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Marriage at Age 18


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I am just curious as to what everyone's thoughts are on marriage when you are 18. I am currently 17 and my boyfriend is as well, we have been dating for about a year. He and I plan on getting engaged this december when he is 18 and I am about to turn 18. After that, we will both graduate the next summer then get married before going away to university together. I guess I would just like to know what everyones thoughts are on my situation, or on marriage at age 18 in general.

*Edit: Also, I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but we both go to the college rather than the high school and are earning credits for high school and college. We are almost finished with our first year at community college.

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For myself that would have been a bit too early. Your mileage may vary.

I think it's too young. You are still going to grow and change as people. You might grow together you might grow apart. You can still be together but why rush into marriage?

I did it, almost exactly as you described.

Got divorced (Thank God!) when I was 26.

I can't really recommend it, however every relationship is different, and just because the odds are stacked against you, that doesn't mean your marriage won't work.

Ultimately, you guys are the ones who will have to live with your choices, so you'll have to make that determination.

Are you opposed to just living together? (although I really wouldn't even recommend that)

Why not wait until after college? A year isn't all that long to be dating, and life and people change SO much in college. Why not go together and see how it goes. If you are still happy together after school, then get married.

What's the rush?? 

Both sets of my grandparents got married around that age.  For one set, the marriage was not a happy one.  For the other set, it was one of the better marriages I've witnessed.

From my point-of-view, I know a lot of people that got married around 21, which is probably considered early.  So, I hear "18" and I think "early," in all honesty.

Good luck with whatever you do.

Yes, I can understand that it is early. Also, both of his grandparents were married at 18 and are still married now, about 50 years later, which is slightly comforting.

Well I don't really want to live together if we arent married, it just wouldnt feel right. Also, I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but he and I are not, well, sexually active. Neither of us want that until marriage.

I got married at 18 and it was not a wise decision. I changed, he changed and we were different people in just a few years, ending up very unhappy and divorced.

I know that you are not me, but I would advise caution and waiting. So much of your attitudes and personalities will grow and change for you both in the years you are at college. There is no reason you cannot be committed to each other and engaged during that time. You will (hopefully) have all your lives together as a married couple. You do not need to rush into it before college even begins.

Original Post by monicagrace27:

Well I don't really want to live together if we arent married, it just wouldnt feel right. Also, I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but he and I are not, well, sexually active. Neither of us want that until marriage.

Admirable, but this often encourages young/early marriage to a partner that may be ultimately unsuitable to the fully adult person that you will become.

Again I say, remain committed but wait. If your love is as strong as you think and feel it to be then it will survive those changes I spoke of and your marriage when it happens later on, will be all the stronger and meaningful because you grew and changed and still love each other. 

Stupid. That's what I think of it.

Sure, sure when I was 17 I was dead set on marrying my then boyfriend; I was 'mature', monogamous, deeply in love, we'd been dating for 1.5 years, had a sensible plan, the whole thing. However, thankfully, we decided to hold off and just live together during college.

So we lived together during college, and that was fine... until it wasn't. We both grew up and wanted different things; he wanted me to get my degree and start popping out babies, whereas I wanted to get my degree... and then start my career. Oh sure, back in high school we were on the same page, but college has a way of expressing who/what you truly are and want. What I wanted at 17 is NOT what I wanted at 21, what I wanted at 21 is NOT what I wanted at 25.

I couldn't have imagined changing so much during those years, but it happened, and I'm glad it happened outside the confines of an ill conceived teenage marriage.

You have no idea how much you'll grow in school, no idea. You have no idea how many different people you will meet; people who may excite and stimulate you in ways your teenage husbandboyfriend can't. and likewise, you have no idea how your boyfriendhusband will change; how does he handle financial stress? what if he meets a plucky new girl in his physics class? How does he handle his alcohol? Is he susceptible to peer pressure? Your darling respectful boyfriend may turn into a raging fratdouchebro after his first kegger.

I've seen it happen SO MANY TIMES. Humans are frail, weak creatures, especially in the tumultuous years of adolescence and early adulthood. You do know that the rational, decision making part of the brain doesn't fully develop until 25 right?

In any case, ALL the people I knew who got married between 18-21, they are all divorced now. Sure sure, they were good x-tian couples who loved each other (and Jesus!) very much, didn't live together/sleep together until marriage. blah blah blah. Yeah, well, then life, temptation, alcohol, plucky girls from physics class, money problems, 'oops' babies, and all manner of adult issues and responsibilities got in the way of 'high school sweethearts, tru wuvv foreva!'.

There is a reason statistics exist, and you are probably NOT the outlier.

If you value your sanity, your heart, you future earning potential, your ability to grow as a human and a woman, you'll wait till after college to tie the knot. If you still insist on plugging away at this silly notion, you'd be prudent to set up savings account for your inevitable divorce court fees.

Original Post by foxriver:

Admirable, but this often encourages young/early marriage to a partner that may be ultimately unsuitable to the fully adult person that you will become.

 


Yes, I suppose that I have heard that before as well. I can completely understand that. I realize that I probably sound naive, especially due to my age, but even if he and I were to marry right now, I would not want to become sexually active as I am not yet ready. Personally, I believe that if a person is not stable enough and mature enough to support a child, then they are not mature enough for sex. Again, just my personal opinion. I do really appreciate your input, foxriver. Also, about when you said that a person changes as they get older, isn't it possible to change together as you get older?

Original Post by monicagrace27:

Yes, I can understand that it is early. Also, both of his grandparents were married at 18 and are still married now, about 50 years later, which is slightly comforting.


Time have changed.

A lot of our parents and grandparents stayed married because, well, it wasn't acceptable to do anything else.  Divorce wasn't easy or simple and could come at a high price.  Things have changed and while divorce still isn't considered ideal, it's much more of an option than it used to be.

My opinion:  too young.  Much too young.  And I don't understand the rush.  If you're ready to say that you will spend the rest of your life with this person, then you probably expect him to stick around.  So he'll be around in a few years either way, right?  What do you feel are the advantages to getting married now versus two or five years from now?

Trust me, you're going to change a lot over the next few years.  So will he.  It doesn't necessarily mean that you won't still want to be with him or vice versa, but I would consider the risk of that to be very high.

Original Post by monicagrace27:

Also, I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but he and I are not, well, sexually active. Neither of us want that until marriage.

Getting married because you're horny is a bad idea.

Wait until you're adults (not legally adults, but actaully adults).

I don't remember any plucky girls in my physics classes.

Original Post by monicagrace27:

Original Post by foxriver:

Admirable, but this often encourages young/early marriage to a partner that may be ultimately unsuitable to the fully adult person that you will become.

 


Yes, I suppose that I have heard that before as well. I can completely understand that. I realize that I probably sound naive, especially due to my age, but even if he and I were to marry right now, I would not want to become sexually active as I am not yet ready. Personally, I believe that if a person is not stable enough and mature enough to support a child, then they are not mature enough for sex. Again, just my personal opinion. I do really appreciate your input, foxriver. Also, about when you said that a person changes as they get older, isn't it possible to change together as you get older?

If you're not stably or mature enough to have sex then you certainly should not get married!

Looking back as a someone who will turn 23 this year (close to your age), I have to say my 18 year old self is a bit different from my present self. 

I've matured in what I expect from a relationship both from myself and my partner. I understand differences in people's character better and understand (a bit better!) how I react to those differences. People I could stand 4 years ago are people I am no longer friends with. 

I realised a bit more of what I need from life; a bit of excitement, a challenge. If I want that I'll have to keep myself open to a variety of jobs and the possibility of moving. You'd have to consider some of those facts. 

I will also add there is a big difference in finances during these years. Like most young adults, I've relayed on my parents. However, being a married couple and still accepting 80% of your financial help from your parents, seems to be a bit..wrong. Not sure how to put it exactly. 

All in all, it'd be better to wait. You want to live with him and have moral objections to doing so. That's too bad. You can live in different rooms, but still together without having sex, to figure out if you are compatible then. Personally, having sex with someone has taught me some of the things I should expect from them as a partner. For instance, I've learned my partner is trustful, patient, and shows his affection easily. He cares about me both sexually and emotionally. 

Sorry, if this is rambly. Just wait a bit...come back to the idea in 5 years or so. 

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by monicagrace27:

Also, I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but he and I are not, well, sexually active. Neither of us want that until marriage.

Getting married because you're horny is a bad idea.

Wait until you're adults (not legally adults, but actaully adults).

Yup.

ETA: Have sex, than decide if you want to get married later.

What a curious situation....

I've never heard anyone say that before. 

Why do you feel you are not stable or mature enough for a physical relationship?  If you don't mind me asking.  If you do mind, don't answer.

 

Original Post by monicagrace27:

Original Post by foxriver:

Admirable, but this often encourages young/early marriage to a partner that may be ultimately unsuitable to the fully adult person that you will become.

 


Yes, I suppose that I have heard that before as well. I can completely understand that. I realize that I probably sound naive, especially due to my age, but even if he and I were to marry right now, I would not want to become sexually active as I am not yet ready. Personally, I believe that if a person is not stable enough and mature enough to support a child, then they are not mature enough for sex. Again, just my personal opinion. I do really appreciate your input, foxriver. Also, about when you said that a person changes as they get older, isn't it possible to change together as you get older?

So you don't want to rush into marrige just so you can have sex? That's good. If you aren't ready, then you aren't ready and you should absolutely wait.

As for changing together... people change SO much from 18-30. when i look back at myself at 18, i don't even really know that person anymore. when you go to college, you are immersed in a whole different world. you'll meet people from different places with different life experiences. when i got to college i realized how naive i was. i realized it even more so when i travelled abroad.

to get married at 18 before you even have the chance to see what else is out there just seems crazy to me. if you and your boyfriend are meant to be, you should be able to get through college and continue dating. 18 is so young to be living with a partner. you should live in a dorm with other girls your age and have fun! and he should do the same.    

Original Post by lostpumpkins:

What a curious situation....

I've never heard anyone say that before. 

Why do you feel you are not stable or mature enough for a physical relationship?  If you don't mind me asking.  If you do mind, don't answer.

 


Well, I suppose it does sound a bit like I am contradicting myself. I don't mean that I am not stable or mature enough for a physical relationship, I just meant that I am not stable or mature enough for a child. And personally, I think that if a person is not stable enough or not mature enough for a child, then they should not have sex. Not just as a way to avoid being pregnant, but also because if my boyfriend truly cares about me, then he will be able to respect my opinion and will be able to wait until I feel that I am ready. Also, I learned from a study that when a couple becomes sexually active, their emotional growth in the relationship tends to level off. I would rather have a strong emotional relationship than a strong physical one. Does that make sense?

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