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 Pexels. 

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