Should I Dump My Parents So I Can Get Married?

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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 3 ½ 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. 21
    Leslie

    All I have to say is that everything single woman that had gotten married under the age of 26 was divorced between two to three years after getting married. For those that ended up having kids, it kind of hard dating when you are 26 or 27 with children.

  2. 22
    BeenThereDoneThat

    I married at 19, we were married for 18 years and then it fell apart.   In looking back, I wish I had waited until I was older to get married.   I missed out on some many life experiences.   Of course, I had different life experiences.   I lived in Germany, was a mother of 3 kids at a really young age but I didn’t use the time to go to school because I was busy with my family life.   Now, I am back in school, and experiencing what it’s like to be independent and I LOVE IT.   When my oldest daughter, now a freshman in college, called me the other day and said she wanted to apply to a study a year abroad, I told her to go for it!   She was surprised by my attitude as she thought I would struggle with her so far away.   And I will, but I’m glad she is doing these things while she can, because later doesn’t always work out.

  3. 23
    Ruby

    No one is telling Sarah to walk away from her boyfriend, just to work on becoming a mature adult first. Then it won’t matter what her parents think, or whether they approve of her choices or not. If her BF won’t stick around a for a year or five while she becomes more established, what possible chance do they have of making a marriage work over the course of 50+ years?
      
    There is not much logic to Hadley Paige’s thinking. What if they have kids? The effects of divorce on kids can be huge. How do we know if Sarah’s boyfriend is a “keeper” or not? Whatever his income, studies have shown that a woman’s financial quality of life tends to decline after divorce.
      
    She’s only 21, for pity’s sake! What’s the rush, anyway? Sex?

  4. 24
    Hadley Paige

      RE: Denise @ 14
    “#5 Hadley “I guess one could look at it that way, although not a great way to start out a lifelong partnership and it is a cynical way of looking at things.”

    I want someone who participates in these discussions to honestly tell me that a potential husband’s financial prospects are not (or should not be) a significant (not the only, not the major, just a significant) factor in a woman’s decision to get married to someone (and in my opinion, it should be if motherhood is in the cards).

    I reject the accusation that I am cynical. What I am is a realist. Money is (and should be) a big factor in who a woman chooses to marry. If she wants to raise sane, unstressed children who have been adequately nurtured by their present (love by phone from the office doesn’t count), loving, unstressed mom > being adequately supported while the kids grow up is (and should be) a major consideration.

    And similarly, just because I mention the realities of divorce, does not mean I am cynical. If a woman marries a high income guy, she will get a bigger check upon divorce than if she marries a low income guy. I believe that that is a fact beyond dispute.

    One would be (I’ll be kind here) imprudent to not consider finances when one chooses a husband (and what one can expect in divorce is part of that calculation) Girls– it ain’t all about love,love,love. A marriage is a partnership to get thru life & money is a big part of being able to do it in a manner that smooths out the bumps.

    Again, if he is a keeper, she better keep him, or someone else will.

  5. 25
    Steve

    Sarah;
    A lot of people have given you good advice ( except for Hadley – no disrespect to her, I just disagree).     I can remember a little bit of how I saw things when I was 21.     Most of the advice older people gave me seemed condescending.     Some of it seemed really strange and wacky.     An amusing experience I have had in my life is watching how the most absurd sounding observations about life turned out to be 100% true.   If you feel like we are being condescending   or that we just don’t get how you feel please know that putting these kinds of thoughts into words is extremely difficult.
      
    Evan made two points which are golden.
      
    The first was to remember how you viewed the world when you were a kid, a teenager and how you view things now noticing how much those perspectives changed.     Well, those shifts in the way you view things and what you value are going to keep coming.     We aren’t any smarter than you, we are walking on the same road and are just a few blocks ahead of you.   We are telling you about that pot hole you might not want to step in.
      
    The second point is that if you have something,   it will still be there in 5 years.   There is nothing to lose by waiting and you will be waiting with your BF in your life so the wait will be fun and seem short.
      

  6. 26
    L.K.

    Everyone is ganging up on Hadley Paige@25
    Sometimes reality is a bit cynical. I am now single and in my 30’s. If I had to do it again, I would have married a rich guy very young, while I had youth/leverage on my side. If it didn’t work out, at least I would have gotten alimony, etc..
    At my age, I do have to find a nice, compatible guy ( as recommended by Evan)- I don’t have a good 10 years to try to find that rich hot catch, only to have him ditch me when I’m in my 40’s. Then, I will really have ZERO leverage.
    being divorced at 27, 28 is no big deal. just be careful about whether you want to have kids too soon. And if being a divorcee means you’ve got some extra cash to burn, if you are sans kids, more power to you! Then you will be in a better position to find a guy you really care about, because you don’t need to evaluate a partner based on his income.
      

  7. 27
    Cat

    Frankly, I’m disappointed that on a blog geared towards “smart, strong, successful women” it hasn’t occurred to anyone that it might be Sarah who turns out to be the bigger wage earner once she enters the job market. It might be Sarah who takes the high figure job while her husband takes the stay-at-home dad role that so many of my high-figure earning lawyer/doctor/corporate girlfriends say they are looking for! Last thing they want is a guy who works their hours and can’t be there for the kids (or them.) They can afford the big house, fancy car, cleaning staff all on their own. They don’t need to marry someone to get any of that! They would be appalled at the suggestion that a woman’s goal should be to marry “well” (some rich guy) instead of earn a degree, a great career, and a fulfilling intellectual (& personal) life for herself. As my neighbor-poet-journalist taught her (then 10 year old) granddaughter to say, a woman should go to college & Paris and have a bank account before she gets married… (paraphrased. It was much longer. And I had to spend $1 on lemonade out of a silver teapot to hear it.) 🙂

    Also, Goldie in #20 puts in some sobering perspective on the whole “marry for alimony” slant started by Hadley #5. (As for Hadley’s comment on Evan being a dating coach and not a marriage coach, you have only to read this blog in its entirety to see his evolution from expert serial dater to devoted husband. He does know quite a bit about making a relationship work –from first dates to marriage! He teaches people how to have successful, fulfilling relationships, not sugar daddies…or sugar mammas. You might be on the wrong blog.)

    I love Luxe #16’s comment. Yes!Don’t be afraid to wait! If he is a keeper and wants to be with you, he WILL be in the LTR without the marriage until you guys are really ready. They don’t regret at all waiting to get married.”

    I also love Steve’s comment, #18 “Telling a 21 year old kid that ending up in a divorce with a steady alimony check is a not-so-bad plan b and that she should risk going through an unhappy marriage because out of 80 years of life left to her in country of 270 million people she may never fall in love again, so grab this dude now, after only 7 months?”

    That said, I totally get Sarah’s enthusiasm and optimism. I do think she should wait, regardless of whether sex is involved (as a few commenters have questioned. I really don’t see her as some virgin ready to be deflowered through marriage.) I think it’s awesome that she’s sure she wants to marry him and spend the rest of her life with him. I also agree she should wait to do so. To underline what some others have said, oh, I wish I could send a letter to my 20-something self!!!

    As for Hadley #25 “honestly tell me that a potential husband’s financial prospects are not (or should not be) a significant (not the only, not the major, just a significant) factor in a woman’s decision to get married to someone (and in my opinion, it should be if motherhood is in the cards).”

    Again (big sigh) why are her financial prospects assumed to be lesser? What about a trophy wife’s life is appealing? Seriously! I can only imagine: gym, tan, plastic surgery, only to be exchanged at 40–it sounds exhausting. You, yourself, mention life ends at 40, basically. Let me tell you something about 40, since I turned this year and still am regularly carded. I am twice the woman I was at 20, and men recognize that. I have more dates and better prospects now that I’ve turned 40 because I’m confident, smart, stylish, interesting, and in many ways better looking. I only wish I’d started having Evan’s advice when I was in my 20’s… What can I say, but his Finding the One Online program has worked wonders for me.




  8. 28
    Luxe

    Hot diggity damn! Time for me to pan me some gold!
      
    Ok.. I understand wanting a financially stable guy and all (I do too). But going for the rich guy because in the worse case scenario of divorce you get a nicer alimony check (cha-ching!) sounds a little… do I dare say…. golddigger-ish? 😉 I do see what you are trying to say Hadley. I just don’t completely agree with you.
      
    Cat, I agree. Sarah could end up being the major wage earner. We just can’t tell since she’s only 21 and hasn’t even gotten her degree finished while her BF is 26 and should be starting to get his career going (unless he’s taking a while/doing grad school etc).

  9. 29
    Helen

    Sarah’s letter sounds as though it were written by me, many, many years ago.   The only difference (EVERYTHING else was the same, right down to each parent’s comments and my hubby’s age) was that I was 22; and that we waited longer than 6 months to get married.

    We were students. We had no money and no idea what jobs we would have in the future. We each made efforts to meet the others’ families. Now we’ve been married over a decade and have 2 kids.

    When you find the right one, yes, you do want to keep them.   It doesn’t have to do with money, and it doesn’t have to do with looks. It has to do with finding someone who is kind and patient and devoted, with whom you feel mutual respect and can get along in a very comfortable way. That is the person you will love through thick and through thin, and the love keeps growing.  

    Dare I put in my unromantic two cents here: that mutual  RESPECT may be even more important than romantic love when deciding upon a partner? When the respect is there, the love grows and keeps growing even after 10 years, and it is wonderful.

    I think Evan and all the commenters may have glossed over one point that TO ME is absolutely crucial.   Her father gave his blessing. Fathers don’t give blessings lightly.   They hold onto their daughters tightly.   My dad gave the exact same blessing and warning of not having to do anything too soon.   But I guarantee you he wouldn’t have given his blessing if he hadn’t thought we would make it through the long haul, even if we married right then.

    The daughter’s comment about divorcing her parents does seem immature to me, though, and I hope it is more motivated by the heat of the moment rather than a genuine intention.

    Finally: Evan, are you going to become a parent soon? 🙂   One of your comments seemed to suggest that.

  10. 30
    Denise

    #25 Hadley

    Agreed on determining if a man is able to support a family, and how the woman feels about that.   Coming from a marriage where I was the breadwinner and that took way more of my masculine energy than was good for our relationship, I tell my daughter to make sure she considers this when deciding to get married.   However, let’s assume he makes huge money, does that make him the best husband for her?   I would argue not necessarily, ask those women who have very successful husbands what their lives are like.

    In this situation, these two are in their early 20’s.   Kindof difficult to determine there’s going to be a huge, fat payout in the end.   (which still feels cynical)

    In general, going into any marriage thinking ahead to the possibility of divorce is probably not a good sign!

  11. 31
    Karl R

    Hadley Paige said: (#25)
    “I reject the accusation that I am cynical. What I am is a realist.”

    When I was young and cynical, I though of myself as being a “realist” too.  As I got older and wiser, I realized that cynicism was no more realistic of an outlook than optimism.

    L.K. said: (#27)
    “Sometimes reality is a bit cynical.”

    Def’n – cynical:
    1.
    distrusting or disparaging the motives of others.
    2. showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one’s actions, esp. by actions that exploit the scruples of others.
    3. bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.

    Reality is incapable of being cynical. Reality simply is.

    People can be cynical.

    Hadley, I’d say your posts on previous topics make even better examples of cynicism than the ones you’ve expressed in this thread.
    https://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/relationship-advice-my-girlfriend-wants-to-get-married-but-i%E2%80%99ll-lose-my-health-insurance-what-do-i-do/#comment-63229

    Would you like some reality? If someone is a cynic (distrustful of the motives of others), it’s highly likely that their own motives aren’t trustworthy. It’s almost impossible to believe that everyone is untrustworthy if simple introspection shows you that at least  one person is.

    It’s natural to believe that most people are like us.

    Steve said to Sarah: (#26)
    “We aren’t any smarter than you, we are walking on the same road and are just a few blocks ahead of you.”

    I agree.

    My girlfriend and I have been dating for about 15 months. I intend to marry her, and I’ve believed that that was the inevitable course we were on since the 6 month mark. But I still thought it was worthwhile for us to go slowly, since our relationship has continued to change even over that short period of time.

    The intense feeling of being “in love” is caused by chemicals in our brain. Those chemicals wear off sometime between one and three years into the relationship.
    http://people.howstuffworks.com/love8.htm

    Hadley (#5 and #25) is advising that you marry quickly, while your boyfriend’s decision is still being influenced by chemicals. That way, if he changes his mind when the chemicals wear off, it will cost him a lot of money to leave you.

    Evan (and most of the rest of us) are recommending that you wait, so you aren’t making that decision while influenced by chemicals. For me (and presumably my girlfriend), they’re already wearing off. We still have a strong relationship (even though it feels less intense). That’s something that I can count on for the next 40 years.

  12. 32
    Goldie

    Hadley #25, so what I’m hearing from you in this post is that a woman should not marry a college student 😉 since money is an important factor, and all he has right now is a ton of student loans and no definite future. His career may, or may not, work out – there’s no way to tell at this point. So, um, from that standpoint, why should she “keep him”? Your post appears to contradict itself.
      
    Also, nice assumption that women only work/have careers when the man cannot put enough food on the table: ” If she wants to raise sane, unstressed children who have been adequately nurtured by their present (love by phone from the office doesn’t count), loving, unstressed mom > being adequately supported while the kids grow up is (and should be) a major consideration.” Is it OK with you that some of us are good at what we do, like our jobs, and set positive examples for our children by being fulfilled in our work? Or should we go back into the kitchen?

  13. 33
    Denise

    #33 Goldie

    I see where you are coming from, I have always been career oriented and enjoy the challenge of a career.   I was also lucky enough to have a period of 4 years when my kids were young to stay home during the day and work a flexible part time job at night.

    Having both worlds (full time work in a careeer vs. part time work to bring in money),  I believe  the BEST situation for a marriage and the children is if the wife (or husband if they don’t mind the role reversals, although I do think that’s a tall order in the long run) stays home and runs the household and raises the children.   It is much less stressful  and more harmonious.   That doesn’t mean the other person doesn’t contribute or help with the house or the kids.  

    It was tedious being home, it’s the same thing day in and day out, and I had a busy social life with my kids so it wasn’t like I was at home 25X7.   It’s volunteering at the school, it’s errands, it’s making meals and cleaning up after meals.   These were the best years of my life and indeed, were the less stressful for me in regard to keeping up the household stuff and raising the kids and having a calm family life.

    Eventually I went back full time because I needed more of a challenge in regard to the work I was doing.   That’s just the kind of person I am and I also wanted a better life for my family that I knew my husband was not going to be able to provide.

    Everyone is different, and I’m sure there will be some that will balk at this, however, I don’t think my experience in regard to being home is so unique.   And I also don’t believe that mothers, who have had the opportunity to stay home and not work, would not say their households  didn’t run  better, their  marriages were happier and stress levels were less.  

    I also have to say I’m a traditionalist 🙂

  14. 34
    TripleM

    Hadley is (or at least has previously said he is)  a man, not a woman.  

    Alimony, in the traditional “1950’s gold-digger” sense, is very rare in America today.   In most states, it won’t be awarded if the spouses are both capable of supporting themselves; it will often only be awarded if one spouse was economically dependent on the other during the course of the marriage (and it’s less likely to be awarded if the marriage was short); and it is  often awarded only for a specified “rehabilitative” amount of time — so the receiving  spouse can get the education/training needed to be self-supporting.  

    (If there are young  kids in the picture, some states will occasionally award alimony — apart from child support — to the custodial parent, on the theory that it’s better for the child if the custodial parent can be at home.   Again, though, I don’t think that typically lasts for the entire legal childhood of the kid.)

    The old stereotype of “marry the old guy, put up with him for a few years, dump him, and then be set for life” hasn’t been widely accurate for a very long time.  

    Despite what you read on those “never marry an American woman” web sites . . . ;

  15. 35
    Lilli

    I would love to see a reference for this statistic:
    75% of marriages where the bride is under the age of 25 end in divorce.

    The 75% just seems too high to me. Maybe I’d buy it if it said brides under age 18.

    1. 35.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Lilli See Elizabeth Gilbert’s follow up to “Eat Pray Love” called “Committed”. There’s your 75% statistic.

  16. 36
    Stephanie

    Sarah,

    I am 22, just graduated from college. One year ago I was ready to marry my boyfriend. I loved him, he was crazy about me, and I wanted nothing more but to start my life with him. He was an amazing man and I an amazing woman, so why wouldn’t we work out together?

    College is a great little bubble, especially for relationships. My guess is that you guys live within walking distance from each other, can meet during the day, have pretty in-sync schedules, can participate in the same activities and share a group of friends.

    All of this changes the moment they hand you a degree. Your bubble bursts and your world changes. The stress of finding a job is enough to break up even the best relationship. Bursting the college bubble will be a great test for you guys, and honestly, by the way you talk you guys might have a really good chance of staying together.

    But then comes the job itself, where to live, are you going to have to move, is he? Who’s going to be the one to give something up to accomodate? Then comes the friends. He wants his guys friends, he makes friends at work, co-workers, you make your friends and all of a sudden your completely in-sync lifestyles are seperated. But lets say you guys make it through that too…(again, very possible).

    Now you’re starting your career, and he his. You gotta be focused, make a good impression, work longer hours just to impress your boss into giving you the pay you deserve. You barely see each other between conflicting work schedules. You have bills and fights about bills and more bills because you’re new to this whole living on your own with a job thing and it’s stressful, very very stressful. Do you know how he handles stress? Does he know how you handle it?   Unless you know each other in this state and understand how each other deals with stress and anger and frustration, then you could confuse a back handed comment stemming from bad day at work for a spiteful insult meant to hurt you. Which leads to more fighting and more stress. Yadda…yadda…yadda…

    As you can see, my boyfriend and I didn’t make it. We dealt with stress differently. Our careers tore us apart because neither of us wanted to give up our career for the other’s.

    My advice: take a couple years. And don’t take them as a delay for marraige, take them as a pretest. If you two can make it through all of that, then you have a very strong chance at marraige. It’ll be a comfort to know if you do get married that you have made it through a tough time together.  

    If he wants to put a ring on it, then let him put a ring on it. Long engagements are very in right now. But just wait to make sure you know what and who you’re saying I Do to before you walk down the isle.

    Being in love is great. But being smart about being love is even greater.

    Good luck with everything, Sarah.

  17. 37
    Goldie

    🙂 Denise #34, wow we do have a lot in common. I lost my job after I had my oldest child and didn’t go back full-time/permanently until the youngest was 18 months old, i.e. if you don’t count part-time and temp jobs, I stayed home for 4 years. I’m afraid my staying home was one of the things that killed my marriage 🙁 It’s a long story that’s not for a dating forum.
      
    Also, my career took a pretty big hit because of this 4-year break that I took (involuntarily). I had to start over as an entry-level at 30. My kids will both start college and need cars over the next few years and I guarantee you I could use a bigger paycheck, but what’s done is done. I put a lot of work into raising the kids and there were definitely benefits to my having stayed at home, but there were downsides as well. FTR my mom only stayed with me for five months and I think I turned out fairly well 😀
      
    Anyway, it’s an individual decision that each family makes for themselves based on what works better for them. I just saw an implication in Hadley’s post that really rubbed me the wrong way – that by default, women should stay at home, unless their husband doesn’t earn enough. That’s a weird thing to see on a site for “smart, strong, successful women”. I know many women who make a real difference at their workplace – some of them were (and still are) my children’s doctors and teachers that had a great influence on them. Going back to Sarah, she’d probably be surprised to find out that, if she marries her BF now, her career (that hasn’t even started yet) should end in a few years, as soon as the kids come. I’ll bet money she hasn’t been planning on that 😉
      

  18. 38
    Denise

    #38 Goldie

    Wow, it’s like we were living parallel lives!   It sounds like the biggest difference was I thought  being home  made my marriage better because I was  taking care of the household things during the day, so  weekends and the one evening I had off could be spent in a leisurely way  – maybe it was because I worked at night too :).  

    Like you, my career took a hit as well–although I would never trade the decision I made and the time I had with my kids for anything, sounds like you feel the same way.

    I also agree that ‘it’s not a perfect world’ (one of my favorite sayings) and it is a decision for each family to make.   However, as we know, hindsight is 20/20 and wisdom comes with time.   The last two sentences of   your post are right on!

    #37 Stephanie

    I think this post is awesome and representative of how life moves through phases.   I can totally see school as being this ‘bubble’, then the realities of life set in.

    I also go back to being the age you are when you’re that age.   Be 21 when you’re 21, be 25 when you’re 25–just worried about yourself and making your way in the world (the generic   you BTW).   Prepare in case your husband is not around (death, divorce, disability) by getting a skill you can fall back on.

    On the other side of the coin, I have also noticed with on line dating the number of men who are older who have younger children.   There is also the situation where people wait for the ‘right’ person, get antsy because they want a family, and then marry and have children, only to find out that was not the right person.   At least, however, they are more financially set because they are older.

    So, it’s not a perfect world.   If I had to make a mistake, I’d rather make a mistake on the side of waiting til I got out of school and established a life for myself (with my man in it of course), then come together as equal partners.

  19. 39
    C.

    I dated a 28 year old student when I was a 20 year old student. He wasn’t rich then and he isn’t rich now. If I had married him, I’d be the breadwinner. Not that anythings wrong with that per se. Just sayings all, since the convo went in that direction.

  20. 40
    Ruby

    Lies, damed lies, and statistics:

    Don’t know where Elizabeth Gilbert got her information, but According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 60 percent of marriages for couples between the ages of 20 and 25 end in divorce, as opposed to 50 percent of all marriages in which the brides are 25 or older. Most of the info I’ve found shows that a woman who marries younger than 25, without a college degree and lacking an independent income has a higher probability of her marriage ending in divorce.

    From Wikipedia: 81% of college graduates, over 26 years of age, who wed in the 1980s, were still married 20 years later. 65% of college graduates under 26 who married in the 1980s, were still married 20 years later. 49% of high school graduates under 26 years old who married in the 1980s, were still married 20 years later.[

    Here’s another interesting statistic: Children of divorce have a higher risk of divorce when they marry, and an even higher risk if the person they marry comes from a divorced home. One study found that when the wife alone had experienced a parental divorce, her odds of divorce increased to 59 percent. When both spouses experienced parental divorce, the odds of divorce nearly tripled to 189 percent.

    Second and third marriages have much higher divorce rates as well, 67% and 73%, respectively.

    1. 40.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      From Gilbert’s “Committed” p. 123: “The age of the couple at the time of their marriage seems to be the most significant consideration. The younger you are when you get married, the more likely you are to divorce later. In fact, you are ASTONISHINGLY more likely to get divorced if you marry young. You are, for example, two to three times more likely to get divorced if you marry in your teens or early twenties than if you wait until your thirties or forties…When we are very young, we tend to be more irresponsible, less self-aware, more careless, and less economically stable than when we are older. Therefore, we should not get married when we are very young. This is why 18 year olds don’t have a 50% divorce rate; they have a 75% divorce rate, which blows the curve for everyone else. The cutoff is 25 — couples who marry before that are exceptionally more divorce prone”.

      You can try to separate college grads from the conversation, but non-college grads make up 2/3 of the American population. The real point is that getting married before 25 is, statistically, a bad bet and it costs the O.P. nothing to continue to date her devoted boyfriend for 5 more years. By the way, I’ve met two amazing women in the past month who were with college boyfriends for 9+ years and recently broke up. People change – bigtime – in their 20’s. You’d have to be blind to suggest otherwise. Nothing good comes out of them getting married now. The defense rests, your honor.

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