In medieval England, and at other points in world history, marriage was less an institution to promote family values than it was a tool used by the aristocracy to consolidate power. Accordingly, it was not uncommon for women to be wed soon after they were capable of bearing children, often in their early teens. In modern society, this has changed drastically. The goals of marriage have been updated to such things as starting a family and building a life with a treasured partner. The average age of first marriage has also changed significantly.
According to the US Census, the median age of women marrying for the first time was 26.1 years old as of 2010. This is in stark contrast to the perceived conservative era of the 1950s, when the median age was 20.3. With women increasingly being educated and working high paying jobs, there is opportunity for women to survive without relying upon a husband to earn a paycheck.
There are significant portions of the population, however, that get married early. Sometimes these marriages work, but there is a correlation between marrying young and divorce. The divorce rate decreases as the age at first marriage increases. There could be many reasons why this is true: women become more educated in those years, women better understand what they want when they are more mature and experienced, and so on. For one woman, finding herself divorced at age 22 was not a revelation, but instead an important learning experience.
Ashlee Henry recently posted her story to Huffington Post Divorce’s “This Is Divorce at…” series, examining individual divorce experiences at various ages. Her post, “What It’s Like to Be Divorced at 22 – And Remarried by 27,” tells her story of young love, marriage to a military man, and her shattered misconceptions. “If anyone had ever told me, ‘Ashlee, you will be married twice well before you are 30’ when I was younger, I probably just would have laughed it off.” Lest you feel sorry for Ashlee, though, she affirms that the experience had a positive impact. “Although at times it might seem terrifying, it is in reality anything but,” she writes. “In fact, it’s empowering.”
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Those who read Ashlee’s post in its entirety will likely be struck by her maturity and her ability to persevere through adversity. They, too, should take away the message that divorce, though painful and messy, is not the end. It can, in fact, be the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in life. If you are contemplating divorce, a knowledgeable and sympathetic divorce attorney in Illinois can help ease your way into your new life. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC today for a consultation.
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