Early or Late Marriage?

What would you Desire More – Early or Late Marriage?

Early or Late Marriage
Early or Late Marriage

Montaigne says in his Essays, that “a good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.” In such humor is truth. She does not see his faults and he is spared her sharp tongue. Unfortunately for the state of marriage for many people, such knowledge comes too late. That is why late marriage is more desirable. Late can mean several things but here we ascribe to the view meaning maturity and not marriage at old age.

We are finding in contemporary society many young adults are living singly and not marrying or putting it off till later. This is at odds with history where people married at earlier ages. Down through the century, and especially the last two decades we see the age has started to increase.

What is the advantage of postponing marriage till a later age? Well, there are several. People who marry at a very young age are not mature. Socrates advises all men: “Know Thyself.” Those who marry early in their second decade have not formed an identity. They lack self knowledge. They do not know who they are—neither one does, so it is a problem to the second power. And it is very significant. Not knowing about yourself shows that you do not know where you are going or what you want in life. What are your goals, desires and aim in life? How can you get there? They yet have to answer the age old question of all mature adults: Who am I? Where am I going? How do I get there?

In America and perhaps elsewhere, when marriage is postpones to the third decade, divorce rates fall drastically when compared to those who marry in their 20’s. This applies to both male and female. The younger ones are in love and live in a dream world of whimsy and hope filled with daydreams. Reality has no place with them. Authenticity is totally lacking in the young. They have not determined their personal strengths and weaknesses yet. Experience of life, tincture of time, is needed to allow full maturation to adulthood.

In the middle ages, youngsters did not marry until they had a roof over their head and a way to provide for themselves and their children. Similar arguments should be made today too. One should have a way of earning a living to support a family and have a home before contemplating marriage. Thus, education and/or training become necessary in order to obtain a job.

Late marriage is desirable in the sense that we mean marriage between mature people living in reality and not a dream. Knowledge of self, goals aims and desires is what is needed for two people to marry. If you don’t know yourself, how can you possible know the one you plan to live with?

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3 Replies to “Early or Late Marriage?”

  1. “when marriage is postpones to the third decade, divorce rates fall drastically when compared to those who marry in their 20’s”. The one study that made the quoted conclusion omitted marriages between 21 and 27 from the data and failed to mention that the rise in late marriages was followed 20 years later by a rise in divorces in people’s 50’s, just when the kids need help with post secondary.

    My spouse’s family has late married for several generations and the results are not pretty. They are constantly managing spouses they do not love, raising kids with less energy than is needed, being torn by sandwich generation issues when the kids are in their teens, and not adjusting as they should to societal changes. They are not as wealthy as the average person of their education/brains despite being ahead of their peers when they at last married.

    In my own family, 4 generations have made incremental changes since 1903, compared to 3 in my spouses family, and the impact of that has to be seen to be believed.

    My own kids can’t find spouses – but they dumped good ones 10 years ago. They’re out of touch by missing societal changes. Prospective spouses come with big hang ups (er, experience). It looks like they’re ahead financially, so they are taking more un-fun risks. Having children is suddenly daunting, they don’t know if they have the energy. No matter what I say, my energy falls as I age, they’ll get less help from me as time goes on. Quite a bit of their inheritance may be disappearing into charities long before they start monitoring my books, since all these issues were predictable but my kids sadly have their head in the sand.

  2. the article is very educative and addresses the exact issues that affects marriage. it is true from my own observation that those who marry very young separates very early or get bored very early in marriage. thanks .

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