Transition from dating to marriage
Even in populations of European origin, who have generally exhibited the smallest percentages of adults ever in unions, the fraction of the population who never married is on the order of 10 or 15 percent (with some exceptions, for example, 19th century Ireland—Watkins, 1986).Given that the vast majority of adults marry, examining the transition to marriage in a particular cultural and historical milieu is crucial to understanding the transition to adulthood in that setting.And with these words I refer to the whole programme of your task as Christians. Leave behind false idealisms, fantasies, and what I usually call mystical wishful thinking: If only I hadn’t married; if only I had a different job or qualification; if only I were in better health; if only I were younger; if only I were older.Instead, turn to the most material and immediate reality, which is where our Lord is: “Look at my hands and my feet,” said the risen Jesus.Cohabitation has often been viewed as easing the transition to marriage.The question is therefore asked, what characterizes relationships in which couples live together for an extended period of time prior to marriage, then decide to marry, and within two to three years are divorced?Justin can attest I’ve had several sleepless nights wondering what life will be like with a new boss.However, I keep remembering the words of Jesus on the cross, “…Into your hands I commend my spirit” in Luke .
Thinking that the Christian life is only lived in our churches is a “deformed vision of Christianity.” He tells us, “Sanctify your everyday lives.
It is important to stress, however, that although the transition into marriage is a key component of the transition to adulthood in most contexts, marriage, in and of itself, is not necessarily a marker of adulthood, particularly for the numerous young women who wed during their teenage years.
As we discuss in Chapter 1, one of the preconditions for a successful transition to adulthood is the taking on of adult roles in an appropriate time and sequence, giving young people: (1) the opportunity to acquire an appropriate amount of human and social capital, (2) the knowledge and means to sustain health during adulthood, and (3) the capability to make choices through the acquisition of a sense of self and a sense of personal competence.
Early marriage is unlikely to satisfy those preconditions.
Moreover, marriage during the teenage years is associated with an increased probability of divorce (Goldman, 1981; Singh and Samara, 1996; Tilson and Larsen, 2000), although studies have yet to establish whether it is early marriage per se or the characteristics of those who marry early that increases the risk of dissolution.As Justin and I wonder about all the “what ifs” and how EXACTLY life will be different, we also wonder how my new boss will change our lives.