Thursday, July 19, 2007

On Young Marriage

I was asked by a young person recently about getting married young.

I guess society's attitudes have a way of worming into our brains, because my instinct is to say, "No, no! Take your time! Don't do it!"

Which is hypocritical. And absolutely ridiculous.

I met The Husband when I was 19. By 20, we were engaged. At 21 (and before college graduation), we were married.

We just had to, you see. No, I don't mean for any practical reasons. I wasn't pregnant, he didn't need medical insurance (actually, we took a big financial hit, since marriage meant I had to go on COBRA). We were just young, and in love, and our hearts were bursting. We just had to get married. Which is, incidentally, the only reason why I think you should get married. If you don't just have to ... don't.

For us, that was also the reason for having children. Our hearts were just bursting with wanting to. We just had to have those little humans join us.

I'm sure there are cogent, logical arguments for marriage and children. But I'll confess that both getting married and having babies were outside logic. Outside words. They were both something that my soul cried out for.

Is young marriage hard? Absolutely. You're not fully formed, you're still learning who you are. It is very easy to grow into two people who shouldn't be together.

But the flip side is what we experienced ... we got to grow up together. We melded. Our interests merged. We talk, sometimes, about what it would be like to be the individuals we are now, and trying to merge lives. We can't imagine it.

So, maybe it's all just luck. But for whatever reason, if two b'shert are lucky enough to find each other young, it's a gift.


The Simple Scholar said...

You are refreshing and fun and hilarious and you need to write a book. Just read the whole blog. I'm a seminary student myself; albeit Baptist and fundamental, but seminary all the same. You were a breath of wonderfully human-scented fresh air!

Kaleigh said...

I couldn't agree more. I met my husband at the tender age of 17, we were engaged shortly after my 21st birthday, and married shortly before my 22nd birthday. We're coming up on our fifteenth wedding anniversary, and it amazes me. That's ridiculously close to half my life married...more than half my life of being part of a couple with him.

Comrade Kevin said...

My parents got married young. My mom was 19, my father 24. However, Mom pounded into the heads of myself and my two younger sisters that 19 was far too young to get into that sort of committed partnership.

But you did it, Mom!" we would point out.

Her response was Yes, but I was very mature for my age.

I scoff at that because how mature can any 19 year old be?

Anyway, Mom's fears were unfounded because all of her children have passed the age of 19 and currently have no plans for marriage.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to find someone to settle down with but it just hasn't been in the cards. I'm hoping that by 30 I'll find someone. *crosses fingers*

David said...

A curiosity is that, today, young couples are discouraged from marrying—even if she's pregnant and planning to keep the kid.

hafidha sofia said...

I was engaged at 18 but thankfully changed my mind at the last minute. I'd have liked to have gotten married at 20, but if that'd happened, it wouldn't have been to my sweetie, who was 15 years old at the time.

Teenage shotgun weddings used to have an abysmal failure rate (I'm remembering statistics from the 90s) - although success was greater for those in which the groom was more than a few years older (20s or older) than the bride. This might be one reason why people don't jump to get married when they find out the girl is preggers.