Young Marriage

I read a blog recently call “In Defense of Young Marriage”, and it felt like I was reading my own engagement story. The negative comments from people, questioning if I was pregnant, and the general doubt that young marriages will not last.

One point that really resonated with me was her description of people’s attitude about what a young adult should be doing with their life.

Somewhere along the way, young adulthood has transformed into an extended adolescence. It is expected that I need to experiment, roam free, party…’Find myself’.

There’s two assumptions in such an attitude that I dislike. Firstly, the assumption that being young goes hand in hand with reckless and ‘experimental’ behaviour, and that anything done in these years is of no importance, but merely testing the waters for ‘proper’ adulthood. Secondly, that any of these things would be impossible with a spouse…as though by sharing my life with (my spouse) I lose my personhood. As though I have no room to learn, grow, change, adventure, explore, or anything else.

I loved the blog post and I was originally going to make this into a “young marriage is awesome” post, but I’ve decide that it wouldn’t really be an accurate reflection of my feelings.

I agree with all of the authors points, I absolutely love being married to Jeremy and don’t regret marrying him when I was 20; but I can’t categorize all young marriages as “defendable”.

In the four years that Jeremy and I have been married, I have seen many young marriages fail. I have seen many unhappy marriages and I have seen infidelity.

So while I don’t think getting married young dooms a marriage to fail, I am no longer defensive when people caution young couples to take it slow and I understand now why people had such a negative reaction to my young engagement.

The person I was at 19 is not the person I am now at 24..and that has only been 5 short years. People change, and it takes work to make sure that you and your partner grow together and not apart.

When I say ‘work’, I don’t mean fighting. I mean putting in the effort to make your marriage the best that it can be and working jointly towards fixing any crack that may appear in the foundation of your marriage.

Marriage takes so much more than just love.

So all those comments that I heard when I announced I was engaged at 19…I get it now. I understand that the people who love me were concerned about me and didn’t want me to get hurt.

Does being 18 mean that your marriage will fail? No, but it also doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to succeed.

I’ve been one of the lucky young couples who has a happy successful marriage. However, so many factors go into our marriage that it is impossible for me to put sole responsibility on age, or any other aspect of our lives.

I will end by quoting another part of the post that resonated with me, and this is a point that Β I can “defend” whole heartedly.

“Being married young is a blessing and not a trap. I am excited to learn and grow together with my husband, through all seasons of life. I am excited that marrying young will give us the chance of celebrating our fiftieth wedding anniversary one day, and having a lifetime of memories to look back on. I love that by marrying young I am able to grow into myself and my adulthood with him by my side…with our lives organically blossoming entwined, rather than trying to meld two separate lives together later on.”

3year

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5 thoughts on “Young Marriage

  1. If it makes you feel any better, I got all of the doubts, the cautions, and the questions of pregnancy and I was 25 when I married my husband. We’d just only known each other for nine months and we were eloping so everyone just assumed that something was up. Which is really sad honestly.

    I will agree with you that even now with my 28th birthday looming, I’m not the person I was three years ago. And that’s okay. Life is about adjusting and adapting to the constant change. Staying static is the only part that’s not a good idea.

    You’re right that marriages take more than love. And that work does not equal fighting. I think that if more people were willing to acknowledge these things that more marriages (young or not) would be healthier.

  2. My husband and I were questioned to our faces and talked about behind our backs by a LOT of “friends” and family due to our quick wedding. Everyone assumed that I was pregnant and even some of our close friends made comments about “rushing into things”. We were 30 and 31 when we got married, so judgement happens at any age. However, my friends who got married in their early 20s are all still married. Many of my friends who got married in their mid and late 20s are getting divorced. I think that there is a lot to be said for making the journey TOGETHER. Yes, you can change a lot in your 20s, but if you’re committed to your marriage, you can change and grow together.

  3. We were always asked the same three questions in the same order when we go married at 19.
    1) You are how old? (said with such confusion)
    2) How many kids do you have? (assuming that we got married only because we had to.)
    3) Why didnt you just live together first? (assuming that our marriage wouldnt last so why bother going through the trouble.) (…actually, my future mother in law was so concerned she asked ‘what if you get pregnant?’, then she asked ‘why dont you just live together first’? When i pointed out that i could still get pregnant if we ‘only lived together’ she said ‘I didnt think of that’. I laughed. Well intentioned….)

    Even our wedding gifts reflected the fact that people thought we would never last. We have been married over 15 years now and have 4 beautiful children. But for the first probably 5 years people would say weird things. Oh well.

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