I don’t watch Teen Mom 2, Teen Mom, or 16 and Pregnant, and yet it doesn’t shock me to read that a star of the former has filed for divorce after just six months of marriage.
The estranged couple, Leah Messer, 18, and Corey Simms, 20, dated for a month before they found out they were expecting. They broke up before their twin daughters, now 16 months old, were born. When the girls were six months old, the couple reunited, moved into together weeks later and got engaged shortly thereafter.
For older couples more grounded in actual reality and not in the MTV spotlight, that kind of timeline would be enough to spell disaster without a pregnancy or newborn(s). But this couple was super young in the first place — mostly just kids themselves, really, when one of the biggest event in anyone’s life happened to them, and then they took on many other major steps, namely co-habitation, engagement and marriage — in rapid fire succession. Is it any surprise things didn’t work out?
It seemed to be one thing for kids of our parent’s generation to get married out of high school or college and have kids of their own right away, particularly because that was usually without having a baby on board first. I don’t know the statistics these days, but I can’t imagine that many relationships that get on the fast track in high school and include a baby (or more than one) have a terrific chance at Happily Ever After.
When I hear stories about young marriages from my parent’s generation, oftentimes the men joined the military at a young age, finished college or had otherwise solid career prospects. From the little I’ve read about Messer and Simms, part of the goal was still hanging out with friends, only with more money to blow thanks to their ‘jobs” as reality TV “stars.” The whole thing seemed like a predictable recipe for disaster. Say what you will about Bristol Palin, but at least she had the good sense to know a marriage to her son’s father was not going to work out before they exchanged wedding rings.
Also not surprising is that Messer’s mom was also married young (age 16), and she watched her parents subsequently get divorced, remarried and divorced again. So often kids do what they know. And while there are more and more reports that MTV’s shows about pregnant, underage and unwed teens is helping to prevent other teen pregnancies, let’s hope that something good comes out of this divorce, and other parents so young realize they don’t need to disrupt their kids’ lives anymore by forcing a marriage that has little chance at success.
Do you think there’s an age that is simply too young and immature for a successful marriage?