Young marriage


#1

Should older teens be encouraged or discouraged from marrying if they believe they found the right person?


#2

I think teens that want to get married, should discern carefully whether it is the lifelong commitment they want, or the opportunity to have marital relations. Hormones can be a pretty strong motivator at that age.
And it depends completely on the two individuals involved. I don’t think you can make a blanket “Yes they should” or “No they shouldn’t” statement. Not all teens are alike in maturity level. :slight_smile:


#3

I agree. It is hard to make a blanket statement because some teens are mature and really have found the right person, and others still need to grow up. Marriage is a permanent relationship and many are not ready for handle the struggles that come with it.

For what it’s worth, all of the people I know personally who were married as teens are still in strong, happy relationships. One couple in particular has been married for 20 years and the wife’s coworkers have always been envious of the close, loving relationship she has with her husband.

However, I don’t see the harm in waiting a few more years! If they’re the right person at 18, they’ll still be the right person at 22. Few teens are able to stand on their own at age 18 and still rely on mom and dad until their early 20s (sometimes even mid-20s). I think it’s best to put off marriage until you can fully support yourself.

Is there someone in your life, such as a younger sibling, who is contemplating getting married as a teen?


#4

Define "older teens."

The love may be genuine, but 16-18 year olds do not have the emotional intelligence or maturity for marriage. Despite how much love there is for a person, they are just not ready, nor can they handle (or comprehend) that type of commitment.

There are, however, exceptions to every arguement but they are not the norm. Any marriage requires long, prayerful discernment and patience. If it is meant to be by God, it will happen.

God bless.


#5

The Catholic Church states that for a marriage to be valid the female must be at least 14 and the male at least 16.


#6

Careful, opinions not explicitly spelled out and detailed in the official teachings of the Catholic Church are verboten and will be considered wrong! LOL

We don’t need to describe what we are FOR, but we sure can opinion on what we are AGAINST.

As long as there is no recommended frequency of sexual relations maybe we can be civil. But I predict that this will devolve into whether young men or young women are more immature and inable to make an informed decision. This is regardless of the fact that both men and women can vote at the age of 18, and both can drink at the age of 21.

Edit: a bit too late, since I started writing but didn’t push “submit” until a couple of other posts got in before mine.


#7

I think you’d be hard pressed though to find a priest within the United States that would agree to marry two people at those ages. I think it would have to be an extremely unique case for a priest to agree to officiate at a wedding involving two people that young.

I personally will not be encouraging my daughter to even consider marrying before she has established some kind of independent life, and I don’t see that happening before she’s at least completed some kind of schooling. I thought I knew I had found the one at age 18…and then at 22…finally got it right at age 29 because I knew myself so much better and had developed a very faithful prayer life and was able to properly discern what I was being called to do and whom I was being called to. Thank God my parents recognized that I wasn’t ready and discouraged me from getting married at such a young age.


#8

I got married young and I had NO IDEA what I was getting into. lol.

But is that such a bad thing? Why can’t the married couple “grow-up” together?


#9

I was thinking about mentioning the fact that the Church has always taught that concupiscence was a valid reason to marry…but I probably shouldn’t “go there”.


#10

I don’t think that’s something that can receive a blanket answer. It very much depends upon the individuals involved.

I have friends who dated in high school, married in college, and have been happily married 20 years. I know other people who would have been a **disaster **if they had married at that age.

I think that something to help them like the Fulton Sheen book “Three To Get Married” would be ideal. If they think they want to get married, help them understand the sacramental nature, have them sit down with the priest and discuss these things.

Obviously there are considerations such as education and ability to support themselves and a family-- but you know, I don’t think you have to have all the ducks in a row before you marry. Plenty of people work and put themselves through school or take a trade. Many people start out “poor” and make it just fine.

So, to me that’s not a show stopper as much as maturity and readiness for the sacrament are.


#11

I married young, 19. It’s been wonderful. I know, it’s not the norm, but it’s worked for us so I guess if one of our children comes to us about marrying young it would depend on the person, any goals about jobs or schooling. There are a lot of factors. Our parents didn’t question us at all, of course my MIL was 19 when they got married and all of her siblings married young, so to DH’s family, we were normal:D His cousins have all married young too and everyone is pretty happy. Only 1 divorce on either side of his family and it was years ago and it was his great aunt who left her husband after he tried to kill her!!! So I think it was ok!
My family is full of divorce! I’m the youngest of 7 and the only one not divorced ( I’m also the only one that is Catholic or even goes to Church ) They all married at different ages, some young, some not so much. Two never wanted kids. One sister is on her 3rd marriage. My parents were both married and divorced before. This was the norm for me so I’m still in awe of my husbands family!

I think this topic, like so many, can’t be a one answer fits all. Everyone is different and wants different things out of life. I wanted to be a wife and mother. Further schooling wasn’t something I wanted to continue:shrug: We are going on 16 years now, so I guess we are doing something right!:love:


#12

[quote="violet81, post:9, topic:224778"]
I was thinking about mentioning the fact that the Church has always taught that concupiscence was a valid reason to marry...but I probably shouldn't "go there".

[/quote]

That might fit in with 1 Corinthians 7:9
*But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. *


#13

I think it is preferable for women to marry younger because it probably makes submission a lot easier if they have not been on their own many years.

That doesn’t mean the marriages that happen a bit later in life are doomed to failure.

Or that you shouldn’t finish school, etc etc.

Men need to be able to support the wife and possible children, so he should probably be at least 20 and almost done with college/vocational training.

Also- the younger you marry the more babies you are likely to have. More babies means higher chance of getting a priest in the bunch- and thats good for the priest shortage.


#14

[quote="violet81, post:8, topic:224778"]
I got married young and I had NO IDEA what I was getting into. lol.

But is that such a bad thing? Why can't the married couple "grow-up" together?

[/quote]

I have an old high school friend who got married when we were barely out of our teen years. She and her husband are very devout Christians and I believe they have a strong marriage because they were emotionally prepared to take on that endeavor.

Here's the thing we need to realize-- maturity may not have so much to do with it as it does the preparedness to take on lifelong commitment, as well as understanding what it means to be married and knowing that marriage is a sacrament.

I believe there are valid reasons why people who get married younger tend to get divorced at higher rates than people who marry later. Do most people understand what it means when they hear "marriage is a sacrament"? Probably not.

But it makes you wonder how people from other countries, such as our Asian and African brethren, can get married at younger ages yet seem to have stronger marriages that last a lifetime. In those cultures, at age 18 it is reasonable to expect that those individuals are prepared to get married and start a family. It's not expected in our culture, and it's not encouraged because there is an emphasis on pursuing one's education. I think it's a good thing that young people are encouraged to finish high school and go to college. After high school, and upon entering college I believe what goes wrong is the focus on the self-- college students tend to be the most self-centered people around, yet they're also considered adults at the same time. Unfortunately, this mindset does not prepare anyone for marriage and having a family.

I think it's possible to "grow up" together, but personally I wouldn't want to see people getting married young on a grand scale because it's not for everyone. In the past, I probably would have jumped down people's throats and told them they were crazy for even considering it, but I think that's where we have to emphasize the sacramental nature of marriage, and encourage the couple to truly discern. At the same time, the couple needs to be made aware of the adults responsibilities that come with it.


#15

It is my understanding that as long as canon law and the applicable civil laws are satisfied, a priest is not to deny the sacrament of marriage based on age.


#16

Hopefully they would have gone through the pre-marriage preparation as well. I imagine the Cana couple would have a lot to say!


#17

I dont think there is anything wrong with being self-centered in college. When you invest money in college, you are investing in your future. Every decision you make needs to be geared with your career in mind. You can marry anytime and there are plenty of women. What you only have one chance at is a good career and good financial status. If you are constantly looking at tailoring your career with another person that may not yet be in your life, you will be too conservative and wont be able to take risks. You wont be able to gamble as well. You wont be able to take as many low level positions to build experience or take a job that travels often on business. It is hard to raise a family on a job that requires lots of travel or a job that doesnt necessarily pay a lot but builds good experience. A man that isnt self centered in college wont be able to as easily go to graduate school or farther.

Almost every decision made in college is for the self. It is very hard to not be self centered when you are paying a lot of money in the hopes of having a good career down the line. The vast majority of people dont go to college for an education. They go because college is the place people go to learn a trade. The first question that comes after what is your major? is what do you want to do with it? Some majors like nursing and engineering it is somewhat obvious but in the liberal arts it generally means grad school, lawyers, or some kind of desk job. Very few people think of going to college purely for the educational value.

Similarly, very few people want to sacrifice a career for marriage. When you are being groomed for a career, other people tend to take a back seat. Chances are high you will need to move to another city as your college. Then you will likely change jobs or cities several times working up the ladder. Marriage and other people serve to tie you down in this situation. Other people limit your chances. This is why a self centered culture develops in college. Most people see how many who married are miserable and many married people complain about missed opportunities for marrying young. A self centered culture is a reaction to a society where women arent very tolerant of jobs and careers that are not stable and where men tend to settle too early when they arent ready for marriage while being vocal about their displeasure with marriage.

I know many men that complain about marriage and say never get married. I know many women that complain about their husband not being in a career that is stable and is guaranteed of a large income and retirement plan.


#18

Self-centered behavior is NOT good when it absolves one of responsibility. There are lots of people going to college on their parents' dime and party every weekend, lose focus on their studies, make poor decisions financially, etc. College is a time where someone should be focusing on their future, but that also means they need to start being an adult. There is a reason why the American Psychological Association says that the "adult" age is 25 (which is ridiculous in my opinion), because college has contributed to an extended adolescence that seems to be very unique to Western culture.


#19

You make many points that I don’t think people want to think about or acknowledge.


#20

[quote="mjs1987, post:17, topic:224778"]
I dont think there is anything wrong with being self-centered in college. When you invest money in college, you are investing in your future. Every decision you make needs to be geared with your career in mind. You can marry anytime and there are plenty of women. What you only have one chance at is a good career and good financial status. If you are constantly looking at tailoring your career with another person that may not yet be in your life, you will be too conservative and wont be able to take risks. You wont be able to gamble as well. You wont be able to take as many low level positions to build experience or take a job that travels often on business. It is hard to raise a family on a job that requires lots of travel or a job that doesnt necessarily pay a lot but builds good experience. A man that isnt self centered in college wont be able to as easily go to graduate school or farther.

Almost every decision made in college is for the self. It is very hard to not be self centered when you are paying a lot of money in the hopes of having a good career down the line. The vast majority of people dont go to college for an education. They go because college is the place people go to learn a trade. The first question that comes after what is your major? is what do you want to do with it? Some majors like nursing and engineering it is somewhat obvious but in the liberal arts it generally means grad school, lawyers, or some kind of desk job. Very few people think of going to college purely for the educational value.

Similarly, very few people want to sacrifice a career for marriage. When you are being groomed for a career, other people tend to take a back seat. Chances are high you will need to move to another city as your college. Then you will likely change jobs or cities several times working up the ladder. Marriage and other people serve to tie you down in this situation. Other people limit your chances. This is why a self centered culture develops in college. Most people see how many who married are miserable and many married people complain about missed opportunities for marrying young. A self centered culture is a reaction to a society where women arent very tolerant of jobs and careers that are not stable and where men tend to settle too early when they arent ready for marriage while being vocal about their displeasure with marriage.

I know many men that complain about marriage and say never get married. I know many women that complain about their husband not being in a career that is stable and is guaranteed of a large income and retirement plan.

[/quote]

This is not my experience.

Since getting married at 19 I have followed my husband all over the country. He has had 6 jobs and finished college. I have also nursed him through chemotherapy when he had cancer. I have taken care of him since he was crippled with a back injury. I have birthed 2 of my 5 children without him present because he was traveling for work.

We have certainly been through a lot together but none of it was made worse by being married. If anything it probably made it all a lot easier to deal with.

We have had our ups and downs but that is part of life regardless of if you are married or not.


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