Misaligned Young Marriage
Two people marry in their teens or early twenties but it doesn't work out.
Once upon a time, it was normal and actually expected for people to marry in their early twenties or even as young as their preteens. In a time where life expectancies were low and many mothers died during childbirth, getting married while they were young and fertile was the best option for most adults. Within the last 100 years or so, however, this tradition has fallen by the wayside, especially in western countries. The need to get married as soon as possible is no longer an issue for many people. Courtship periods typically last years before an engagement occurs. If anything, getting married too young is seen as rash or a waste of youth. People are expected to have a few years of freedom and self-discovery before being tied into a committed marriage. This trope is what happens when characters get married young, however it doesn't turn out as they had hoped. Maybe two teens feel they're meant for each other and marry as soon as legally possible. A few years after marriage, however, they realize that wasn't such a good idea. They thought they were the perfect couple, but it was just young love and they ultimately grew apart. Or maybe, they feel constrained by their marriage and want to go out and live their lives. It's even more troublesome when a child is involved. Maybe they aren't ready for kids or don't even want kids. This type of marriage can end up in multiple ways. The couple can end up staying in a strained marriage, other times they get divorced, while often times the father simply runs off. This also occurs with mothers, however it's more common for the dad. Also see Shotgun Wedding and Fourth Date Marriage. Contrast with One True Love and First Girl Wins.
Examples:Anime & Manga
- Ash's Disappeared Dad hasn't been discussed much in the Pokémon anime, however the novels Pocket Monsters The Animation went into detail on him and Delia's relationship. The books were written by the lead director of the Kanto arc, Takeshi Shudo, however are only semi-canon as they contradict the anime multiple times. According to the book, Delia's mom married Ash's dad in her teens and ended up giving birth to Ash at nineteen. Ash's dad however ran off one day on a Pokemon journey and never came back, likely failing (like many trainers) but still refusing to return home.
- The art book to Treasure Planet explains that this is why Jim's dad ran off. He married the then-seventeen year old Sarah when he was nineteen, who ended up pregnant not soon afterwards, but ended up feeling confined in his marriage as he wasn't ready for a wife and children yet. Despite Jim trying to please his dad, he was very distant towards Jim. One day when Jim was eight he ran off for good. Jim hoped for years that he'd come back home however he ultimately realized his dad was gone for good. This led to Jim becoming a bitter and angry teenager, especially at himself for not being good enough for his dad.
- Subverting this is one of the plot points in Frozen. Barely eighteen-year old Anna meets twenty-three year old Hans and they decide within a few hours of meeting to get married. Everyone else believes this to be a terrible idea, especially since they only just met. They end up calling off the engagement once Hans' true nature comes out and he reveals he was just using Anna to get access to the Arendelle throne.
- Nick Hurley from Flashdance exploited the All Girls Want Bad Boys allure to latch onto a rich heiress, and rise from the Wrong Side of the Tracks to a construction mogul. However, Nick never felt comfortable with the hoi polloi, and he has divorced Kate years ago. This almost derailed his romance with protagonist Alex Owens when Alex saw Nick with Kate at an opera gala. Nick later explained that this rendezvous was just making nice-nice with his ex, since both are members of the Philadelphia Arts Council.
- Rick and Morty has this for Beth and Jerry, with the added complication that they married shortly after Jerry got Beth pregnant. Fast forward 17 years, and they have a very strained relationship that teeters on a divorce every so often.
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