Young adults putting off marriage, treating it as capstone to other achievements

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  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    March 7, 2015 8:39 a.m.

    atl134--Why would you have kids before you put education? That's just begging to be a 47%er.

    Check out this sentence. "Why would you have kids before you put education?" This person believes that education should come before marriage and children, but what if the education yields little more than this?

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    March 7, 2015 8:33 a.m.

    Man, would life be better for all of us if everyone would simply choose to get smart before they get married.

  • Dig Dug Bountiful, UT
    March 5, 2015 11:12 a.m.

    It's wonderful that some people got married young and started having kids right out of the gate. I married young, but my wife and I had decided to complete our education first before starting a family. Wow, are we really grateful we did that. Turns out our first daughter has a very serious medical condition - now that we both have jobs with good insurance, she is well taken care of and handling her chronic condition well. Had we had a child like this earlier we would have been ruined financially and unable to care for our daughter, likely leaving her with a shortened life and seriously ill. There is no one-size fits all and the decision to get married and have children needs to be carefully considered.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    March 5, 2015 7:38 a.m.

    I am so glad that I did not wait for career and lots in savings before I got married. My wife was fresh out of high school and I had completed my mission and got a low-paying job with a good company who which I could grow and advance while attending college. My wife and I grew up with little, but we sacrificed and worked hard to build our life as partners. After 8 years, we bought our first item of furniture. Little by little, the borrowed stuff was replaced. We eventually took a honeymoon, but the whole time, we wished our little kids were with us. After 38 years of building a life together from scratch, the kids are all fine citizens with lots of grandkids in their nests and wonderful spouses helping them build lives together. I don't regret the path we chose because it worked because we loved each other and were not in need of much more than each other in order to get started.

  • theidma New York City, NY
    March 3, 2015 6:02 p.m.

    Brent T: It's true that a prophet said we should follow that order, but in some cultures, it is just not practical to get married and have children without an education and a job, unless you want to beg others for the resources to provide for your family. In 1 Timothy 5:8 we read "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." You have to be able to provide for your family before having one.

    In Genesis when we are commanded to "be fruitful and multiply", there is no time stipulation, so the decision on when to marry and when to have kids, is between a couple and the Lord. As a woman, I'm grateful that I got my college and grad degrees, started a great career, got married to a wonderful man who also has his, got to spend time together alone for a while, before having children. Also, all the knowledge we acquire in this life, we'll have in the eternities.(D&C 130:18-19) It's not only our families that we take with us.

  • djk blue springs, MO
    March 3, 2015 2:09 p.m.

    my son is about to graduate from BYUI. he has dated many times but the girls in his dating past are all perpetual daters. they want to date date date with NO commitment unless mr wealthy, mr popular, mr bad boy, mr cool, mr 'i am related to a general authority' . YES i am sickened by these statistics. the young men/men are told to date and pray about eternal companion. yet the young women/women are not being reminded of this. the importance is eternal families NOT vacations and fancy home, expensive cars , up to date clothing ! sad sad sad.

  • James Stone Colo Sprgs, CO
    March 2, 2015 11:50 p.m.

    I'm an old lady now, (66) I had just begun college at age 18 when I met my future husband. He was 20, and had already been in the Army almost three years having graduated from high school when he was 17. He had planned on separating from the military but decided to marry me and stay in. Neither one of us had much college but the Army was our niche and we were happy. We raised five children and they're all fine people; we never went hungry, we had everything we needed, we even wore clothes - I made some of them myself. Most of the time I was able to stay home with the kids plus - and this is the amazing part - I was able to do just about everything I ever wanted to do. I wrote, I sang in choirs, I acted and directed plays, I spoke in public, and I educated myself. My husband did very well in a career he loved and now is retired with a good income. We have problems like everyone but we're doing fine and best of all, we're still in love. And we have 13 grandchildren!

  • Patrician Trumbull, CT
    March 2, 2015 6:58 p.m.

    Yes, being old enough is important, as is education and career preparation (at least much of it completed), before taking on family responsibilities.

    However, too many men delay because they are commitment phobic!

    And both genders can be selfish, in wanting too much both of material things, or finding the 'perfect' mate--or just being able to afford an expensive honeymoon, etc. before they are willing to get married.

    Those priorities have led to the huge increase in co-habitation, which too often leads to NEVER marrying, or at least an increased likelihood of divorce. Often that's because the co-habiting types are less willing to *work* on the marriage if all isn't as they had hoped.

    To UTS, **fertility** is fleeting, and is highest the younger the woman is! If a couple wants children, marrying in the 20's is much safer for being able to have the wanted children.

  • Hank Jr Draper, UT
    March 2, 2015 9:00 a.m.

    This would exemplify what the "ME GENERATION" is all about. It also explains how Obama got elected president and other symptoms of a sick nation.

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    March 1, 2015 4:03 p.m.

    I for one am glad to see young people waiting to get married. Of course I am not the leader of a relgious institution that sees this as a threat.

    When people choose a mate a little later in life and know who they are before making that commitment then they have a better chance of understanding if the person they choose to be with is a partner for life or not.

    Also, I really believe people in their 30's generally speaking make better parents that people in the early 20's. Not always - just on persoal observations.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 1, 2015 12:36 p.m.

    As an outsider I don't think I'll ever get used to the pressure put on young people here to get married and start producing a litter as soon as possible.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Feb. 28, 2015 11:40 p.m.

    I don't think people are addressing the elephant in the room here. People say the economy this, and finances that, those are all smoke screens for the reasons people really don't get married at a young age. People delay marriage or get married young for social reasons, period. If you have good friendships, date frequently, and are socially healthy, you are more likely to get married at an appropriate age. If you met the love of your life, if you are honest with yourself, you wouldn't let money stand in your way of being with her. Let's not kid ourselves here guys. If you love each other, you will find a way to make it work, regardless of economic reasons. People are avoiding marriage because they don't love each other. Love used to be simpler, but it's become convoluted. This goes beyond marriage. People are even forgetting what it means to be a true friend. This is the real problem, but no one wants to talk about it because there is no quick fix solution to it, and people lack the patience for anything but quick fix solutions these days.

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2015 2:24 p.m.

    @C. Jensen: Work, ethics and determination don't always insure a good marriage and a happy life. Hard times can sometimes bring a couple closer together, but they can also leave a couple in despair and destroy the relationship. True, divorce rates were lower during the Great Depression, but that doesn't mean the couple was happier. Many in my family at that time were happy, but others just stuck things out and were totally miserable. One answer doesn't fit all.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Feb. 25, 2015 11:51 a.m.

    I have been reading my grandmother's journal for 1945. It is all we have because most of her journal books became wet and were thrown away (a sad circumstance). She spent her days working hard with food preparation, laundry (done with a wringer washer and clothes line), sewing, working in the garden and sometimes fields, checking the mail for a letter from my dad, who was in Europe during WWII, feeding guests, driving non-driving friends and relatives here and there and dozens of other tasks. She found joy in her association with others and her feeling of accomplishment for jobs well done. I neglected to say she spent a lot of time in church work and the local school/parent organization. She and my grandfather died without ever experiencing retirement, yet I don't think either of them felt cheated. Family life and doing for others were just so important to them that many of our expectations today never occurred to them. Once in a great while they went to a movie! In their last years they enjoyed several trips to mountain property they acquired late in life. I wish I were more like them!

  • SlickMick Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 25, 2015 11:36 a.m.

    Fullypresent - You make it seem like it was ever easy to marry and raise a family. I don't ever remember it being easier than today. I remember graduating many years ago during a recession and working temp jobs till I found something a little better which led after a few years to something a little better, and onward. It was always hard. But it is a choice we made because we didn't care so much about material things. We took the kids to the playground for fun, as did others. Lots of walks with the strollers, lots of very happy times. It was hard to make ends meet, but we did it. And it can still be done but you have to be willing to make sacrifices. I'm not sure so many of the current generation really know how to sacrifice...except for those who learned from their parents. No one is saying to blindly go into marriage and kids. You have to prepare and be willing to sacrifice.

  • SlickMick Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 25, 2015 11:15 a.m.

    Glass & Nunn - Times haven't changed that much. It has always been difficult to raise a family. Perhaps you weren't around during the difficult times in the 70s and early 80s with high unemployment, inflation, high interest rates, some people feeling they'd never be able to buy a house. Did that keep us from making lifelong choices like getting married or having kids? Nope. You try to make the best long-term choices and you find a way to make it work. You do your best to not make debts, you maximize your education or training, and you do it. And I see people all around still doing it.

    I get a little tired of the wo is me crowd who like to blame everyone and everything else. Listen, just don't get into debt. Do you really need a student loan? Go to a cheaper school. Do you need a data plan? Do you need a fancy car or cable? You can make do. You still can. Question is whether you want to.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2015 9:25 p.m.

    It has become harder for kids now days to pay off student loan debt, afford a home, and afford a family. Until that is less difficult more will likely wait until they are in a position to do those things. The days of get married, have kids, and have faith now clashes with the reality of making all of that actually work.

  • C. Jensen Manila, Philippines, 00
    Feb. 24, 2015 6:55 p.m.

    My grandparents were married during the Great Depression; times quite unlike our own, granted, but perhaps an instructive part of history. They were married with very little, but had heaps of work ethic and determination. Everything was homemade. Children came quickly, and money did not. The harder they worked together, the closer they became. What I see today are heightened expectations for a big start: gorgeous receptions, good job right out of school, property ownership and other material things. These are not necessities, they are frills. I wonder at our collective reasoning when we think we are inadequate if some things happen out of our preferred order, though I agree with the general order of life events suggested by others here. I caution against thinking we should wait to have a family. For one thing, we don't always have control about when we will find great jobs or the spouses, or when/how many children will come. It is important to work hard, get as much education as we can and live worthy of all other blessings, but also leave room for the Lord's plans in our lives.

  • Nunn24 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2015 4:34 p.m.

    Perhaps you had that luxury, SlickMick, many, many years ago.

    Most of today's generation do not have that opportunity today.

    And in many cases it is affecting their decision to marry and to have children.

    I can't help it if you and others are out of touch with this fact. Instead, it's always, "If only they had the ambition; if only they were diligent; if only they weren't such derelicts." etc.

    How often the proud judge the poor in error!

  • Mr.Glass Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2015 4:24 p.m.

    @SlickMick: You making a lot of assumptions with respect to those who decide to postpone marriage until the economy gets stronger. For you, it just meant that you weren't able to purchase a lot of fancy things. When you state it like this, you make it sound as if those who put of marriage are doing so because they can't indulge their materialistic fantasies. For many people, getting married during a weak economy involves not already having a decent job and having a great deal of student loan debt.

    People should not make moral judgements about when or if people decide to get married. I am married, but I wanted to get married. If others don't want to get married, they shouldn't get married. There is nothing morally superior about choosing to get married in your early twenties, so let's not pretend otherwise.

  • SlickMick Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 24, 2015 3:20 p.m.

    Nunn - Seriously? I don't think I gave the economy much thought when I decided to get married or have kids. I did make a conscious decision that by doing to I would not have a lot of fancy things at least for the first 20 years or so and I was ok with that. Maybe someone who didn't prepare themselves educationally or gain the necessary skills to get a decent job need to worry. But there is plenty of opportunity out there in the US for those willing to work hard and...heaven forbid...relocate to where the jobs are. You may even need to get higher education. You do what you need to do to achieve anything worthwhile. I certainly wasn't born with any sort of advantages, but I do know that if you apply yourself you can make it work. And a spouse and kids make it all the more enjoyable and worthwhile. I feel sorry for the folks who base their life choices on a fickle economy.

  • Nunn24 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2015 2:49 p.m.

    To those businessmen and their politicians who are deliberately striving to drive wages down by purposely abetting a flood of foreign labor both legal and illegal ((by abuse of the H-1B system, and by abetting illegal immigration, respectively), you should realize that this is what you are doing to your country and to society. You'd better believe that this callous, self-centered endeavor of driving down wages at all social costs for enhanced profits is harming this nation by duly discouraging marriage and child-bearing.

  • SlickMick Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 24, 2015 2:25 p.m.

    You get married when you feel it's right. Throw away all the studies, all the % of this or that. Don't marry because someone tells you to, don't marry because you're desperate to not graduate without a spouse. Get married when you feel it is right. Period. You keep your mind open about it, you actively get involved, and more often than not, it happens. It just does.

    If you're locked away in your room, or just not getting involved with things, or you have a closed mind because of your or someone else's bad experience, or you've chosen to feel sorry for yourself...well then you're probably up the creek as far as dating is concerned and then you'll blame it on everyone else.

    Just be out and about and live like you want to make someone else happy, and you know what...someone else will make you very happy.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    Feb. 24, 2015 11:38 a.m.

    I guess another talk on this for the YSA during a fireside should be expected soon or better yet during this upcoming April GC. LOL!

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 23, 2015 4:24 p.m.

    Marriage represents a very serious commitment, which - unless you're drunk and in Las Vegas - provokes a lot of reflection and soul searching.

    The difference between marriage rates and child bearing among college graduates and those who haven't achieved that level of accomplishment clearly demonstrates that economics is the primary reason people are putting off marriage.

    If it was a snap to find a job you could raise a family on, marriage rates would increase.

    Instead, people are following the signals the economy and our ethic of self-reliance sends: "Don't start a family and start having kids until you can pay for them!"

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Feb. 21, 2015 2:33 p.m.

    atl134 -- married at 22 and 19. Five kids later, hitting 30, kids were no longer possible health wise. Waiting for education or otherwise using birth control to put off family in favor of education means two or more of these kids wouldn't be here. It's hindsight certainly (we wouldn't know them). But the treasure is the kids. It is not career or things we either had or never obtained. It isn't money in the bank. It is family; and we take our family with us into the eternities where all the riches of this world are still ours in all that Our Heavenly Father has.

    A shorter answer would be because that is the order Spencer W. Kimball told us to use in ranking and accomplishing our priorities. And following a prophet has yielded the fruit from exercising the faith to do so.

    The article was about priorities -- and the best priority is (family equals marriage plus children) as soon as possible.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2015 5:30 a.m.

    Why would you have kids before you put education? That's just begging to be a 47%er.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 20, 2015 2:20 p.m.

    Nature makes the desire for a mate very insistent and urgent by one's mid to late teens. Wisdom suggests, however, that some common sense be used in making a choice of mate and that requires a modest deferement. Decency indicates an exclusive contract after a few years of search and good counsel.

    It was once understood and that in an age when divorce rates were not yet 60, 50, nor yet 40 or 30 per cent, that a young man and woman would be married at least by their mid-twenties. Little thought was given to family planning. You loved someone and the result was usually a succession of babies, usually spaced two to three years apart.

    Now it seems that careers, money, convenience all come before that once common goal and expectation. I look in vain to see evidence that we are any better for the change - in any way. We are no happier today, that is certain.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2015 12:14 p.m.

    Treating marriage as the start or foundation of our adult life is wrongheaded. Education should be finished and a good career started before taking on the commitment. In The National Marriage Survey (2004), women who marry under the age of 20 have a 52% divorce rate. The divorce rate was still high for those who married between 20-23 at 34%. The rate dropped significantly for those between 24-26 at 14%. As the article suggested, that age span seems to be the sweet spot. The rate increased to 20% between the age 27-29. The lowest divorce rate - 8% - was for those who married at the age of 30 or more. The rate for men corresponded at about 3 years older, which means the ideal age for men was about 28. Maturity and finishing some other milestones first, guarantee a much better chance of a successful marriage.

  • Plammijr South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 20, 2015 9:00 a.m.

    I would consider marriage as a foundational cornerstone rather than a capstone. There is so much more that goes in between.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2015 6:45 p.m.

    @Brent T.

    My life line is not meant to be taken literally. It was more to be taken as a presentation in subtle humor.

    I like the phrase "deliberate choice." Marriage can be (and should be) a deliberate choice. But it is not like turning on a switch. I know that for some people it may be just like opening a door, but for me marriage was something that took more than just a deliberate choice. Short of stopping my education to find a wife, I was forced to continue to choose to look for a girl to marry while I went to college. It just happened that I found her after I had already been to graduate school (after first graduating from high school of course!) I caught a lot of flack over this. Leaders, relatives....they all wondered why I hadn't "chosen" to get married yet (Gotta love those 'married at 21 to first and only high school lover' people). You can choose to seek marriage, but you usually cannot choose to get married whenever you want.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Feb. 18, 2015 4:46 p.m.

    Vladhagen been trying to understand your order. If #1 precedes missionary service... could happen. But college doesn't precede high school, and children don't come before intimacy.

    I can almost work it out backwards where one, as it seems so many these days do, had there first intimate experience prior to high school graduation, which could lead to children outside wedlock, getting married and obtaining higher education... then a mission at retirement age? And then your career?

    Anyway -- the order I've given was a deliberate choice. And I could have done it differently. You're correct in that once done, it can't be changed. But, no regrets.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2015 12:59 p.m.

    Here is my order for how I did my life. "Wouldn't have done it any other way" (Wait, shouldn't that be "couldn't" have done it any other way? I mean, how would you know your way is superior? Once you have chosen your path, you cannot know the other path.)

    1. Career
    2. Mission
    3. College Education
    4. Marriage
    5. Children
    6. High School Graduation
    7. Intimacy.

    My way is far superior.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Feb. 18, 2015 12:28 p.m.

    The issue is the goals set in childhood. If the #1 goal is to be old enough to marry, to reach adulthood (18) with the first priority being to marry and start a family, then the other (secondary) goals in life (mission, education, career, travel) become reasons to consider some possible delay while anxiously chomping at the bit to marry with marriage being a way to share together attaining those goals. It has to be said, too, that desire and impatience to be intimate with another person be approached with a value that such intimacy can and should ONLY be fulfilled in marriage -- will drive the urge to be married.

    It is has been the best way. High School graduation, mission, marriage, intimacy, children, education and career. That order. Wouldn't have done any other way.

  • ThornBirds St.George, UT
    Feb. 18, 2015 12:22 p.m.

    Less unhappiness and divorces, perhaps?

  • bass679 Novi, MI
    Feb. 18, 2015 12:20 p.m.

    I can definitely relate to this. Graduating from college during a rough economic time. It's hard to date when you can't find a decent job. Not only that but if you were raised to provide for a family it hard to justify dating when you can't take care of a family.