Unmarried, Still Children

Joan Frawley Desmond on Children Who’ve Been Raised for Everything but Marriage

Recently, a friend described an exchange between a mother and her son, a senior at a top university. He wanted to marry his long-time girlfriend. His mother retorted that she was more ambitious for him than his girlfriend was; she advised him to avoid an “early” marriage that might limit his options.

Another friend confided to me that he had counseled his high-school-age daughter to establish a decade’s worth of graduate school and career development before marrying. Marriage would complicate the task of achieving financial independence. And he just wasn’t sure that men could be . . .

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Joan Frawley Desmond is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and three children in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is a recent graduate of the John Paul II Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family.

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