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You Asked: Is Marrying Young a Bad Idea?

Dear Sugar,

My fiance asked me to marry him almost six months ago while on a trip to Disney World after five years of dating. He hadn't told anyone and we waited to share the good news until after we had returned from our trip. Since we are young (I am 21 and he is 23), both our parents expressed happiness for us but enforced the importance of me finishing school. As the months have gone by, his mother has begun to express her disapproval of us getting married at such a young age. We have mentioned to her that the wedding would not be for another year and a half, at which point he would be turning 25 and I would be turning 23. But whenever my fiance is not around, she decides to have little side talks with me, telling me not to be in such a rush and to consider waiting another four years before getting married! She says things to make me feel as though I'm holding him back from bigger and better things, and she's made it clear that she has little faith in me finishing school, even though I am highly motivated and love what I am studying.

No matter how much we express our love and respect for each other, I can't seem to convince her that the wedding will not lead me to forget about school to start a family. How do I handle a controlling mother-in-law-to-be? — Ready to Wed Rach

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Dear Ready to Wed Rach,

I can understand your parents' hesitation with you two getting married at a young age, but knowing that you've been committed to each other for five years already should ease their concerns a little. I also think having a longer engagement is a good idea so planning a wedding won't interfere with your school work. As aggravating as your future mother-in-law may be right now, understand that in her mind, she's just trying to look out for you and her son.

Times have changed when it comes to marriage. While it was the norm to marry young during your parents' generation, most couples wait longer today, but that's not to say that your young love isn't as special or won't last. If marriage is what truly feels right for you and your fiance, carry on and push back on those who are doubting you. Be sure to tell your fiance about his mother's comments and her behavior toward you so that you're not having to deal with her negativity on your own. You can't do much about what other people think about your relationship, so use your fiance for support and trust your heart. I wish you luck!


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