Getting Married Young
Getting married young was as natural to us as riding a bike or going from one grade in school to another. I was 17 and he was 20. Our relationship naturally progressed toward marriage and our unique circumstances also played a role in our timing.
Even though we were "the perfect couple", we faced many common challenges among couples newly chartering the waters of marriage.
The time line of our relationship went as follows. We met when I was 15 and he proposed marriage when I was 16; after 14 months of getting to know each other and growing in adoration and commitment. I graduated high school one year early and so I was 16 almost my entire senior year.
Before he proposed to me, my mom and I visited him while he was in technical school for the Air Force. He had recently graduated from Boot Camp.
I recall a story I told him about a party I had went to just days before. I explained that one of my male cousins (who shall remain nameless) was trying to persuade me to cheat on my boyfriend with one of his friends.
He said something similar to, "Why won't you cheat on your boyfriend for a better guy?" I promptly responded, "I already have the better guy" and had no intention or temptation whatsoever to be unfaithful.
After this shameless ploy to win me over to his buddy, we were all hanging out outside. One person I was talking to was my cousin's friend,
the one who my cousin tried to hook me up with.
All of a sudden, he leaned in to try to kiss me! I immediately leaned way back and made it clear that what he wanted to happen... was not going to happen.
I remember that I was wearing the Air Force jacket that my boyfriend (now husband) had mailed to me as a present for the first anniversary of our relationship. I know a lot of girls who wouldn't have thought twice about kissing him, but my heart and lips were off limits!
So, I told my boyfriend this story and I wonder if it had something to do with the fact that he asked me to marry him three weeks later. :) I guess he thought Yep! She's a keeper! Oh, he had prayed about it, too. ;)
I went back to school and began to announce to everyone that I had gotten engaged. Peers and adults alike thought we were "crazy", "too young", and even "retarded" as one of my friends put it. But, we knew in our hearts that we were not making a mistake in getting married young.
Once my husband joined the military (10 months into our relationship), we went from seeing each other every spare moment, to seeing each other once a week, or month, or few months. Our love, commitment, and admiration for each other never waned, even for a moment. The following 11 months of our relationship, for most of which we were engaged, were very difficult as we yearned for each other so profoundly.
Three weeks after I turned 17, I graduated from high school (yippee!) and continued to make plans to enter into the much anticipated, new world of marriage. The months before we got married probably consisted of the longest amount of time we had been separated geographically, but never in our hearts and thoughts.
As I survey the years and challenges of our marriage and even getting married young, I noticed a pattern as we go through different seasons.
2000 is the year we married and began to really struggle and deal with areas of weakness. Oh, we had these weaknesses and problems in our relationship before, but they are magnified in marriage.
You now have to figure out how to happily live with this other human being who is attached to your heart. You have to work and adjust yourself in order to enjoy marriage.
In 2003, we had a few years of marriage under our belt. We were content and having victory and success. All within this one year, I wrote and published a book about life skills, godly wisdom, marriage, issues that people deal with, and living life in Christ.
2006 was near the beginning of a new season and level of trial in our lives. We had experienced a lot of stress
dealing with change
and felt like our life just dried up. But, we trusted our God and knew that every step of a righteous (in Christ) person is ordered by the Lord. We didn't always understand it, but we knew God was working...somehow.
Sometimes life can be so challenging that it causes division between you and your spouse. You must identify it and fight to get back to the position where you can not only stay in your marriage, but enjoy marriage.
There have also been refreshing times of restoration. For one, I found a solution to my progressive
general anxiety disorder.
I'm not one to be "disorder happy", waving various disorders like banners over my life as reasons why I do or don't do certain things. But, I let myself get to that point. Once it got to a serious level, I searched for and found help.
In 2009, we saw a light at the end of the tunnel of what has been perhaps the biggest and longest trial of our lives. We endure these as God works to use circumstances to build our character.
We have continued to mature, be made new, and grow together as a couple. We have learned that just because you think you've had enough trials to last you a lifetime, that doesn't mean you are where you need to be and won't encounter more, and perhaps even more difficult than before. To God be all the glory.
Getting Married Young: Pros and Cons
Getting married young has been quite a journey. On one hand, getting married young contributed to abundant opportunities for me to be emotionally wounded and for us to deal with challenges as we both needed to mature.
On the other hand, we look back at how far we've come and what we've been through together. We see how our love has deepened, our commitment has solidified, and our lives and hearts are becoming one.
Communication in Marriage
Honesty in Marriage
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