We are often faced with one of the toughest questions as we grow into adulthood. What is the perfect age to get married? Truth is you never really think about marriage probably up until you get to understand what the word means. Marriage rituals and ceremonies differ according to cultures and religion. Marriage seems like a complicated term for a lot of people while to some it is the ultimate goal to achieve. The definitions of marriage vary all over the world but are basically an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. Depending on certain beliefs, marriage may be is recommended to be compulsory before engaging in sexual activity.
Are You Too Young or Too Old?
According to extensive research done by various groups, it has come to light that there is greater overall contentment with life when a person is married than when they are divorced or single. Is it is debatable, however, citing great controversy. There is indeed a relationship between a happy marriage and happy life but is that all?
It only makes sense that any type of happy relationship equates to an overall sense of life satisfaction but what happens when the relationship doesn’t work out in the end? Naturally, a break up after a healthy relationship affects a person in more ways than one. Hence, people who are divorced, researches show are most likely to harbor emotional problems. It may vary however, depending on various factors such as the nature of one’s previous relationship or the nature of the break up. Even so, it sucks when you’re accustomed to being with someone on a regular and it stops suddenly. This still may be a relatively short-term situation because eventually any newly divorced person learns to adapt and perhaps embarks on a new relationship.
When you’re young, there’s still a lot ahead of you. You are yet to discover a lot of life’s teachings. As you grow older, you get to experience an important transition which is when you begin to identify with various social roles. Once you start to become an adult, you realize that your family as well as society begin to hold certain expectations of you; one being marriage and what it takes to be in one. As it is in different social, cultural and religious settings, failure to live up to marriage expectations may result in backlash.
For example, in many traditional cultures, women may be expected to get married while they are young or are considered a disgrace and the older they get the harder it is considered for her to get a suitor. Men on the other hand in some cultures are expected to choose a suitor in their youth or else a suitor is chosen for them. Both scenarios apply to both genders. The truth is these expectations set by society cause us to be anxious about getting ‘too old’ to get married. But is there really such a thing as being too old to be married.
According to data from Edmonton Transitions Study (ETS), a project that surveyed Canadian adults from the age of 18 over an extended period of 25 years, participants over time, provided information concerning marital status, age of first marriage and whether they were divorced. Information provided also included demographic information such as parental level of education, gender and gross household income at age 43. This survey proved that there’s no age written in stone for anyone who is looking to get married.
What is the best age for a woman to get married?
Participants were placed into categories depending on how soon they got married. The first was whether they were married “early” which for women meant before the age of 23. The other was whether they were married “on time,” which was between the ages of 23 and 27 and finally, if they were married “late” which was after the age of 27. Statistics showed that 22 percent of women fell into the “early” category, 45 percent fell into “on time” while the remaining 33 percent accounted for the “late” category.
The Results were as follows:
- Women who married on time or late hardly reported depressive symptoms in midlife. Those who had the symptoms at age 18 were highly likely to be divorced later in life however lacked happiness or self-esteem throughout their marriage. Along with earning a university degree came a higher income and increased self-esteem at midlife.
In conclusion, it was deduced that women who marry early rather than later may face greater challenges in sustaining a marriage due to the added responsibilities of starting a family at an early age. This in turn may mean a greater difficulty in reaching their educational goals. To put it in perspective, imagine if you were young and you get married before your friends do. With marriage comes family; family means children. Once children come into the picture, your youth is basically over. While your friends and people your age are enjoying their youth so to speak, you have to start thinking like an adult even though you may not be ready for it.
In some cases, marriage is as a result of an unwanted pregnancy or increased pressure from family members. No matter how much one is groomed to be the perfect wife at an early age, it doesn’t change the fact that you have skipped a very significant age. This in turn may lead to emotional distress.
With all these factors taken into consideration, it is important to be independent in your choice to get married. However, due to different cultural and religious backgrounds, proper preparation is important when choosing the right age to get married.
Even though the study was limited, here are some general statistics collected over the years from different parts of the world:
Couples who married as teenagers had a 38% risk of divorce in their first five years of marriage, while those slightly older, in their early twenties, had a 28% chance.
And, those who got married over the age of 35 had around a 17% chance of divorcing.
It’s not all gloom and doom, though, as the divorce rate for couples who married between the ages of 25 and 34 were found to be significantly lower.