Mormon Missionaries Pressured to Marry Soon after their Missions
Subject: Focus on marriage soon after a mission.
Date: Jul 29 04:21 2004
Author: peggy

The churches encouragement for the young adults to marry soon after the boys return home from their missions is disingenuous. Most individuals in our society do not have a clue as to who they really are until 25 or older. This is a recipe for unnecessary stress and heartache.

Over the past 5 years I have seen an increase in divorces in the wards that I am familiar with. Many of these were some of the most TBM families that I have ever seen. When I think of the number of children involved the situation is even more tragic. Several of these families were the typical 8-10 child mormon families.

I believe the brethren need to get a clue themselves before they continue counseling people on how to live their lives.

Subject: I am walking proof of your post.
Date: Jul 29 04:27
Author: pwalters

I got back from my mission in Feb 2000 and was married by Dec 2000. I thought it was my duty. I boasted that I was married within one year.

I was 21. She was 18.

We are both barely beginning to discover ourselves. In the meantime we now have two kids, no jobs and a lot of school yet to go.

We think of divorce quite often. Or at least a time out of some sort. Whosever advice it was to get hitched quick was in no way qualified to give marital or spiritual guidance.

I want my money back.

Subject: Unfortunately, the focus on chastity also figures strongly in this pattern.
Date: Jul 29 04:30
Author: Nick

Sexual transgressions are next to murder, in the Mormon Big Book o' Sins; even if you repent of them, a great many transgressors are disfellowshipped, and a fair number excommunicated. And if you know that the only way you're going to get any non-sinful sex is through marriage, that puts even more emphasis on getting married very early. (Of course, there are plenty of Mormons who just learn to be skillful liars, when it comes time for the annual worthiness interviews.)

To make a real dent in the early marriage tradition, the LDS church would not only have to stop pushing that specific practice they would also have to change the way they deal with pre-marital sex.

Subject: My exit interview with mishie prez
Date: Jul 29 10:56
Author: NumLock

He sat me down and told me what my priorities should be after my mission. In exact order they were: 1. temple marriage, 2. having children, 3. getting an education.

I was told that this was instruction directly from the prophet (Kimball at the time).

Anyone else get a similar chat?

Subject: Their focus is on marriage at any time...
Date: Jul 29 11:07
Author: Deenie, the dreaded single adult

I've yet to hear much else (and probably won't now, since I'm outta there) besides tithing...

The RS sisters in our ward were totally jubilant, and holding up to their daughters as an example, a 17-year-old who got married in our ward.


She had been home-schooled, and so had little contact with anyone outside of her immediate family and ward. She went off to some ballet camp, met a guy, dated him a few times, and married him.

To be fair, I'll admit that her mother was a little shaken (not enough to stop it), but the behavior of the other women totally floored me.

I mean, 17?!?!?!?!?!?!

I am nothing like the person I was at 17 (or 18 or 19...).

I think that the church realizes that you are more likely to stay if you "buy into" the whole dream--temple marriage, lots o' kids--get settled, early, into the whole fantasy.

I think that they figure the ones who "stick it out" are worth risking the ones who jump ship.

I think it sounds like a recipe for disaster (and have seen many of them, as Peggy mentioned).

So far, our 17-year-old bride is hanging in there. She's about 20 now (with 2 kids).

Subject: And another thing that sucks .... the feeling of failure if you don't get married soon and young
Date: Jul 29 11:08
Author: effulgent

Being an older single woman in the church for a while, I hated feeling like a failure when I'd see these young couples just hooking up and getting married within months of getting back from missions. I kept thinking, hell, I've been in this ward for years, she comes into this ward and a month later meets a returned missionary?

When I got out of the church, I realized, what it was is that these girls and boys were going out on a handful of dates and marrying their first girlfriend/boyfriend. And that made me sad. Lord knows where I'd be if I had married my first boyfriend.

I lived with a family (rented a room) who consisted of a man and woman who got married very young, and even though they were about 3 years younger than me, already had two kids. She was a convert, he was an RM. At first I envied their life. But then I saw the financial stress they were under, this uneducated man trying to make a living to support a family of four. The mother barely in her mid-20's, was constantly stressed about having to raise these children and be the "perfect Mormon mother." It was the first time I had contact with LDS people on a daily basis, and it was scary to see how many faults they had in their relationship.

It also made me sad to see how they manipulated the system. They lived in an old Victorian home that needed tons of repairs. They'd go and spend hundreds of dollars in paint and wood, and then turn around and get food from the Bishop's storehouse. That branch was a very poor branch. There was a woman who was morbidly obese and who suffered from severe psoriasis, so she couldn't work in her trained profession as a nurse. She'd write her tithing check, and then the branch president would turn around and basically write her the check right back and then some. She was a pet hoarder and had I think about 10 cats and 4-5 dogs, so she was having to support all of those animals with that branch-given money, too.

But I digress.

I think that the pressure for young people to get married is hard all the way around. But it does foster a dependency on the church at a young and vulnerable age, and I guess that's kind of the point.

Subject: Re: And another thing that sucks .... the feeling of failure if you don't get married soon and young
Date: Jul 29 11:20
Author: Soccer_Fan

Also I think that once you are married your life outlook changes.

A married person (especially when kids are involved) have less time to read, explore, and discover who they really are.

When a lot of people are at the age of questioning they way they were brought up etc, the morg throws you into married life. (Forced adulthood) No time to question the cult, just pray and obey.

Also I think it is the same logic that is used for missionaries. One lone missionary might go astray. But if there are always two or more; they will keep tabs on each other.

A TBM wife might keep a straying husband (or vise versa) in line. In short they do not want you to marry the right person they want you to marry the cult.

Subject: Not only is there a FEELING of failure, but--
Date: Jul 29 11:31
Author: Deenie, the dreaded single adult

--they tell you at every turn that you have failed.

You are not fulfilling your eternal destiny as a woman, because you are not giving bodies to all of the waiting little spirits...

It must be something that you're doing---change your hair, your clothes, pretend you have no interests, and so on.

"Any two worthy members of the church should be able to marry and be happy." (AAARRGHHHHH!!!! I *really* hated that one!!!)

"You should marry [insert name of chronically unemployed ward loser, or mentally impaired ward member here]; at least you'd be married, and [person] won't BE handicapped in the CK..."

The extreme pressure and disapproval of my "non-marital status" was one of the big factors in my walking out the door.

Subject: Re: Focus on marriage soon after a mission.
Date: Jul 29 11:51
Author: Michael

Serious question here: it seems (to me, anyway, as a nevermo) that the emphasis in threads like this is regarding the woman who doesn't get married. My question is: as men get older, if they're not married, what is the stigma on them? OR, are there not older single Mormon males who have never been married?

Subject: The pressure is on the men as well.
Date: Jul 29 12:58
Author: tired man

BY said that a single man over 27 is a menace to society. The men are pressured to get married right after there mission and they are supposed to have children while trying to finish school, hold several church callings, and be the sole provider for your family. The women are strongly discouraged from working and to keep the men and women in line on this Timothy 1: 8 and D&C 75:28 are used. Timothy says, "if any provide not for his own...he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

I had the joys of living through this, undergrad and grad school, two demanding church callings, with several little children and a stay-at-home mom. I can't believe what a fool I was.

Subject: Re: The pressure is on the men as well.
Date: Jul 29 13:41
Author: Ryot

The pressure is definitely on the men as well. My TBM RM 21 year old brother got back from his mission this spring, and *just* started dating, while attending BYU. He was really shy in high school, so post-mission is his *first* experience dating at all, and yet he still feels pressure to get married ASAP.

It doesn't help anything that I got married young (I'm his only older sibling). Then again, I also started dating young -- 15, which means at 21 I had 6 years of dating experience my brother doesn't have. I got married at 21 to a NeverMo, and while I definitely feel it was the right time for me, I've been trying to point out to my brother that my husband had just turned 30 when we got married, so its all about when the time is right for you.

My mother has always quoted something to me, which I believe is a quote from an LDS prophet, though I don't know who. Regarding marriage: "The right person, at the right time, in the right place." But I know my brother feels a lot of pressure to get married at least before he's 25 -- and I wouldn't be surprised if he takes that BY quote about single men over the age of 27 to heart. But for his own sake, I hope he gives himself the time to really figure out who he is, who he wants in a life partner, and the time to really get to know the woman before getting married.

Subject: Michael, I would fall into the category you are asking about.
Date: Jul 29 13:02
Author: Fedayken

I was an RM, graduated from BYU without getting married and attended a singles ward in SoCal without getting married. When I moved to the midwest as a single 30 yr old LDS guy who had never been married I was often asked why I did not yet have a wife or children. I would frequently be made to feel like that I was not living up to my covenants by putting off marriage or had to endure the occasional insinuation that I might be a closeted Gay.

I felt pressure both from church and family.

Lucky for me I did it my way and married when I felt I was emotionally mature and ready for it (OK, i'm a slow learner). I do sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have been a father in my 20's but I was so damned clueless in those years I had no business getting married.


Subject: Waiting until you were ready
Date: Jul 29 14:14
Author: Michael

Just out of curiosity, and if it's not prying, at what age did you finally get married?

Also, interesting handle. Are you a Herbert fan?

Subject: Re: Focus on marriage soon after a mission.
Date: Jul 29 12:10
Author: anon

I got married at 17, mostly to get out of the house.

We had three kids by the time I was 21,they were all planned but it was a mistake nevertheless.

My husband was 26 when we married (the oldest of 9 children, so he knew better that to rush into marriage).

I never had to go out and work and we always lived in a nice home, but even with all that, the strain of having three children so young and both of us trying to fulfill church demands took a terrible toll on my happiness.

It is insanity for the church to tell people that lots of kids will cause happiness when all they do is put a strain on marriages. The same goes for church work.

Luckily, we both saw that having more children would make thing worse, not better, so we quit producing, lol.

When the youngest was 12 I went back to school and became a registered nurse. There was opposition in our ward and pressure to have more kids but by that time we had learned to ignore that crap.

Me becoming more self-sufficient brought a better power balance to our relationship. I don't care what the church says, it's not very healthy for a woman to be too dependent on a man, even if he is very kind.

I don't have any advise against marrying young but having children too soon is a definite mistake.

Don't do it!

What saved our marriage was going AGAINST church counsel.

Oh, and leaving the church also contributed to having a happier life.

Subject: Criminally irresponsible
Date: Jul 29 12:42
Author: Billy Madison

Pressuring 21-year-old guys to marry and have kids as soon as possible is irresponsible from virtually every angle.

As a general rule...

21-year-old guys are not financially secure, and have no prospect of being so for at least another five years.

21-year-old guys are not emotionally prepared to be fathers.

21-year-old guys--especially in the Morg--have not dated enough girls to know what kind of girl will really make them happy. Furthermore, an RM has just spent the last two years suppressing his sex drive while living with another dude 24/7. He's desperate for ANY opportunity to let off some of that steam, and this makes him more likely to marry the first girl who comes along.

And finally, the most important reason:

Really, though...I'm 21 (almost), without a girlfriend, and I see no reason to marry anytime soon. Yeah, I'm lonely a lot of the time, but I'm also FREE to do whatever the hell I want. If I decided to pack up all my things right this second and move to the North Pole, I could do it without hurting anyone. That freedom is precious to me.

I intend to go through all of college as a bachelor. No wife, no kids, no chains--just casual dating, studying, and playing illegal but harmless pranks with my friends. Hehehe...

I feel bad for my TBM friends who got suckered.

Subject: I must have done something right...
Date: Jul 29 12:53
Author: Bright Aqua

My TBM, RM, 24-year-old son is not married, not particularly looking, and not obsessing about it. He's living in Utah (we're Californians) while attending school (U of U - yay!) and doesn't care for Utah and the morgbots.

His mish prez actually told him that marriage would happen when it was "time". Son realizes that education and ability to help support a family is more important. If he could just see his way out of the morg...

Subject: What About Pre-Marital Counseling?
Date: Jul 29 13:24
Author: yes I'm from Utah -- NO I'M NOT MORMON

I was married when I was 24. My husband and I had both graduated from college and I was in Grad School. We dated for a year before getting married. The minister who married us required 2 months of pre-marital counseling. We talked about things like finances, education goals, children, child-rearing styles, sex (gasp), and division of household duties.

I feel like some of that really helped prepare us for marriage. Before we even got married a lot of big decisions were made, like how many kids we wanted and when we would have them. We waited 6 years to have a baby, and I'm so glad we did. I feel prepared now.

My TBM MIL was shocked that we had to go through counseling before we could get married. She had never heard of it before. I doubt many mormons even talk about things before they get married. My MIL talks about it once in awhile and thinks that the pre-marital counseling was a good idea. Our marriage has lasted 5 years longer than hers did. I know some of her TBM friends want to see us fail, since my DH was ex-communicated from the moron church. Too bad.

Subject: My mission president said, "within two years."
Date: Jul 29 13:36
Author: Mujun

At a zone conference a few months before I went home, the mission president was standing around talking to a few missionaries and mentioned something about a wedding announcement from someone who had gone home recently. I told him that it was my goal to be the last person in the mission from whom he would receive a wedding announcement.

He looked puzzled, then said, "as long as it's within two years."

I ended up getting married a little over four years after my mission. I was 26, and probably at the young end of the age range where it makes any sense to get married.

Oh, by the way, I remembered that I didn't like the mission president very much, so I didn't send him an announcement.

Subject: The "Brethren" have one goal in mind, perpetuating the morg...
Date: Jul 29 13:53
Author: Roger Woodford

... they couldn't care less about individual welfare. So if people can crank out babies at the fastest possible rate (at the most fertile ages) that is enough for them.

And it is made into a duty, so there is guilt involved in not doing it.

Subject: Re: Focus on marriage soon after a mission.
Date: Jul 29 14:01
Author: mike

So true! I regret rushing into a marriage, myself being 24, and my fiance being barely 19. We married within 4 months of meeting each took eleven years and lots of pain to realize that we were mostly incompatible with each other. I am now all for long engagements.

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