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Did she marry too young?

WHY so many unhappy marriages?
WHY is the divorce rate increasing?
What are the chances of a teenage marriage?
Is there a BEST AGE for Marriage?
Here are the answers, from a wealth of counseling experience.


I THOUGHT I couldn't live without Archi," said Gloria. "So I got my mother to sign for the license. I am 16, and Archi is 19. Of course my folks didn't want me to get married. But I threatened Mom that if she didn't sign, I'd run away or get pregnant. Now we've been married two months, and nothing is like I thought it would be.

"I thought Archi was a big strong man. But as soon as we were married, it seems like he changed. And he was so good looking and so nice. But now he's so afraid, such a coward. He's lost his job and doesn't know how to get another one. He says I've got to get a job and help. All of a sudden, instead of being so big and strong and handsome, he's just chicken. He's like a scared baby — a child. And he says I'm immature!

"Marriage isn't a bit like I supposed. I don't know just what I supposed it was — but more fun — more romance — different. The day after the wedding I knew it was all a big mistake. And it's only been getting worse. Archi's mad at me, and swears at me because I don't know how to cook — I never made a bed in my life till we were married, and then I found I didn't know how. You know how it is — my Mom did everything for me — washed my clothes, ironed them — even bought them. I never had any responsibility at home. And now all Archi and I do is fight. He scolds me because I don't know how to do anything, and he's all frustrated and says there's nothing in life to live for because he wants sex all the time, and I don't. I get mad at him, because he isn't a bit considerate, and he gets mad at me and says I'm frigid, and he's hit me a few times. He wouldn't give me any money when he had a job, and he doesn't have any now. He leaves me alone evenings, and runs with his boy friends; and he's even dated some old girl friends. I don't want to tell my folks what a mistake I made. What shall I do? Nothing's like I thought it would be!"


Fifty-Fifty? No, Less than that!

What are the chances of teenage marriages?

The idea of the husband being the head of the family — the boss — is out of date. They say it's "fifty-fifty." But it isn't! Nothing ever is. Someone always has to take the lead — and when the husband doesn't — thinking it's "fifty-fifty" — the wife will.

But what are the chances of a teenage marriage?

They are LESS than fifty-fifty! The actual records prove it!

More about that a little later.

Is there a BEST AGE for marriage? THERE IS! More about that later, also.

But first, WHY are so many marriages failing today? WHY the alarming increase in UNHAPPY marriages, broken homes, divorces?

No one reason — there are SEVERAL causes. One of the greatest is marrying TOO YOUNG! The actual RECORDS — the actual FACTS — show that slightly fewer than half of such marriages last successfully.


Primary Causes

Whatever happens, there was always a cause. There has been a cause for every effect. In the matter of unhappy and broken marriages there are many causes, but certain ones are primary and basic.

Probably the number one cause of all is the same as the cause for all wars, and all the troubles of humanity — HUMAN NATURE!

Human nature is VANITY. Vanity is self-love — self-centeredness. Human nature is a PULL in the direction of vanity. It tends to consider self first, and therefore elevate the self above all else. This, in turn, exerts the pulls of lust, greed, envy, jealousy and hatred.

Many times I have explained that SELF is, in a larger sense, what I call empirical — that is, like an empire. It includes what belongs to self, and that to which self feels compatibly allied.

A young man and young woman "fall in love" — or at least think they do — and marry. In his mind, she belongs to him — is allied to him — and as long as things go well, like part of him. He is the same to her.

But just as soon as things go wrong — perhaps she denies him his desires — perhaps he doesn't give her any money, or fails to be considerate — just as soon as one steps on the other's toes — then the sense of alliance is broken. Then SELF wells up against the other. Then the other is no longer PART of self.

Then what?

Then she says, in bitter resentment, "All men are BRUTES!"

Then he says, in equally bitter and frustrated resentment, "She's a frigid woman."

In other words, just what is this thing they usually mistake for LOVE?

It is NOT, really, love. It is, rather, a sort of sense of being enamored — captivated (taken captive by), inflamed with passionate desire, blinded by unreasoning ardor. It is a being impassioned with anticipated rapturous delight. In plainer language, it is an aroused anticipation of what one expects to GET, RECEIVE, to HAVE from the other.

Real and true love is basically an OUTGOING CONCERN. It is OUT-going, not IN-coming. When it is IN-coming — as "love" falsely so called is in almost every romance, it is in actual fact, LUST, not truly LOVE!

Regardless of the age at marriage, surely more than 99 percent of all marriages are based on this FALSE "love."

Just as long as she pleases him — as long as she gives him that delightful sense of enamorment, of luscious enjoyment — he thinks he loves her deeply. In reality, he loves what he receives from her. This, in turn, gives him the feeling that she is a PART of his empirical SELF. He loves SELF — and as long as she is able to remain, in his sight, that allied part of SELF, he will feel that he is in love with her. This works both ways. As long as she is pleased with him — receiving FROM him what she desires — retaining the sense of alliance — she will feel she is in love with him.

This SELF is simply carnality. It is human nature.

What chance, then, does the average marriage have? There are more factors than this one involved. But, so long as each receives from the other what satisfies his or her SELF, the marriage will last.

of all

Another basic factor has been religion. Up until World War I the religious teachings of the Western world injected a sort of in-bred conviction that marriage MUST be maintained "until death do us part." A large portion of marriages endured, due to this conviction, which today would end in divorce.

Another factor, very prominent as a CAUSE today, is the economic one. Formerly women were mainly dependent on their husbands for economic security. The very factor of SELF-PRESERVATION held them to their husbands — drove them to try to "satisfy him" under circumstances in which the modern wife would rebel. Today, with so many wives being employed, being independent, they are far less impelled to satisfy their husbands against their own desires, and far more ready and willing to leave him and break up their home. It probably wasn't a real HOME, anyway, with the wife employed outside the home.

Another prominent factor is this modern "50-50" idea about "who wears the trousers." When the husband abdicates his responsibility, the wife takes it over. Men were intended, by nature, to take the lead and the responsibility. Today, the poor henpecked, woman-ruled, "chicken" of a man — more mouse than man — is a ridiculous creature. Today boys grow up more like girls than he-men!

All these — and more — are CAUSES of broken families today. And they are the BAROMETER of the CRASH of civilization — the HANDWRITING ON THE WALL forecasting a death-sentence on modern Society!

Of course another MAJOR cause is "the new morality" which is simply misnaming cesspool immorality!

When society begins to accept premarital sex relationships, as promiscuous as participants desire, and adultery is pronounced "good" by psychologists, and when millions "enjoy" the sport of husband-and-wife-swapping parties, marriages are bound to be breaking down — and Society is sounding its own death-knell!

But put all these factors together with the immaturity, the unpreparedness, the inexperience of teen marriages, and one should have little difficulty understanding that a teen marriage has less than a 50-50 chance of surviving!


A BEST AGE for Marriage?

Is there, then, a BEST AGE for Marriage?

There is!

Therefore I repeat what I wrote in an article that appeared some years ago in The PLAIN TRUTH, and which forms a chapter in the book, God Speaks Out on "The New Morality,"

by the same author.

Some time ago I officiated at a wedding in stately Memorial Hall at Ambassador College in England. My next-to-youngest grandson, Richard David Armstrong II, then age two-and-a-half, thought the ceremony so very nice, he said, "Mommy, I want to get married!"

"Well!" answered his mother, a little shocked — a little amused, "and whom do you want to marry?

"Karen," replied little Dicky promptly.

"But Karen has just been married. She can't marry anybody else, now."

"Well then," decided Dicky, "I'll marry Sheila." Sheila is a very nice Irish colleen, and was then a student in the college.

"But Sheila is grown up now, and in college," protested "Mommy." "What if she won't have you?"

"Then I'll marry you, Mommy," came the quick decision.