At first glance, this would seem like a very positive change in a society that of late, has been dunked, head first, in a massive barrel of negative attitudes, rude manners and unsavory methods of conduct, to say the least. This change probably meant that parents were beginning to take their kids and their emotions seriously; they were also letting go of their ridiculous dowry requests. As for the young couples themselves, it would show that they were looking to the serious, more religious and socially-appropriate direction to life, in opting for marriage instead of serial dating or even being in a "serious" relationship out of wedlock. Forgive me if I might sound a bit prudish or conservative, this is not my personal opinion but rather the established modus operandi of our society –whether we agree or not is not the relevant issue at the moment.
But like I said, this is only at first glance, because with the increase in young marriages, there has also been a rather startling increase in young divorces.
Hearing about divorce in general saddens me. Call me a sentimental fool, but I like to think that marriage is a permanent establishment. I was shocked with the great number of divorced young couples I kept hearing about. It ultimately gave rise to the question, why? Why would a couple, who apparently married for love, seek divorce at such an early stage in their life together (sometimes less than a year into their marriage)?
Here’s what I think.
In a nutshell, they didn’t know what they were in for. They just don’t know what it takes to have, and maintain a marriage; and how could they, when the female is irresponsible and the male still takes an allowance from his parents?!
Now I may sound harsh here but it is the truth in a lot of cases. When I say the female is irresponsible, I mean she doesn’t fully comprehend that she is in charge of an entire household and has to take care of everything it needs. I don’t mean she has to end up doing everything with her own two hands, that’s up to the person and what they’re willing and not willing to do, but the bottom line is, if there is something that the house needs she has to make sure it gets done, one way or the other.
For example, it seems fashionable for young wives to not know how to cook. I don’t know why it’s such a popular thing to say you don’t know how to do something, where I come from when you don’t know how to do something you learn how to do it, end of story.
I suppose that proclaiming (with pride) the ignorance of handling such ‘mundane’ tasks, comes from a deep seeded need to give yourself airs and prestige; meaning, one implicitly communicates that they never needed to learn how to cook and clean because they’ve probably always had someone do that for them (preferably a cook and a housekeeper). I also believe it’s a lot easier for some people to just say ‘I don’t know’, because it gets them off the hook. It’s a shame that a lot of people don’t realize that the more you know (the more diverse the better), the richer your character becomes and the more useful you feel.
As a result of not knowing, or not bothering to learn how to, the young wife either constantly runs to her mother to help her manage her house, or just lets things fall at the seam.
And the male, the backbone of the household; more often than not, this backbone has always had his mother pamper him silly, and he never had to think about how the house he had lived in was run. In addition to that, his monthly income most probably never covered his expenses when he was single, so he resorted to borrowing from his parents, and now continues to do so after he’s married. This would ultimately give his parents a stake in his household, and it’s no longer a partnership of two equals, but rather a company of parents and you know where that leads to.
There is also the emotional maturity aspect of a marriage. Typically, a young couple goes into a marriage thinking it’s a continuation to their dating days (if they were dating before marriage), and just one big party, or a liberation from the shackles of society. The girl thinks that once she’s married she can go out more and stay out late because her father can no longer tell her what to do, she’ll be a married woman. And the guy thinks that he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants without having to answer to anyone, he’s the man of the house. Of course that is not the case; the female cannot go out whenever she wants and stay out late, there’s a husband who needs her attention, not to mention that said husband will most probably frown upon her staying out late without him, so if she’s not really into his company, she’s in for a bumpy ride. As for the husband, if he stays out all the time and leaves his wife alone, he will come back home to one mother of a sulk, the likes of which he had never seen.
There is also, of course, the issue of them still being young and wanting to live their carefree years, well, carefree! She’s not ready yet to be responsible for anything and he’s not willing yet to care about how a household is run.
Of course what I’ve just shared is not the case with all young couples, there are successful young marriages out there, and I don’t think it’s a stroke of luck; they put in a lot of effort and dedication to their lives together. An example I had witnessed once comes to mind: I had had a conversation one evening with a young mother at a social gathering (she was about 22 years old) where I found out that she had had the foresight to regulate her little girl’s sleeping hours for the health of her baby and her husband’s sanity and social life. Watching her little girl at the gathering, I had noticed that the happy baby was quiet, serene, and energetic –a real joy to be around. On the other hand, I cannot tell you how many times I had seen parents hauling their toddlers with them all over the place at all hours; of course those toddlers were screaming their heads off and were very restless and a nightmare to be around.
So even if I do sound like I am against young marriages, I really am not, I think it’s a great thing. It’s always good to start things early on in life, it gives you more time to learn and develop as a person. But for a young marriage to work I think the couple really needs to know what they’re in for, before they get married; they have to go in there with their eyes wide open, so to speak. Bottom line, they need to know the name of the game. Otherwise, they should wait until they do. To tell you the truth, I think this is where the parents come in; they should educate their kids about what it takes to have a marriage. I for one believe that, all things being equal, the core of what a person becomes in life is a result of their interaction with their parents and what was handed from them both directly and indirectly, but that’s another story.