Teenage marriages: Too fragile to survive for long

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  • Post last modified:January 15, 2018

   Why teenage marriages mostly fail?

The teenage marriages that used to be quite common during the 1950s are not so common anymore. The failure rate of such marriages is very high and such relationships have become less common now-a-days. The divorce rates of such marriages grew so high that their attraction has kept declining since. The result of the teenage marriages (also known as started marriages) has mostly been divorce. The reasons behind the fragility of these marriages have been an interesting topic for researchers. Aida Edemariam highlights in her article for the Guardian that the divorce rates among the couples in their 20s is the highest. The causes that have been found to be associated with the failure of teenage marriages are psychological, social as well as economic. The teenage marriages were supposed to be hot and happening but generally could not survive more than a few seasons and the couple were left frustrated at their decision. The love and bonding went missing after a few seasons and soon a request for divorce was filed. What factors brought such relationships apart? This article analyses some of the most important reasons related to the breaking of the teenage marriages.

Premature Relationships:

Several researchers have attributed several reasons to the failure of teenage relationships. Most common reason cited in this regard is a lack of maturity during the teenage. Most of the teenage marriages fail because people at this age are still immature to make the most important decisions like marriage. In such cases most often the two start being driven apart because they are unable to handle the responsibilities that follow marriage. So it does not take very long for the romance to get over and after that the warmth in the relationship gets replaced by feuds that weaken the relationship to a point that it breaks. In most teenage marriages conflicts start too soon. Neither of the two is mature enough to prevent these feuds from happening. Any marriage requires careful consideration before it is formalized. However, the modern environment is full of many kinds of pressures. Any minor feud among the couple can lead directly to divorce.

Teenage marriages are generally formalized in a hurry. Love at first sight, then some romance and after that happens the marriage. The warmth remains there for sometime but soon the couple realizes that they were not ready for the roles they have assumed. Being a husband at a young age feels burdensome and the wife gets bored of playing a wife.  People need to wait before making such decisions until they have matured. By their teenage, people have not matured enough to make rational decisions. It is also why such decisions made during teenage often do not yield the desired results. Teenagers remain unable to avoid the pitfalls of early marriage. Aida Edemariam calls the teenage marriages fairy tale marriages in her article because they are based on fairy tale promises. There are so many stories of failed teenage marriages that she cited in her article.

These marriages appear like fairy tale marriages at first, soon followed by a period of disillusionment. The couples have soon realized that they were not so wise to have made the decision. As they start growing disillusioned, conflicts set in. In some cases, they start happening too soon while in others they may take some time.  Being divorced at thirty does not sound happening at all.  Teenage is marked by volatility and teenagers do not expect to start acting like their parents in their teenage only. But the truth dawns soon thereafter. Sometimes they are so full of expectations that the relationship crumbles not before even a fortnight has passed.

Economic Insecurity:

Unless people are economically secure, all the other things may be thrown out of balance in their lives. Economic insecurity is also an important factor that teenage marriages do not last. Most of such couples depend on their parents to sustain. Apart from it, the responsibilities of marriage sometimes also hinder with their careers. Early marriage can put career into complete jeopardy. Such cases are not uncommon or unheard of. It is how early marriages can result in poverty.   Particularly the difficulty becomes larger when the teenager couples decide to become parents at an early age. Teenage mothers would find it difficult to raise kids and focus on their career at the same time. So, the outcome in such a condition would be increased financial difficulties and additional stress for the teenage couples.  Generally people are not financially self-dependent until they are into their late twenties or early thirties. Before that they have to depend on their parents mostly to bear their expenses. Balancing between career and personal relationships is very difficult for both boys and girls at this age. Marriage becomes a distraction and other things in life suffer. Again the hardships that result from it lead to growing distance. What appears as a dream becomes a nightmare. Poverty or financial hardships can easily strain personal relationships.  Research has also shown that teenage marriage relationships can be highly complex. The truth dawns on the couple after the marriage has been ceremonized. Economic factors are important and their importance can be understood from the fact that now a days people do not marry till they are 35 only because their first priority is career and economic self-dependence.

Scientific studies have also shown that the marriages taking place before 18 years of age are more likely to end in an early divorce than those taking place after partners have attained 25 years of age. Studies have shown that teenage marriages are twice as likely to end in divorce within 10 years of marriage compared to the ones taking place after mid-twenties. The most important thing to learn from these trends is that teenage marriages are complicated because teenage is a tender age for marriage. It is important that hormonal maturity is attained before marriage. Emotional maturity is also a related factor and without emotional maturity conflicts are going to be more common in relationships. Once the partners have attained emotional maturity they make mature decisions and that makes it easier to bear the pressures of a married life.  

Married life brings some real and major responsibilities.  These decisions are important and have a major impact on the other various aspects of life including personal and professional. Most important factor in the teenage relationships is mutual attraction. However, the kind of satisfaction that they expect from their marriages is often not achieved. So, the teenage marriages do not turn into mature and solid relationships as their foundation is set on immature emotions and decisions. The flame is dead even before a decade has passed. Edemariam makes a sarcastic note regarding the fragility of these relationships.  Marriages are said to be set in heavens but so are the thunder and lightning that follow with teenage marriages. Divorce is always the traumatic end of a relationship and sometimes leaves behind only trauma that may require visit to a psychiatrist. Many of the teenagers who are getting ready to be married do not even know what they are doing. Physical and emotional maturity as well as economic stability are all required to have a harmonious relationship. However, these are mostly missing in teenage marriages and therefore the castle of love does not survive more than a few seasons. 

Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.