Why I Believe Marriage Shouldn’t Be Allowed Before Age 25
By Jennifer Nagy
Age is just a number… except when it comes to marriage.
Let’s look at my stats:
Current age – 29
Divorced for – 8 months
Separated for – 1 year, 9 months
Age when I met my ex – 19
Age when I married – 24
Which brings me to my point: couples should not be allowed to get married before age 25.
While I know that this statement is going to make me very unpopular with readers, I do believe that it would be for the best — better both for the institution of marriage and the individuals getting married — if we could change the law to prevent couples from getting married before the age of 25.
In my experience, marriage before 25 was not the smartest idea. I met my ex at the tender young age of 19 (just a few months after my birthday). I was enjoying the freedom of drinking and partying legally for the first time (I live in Canada where the drinking age is 19). I had yet to figure out who I was or what I wanted in my life. I was naïve and impressionable, and when I met my much older ex, I was perfectly happy to let him take control of my life, creating a relationship dynamic that continued for the nine years we were together.
We decided to get married when I was 24. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time because everyone knows that after five years, you should be married or at least engaged, right? It was definitely the message that I was getting from all of our friends. So we took the plunge, getting married on the beach in Miami Beach in front of our friends and family.
That’s where the problems began. Once the excitement of planning a beach wedding was over, after the suntan had faded, I was left simply living my life with my husband. Don’t get me wrong, I loved him — and a part of me always will. But because we had started dating at such a young age, he was marrying someone who had absolutely no idea who she was and what she wanted in her life. In short, it was a recipe for divorce.
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.
My opinions are based solely on my personal experiences and the experiences of the people that I know and have observed. That being said, marriage and divorce statistics do support my 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. A scary figure for young lovebirds… but definitely one that validates my opinion.
Who knows? Maybe there are 20-year-olds that get married and stay madly in love for their whole lives. Maybe puppy love can last forever.
Could be. Maybe there is such thing as fairies and unicorns too.