Jackie Mason | September 25, 2005
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Scott Hardie | September 29, 2005
Well, every generation likes to buck the trend of the previous one. Consider that the Greatest Generation gave way to the Flower Children, which gave way to Reagan Republicans, which gave way to Generation X, which gave way to the Neo-Cons of today. (I hope Mike's kids aren't someday voting for Chelsea for president.) I think you're right, Jackie: The young women of today appreciate the options their mothers earned for them, and merely look at young marriage as one of their options. But it still makes me uneasy to see young people marrying, because (in my opinion) it leads to higher divorce rates. Earlier this week I looked at some photos from a funeral for a soldier killed in Iraq, and I was surprised to see the flag being handed to his 19-year-old widow. Why is it I can imagine 19-year-olds dying at war but not marrying?

Jackie Mason | September 29, 2005
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Lori Lancaster | September 29, 2005
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Scott Hardie | October 15, 2005
When I sometimes give into the urge to read Dear Abby columns (they're a guilty pleasure), they're often filled with letters like "My husband of five years is really different now. He's out with his friends all the time and never talks to me any more, as if he doesn't love me. We're 23. Should I leave him?" Well shit, lady, do you think 18-year-olds change by the time they turn 23? I agree with Jackie that thirtysomethings and fortysomethings sometimes lower their standards too far, but at least they don't have naïvete of teenagers who think they've found their lifelong partners. (And of course, every few months there's a new movie that reinforces the soulmates-at-sixteen concept.)

Megan Baxter | October 18, 2005
What worries me the most is when people I know get married with in a year of having started to date someone. What's the hurry? Get to know each other better first.

In both cases I know, most people around the bride and groom weren't...pleased that they were rushing into marriage so quickly.

(Then again, I dated my husband for 6 years before I married him, and we've been married for just over a year, so I guess I speak from that particular perspective.)

Kris Weberg | October 18, 2005
Yeah, I tend to think that the five or so years between 18 and 23 are the last adolescent years of huge change, after which people settle into their adult identities for a while.

Some people know themselves faster, though -- at 21, 22, and so on. Most don't. I've had at least three high school, friends who went to college, married between 19 and 21, and are already divorced or separated. It depends on how long the couple have known each other, how many different life situations they've known each other in (the girl/guy who's great and wonderful in college WILL be different when one or both or both of you is/are working), and how good each of them is at "reading" or "getting" other people in general.

Scott Hardie | October 21, 2005
I too have never understood the rush to marry quickly. If you're going to spend the rest of your lives together...

Lori Lancaster | October 21, 2005
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Jackie Mason | October 21, 2005
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Denise Sawicki | October 21, 2005
Aw I know I married Darrell after dating him for only 8 months but we're fine, honest :)
We couldn't stand being apart and for some odd reason we decided to be traditional and get married before moving in together. I don't regret it...

Amy Austin | October 21, 2005
Ed & I only knew each other for about 3 months, and we didn't live together first, either. Of course, we now know that if we had... well, let's just say that marriage has forced both of us into the path of maturity and "trying harder" -- something that I think is an important concept to children of divorce (we both are). I remember reading a statistic somewhere a few years back stating that when asked if they had any regrets about the first time, the majority of second and third-time marrieds said that they wished they had tried harder... that in retrospect they think they probably gave up on the first spouse too easily. I guess the experience of finding out that marriage can be difficult no matter who you're married to is an eye-opener for some of these folks. I mean, yes, some are more difficult than others, but I do also think that being young predisposes most people to a more selfish and prideful way of thinking when it comes to the diplomacy of marriage... and because of this, they are probably more likely to "throw in the towel" out of sheer frustration. If age and experience teaches you anything, it's probably that you can put up with a hell of a lot more than you think... at work, at home, in life, and surely, in marriage.

Anyhow... whenever I'm feeling like a particularly frustrated wife, I always think back to having read that statistic and of how great my husband really is in so many ways. I think of the time and effort we have invested in each other -- getting to know and figure each other out -- and I know that I don't particularly care to do that with someone else. Who wants to re-discover someone else's "baggage" and "dirty laundry" all over again? Whenever we are mad, I try to remember that "this, too, shall pass" and know that, in the end, you usually get what you put in.

Denise Sawicki | October 21, 2005
That's cool that you and Ed didn't know each other such a long time... so I'm not the only one :) I know what you mean about marriage forcing you to try harder. I know I could have tried harder with the first person I lived with (Eric) but I guess I wasn't ready at that time. Darrell and I just have both had enough of losing friends and people drifing away from us and were ready to have someone for life, I guess... I wanted to give him a promise of security and just living together wasn't going to provide that. I also agree that getting to know people while dating is hard. I've got no interest in going through that again.

On a totally different topic, I wonder if "eloping" or having a small wedding is getting more popular. Eric actually got married a few months after I did... he didn't tell me or any other friends in advance and didn't invite anyone but family. Then my boss just eloped a little while ago and invited everyone to a party afterwards. The party is tomorrow and will be my first time introducing Darrell to my coworkers. I hope they will realize how cool he is and finally decide I must be cool by extension, heh...

Jackie Mason | October 22, 2005
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Scott Hardie | October 22, 2005
All very well said, ladies. I would like to mention that I meant no dis to people here (or anywhere) who got married after a brief courtship; it's just not for me.

Lori: Good points. I'm not saying that teenagers shouldn't be allowed to marry, just that in my opinion, they're more likely to fail at it (and quickly so) than adults are. And nobody should be old enough to be drafted, but let's not get political here. :-)

Amy, I agree completely. And maybe it's not just a matter of selfishness and pride, but also a naivete that there's got to be something better out there, there's just gotta be. We age, we find out what we can pretty much expect out of a relationship no matter who the partner is, and we come to appreciate having already accepted our partners for who they are and the bonds we've already crafted with them. I know the price I've paid for not trying harder; I guess almost all of us have been there.

Denise, I'm surprised to read that about Eric, but maybe not, since he'd enjoy something spontaneous like that. I wish him the best.

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