Marrying at university???

Hi

I’m 25 and a student in the UK in the process of completely my second degree (second Bachelor’s). I met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with and want to get married.

Financial situation: I have two years left of the course and the course is paid by the government and doesn’t need to be paid back. My partner is also very financially stable, he’s 8 years older than me and able to support us both.

Why I don’t want to wait longer to marry:

I want to marry my partner because we’re both ready. I like to spend enough time thinking things through when making decisions, I’m not an impulsive person as it may seem this way by what I’m about to say next. We both know we want to be together and I feel like life is too short to wait around unnecessarily. Some months ago I was taken to A&E (accident and emergency) with severe abdominal pains. It doesn’t seem to be serious but that hasn’t been completely confirmed yet, I have surgery in a couple of weeks and they’ll take a biopsy. It may also impact on my ability to have children. I think it is partly this health scare scaring me, making me think what if something happens to me that my life expectancy is reduced and I don’t get to marry him or enjoy any of my life with him.

My partner is from another country and is moving to the UK in a couple of weeks. I’m 25 and he’s 33 and we have both waited for marriage. We’ve both waited this long but there was never any real temptation. Now we’ve found each other and are extremely attracted to each other and going to see each other so often I’m not sure how well we’ll manage waiting (for sexual intimacy) for two whole years. We are both determined to wait and to enforce boundaries to be able to do that but I know we’re both going to struggle. (And part of my thinks he has been waiting 8 years longer than me and it isn’t fair to make him wait 2 more years).

I’m always concerned about him, if he’s eating well, sleeping well etc. I just need to be close to him. I want to wake up next to him, to fall asleep next to him, to care for and provide for him in all the ways a wife does. I have an aching need for this.

I’m ready to make a commitment to my partner as is he. I’m ready to be his wife to be his married partner, ‘teammate’ as he commonly says. We’ve faced so many challenges and always found a way to overcome them, our love is real, deep and permanent.

The only thing putting the brakes on things is my course. I know there is a high chance getting married and being a newylwed will distract me from my course and I want to excel but could it not also work in the opposite way? Being married may also make me focus better as my partner will be close by, give me support, my time will be forced to be well managed (though it is already) and I can see that he’s okay every morning and night and help to care and provide for him.

Some may say my social life will suffer but that really doesn’t matter to me, I do not socialise too much as it is anyway as I’m focused on getting good grades. I’ve also had the university experience already, this is my second degree. Though of course I wouldn’t spend ALL my free time with my husband so I’m sure I’ll still have time to socialise.

My partner is 100% supportive of my course. Like me he says the only thing that is making him thinking about waiting to marry until I’m finished is he wants me to do my best and not to distract me.

I’m having a real head or heart problem, as in do I go with my head that says to wait or my heart that says to marry in the summer before my final year.

What I would like to know from others is do you know of anyone who has married while being a student as I cannot truly know what this experience is like until it happens if it happens.

Online the only things I can see is that some people struggled as they had financial problems but that really isn’t likely to happen. About 20% of my course (aged about 19, 22, 27, 34 and 45) are living with a married or unmarried partner and they get very good grades, so grades do not have to suffer. In terms of the typical challenges of marriage, as I said my partner and I’s relationship has been tested so many times in so many ways and continues to thrive. The more challenges we face it only brings us closer, we are a great team :slight_smile: I know whatever challenges we face we can handle them well as we have so far and we are so devoted to each other and determined to resolve things as quickly as we can.

Yes, it’s likely the marriage at the start may be a little strained as I’ll be studying hard but my partner will also be working hard. We are also very considerate and understanding. My final year is also only 9 months long.

Does anyone have any useful advice or experience to share that my help me and my partner in making a decision on what to do?

Thank you in advance.

i don’t understand what the problem is. lots of people who are married also go to school.

My thought too. I married at 21 and had a baby before I finished. Had 3 kids when I finished my second degree.

The only advice I’d give is not to put school first and foremost if you marry. Yes make it a priority, but not to the exclusion of your spouse. I always said spouse, family, school, in that order (God was added to the head of the list when I converted during my second degree).

I’m wondering if there is some other issue here.

A relationship with someone outside of your country is a concern as far as a VISA scam goes.

In short, spend at least six months (and ideally longer) just getting to know each other in person before setting a wedding date.

The school issue is nothing, but there is a big gap between you both in age, geography, and culture. Proceed with caution.

Best wishes!

My parents were married and had 3 children before they graduated from collage. Later, when they 5 children, my father went to law school and my mom got her masters degree. It just takes motivation, discipline and organization; you can do it.

We’re both very aware of all of those things, we did proceed with caution, like I say we’ve faced probably every challenge there is to face because of those differences (and other challenges) but this is meant to and going to last because we are meant to be and both willing to do all it takes to make it work. 8 years is not such a huge age gap when you take maturity levels into consideration. Not everyone is at the average maturity level for their age. Some 25 year olds are more mature than some 30 year olds, some 25 year olds have more life experience than some 28 year olds for example; in many respects age is just a number. My parents are 17 years apart and from different countries.

We have both also grown up in very similar cultures, life was very similar growing up for me as it was for him and there aren’t very many differences in our generations so we share very similar attitudes and beliefs. I don’t feel I need to dictate to strangers how strong out relationship is. I didn’t ask for opinions on my relationship. We know we are 8 years apart, we know we grew up in different countries, we know all of the usual negative things people say because we’ve talked about EVERYTHING and we’re in the relationship, we’d know more about it than outsiders that want to comment on it because it is us that faces the challenges.

I do not need or appreciate words of warning, I asked for advice on the challenges of being a newlywed and being in the final year of a university degree.

Thank you very much for your support.

I personally feel there is a difference between a person being a student while being married for a while and a person being a student after just getting married. I think a newlywed is more likely to be distracted from their studies because there’s so much new, vibrant energy and excitement about this new stage of their relationship. Marriage requires a lot of work, as a newlywed maybe you’ll struggle a little at the start because you’ve never lived together before for example, there are so many new challenges as a newlywed student (I would imagine) compared to a person married for at least a year.

We’re both very aware of all of those things, we did proceed with caution, like I say we’ve faced probably every challenge there is to face because of those differences (and other challenges) but this is meant to and going to last because we are meant to be and both willing to do all it takes to make it work. 8 years is not such a huge age gap when you take maturity levels into consideration. Not everyone is at the average maturity level for their age. Some 25 year olds are more mature than some 30 year olds, some 25 year olds have more life experience than some 28 year olds for example; in many respects age is just a number. My parents are 17 years apart and from different countries.

We have both also grown up in very similar cultures, life was very similar growing up for me as it was for him and there aren’t very many differences in our generations so we share very similar attitudes and beliefs. I don’t feel I need to dictate to strangers how strong out relationship is. We know we are 8 years apart, we know we grew up in different countries, we know all of the usual negative things people say about why they think it won’t work because we’ve talked about EVERYTHING and we are in the relationship, we’d know more about it than outsiders that want to comment on it because it is us that faces the challenges.

Thank you for your concern but I do not need words of warning, I asked for advice on the challenges of being a newlywed and being in the final year of a university degree.

You’d be amazed. He’s supported me through my course, through illness, I’ve supported him through the loss of his dad, family problems, career dilemmas. We’ve been on quite a spectacular journey.

Do not underestimate the quality or depth of a long-distance relationship. My relationship is far more solid than relationships of people I know that are in a relationship in which they see each other every week or every couple of weeks. Being in a long-distance relationship can test you in ways that in many situations people are not tested until marriage.

If you love each other and feel that you want to be together right now, why not get married!
I know it’s difficult and you have lots of other things going on, but you don’t have to have a huge wedding which will take lots of planning. You can always have a big first anniversary party when your course is over. :slight_smile:

If you believe that you would both function better together than apart, that’s a good place to start. Good luck to you both and I pray it all works out well for you.

Being a newylywed in college is nothing, especially at your age.

What is a big thing is deciding to get married to somebody that is at a totally different life stage from you, who will have just immigrated to a new country, when you’ve never cleaned house together, grocery shopped, babysat, talked seriously and in detail about money, done a dinner party, or attended a party together. There’s so much you simply do not know about each other.

Oh, come to think of it, on top of whatever premarital counseling is customary in your area, I would suggest doing a personal finance course. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is good (although you may find it culturally alien) and it is available in an online version.

I married my husband pretty quickly (well within a year of meeting) and while things worked out OK, there were a lot of surprises with regard to housekeeping, socializing, bathing frequency, etc., not to mention a long adjustment period when we started to have kids. In retrospect, a lot of stuff should have been predictable, but it didn’t even register at me at the time. Initially, a lot of stuff is cute that will eventually make you livid. There’s going to be a continuing process of discovery over the years (my husband only recently figured out that I was not going to live indefinitely with pink carpet). You don’t need to learn everything at once, but you can cut down on the “I had no ideas!” by going a little slower.

I don’t doubt that you care about each other, but there is unavoidably so much that you don’t yet know about each other.

Yes, all of this. Anita, lots of people marry while in school and do just fine. You say that you are concerned that the excitement of being newlyweds will distract you- I think that is more likely to happen if you don’t spend a good amount of time living near each other before getting married. All of the things that Xantippe mentioned (cooking together, babysitting together, talking about money, going places together) are important. It might seem like you’ve been through a lot “together”, but really you’ve been through a lot and supported each other while apart. It’s not the same, and will be a much bigger adjustment to you if you get married right away.

Also consider what will happen if you do become pregnant soon after you marry but before you finish school. Many people can do it, but if you are already concerned about distractions, that will be one big distraction.

That’s true, but it doesn’t mean you can’t handle married life and studies. Pray and God will help you.

While I was working on my PhD I got married and had 2 kids. I had to put my work on hold for a bit but I finished my degree. It wasn’t easy but I managed.

Don’t be afraid and overthink this. You sound ready so just do it and live your life. :slight_smile:

My wife and I married at 20 and 21 years old, respectively. I had 2 years of college left. She had more due to major switching a few times. We lived off of financial aid rebate checks from Pell and state grants and whatever I got from doing summer hourly work and in-semester teaching gigs. Wife focused on class and the new baby.

I can say that being married so young and while in school did not distract me from my studies. If anything, it made me MORE focused, since I now had a family future at stake. Knowing that my schoolwork would help lead to a job that would support us all was quite motivating, especially in the really boring classes. I graduated on time with a 3.something GPA, and found a (real) job about a month after I graduated.

I am in the camp that believes that far too many people delay marriage for far too many reasons, and not all of them good ones. Getting married young, before you become “entrenched in your ways,” helps you grow closer through your 20’s as you both grow individually AND as a couple. My sister, among other people I know, married after 30, and have had a lot more difficulties adjusting to having a spouse than we did.

The 20’s are commonly known as a time of discovering yourself. What better way to set up a happy marriage than to discover yourself and your spouse at the same time?

That’s very interesting to hear. Thank you for sharing your experience.

There are ALWAYS going to be surprises once you believe in not living together before marriage… Waiting doesn’t prevent that or reduce that, there will always be things you do not know about the person. Maturity, patience, conflict resolution skills, compromise and excellent communication is what matters and we have no shortage of any of those things in fact we are very well developed in all of those areas (again due to the demands of a long distance relationship, maintaining a relationship when you live in timezones that are 8 hours apart, because we are 8 hours apart, then due to differences in thinking because of gender, the fact that this is the first real relationship for us both, the list goes on). We have developed all of those necessary skills for marriage so well because of the challenges we have faced but also because of love; love pushes us to be extraordinarily patient with each other (as in more than we probably would with an other person), extraordinarily understanding, we find it within ourselves to extend our highest amount of patience and understanding, to even when totally frustrated to find the patience and energy to communicate what we feel or to try to encourage the other person to communicate what they feel so we can understand and help to make things right.

We are so well connected, synchronised. We weren’t always this way, in fact almost the opposite. It is only through the growth of us as individuals and in our relationship that over time our characters have fit so well together. We have spent a LOT of time getting to know each other and know each other’s family and church and non-church friends quite well. We know a lot of each other’s ‘quirks’ each other’s flaws and again that has tested our relationship but our relationship survived all of those tests.

I am a firm believer that when your love is strong and deep and your communication skills are impeccable (we communicate everything to each other, good and bad, no matter how difficult, how matter how awkward it makes us feel and again that was a process, it wasn’t easy), when you feel that way about each other, that you would do anything to make the relationship work, to ensure you’re both happy and are so well connected there are no obstacles that you can’t get over.

And I’m not naive, thinking everything is perfect and will be perfect, like I say things though amazing now started out very differently. We both know what it is like when one person is doing something that really bugs the other one or when one of us is really, really annoyed and things aren’t so perfect but as we’ve experienced it so many times we know how to handle it.

We both also have a lot of vicarious experience from married people we know and helped them through it! There’s no naiveity; we are very aware of the challenges faced in marriage but know we can handle them through our past and current relationship challenges.

And the examples you gave, we’ve done nearly all of those things. Okay so we’ve never been to a party together (though neither of us like them very much so we don’t go to many and the friends we both have aren’t party people either), yes you’re right we’ve never cleaned a house together (please tell me how this is a significant challenge), I’ve been talking to him on the phone/video chat (Skype) when he’s been shopping, we both know each other’s diets, what each other likes to eat, what products each other likes to use and show each other our shopping receipts for example (we share all of our lives with each other, even that boring stuff). We’ve had many serious discussions (and debates) about finances, budgeting, our individual spending habits, what we think acceptable spending choices are etc. you don’t need to be in the same country to do this…

I do completely understand what you’re getting at though and appreciate your concern and advice.

Hi

I feel this way too. Yes, neither of us have ever wanted a big wedding, we both want a very intimate wedding with very close friends and family, say between 10-20 people and like I said neither of us like parties so we’ll probably have some sort of social event afterwards with the guests but not necessarily a party, it doesn’t have to be a party to be an enjoyable and fun reception.

Thank you for your well wishes :slight_smile:

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