A local woman who got married at 19 and again at 61 tells us why she believes it’s better to get married when you’re older


When Rose Willer got married for the first time at the age of 19 she was in love and it was perceived as taboo for a 21-year-old not to be married, so she followed the traditional route and tied the knot. 

She was married to her first husband for 30 years and had two children from her marriage but when things just didn’t work out, the two parted ways and remained friends. After her divorce, she stayed single for 11 years. 

READ MORE: Here’s why so many marriages don’t make it past 10 years, plus 3 divorced women share why they wish they had walked away sooner

Rose is now newly married to Dean Willer (53) who she dated for 6 years before tying the knot in 2016. But the marriage only happened after Rose initially declined the first proposal from Dean – she felt they were not ready for marriage at the time. 

Now the newly wed says she’s learnt that it’s best to take as much time as you need getting to know the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with than to jump blindly into marriage. 

“I wanted to heal enough first before getting into my second marriage. And, for Dean to be sure of what he wanted. I refused to give half of my heart to someone. So, I turned him down on his first proposal,” shares the East London resident.

“Sometimes when things are rosy, it’s easy to overlook the important things. You should live with the person you intend to marry for a while, meet their family and friends, get the feel of how he is around other people.”

When Rose eventually got married her son gave her away. “My daughter was my matron of honour and my grand-daughter was a flower girl. That day my heart was full. I was marrying my life partner with my children right next to me,” says Rose.

READ MORE: Here's the most popular day for marriage proposals and it's still coming up for 2019, plus 3 women share their engagement stories

Rose initially wanted to get married in court but she ended up having a beautiful wedding organized by her events company and friends. Her manager at work is a pastor and married them.

Months before her wedding they found out she was not yet divorced with her ex-husband ever since they separated. Their divorce papers were never filed and they had not followed up on the matter.

“Luckily, I managed to sort things out before our wedding,” she says.

READ MORE: Couple still single six years after tying the knot

She is happy in her new marriage and savours every moment. 

“I am very young at heart, I love dancing and living life to the fullest. I have so much in common with my new husband. Connecting with someone you call a life partner is very important. I don’t want to get bored in my marriage, I still want to explore life,” she says, adding that she doesn’t believe her now 72-year-old ex-husband would have been able to keep up with her lifestyle. 

According to Rose, the best thing about getting married later in life is that you know exactly what you want and have clarity about everything in your life. 

Do you think there is a specific age that one should get married by? Share your thoughts with us here.

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, I believed it was authentic
7% - 364 votes
Yes, I didn't want to spend that much money on the original item
20% - 1056 votes
No, I always shop at reputable stores
13% - 696 votes
No, I don't wear designer clothing
60% - 3172 votes