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Should I get Married Early?

Updated on May 20, 2012

How old should I be to get married?

What age is too young to get married

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What age is too early to get married?

I thought I'd share my opinion on what age is too early to get married and a few things to think about. In general, I think it's a good idea to get married early. I was married when I was 23, almost 24 and my wife was 22. Some people thought we were too young to get married, others thought it was fine. Almost fourteen years later, I think it was a good decision.

I have a few things to think about to find out if it's the right time of your life to get married. The big over arching question I think you have to ask yourself is "Why am I getting married?" I think there is really only one great answer for this that is logical, although there are several reasons people get married that have nothing to do with my opinion. So, here goes. The only reason you should get married is you have identified a partner that you plan to have children with that is the best possible person to father/mother the children.

I could get into why I believe this like cultural reasons that benefit the children, but I'll focus on the "why not to get married." If marriage were a business, you wouldn't get married at all. You might exchange services for a fee, but never would you lock your business into a single option unless there was a significant strategic reason (children) that would warrant such risk. I'm not the first person to compare marriage to a business, but it's been said, would you invest in something that fails 50% of the time? Most people wouldn't unless there was a risk reward quotient that made the risk of failure worth it and in my opinion, that is children. Even though you don't have to be married to have kids, I think it's best if you're.

So, if you are thinking about getting married early. Do you want to have children and is this the person to raise them with? If yes. You can move on. If not. Don't get married.

The second thing to consider is your timing to when you want children. Like many life changes, there is an adjustment period once you're married. You want to have plenty of time to adjust to married life before having kids. This is sort of like an escrow period where you are in contract, but you can still call it off before the deal is finalized (children arrive). I suggest a four to five year marriage adjustment period if you are under the age of 27 before having children. The older you're, the more likely you're to have a definite timetable to having kids. For example, if you're 38, and want kids, I might suggest just having kids and then getting married because ultimately, kids are more important than the marriage, although it's a more difficult path to do as a single parent. The point of this is give yourself several years as a married couple before having kids. If you want kids at 27, then getting married at 22 or 23 is reasonable.

The third thing to think about is your personal maturity level and that of your potential spouse. People continue to mature as they age and marriage often requires high degrees of personal maturity. If one person is mature and the other is not, that can make for a difficult combination, although it's not as bad as too immature people getting married. If you're young, you'll have to look at yourself and examine your recent history. Are you mature enough to be married? Maturity can be thought of across a few things. Do you take complete responsibility for yourself and are you capable of taking responsibility for another person? How do disputes arise and how are they dealt with? How do outside influences affect your relationship (family, jealousy, time, personal activities)? Dealing with outside influences takes a significant amount of maturity as well as understanding the type of life you're going to create for yourself as a married person. Rarely do things in relationships change for the better or worse, so you're very likely to find yourself in a similar state a few years from now that you're in today. Is this the life you want. It takes maturity to understand marriage won't change the way things are today.

So in real short, are you too young to get married? Do you want children? If yes, how soon do you want them? If in the next four to five years, then are you mature enough to make a marriage work? If yes, go for it. The worst that happens is you get divorced. As terrible as that sounds, many divorced people are leading happy lives and they've gained the experience that only failure can bring, which is a good thing.

If i get married early, what are my chances of getting divorced

Divorce rates do very a bit by age and studies show that really young people get divorced at a higher rate.

As I mentioned earlier, marriage is a contract. If the contract is broken, you'll have to pay the termination fees. With divorce it many not only be a financial penalty, but an emotional one as well.

I think it's worth the risk. If my daughters asked me if they should get married in their early twenties, I'd say yes.


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    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      This was interesting as you never mentioned love. I married at 26 the first time and was married for 19 years (no children). Then I re-married at 47 and I did not treat it as a business deal, you got me wondering now if it may have been better if I had. The problem is you are not dealing with assets but a living being. Did you get Robin to proof read this?

      I am thinking not, as there are some typos and odd grammar as well as a very male attitude to marriage. As a horse person husband your approach will definitely not work for an animal trainer like my wife!

      There is another flaw, what if God (or whatever cause you believe originated life) has other plans and children are not a possibility for you as a couple? This is not always detectable in advance by the way.

      I think that love is the most important element and then you will be able to stay together happily knowing that the other at least tried their best to provide what it was you were looking for. I think this could have been a great article, but I had to vote it down as you had not considered all of the possible starting points and outcomes in making your conclusions.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I got married when I was 19 years old, and my husband was 20. I already had a 2 year old child when I was a teenager (from another man). Anyway, we are Christians. We believe in marriage and having many children early. We got pregnant 3 months after we got married, and we had our daughter 5 days before our wedding anniversary.

      Now we have been married for 2 and a half years, together for 4. And we have our 4 and a half year old daughter, our 15 month old daughter, and I am currently 5 months pregnant with our third.

      Things are working great for us. But I think that every marriage needs both people to be mature if it were to work.

      My grandma got married at 14, and she is still married to this day.

      I think age has nothing to do with it. I think maturity is what counts, and responsibility. And children, whether you want them or not. It should all be discussed before a marriage.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      many people getting early marriage, bacause.

      of the many,

    • rodrigur2 profile image


      8 years ago

      Paul, this is a great hub that you wrote. My husaband is in the military, and I cant tell you how many times I've seen it where couples get married in their early twenties only to be divorced fairly early. I got married at 26 and agreed with my husband that our ultimate goal was to have kids. Also, I got my husband on board with agreeing to wait to have kids, with at least a two year gap after first getting married. I was given the advice by many couples that the best thing to do to help a marriage succeed is to wait at least 2 years before having your first child. So we waited 2 years and had our first child a baby boy this past November.

      And so reading your hub helped to validate what so many couples had advised me on, and that is that a successful marriage is dependent on the age you marry, maturity level, and the time waited before having kids.Thanks for digging deep into this area of marriage!

    • Leptirela profile image


      8 years ago from I don't know half the time

      I married when I was 19 lasted 9 days..should i say more ? :))))

      hehe Love the way you think... though I have always missed

      that sensible part in me... hahaha and as my thoughts go

      I think I will wait till am 50 to get married :)

      damn its scary, only when you think about it its a simple

      process, but sub consciously knowing you are 'tied-down'

      does have an effect and sometimes people stay away from

      marriage for that reason....

      :)) will keep you informed If i change hehehe :)))

      lOVED THIS HUB... :))

    • YoJDawg profile image


      8 years ago from Arroyo Grande

      Jessica and I also got married at 23. I think your points on what works for you were good. Jessica and I totally could have waited 5 or more years to get married but when we both thought about it, there was no other person we would want to be with and we both thought about one another as a good choice to be partners with and also have children with. In the end, i think its always a matter of what works for you and not what other people say works for you.

    • The Good Cook profile image

      The Good Cook 

      8 years ago

      What makes a successful marriage? More than age considerations that's for sure! I chose to wait until I was 29 to get married, and my partner was 41...going on 14 so it turned out. A few days shy of 13 years of (miserable) marriage and 2 children later, I decided I wasn't willing to wait any longer for him to grow up and stop with the selfishness!

      I think marriage should be a 'lifelong journey', so I wish everyone embarking upon it, at whatever age, the best of luck!

    • pmccray profile image


      8 years ago from Utah

      Me, my mom and sister all married too early and all were mistakes. I advised by son to take his time and make sure it's a commitment he wants to make. I want him to live and enjoy his life before tieing the knot and procreating. I often wish I had waited before bringing him into the earth I feel I would have made better life choices and been a better parent. He's 37 and still unmarried this is his life, his choice. I must say the Lord blessed me with a beautiful, loving son. If he never gets married, never spawns a child it's his choice to make.

    • elayne001 profile image


      8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      I married first at just barely 18 and that was certainly a mistake. We were both very immature and selfish. A marriage cannot work if you do not care more for the other person than for yourself. Then I married again at 21 and our first baby was born nine months and two days later. Too fast, but we survived the next 38 years of marriage with much growing together and sacrifice. I had all four of my children before I was 30. It has been sad having all the children leave the home - quite an adjustment and we have had to get to know each other again and find our commonalities. Good subject and good hub. Aloha!

    • ocbill profile image


      8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      it depends on your needs and goals at the time. The argument is most want to date multiple people to make sure it is right, complete their education and be firmly established in their desired career vs. being married too soon, still in college, doubts on dating a few others since their current partner is lacking in some areas, no solid footing in their careers, only to be changing careers again & again years later which can cause chaos/strain in a relationship, let alone a young couple w/ kids.

      to each his/her own. Ambitious, creative go-getters can get it done early or in their 30s. I've seen many examples - successes and failures.

    • Paul Edmondson profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Edmondson 

      8 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I don't think it's a good idea to push someone to have kids, so if one wants to wait, I suggest waiting. It's not just with kids, but with almost all types of relationships, someone that is pushed into something they don't want can become resentful. To me, it isn't worth the relationship strain.

      I know almost everyone has a different opinion on this, but I think it's a good idea to live together (regardless of marriage) before having kids. There are all types of marriages. I think what defines a marriage is the commitment to the other person. As long as the commitment is there, and you have been living together for a few years, I think it's fine to have kids when both people are ready.

    • rebekahELLE profile image


      8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      I like your reasoning. I do have a question for you. What do you feel about couples who have lived together for a few years before marriage and then want to have children soon after being married? or one does, and one wants to wait at least a year.

    • raisingme profile image


      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      What a great topic for a hub! When I got married 20 to 24 was not considered too young but I notice things have changed these days and many people are waiting to get established in their careers before getting married and having children. The result is they are "up against the clock" and often have children after being married less than a year or just a tad over. Personally I agree with you that married life in and of itself is an adjustment and it takes some time to get into the groove of "pulling in the same harness" without throwing a child into the mix too soon. Having said that, there are marriages that last and those that don't regardless of the when.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      8 years ago

      Blessings to you this lovely Saturday morning!!

      Great Hub Paul!! Thank you for sharing!!

      An interesting topic to say the least!! I was married 3 days after I turned 18, my husband was 20!! It was not too young for us!! Our circumstances forced us to grow up a little faster due to his terminal illness!! Since it was genetic, we knew we would never have children!!

      We are no longer husband and wife but are still close!! The good news is he is still alive and doing pretty well!! He turned 57 years old yesterday!! Amazing since he had only been given a year to live!! He credits our healthy and supportive marriage, albeit only 11+ years in duration, plus a lifetime of continued love for each other, as the number one factor in his beating the odds!!

      I agree with you!! Having, supporting, raising and nurturing children from birth to adulthood (and beyond) is one of the only sane reasons for getting married!!

      I also agree that looking at marriage as a business agreement is something all couples should do PRIOR to signing on the dotted line!! It takes all the "hearts and flowers" out of the equation and often what is left isn't as pretty!

      Romantic love is a fairly recent notion!! For most of recorded history, and still in many places around the world, marriage is a contract with specific goals!!

      And then there is the whole hormone-induced, procreation-instinct, "the organ's zeal for one another" that clouds judgement!!

      I, like you, advise taking a good hard unsentimental look at the reasons behind wanting to get married!! Without the mature umbrella of sound reasoning, marriages fall apart in the daily grind - especially with kids!!

      Blessings to you and Robin and the girls!! You guys lead the way and set a wonderful example for many to follow!!

      Earth Angel!!

    • Jane Grey profile image

      Ann Leavitt 

      8 years ago from Oregon

      Great discussion! I've been thinking about this lately myself. One thing that most people don't understand is that maturity often comes faster when you are married. Marriage takes a certain amount of selfless responsibility that many young people, especially young people who have been living on their own for several years, do not have and may never have unless they vow themselves to the sacrificial service of marriage to another person. The Bible says that he who finds a wife is a good thing, and that children are a blessing from the Lord. Why wait to receive these blessings?

      Great hub topic! I thoroughly enjoyed thinking about all this with you.

    • rmr profile image


      8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I was 21 when I got married, and my wife was 19. We talked about kids but never really made a plan. They showed up, though, as kids have a way of doing.

      You're absolutely right about the adjustment period. Our first child arrived 6 years after we were married, and the second was born just 18 short months later. As beautiful as children are, they can totally change the rules of marriage. I'd say there's a good chance that a new marriage might not survive the rigors of parenting.

      For the record, ours survived just fine. The kids are teens now, and we've been married for 23 years and counting.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      It is definitely a great decision and as ethel said there are no rules whether it works out.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I married at almost 21. I had only known Hubby for ten months. More than 37 years later we are still together. I think there are no hard and fast rules but your Hub points out so well the things you need to consider. These days Hubby and I are soul mates but it's not all been plain sailing.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      In the 2 best marraiges I've seen up close, it was exactly as you said. Both couples were married for five years before they had children. One of the couples married very young, the other couple married in their late 20's. I've always thought their years together, without children, made their bond very strong, and allowed them time to really grow together.


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