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Dilemma Of Late Marriage


“Why marry late? Must be choosy in selecting partner…?”

“Has high education, good job and high pay…pitiful, not yet married…”

“Hmm…At 35, just married?

“Aren’t you afraid it will be difficult to conceive? When you marry late, fertility will decrease.”

Those are some of the common statements that are usually heard by individuals who marry late in life. The emotion of individuals who marry late might be impacted by those statements stated above.

There are two categories of individual who falls into the discussion of dilemma marrying late; individual who is still single and individual who marry at a later age which does not conform to the expected age of marriage in a particular society. Thus, we should scrutinize two situations in the dilemma of late marriage:

  1. Single individual who is not married
  2. Individual who marries at later age


The issue of late marriage has to be explained within the context of socio cultural and psychological issues.

The dilemma of late marriage could be defined as conflict that arises when an individual does not conform to the marriageable age as expected by the particular society.

Phenomena/Latest Trend

Statistics On Women, Family and Community Malaysia 2014 publishes the mean age at first marriage in Malaysia in 2010 among men is 28 years old and women is 25.7 years old.

Below is the table showing the statistics of minimum age at first marriage in Malaysia:


Why It Happens?

Research by National Population and Family Development Board, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development has identified three main factors of why individual marrying late. Among the factors are:

  • Unstable economic status
  • No suitable candidate
  • Putting career as priority

Effects of Late Marriage

Soll (2003) in Marriage Today article discusses the effects of late marriage trend. The effects mention by Soll in the article are:

  1. Individual who marries at a later age is prone to be choosier as the circle of suitable candidate is limited
  2. The risk of infertility and difficult to conceive is among the worrying issue of individuals who marry at a later age. The feeling of failure might occur especially among women due to the difficulty to conceive
  3. Individual who marries at a later age is also prone to depression as the feeling of loneliness and anxiety creeps in the life
  4. Individual who marries late is unable to cherish the benefits of marriage. In general, the benefits of marriage are:
  5. having soulmate to share ups and downs of life
  6. satisfying emotional and  physical needs by having companionship and love

Psychological Intervention

Psychological intervention is recommended to individual who experiences high depressive and anxiety symptoms which affect the daily life functioning.

The issue of depression and/or anxiety related to dilemma of late marriage could be intervened by modifying or enhancing individual’s coping skills.

Components of coping skill that could be focused are:

  1. Emotion-focused coping skill. For instance; praying, share feelings and indulge oneself in healthy activities
  2. Solution-focused coping skill. For instance; seek social support, assessment and intervention from the expert and take initiative to find alternatives in managing the issue at hand

Constructive coping skills are important for the individuals to deal and manage with the stress related to the issue of late marriage. The failure to deal with this particular stress might lead to prolong depression and anxiety.

You are highly encouraged to get further assessment and specific intervention from Psychiatrist and/or Psychologist for the level and symptoms of depression and anxiety that you are having due to the dilemma of late marriage issues.


  1. Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat:Perangkaan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat Malaysia 2014. Retrieved from http://www.kpwkm.gov.my
  2. Jadual 5.5: Jadual Min Perkahwinan Pertama, Malaysia. Retrieved Aug 24, 2015 from http://www.kpwkm.gov.my
  3. Abdul Rahman, Muhamad Rafiq (Julai 2011). Laporan Khas:Mengapa Mereka Kahwin Lewat?.Dewan Masyarakat. Retrieved Aug 24, 2015, from http://infolib.bernama.com/doc/mag/640.pdf
  4. Soll,Lindsay.(2003).Marriage Today.Retrieved August 30,2015 from http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/spring03/soll/cons.htm
  5. Macleod,Saul.(2015).Stress Management. Retrieved September 1,2015 from http://www.simplypsychology.org/stress-management.html
Last Reviewed : 5 Januari 2017
Writer / Translator : Pn. Noor Hafiza bt. Abdul Halim
Accreditor : Tn. Hj. Hairol Kamal b. Abdul Rahman