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Men shouldn't get married before age 30...

(135 Posts)
CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 10:56:45

... 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.

HandbagCrazy Sun 07-Jul-13 12:04:04

I disagree too - I am 27,have been with dh for 10 years and we recently got married. I dont see the issue with this, although I do think the fact that we were both pretty much independent from the age of 18 helped, as did the fact that we lived together for 5 years before getting married and we have taken our time regarding children. I think its an individual thing - i know men my age who act like teenagers and others who are mature and very committed.

mercury7 Sun 07-Jul-13 12:11:09

I think it applies to women aswell, but women have a narrower window in which to have children so that creates some pressure on them to be ready for parenting by a certain age.

I dont think men are inherently less mature than women, I think it's a cultural thing.

I dont think it's realistic to expect a marriage to last all of your adult life, so I'm not sure that it makes much difference...there are some advantages to having children in your 20's, I did, now they've flown the nest and I'm free grin

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 12:12:09

Gentle reminder that the (wholly sexist) emphasis was that 'men' shouldn't marry before 30. Fine for the women to be younger before committing because we tend to be more mature at an earlier age, more responsible and there are also the practical ttc questions. Too many twenty-something men are none of those things.

I'm glad to see there are some success stories. Still think it's the exception rather than the rule, however.

Snorbs Sun 07-Jul-13 12:18:54

I think attitudes that conspire to infantilise men and allow them to get away with being crap with childcare etc are part of the problem.

CoolStoryBro Sun 07-Jul-13 12:26:21

What a load of old tosh! All people are different and what works for some may not work for others, but its ridiculous to suggest being under 30 means you're incapable of knowing yourself.

DH was 21 when we had DC1 and we are still, 16 years later, very happy and make each other laugh every day. And he's still managed to be very successful professionally too. And I don't think we're particularly unusual either. Our 4 best couple friends all had their first child by 26 and are all financially stable and happy, balanced individuals.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 12:28:36

I'm sure they are. I also think that those 'boys will be boys' attitudes are more prevalent in young women along with a touching belief that 'love conquers all'. It can be a toxic combination.

missbopeep Sun 07-Jul-13 12:31:04

It's about like smoking isn't it? For all the stats showing the risks, there will always be a few people who smoke 60 a day and live to be 100- or people who know of people like that.
So all the stats show young marriages have a higher rate of divorce- but there will always be couples who say 'we married at 20 and are blissfully happy 40 years on'.

The real 'test' often comes years down the line; in the 40s or 50s.

Of all the peers who married straight after uni, or who married childhood sweethearts, 90% are now divorced.

missbopeep Sun 07-Jul-13 12:34:05

the peers- should be my peers.

I cannot contemplate any lad these days being a dad at 21. shock Not by choice anyway.

My father married at 23 ( in the 1940s) and was a dad at 29, and even now , bless him, he says it was too young, and he left school at 14 so not as if he was still in education till 18 or 21.

How any bloke is ready at 21 to be a father seems unfathomable to me,

mercury7 Sun 07-Jul-13 12:44:31

is it really a good thing to be married for 40 years?
doesn't it suggest that you have crystallized and stagnated?

A few lucky people may truly flourish in such a long lived partnership, but for the majority..well I'm not so sure
(I am to some extent taking a 'devils advocate' position here' wink )

pigsDOfly Sun 07-Jul-13 12:46:14

Some people (men) should never marry and have children at any age. My exh was 41 when we got married, and a father at 43. He was a terrible husband and an equally terrible, uninterested father.

I think Aetae has a good point. People who have had everything done for them all their lives have no concept of looking after themselves or caring for others.

CoolStoryBro Sun 07-Jul-13 12:49:31

Well, if you are married to a giant dick for 40 years, I guess that would be a bit crap. But lots of people aren't.

I don't think any generalisation of this kind is helpful tbh, unless you have some evidence one way or the other (and this is such a subjective topic that I'm not sure how you would prove it either way!).

If you want anecdotes DH and I were married at 23 (him) and 24 (me). We're still married 8 years later. My parents married when my dad was 21 and are still married 35 years on. A lot of our friends married in their 20s and only 2 are divorced.

deliasmithy Sun 07-Jul-13 12:55:21

I don't believe it to be an age thing but a maturity thing.

Some of the issues raised here are that younger people may go into a marriage with unrealistic expectations, no expectations, without being able to look after themselves or others, and marry people they either don't know, have compromised on or not discussed values and expectations.

My life experience tells me that anyone can do the above regardless of age.

I laugh at the suggestion of having to live independently for 5 years first. What would that prove?! Have you ever been to a bachelor pad??? Trust me, time doesn't magically make someone responsible.

Perhaps a year of counselling and marriage guidance before you can marry would be best, regardless of age.

GibberTheMonkey Sun 07-Jul-13 12:59:45

I was 21 when I got married to dh who was 26
11 years later we have had four children, ridden our share of shit and stress and had some incredibly happy times. Neither of us regret it and are still happy together.

I know plenty of 30 something's who only manage a couple of years.

It's nothing to do with age and all to do with mentality.

nellymartin Sun 07-Jul-13 13:16:50

I'd go along the lines of Aetae. Regardless of male/female equation, it is imperative that one is socially and financially independent, self-reliant and has enough maturity to take a decision of this magnitude.

If that happens at 25, so be it. If you need to wait till 40, you'd do well to wait as it is better to manage one life half decently than ruining two.

My two cents worth..

Nelly

Doha Sun 07-Jul-13 13:47:02

Hmm unsure about this one.
3 days apart in age, met at 17 married at 23 and parents by 24.That was 28 years ago. We were lucky that we grew up together and any changes which happened as we grew older didn't alter us. Sure there have been tough times and quite a few arguments but for us it has worked.
However it could have easily been different. When l think of the person l was then and who l am now l hardly recognise myself -same could have been said of my DH.
I am actually glad that my DD1 is getting married at 27 to her BF of 30 as l feel they have had the chance to grow and experience life which we haven't.
We now have the freedom in our early 50's to do things we didn't do when we were younger.

happyhev Sun 07-Jul-13 13:47:29

I married at 22, my husband was 21, we had our first child when i was 23. We are approaching our 20th anniversary and stronger and happier with each passing year.

I think we need better education and philosophy around marriage/long-term coupling. Both in terms of picking a partner and being a partner.

Whether one marries at 18 or 48, it should be expected that people change, that part of marrying is helping your partner find and grow into who they want to be and that they are there for helping you do the same. We shouldn't want or expect the person we marry to be the same person five, ten years down the road. Communication, managed expectation, sharing the load, that's all part of it.

I'll have been married 10 years later this year (and I'm still in my twenties), and I'm happy not the same person I was then and neither is my partner. We understand and celebrate who we've both become. I think going into a marriage thinking everything is going to stay the same or that things will only change the way you want them to with no input, is just asking for problems.

maleview70 Sun 07-Jul-13 14:17:42

Married at 22- mistake
Father at 24 - not a mistake and been there everyday for him.

I don't think people should marry the first person they get with and I don't think anyone should get married before they live together and the honeymoon period is over.

In general it is wise to wait a bit. However I have to say that in my case it was the none stop "when are we living together" "when are we getting engaged" "when can we get married" that took me there....some women are very impatient when it comes to marriage.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 14:31:28

"Whether one marries at 18 or 48, it should be expected that people change"

But don't you think they're going to change more between, say, ages 18 and 28 than they are between age 40 and 50?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 14:40:46

"some women are very impatient when it comes to marriage"

I agree with that. There is still enormous pressure on young women to settle down and have kids etc. Big bridal industry out there pushing buttons. Someone mentioned feeling forced to get married because there was stigma attached to living together. Old-fashioned but trued. Finite child-bearing years & makes sense legally-speaking to be married before having children so that interests are protected. We socialise with and tend to be attracted to other people similar age... not someone ten years older. If you're really lucky it works, but I think the dice are loaded...

VinegarDrinker Sun 07-Jul-13 14:49:53

I think that's a great post LittleSporks

Do these stats that apparently show higher % of divorce etc allow for the length of time people have been together pre-marriage? I imagine that makes a significant difference to the outcome regardless of age.

I'm another anecdote, only 5 years into being married, admittedly (as of yesterday!) but we've been together coming up for 13 years and happier than we've ever been. We've absolutely changed, but it's been in directions that complement each other. We've also had our share of independence (lived hundreds of miles apart for Uni to follow our own career dreams).

We got together at 16/17, married at 23/24, first DC age 26/27, 2nd DC earlier this week at 28/29. We've both got careers albeit in the earlyish stages, and own (well have a mortgage on) our own place. If we waited til my student loans were paid off I'd be 45!

I agree with everyone saying maturity, independence and knowing yourself are important, not a number.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Sun 07-Jul-13 14:50:21

Sexist rubbish. It is totally individual. While they say generally women mature earlier, I know plenty of men who were mature before their years and women who are still party animals at 39.

My parents married at 19 and 20, had me at 21 and 22 and are still married now and I am approaching 40.

Having said that, times change, let alone people and, generally, I think people do change more in their 20s than the later decades (allowing for a mid-life crisis) and I think marrying before 25 is probably unwise for either sex.

VinegarDrinker Sun 07-Jul-13 14:52:33

Oh and no pressure from anyone for us to marry, in fact DH was far more bothered than me, I'd be happily still living in sin tbh. Marriage hasn't made our relationship any more or less committed.

missbopeep Sun 07-Jul-13 15:02:48

I think most people would accept that there are stats which show more divorce amongst those who married young. (NOS)

Although there are always exceptions with any stats, there is still a valid consensus which looks at the overall trend.

In general, people change more between 20-30 than they do between 30-40, or 40-50. This is well documented by research- it's not just 'opinion'.
So...odds are that you might find you and your DH do not grow together, but actually apart.

The current peak divorce age group is those who are over 50-and they probably ( you'd need to check the stats) married when it was common to be married quite young. it has also a lot to do with life expectancy and people of 50 having another 30 years or more ahead.

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