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Chris in VA
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Will they be able to live together during her college years?  Will he be stationed somewhere where she can find a suitable school, for long enough that she can get settled in and get her degree finished?  I wouldn't want her to start out married life with a long-distance relationship, or to miss out on college because of logistical issues.

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Things I would address in conversation:

Why do they want to get married? Are there tangible advantages for them if they are married, with him being in the military (housing benefits etc? I have no clue).?

Does their situation require a long distance relationship? If so, I would discourage marriage. If they can't manage long distance while dating, being married does not make anything easier or better. If they feel the need to be formally married because they are unsure their relationship survives the separation, that would be a strong con.

Edited by regentrude
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The question I always have is, how are they going to live independently? (In more traditional terms, is the from ready to support a bride and is he ready for a baby that might arrive as a surprise any time after the first 9 months.)

 

I hear of high school graduates marrying and planning to live in the home of one of the sets of parents, grandparents or some other relation. I suppose that might work for some, but my marriage would have been over before it got started if I had to begin it in a fishbowl.

 

Also, for my own kids, I personally want each of them, male and female, to have the ability to support them self independently before taking on the responsibility of a spouse.

 

I do believe there's an upside, though. Marrying and having kids young(er than I did) can provide time after the kids are grown for husband and wife to pursue interests while still relatively young and hopefully in good health. The experience of knowing not only grandkids, but also great grandkids, would be pretty satisfying, I think.

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I guess... what can be done even if one were against it, in good conscience? N

 

...Nothing.

 

So hold on, hope for the best, and recognize that even if they need help  in the beginning, it's not a comment on their longevity.

 

All double true if the disapproving family is not you, OP,  because they'll need you.

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[hypothetical plan]

 

I know so many people that initially panned to get out of the military after their first contract. But did not.

 

Things change!!

 

All the more reason for the seasoned adults to take the long view.

Edited by OKBud
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Is he likely to be deployed soon, and if so, will she find peers in similar situations, or will it be mostly young moms with children, who don't have time to be companions to her? I would be concerned that she could feel lonely, isolated, even abandoned if he leaves soon after the wedding, while she's trying to learn a new home and new way of life on her own. However, if there will be several other new wives without children around her, then maybe it's not a bad idea, because college will help her fill her time. But I don't know enough about how the service works these days. Also, what if they have to transfer before she finishes her degree? Will she be able to transfer her credits and complete her major elsewhere? If she can't finish her degree, will she feel resentful?

 

What's the reasoning behind wanting her to finish two years first? I guess I'm wondering what purpose would be served by waiting two years? Will they truly be that much more sure in two years? What if they don't marry yet, and something happens to him while he's deployed -- will she have trouble getting information and all of she's not his legal spouse?

 

DH and I wish we'd gotten married earlier than 21 and 23, but we had no way to support ourselves because we were both in full time college, and dorms were way cheaper than apartments/buying groceries/paying utilities (plus our parents covered some of the dorm cost -- not sure they'd have wanted to do that if we were married). I really can't think of a big advantage to having not gotten married, really. I'd have made it work to finish my degree if I'd gotten pregnant, although it was nice not to worry about it.

 

Oh, that makes me think of something else -- does she have time to devote to managing a house, buying groceries, cooking, cleaning, etc. while also going to school? It might depend on how intensive her major is though.

 

Just my two cents of things to consider.

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What about the importance of life experience? What about college as a broadening and deepening experience? Not that it can't be done wigh a spouse, just...isnt it good to bring those qualities formed by a great college experience into the marriage? Mature people stay married longer? Do they?

 

Lol

 

Oh, help.

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What about the importance of life experience? What about college as a broadening and deepening experience? Not that it can't be done wigh a spouse, just...isnt it good to bring those qualities formed by a great college experience into the marriage? Mature people stay married longer? Do they?

 

Lol

 

Oh, help.

Statistically, they are less likely to divorce when they are older and more educated.

 

Edited to add link: http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2013/article/marriage-and-divorce-patterns-by-gender-race-and-educational-attainment.htm

Edited by MaeFlowers
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They will figure it out.

 

She will seek counsel online from btdt wives if he is deployed.

 

She will find it.

 

They will figure it out.

 

Worst case scenario==they won't. And that's it's own "figuring it out."

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Oh, that makes me think of something else -- does she have time to devote to managing a house, buying groceries, cooking, cleaning, etc. while also going to school? It might depend on how intensive her major is though.

 

Why do you ask whether she has the time, but not whether he has the time? There is no earthly reason the woman should have to be the one doing the cleaning. It is a task for both spouses together. And seeing that each of them would have to do those things anyway, even if they were not married, that is really an odd question.

Edited by regentrude
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Where can I find stats like this?

I added a link to my first post. They would still be so young if they waited two years. I can understand where you are coming from. I would want my kids to wait. I see those college years as a time of massive personal growth.

 

Both dh and I were engaged at 20...to different people. Both of us had relationships that fell apart because we grew apart from our fiancees. So, I guess we're a little biased.

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Why do you ask whether she has the time, but not whether he has the time? There is no earthly reason the woman should have to be the one doing the cleaning. It is a task for both spouses together. And seeing that each of them would have to do those things anyway, even if they were not married, that is really an odd question.

I was assuming she meant if he was deployed.

 

Are spouses allowed to go with? I haven't talked to anyone in the minute in a while. My understanding was that if the assignment was leads than two years, they wouldn't pay for the spouse or family to move.

Edited by MaeFlowers
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Why do you ask whether she has the time, but not whether he has the time? There is no earthly reason the woman should have to be the one doing the cleaning. It is a task for both spouses together. And seeing that each of them would have to do those things anyway, even if they were not married, that is really an odd question.

Because he's military and has less flexibility with his time and possibly long and unpredictable hours, especially if he ends up deployed, so I would think a lot of the basic day to day life stuff would fall on the other spouse. If one spouse has a very inflexible schedule, because of military, job, or classes, it could be really hard for the other spouse to also have a very inflexible schedule. I know DH and I have at times both been the spouse with the very demanding job, but the times when we've both been that spouse simultaneously, it's been hard. Plus, if they weren't married, presumably they'd have roommates of some sort to share the work, whether that was adult roommates, parents/siblings, or barracks mates. I'm just concerned that if the military is very demanding, she may find herself having to handle the day to day household stuff on top of college work and navigating a new lifestyle.

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Well, here is a question: if they really really want to be together--they probably will. Is it better or worse that they marry?

 

I totally get the message of waiting but I have to say that I had a bit of an eye-opener year, beginning with my 40-year high school reunion. I was from a class of about 250 people. Probably 30 of the kids from my class married high school sweethearts within a year or two of graduation--and most of them are still together, many having weathered pretty bad storms (the stuff you'd expect--financial--and the stuff you wouldn't wish on an enemy--deaths of their children). That was a bit of a surprise to me.

 

The other has been seeing some relatively young people get married and really have a blast, even as they deal with eating rice and beans and, er, in one case, early arrival of offspring. :0)

 

I've also come to realize that many of my married friends married relatively young, and they seem to have grown and changed together while they were young as opposed to having to adapt to someone more settled in his/her ways.

 

So...I dunno. The stats say what the stats say...but stats are not applicable to an individual in a meaningful way. Stats can tell you what happens in the general population but they can't predict the behavior of an individual within the sample.

 

The thing I would say is that they had both better have eyes wide open about what their lives will look like ... especially as re their ability to be --together-- in these circumstances.

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But if he was deployed, she would have no more housework than if she lived as a single. I mean, everybody has to eat, shop, and clean - married and unmarried people alike.

That's true.

 

I guess I was thinking about her taking care of things for him that he might not be able to. Or if they had kids. Obviously, people do those things all the time by themselves.

Edited by MaeFlowers
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What about the importance of life experience? What about college as a broadening and deepening experience? Not that it can't be done wigh a spouse, just...isnt it good to bring those qualities formed by a great college experience into the marriage? Mature people stay married longer? Do they?

 

Lol

 

Oh, help.

I think this can be way overrated. It depends on the couple. I married young and it was to my benefit to have less life under my belt than more, honestly. I did much more maturing in marriage and parenting than I ever did at multiple colleges. But I also am not the kind of person who likes change, travel, or has any sort of wanderlust. I'm a homebody and I value commitment and consistency, stability, and other things that go very harmoniously in a marriage.

 

For some people young marriage during college is helpful, but it can be a big challenge for others. Only those two really know what is most important to them.

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If you are in a stable relationship and one of you is in the military, it is definitely to your material benefit to be married asap.

 

Everything from housing, to benefits, to VA loans, to BAH, to COLA, to even just being NOTIFIED in the event of an emergency....ONLY the next of kin can be given any info.

Edited by OKBud
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Because he's military and has less flexibility with his time and possibly long and unpredictable hours, especially if he ends up deployed, so I would think a lot of the basic day to day life stuff would fall on the other spouse. If one spouse has a very inflexible schedule, because of military, job, or classes, it could be really hard for the other spouse to also have a very inflexible schedule. I know DH and I have at times both been the spouse with the very demanding job, but the times when we've both been that spouse simultaneously, it's been hard. Plus, if they weren't married, presumably they'd have roommates of some sort to share the work, whether that was adult roommates, parents/siblings, or barracks mates. I'm just concerned that if the military is very demanding, she may find herself having to handle the day to day household stuff on top of college work and navigating a new lifestyle.

 

Absolutely all correct.

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Basically, if they're adults (I know, 18 is still a baby!) and have decided then you need to respect that boundary. You then get to draw your own in a way that makes you able to be as supportive as possible (ie, adults making adult decisions work and pay their own way for the most part)

 

I would be suggesting (and offering to pay for) premarital counseling and possibly professional financial/career planning advice, so that they can be on the same page.

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Having a younger family member in the army I would have concerns about her finishing college with moving, ( she needs to be able to do this if he's going to leave the service and go back and finish college),  his probable deployment (why not be in school if he's deployed anyway), his changing his mind and deciding to be career military once the military becomes his way of life. Yes these things can be sorted out but she needs to take them seriously. Having some time as an adult before marriage is useful in my opinion. We've had several couples in our world stay together through college and then marry, often at the parents encouragement. And for my personal observation, our current mode of repetitive deployment is extremely hard on soldiers and their families. 

 

 

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Age at marriage only matters statistically before 21. After that, there is no difference in divorce risk once education and income are controlled for. Divorce risk is also much lower for college graduates than for those who haven't finished college. So I would definitely push my kids to wait until 21+ and finished with their bachelor's.

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I think that if they are going to wait 2 years, they can wait four. 22 and 24 is still a pretty young marriage.

 

We married during college. I was 21. I wouldn't call our marriage a mistake but based on my experience, I would strongly urge college completion before marriage. Finishing college with a baby and a household to support was tougher than I would have guessed pre-marriage.

 

If she didn't want a degree or her degree could be done online, I could see the potential benefits of marrying now. But based on what you have said, I would urge that college comes first.

 

I don't see much difference between now and 2 years though.

 

Marriages where the younger partner is a teen and pre-marriage educational attainment is just high school statistically are more likely to result in divorce within ten years than those where the partners are in their 20s and have completed college. That's what I recall from a census bureau report.

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As a former service member, there are definite advantages to getting married. Housing, health insurance, and a great support system will be available if they make it legal. On the other hand, military life can put a LOT of stress on any relationship, whether or not he gets deployed.

 

Sent from my HTCD200LVW using Tapatalk

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College. I think her chances of finishing her degree go up if she finishes college before getting married. It's anecdotal, but I only know one person who finished her degree in the time planned, while married. The other married students I've known dropped out, took long breaks, changed schools, or otherwise didn't finish or prolonged the experience.

 

I would encourage college first. Because once she has that degree - it's hers. She'll always have it.

 

But - YMMV. It can work either way.

 

FWIW, I'm married to the boy I fell in love with, hardcore, in the 11th grade. But we waited to get married, and I finished my degrees first. It was worth the wait. :)

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We married young. I was 19; he was 23. He joined the service mere months later. The military is a good life for young married couples. TBH, if she wants to go to school, I don't see why being married would make that a difficulty. Most colleges waive out of state tuition to active duty military and their spouses. She's have housing covered, health insurance covered, and she'd be eligible for grants due to their low income.

 

I understand that 18/19 is still a "baby" and there's lots of maturing to do. But it is possible to mature together. I've been married most of my adult life and my husband is absolutely my best friend.

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OK I have a neighbor that married with one year of college. She thought she could transfer and finish where her dh's career (not military) took them. She did transfer. And transferred again and again. And gave up for several years. Then when she was 40 found an online program to finish a degree. She wanted to finish a degree at that point. She didn't complete the field she originally wanted, just the degree that was quickest to get done. She feels a little more secure having a degree and happier she accomplished something for herself. She couldn't finish before because her dh's career kept them moving for a while.

 

I think a young couple could manage the goal of dh or dw finishing a degree if they didn't expect to live together the entire time the dh/dw was working on the degree. It might work out that they can live together in the same place. But if work takes the spouse elsewhere and the one in college follows wherever transferring may be difficult and still not result in finishing the degree.

 

So I would ask if the degree is actually that important to the young woman ( you might not like the answer). And I would ask if the couple would consider some separate living during the beginning as the degree is finished.

 

And I would keep in mind that since they are adults, I can do nothing to stop them. There's a line between making my preference known and alienating my dc I don't want to cross.

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I've always believed in college before marriage, and my own early-ish marriage failed, but now I know quite a few "young marrieds" and they are doing great.   What seems to be the important things are:

 

- shared goals

 

- shared morals, ethics, and religious beliefs  (I know some will argue the last one but I am talking of my own observations; I also know those can change)

 

- full understanding and acceptance of the rigors and uncertainty before them with regard to military life (based on several family members in military)

 

- basic agreements on having/not having children, who will care for the children (SAHP, childcare, etc)

 

- basic maturity to understand that life doesn't always work out the way we think or plan

 

- a place to live separate from parents.  (I know some will argue this one but I've never seen a marriage survive living with mom and dad, except maybe for a very short time for a specific reason beyond "we can't afford to live on our own."  It doesn't matter that in some cultures (and past times) living with family was the norm)

 

For some people, all those things can come together early.  They didn't for me, but I can see how marrying young can work out very well.

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Why do you ask whether she has the time, but not whether he has the time? There is no earthly reason the woman should have to be the one doing the cleaning. It is a task for both spouses together. And seeing that each of them would have to do those things anyway, even if they were not married, that is really an odd question.

If he lives on a ship, or in some kind of barracks because he isnt married, he won't have to do any of those things.

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The main thing that keeps marriages intact is mutual decision to stay. If both people have committed to staying come what may, the marriage survives no matter what age it began. If one or both people change their mind on staying or start thinking there is greener grass, the marriage will be in trouble no matter when it began.

 

That said, I am not a big advocate of marriage much younger than, say, 25 for the younger partner. I do think life experience and the sorting out of worldview that typically happens from later teens to early twenties (although it may continue beyond then) makes a big difference in what sort of partner one might choose and what style of family life (such as lots of kids vs. Few; urban life vs. Rural, etc.) one desires.

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I also wonder if they are expecting any financial assistance from parents at this age. I know in my family, my parents supported us through college, but had we decided to marry before completing a degree, we would have been on our own. Marriage is for grownups who need to support themselves.

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I think this board has a unique demographic in terms of young marriage. Statistically, it isn't a great idea. Brain development is still in play for males into the mid 20s. That doesn't mean it won't work. It may with the right mind set. My own DH divorced after a very young marriage. We've now been married going on 17 years. I know many people I went to high school with that divorced and remarried. That said, most of them did not have emotionally healthy relationships from the get go.

 

My take with my kids is education is really important. For both my son and my daughter. Suppose all you want is a family and stay at home with kids. Well things can happen. A spouse can be disabled or laid off or die. Children can have unique needs. Our family has been afforded opportunity and financial stability from our higher educations. I have a degree that I'm able to earn money working part time right now and could go back full time if necessary.

 

If my kid wanted to marry before graduating college, I don't think I would help financially. I would in an actual emergency, but wanting to get married is not an emergency. I might consider paying for some of my kids college tuition. But not unless there was a clear plan. Potentially moving from military base to base does not lend itself well to earning a degree.

 

The best advice my mom ever gave me about marriage was that you should not assume you can change anythingabout your spouse. People can only chose to change on their own. If you can accept him as he is flaws and all, that is marriage ready. If you can't see any flaws, you probably haven't known each other long enough. Things that bother you a little might bother you a bunch in a few years time.

Edited by WoolySocks
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This is purely anecdotal...but my grandparents were 15 and 17-ish? when they got married.  They were married until he died a couple of years ago at 75.  So, what is that -they were married about 60 years?  My parents were 18 when they got married and are both 60 (and still married - Lol).  I don't think 20 is that young to get married...  

 

Edited to add:  My husband and I got married while we were both in college.  I thought it was wonderful.   :001_wub:    I graduated.  No one helped us financially.  It's doable.

Edited by Evanthe
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I find no problems with this at all. As a milspouse, I would hope that the either or both of them would take early and frequent advantage of the education benefits available before having children but that's just me. As it is, they will have at least one steady paycheck and a roof over their heads. That's more than many start off with. My DH completed his BA pre-kids, while on AD (Navy) and with deployments. It can be done. I had mine when we married and my income exceeded his for the first eight years of marriage. We were 18 and 22.

Edited by Sneezyone
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