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Life, delayed: Couples putting off marriage due to economy, changing views

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  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 27, 2012 7:02 p.m.

    Life, delayed only occurs when they're living in my basement. My son and his girlfriend are shacked up, not in my basement. I don't care if they get married or not; it doesn't make their relationship any less special. At least they're learning and growing as people. About half the time now marriage is a mistake. I can't blame the kids for staying away from it.

  • nhsaint PETERBOROUGH, NH
    Nov. 27, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    I think that many young people who graduate from college or university are getting poor advice about how to find a job. In days gone by, one could wait till the end of senior year to do job-seeking - but the rules have changed. A successful student still can find good work at a good salary that will support an adult, married life- but they must begin searching one year before they graduate.

    My two daughters graduated magna cum laude from their respective undergraduate programs. Many of their peers with similar academic records did not find work- but my daughters did. Here is why: they began their search, in earnest, in September of their final year of undergraduate study. They went to a lot of interviews, sent a lot of emails, and sent a pile of resumes and cover letters out during the entire year. They both had excellent, well-paying jobs waiting for them just a week after graduation. They were positioned to start a family right away, if they so chose.

    If couples want to marry after graduating from college, they should do well in school and make sure that they start the job search early.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Nov. 27, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    I feel badly for those who really believe that life is better alone, or living with someone, married or otherwise, who think that putting off kids till later in life is a good plan.
    As someone whose had ups and downs financially, I find the constance of happiness, joy and pleasure in my 4 kids, their spouses and the 10 beautiful grandkids to be the ultimate source of true happiness.
    I'm still young enough, because we didn't wait until our 30's or 40's to have children.
    So I am able to enjoy doing active adult things with my kids and also wrestle and play with my grand kids.
    I wouldn't take a million dollars right now in exchange for the experiences I've already had with my family.
    And I expect to be able to enjoy many more years of being an active part of their lives.

    To me, that is the truest form of happiness in this life. But hey, maybe that's just me ;)

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Nov. 27, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    My fiance is an ex-mormon and is almost 30. While still an active member I can't tell you the pressure and guilt she felt (internally from the culture more so than people pushing it on her) to hurry up and marry and have kids. She's wanted kids for years but hasn't found a man willing to wait till marriage for sex until she met me. This includes a few missionaries who burned her.

    Not everyone wants to wait but circumstances happen. Some want to wait (like me) because I don't want to raise a family when I'm still becoming a man myself. If you can't take care of yourself yet don't bring in dependents. It's irresponsible.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    Due to the recent economic downturn, I wanted to put off marriage... but my wife of 25 years wasn't interested in that.

  • voiceofreason1234 SANDY, TX
    Nov. 26, 2012 4:51 a.m.

    The people just need more Faith, I tell you.
    Do the right thing and trust in God to help you work it out.
    That's what we did. Get married while in School, have a couple of kids in school, miracles happened --- It is an exciting adventure, our culture is demanding too high of a lifestyle. Young marrieds can grow together by making it though challenges.

  • chark16 South Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:30 p.m.

    It's absolutely ridiculous that young people are getting criticized for not marrying until *gasp* mid-twenties. How dare they not marry the moment they're out of high school or back from a mission. Perhaps the divorce-happy generation of our parents is a big contributor to this problem. We have all seen the vitriol and ugliness of divorce from our parents and the parents of friends who did get married impoverished and too young. Perhaps young people want to wait and truly know the person they marry and have financial stablity in hopes of avoiding divorce rather than jump in to marriage because a church or nation or parents tells them to. Finances are the greatest cause of divorce. I don't think it's irrational to want to have that part of one's life be stable before entering marriage in hopes of avoiding problems.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:53 p.m.

    Mukkake,

    I don’t know if there ever is “the one”.

    But whether you rush or take it slow, I promise that you WILL have to work to make it last. I have never met a long-married couple who said otherwise.

    Do you give up some of your own dreams and preferences? Yes. That is part of the making of a couple. The marriage is a new thing, not two people with their own agendas.

    Do you have to change your personality? A bit. We all have some edges that need to come off. The rough and tumble of marriage will help in that process.

    Will you “settle”? I don’t know you. Most young couples are madly in love. But then the realities of building a life together require some accommodation.

    Your final statements about getting “the best deal”, “try out some different models”, and
    “keep the receipt . . if the product doesn't function as advertiswd (sic)” worry me.

    Those are tough attitudes. Be careful that the educated consumers might be those you are dating. They may be less interested in a purchase.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    It's really VERY simple: We live in a big world with lots of people, chances are you can find your ideal match, if you're willing to be patient. I really fail to believe that the person you met at a local bar or in a freshman Gen Ed class is "the One".

    People rush into these things, and have to "work" to make it last, usually by giving up a piece of their own dreams and preferences. You shouldn't have to change your personality and aspirations to accommodate a person that you barely knew when you married. There's nothing noble in "settling" and, no matter how many excuses they make about "finding themselves by serving another", they're dead behind the eyes.

    My consumer lifestyle does play into my unmarried status. I've learned not just to take the best deal at the time, but to save up, do research, try out some different models, and make an educated purchase.

    Also, keep the receipt, and if the product doesn't function as advertiswd, return it. You shouldn't have to live with a lousy product you were tricked into buying.

  • rick122948 boise, id
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    One of the biggest problems with consciously putting off marriage and family is that far to many get so wrapped up in the pursuit of toys and trappings of financial success they instead create a frivolous, hedonistic and self centered lifestyle. You shouldn't get married or have children until you are ready, but what they put off is getting ready. Two can't live as cheaply as one but two possible wage earners or support system gives couples more economic choices. Just food for thought!

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Only in the Mormon culture would people give sarcastic support for people waiting to be in their mid-late 20's to marry.

    Have you ever thought that if people waited a few years they might not go into marriage so financially (and emotionally) blind and perhaps spend a few less years in abject poverty while trying to start a family? With a few more years, both people in the relationship (not just the man who was able to graduate on time because the wife worked his way through college) might feel fulfilled on a personal and economic level.

    Instead, people in Utah get pressure to marry young because the financial struggle is supposed to draw people closer---people who have not known each other as adults for more than a few months. Here's my contribution to the sarcasm in this thread: Sounds like a really great financial model to blindly follow.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    Don't spend anything on the wedding beyond the marriage license. If you have to get a ring, dont get a diamond one. Put the difference into emergency savings. Put the difference into a Roth IRA. Put the difference a house.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    Unless you are living with parents, living together is less expensive than living single.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Nov. 25, 2012 7:13 a.m.

    Being ready to marry and being ready to have kids are two very different things. By marrying, you can cut living expenses (one apartment instead of two, cooking for two instead of one, etc) and you can continue to grow as a person and as a couple. THEN when you feel like you are ready, go ahead and bring kids into the world. One of the biggest mistakes young married couples do is to immediately start having kids. Too much too soon can really put a strain on a young family when waiting could have worked wonders for them.

  • uncommonsense CENTERVILLE, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 6:31 a.m.

    While they are putting off "marriage" they are not putting off living together and having children together. I have seen this happen all too often. It's not always the expense of getting married but more, the fear of expense of divorce.

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    Nov. 25, 2012 6:12 a.m.

    Children don't have to be expensive - it is not about keeping up with thr Joneses. If you do not have the $ for the birth, there is help for that. Cloth diapers still exist, plus baby showers and thrift stores. Friends have always shared maternity and kids clothes, and a used pack n play works better than a crib sized for 6 year olds who would NEVER sleep in one that long.
    --- age is a natural boundary limiting how long you can delay children :(
    What if Abraham Lincolns' parents had felt they were to poor to have kids?

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 10:58 p.m.

    I don't understand the rationale in putting off marriage because of economic reasons. Rent & utilities are shared among two earners, so if boyfriend/girlfriend are living alone they will probably be better off married. If wedding costs are the concern, don't throw a $10,000 wedding. And no one is forcing you at gunpoint to buy a house & have children right away.

    Children are another matter. Expensive, expensive, expensive. If we're purely talking finances here, they are the single biggest mistake you can make unless you spawn the next Justin Bieber. Young couples are well advised to put off parenthood until they can afford it, and they shouldn't let any cultural or religious pressure convince them otherwise.

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    Nov. 24, 2012 7:38 p.m.

    Aren't there some folks there in Salt Lake that have some advice on this subject? I would go with their counsel before that of some institute.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 5:05 p.m.

    Maybe some people just don't want to get married young. Maybe they'd rather enjoy some of what's left of their youth before they start a family. Maybe it's none of your business. Maybe it's not my responsibility to get married and pop out babies for some bizarre notion that it improves the country to overpopulate.

    Or maybe I just don't like other people. Either way, I don't like being preached to about it.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 3:25 p.m.

    By the way... neither Elizabeth nor I had a degree when we got married. No career established. We were just fun loving kids having a great, extended date. Loved it.

    "Cohabitation" is another myth in our society. Living together first does NOT improve your chances for a successful marriage. That's a fact from those who do the studies.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 3:16 p.m.

    When we dated, the economy was worse than it is now. Unemployment higher. We wanted to be together and got married. After a great honeymoon, we arrived at our apartment (meagerly furnished, no TV, DI couch, bed from her grandmother, and the plates and cookware we got from the wedding reception). The next day as we were lounging I asked, "How much do we have in our (now combined) bank account?" She didn't know. I didn't. The next day we went to the bank and found we had little... not enough to make next month's rent, let alone groceries. She looked at me and said, "Any ideas?" "Sure," I said, "one of us ought to get a job." So, I got a job flipping hamburgers and she found one as a clerk in a construction office. We built out lives together. We did fine in our struggles.

  • HardTail Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 3:11 p.m.

    Cohabitation is never an option for those who really care.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 2:45 p.m.

    To Voice of Reason:

    Or some people might just want to have a job and some security before getting married and having children...

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 2:38 p.m.

    I need an ipad, an iphone, the wireless "plans" to pay for both of them each month- I need a subscription to the latest cloud software like MS Office or Adobe Creative Cloud- I need a new computer every 2 years, and a new Wii-U, and a new this and that.

    Oh, and that doesn't even start to cover the cost of all the apps I need to buy for these new toys.

    It's no wonder that the generation of "toy-buyers" doesn't feel like they have the financial security to afford Marriage. I belong to this generation, so by all means I'm not standing outside pretending to have experiences I don't. I have a first-hand account of this and knowingly discuss the problems. Of course, there are different people with different reasons. But financial priorities is a big one. As long as you can afford to move into a place together, you can afford marriage. With the support of families and those who live at home for a while, some couples don't even have the money to do that.

    Very few people can rationally claim that it's "due to the economy".

  • Mary S Lethbridge, Alberta
    Nov. 24, 2012 1:33 p.m.

    It's none of my business, if they want to marry later, that's entirely up to them.