At a time when divorce rates are hitting the roof, marriage is decision that many couples negotiate with utmost care. Add to this the complexities of marrying young and most would be hesitant to commit. And yet there are as many reasons to get married at a young age as there are to put it away for a time of greater maturity. Here are then a few pros and cons of marrying young.
The pleasures of young love
The rapturous state of being young and in love is an experience that cannot be matched later in life, no matter how rich and famous you become and how beautiful you still are. There is a joy and vigor in youth that is most ebulliently expressed in young love. And while any relationship between young partners can partake of this state, marriage provides an anchor to this kind of love, which deepens the ecstasy and refines the pleasure. Being in love and completely committed to each other is the nearest two people can get to heaven and a young married couple comes pretty close.
There is less baggage
One of the primary challenges to adult relationships is the emotional baggage that partners bring from their previous relationships. By marrying young, you have less baggage than couples who marry much later, after weaving in and out of many relationships. Young married couples thus have fewer complexities to untangle which are the direct results of prior failed relationships. Also for some people, chastity is an important concept and the marital bed is where they would like to have sex for the first time. For these couples, it makes sense to marry early instead of denying themselves love and getting frustrated in turn.
You grow together
The upside to meeting young is that you grow together as a couple. There is a deep sense of satisfaction in discovering life and knowing things together – this can be as simple as learning to make breakfast together or as complex as figuring out taxes for the first time in the company of your spouse. If the marriage is firmly based on mutual trust and respect, no matter what changes come about in the partners, they become better, both together as well as individuals. Also the sense of security and faith that is the bed-rock of a marriage helps partners to explore other aspects of their personalities without feeling insecure or afraid that this aspect would be detrimental to their love life. However this path of personal growth beginning with a young marriage is possible only when the partners are sure of each other’s love and respect.
You have a head-start
Provided you have got married to the right person, a young marriage gives you a head-start in the important things in life. There is no need to experiment with relationships or waste time and energy by being part of the torturous dating game since you have already found your life partner. Again you can get on with planning your financial future like retirement goals, which many singles tend to put off since they are busier spending all their money. Also being a spouse and a parent perhaps gives you a firm sense of responsibility which in turn helps you get ahead in your career and make yourself a success in the world. If you wish to have kids, marrying early gives you a precious head-start since you have all the energy in the world to learn, play and explore with them instead of worrying about your aching bones and stiff back in the forties. Finally you have a longer working life as parents which means that you can earn and save enough to set up a comfortable college fund for your kids, thus giving them a head-start in life too.
You still have a lot to learn
The biggest problem in marrying young is that you don’t know enough. For starters, it is most likely that you have not had the time to fully know your partner. If you rush into marriage, then you may be rudely surprised by less than favorable traits in your partner that you did not know existed. In fact the same ignorance could extend to your own thoughts and priorities too. When you are young what you want and desire from life as well as relationships can vastly change as you grow older, gain greater perspective and maturity. While in your twenties, sharing a passion for Kant’s philosophy and Johnny Cash’s songs may seem the only requisite of a fulfilling relationship, fifteen years down the line you would probably look for a partner with a wittier sense of humor or a cosmopolitan outlook.
Money is tight
Needless to say, financial squeeze is almost inevitable when marrying early since young people are just starting out, unless of course either of you have wealthy parents bankrolling the path to your new home and college education. The stress of studying and working at the same time as well as meeting married expenses – like presents for families and celebration of anniversaries – can create immense stress in a young marriage where spouses have little experience and maturity in handling money. Unfortunately even the most passionate of young lovers can erupt into fights when faced with stacks of unpaid bills and the prospect of surviving on pasta for yet another week. On the other hand when individuals are already financially secure, they can not only live comfortably but afford greater romantic indulgences like a big wedding and an exotic honeymoon.
One of the biggest dangers of marrying young is that it might force you to deviate from your chosen career. Women especially have the worse of it since many of them are compelled to drop out of college or give up cushy jobs to look after their homes and babies. and even if such breaks are temporary, the years lost in child-rearing can often set back a promising career. Even young husbands may be forced to compromise on rewarding job opportunities and training if they need to be home on account of a new baby or a younger wife who cannot manage on her own.
Regrets for things undone
Then again setting on a particular course of life too early could keep you from sampling many cherished experiences or going on hair-raising adventures. Taking a desert trip through Morocco or roaming through the wind-swept plateau of Tibet aren’t exactly family-friendly activities but nonetheless you may have always dreamed of doing such things. Individuals who fantasize about adventure, danger and living life on the edge can find that getting married young, especially to partners who do not share their interests, makes for a boring and stifling existence.
Finally then marrying young – like many other choices in life – has both plus and minus points. Whether or not a marriage is successful in the end may boil down more to the exact dynamics of your relationship that the age at which you tie the knot.