Although the legal age to marry in Spain is 18 years old, perhaps your adolescent son / daughter at 16 is already planning to marry when he or she reaches the age of majority. This can be quite an important concern for parents, who know what marriage means, the struggle it entails, and that their child is too immature to make this decision responsibly and not so impulsively.
A LITTLE HISTORY
In Ancient Rome, people did not marry because they were in love, but rather to continue the family lineage, for economic or political reasons. The girls who were under the jurisdiction of their parents, used to marry between 12 and 14 years by agreements between the parents. Boys used to get married at 14 years old too.
During the Middle Ages, the practice of marriages between adolescent ages continued to be done and they were married at approximately 14 years of age. Although of course, in these times life expectancy was much lower than current life expectancy.
In general, men used to wait until their 20s or 30s, but women did marry as a teenager. The normal thing was that a man married with 24 years and women, with 16. From 1400, men used to marry at 30 with 15-year-old girls. The girls who had more money got married earlier than the girls who were poor.
This trend has been changing over the centuries and with the evolution of society. Today, society does not accept or see normal for a teenager to get married. Above all, because its cognitive and emotional capacity is known for sure, now much more is known about the human mind and evolution than centuries ago and decisions can be made conscientiously.
STATISTICS ON TEEN MARRIAGE
Why are so many people against teen marriage? It is believed that more than half of people who marry in adolescence will divorce before they are 20 years old. In fact, the statistics show it. As if that were not enough, girls who marry as adolescents have a higher risk of illiteracy, economic dependence, less experience in life and work and of living in poverty levels because they cannot carve out a professional future.
Although it is true that not all teen marriage statistics are so grim. There are also teenagers who marry while in love and who do not end in divorce, but have a full life together and for life.
WHAT SHOULD YOUR ADOLESCENT KNOW BEFORE SAYING ‘I DO’
You will have to talk to your teenager and ask him why he wants to get married. If your reasons include that you want to leave home, because you have become pregnant, or because you want to ‘tie’ your partner to your side forever … then you must not marry under any circumstances. These reasons are red flags and are not valid for getting married. Marriage is wanting to do it and not ‘have to’.
Getting married takes away from parents yes, but it also brings many responsibilities in life. Adolescents will have to know about family finances, have a stable home, have a job that provides them money and be able to live, know how to do the shopping, cook, clean, make important decisions, have a good relationship with the in-laws, continue education and if you have children, in addition to all of the above, be able to take care of your children and have good communication with your partner at all times. An adolescent who wants to get married must be able to do everything commented in this paragraph in a responsible manner.