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When Should You Marry?

Since the divorce rate is at an all time high many are asking when and if they should marry? It is interesting that at the beginning of the 20th Century men were in their late twenties before getting married.

In the early part of 1960 half of all girls in the USA were married by their twentieth birthday. Males were about two years older.

The 90's saw many getting married while still in their teen years. This no doubt accounts at least in-part for the high percentage of divorces. The national statistics reveal that teenage marriages are the most unstable with the highest chance of divorce. Many of them marry out of emotional impulse and pre-marital pregnancies which lead to a higher risk of divorce.

At the present time those entering into wedlock are taking longer to decide about marriage. However, some are attempting a trial habitation to see if it might work.

When are you ready for marriage and how do you know if proper preparation has been taken for a successful marriage? There is no absolutely guarantee for success...

There are at least 3 areas to consider in determining if you are properly prepared for a life long commitment.

Maturity

You should be mature enough to take on the personal responsibilities of a family. Granted this may be some what subjective, but there are ways to measure the maturity level. If you are not sure what those responsibilities are, or even if you do know, it is advantageous to speak with someone who is well capable of addressing the responsibilities of a couple.

Studies have indicated that the best age to enter marriage is early to mid-twenties. This is the age that most men are either out of school or have performed their military service to their country. Likewise the women are out of school by this age as well. At this particular time most have had their share of dating experiences and desire to begin the process of settling down.

At the same time, however, chronological age is not necessarily proof that one is mature. Women seem to mature earlier than men, but that is not always the case. There are many factors in a persons background that either enhances their maturity or retard it. Therefore, each person has to be considered separatley.

You should, however, evaluate not only your own life, but your potential partner as well. Do not leave the evaluation process up to someone else. You do the evaluating. You may want someone's advice, but you must have your eyes "wide open".

What are you looking for in your evaluation? Start with the reasoning behind getting married. Why do you both want to be married? It is not enough to say that you love each other. Wouldn't you assume that most people who are now divorced would have said they loved each other in the beginning? Not all of course, but most "fall" in love and get married.

Look deeper than the love aspect! Are there clues of immaturity such as: wanting to be out of the parent's authority; desiring a sexual relationship; escaping educational responsibilities; etc. These may be good reasons for marriage, but more often than not, they are poor reasons.

The emotional aspect of love is very fickle. It comes and goes, so look for intellectual reasons for getting married. Do you both complement one another with your strengths and weaknesses? Do you both have the same type of objectives in life? Do you enjoy participating in similar events?

Educational

Have you both completed your education? This is a judgment call whether you should have it completed prior to marriage. It may be beneficial to have it completed so you are able to focus on your studies and extra-curricular activities.

There also may be less resentment if both partners have their education completed. Many times the wife drops out of college to put her husband through school, then, she never gets back to her own educational goals. Once the dust settles (her husband is in his career, children are all in school) regret, anger, and resentment begin to knock on the wife's heart.

Financial

Not everyone is able to be financially independent at the time of marriage, but financial stability is a good place to begin a marriage. If you are deeply in debt or do not have a reliable occupation it may behoove you to postpone the ceremony a bit longer. "Garb Your Copy of "The Magic of Making Up"
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