Letter to Editor for The Star, a Malaysia-based newspaper.
Early marriage can lead to social problems [original article can be accessed here.]
I REFER to the article “Teen held for beating up wife” (The Star, Sept 23) which reported that a 19-year-old husband assaulted his wife.
I would say that such problems arise because teenagers are simply not ready to be married. Early marriage can lead to negative consequences that lead to domestic violence.
Even adults suffer from the occasional marriage stress, let alone teenagers who are immature and unprepared for married life.
For the young man, being married should mean being ready to fulfil the responsibilities as head of the house. For the young woman, marriage should mean being ready to play the role of a mother.
Teenagers, at their age, are seeking new experiences and a brighter future. Getting married at an early age prevents them from doing so and hence the problems.
Good education is essential in shaping mature and responsible individuals. In most cases, early marriages leave the young couples with no choice but to sacrifice their education. They need to look for jobs in order to put food on the table and as a result, they are burdened with commitments while giving up the opportunity to expand their knowledge through education.
No doubt, there are situations where marriage appears to be the best option. Some tie the knot due to pregnancy while others get married to raise their social status. However, doing so at the expense of a quality life is certainly not healthy.
I believe parents play a major role in such situation. As guardians, parents should guide their children in distinguishing between right and wrong.
If we want a crime-free society, reducing domestic violence will be a good start, and one way to do so will be to reduce early marriages.
Shah Alam, Selangor.