Friday, January 15, 2010

How young is too young?

So what better way to deal with my lack of a mate than to help my MUCH younger brother(he's just turned 18)plan his wedding? yeah, that's what I said, "Seriously?"

There's been some uproar and some happiness and some concern and some "well, they're going to do it whether you support them or not, so you better get on board".

The situation is this; my young brother from another mother has had a hard time of it growing up mostly in his mother's house and last year when he was approaching his 18th birthday started making some very 'adult' decisions about his life, and signed up with the Marine Corps.....he departs for basic training on January 25th. Apparently he started smoking, too, because you can start smoking when you're 18, right? I guess he didn't get the memo about how you can obtain cigarettes from other people before you're 18 and smoke whenever you want, basically. (this cracked me up when my dad told me this....Bubba figured since he'd followed all of the rules the whole time he was growing up and was kind of a nerd it was high time he tried something 'manly' like smoking).

And, now, since he will be leaving and wants his young lady to accompany him, they are going to get married when he returns from basic training, May 1st. (the young lass is not quite 18 herself and does not turn 18 until after Bubba is gone and she will be a married woman before she even graduates from high school in June).

I'm not unhappy for him and his young lady, but am concerned they are too young. Given the circumstances they are starting their married life under, base housing in another state away from family and friends. Now, there have been many couples starting out under these circumstances and they have grandparents for one and the young lady's parents and grandparents, evidently....

So, I'm wondering, in this day and age, how young is too young? Are the young people today too young to marry at 18? In the age when instant gratification is the mantra of our kids? When divorce is just an app on your iPhone? (jk). Do they have what it takes to make a marriage work? Or will they grow out of their marriage sooner rather than later and go their separate ways? Is this generation built the way our grandparents and even some people's parents were, believing in the commitment and the vows they take?

I believe Bubba loves his girl, maybe beyond reason, but I don't think he's thought through what it really means to be married. I think he doesn't want to leave his girlfriend behind and that marrying her is a means to an end. Seriously, neither of them has ever lived on their own, in fact, neither one of them currently has a job, nor has either one of them has ever had to pay their own auto insurance, much less an electric bill or a phone bill, cell or otherwise.

Maybe, the best way to get married and begin your married life is to do it just as you've entered in to the military, and are young and without experience, because the military is going to take care of you and your new spouse and you can both learn together how to navigate life and all of it's inconveniences, like when they turn the power off because one of you forgot or didn't have the money to pay the electric bill? Now that I think of it, this might just be brilliant, accept for the fact that they will be all the way across the country from any of their friends or family for support....that could also be brilliant, too...if they have no support system they will have to learn to rely on each other, right? Maybe, Bubba is smarter than I thought?

My dad is having a hard time with this, he vehemently believes this is a mistake that may greatly inhibit Bubba's ability to concentrate on being a Marine, which is a scary thought because being able to focus keeps a Marine alive, right? And, really, Bubba and his Lass really are very immature and quite impulsive, they've only been daitng since early summer....

How young is too young? I'm pretty sure you are never too OLD to get married, but how young is too young, (being of legal age, of course)?


12 comments: said...

My sister got married at 19 to her high school sweetheart and I thought she was crazy. But, come this June she will have been happily married for 40 years. You just never know how people will work things out.

Cyndy said...

I would think that 18 is much too young, as well, but if they are going to do it, at least they are going to do it with the USMC! The things you worry about, like paying bills, is overseen by the Marines and they will keep this young couple on track. Your brother and his bride will grow up together, and hopefully then, stay together. There are no guarantees in marriage, no matter what the age. But I do know that having the support of both families can make or break it, so be there and mean it sincerely when you give them best wishes!

p.s. love your cake. yum!

Indiri Wood said...

My mother was married at 16 and divorced (from what turned out to be an abuser) by 20.

I moved in with my boyfriend at 18 and we married a week shy of my 20th birthday. Even having dated and lived together so long the simple fact was that I was way too young. I got a divorce at 29. At the time, though, you'd have never convinced me otherwise. My mother was the only adult family member that supported me and I think that was because she knew I would do it with or without her. You can't change their mind if they don't want to change it but hopefully you can be their support no matter what happens.

I hope it all turns out well!

Mike said...

I guess I look at things differently than most. If they get married at 18 and have 10 joyous years together and then in the 11th year, they change and split up, was the first 10 years a waste? I don't think so. I think people need to do what makes them happy now and worry about later when it gets here.

Brian Miller said...

i was 22...and had no experience either. we had been together the previous 3 years. the first couple are the hardest as you figure out life together. the fact that they have no support systme is a little scary. but then we moved to another state as well right afterward. high hopes for them...walk it with them, they will need it.

Mari Mansourian said...

oh boy, i don't know about this... they haven't known each other for too long, hack they don't even know who they are themselves, too young and really so unprepared for what life throws at you, and if they have kids then one day go their separate ways... what of those kids?? no in this day and age... we are not like our grandparents who did everything possible to remain married, now we just don't want to deal with problems and just cast them aside.. i hope we are all wrong and that they will be that small percentage of people who find that great marriage at such a young age... but i'm concerned, i too have two boys and i try to make them understand why they shouldn't be worried about getting married so young, and how important it is to get an education and have a career to be able to support a marriage and children.. oh who knows ....
sorry been absent from my blog reads, glad to be making my rounds again :)

Delena said...

I got married when I was 17, hubby was 19. Now we have been married 41 years. We met July 1 and got married Feb. 1th. A total of 6 months. It scares me now though to think of people getting married that young now. Everything is so different . Jobs are harder to get (more education needed), peer pressure (everyone wants to start with a huge home and a new car), couples are having to both work and having babies later into their 30's. It worked for us but omg it was not easy as we had three kids before I was 23. Talk about having to grow up quickly and struggle financally for years. I guess it
is the "love thing" though, and there is no stopping that. We beat the odds and even with all the struggles have had undescribable joy!

Dayne Gingrich said...

Everyone has their own specifics, but if I would've gotten married to my girlfriend at 18, it wouldn't have ended on a positive... that's for sure!!!

We do so much changing in our twenties, so we better pray that we find someone who will be "changing" on the same path.

Love is tough to argue with... until reality comes-a-knockin!

Stacey J. Warner said...

Who is to judge. As long as they are happy...great story though!

LOVE THE I have a craving.

much love

SE'LAH... said...

the cake is awesome...nice picture of love. i just pray for your brother and his bride to be that love will live in their hearts and bless their marriage.

sending lots of positive vibes your way.

one love.

Pat said...

I'm behind in my blog reading!

I guess it all depends on maturity level of the people.

But they are two consenting adults and nothing is stopping them, so I agree with the idea of helping them with as much as you can. Hopefully they will make a go at this marriage.

christina said...

i was married young. and am still married to my love. that being said, i would want my kids to wait. i tell them- see the world find yourself, get an education first.
i do wish the couple well. when you are in love, it's best to do it right. :)