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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.
Well, all I can say is that if I'd got married much before 30 (I was 31), I don't think I'd have had the emotional maturity to cope with all the stuff that being married/having a family entails.
I can think of a few men who married before 30 though and some of them I'm fairly sure will stay the course. It's all about the person, isn't it? Some people are more mature and steady and others never grow up, however old they get.
What does change have to do with divorce?
Do people have expectations that their partner remains frozen in time like a doll? If so, it's an ill thought attitude that's the problem not change.
Of course change has a lot to do with divorce. Every day we all change a tiny bit, we learn lessons, see new things, meet new people. If during 10 years of marriage both people change but in ways that dont compliment each other, or leads them in opposite directions then divorce is likely if not certain.
I dont think it is to do with expectations of people staying the same, but the way in which they grow.
I'm unsure we should still expect marriage to be for life. My preference would be for a Fixed-Term Renewable Commitment, with all the promises & protections of marriage but a formal review period with easy termination. While we're at it, we can build in pre-nup considerations and strictly enforceable shared/mutual responsibilities, during and post Commitment.
<runs for president>
I went to a wedding yesterday, the groom is 29, the bride is 27, they seem very happy and perfect for each other and even temporarily overcame my cynicism about marriage.
Last week it was the groom's parents' 30th wedding anniversary - the father was 18, the mum was 16 (and expecting) and they're together with 4 kids 30 years later, still going strong.
So - a couple who got married that young, had 4 well-adjusted kids (admittedly the groom is an accountant in the city, but you can't have everything). I was 33 when I got married, my XW was 37, we split up 5 years later.
So, two stories there that would disagree with the OP.
and I'd agree with Smutty - I think the same thing myself.
I agree (although dh and I married at 27!)
We started our family when we were 30 and 31 so had had some time on our own and to be selfish and travel etc.
Without exception within my extended family those who married young (and there are a few who married at 16/17/18) have all broken up/divorced.
I think don't marry unless you've had the big talk,kids,marriage,finances,expectations
Of the starter marriages ive known they didn't pragmatically discuss exoectations
They spent longer talking about wedding buffet than talking about money,expectations etc
Gosh, what a horribly sweeping generalisation. I can imagine that some people (people, not just those poor incompetent infantile men who you have singled out) are too immature to marry/have children before they are 30, but equally lots of 50 year olds are still too immature/selfish to really be trusted with commitment and children. Because, you know, people can be different from one another.
I think I said at the outset that the statement was sweeping, sexist and wine-fuelled.... Just thought it was an interesting conversation-starter. Didn't assume for a moment everyone would agree.
We were married at 19 and 20, we grew up together so everything just slots together easily. I love that we got married young, as had years to ourselves for partying together, can space the children out so less stress and that also means we can both keep working. I think it means we dont have to face the issue you often see on here.
Also dh was a young dada at 23 first tie round he looks after the children whilst I work, and we work round each other, his does any housework tasks, he is always doing things with the children, and he gives me as much leisure time as I want. I think its because he was younger
sorry that was meant to say young dad first time!
I think the change you mean is that at some point some people no longer want to support the other person changing. That's up to them and that's fine, but its naive and bordering on unfair to believe that you could marry someone and they'd stay the same and vice versa.
Its harder the older you get imo as people get so set in their ways. I have friends that are like that in their early 30s bickering over things that we just went with the flow with.
One thing I'd be interested in knowing when the statistic "young marriages are less likely to last" is quoted is whether correlations have been investigated rather than causalities.
For example - are young marriages likely to have a lower average income than older ones and are lower incomes marriages less likely to last? (When debt comes in the door love flies out the window.)
What about education level?
What about the rate of marital fail compared? Presumably there is an age that people get to (60, 70, 80, 90 , 100?) where on the whole people - even if unhappy - do not divorce as their life expectency post divorce is too low to make it worth accepting the trauma of divorce. For example if 2 19 year olds are married for 40 years and then become unhappy then they are more likely to divorce than two 39 year olds. But does that actually make their marriage less successful? Both couples had 40 happy years.
On the other hand one reason people may marry young is that they don't believe in sex before marriage. These people are also less likely to believe in divorce and so more likely to stay married even if miserable.
So are we interested in staying married full stop or being happily married?
Because they are different things.
I don't agree, We had our fiirst baby at 21 and my husband and I have now been together 10 years (30 this year). We have also married and had 2nd child since then. We have dealt with being made homeless, buying our own home, new jobs and stress of kids. No one said life was easy but we have got through it together and both took our vows seriously.
You are more likely to be happy, contended and have a long marriage if you have thoroughly discussed finances, children, future plans beforehand, are compatible sexually, have good communication between the pair of you, have a high level of attraction/sexual chemistry and are good friends. If you have all that it doesnt matter if your 18 or 80.
Don't the stats also say that children with parents who are still happily married are more likely to have successful marriages.
Does this outweigh the age thing?
If it were down to stats alone would a 35 yr old couple with divorced parents be more or less successful than a 25 yr old couple with happily married parents.
Someone mentioned money. I suspect it's a huge factor.
I disagree, DH was 25 when we got married, (I was 21). We've been married for 14 years now and together for 18 years. He had DSD when he was 18, and although probably not ready to be a dad at that age he did the right thing and stepped up. He's a brilliant dad (and a far better parent to her than her than her mother). She's grown up now and they're very close. He was 28 when dd1 was born and 32 when dd2 was born, again he's a great dad to them.
I think it totally depends on the people TBH regardless of age.
Disagree. Sometimes it isn't practical to live independently on your own until you have a partner, for financial reasons. Financial constraints are not a sign of immaturity, just crappy circumstances
It depends entirely on both people. Two of the best parents I know were 22 and 23 when they had their DC. Some people aren't ready until 30+
Disagree about men too. They're not immature unless they're allowed to be. Like women can be.
Depends on the individual, I know people who change mid-life to the point it's hard to recognize them (my mother being one of them - changed almost everything about her lifestyle when we left home). Change can happen any time.
Also, the stats on age are slightly sked - they look to see who makes it to their 30th anniversary. Someone who marries at 45 is far more likely to be separated by death than divorce before their 30th anniversary compared to someone who marries at 25, which the NOS recognises.
I think it has more to do with personality, expectations, and stress than it does sex, gender, or age. While many do work, second marriages are more likely to fail than first, third even more so, and so on. Though divorce rates are getting lower, 60% still last at least 20 years, and it's questionable whether divorce is really a problem. Generally, good relationship skills and expectations are far more important determiners than an age, some people will never have either no matter how old they get.
The money thing/stress is interesting though. All my father's divorces (4) were really about money, because he has horrible expectations around it and has never learned how to communicate or learned how not run up debt.
I find this thread highly annoying, as if people are all the same.
I married at 23, started a family at 26 and very happy today, expecting dc2
I would trust him with my life, my dc's life. he is younger than me by a year too.
Just throwing this in for good measure...obviously there are more criteria on the website.
from the Office for National Statistics
Divorce stats 2011
53% had divorced by their 30th anniversary if they were less than 20 when they married
23% had divorced by the same anniversary if they were aged 30 to 34 when they married, and
7% had divorced if they were aged 45 to 49 when they married.
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