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Men shouldn't get married before age 30...(135 Posts)
... said a friend to me this weekend as yet another young couple in her family break up just a few years after they were being wished well with confetti and pledging eternal love. Sweeping, wine-fuelled and very sexist statement I'll grant you, but led to a really interesting conversation about the perils of settling down too young and the relative emotional maturity of men vs women. Being on the wrong end of a 'starter marriage' in the past I tend to agree but there you have it vipers. A controversial statement to be shot down or propped up at your leisure.
In have heard similar from a male no less. But I think you could argue that no one should marry early.
You change so much in your 20s that couples will often grow apart and want different things.
I wonder what the statistics are.
If I had married the men I was with at 19 and 23 I am sure I would be divorced by now. Well at least I would hope so.
I dont think anyone should marry before aged 30, or have children. And I say this as someone who had been married twice with 3 kids by my 30th birthday!
You can't possibly commit yourself to someone else until you are absolutely sure who you are and what you want from life, and I think that rarely happens before late twenties at the earliest. 18-28 is when we go from child to fully fledged adult, I think thats why so many people love their thirties as it is the first time they feel really comfortable in their own skin.
Of course, that too is a sweeping generalisation but one based on my own and my friends experiences!
On the whole I agree, especially as 50% of the population are living as students until they are 21-22.
The divorce stats do show that young marriages fail more than when couples are older, and men on the whole mature more slowly than women, during the teenage years.
I'd throw another grenade into the discussion though- that men are not ready to be fathers until well past 30. Tying the knot is one thing but being responsible for another life when you are still in your 20s is imo far too young, especially nowadays with student debt, expensive housing, etc etc.
Maybe it's because it's too hot to argue, but we seem to be agreeing with each other....
You can't cite student debt as a reason not to have children! At current rates of repay (salary above nat. Avg.), I will never pay mine off!
I was 29 when I married and DH was a few months off 30- and that was decades back when young people were not saddled with student loans etc etc. It was considered old at the time, but I think the economic climate has changed things now somewhat, regardless of emotions.
Dh and I have been together 13 years , I'm 32 and he's 35, we've been married 8 years and our eldest child is 6,5.
Tbh we would have got married earlier but I wanted to finish my degree earlier.
We've had our ups and downs but nothing massive and I definitely still think we will grow old together.
I think I can! One of my DCs pays £200 a month off a student loan- this makes a huge difference to available cash left over to buy or rent a place big enough in which to bring up kids. ie- two bedrooms not one. In theory.
I'd put it a different way - no one should marry (or have kids) until they've lived independently and out of their parents' home for at least 5 years. Could be 23 if you escape at 18, could be 45 if you're particularly lazy or unfortunate... Not male/female specific; I think a prerequisite of a successful relationship is having a clue about self-reliance and what it means to not have everything done for you.
To grossly generalise, I suppose more <30 y.o. men fail the above test than women of the same age?
In an aside just for context, people are considered to be children in some belief systems until they are 25: I guess the designation of 'child' here might mean 'needing guidance' or 'not ready to take major decisions'??
that men are not ready to be fathers until well past 30
My father was 22 when I was born and he was rubbish, he really was, by his own and my mothers admission. He was just too young. It was totally normal to be married at 20, father by 22 in the early 70's when I was born. All of my parents siblings were parents at that age, and without fail, all of the fathers were crap! They all loved their children but when it came to taking responsibility for the day to day stuff, they just didnt get it. One story my mum told me was when dad had 3 days off work and mum was working so he "looked after" me and my sister instead of my grandma. Mum came home to find Dad asleep on the sofa and me (3) and my sister(1) trying to make her a cake! I had climbed onto the kitchen surface to get the flour etc, totally wrecked the fridge and made a huge mess. She was fine with us, we were teeny, but she went totally BALLISTIC at Dad. She eventually had to give up her job because she couldnt trust him to do the childcare he promised to do on his days off, he just didnt get that he couldnt just leave us to it.
My son is now the same age as Dad was when I was born and I would be more horrified to find out he was about to become a parent than if my DD (16) told me she was PG and keeping the baby.
How could anyone disagree with you Cog lol based on my experience I have to agree too! ExP and I were together for 17 yrs (17-34 for me, he was 5 years older). Not once during that time did I ever think of him as husband/father material. Fast forward to meeting current DP, we moved in within 3 months and had DS about a year later. I'm not particularly eloquent but it was just the right time for us both, emotionally, mentally, financially...
Aetae I think you are right regarding living independently. I sort of assumed that would be part of waiting until post 30, but you have highlighted a good point that some people would never leave if they didnt have someone else to look after them to go to!
'Current DP' is that a Freudian slip on my part lol
I'm not saying that you can't make a decision until you're 25: after all we are able to have kids from around 16: just meant that support from the more experienced doesn't go amiss, and any mistakes made shouldn't be thought of as permanent
Society has made it nigh on impossible for both sexes to achieve security - housing, jobs, no debt etc - prior to 30 these days, if not 35.
So you can see why marriage prior to this time is not a great idea - let alone children.
Bogeyface my partner is 41 and if I left him with the kids, either his 16yo son would take charge and do well, or, the chaos you describe would result, so in spite of my earlier post, a bit about when the actual age relevance kicks in
Totally agree about the living independently bit
Sort of disagree. I married dh when I was 20 and he was 23. We've been pretty happy. We have changed since we got married but we worked on changing together. We are now about to have our 13th wedding anniversary and I'be seen a lot more "suitable" marriages falter on the way.
The advantage of getting married at a time when no one else is is that we married because we wanted to - not because everyone else was which I know of at least one couple who faltered once married with a child as they (according to the wife) had both wanted to be married with kids more than they wanted each other.
We did wait until we were 30 and 33 to have kids though.
DH was 24 when we got married, 25 when DD was born, I was 27 and 28 respectively. I can't tell you yet what's going to happen with the marriage, we're only 2 years in but what I can say is that DH is a wonderful father and was ready to be one.
So many people, including the HV have said that he is the most involved dad they have ever seen. This was only possible because he is so young and doing a PhD, mostly working from home. It was so sad to see that the other dad's in our baby groups only saw their children at the weekend. Left for work before baby is up and came home after bedtime. I'm so glad we had the time to be together so much in DD's first year.
We don't own our home yet but I'm Central European and don't see this as a big deal. many people of our generation won't be home owners anymore.
We have been in a stable relationship for 7 years, both left home at 18.
I think whether a marriage lasts or not depends on many things. I do agree that very young people are more likely to enter into commitment blindly but then, I know many desperate 30 somethings who settle for what they can get once they hear that biological clock ticking.
It could also be argued that it is harder to let someone else into your life and get used to the compromises of living together the older you are and the more time you have spend just having to be accountable to yourself.
I think I got married too early. Should have lived with him at the time when we got married but was probably worried about having the wrath of my mum in particular at living together before marriage
Glory hallelujah, It wouldn't work if I met my sucessful, always right, sometimes sexist DH now.
Our marrage works because we have been together 25 years, he knows full well I'm going to pull him up if he's too big headed or non PC. He has two teen DDs who keep him in order too.
It works both ways he tolerates me being lazy and short tempered, too.
We married as students and that has shaped our lives and careers. If we had not married I think we may both have stayed in academia.
We'd both have been far to set in our ways by thirty to rub along as easily as we do now. Also I would never have met his dad or had time to get to know his mum. DMIL was a real character and we had some great holidays together with her and sometimes my lovely DSIL.
Likewise DH and my engineer DDad got up to alsorts that would have been harder as DF got older.
In short I wouldn't have missed those first 8 child free years of marrige for the world, they are the foundations that keep us together when the stresses of children, work and parents getting older olderand dying make life difficult.
I also wouldn't have wanted to wait til after 30 to start ttc. I was way to worried about fertility. As it happened, both DD and my current pregnancy only took one cycle to achieve but there is no predicting that.
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