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Old 08-19-2019, 02:59 PM
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How young is too young to get married?


Regardless of the law, I strongly believe that no one under 18 should get married. I also believe that no one under 25 should get married, thereís just so much life change between 18 and 25 that I believe a marriage decision should be delayed until 25.

So, this is the opinion of a never been married Dalej42, what do the rest of you think?
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:09 PM
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I agree that almost nobody under 18 has any idea of what they are getting into and is not yet mature enough to get married. I think 25 is too high a bar. I might be able to get behind 21, although I would have some issues with the idea that the government thinks you're mature enough at 18 to kill people with an M16 but not old enough to drink or get married.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Regardless of the law, I strongly believe that no one under 18 should get married. I also believe that no one under 25 should get married, there’s just so much life change between 18 and 25 that I believe a marriage decision should be delayed until 25.

So, this is the opinion of a never been married Dalej42, what do the rest of you think?
By 25, many people have been with the SO for over 5 years (especially if they met in college). They've likely already been living together for several years and may even already have kids. If the age of marriage were restricted to anything over 18, I think a lot of people wouldn't bother getting married, other than for legal reasons. And, with that, if you deny people the ability to marry, you need to somehow compensate them for not being able to get on their would-be spouse's insurance plan, be listed as a next of kin for emergency situations, get the tax benefits that come with being married and I'm sure plenty of other things.


Why should the government (or anyone else) tell two consenting adults that they're not allowed to get married because, based on nothing more than their age, decide they aren't ready.

I'd sooner see all the legal/tax/insurance issues that come with being married, be the same for single people and get the government out of the marriage business altogether.

Last edited by Joey P; 08-19-2019 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:34 PM
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With rare exception, some teenagers under 18 can be significantly more mature than some adults in their 20s or 30s. This might be the case in some rural communities, or places with a very different non-Western culture. Still ought to be a rare exception, though.

As for marriage between 18-25, it's absolutely reasonable. I find something rather disturbing about this Western trend of increasing the age of marriage just for the sake of increasing it, and the increasing age below which people are considered immature.

Last edited by Velocity; 08-19-2019 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:35 PM
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18 years old makes perfect sense. The reasons for a minor needing to get married has to be vanishingly small. I could even go for 21.

I got married at 20 (almost 21) and we celebrated our 16th anniversary last month.

If there was a law needing me to be 21, I just would have waited a month, no big deal.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:43 PM
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Let me clarify, I don’t want a law preventing people over 18 from getting married, I just don’t think it is a good idea. I’m biased because I’ve just seen one marriage end in a horrible, bitter breakup, ages 22 and 24.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:50 PM
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Let me clarify, I donít want a law preventing people over 18 from getting married, I just donít think it is a good idea. Iím biased because Iíve just seen one marriage end in a horrible, bitter breakup, ages 22 and 24.
We can restrict the age to 30, and there's going to be plenty of cases of people that got married at 30 and divorced at 32, just like there are cases of people that got married at 25 and divorced at 45.

And, to provide you with a counter example, I know a couple that got married at 15 and 18. They're now in their 70's, still as happy as can be, living a life of semi-retirement in Florida. Or my parents, 18 and 21. 4 kids and 40+ years later, still married.

I understand where you're coming from, I really do, but that seems like pretty broad brush you're using. As long as it's just opinions you're talking about and not actual law, I'd rather see people know/date each other for X years and maybe even live together for at least a year. To me, that's more important than age.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:50 PM
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I don't think the human brain is done forming until about age 25. Nothing to cite, just my opinion.

18 I can get behind also. We still need to reconcile the legal adult / vote / drink / armed services / marriage inconsistencies somehow. Not sure how to do that.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:57 PM
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I don't think the human brain is done forming until about age 25. Nothing to cite, just my opinion.

18 I can get behind also. We still need to reconcile the legal adult / vote / drink / armed services / marriage inconsistencies somehow. Not sure how to do that.
I could see that being 19. Get the majority of people out of high school first. It would save some of the headaches involved when some seniors are 18 and the rest are 17.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:03 PM
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I can easily get on board with no marriage below age 21. If your'e not old enough to sign any other type of legal contract, you're not old enough to get married, right? Most companies won't even let you rent a car below that age, much less take out a loan to buy one.

But then I reflect that I'm sure my happiest life would have been if I'd married the boy I loved at 17. So I don't know what the right answer is or was. I do know that where ever you set the number, loopholes will be sought by those who wish to exploit young girls. So make it 21, and then protect them.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:08 PM
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I can easily get on board with no marriage below age 21. If your'e not old enough to sign any other type of legal contract, you're not old enough to get married, right? Most companies won't even let you rent a car below that age, much less take out a loan to buy one.
Huh? Where can't you sign a legal contract if you're under 21 (but 18 or older)?
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:18 PM
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With rare exception, some teenagers under 18 can be significantly more mature than some adults in their 20s or 30s.
Edit: I meant "as a rare exception," - my bad grammar.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:29 PM
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Huh? Where can't you sign a legal contract if you're under 21 (but 18 or older)?
Yeah, as far as I know the government considers 18 year-olds full adults (except for drinking) (which is the topic for another thread)

If we're not talking about laws, I think people should generally not get married before the age of 25, and in many cases older. But, being free to make mistakes is what makes life so interesting.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:36 PM
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For people who are in college and expect to graduate, I'd say that in a pragmatic sense, they'd do well to graduate and get a few years in as single people prior to getting married. Basically because two of the big expected life changes are getting out of your parents' house (graduating high school & going to college) and then graduating college/getting a "real" job/supporting yourself. Getting married is another major life change, and one that's frequently followed up by children, which are yet another huge life change.

I'd think that cramming graduating/getting real job, marriage and possibly kids too close together just sets people up for mid-life crises later on, when they feel like they missed their youth being married and having kids.

I mean, there's nothing WRONG about it, and I'm sure that people pull it off all the time, but I know that for me, that period of the first 2-4 years after I graduated college were a period of a lot of growth and maturation on my own part- there wasn't that parental parachute to fall back on, and I was on my own for everything, with no one to answer to for any of it. Knowing that I could succeed in that made me a very different potential marriage partner than had I got married in school or very soon after.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:27 PM
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We still need to reconcile the legal adult / vote / drink / armed services / marriage inconsistencies somehow.
Why?
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:37 PM
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My parents were married when they were both 18. They had two kids and stayed married for 51 years, until death did they part. We had a solid, supportive family. My brother and his wife got married at 19. They've been together for 40 years and have three kids and several grandchildren. I don't believe in restricting marriage to a certain age, as marriages undertaken in your teen years can turn out OK, at least in my family.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:44 PM
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I think if you're old enough to buy a house, you're old enough to buy marry a spouse. Eighteen it is.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:49 PM
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I might be able to get behind 21, although I would have some issues with the idea that the government thinks you're mature enough at 18 to kill people with an M16 but not old enough to drink or get married.
The REASON the government prefers to draft 18 year-olds instead of 21 year-olds is exactly that: they are NOT mature and they have bad judgment. This is what you want in grunts. If it was about the ideal physical shape, 22-24 year-olds would be better.

Last edited by Manda JO; 08-19-2019 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:10 PM
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Ideally, not before 30. 27 if you're in some kind of rush.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:49 PM
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There are numerous studies suggesting that premarital counselling can lead to lower divorce rates. Well, I got lots of hits when I googled it, I don't know if they're the same study being cited by different groups or not.

Do most 18 year olds have the time, finances or inclination to do such a thing? Hard to tell. My husband and I did pre-Cana through the Catholic organization at our college (we were just shy of 24 when we married, but had known each other for nearly 6 years). My brother and his fiancee did a similar program at their church; they were 29 and 25 at the time.

One of the key things I recall from it was that we did a lengthy questionnaire beforehand that helped show up potential areas of conflict. Obviously I have no idea what my brother's turned up, but for us religion and dealing with in-laws was a huge thing (I was Catholic, he was Jewish; now both lapsed). I think it was useful - but not perfectly predictive: we celebrated our 36th anniversary last month and my brother and his wife didn't quite make 25.

I guess one of the advantages of a church-based marriage is that usually some kind of counselling is required. I figure it can't hurt anyway - and that's regardless of age of the couple.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:06 PM
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I think length of marriage is a really poor way to evaluate the success of a marriage. There are some long marriages that are really, really awful, and the fact that they lasted so long just perpetuated a lot of misery not just for the principals, but for everyone in their orbit.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:18 PM
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I think length of marriage is a really poor way to evaluate the success of a marriage. There are some long marriages that are really, really awful, and the fact that they lasted so long just perpetuated a lot of misery not just for the principals, but for everyone in their orbit.
Nit the case in my family. My parents stayed together because they lived each other. Same with my brother and sister-in-law. Not all families are full of misery and dysfunctional relatives.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:25 PM
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Nit the case in my family. My parents stayed together because they lived each other. Same with my brother and sister-in-law. Not all families are full of misery and dysfunctional relatives.
Sure. My parents are also happily married. I'm happily married for 20 years. But my dad will tell you that his first marriage, though brief, was good for him and his now ex-wife, even though it didn't work out long term, and some long term marriages are not good.

Length alone doesn't tell you much.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:27 PM
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Sure. My parents are also happily married. I'm happily married for 20 years. But my dad will tell you that his first marriage, though brief, was good for him and his now ex-wife, even though it didn't work out long term, and some long term marriages are not good.

Length alone doesn't tell you much.
Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:07 PM
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Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
You gotta be kidding me right?

You really don't believe people stay together for decades despite being miserable?
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:26 PM
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You gotta be kidding me right?

You really don't believe people stay together for decades despite being miserable?
I don't deny there are some long-term marriages in which the partners are miserable. But Manda Jo said that the length of a marriage was a poor way to evaluate the quality of one. That's what I disagree with. And with that, I'm out of this thread.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:27 PM
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I tell and have told all my kids: Not to live together, not to marry, don't get a pet, not to have kids, not to have joint checking accounts. So far they have ignored me.

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Old 08-19-2019, 09:24 PM
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The people I know who have the most miserable marriages married before they were out of college. Most of the time its because they never got to have fun and regret it or because they married the first person they slept with and tried to find a match that was decent. Of course i know some loners who married the first person they slept with in their thirties and they're unhappy too but most of them realise its by choice.

I wouldn't want a law preventing marriage beyond whatever date we set for adulting which personally I'd set at 16. I would however advise my daughters to screw around and have fun and once bars and the dating scene gets old then find someone to settle down with which should be at least a couple of years after college. I was 4 years out before I could even stop pitying my married friends and could even consider dating someone for more than a month or two.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:25 PM
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I tell and have told all my kids: Not to live together, not to marry, don't get a pet, not to have kids, not to have joint checking accounts. So far they have ignored me.
"Do what I say, not what I do" generally doesn't work on kids.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:54 PM
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62 or when the last of the kids move out; then you can get married.

Actually I would say 18 is fine as a rule of thumb; some people I've known were mature and versed enough younger than that and I know people in their 60s who aren't there yet. So if we're going by age and not some sort of qualification process (like we do with say a drivers license) I could live with that one.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:59 AM
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I tell and have told all my kids: Not to live together, not to marry, don't get a pet, not to have kids, not to have joint checking accounts. So far they have ignored me.
My kids are following that exactly!

Of course they are only 10 and eight. We will see what happens in another however many years.

Mormons often get married early. I know a lot of young women who get married at 19 or 20.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:18 AM
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I would agree that nobody should get married before they are 30. Especially this current generation.

'Cept I got married at 19. But it was almost 40 years ago.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:41 AM
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As long as it's just opinions you're talking about and not actual law, I'd rather see people know/date each other for X years and maybe even live together for at least a year. To me, that's more important than age.
Then you have people like my husband and me - we met Oct 30, first date was Nov 12, we eloped Dec 9, and this year will be 36 years. And I had a friend who eloped 3 days after meeting his wife, and they were together 30+ years last time I saw him.

On the other hand, my brother and his girlfriend dated in college, married in their mid-20s, but a couple of years into their marriage, she decided she wanted to live by herself. She was OK being married - just not living with her husband. Then she divorced him and married someone else.

So ya never know...
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:53 AM
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I don't think the human brain is done forming until about age 25. Nothing to cite, just my opinion.
In that case, let's raise the voting age to 25.



After all, if they aren't mature enough to [drink/get married/own a gun/etc.] we sure don't want them voting.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:08 AM
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The REASON the government prefers to draft 18 year-olds instead of 21 year-olds is exactly that: they are NOT mature and they have bad judgment. This is what you want in grunts. If it was about the ideal physical shape, 22-24 year-olds would be better.
Historically and as a matter of policy, the way the draft lotteries have worked is that they start with 20 year olds, then 21, and so forth to 24. Then, they go to 18 and then 19 year olds, and finally back to 25 and 26 year olds.

They really don't want 18 year olds, although probably for the same reasons of immaturity that you mention.

However I don't doubt that in today's volunteer military, they aim to recruit 18 year olds straight out of high school for those same reasons.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:09 AM
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Let me clarify, I donít want a law preventing people over 18 from getting married, I just donít think it is a good idea. Iím biased because Iíve just seen one marriage end in a horrible, bitter breakup, ages 22 and 24.
Marriages end in horrible, bitter breakups at all ages. Maturity is no cure for that.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:59 AM
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Marriage at any age is fine, but living together for five years first should be a requirement, with no kids for the first three years. Hey, it's a fantasy.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:18 AM
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Eighteen should be a hard and fast and absolutely inflexible lower limit, because the current model where all it takes is a compliant judge to marry a girl as young as TEN is completely sick. If someone is judged not competent to consent to sex until they're eighteen then they're certainly not competent to enter into marriage either, and it just legitimizes child rape when all it takes is getting her pregnant in order to force her parents and a judge into allowing the marriage, which then means however many more years of rape for the girl in question until she finally can figure out how the hell to escape her situation. So, no exceptions, no marriage license unless BOTH partners are over eighteen.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:26 AM
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Marriages end in horrible, bitter breakups at all ages. Maturity is no cure for that.
IME maturity (as opposed to age) is the ONLY cure for that. But our society is infested with narcissistic and enabled adultchildren. Marriages can dissolve, even under offensive conditions, without having to be horrible and bitter--that's all about the players.

As for the OP: age is just a number, a loose guideline in this circumstance. Older than maybe 11 would be a good idea though.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:48 AM
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Eighteen should be a hard and fast and absolutely inflexible lower limit, because the current model where all it takes is a compliant judge to marry a girl as young as TEN is completely sick.
TEN years old???

In the USA, Europe or another developed nation?
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:54 AM
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Regardless of the law, I strongly believe that no one under 18 should get married. I also believe that no one under 25 should get married, thereís just so much life change between 18 and 25 that I believe a marriage decision should be delayed until 25.

So, this is the opinion of a never been married Dalej42, what do the rest of you think?
Having learned it the hard way, I agree with you. I got married at 19. We struggled to make it work for nine years, then realized that we had simply grown apart from each other. We managed to salvage a long range friendship out of it. I've sometimes wondered how different things would have been if we had waited even a couple of years longer to get married.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:57 AM
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TEN years old???

In the USA, Europe or another developed nation?
Tennesse, which for some reason the USA fought a nasty war to hang on to.
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From 2016-2019, 13 states raised their minimum marriage age for minors, or added a minimum age when they previously did not have one.[5]
In many cases, minors in the US may be married when they are under the age of sexual consent in their state (which ranges from 16 to 18).[6] In some states minors cannot legally divorce, leave their spouse, or enter a shelter to escape abuse.[7][8] In 2001 in Tennessee, three 10-year-old girls were married to men aged 24-31.[9] Meanwhile in Alabama, a 74-year-old man married a 14-year-old girl.[10] Both states have since set minimum ages, of 17[11] and 16 respectively.[12]
Sounds like it's getting better, but bits of the USA are/have been medieval until disturbingly recently.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:01 AM
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Marriage at any age is fine, but living together for five years first should be a requirement, with no kids for the first three years. Hey, it's a fantasy.
Couples who cohabitate before marriage have exactly the same divorce rate as couples who do not. Psychologists speculate that people who are more willing to break the taboo against cohabitation, are also more willing to break the taboo against divorce.




I went to college in a state where the voting age was 18, but the drinking age was 21. Back then, I thought that the drinking age should be lower. These days, I often find myself thinking that the voting age should be higher.

Regardless of brain development, our culture has embraced the 18 voting age rather strongly. It would be hypocrisy to shy away from the consequences. If that means an increase in drunk-driving fatalities and bad marriages, so be it.




I support 18 as a minimum age for marriage. It won't protect girls from exploitation, but it will protect men from accusations of exploitation.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:14 AM
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I find most couples who marry before age 25 end up divorced. I tell kids in HS dont get too tied to the person they are dating in HS because rarely will it last more than a couple of years past HS. Some do though.

In Kansas I think they can marry as young as 16 with parental permission and 14 with a judges. It so so rare though it hardly ever comes up.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:18 AM
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25 is probably ideal.

But, try telling that to love struck teens. I rather see them shack up instead of marrying. At least then it's simple to separate if there's no kids.

I agree we're totally different people at 25 compared to 18. Different interests, different view points of the world and different priorities. It's hard for 18 year old newlyweds to survive that change as they get older.

Last edited by aceplace57; 08-20-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:56 AM
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It may be unwise but 18 year olds are legally adults and have the right to marry.

I wouldn't want to see any laws forcing them to wait until 25.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:57 AM
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Posts: 5,317
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Nonesutch View Post
TEN years old???

In the USA, Europe or another developed nation?
In the US. Twenty five states have NO legal minimum age for marriage, all it takes is a judge to sign off on it and/or parental consent. Care to take any wagers regarding the possibility of a corrupt judge and desperate parents being swayed by a good sized payday into selling off their girl children to well heeled pedophiles? Hint: a goodly number of cases exist where parents sold the rights to rape their toddlers for drug money.
  #48  
Old 08-20-2019, 11:03 AM
Urbanredneck is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Lets talk the impact on women. Lets say a woman really wants children and family. She goes to college and then marries around age 25 and then wants to get her career going before she starts having children. So she waits until around age 30 and it might be harder to leave a job or go part time.

Contrast that other couples I've known where the woman gets married right away around age 18-20. She then can go back to work full time around age 30-32 (when other women are having to stop working) and the kids are out of the house by 40 and the couple then can devote 25 years or so on careers and personal lives before retirement. They also have the youth and energy, not just for their own kids but for their later grandkids.
  #49  
Old 08-20-2019, 11:32 AM
bump is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbh View Post
Regardless of brain development, our culture has embraced the 18 voting age rather strongly. It would be hypocrisy to shy away from the consequences. If that means an increase in drunk-driving fatalities and bad marriages, so be it.

I support 18 as a minimum age for marriage. It won't protect girls from exploitation, but it will protect men from accusations of exploitation.
Interestingly... IIRC, it was all 21 back in the day- drinking AND voting, with only the military drafting as low as 18. Then in the late 60s/early 70s, they dropped the voting age to correspond with the draft age out of the theory that if you're going to go fight and possibly die, then you should at least have a say in it, however minor. And many states dropped the drinking ages to match. Then in the 1980s, the MADD efforts got most states to raise them to 21 again.

I'm having a hard time seeing a necessity for anyone to legally need to get married prior to 18 in this day and age. At least with 18, you're a legal adult in every way (save drinking age, and that's a historical quirk).
  #50  
Old 08-20-2019, 12:22 PM
Ashtura is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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Well, I married at 22, I'm still married 25 years later, but I wish I had waited a few years at least. I wouldn't dream of legislating any age above 18 though.
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