We often hear that we ought to delay marriage. We are told to pursue education, a career, and only then marry. I disagree. I would suggest that it is a good thing to marry young, even before your have finished your educational or vocational goals. Here are four reasons why.
Married People Tend to Be More Successful
“Marriage has a transformative effect on adult behavior, emotional health, and financial well-being—particularly for men,” writes W. Bradford Wilcox.
When you marry, you tend to be more responsible, you become a better person. And this ends up being you more successful. Wilcox writes, “On average, young married men, aged 28-30, make $15,900 more than their single peers, and married men aged 44-46 make $18,800 more than their single peers.”
Married People Can Support Each Other
But financial well-being is not the only benefit. You have a partner, a friend, someone who can support you emotionally.
Married couples have someone they can rely on. Good friends are hard to find, and even a good friend may disappear on you when he or she gets a new job or the like.
They support you (and you support them) through family loss, emotional turmoil, and whatever else comes your way.
Life Is Short
You may live until you are 80. You may only live until you are 60. Who knows.
You can spend your life living in a flat with friends, playing games, and just making it by. You can spend your life working 80+ hours a week to gain money.
But leaving marriage until later in life will come back to bite you. It’s not like you can recover those 20 years in which you delayed marriage.
It’s also not like you cannot pursue excellence in a career and be married. Those things are not mutually exclusive.
Money, Prestige, and Power Are Unfulfilling
Pursuing a career, money, and prestige are unfulfilling. The moment your health gives way, who cares that you are important to your field? Will anyone visit you in the hospital?
The pursuit of a career at the expense of a family causes regret and loneliness. The problem seems particularly acute for women who delay having families. One woman reported, “I anticipate a lonely existence, without children and grandchildren.”
I am sure other women will be satisfied without children. But if you buy into the idea that you should pursue a career and delay your family, then you may end up disappointed. And there is no going back.
In the end of the day, consider what’s most important. Is it fame? Success? Or is it love and family.
Boethius (480-524) once wrote:
For if you think that fame can lengthen life
By mortal famousness immortalized,
That day will come that takes your fame as well,
And there a second death awaits for you. – TCoP, 2.7
The pursuit of fame in this life only leads to a second death when that prestige fades.
Consider marrying young, pursuing a family, and I don’t think you will disappointed. I am sure you will have difficult days, and I am sure that marriage will give you new troubles to deal with. But I am equally sure that it is better for you to marry in most situations.