Should I Dump My Parents So I Can Get Married?

My boyfriend and I have been dating 7 months, and we’re now preparing to get engaged. I’m 21 and he’s 26. We’ve talked to both of our families about our intentions, and my boyfriend even asked my parents’ permission for my hand in marriage. We’ve made a special effort to get to know each other’s families, as we believe family intimacy is invaluable. We are both studying and have one year until we graduate so we can get full time work. However, my dad thinks that we’re not ready for marriage even though he gave us his blessing. He thinks we should wait, but we plan to get married in 6 months as our relationship is moving forward and to stop things would feel unnatural.

It’s a given we will struggle financially as students, but we’re determined and committed to each other. My boyfriend is my best friend. We share the same values and know where we are going in life. I couldn’t be happier when I am with him! My mum thinks that he isn’t handsome enough for me, which is upsetting – I think he is gorgeous. Am I caring too much about what others think? Do I need to ‘divorce my parents?’ I love them very much, but I fear I’m letting them intrude too much on our plans to get married. Yet I can’t let go of their opinions, and I feel it’s putting a strain on our relationship.

Sarah

Aw, man. I’m already afraid of becoming a parent. The dichotomy of trying to protect your kids and allow them to make their own mistakes; I don’t know how people do it.

And as much as I believe that you’re in a healthy relationship and want to side with you, I think your parents are right, and that “divorcing” them would be a big mistake.

Here’s why:

“Divorcing” your parents would be a big mistake.

You’re 21 years old.

You’re still in college.

You don’t have independent sources of income.

And, most importantly, YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET MARRIED NOW.

That, to me, is the big blind spot here.

Everything you write sounds like a rational adult woman, except for this one line: “Our relationship is moving forward and to stop things would feel unnatural.”

Really?

Couldn’t someone say that at 15 years old? Couldn’t someone say that after 2 months?

Just because going to church, signing papers, and throwing a party seems like a “natural” extension of the love you feel for each other, I will make the bold prediction that if you can hold out for 5 more years, absolutely NOTHING will change in your relationship.

And THEN you can get married, just as you plan to do right now.

If waiting that long makes you feel uneasy, ask yourself why.

Is it possible that your relationship will NOT be the same in 5 years?

Is it possible that you’re going to change and develop into a different woman?

Is it possible that he’s going to change and discover that he hasn’t had enough experience with other women?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

It’s all very possible.

If your relationship is solid, then there’s no risk in NOT getting married in your 20’s.

75% of marriages where the bride is under the age of 25 end in divorce.

ALL of them thought that they were mature enough to be married.

¾ of them were WRONG.

The truth is, if your relationship is solid, then there’s no risk in NOT getting married. You can move in together, start your careers, go through the ups and downs of being young adults in your 20’s, and then, when things stabilize, start a family.

But if you get married now, have a baby in 2 years, and struggle financially, odds are that your relationship will not be able to take the strain.

And if all of this logic isn’t getting through to you, let’s try it this way:

Remember when you were 16, Sarah? What did you know about life then?

NOTHING. And it was only 5 years ago.

The EXACT same thing will happen to you when you look back on 21-year-old Sarah in 5 years. And when 31-year-old Sarah reflects on 26-year-old Sarah. And so on.

I’ve been writing this blog for the 3½ years that happens to coincide with my relationship with my wife. I can’t even remember who I was five years ago!

You don’t need a wedding ring. You don’t need to lock him in. You don’t need a baby. If you think you do, it’s all because you’re afraid you’re going to lose him.

But if your relationship is that strong, you won’t lose him, right?

So don’t divorce your parents. Don’t do anything except get your degree, get a job, and agree to love each other unconditionally. Marriage will be there later.

Because while you’ll change and he’ll change over the next five years, the one thing that definitely WON’T change is marriage.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Joe

    I think most Men are anti-marriage, so to actually find a Man who wants to get married is a miracle because when she’s 30 and single, she will be desperate to get married, only she won’t be able to find any willing men.  These days both Marriage and Divorce are acceptable.  “Its better to have been Married once than to be 40 and Never Married at all” – because its okay to be married and its okay to be divorced.  Its accepted that most marriages, even if someone is married at the “right age of 27″ doesn’t mean that the marriage will last.  The Marriage Years may be the best Years of her life.  If she wants kids now, then that should be okay, if she can financially support them.  Get married, and give marriage your best shot, because you never know if you’ll have another chance at marriage.

    1. 61.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Hey Joe, if most men were anti-marriage, there wouldn’t be 50 million married men and 85% of all men married by the time they’re 40…

  2. 62
    Joe

    Hey Evan, you might not agree, but the reason those Men are married is because they have children.  In 2011, most Men realize that marriage is primarily for having children, otherwise there won’t be any incentive to put your financial life in peril.  If a woman really wants an LTR or marriage, I would say get off the pill, and stay celibate until a man knows you well enough to want to spend his entire life with you in holy marriage.  Otherwise, a man is just using you for quickie sex without the hassles of a relationship.  There seems to be a greater fear of Divorce in society than the happiness of marriage.  If a 27 year old man is ready to be a husband and father, then he should be able to get married, because good husbands and good fathers don’t come around very often.  Even if the bride is only 21, the man may be the best catch of her life.  In society, women are pressured to “get married” because “the wedding is the best day of her life” and become a “perfect wife” but society doesn’t place much emphasis on being good husbands (other than having a high paying job) or fatherhood.

  3. 63
    Karl R

    Joe said: (#67)
    “the reason those Men are married is because they have children.  In 2011, most Men realize that marriage is primarily for having children,”

    Your view toward marriage is about 900 years out of date. That attitude hasn’t existed since before medieval times.

    Joe said: (#65)
    “I think most Men are anti-marriage”

    If most men are anti-marriage, and men primarily get married for children, how do you explain all the couples who get married/re-married later in life when they’re too old to have children?

    And if a man gets remarried when kids are not a possibility, that strongly implies that he had resons (besides children) for his previous marriage as well, even if he had children in a prior marriage.

    How do you explain every couple who gets married and chooses not to have kids?

    Even if a couple has children, that may not have gotten married for that reason. One of my brothers-in-law got married 10-15 years before he decided that he wanted to be a father.

    Joe said: (#67)
    “a man is just using you for quickie sex without the hassles of a relationship.”

    Your assertions (men not wanting to get married, men only getting married to have children, men using women for quickie sex) may be true for you and your friends. They aren’t true for most of the men I know.

    Since you’re making assertions about what most men want, I’m curious as to the source of your information. I’m sure you haven’t spoken to most men in this country (or even your city). And I haven’t seen any studies or surveys that back up your claims.

    Joe said: (#67)
    “There seems to be a greater fear of Divorce in society than the happiness of marriage.”

    If the marriage ends in divorce, then it’s almost certain that the marriage wasn’t happy. Furthermore, if people were afraid of divorce, but indifferent to the unhappiness of the marriage, they would remain in unhappy marriages instead of getting divorced.

    Joe said: (#67)
    “even if someone is married at the ‘right age of 27′ doesn’t mean that the marriage will last.  The Marriage Years may be the best Years of her life. [...] Get married, and give marriage your best shot, because you never know if you’ll have another chance at marriage.”

    If the marriage is a bad or abusive one, those years may also be the worst years of the woman’s life.

    What makes 27 the “right age” to get married (other than your claim that it is)? I’ve never heard anyone make that claim before.

    In the last month, two of my dance partners (women in their 50s) got married. I know lots of couples getting married in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. There’s always a chance to get married again … even if you don’t know when it will occur.

  4. 64
    Joe

    I’m sorry to confuse you, I meant marriage/monogamy because as men we all know that there are married men who are cheaters, and then there are married men who have not yet been caught.  As we have seen in this Dating blog, its primarily women who want the Dream of a LTR/Marriage/Loyalty and are obsessed with finding the one perfect Man.  Does a Man want One Woman to be married to, yes, does a Man want to sleep with more than one woman, yes eventually.  The financial devastation of divorce is destructive, so if a man can get consistent booty without a legally binding contract, he should, and then when he gets bored after 5 years, he can dump her and find a hotter younger woman.  Sure its pessimistic, but it happens more often than you think.

    As for singles over 60 needing marriage, because they can’t survive alone, without someone to physically help take care of their needs or obtain social security/medicare benefits.  Its out of necessity, not choice.

    A single woman wants to get married between the ages of 25-30 because that is her prime birthgiving ages.  After age 35, single women may not be able to have children.  A woman’s “perfect age to get married is 27″ but a man can get married whenever he wants.

  5. 65
    devika

    I am exactly undergoing the same phase as Sarah. I am 20 and in love with a 29 year old guy. And I am in a serious discussion here with my family to marry him by next month. The problem is am an Indian and here live ins are immposible.
    And more over my family has stopped me from even meeting him as v used to earlier.. 
    With all this tensions, I feel marriage is right despite of age and stuff. 
     

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