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Marriage: When is the "Right" Time?

Updated on August 29, 2011

Is it once you’ve found “the one”? Is it the things you’ve discovered that you have in common? Is it because you can benefit one another financially, spiritually, or emotionally? Is it a dear friend and you simply want companionship? Everyone has their own opinion of when it’s the right time to take the plunge and enter into the state of matrimony. I suppose the even bigger question is: Is there even a such thing as the “right” time?

Marriage is a huge step in life, probably one of the biggest and most profound decision in a person’s life--it’s a part of deciding who you are and who you will end up being in the future since you’re now merging your life with someone else’s. It can also be mind numbingly scary. People always believe that it’s only scary for the guy and for women it’s more of a “natural” step in the order of things, but that’s just not true. Taking on the role of husband is just as important as taking on the role of wife. You’re both taking on new positions in new families and making the strides to establish a family of your own. Who wouldn’t be afraid at that prospect?

I often hear people quick to say blame age as a reason that a marriage ends, but I’m here to say that’s not the case. Marriages don’t end because of age, or a lack thereof, but a lack of a foundation and understanding in a relationship. A lot of people cite the lack of life experience as the damning marriage ender, but that’s simply unreasonable. Then what do you say about a 39 year old whose marriage comes to an end after five years, or a 40 year old whose marriage ends after nine months? Were they lacking life experience or an understanding of marriage?

The truth is, a sixteen year old and a twenty year old could possibly have a long lasting marriage while two thirty year olds struggle to get along and end things after being together for only a year. And believe it or not, timing has nothing to do with it!

What some people don’t realize amid the bliss of the proposal and the upcoming wedding is that there is a relationship there that needs to be nurtured and strengthened, not just the details of one day. The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you have a wedding or not, it’s all about how serious you are of being with the person you’re about to marry and taking the bad times in stride as well as the good; and just remember this one thing: there will be some bad times.

Another thing people fail to do is taking the faults of the person they’re seeing and actually looking at them for what they are and not ignoring them. See people for more than just their surface appearance because you’re marrying the person below the glossy exterior. If you notice the person has little notes of selfishness about them or they exhibit some annoying habits of being a mama’s boy or a brat, you’d better believe that characteristics are going to be magnified once you tie the knot. If the person you’re with has a habit of being controlling, cruel, lazy or rude on occasion don’t dismiss it thinking that with time they’re going to act better or do better in life because you’re only setting yourself up for a separation or a divorce. If you already see bits and pieces of the person that you don’t approve of or like it’s not a very good decision to glide along in a state of denial hoping that you’ll get used to those qualities or they’ll change, because they won’t. That’s who they are, take it or leave it (if you’re not careful your leaving can end up coming a bit too late after much heartache and tears).

The secret to a marriage is establishing common ground, and I’m not simply talking about sharing the same taste in this or that, I mean knowing what marriage is about before undertaking it.

As for those people who tell you that your twenties aren’t for marriage as if it’s something that just comes along later in your life at will, don’t fall for their jargon. Yes, it’s good to have a sense of yourself before enjoining with another person, but don’t think that great guys or great girls come along every day and they will be readily available to you once you get in your thirties. If you let a great mate go because you don’t want them at a certain age, don’t be so confident that one will come along just as easily for you at thirty-five as they did at twenty-five.

Another thing women have to consider is having children. I know it’s not fair, but it’s our burden to bear. The fact of the matter is our fertility isn’t what it is in our thirties and later as it is in our twenties. In truth, we only have a small window to make major decisions in our lives, and while a lot of women are able to give birth to healthy children in their forties and fifties that’s taking a gamble with your female plumbing. A very high stakes gamble. If you want to get married and have children, those things should take precedence over a career sometimes even though a lot of women don’t want to hear it. Not every woman can do every single thing in life. Don’t model yourself after everyone else; if you can’t do it all, it just means you’re human, not defective. And it’s not fair that people are harsh on women who do admit that they want to get married and have children since it’s in our biology to want those things. There’s nothing wrong with it and there shouldn’t be a taboo behind something natural.

Not every marriage is filled with love and beautiful moments. Some are merely agreements and contracts, duties to be fulfilled by willing partners. There are so many different unions throughout the world that you can’t stamp “romantic love” on marriage and call it a fact. Different couples hold strong to different truths.

The truth is, there is not such thing as a “right” or “wrong” time to get married, it’s all up to the individuals involved and it’s a private matter. Unless the person is not of legal age to be married, and they’re of sound mind and body, how can you say you’re absolutely sure it won’t work if that’s all you’re going on. Marriage can be a good thing, a really stupid thing, or a really big mistake, but those are just the things you have to be ready to deal with when making the decision and be ready for any outcome.


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