Natureboy

Matt Walsh: Young people should get married

13 posts in this topic

I think he makes some very good points. If you're mature enough to get married, and you've found the right person, and you've got a means to support yourself (like he said, that doesn't mean being rich necessarily), then I say go for it.

 

It's kind of sad that twenty-something is seen as "young" to get married. It seems to me to be the obvious time to do it. Get started on having a family, when you're young. My parents were older when they had me (39 and 44), and that combined with being an only child meant that there were lots of things I didn't get to do with them as I was growing up. All of my friends' parents were much younger and could play sports with them, whilst my dad was getting mistaken for my grandfather, and I was terrified they were going to die young (although granted, I was a pretty morbid child...)

 

Now obviously, you don't always get the chance to get married/start a family young (my parents didn't), but I've always wanted to do that myself if possible. I've always found it completely counter-intuitive when people have the choice to get married young and just don't, or just write off the idea of getting married before thirty, for example. I keep seeing those wedding shows on TV where they'll say, "John and Jane are getting married. They met fifteen years ago in high school, and have been together for twelve years." All I can think is, they should be celebrating a ten year wedding anniversary by now.

 

I can't help but think it's partly due to this idea that society gives that your life is "over" when you get married, and that getting married young means you've not lived, or whatever. Marriage isn't settling down. That, plus the idea that you can't just marry the first person you fall in love with, because what if there's someone out there who's better for you? Or the guy you marry isn't your soul mate? I think Matt's definitely got that part right - the whole idea of the perfect person, while it's romantic and all, just isn't that true.

 

xxx

8 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most of what he has to say (I particularly liked his comments on 'the one' being a bogus concept), but I don't think he is as unusual as he thinks he is. In my state, 25 is the exact statistical average age for a first marriage.

 

 I've always found it completely counter-intuitive when people have the choice to get married young and just don't, or just write off the idea of getting married before thirty, for example. I keep seeing those wedding shows on TV where they'll say, "John and Jane are getting married. They met fifteen years ago in high school, and have been together for twelve years." All I can think is, they should be celebrating a ten year wedding anniversary by now.

 

That, plus the idea that you can't just marry the first person you fall in love with, because what if there's someone out there who's better for you? Or the guy you marry isn't your soul mate? I think Matt's definitely got that part right - the whole idea of the perfect person, while it's romantic and all, just isn't that true.

 

My boyfriend and I will probably be approaching our 10th anniversary by the time we legally tie the knot. The way things are right now, it really is very difficult to have a spouse while you are still in college. I wish things weren't that way, but unfortunately, we have to deal with society as it is. So I can relate to people who are in a similar struggle.

 

We do get people who can't understand how we can 'settle down' with the first person we fell in love with *all the time*. I think part of it is just because a lot of high schoolers will date whoever asks, or whoever is the coolest, or what have you, rather than someone they're truly compatible with. So when people hear that we've been together since we were 16 they project their prior dating mistakes on to us, and think that those mistakes are inevitable until you eventually learn through 'experimentation' (read: screwing up a lot) what kind of person you *actually* ought to be with. 

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't always agree with Matt Walsh, but he's spot-on here.  Society really pushes more of a self-centered ideal for people in their 20's, talking about how many things you need to be doing and accomplishing on your own to "find yourself". There comes a point where you should have a certain level of emotional maturity -- where you know who you are and what you want in a spouse. It certainly doesn't (or at least it shouldn't) take that long to figure it out.

 

Also, imma just drop this here:

 

http://haleyshalo.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/christians-who-dont-promote-young-marriage-dont-actually-care-about-chastity/

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think this article is pretty awesome....And it pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with our stupid society today (now I'm not saying two clueless lovey-dovey teens should get married....but as a society we are just maturing later and later...by our twenties we should be mature enough to get married...and unfortunately most people still act like teenagers and our priorities our totally screwed up).  Ugh  

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt Walsh is...a polarizing figure to say the least. His fans really love him, his detractors really hate him. You should read his article regarding Robin Williams and the issue of suicide. Oh man, that REALLY pissed off even many of his long time readers. But whether  you love him or hate him, you really have to admire his raw and uncompromising style. The man doesn't apologize for his views and he simply tells it like it is. I personally am a big fan of his, even if there are times where he does come off as a bit arrogant. He's far from perfect, but I strongly believe we need people like him in this overly sensitive and politically correct society.

 

Maybe my mindset is too far removed from society, but I do not think marrying at 24 or 25 is "marrying young." When I think of marrying young, I think 18 or 19. But even then that is not always a bad thing. Also historically speaking, 18 and 19 was the normal age you get married at depending on the culture. Some cultures it's even younger than that. Sure you can argue that times have changed. But it just goes to show that people aren't inherently too immature to get married in their teens. It's just that our society has delayed adulthood. Back in the Great Depression era, when a boy reached the age of 16 or 18, he's considered a man. He gets married, goes to the factory to work hard to provide for his family. Today, we have people in their late twenties or older still living with their parents. I'm one of them. Sometimes it's because of genuine economic struggles, other times it's because we refuse to grow up. But there is certainly nothing inherently wrong with marrying young. The only thing that should be paramount though, is to find the right one. While I don't believe in the fairy tale "the One" I do believe there are many "right ones" and many "wrong ones." What I think separates the two categories is mostly rooted in their mindset of marriage.

 

Just reading a lot of comments at the bottom of the article really is proof that the whole "wait till financially ready" excuse is largely BS. What that excuse USUALLY means is they want to wait until they can afford 3 cars, a large house and expensive vacations before they think about marriage, let alone have kids. Which kind of shows where their priorities lie. Consumerism over family. The testimonies at the bottom showed how loving marriages and raising kids can work with smart budgeting even when you have a low paying job without any government aid. Meanwhile, there are many upper middle class families who are workaholics who think giving their kids an iPad is substitution for parenting and are in debt because they don't control their spending. It's not to say the ideal situation is being married and dirt poor. But it does tell us that our culture has a perverse view on marriage and that a selfish mindset is often times damaging to raising a family. No amount of high income and material things can make up for not being there for family. 

 

If you view marriage as being "tied down" or a loss of freedom, then I don't think you have any business marrying. Because all you're doing is fulfilling an inconvenience you don't really want simply because that is what is expected of you. I do not have to be married to know that marriage is not for the weak even in the most compatible of marriages. You're doing a disservice to your spouse and kids by not deeply wanting your marriage and having the willingness to sacrifice for it. So save them and yourself the trouble and let them find someone else who will put them first. You do not have to "lose your freedom" once you get married. Because if marriage was what you truly want then I'm sure it will be enriching and freeing. What could be more freeing than to know you have a partner who you can depend on in hard times and share your good times with?

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with his points, he makes a lot of sense. The only thing I take issue with is the assumption that people who get married later in life are always putting it off on purpose. Some of us in our 30s and beyond have always wanted to get married and start a family. We just weren't lucky enough to find the right person early on like he did. Maybe it's true that there's too much of a focus on going to college and getting a career off the ground first, but there's an element of luck involved even if you are consciously searching. I've been actively on the dating scene for two years and I still haven't found what I'm looking for. In a few months I'll be 34 and I'm definitely starting to feel the time crunch. I hate it, but it is what it is. I never intended to still be single at this age, but I bought into the lie that it would happen "when I least expect it". Well, I certainly wasn't expecting it for many years in my 20s while I was gaining weight and focusing on figuring out what to do with my life (still am as a matter of fact). That would've been when I least expected it and of course, it didn't happen. It wasn't until I hit 30 that I realized I had better get cracking, so I took steps to slim down and put myself on a bunch of dating sites. Two years later, I did not imagine it would take this long to find someone I could spend the rest of my life with. My advice to those of you in your early 20s: don't wait. Don't be stupid and believe the lies that it will "just happen", that "you have plenty of time" and that you should "focus on your career and everything else will just fall into place". It won't. You'll likely still be trying to figure things out in your 30s and then you'll have lost 10-12 years when you could have been searching actively for a partner. If you want marriage and kids, the time to start planning for a family is now. Not when you're 30.

7 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I've ever read one of his blogs before. However, with this one, he makes many good points... maybe not everyone one of them is GREAT in my humble opinion, but that's the beauty of being able to think for ourselves.  Anyway, I like that he states (a couple of time, actually) that he knows these things don't apply to everyone. That shows an amount of respect for people in general. We are not all the same, nor do we all think the same.

 

Anyway, for those that think people should marry in their early 20's (assuming they have the chance and are in love) and don't because of money, or life experience, or whatever, I think we have to keep in mind how many parents over the past decades have taught their children to 'hold on to childhood, it won't last forever'. They know that being a 'grown up' is a lot of work and not an easy thing to do... by yourself, let alone when you have people depending on you.

 

On the other hand, considering that most people want to have children I think having them in your 20s is probably best for them, as well as yourself... in most cases. (I think many people here who have talked to me know that I am not one of those... not if I can help it, barring abortion I will take any step to avoid it... but I do love being an aunt, and I'm already helping raise two nephews... oh, GAWD, what have I gotten myself into?!? lol) However, it would be better for a child to have an older parent who WANTS them and can show them all the love in the world, even if at a bit of a slower pace because of age, than a parent who is too immature to realize that even though a child is blessing, they are a LOT of work. A LOT. Every 5 minute scream from a 2 year old or poopy diaper is worth every laugh, smile, new word, new discovery. The thing is, if you're a mature 20 something, great... but if you're a slightly immature 20 something, but smart enough to know you're not ready to put another adult, let alone kids, ahead of yourself... that's great, too. As for what history has taught us... we can make the argument that 15 or 16 was acceptable to marry and have a family at one time. It was. However, back then the average age of death was.. what, 45 to 60 (if I remember correctly). If they didn't do it then, they might never have the chance. On top of the fact that families were very large and kids would either work to support their families (along with their parents), or to support their own families... or both. It's just a thought, but if that was ok at the time, why shouldn't 30s be ok now (as it is)? We have more knowledge about health now, we can stay fit for longer and longer.

 

Also, the flip side could be seen. Maybe doing all that partying, working and spending (hopefully smart enough to save some, too) and whatever else those normal run-of-the-mill people do (I don't know, I was never normal... Thank HEAVENS)... but maybe doing all of that and then 'settling down' is right for some people. Maybe it ADDS to their life, and brings some much needed life and change to them.

 

I like what he says about 'the one'. At least in response to the traditional sense of the phrase. I, because I'm just this odd, feel that 'the one' means that we all have a type, or types, of people that attract us (physically, emotionally, spiritually). I also don't believe it 'just happens'. Maybe for some it does. It hasn't 'just happened' for me. I do think that, if you find someone you fall in love with and the only thing stopping you from making that commitment is money, then you should probably at least re-consider that decision and if you're making the right one. I think the real trick is being open enough to find someone who likes the 'type' that we are in return. It takes some luck. It's a choice. It's work. It's not always going to be easy. I don't even think you actually gush love for them every single minute of every single day. They will test your nerves. They will annoy you. They will also enrich your life. They will make you happier than you ever thought possible. Or so I am hoping. :) I do think we all long for it, even when we try not to, because having that person who you can rely on for anything... well, it's something we all really need.

 

Again, I say, I really think he makes a lot of great points... but I still think we all need to do what is best for our self as an individual, and know who we are before we do anything else.

 

As for nothing being greater than starting a family? I think that is true for a lot of people, but... once, again, not everyone feels this way. It doesn't make them wrong. It's just a different view. That ONE comment kind of made me have the same feeling I get when someone tells me I'm not REALLY a woman because I don't want to have children of my own.

 

I'll tell you one last thing. :) I think I need to read more of his stuff, just to get more of a feel of it.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I confess, I'm not a big fan of this article. I definitely agree with certain points (there isn't just one "The One" magic person right for you in particular). But I don't think that you can generalize about when is most appropriate to get married, etc.

It's rather a sore subject for me, actually. Because although there's a bit of a cultural shift toward waiting longer to get married, it's far from a 180-degree turn. It's more societally acceptable to get married later, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I'm in my mid-advancing 20s at this point, and most people I know are married or engaged. Very few lack a significant other altogether, as do I. I...never found the [or should I say "a"] right person. When I was younger, I hadn't fully come into my own (and by that I mean not that I wasn't ready or mature enough, but rather that I was less attractive because owing to circumstances I had less control over healthy lifestyle choices)—but additionally, I never met anyone that I really fell for. Now that I am older and have far more of a shot (from some perspectives anyway), the only people I've ever met who ::are:: right for me ::are not single::. There are enough people out there who are counterexamples to this guy's argument that by the time I ever even had a fighting chance, it was already too late. I now have no choice but to either get married later/older [most likely in my 30s at this point] than all my peers (provided I ever find someone) or never at all.

There are also plenty of people who get married—who shouldn't in the first place, for various and sundry reasons. (Either they're not yet emotionally mature enough to handle it but do so anyway because that's the thing to do, or many just marry the wrong people because they haven't yet worked out what's right for them.) That's largely responsible for today's high divorce rates. I once had to turn down a marriage proposal because I was still asking myself if we were right for each other...and I realized that if I still had to ask myself if I was even in love with him/if it was right, that I already had my answer. It just didn't feel right. I could have said yes for fear of being alone forever—and frankly that would have been the easy thing to do—...but it would have been wrong. I had to trust my instincts, for both our sakes.

Even for people who have been together for long periods of time without getting married: ultimately, it's their choice. Everyone knows the potential pros/cons/risks of waiting till you're older. If both people aren't on board, they shouldn't be getting married. If the timespan not to marry is inappropriately long for one of the partners (ie if someone believes they "should" get married and it isn't happening despite conversation), then that also tells you something. Regardless, the point is there's no one right or wrong answer, and it's different for everyone.

It's not appropriate to categorically pass judgment on those who choose not to get married, for whatever reason. Everyone has different priorities, and those priorities change throughout one's life. Once you tie the knot, that's [meant to be] a permanent and non-renegable decision. Not everyone's ready for that at the same time; and if you're not, you shouldn't enter into it just because it's "better to do it while you're young." That may be ideally true for some, but I say "better to do it when the time is right."

But for a culture ostensibly higher in singles than ever before, we're still ignored, forgotten, disrespected, of swept under the rug remarkably often.

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt Walsh is...a polarizing figure to say the least. His fans really love him, his detractors really hate him.

I'll tell you one last thing. :) I think I need to read more of his stuff, just to get more of a feel of it.

 

Yeah, I read a few more of his articles and I was...not a fan to say the least. He seems like someone who thinks there is exactly one correct way to live life (which, 'shockingly', is exactly the way *he* is living his life), and any harmless deviations any other person might take from that path (marrying later/not at all, choosing not to have children, being gay) is personally offensive to him. It's disappointing, because I do agree with a lot of points in this article, and I do wish that younger marriage wasn't disappearing as a viable option (I'd have married when I was 19 if I felt like it was possible). However, that doesn't mean that anyone who is single into their late 20s/30s, whether by misfortune or by choice, needs to feel ashamed of that.

8 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed his article, but it was kind of a punch in the gut at the same time. I'm in grad school right now and I've got a few years before I hit thirty, but why not start preparing for it now? All of my friends on campus say don't get married before thirty. They are all cohabiting. However, I never agreed with that ideology. One of my friends has been cohabiting with his girlfriend for a couple of years and he has no intent on marrying her. And he was homeless before she let him move in. I'm not single because I want to play the field. I just haven't found the right person yet, but I am searching. I admit I fell for that "one" myth when I was younger because I watched alot of Disney movies. I do admire his blunt honesty because I think its needed in our culture of extended adolescence. I guess I'm one of the exceptions he mentioned because if I met a godly woman who was right for me I wouldn't hesitate to get married. 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, basically the entire article is based on faulty premises. He's creating strawman arguments and then arguing against them to make himself sound wise.

 

In America, the average age of first marriage is 29 for men and 27 for women. (Source) Yes, the average is late 20s, but that means plenty of people are currently getting married in their early 20s. I got married a few months before my 27th birthday. My husband was almost exactly 27 1/2 when we got married. My twin brother got married this year. His wife is 25. I've been invited to dozens of weddings of my peers since finishing college 5 years ago (and wished hearty Facebook congratulations to literally hundreds of my engaged/married/pregnant/baby-popping peers in the same time).

 

So right off the bat, the entire premise, "People are downright befuddled to come across a 20-something with a wedding ring, much less a couple of carseats in the back of the sedan," is faulty.

 

Every generation leaves its own mark on the world, and this is ours. Rejecting an institution that is integral to our advancement as a species; that will be our legacy. Maybe our kids — the dozen or so we collectively produce — will continue this process of self-destruction by being the first to voluntarily give up on water and oxygen.

 

I assume Matt means "traditional" marriage in the conservative Christian meaning of the word, that is, marriage between a man and a woman, with a minister. But marriage the way it existed in our perfect 1950s nostalgic past is not how marriage has looked throughout history. If you want to argue that the institution of marriage is integral to our advancement as a species, then you should probably accept that marriage has adapted throughout history to the needs of society. But that would hurt his point that a government-approved, male-female union in their 20s is integral to our advancement as a species.

 

You don't need money to get married? Did Matt actually read the links he included at the beginning of his article? The ones that discuss the effect of the recession on marriage rates? The rates of unemployment among people in their 20s? The ones that actually point out that college graduates are still getting married, whereas the drastic change in unmarried folk are among those not getting degrees? Which again points to a wealth and class issue.

 

And kids? Fine, I agree that you probably don't need a quarter of a million dollars to raise one kid, although Matt glosses over how vastly different the numbers are geographically, and his point about his parents totally doesn't take into account the rate of inflation, or the fact that each subsequent kid obviously costs less than the first one. Pregnancy and childbirth alone are absurdly expensive in America. Clearly the system needs fixing (and as much as I don't like the PPACA, at least it requires maternity coverage in insurance plans), but right now, if you want to have a baby in an American hospital, it costs money. Even with insurance, the average woman pays $3,400 out-of-pocket to have a baby.
 

From 2004 to 2010, the prices that insurers paid for childbirth — one of the most universal medical encounters — rose 49 percent for vaginal births and 41 percent for Caesarean sections in the United States, with average out-of-pocket costs rising fourfold, according to a recent report by Truven that was commissioned by three health care groups. The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section, with commercial insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866, the report found.

 

I don't know what sort of feminists Matt knows, but everything I've read has basically scoffed at the whole egg freezing thing. The general feminist feedback is that giving women this option is basically a band-aid to a bigger problem, and that we need real societal change to support working parents, male and female.

 

Also, um, typical that a man argues that it's "crazy" to want to space out pregnancies or just stop having kids after a certain number. Dudes don't carry fetuses, so they don't really understand how hard it can be on a woman's body.

 

And is it really crazy for a woman who desperately wants to have a kid at some point, but wants to have a kid with a husband, but who also doesn't have any marital prospects, to want to freeze her eggs so that she can one day have kids? Kids in a marital situation that matches Matt's ideal male-female family unit, btw.

 

So, yeah, Matt is "divisive" because his writing drips of arrogance and a total blindness to the realities of lives that don't look like his.

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Freezing eggs isn't a simple, inexpensive procedure though. It costs tens of thousands of dollars and involves hormone therapy, fertility drugs, painful extraction and implantation procedures, and lots of time spent doing these things which might not result in an actual viable pregnancy. I think if it comes down to either that or adoption, I'd take the latter route. Sure, it's a bummer to not have your own biological kids, but I believe it's better to spend all that money on a child who really needs a good home. God works in mysterious ways and I think it's important to be open to any possibility for having kids.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now