What Age Is Too Young to Get Married?
Posted by Katie Ostoich on June 7, 2012 at 4:43 PM
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth announced their engagement. Best wishes to the both of them! The ring is pretty spectacular too. But of course, everyone is already attacking the fact that she is 19. I’m sure gossipers are already counting down until a divorce. But age is just a number, baby. Except maybe for marriage.
Just read Jennifer Nagy’s recent article on the Huffington Post. In her opinion, no one under the age of 25 should be allowed to get married. While she bases her article completely on her own experience of young marriage and divorce, and frankly comes across as a little bitter, she does make a relevant point:
“People under the age of 25 are still discovering themselves; they are figuring out what is most important in their lives. They are discovering the joys (and heartache) of being in a relationship, and then the partying that often characterizes life between relationships. They are figuring out what their relationship "deal-breakers" are and who their most appropriate partners would be. While a person may be 100 percent certain that they love something -- or someone -- at the age of 21, by 29, they will most likely completely change their mind. Life is anything but certain.”
And marriage and divorce statistics do support her claim. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 60 percent of marriages in which the couple marries between age 20 and 25 will end in divorce.
So while I agree that there is a lot of growing up to be done in your 20’s, I will respectfully disagree with the rest of her argument. What Jennifer forgets is that it is possible to be married and (gasp!) grow together! Every relationship changes as the partners in it grow up and change. That’s a given. But to say that young adults can’t take that and do the work necessary to nurture a loving and successful marriage is insulting to everyone our age and to the couples that do indeed make it work.
But, I also am bringing my own biases to the table. I got married two years ago when I was 23 and my husband was 26. So yeah, we were young. But we had been together for 5 years, surviving near-death experiences, months apart when I moved across the country for internships, horrible family vacations, and the normal day-to-day monotony of everyday life. I am in no way saying we’re perfect. But we’re working on it, and thanks to our parents’ examples, we know the responsibility that the vows we took carry.
Me and Jennifer, we’re just two girls. Two girls with very different opinions. So we want to open this up. In your opinion, how young is too young to get married? What do you think is the “right” age? Please leave your opinions and experiences (if you’ve got ‘em!) in the comments!