Opinions on marrying young?


#1

Opinions on marrying young? Like just out of high school, 18? (A sacramental marriage)


#2

I feel like people marry young to avoid fornication.


#3

What if both have a desire to start a family?


#4

Then that is that. I do feel like most Christian couples wed early to avoid sin.If you are legally an adult then you can start a family.


#5

There is nothing wrong with marrying young to start a family but until you are ready to start a family you shouldn’t marry.


#6

Used to be the vast majority of people got married after high school. Very few went to university. Of course jobs that enabled one to support a family with just a high school diploma were more plentiful back then.


#7

If they are truly prepared to enter into matrimony, then it would be fine to marry at 18. With most people nowadays, I don’t think that is the case.


#8

Yes.
We tend to make our kids grow up very quickly these days.
This is a natural result of that.
We expect adult things of them, so they want to be treated as adults once they turn 18.
Hopefully, they are well formed by their parents.


#9

Check diocesan regulations. When I was getting married, it was in the diocese of Las Cruces. In the specific diocese, parental permission is required for 18-21 year olds to get married. Plus, if both prospective spouses are under 21, they have to show how they can financially support a family. And no, the diocese would not allow clergy to officiate at sacramental weddings if either prospective spouse was under 18.


#10

I know someone who married young (I think 16) to get away from her mother…her father (divorced from her mom) consulted. She ended up divorced about 20 years later…but now is happily re-married and has a 2 year old daughter.

So, it probably depends on the actual REASON for marrying…


#11

Where will they live? Is it a safe place to raise a baby? Not that the couple and their children would stay there forever, but unless there is a good and steady income, getting a mortgage or even affording rent or passing a credit check for renting reasonable home/apt is necessary (and not something most 18 year-olds easily come by). What about health insurance for the expecting mom? Does it come with her job or husbands? Or are they paying for insurance via Affordable Care Act? How about utilities and other expenses? I am pushing 50 and I didn’t know many 18 year-olds that made an affordable wage back in the 1980’s that would support a family, let alone any today. Even those who work for a family-owned company don’t usually start off with an income that is feasible for supporting a family so early in life. Is there any reason this couple feels the need to get married right after high school, without even going thru a vocational school training program or getting an Associate Degree? The US economy isn’t conducive to minimum wage jobs supporting a family these days…


#12

What’s the rush?

I’ve talked to many people who regretted marrying young. I’ve yet to talk to anyone who regretted waiting and wished they would have married sooner.

Experience and enjoy life for awhile, because once you are married you become responsible for other people. You can’t spend a summer backpacking across Europe when you have a husband and a kid.


#13

Nothing wrong with it per se, but it depends on a number of variables, including the emotional and physical maturity and economic circumstances of the parents.

On a somewhat unrelated note: a very wise gynecologist once told me that the ideal age for having one’s first child (in the case of a woman) was around 23.


#14

Really you haven’t meet anyone who regretted waiting (of course it depends on how long the “wait” is)? I have known people who dated nine years and then had fertility struggles when they did get married, others who feel like they wasted the many years they spent dating. Another coupe dated a long time and after they got married, the husband was diagnosed with cancer, he survived, but it was a scare and they regretted waiting. :shrug:

Eighteen is probably too young for the majority of people these days (there are always exceptions). Especially since higher education is so common these days (and a great many people seem very immature).


#15

I think that in some circles, waiting a long time to marry is no big deal because the norm is to date, live together, possibly even have a kid or two, THEN get married. Some also really see marriage as “just a piece of paper” and that the only difference between marriage and cohabiting, is that marriage carries the risk of divorce, and so should only be entered into after many years of dating/cohabitation, to minimize that risk.

Or, they really do find the wedding more important than the marriage, for they see a wedding not as marking the start of a totally new phase of a relationship, but as merely a public celebration of a relationship that is already fully established,

I can think of two couples who waited 10 years to marry, one did live together (though they didn’t have kids) for many of these years, but I did get the feeling the bride would have loved to marry much earlier, it was the groom who was reluctant to do so. I guess that’s a stereotype but it was true in this case. Despite some of the discouraging stats about marriages that start out that way, they are still together and seem happy.

The other couple didn’t live together, and actually were long-distance for some years. I don’t recall either expressing regret for waiting too long, but I wasn’t close enough to them to venture an ask.

Eighteen is probably too young for the majority of people these days (there are always exceptions). Especially since higher education is so common these days (and a great many people seem very immature).

I agree with this, and I’ve noticed that many Christian sects that promote young marriage, often expressly as an alternative to “burning with passion”, actually don’t see “maturity” as a pre-requisite for marriage, at least not for the bride, because they see all women as perpetual minors who must be under some man’s “umbrella of protection” (father, husband, brother, or adult son) for all their lives.

And some also see “maturity” as not a pre-requisite for the groom, either, because they subscribe to the “Christian Patriarch” view of the father/patriarch as maintaining authority over all his children long into their adult lives.

(The Duggars and others who follow ATI may be one of the most public examples of this mentality, but they are certainly not the only ones.)


#16

Disclaimer - my opinion only (as requested) :smiley:

Two people who’ve experienced adversity and struggle, have overcome such as to reach the point where they know who they are, decide to commit to unifying their lives with each other with the intent of creating and supporting off-spring, and are ready to do so should they arrive sooner than later - sure, go for it!

Two people who are “in love” and/or scared of being alone, having never lived independently in any sense, who wish to define themselves by their relationship with this other person, who have no savings or fact-based plan for providing support for themselves and future children? No.

The problem with marrying young (imho) is that it is extremely unlikely that both parties are fully understanding exactly what they are agreeing to get themselves into and in the current culture their is little outside support for them to stay together and work through issues and much support for them to split up and find someone “better” - be it 2 months, 2 years or 20 years down the road.

And truthfully, except to avoid something or acquire something, there is no reason to get married at that young of an age rather than wait until 21 to 24. It’s amazing just how much you can learn about yourself and others in those few years - especially if you travel or attend college.

I wasn’t being sarcastic in my first response though - I do know people who have been through enough life experience in their first 18 years to have acquired the experience and maturity to handle marriage.


#17

Maybe someone else has the statistics, but I am curious about the divorce rate of people who marry from 18-21 and people who marry between 30 and 32. In 44 years, I have never heard anyone say that they wish that they didn’t wait to get married. I have talked to at least 100 who wished they had waited.

Typically, the only people who don’t think waiting is a good idea, are under 25 who should be thinking about school, careers, and having a strong financial footing before other people rely on them.


#18

Yes, the “starter marriage” concept, something I even see on CAF at times. I recall an old topic about “shotgun marriage” involving pregnancy, in which one poster thought attempting such a marriage was a good idea for the sake of the baby. When others pointed out such a marriage would likely be invalid, the response was, that made such a marriage even a better idea, that there was no downside to it, that either it works out and “becomes” valid, or it doesn’t, and since there’s a slam-dunk case for annulment, those involved can just pick themselves up, dust themselves off and go looking for civil spouse #2/sacramental spouse #1.

Although, considering the whole idea was to marry for the sake of the baby, the poster curiously didn’t care to discuss the devastating effects divorce can have on children…

And truthfully, except to avoid something or acquire something, there is no reason to get married at that young of an age rather than wait until 21 to 24. It’s amazing just how much you can learn about yourself and others in those few years - especially if you travel or attend college.

I agree with this, but note that many people would say, citing divorce stats, that even 21-24 is “too young” an age for marriage. Though I do know many lasting marriages where people married right out of college.

I wasn’t being sarcastic in my first response though - I do know people who have been through enough life experience in their first 18 years to have acquired the experience and maturity to handle marriage.

I don’t know anyone of my own generation who married at 18. But one of my babysitters from childhood, married at age 20, and I can think of a couple who married when the man was only 19, though the woman was older. Both couples are still married.

On the other hand, one of my uncles married very late for his generation (late 30s), and curiously, he’s the only one of my uncles and aunts who is divorced. So, waiting to marry doesn’t guarantee happiness, either. His wife was much younger, though, so perhaps that was one of the reasons that marriage didn’t last.


#19

That sounds wonderful!


#20

It sounds wonderful IF both parties are mature enough to understand that parenting involves a great deal more than cuddling an adorable baby AND have the resources necessary to provide for a family. Not many eighteen-year-olds have that maturity and those resources, and the less mature they are, the more likely they are to think that they do.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.