Are The Odds Of Hailey And Justin Bieber Divorcing Higher Due To Their “Insanely Young” Marriage?

Are The Odds Stacked Against Hailey And Justin Bieber’s “Insanely Young” Marriage?

Even though divorce rates are falling, more and more people are opting out of marriage completely, and marrying young is becoming a thing of the past — but for Hailey Bieber, getting married at a young age is working out well so far.  

She married Justin Bieber back in 2018 when she was barely of legal drinking age and knows that most people her age would have thought her crazy. 

"I mean, I was married when I was 21, two months before I turned 22, which is insanely young," the model told Elle magazine.

Justin Bieber was 24 at the time. He had made it clear from a young age that he intended to marry well before his 30s. 

Since their quiet courthouse ceremony in New York City and lavish star-studded wedding party a year later, the pair have been an almost picture-perfect example of a healthy partnership. 

But the Biebers are one of a rapidly decreasing number of couples marrying in their early 20s. So what does it really mean to marry young in today’s world? 

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The Biebers are going against the grain of what most people their age are doing.

Millennials are waiting longer and longer to tie the knot these days. The majority of couples aged between 25 and 34 date for an average of 6 years before marrying. 

And that’s if they do it at all. Rates of marriage for Americans over the age of 18 are down by 8% since 1990. Some reports even indicate that by the time most millennials get to age 40, just 70% of them will be married, in comparison to 90% of Boomers and 82% of Gen Xers.

Young people are possibly becoming more cynical about marriage, or at least more cynical about marrying young. 

They’re watching a large portion of marriages end in divorce and biding their time before they walk down the aisle. They’re less attached to organized religion, burdened by debt, and linked to endless potential partners on social media, making marriage less of a priority. 

Life and marriage coach Mitzi Bockmann spoke to us about how young people these days have more options outside of marriage, making a union difficult to find and maintain. 

“As opposed to their parents, who might have married someone local, for young people, the whole wide world is out there, at their fingertips, and with that comes the temptation to seek greener grass, which could end a marriage quickly,” she says.

In the past, the Biebers wouldn’t have been considered “insanely young” as Hailey puts it. If anything, they were above the average age. 

As recently as 1970, the median age of marriage was 23 for men and 20.8 for women. 

But as more and more young people seek out college education, travel, careers and more, marriage is being pushed further into their futures 

People nowadays want more before marriage, or at least that's what many assume when they attempt to explain the declining marriage rates. 

For those who do choose to say ‘I do’ at a young age, the changing landscape of marriage and life in general makes vows harder to keep.

One survey of 1,162 married respondents ages 20 to 29 revealed that a sizable minority of 17% said they regret marrying young and have thought about divorce. Meanwhile, 19% said they have thought about cheating on their spouse.

It’s no secret that being older and more experienced can cause people to think differently about the decisions they made in the past. 

Hailey Bieber is aware of that too. “[It] sounds almost ridiculous when you say it out loud,” she says about marrying young. “I learn new things about him and about myself and about our relationship all the time.”

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That said, some of the major driving factors for divorce are financial issues, diverging career paths and simply wanting different things as time goes on. 

These reasons are hard to apply to two young millionaires who did more with their careers by 22 than most people do in a lifetime. 

This changed the way the couple approached marriage. “I do think for somebody like me and somebody like Justin, [it's different],” Bieber says. “We've seen a lot for our age. We have both lived enough life to know that's what we wanted."

Bockmann says this mutual understanding is key to a successful marriage. She tells us young marriage will be most successful, “if they are getting married because they love and respect their person rather than money, or familial or social pressure or a need for someone else to complete them.”

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Maybe having fame, fortune, and youth on their side will be the Biebers’ ticket to a lasting marriage 

The pair were building their careers since they were teenagers and perhaps don’t have the same odds stacked against them as other couples. 

But Hollywood couples aren’t exactly famous for standing the test of time, and other celebrities who tied the knot young have had mixed success. 

Leaving out some of the more hasty marriages like Britney Spears’s 55-hour marriage when she was 22, most young celebrity marriages don’t make it past the 10-year mark. 

Megan Fox and Brian Austen Green married when she was 24, but filed for divorce in 2020. Kate Hudson wed Chris Robinson at 21 but went their separate ways 7 years later. 

Some more positive examples include "The Hills" Spencer Pratt marrying Heidi Montag in 2008 when she was 22, and they appear to be going strong. Likewise, Taylor Hanson married his childhood sweetheart when he was 18 and has remained married for almost two decades. 

Faith and religion is a somewhat influential factor for these two couples as it is for the Biebers. They make up part of the statistics that say Christian couples are much more likely to marry young than non-religious groups but contrary to popular belief, religious couples are not any less likely to divorce

No statistics or figures can truly predict the outcome of a marriage, and Bockmann says there is only one way to maintain a lasting relationship.  

“I think that the number one thing that can help young people stay happily married is to communicate - about their feelings, about money, sex, work, friends, whatever - so that the green grass won't be so tempting.”

With that, Bieber is confident that the critics can’t undermine the foundations she and Justin have built. Young or not, she plans for them to go the distance.  

“The two of us are grounded by our faith,” she says “I'm not saying it's this easy-peasy thing that doesn't take work. We talk to a therapist. We do what we have to do."

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment.