There are plenty of great marriages that began when people were very young, many of which last for 60 or even 70 years. Some young people will make marriage work and others won’t. In fact from a statistical standpoint, divorce rate is highest among couples who married too young. The rate goes down when people marry in their late 20s and early 30s and then goes back up when people marry past the age of 40. So perhaps one of the greatest disadvantages of people who married too young is rate of divorce, which is about 50% or higher.
There are other problems with couples that married too young, especially when they married before having definitive plans about how to progress through life. Financial difficulties are not made better by two people who don’t yet have reasonable means to support themselves. Given the high cost of living, it isn’t always feasible for two people to adequately earn the support they need and do things like plan great careers or stay in school.
Many people who married too young cite how difficult it is to plan two different careers at the same time. Even when people have similar goals, seeing these fulfilled may mean making choices that put one person at a distance from the other, and long distance marriages are not easy to maintain. Often, one member of the couple had to give up on personal goals to see a spouse’s goals fulfilled. Even more in the way of concession and giving up on dreams is needed if the couples have children, and two people in a sexual relationship do risk this, even with birth control.
Marriage means that your considerations about what you’d like to do right now and in the long term have to take into account another person, who may have very different ideas about what he or she would like to do. This can be limiting and mean you must compromise or give up doing some of the things you like when they don’t make practical sense for the couple. Though you are still an individual, part of you must always consider that your life is made up of a two-person team. While some couples that married too young have created successful teamwork, it’s clear many others failed miserably or had to sacrifice their needs for the sake of the team.
Other people who married too young believe that they missed out on learning how to live on their own. When people go from a parent’s home to a new home with a spouse, they miss this step. It’s also anybody’s guess how a person will change and grow once they’re out of their teens. 18 year olds may have some character bents, but the thought that they are fully formed and have all their ideas in place is pretty silly, given the vast changes that occur as people mature in their 20s. How a person is now can change dramatically in the course of a few years, and these changes don’t always contribute to healthy marriages.
There are certainly some couples who married too young and make it work, but it might be a good idea to talk to them about what they gave up. There are just as many couples that were unsuccessful in early marriages and they may also have insight that a person marrying young has not yet acquired. Though there currently seems a push toward younger marriages, the high risk of divorce, the potential pitfalls of these early marriages, and the possibility that you will have to give up many of your personal goals, make this a matter for very significant consideration and thought.