May 15, 2015

Is There A Stigma To Getting Married Young?

I recently read the article: "I'm Getting Married at 22 and Apparently That Upsets People on the Internet" and couldn't help but feel for Shelbie Thilmony.

I married young. I was 19 when my husband and I got engaged and 21 when we tied the knot (My husband was 24). We have been married for two years and have been together for a total of five years now.

Family and friends were all very supportive, many of them were getting married at around the same age as well, yet when you go on the Internet, people are quick to tell those younger than 25 that they shouldn't get married.

For example here is a comment that was in her post:

I married the first time 2 days shy of 23. But if anyone, especially a woman, were to ask my opinion about getting married at 22, I'd say NO, do not do it. And I'd find and pay for her career counseling, help her find a sane roommate and be a support for her to grow her independence so she would NOT be looking for a male flotation device at that point in life. I believe that taking time to grow on your own in your 20s -- even if it seems "stupid" -- is crucial. If he is the True Love Of Your Life, he will still be there 2 or 3 years out. If he's not, well, you know the rest (i.e. it wasn't meant to be -- and that's ok). (source)

I am appalled at this response. Well, I am sorry your marriage didn't work out, but that does not mean hers or anyone else's won't. Some of us are already independent and able to support ourselves at a younger age.

Just because a woman or a man wants to get married in their 20's does not mean they need counseling. Where is the proof for that? Also just because someone gets married young, does not mean they are going to end up a housewife, which seems to be what this person thinks.

Then there was this comment:

Hey, I wish you all the best but I would just recommend that you take another look at how you described your guy: he stocked your fridge, helped you find work, told you how to spend your money, comforted you in the night.That's how most people would describe their dad. And this relationship started after you already thought you found "the one" with a guy who was abusive so you've publicly acknowledged that your judgment ain't great. Sometimes these Knight In Shining Armor/ Damsel in Distress relationships go the long haul. Other times, the damsel wakes up at age 42 and realizes she's tired of being in distress all the time. (source)

This girl was in a rut and her boyfriend helped her, is that so bad? Also, most women look for men that have qualities like their father. They loved their father and view him as a good role model. It is just instinct. After all, you want a good dad to raise your future children right? Even my husband shares some of the same qualities as my dad, one being that they are both left-handed.

I would also like to believe that a lot of friends and family would have reacted the same way as her fiance' did for her. The person who posted this comment must not have a very good support system or did not understand the article. I do not think Shelbie is a damsel in distress. She is a girl that went through a rough patch and was lucky enough to have a guy that loved her and helped her through it.

On the same article, there were tons and tons of supportive posts from people who had married young and had been together for 35, 40, 45 years!

So is there a stigma? For me, it is hard to tell. I have not faced any negativity from family, friends, work, etc. The first time I saw negativity was on this post, online and most of the negative responses seem to come from people who had bad past experiences, which not everyone is going to have.

I think we all just need to realize that everyone is different. Some people marry young and have long, happy marriages, some end in divorce. Some people marry in their forties or fifties and have happy marriages, while some will end in divorce. It varies for everyone since we are all unique individuals. We all have different beliefs, interests, etc. that can influence our relationships. Age, in my opinion, has nothing to do with it.

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on StockSnap.io. 


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6 comments:

  1. when my husband and i met we were both 20 and 21 and knew right away we wanted to get married. our families made us wait until we were 24 and 25 but regardless there was never a big stigma about it ha. we knew we wanted to be together so it didnt matter how long we 'waited to get married' make sense? totally loved this post!

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  2. I got married when I was 19, and I wouldn't say I've really ever noticed much in the way of any negative opinions of that choice...granted...I'm not super open about my age and I think most people assume I'm older than I am, knowing that I've been married 7 years. :) I don't think there's any "right age" for marriage--it's more like when you meet the right person and when you both know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's time to make that commitment, and you're ready--that's the time to do it!

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  3. Great post! My best friend got married at 19 and they have been happily married for 6 years. It's all about perspective. Each person is different!!

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  4. I got married when I was 23 and SO many people had so much to say about how "young" I was getting married, but who cares what people think. My parents got married when my mom was 18 and my dad was 23 and they've been together ever since--that's been almost 43 years. I think a lot of people try and play the trick that "times have changed", but I think it's the fact that people have learned and grown up knowing that you can always get a divorce. People aren't fighting for love anymore--they're just giving up so I think it's set a stigma on marrying early because these people don't want us to "waste" our twenties. It gets me all fired up when I think about it (haha!), but everyone's marriage is different. <3

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  5. I think there is a stigma around getting married young - but I think it mostly comes from people who don't know the couple. I personally believe no one should rush into anything - as marriage is supposed to be a lifetime commitment - but if you both feel you're ready and this is what you both want, then go for it. It's not anyone else's life, so you have to make the decision that's best for you. Like you said, age is not an indicator of how a marriage is going to turn out!

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  6. I do think that a lot of people who marry young will end up changing a fair bit by the time they're 30. And that may mean they grow apart as a couple. But that doesn't mean that nobody should marry young, or that you can't have a successful marriage if you start out young.

    I know a couple who started dating in 8th or 9th grade. Their relationship survived even after one of their families moved away before the end of high school. They've now been married for more than 30 years, and they couldn't be happier! A successful marriage isn't about age: it's about how seriously you take your marriage vows and how much support the couple gets from their family and community.

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