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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Getting Married Young

The other day my older brother and I were discussing marriage and he said that he thought it was a bad idea to get married at a young age. His reasoning is that you are too immature at that age to realize the serious matter of marriage, and too immature to work at a good marriage. He stated that it usually ends in divorce.

I disagreed with him. I got married three months shy of my nineteenth birthday, and am still married almost nine years later, to the same person! Looking back, I can realize what a little baby I was and how immature but I don't think it has harmed our marriage. We grew up together and I think it is our marriage that helped us grow up. We knew that we were responsible for our union and that my husband was responsible to provide for his wife and I was responsible in keeping the home fires burning. We had children young too and that makes you grow up even quicker.

Yes, I think that we became responsible because we made a responsible choice. We knew we wanted to be together, I knew my calling was as a wife and mother, and we chose to get married because we do not believe in living together before marriage. Did I realize how difficult marriage can be, or comprehend the seriousness of the fact that I will be with my husband until death do us part? No, not totally, but I think that until you are in a marriage, at any age, you don't grasp it totally.

I, personally, believe that age has nothing to do with how mature you are. Yes, at eighteen I was much more immature than I am now, but I still look back and think I was mature enough to handle marriage. I see 30 year olds around me who are still in the party stage of their life and couldn't handle caring for a goldfish, much less a marriage. I see 20 year olds who can't balance a checkbook or figure out what a balanced meal is. I see 40 year olds who are selfish beyond reason and wouldn't know how to care for another person because all they care about is themselves. Maturity does not always come with age. Responsibility doesn't always come with age.

I have heard the excuse of "I was too young when I got married, I didn't know who I was" for the reason of a divorce. I don't buy it, you don't "find yourself", you create yourself. This can happen when you are in a young marriage, along side your spouse. The way to fix a marriage is to never turn outside your marriage to fix it. You work with your spouse, not against them. Yes, young marriages don't always work, and either do some marriages when the couples married at an older age. It has nothing to do with the age, but more to do with the people themselves.

What do you think? Where you married at a young age? An older age? How do you think that helped/hurt your relationship? I'd love to hear your opinion!


  1. Totally agree with you. I got married at 21 and have been married for 21 months now (so not very long). My husband is 5 years older than I am. Have I learned A TON about myself since we got married? YES, but I'm sure I would have at any age. I have never wished I hadn't gotten married so young, I love being a wife but more importantly I love being a wife to my husband. Did I totally grasp how hard marriage is and how much you have to work at it? No. Is it worth it? Always. I think different people have to decide for themselves, I don't think you can judge someone on how old they were when they got married but how important their marriage is to them, how hard they are willing to work at it.

  2. I completely agree. I married a few months after I turned 19. We're six+ years into a wonderful marriage. I agree that age and maturity don't always go together. We both knew that marriage wouldn't be simple, but we also knew that if we didn't let divorce be an option that we could survive whatever was tossed at us.
    I've lost two sisters in law to the "my youth was stolen from me and I need out of this marriage so I can find myself" mentality. Knowing them, I don't buy it one bit.
    I love this quote from McLintock (a John Wayne movie) in the scene where he's explaining to his daughter why he is not going to will her all his wealth, so that she and whoever she married could have the opportunity to grow together: "All the gold in the United States treasury and all the harp music in heaven can't equal what happens between a man and a woman with all that growin' together."
    I love who my husband and I have become during these past years of marriage and growing together. I'm sad that some people cheat themselves of that opportunity just because they think a certain age is too young to marry.

  3. I one hundred percent agree with your ideas. I wed at 21 to my best friend who I have known since I was 9. I would not change being married young for one second.

    Surely there are nights where I lay in bed teary eyed thinking why is he not who I thought he was... and I think back to myself... I am not who he thinks I always am either, we're both growing and changing and that's okay! We have made room for that in our marriage so that as we grow, it is always together, never apart.

    I am completely devoted to my husband, and that is why marriage works. I believe our marriage is a blessing and will do anything to honor the man that God gave me.

    I think it would have been to our detriment to marry later in life, we'd already had strict boundaries in our relationship for 3 years, much longer and I'm not sure what our relationship would look like. We would have dated for 12 years to marry at the same age as some of our siblings, that is ridiculous in my eyes! It is just not the life for us, we were not going to live together and dishonor marriage in any way, so we made a choice, the best of our lives!

    I think that all of our relationships have changed because of our marriage! This is our own, clearly, those with our parents, my sisters and brothers, my friends, my nieces and nephews. Everything has changed, and I would say for the better because of our commitment to one another.

    Life is not supposed to be stagnant, and that is exactly how we felt in dating. We are moving, shaking, growing, and changing every day in our marriage, and we wouldn't have it any other way!

    I am blessed to have found my husband at a young age, and oh so blessed to have him find me too! :)

  4. This is my first time visiting your blog and I have found encouragement already. I am totally with you. I got married at 19 also and I have been married for 16 years. We do grow up together. Times were not always good, however we are committed to God and to each other and because of this our Joy and our trials are worth it. We share in the raising of our 6 children and God continues to bless us each day. I thank you for your post and have a blessed day.
    God Bless

  5. I just saw your discussion post on BlogFrog and was intrigued. My husband and I got married at 22/23, which was not too young in my book. However, when we moved to DC we are one of the only married couples in our age group and people are shocked that we are married now and that we have been for nearly 5 years. I still think it was the best choice we ever made and it is the best thing that ever happened to me. Not only have we grown together, but I have had the unique honor of having a husband who let me find out who I am. It hasn't always been easy, but it has been great. I couldn't have asked for a greater blessing.

  6. I was also married at 19 (three months shy of 20)- my husband was 21, almost 22. And to top it off- he was my first and ONLY date! We dated for a total of four years (engaged for one) and knew it was the right time, even though I still had ungrad work and he was in grad school. We lived off student loans and working as much as we could while we were going to school. Now here we are, three children (15, 12 and 10) and almost TWENTY years later! I think that our maturity levels, parental and family support, and more than anything else, our faith in God, has allowed us and helped us to have a successful marriage. And tons of communication!

    Ann in SC

  7. I just stumbled on your blog through the Blog Frog and am so glad I did! I am so encouraged by what you wrote here! I got married when I was 18 as well, and we welcome our first child just 3 months after my 20th birthday. We're just weeks away from celebrating our second anniversary! This post was so encouraging to me, because lately alot of people have asked me if I regret being married so young. But truthfully, I know that God led me to marry my husband and I believe our timing was of Him as well. We have already grown so much and learned so much from one another. I love what you said about how we don't find ourselves, we create ourselves. That is SO freeing for me! There is so much bogus crap out there about how couples who marry young are likely to grow apart.

    Thank you so much for writing this blog as an encouragement to a group of people who are becoming more and more counter culture. If there were more resources out there to help marriages work, there would be less divorce. Your encouragement is SO appreciated :)

    Be blessed today, and thanks again for being a testimony! I'll definitely be following your blog from now on!

  8. Just to clarify(This is Dan her older brother) I said I had recently read an article that suggested studies have shown that marriages made later in life had a higher success rate.. I'm sorry but I don't remember where I read that. I assume it was facts presented about the study rather than the authors opinion.. I said something to the extent that people have a better sense of who they are later in life rather than when they are 18, etc... but my opinion was that I agreed. With the exception of people who had the strong desires of wanting to get married and have kids early on, the average person (who may not know what they want) would likely discover later on what they do want, so wouldn’t it make sense that if you didn’t know what you wanted in your life at age 18, 19, 20 and got married that there would be a good chance that when you were 25+ and figured things out that could be a problem? VS. two people who were 25+ and met when they knew more about themselves and what they want in life. I think it was as simple as that.. and I simply agreed with that idea having looked back at myself when I was 20 or so vs. now, when I approach 30. I certainly wasn't making excuses for people who did get married at an early age and gave up on their marriage citing reasoning such as "I didn't know what I wanted, etc." I believe marriage is a lifelong commitment that come rain or shine if both partners are willing to put in the effort can make it work, young, middle aged, or old.

  9. When I got married I was three weeks shy of turning 19. My dh was 28 years old. Was I young? Yes, but at the time I didn't think I was. We had our first child when I was 22. My father passed away when I was 23. I do not regret getting married young. We are happily married now for 21 years. I am so glad that my father did get to walk me down the aisle and that he got to see my first born. It was a choice that we made and I am glad for it.


  10. i was married at 19....had my first baby at 20....baby #7 is due to arrive right around our 10th anniversary! i'm so glad i said, "yes"!

  11. I LOVE this topic...it really applies to my life. The world's view and standards is that people should marry and have kids later in life after "finding out who you are". I was married in 2008 a month before my 20th birthday, my husband was 22. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. Did I have people telling me I was too young? Yup, and still get it today. Did we know we were ready? Again, absolutely.

    People are so shocked to find out I'm married. Why?? It's what I chose...I don't need people telling me what a good age to get married is. My husband and I were both ready and knew God was calling us to be together. I had been working for a year and he has been an electrician for 3+ years. We were ready. We had dated for almost 4 years and knew alot about each other and what we wanted as far as our future. I knew that I had a calling to be a wife and a stay-at-home mom. We don't have kids yet but have been talking about it lately and know that in God's timing, they'll come.

    Yes, marriage is always tricky at points but isn't life in general? What better way to go through life's curves than with your spouse and God?? We have gone through trials together but it was absolutely worth it. It's what draws you closer. Couples can have mountains thrown in their way at age 30, 40, 50+. It doesn't matter if you're married young or old...you will always go through rough patches in your marriage.

    I totally agree with your statement about "We don't find ourselves, we create ourselves". Couldn't have said it better. My husband and I are growing together in faith and love. Regrets are never there....

  12. I totally agree! I got married 2 days after my 20th birthday and my husband was 4 months shy of his 20th birthday. I have always known I was called to be a wife and mother and we grew up together in the homeschooling community. We got pregnant on our honeymoon and are so excited to welcome our little baby into the world in a few months!

    I just discovered your blog today and have been reading for two hours---great blog, I am now a follower. Thanks for writing.




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