February 18, 2011 - submitted by Laura, Italy

"I've got a problem concerning my friend. She's been dating this guy for about a year and she's 19 years old. She's currently planning her wedding.
I'd like to be happy for her, but I'm afraid that she's rushing into this. I don't feel like I can just watch her get married with someone she might not know well enough and possibly end up miserable in a marriage she can't get out of (her faith doesn't approve divorce).
What should I do? She's too in love to listen to the reasons not to get married. Should I just ignore possible problems and go shop for a wedding gift? Laura"

The Oracle replies:

It's extremely difficult to be on the outside looking in and feel like you can see more clearly from there. Your friend may only be 19 and only have known this man for a year - which probably feels like long enough to both of them in their love for each other - but it's her decision, her life and her mistake to make IF it turns out to be one.
The thing is Laura, you ask if you should ignore the "possible" problems which identifies that there aren't any at the moment; you're projecting into a future YOU expect. I do agree with you as I would feel the same trepidation if a friend of mine seemed to be rushing into such a huge commitment at such a young age but maybe it's us being cynical. In your shoes I would get involved with the planning and support her. However I'd both acknowledge and own my feelings by telling her how I think I'd feel in her shoes, that I don't think I would ever be able to do what she's doing for all the reasons I feel. You have to remember this is what she wants or at least thinks she wants so try to just accept whatever she decides and be her friend no matter what happens. Buy a present.
Over to you...

You said your friend is a person with a strong faith and conservative, I guess she might be doing this because she wants to live her relationship as people usually do and her faith wouldn't allow her without being married. And besides that she is sure that her boyfriend is the one and that he feels the same way about her.
Although it can be a big mistake for her (because getting to know someone really well takes years), for the things you said I think there's nothing you can do to avoid it. You can talk to her, as you already did, but it's more likely that she stays in the same position. Sometimes the best you can do, besides talking and advising your loved ones, is letting them make their own mistakes so they can learn.
I know people who got married being really young (at 18, 19), who advised me not to do the same; to get to know the other person better. But in this case your friend is very attached to her faith (I'm sure her boyfriend too), and maybe things can work in a different way for her. She has a different vision of the world. Maybe she's ready to renounce to certain things we can do at this age and embrace an adult life and things work for her.
This may be hard for you, because it means you'll spend less time with her or won't do some things that you are used to do together anymore. But you two will still be friends and will still be able to spend time together. You are gonna have to accept her decision, though you are not happy with it. So buy her a present :) and be there if she has any trouble.
Love from Argentina. Noelia

My friend married her husband when they knew each other for 6 months. I knew it was rather soon but I was happy for them because she was happy. Divorce rates are going up period, there's always a chance no matter how old she is or how long they have been together.
My advice for you is to be there for her. I wouldn't express to her that you think it's too soon, unless she asks you. Support her through her decision and if she ends up getting divorce, don't think you could have stopped it. Everyone takes a different path in life.
I wish the best for you and your friend and I wish them a happy marriage. Caitlin

Ok, I got two thoughts: first, your friend is too young to get married and second, one year is not enough to know a person, but I think you know that. If she didn't listen to you, maybe you should let her realize about what she is doing. You know your friend's boyfriend? You know how is he? A great guy or someone you don't marry? Maybe he is the right guy, or maybe not. If you think that he shouldn't marry your friend, talk to her, about the life of a wife and how difficult it could be. Also, you know what her parents think? Sometimes they have the best opinion, and you should follow their thoughts, because parents want the best for their daughter. I hope this could be useful for you, and whatever happens to your friend, remember that you tried do the best for her. Very luck, sorry if my English is too bad. Trini.

A year isn't a very long time at all, so I understand why you might be concerned. Your friend really does need to think hard before she goes through with this though. I think you are right in trying to talk to her about this, and how you feel (are your feelings shared with his and her family?) Weddings are exciting and crazy at the same time, so make sure that you're there for her if those plans continue. Mindy

It is very thoughtful of you to share your honest concerns with your friend. If you have presented your argument against her marriage and she still hasn't changed her mind, then odds are more persuasive conjecture won't help your cause. Trying to make someone do something they don't want to do (especially when they are in love) is near impossible. As hard as it may be, you should be supportive of her decision and wish her well in her time of happiness. Blake

As the old adage says 'act in haste, repent in leisure'. There's really nothing you can or should do to prevent your friend from planning a wedding. It I doesn't sound to me like she's actually engaged, so let her dream! If she does get married so young, then she will obviously have to live with the decision. I hope that whatever her faith is that there is some sort of marriage counselling before the final vows are spoken. Sometimes girls are more in love with the idea of being married than in love with the person whom they marry. If your friend has any sense at all, she will wake up one day and realize herself that she's making a mistake. That's when you step in to give you guidance and support. That said, don't let her walk down that aisle if she has any doubts at all. If she believes she's doing the right thing, you have to let her make her own mistakes. Joanne

Thank you once again for all your input.
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