Okay, so I came across an article today that made write a really long Facebook status. Instead of doing that, I decided to turn it into a post. Sorry if this sounds soap-boxy, but it’s something I’m increasingly passionate about, for probably obvious reasons.
The article talks about how the average age of marriage keeps slipping outward. In particular, this line stood out to me: “Today, 91 percent of young adults believe they must be completely financially independent to be ready for marriage, and 90 percent believe they should finish their education first.”
Now, I have no clue where they got that stat (or if it is accurate), but it correlates with what I suspect. That is to say, I feel a bit counter-cultural when it comes to marriage these days. Are there really only 9% of us that believe financial “stability” is a lie? There will ALWAYS be money problems unless you’re extremely fortunate in that regard. Commitment isn’t a life free of trouble, but a banding together with a “red rover” grip and staring it down together. Why do we feel like we have to have it all figured out before committing? Furthermore, why do we expect marriage to be a “happily ever after?”
I’ve had the good fortune to converse with many couples over the years that have “made it.” They’ve stayed married, despite the odds, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. In none of these cases have they told me, “Yeah, it was super easy. We just stayed married because we had no problems ever and loved each other like a fairy tale.” Or anything of that sort. In fact, many speak very lovingly of the troubles they did have, reflecting with smiles and knowing looks. The tribulations brought them closer, strengthening the bond through adversity.
Financial difficulties are just one of life’s many challenges, albeit one that seems much more common these days. I don’t know many people that are where they thought they’d be financially right now. Yet, is that a good reason to not pursue marriage? To not love? I suppose that’s up to everyone to decide for themselves. I, however, find myself firmly in the 9%.