The thirties are often a time of “wanting to be something more or something different.” The pressure from family, culture, and peers is not as strong. One woman said, “A lot of things happened to me when I turned thirty. I was trying to take care of myself, trying to get my head clear about what I wanted.”
As was mentioned earlier, it should come as no surprise (though siblings are surprised) that our brothers and sisters influence how we relate to the opposite sex. They teach us about what guys want and what women want. Just ask a female friend what she learned from her brother. And ask a male friend what he learned from his sister. You might find the answers surprising, even funny. (“I learned all about hair stuff and girls with their periods.” Or, “I learned that guys don’t talk about their feelings as easily as girls. And I learned that guys are often much more competitive.”)
A Short Quiz with No Right or Wrong Answers:
Your Chance for Marriage by Age and Gender
Married by 20 – Women: 13%, Men: 7%
Married by 25 – Women: 44%, Men: 31%
Married by 30 – Women: 68%, Men: 56%
Married by 35 – Women: 78%, Men: 71%
Married by 40 – Women: 84%, Men: 78%
How Do Marriage Odds Today Compare to the Past?
Compared to women in 2002:
Married by age 20 – 4% less likely today
Married by age 25 – 8% less likely today
Married by age 30 – 5% less likely today
Married by age 35 – 3% less likely today
Married by age 40 – 2% less likely today
When Siblings Marry
You may not be surprised that two-thirds of the siblings interviewed in, what was at the time, one of the few studies of young- and middle-adult siblings, said that the marriages of their brothers and sisters detracted from their relationship. They felt their sibling had “married down.” Or they simply didn’t like a sibling’s spouse or were not liked by him/her.
It is not uncommon for a brother’s or sister’s marriage to significantly alter the dynamics between siblings. Early adulthood, the time in which many marriages occur, represents a rite of passage from the inner turmoil of late adolescence to the tasks of preparing for a lifework and forming intimate relationships outside of the family. Doing what we “should”—largely defined by family models, culture, and the prejudices of our peers—often instructs us to get married and settle down, to start our own family. For some siblings, these moves toward independence dictate a move away from the close connections with brothers and sisters. For others, the insecurity and/or jealously of a sibling’s spouse forces a wedge between them.
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