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Marriage during college?

2sonmama2sonmama Posts: 187Registered User Junior Member
edited October 2007 in Parents Forum
Does anyone have experience with their child getting married while they were still attending college? Did it work out well or not?

I'm hoping my son and his girlfriend stick to their plan to wait until after graduation to get married. They are only in their second year of what may take five years to complete, so they have a fairly long wait. My mother hinted that she thought they should get married sooner since they are so obviously committed to each other, but I think that would bring added complications that might hinder their degree completion.

Any thoughts?
Post edited by 2sonmama on
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Replies to: Marriage during college?

  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,512Super Moderator Senior Member
    I have no direct experience with children getting married during college. However, I knew several couples who got married during college. We went to an engineering school, with a very difficult five year curriculum. The couples I knew seemed pretty much like everyone else! It worked out well in the end for some, not so much for others ... but I don't think it was much different for those who waited until after school to get married. Every couple has issues, and some will be able to work them out & stay together ... others won't. I think it has more to do with the individuals than with the timing of the marriage. There is no "perfect" point in life to make a commitment.

    If your son decides to get married, your best bet is to be there to support him no matter what. If he asks for your advice (only IF), you might want to share your reservations about the timing. Other than that, it's his life. You will worry, of course ... but I imagine every parent feels that way, no matter the timing of the marriage.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,512Super Moderator Senior Member
    Every couple I knew that married in college DID finish their degrees.
  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 16,867Registered User Senior Member
    No one should get married until they could support themselves. Before you get married you should discuss your goals in life, where you want to live, how many children (if any), how you want to raise your children...the list could go on. When you are in college you are still finding yourself. I don't think you are mature enough to make a life long commitment to another person. We live so much longer now. Even if you get married when you are 30, there is a possibility that you could be married to the same person for 50 years. I married right out of college. It worked out fine for me. I was a different person at 30 than at 22, what I wanted out of life changed, and luckily my husband went along with it. I say why rush it. If you truly love each other, it wouldn't matter if you get married now or 10 years later. If you don't, a piece of paper is not going to keep you together.
  • The MomThe Mom Posts: 412Registered User Junior Member
    Married in college 30 years ago. Both finished on time with degrees in engineering. If I knew then what I know now, would I have waited until out of school, yes. But 30 years ago, I knew everything! That said, still married 30 years later and still happy.
  • MotherOfTwoMotherOfTwo Posts: 2,110Registered User Senior Member
    I also got married at 22, while in graduate school (I graduated college young, at almost 21, as I skipped a grade) and have been happily married for 29 years. Like the above posters, I would not advocate my kids getting married that young, although I would not go back and change what I did if I had the chance to do so. It seems very interesting that getting married at around 22 seemed fine and normal to us, but now does not seem to be as well accepted for our own kids.
  • oregonianmomoregonianmom Posts: 1,983Registered User Senior Member
    I got married at age 18, three weeks after my high school graduation. My husband, two years older, had already dropped out of college and was making a good living as a software engineer. We had been dating for 3 years by then. We got married and I went to a local college and got my degree. (However, he never went back to school.) This was 23 years ago and we are still happily married.
  • doubleplaydoubleplay Posts: 3,550Registered User Senior Member
    My grandmother used to tell the story of her courtship with grandfather. They were engaged for something like 10 years! He didn't want to marry until he was completely "set up" in his business, and had savings and adequate resources for a "world tour" style honeymoon- something he believed to be important at the time, I guess. Anyway they waited all that time, got married, went on a six month honeymoon, and lived happily ever after, until he died in a tragic car crash less than 10 years later. She always said she'd wished they had been married, even though they would have been poor, when they became engaged, because it would have doubled the time she had with him.
  • historymomhistorymom Posts: 3,467Registered User Senior Member
    If you look at the statistics, young marriages are the least successful. The first year is usually the most "Stressful" as that is when the couple is adjusting to their life together. Add to that the fact that married couples frequently are more lax about birth control than they were before they were married and another stressor...although a prescious one...may be added to the mix. If, like oregonianmom, half the couple is making a good enough money to support a family then it's a whole different situation but unless one of them is a trust fund baby, money (or the lack of it) can become a huge problem.

    Adult kids will do what they are going to do but oldfort makes some good points. If this issue does present itself, which I hope it doesn't, and your S asks your opinion, which I hope he does, I would urge him to wait.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Posts: 8,573Registered User Senior Member
    If they're ready to get married then they're ready to be on their own with no financial support from the parents - IMO.

    I agree with 'oldfort's' points.
  • dmd77dmd77 Posts: 7,676Registered User Senior Member
    My husband married his first wife as an undergraduate. As a result, he not only ended up divorced two years later, but also failed to finish school. What happened? His parents cut off room-and-board (although not tuition) and he started working.

    I married *my* first husband right out of college. That marriage failed for more complex reasons, including his drinking problems, but youth didn't help.

    A *lot* changes from age 20 to 25.
  • corrangedcorranged Posts: 6,684Registered User Senior Member
    I agree with Oldfort and many of the other posters. People are getting married later now, and I'm guessing that they are becoming financially independent later. Let the two have a chance to live together on their own dime for a little while before getting married. As a current college student, I will say that very few students I know, if any, are ready for marriage.

    EDIT:
    She always said she'd wished they had been married, even though they would have been poor, when they became engaged, because it would have doubled the time she had with him.
    No, it wouldn't have. Marriage is important for a number of reasons, but it certainly doesn't (or shouldn't) change the value of time spent between a loving couple.
  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions Posts: 13,328Super Moderator Senior Member
    Just try to figure out, since you know your mom very well, whether she is sincerely thinking about what's best for the young people involved here, or is just eager to know that her granddaughter will be "all set." Grandparents get old and some feel time pressing on them, and wish to know what will be the dimensions of their grandchildren's future. Her eagerness to witness the wedding, or feel calm that her grand-D found a great life partner shouldn't be the issue at all, but may be why she's inquiring now.
  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 Posts: 3,319Registered User Senior Member
    Agree with ucsd_ucla_dad and our kids know it. If they are ready to be married they are ready to support themselves.
  • weenieweenie Posts: 5,793Registered User Senior Member
    Just the title of this thread terrified me. :eek:
  • iaquilteriaquilter Posts: 35Registered User New Member
    I can't say what the long term result will be, but my daughter got married last weekend. She is a junior, her husband graduated last spring and has a good job. I urged her to wait, to no avail. He is a nice kid and I hope all goes well for them. I am not sure there are any surefire predictions of what will make a marriage last. I feel that they are on their own now financially. I am not sure that my husband feels as strongly about that as I do. She called the other day and wanted to know if she could stay on our auto insurance policy!? I am not sure she knows what she got into as far as losing her status as our dependent.
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