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Russell Wilson's divorce: Did he marry too young?

On Wednesday April 23, 2014, the Seattle Seahawks announced that star quarterback Russell Wilson filed for divorce from Ashton Meem. Wilson and Meem were high school sweethearts from Virginia who married on January 14, 2012. According to Richmond Times-Dispatch, Meem transferred from UGA to follow Wilson to school at North Carolina State University, where Wilson played quarterback for three years.

Russell Wilson just filed for divorce from Ashton Meem according to an announcement from the Seattle Seahawks.
Photo by Frederick M. Brown

Wilson later transferred to play football for the Wisconsin Badgers after his NC State coach allegedly wanted him to give up baseball. A pro-level athlete in two sports, Wilson was drafted by Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies and is set to sign a big contract with Seattle after winning the Super Bowl earlier this year. Currently Wilson earns the NFL's lowest salary for a starting quarterback. (Source)

Wilson is 25 and his estranged wife is 26. The host of "New Day Northwest", a Seattle morning show, quipped about how young the pair were when Meem visited in November 2013 to discuss Wilson's career and their relationship. In the video: "Getting to know Ashton Wilson", Meem speaks of her infamous draft day reaction that went viral and how she buys Wilson's favorite salted caramels before games.

Could the pair's uncoupling be due to their early marriage? Is Wilson desiring the life of a hot young Super Bowl champion quarterback?

What does age have to do with a marriage's longevity?

Wilson was only 23 when he married Meem. Does youth play a role in the couple's impending divorce?

Many experts have theorized that people who marry later in life tend to stay together for the long haul. One could imagine that by a certain age people have sown their oats and established themselves in a stable manner suitable for long-term commitment. Marrying before the age of 25 may likely influence a couple's decision to divorce, but it does not determine the health of the relationship.

Research has shown that marital instability actually increases when first marriages occur after age 30, though the couples tend to stay married. In a September 2013 follow up to the 1977 study, "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," by Gary S. Becker, Elisabeth M. Landes, Robert T. Michael, researchers Evelyn Lehrer and Yu Chen concluded that the "poor-match effect" was more to blame for marital instability than age. Being older, apparently means people are more willing to stay together than go their separate ways. (Source)

Age seemingly impacts "stick-with-it-ness" more than anything. In your twenties you may have developed few conflict-resolution skills. Conflict-resolution aptitude is a key element to having a healthy long-lasting relationship, no matter your age.

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