Teens Getting Engaged & Married

Archived Q&A and Reviews



My (just turned) 18 year old is engaged

Aug 2009

What do we say? What do we do? After just 10 months of knowing her. He has no job, no money, no home of his own. He's not in school, just embarking on beginning his adult life. Any advice, please... Thanks! South Berkeley

If they know how opposed you are to their plan to marry, they will want it that much more.

I would get together with the girls' parents and say together that that you support/admire/ etc/ their love and devotion but want to make sure that they are ready for marriage. Marriage is meant for adults and That means:
1) jobs
2) housing
3) means to support selves
4) means to support a baby if/when baby comes
5) formal education plans?

This is hard. They may fail....not sure what else you can do. You have my sympathy...and please note that this won't be the worst thing that can happen... anon

I second the response in this most recent newsletter. Be matter of fact and loving. Just make it clear that they are making an adult decision and will have to find their own place to live and make their own way in the world -- because that is what adults do. This is in contrast to two families I know. In one, they allowed the son to live with his girlfriend in their in-law -- a very bad example for the younger children in the family. In another, the boy got the girl pregnant while he was dating another girl, taking no responsibility for the resulting baby. The girl's parents have never talked with the boy's parents about it. The girl lives at home with her mother and younger siblings and has her high school brother take care of the baby at home while she goes to work. At least she is working. In summary, it could be worse. If you keep the lines of communication open and lay all the cards on the table, they may decide on a long engagement instead while they get more education, jobs, etc. Health Educator Mom