Life Style, People

Relationship experts share thoughts on the best age to get married! (2) -‘LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH’


Some believe that the earlier the better; while others believe that like fine wine, we get better with age.

The idea of a right age to tie the knot has caused some controversy over the years, with those holding opposing views unwilling to reach a compromise.

One undeniable truth is that marriage puts real pressure on our character and brings our true nature to the fore; and with this in mind, all parties can agree on one thing – marriage is not for boys and girls! It is for men and women who have attained some measure of independence – both financially and emotionally, and can handle their businesses, at least to an extent.

However, we have sought the insightful thoughts of relationship experts and marriage counselors and their informed opinions are presented here.


Dayo Ladi-Omotunde, Relationship and Family Counsellor

What’s the ideal age to get married and why?

There is no ideal age to get married. Marriage is not a contract based on terms and conditions, neither is it an end in itself. It is a covenant entered into by a man and woman who pledge their undying commitment to the upkeep of each other. This institution was made for lifelong companionship and procreation. Therefore, it is a means to an end.

This suggests that marriage is not one to be taken lightly. It should be considered with a sober mind taking into consideration the responsibilities attached to marriage. Marriage was not made for the boy and girl. It was made for man and woman who are able to make life choices devoid of external influences from parents, friends and family.

The key factor necessary when considering marriage is not age but maturity. An 18 year old may be more mature than some other 30 year old. Maturity is a function of submission to grooming and development and it covers the following aspects:

  1. Physical development
  2. Mental development
  3. Emotional development
  4. Spiritual development
  5. Vocational development
  6. Financial development
  7. Moral development
  8. Marital development

When intending couple can affirm that they are mature in these areas, they may go ahead to consider marriage.

Is there anything like “early marriage”? At what age would that be?

Yes. There is such a thing as early marriage. Early marriage is marital union entered with a minor. Someone under the age of 18. It is also referred to as child marriage. Child marriage refers to any marriage of a child younger than 18, in accordance to Article 1 of the Convention on the Right of the Child. While child marriage can happen to both sexes, it disproportionately affects girls.

Early marriage could also be termed as a situation where one who is not ready for  marriage finds him or herself in the institution, age notwithstanding. An example is when one who isn’t psychologically prepared for marriage is forced into marriage due to conceived pregnancy outside of wedlock.

What psychological effect does marriage have on a young person?

Women bearing children at early ages face higher risk of maternal health problems, disability and death, coupled with health risks for their newborns as well.

Due to early marriages, younger girls with lower awareness of health knowledge, physical growth and development have little or no ability to deal with marital responsibilities, early pregnancy and pregnancy-related mortality and morbidity, causing major physiological and psychological health issues in adolescent girls, resulting in losing relationship confidence and ability to maintain a healthy relationship with a downward spiral into depression and possibly, withdrawal from further educational pursuit.

What’s the best relationship advice for an intending couple?

The best advice for every intending couple is to seek counsel for in the multitude of counsel, there is safety.

Intending couple must realize that wedding is a one-day affair while marriage is a life-long business and if they desire marriage they desire a good work.

More focus must be placed on the preparation for marriage than preparation for wedding. Therefore, pre-marital counsel is a must. None can claim to know all about relationships hence the need to be thoroughly schooled on how to conduct marital life.

Marriage is one vital aspect of life not taught in schools. At best, we model our parents marriage coupled with a little of experiences garnered along the way. Unfortunately, this can only take men so far. Why wait till there’s fire on the mountain before seeking out a counsellor? The key is to stay grounded always by regularly attending family counselling classes taught by happily married relationship and marriage counsellors.


Stanley Onwuzuruike, Relationship counselor

What’s the ideal age to get married and why?

The ideal age to get married is between 23 and 28. You are aware, presumably, that couple who are in their teens or very early 20’s when they get married have the odds stacked against them, as younger couple have the highest risk of divorce. So, it follows that the older you are when you get hitched, the better off your marriage will be – after all, by your middle 20’s, you have a more solid sense of who you are, and you’re likely to be better off financially, too, both of which can help a marriage succeed.

Is there anything like “early marriage”? At what age would that be?

Early marriage, to me, is the age when the individual is yet to fully discover who he or she truly is. For the fact that by law at age 18 you can be seen as an adult does not mean the individual is intellectually and emotionally mature. In most cases, an individual at 28 is still trying to know who he or she really is, then talk of an 19 or 20 year old individual tying the knot.

What psychological effect does marriage have on a young person?

The psychological effect marriage has on a young person is immeasurable. Imagine a lady of 19 or 20 who is married and is faced with normal marriage issues that most times make even the most mature mind feel like tearing himself apart. How do you expect an inexperienced or amateur to manage such crises when her idea is waow, marriage is just sweetness all through. This could lead to divorce.

Couple who get married at a very young age are at a high risk of becoming cheating partners, especially when they feel depressed or when they feel they have been caged for long and need to explore as youth.

Their children could be affected in the face of all these situations there parents are unable to handle due to inexposure and immaturity. It is true however that maturity has nothing to do with age but with each passing year, you are able to learn new things, meet people and have new ideas and this all help make up a mature mind no doubt.

Note also that early marriage has worked out for a few notable Nigerians, but lets not forget that we are different individuals.

What’s the best relationship advice for an intending couple?

My advice to an intending couple is as they have been told all along that marriage is not a bed of roses. I want to also add that don’t think in the next 10 years the love will be as strong as you feel it right now. No couple have ever lived from inception till the end with love as the main stay alone. Love fades, understanding grows and keeps them both together, even when it seems like love is gone.

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