My husband and I started dating when I was still in high school and he had just graduated. We hit it off immediately and it was one of those moments when you just KNOW when someone is right for you. We got married when I was 18 and I wouldn’t change a single thing. A lot of people questioned our decision, and I don’t blame them. At the time, I didn’t understand how so many people could doubt us. We were made for each other, it was obvious! However, knowing what I know now, I can understand a little bit better. Marriage isn’t about the wedding or sharing a last name, it’s a lifelong commitment to someone you love. There are a lot of reasons why getting married young can be a great thing, but it can also have a lot of complications.
When we’re young it’s easy to get caught up in the moment when the importance of the future doesn’t really impact us like it should. I’ve seen a few marriages that started young and worked out beautifully. Unfortunately, I’ve seen even more young marriages fail. That’s not to say that just because you decide to get married young your relationship is doomed. Every couple is different, but there are a number of reasons why so many young marriages don’t last. Here are a few things to consider before getting married young.
What to watch out for
Mental and Emotional Growth – No matter who you are, how mature you are, or how sure you are about something, there is still so much character growth and change you will go through. I feel that this is one of the main reasons why young marriages don’t work. When I married my husband, I had completely different likes and dislikes, I had different beliefs, and even though I was often told how mature I was for my age, I still had a lot of growing to do. Mental and emotional growth is one of those things that takes time. My relationship with my husband is even stronger than it was in the beginning and I credit that to good communication. I have written an entire post on why good communication is so important and you can find it here. I don’t mean to make you hop around from one post to the other but it’s just too important to try and sum up in one sentence!
Just remember, change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it has to hurt your marriage. Growing is an important and unavoidable part of life, use it to your advantage and make it an opportunity to strengthen your relationship!
Oh, the honeymoon stage – Almost everyone will experience this with a new relationship, and that’s great! The honeymoon period is so magical and fun and exciting. But it can also cause temporary blindness when it comes to your relationship! You’re so infatuated with the other person that almost any red flags that might pop up could totally be reasoned away in your head. Use your logic.
It’s easy to overestimate how much you know about your girlfriend or boyfriend, some things just naturally take years to hit the surface, both good and bad. For example, 7 years ago when I started dating my husband (then boyfriend, of course) he could do no wrong in my eyes! He’s a great guy so, he never did anything that would have made me question his morals in the first place, but he’s always been a total clutter bug and back then it didn’t bother me at all, it even took a few years of living together before the random piles of socks around the house started to chip away at my sanity. The socks are really just a small example to a much larger point, you need to know who you’re with. Will they support you no matter how much you change? Are they willing to be their best for you? Are they as devoted to you as you are to them?
Don’t ignore a problem because you don’t want to deal with it – Don’t just stay with someone because you’ve been with them for a while and don’t like the idea of being alone. And especially, don’t think that marriage will fix any problems you have. Deciding to spend the rest of your life with someone you can’t stand isn’t a good way to start a new family. Face the problem head on, speak to your partner about how you’re feeling and if they don’t want to take you seriously now, there’s a slim chance that’ll change just because you get married.
Marriage requires compromise – It’s a good idea to think about any important future scenarios that could affect your relationship and how you will work through them. What will you do if you attend separate colleges? Are you prepared to be apart for months or even years? Would you be willing to put your own dreams on hold to help support them with theirs? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself and discuss with your partner before getting married young. Remember, for better or for worse.
Why it’s great
Now that we’ve got all of the obstacles out of the way, we can look at the rewards!
You’ll grow together – Like I said earlier, I don’t regret getting married young, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. When you get married young you get to share so many amazing experiences together. You have a partner who will be there through all the best times but more importantly, all the worst times. They can be your biggest supporter, and your most loyal ally.
You’ll have one heck of a history – There’s something to be said about couples who have been together for what seems like, well, always. Years down the line, your partner will know you so well they’ll be able to tell what you’re about to say before you even know yourself. You’ll have such a great time reminiscing and visiting the old places you used to go to, it’s such a great way to bond and keep your relationship strong.
Think of all the time you’ll have – If I can make it to the ripe old age of 88 my husband and I will have been together 70 years. 70. YEARS! It blows my mind! How awesome is it that you get to spend almost your entire life with the love of your life and your best friend in the world? It’s hard to imagine all the incredible experiences you’ll have with all that time on your hands. Cherish it!
You get to build your life from scratch – You don’t have to worry about who’s house you’ll live in, or who’s couch to keep. You get to build your home as you go and it is so much fun.
They’ll become your best friend – This is one of my favorite parts about my relationship with my husband. He’s my best friend in the entire world and I can’t imagine wanting to share my life with anyone else.
Getting married young has SO many benefits, you just have to know what they are and make sure you’re both prepared to be there for the hard times, so that you can really learn to appreciate the good times.
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