My observation has been that the younger a couple marries, the more success they will have forging a coherent family life rather than persevering forever in what is more or less a roommate model of marriage: two separate lives lived in the same household with some necessary overlap."

    There is definitely something to be said for the couple that gets the chance to "grow up" together, to mold their personality with each other; but only if it's the right person.  I will argue that it can be just as important for a person to fully actualize to the individual they are supposed to become.  Living in NYC, it is considered rare to have a couple marry before they are 30, whereas I continue to see wedding and baby photos pop up on facebook from friends of mine from home (midwest) almost weekly.  Are we, like we all tend to think, the smarter ones....or have we all just been training for divorce??

    "I have a theory that late marriage contributes to an *increased* divorce rate. During those lingering years of unmarried adulthood, young people may not be getting married, but they’re still falling in love. They fall in love, and break up, and undergo terrible pain, but find that with time they get over it. This is true even if they remain chaste. By the time these young people marry they may have had many opportunities to learn how to walk away from a promise. They’ve been training for divorce." [Mathewes-Green]

    What do you think?