I got married when I was 19, my husband was 23. We had been together since before I was 15. We have now been married for almost 12 years. There have been some great times and some REALLY hard times. There have been times when we weren’t sure we were going to stay together, but through it all, we are still here and still working on it.
There are lots of people out there who say that you shouldn’t get married young. They seem to think that you need time to grow and mature and to “find yourself” before you should get married. I’m not one of those people. But, there are some things I would recommend from my experience if you are to get married young.
- Be ok with being different. If you get married young most of your friends will be in a different stage of life than you for a while (especially if they go to school and you don’t). They will have homework and dates and get-togethers. You will have a job, bills, and responsibilities. We had our first baby when most of my friends were graduating from college and getting married. We had our second when they had their first. This will mean that sometimes you won’t have too many things in common, but that’s ok. You will stay close with the friends that are important and for the ones you drift away from, it’s probably for the best.
- Know that the hard times are normal. I’m not saying that all of marriage is hard, but hard times do come for every couple (no matter the age). It’s easy when you are young to fall for the fairytale and think that marriage is supposed to be easy and perfect. When you start fighting with your husband or coming into hard times you might think you made a bad choice. You didn’t. Marriage is hard and you will have times in your marriage of disagreements and trials.
- “Find Yourself” Together. That may sound kind of weird, but finding yourself when you are young and married is a cool thing that people don’t get to do when they get married several years later. Use the fact that you are young to grow up together. Work together to discover your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Build each other up along the way.
- Have an adventure! I wish I would have taken this advice. If my husband and I could go back in time we would get married and then travel the country together before we had bills and children. Use the time to have an adventure together. Try living a few different places to see what you really like. Don’t buy a house right away (we did that). Keep your expenses low, don’t go in debit, and go live life together.
- Find a great mentor. In the book Titus it talks about older women mentoring younger women. When you get married find an older woman that you can relate to and take time to meet with her, take her advice, and learn from her. Realize that those who are older do know more than you and some day you will know more than the young people getting married. Years do bring lessons and maturity, allow yourself to learn from those that are ahead of you in life.
Read great book on marriage, take great advice, block out the naysayers (who cares what they say), and enjoy life with your spouse. The success of a marriage is not dependent on the age of those getting married; it is dependent on commitment and determination and forgiveness and a million other little qualities that you can have and develop at any age.