Bonnie Fuller: Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth: Don’t Rush Into Marriage

Miley and Liam, we’re all really happy for you on your engagement, but since you’re both so young, why don’t you have a long engagement? It will make your love last!

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, marriage is a serious business, and if you’re planning to stay married for a lifetime, then it’s a very long business!

That’s why there’s no need to rush down the aisle. It’s lovely that you both feel ready to make the ultimate commitment to each other even though you’re only 19 and 22, respectively. But no matter how mature you are for your ages, you are still young and, unfortunately, the statistics on young marriages surviving are stacked against you.

That’s why I and other experts can honestly advise you to enjoy your love, enjoy your time together, enjoy your commitment and even enjoy living together — but don’t tie the knot for at least a couple of years.

You both want to get to know each other inside and out, and through the difficult and challenging situations that will come your way.

Whether you realize it or not, you are still growing and maturing, becoming full adults.

It can be the very best and luckiest thing in the world to find the love of your life at an early age. Who wouldn’t want that to happen? Why should anyone have to spend years and years searching for “the one?”

Miley, you were only 16 when you first met Liam on the set of the movie The Last Song, that you starred in together. Liam, you were 19.

It’s wonderful to be able to grow up together and be best friends, as long as you keep growing in the same ways as you grow.

That may absolutely happen. It does for some couples. But statistics actually show that 60 percent of all couples that marry between 20 and 25 end up divorcing, compared to 50 percent of all other marriages ending in divorce, so you will have to put effort into your relationship to make sure you don’t end up as one of those statistics.

And you have to realize that with both of you being big Hollywood stars, there will be unique pressure on your relationship. You will be torn apart for weeks — even months — by work commitments. You both will easily meet or be thrown together with other attractive and eligible people. You will have to be deeply committed to your own relationship to fend off the temptation of other exciting potential romances that will absolutely come your way.

You also have to be prepared to weather the ups and downs of your individual careers. There’s no question that, at times, one of you will have a hotter career than the other. Will you both be able to be equally supportive and sympathetic during those times, when one of you may be red-hot and the other may not?

In your Hollywood world, that may be your biggest challenge of all!

I can also tell you from experience — I’ve been married 29 years — that marriage, every marriage, is tough, no matter how much you love each other.

You will have ridiculous fights and misunderstandings. You will get annoyed by your other half. You will have moments where you will think you’d be better off without your mate. And that you made a mistake to commit yourself to the person who is driving you crazy, or being insensitive, or being selfish or is taking you for granted or who isn’t helping enough with the kids, etc.

But I can also tell you that if you marry the right person, you will get over all that — and most of the time, you’ll just feel so lucky and in love.

Nevertheless, if you don’t marry the right person, marriage can be total hell; and going through a divorce is a nightmare you do not want to have to experience. You already had a glimpse of the potential agony of divorce when Miley’s parents, Tish and Billy Ray, separated for a time.

In any case, would it hurt to wait before you walk down the aisle? Would it be so hard to have a long engagement?

“I think they’re starting marriage on the wrong foot,” says psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere, contributor to “Studies show that people who marry at the age of 19 and under have a much higher chance of getting divorced within a couple of years. I recommend they stay engaged for four or five years and get married in their mid 20s. … They should see by that time, if it’s still holding together.”

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