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July 19, 2007

Comments

dangermom

Thanks for posting this! I have got to get this book. I read the excerpt and it got me all teary, not mention all those photos of loving couples.

One interesting thing caught my eye: "I'd listened to friends talk about the need to become economically set before even thinking about marriage, insisting that this way money management conflicts, the ostensible root cause "for all of those divorces out there," would be altogether avoided. I'd nodded my head in agreement because I'd made the same excuse."

We married as 22-yo penniless students, and I have to say that I think it's been good for us. We struggled to make ends meet and learned many of our money habits together. I'm not at all sure that being financially established is a good pre-requisite for marriage, though it can be nice. Anyone?

spudmom

I would agree that being financially 'ready' need not be a prerequisite for marriage (although being financially independent from one's parents should be), but having a similar attitude towards saving, debt, and priorities surely helps. Even without that, though, if a couple can communicate and compromise, financial problems can be worked out.

mary o'hayes

Very nice! And what a contrast to an article about "starter marriages" I just read about in the Boston Globe (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2007/07/15/meet_marry_move_on/?p1=MEWell_Pos3)

What a great idea to celebrate long-term marriages and see what makes them tick. I think that book would make a sweet shower or wedding present.

fran froelich

My husband and I became engaged a year after we met. We were going to wait 2-3 yrs till after college graduation and being financially established. But the year was 1967, we were attending different colleges, and the Viet Nam war was claiming everyone who didn't have either a draft deferment or a good lawyer, we were very much in love and wanted to "save it for the wedding nite."
We got married the following summer. I dropped out of school to put him thru his last year, tho I did take nite classes. We had a four-room walk-up apt in a converted rowhouse in working-class section of Philadelphia. Only parental help was college tuition, tho our parents did offer more. We wanted to do as much as possible for ourselves.
At first, we didn't have a car, tv or even a telephone. At that time, there were still plenty of pay phones. We quickly realized that was carrying economy a bit too far, so we got the phone. An IRS refund the following spring paid for a tv. We didn't then, nor do we now, own a car.
By our first wedding anniversary, my husband was about to graduate from college. He enlisted in the Army, I moved in with his parents until he returned, finishing college while he was gone. (He spent a year in Viet Nam).
We've been married 39 tumultuous years, but we played for keeps from Day 1. Our difficulties have included a mild PTSD, infertility, five early miscarriages, several job losses, ten years of caregiving, 15 years of sub-poverty level income, and a decade of elder care. They also now include his increasing diabetes complications, which has forced him onto disability.
A certain number of marriages don't survive any of the above, let alone all. I've known other marriages that have collapsed for less.
I don't have any particular secrets as to how ours has lasted. I guess it's that we're stubborn, we took our wedding vows to heart, and, young as we were (we were 21)we had enuf emotional maturity to understand that marriage was for responsible adults and we were ready for the responsibility.
Full disclosure: I had a mentally ill, emotionally abusive mom who literally drove me away. I'll admit it--I was looking for the family I hadn't grown up with. I was fortunate enuf to find in my husband a guy with enuf backbone to help me do what I wanted, and that was to save myself. My dad was a nice guy, but unable to save himeself, let alone my brother and me.
I didn't look to marriage as a rescue, but I found it anyway. And, as I said, I was lucky and I knew it.

Erin P

Wow, Fran. God bless you and your husband and everything you've gone through _together_. I think you underline that it's the responsibility and commitment in marriage that matter most, not financial abundance.

I think while it's important to be financially aware, so many people in my generation put their financial success first, as a prerequisite to marriage...and the catch is, once you start on that track, at what point do you say "this is enough" to marry, to start a family? I see economic issues as an excuse (sometimes) for growing up and embracing the wonderful challenges that come with it.

SO...singles are becoming older and older and what that can sometimes mean is becoming more rigid and set in their ways of doing things. THAT can be a real obstacle to marriage - being too stubborn and independent minded.


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