Late Marriage vs. Early Marriage

Just saw a phrase that gelled something for me…

The thing with late marriage is that you think you should “know who you are” and “be your own person” and “be ready” to be married.   The model makes you think that you are going to have to fight to stand  your ground.   Like you’re a whole person, and you’re partnering with another whole person.  Coincidentally (not) this model is often referred to as “partnership”.

With early marriage, you accept that you’re not a finished product, and that you’re going to do your growing up with the other human, and yes – that will change you and shape you and make you something other than you’d be on your own.  The model is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.   You should start out with a healthy other (character/physical) but you’re going to become one, and that’s pretty much the point.

Since the respective models have differing assumptions and differing goals, it’s not weird that when we try to communicate with one another, we don’t do very well.   “Oh, look at that young couple!  So beautiful!”  “She’s much too young to get married – she doesn’t know herself!”  Err… we’re not speaking the same language.

Communication is important.

7 thoughts on “Late Marriage vs. Early Marriage

  1. Elspeth

    Big proponent of early marriage, as you well know. And yep, it is very frustrating to communicate those perks to others in a culture where autonomy and being fully formed as a prerequisite to marriage is supposed to be some kind of panacea. As if there is ever a point in our lives when any of us is “fully formed” and not being shaped by the people and experiences we encounter in life.

    That said, seeing as good men [or women] and marriage proposals are harder to come by than they have ever been, many people are marrying late against their wills, if you will, and so it behooves those of us who know the score to teach the young people coming behind us that life is always throwing curve balls and struggles and things that change and shape you. Most importantly, that marriage is the absolute worst and last place to be rigid, inflexible, or unable to see how one of the things marriage does is change us and force us to change.

    1. hearthie Post author


      My point – which I have in a badly written draft response to HoRR – is that we THINK we’re communicating when we talk to the other side, but we aren’t. And that lack of communication causes some pretty major issues. This popped into my head from reading one line of news somewhere, just boom.

      I’m not adverse to a good debate, but we need to understand what we’re debating first. And there are now so many foundational disagreements that when we talk about the third floor, we’re not even starting from the same assumptions – and that’s a problem. To go back, to look at what’s on the foundation, then you can say, “Yeah, it’s here that we separated” and talk about that, that to me is interesting.

  2. Going to the Fields

    But this is the auspice under which (most) everyone operates. You can’t get married until you’re “ready,” you can’t have kids until you’re “ready.” When is that? I was ready pretty early on.

    Oh, well, ready actuallymeans educated to college and/or beyond. Regular salary. Apartment or home of some sort of your own. Because your man will abandon you, because he’s not ready, and so you must be self sufficient…tripe. All tripe. Serious responsibility has a way of making you seriously responsible.

    Or not, I see it happen either way. And that is sad and not good, but it is the trap that’s been set.

    1. hearthie Post author

      My husband insisted that we wait to have kids until we had our own home. You’ve NEVER seen someone so motivated to increase earning power as I was (He didn’t much care for the bit where I changed jobs every couple of years, but it was part of the strategy).


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