Monday, December 10, 2012
I started thinking about writing this post a couple months ago, after hearing a story on the radio about people who'd gotten married in their thirties. I came back to it now, having just finished Flight Behavior, and thought it was kind of funny how well that fit into the line of thought I'd been going along in the first place. Which is: I wonder why anyone still encourages people to get married young.
This is actually a thing I heard when I was younger—that people were waiting longer and longer to get married and that this was a concern, that girls should get married as soon as possible after high school, that boys should get married as soon as possible after their missions. But as a 27-year-old who's been married for almost five years now, I remember that pressure and feel the need to ask why on earth?
Why would it be a good thing for kids to be getting married at 18, 19, 20 years old? I'm not saying it's necessarily bad, and of course it works out fine for plenty of people. But as a general practice? Why is that something to be encouraged? How many of you have changed quite a bit in the years since you left high school? How many of you were very different as you graduated from college than you'd been when you started? Mike was 21 when we got married, and I was 23. We are both vastly different people now. Especially for myself, I can't overemphasize the significance of the kinds of changes I've been through—and the thing is, we're really lucky that we've moved through them so well together. These are changes that have broken many relationships and ended many marriages. What if that had been us, because we'd gotten married so young—before either of us really knew who we were?
I wonder how many people who get married in their late twenties or thirties later divorce for reasons of incompatibility? Those would be interesting numbers to see. I can't help but imagine those kinds of problems being much less prevalent in that demographic.