Getting Married Young...
Hello and welcome back to the blog my dearest Reader!
Today is a humid and mild rainy day, with the warmth of summer not quite willing to vacate the state. My husband is sleeping, still tired from his night shift, and I am writing this while considering if I want to brew some coffee or have breakfast.
In short, life is peaceful.
I'm trying to soak in all these moments of married bliss. It's been over 2 years of marriage, and I have to say that these have been the best years of my life. I feel incredibly blessed and spoiled even to be at home, writing to all of you, and still completely in love with my husband. Honestly, I've been trying to intentionally enjoy the peaceful moments right now because we might start a family in the next year or so, and I know that that will add an entirely new dynamic of crazy, incredible, and stressful emotions to my life.
So as I sit here, reflecting on our marriage, I cannot help but be very grateful.
We got married "young" according to most modern people, at the ages of 22 and 23 respectively (me being 1 year younger.) To many people, this is young, but to me, 22 was the perfect age to get married.
It was the age my parents got married, and we were able to have the wedding the summer after I graduated university. Instead of spending a year with roommates and a 9-5, I moved into my marital home with my husband that July, and we began life together in a new small town, with our small collection of furniture and rambunctious German Shepherd puppy.
I don't think there is one way to do life, or a perfect way, but if I had to choose a perfect way for me, getting married right out of university would be it. I had always wanted that, and I had aimed my life towards it. As a child, I would play with my Barbies and Polly Pockets, sending them off to college after high school, and planning their weddings after completing 4 years at Barbie State University (a very prestigious school!)
Getting married at 22 never seemed "young." It seemed normal! "Young" was getting married out of high school, or before a bachelor's degree. But now, it seems that "young" is anything South of age 27!
But I think that age is somewhat relative.
You can have a 45 year old person who still struggles with personal responsibility and would rather party than have a family, while at the same time, you can have a 21 year old person who enjoys working hard, saving money, and spending time with their wife and new baby.
The differences in age-expectations are even varied amongst different cultures. The culture in my small-town rural area, mainly populated with Christian Dutch immigrants put a focus on family, young marriage, and building a life in community, all while saving money and working hard. But I see that many other subcultures around elite and coastal cities seem to delay marriage so much that it is uncommon for people to get married before 30!
The statement "young at heart" is a very real thing: some people, though they are approaching middle age, will never want to settle down! Whereas other girls, perhaps fresh out of high school, find themselves longing for a baby and a marital home.
But the truth is that I think it's better to marry the right person than to marry at the right age.
Who you marry is the single most important decision you will ever make in life. It impacts your daily life, your future success, your finances, your health, and especially what type of children you will bring into the world.
They can build wealth with you or drain your bank account. They can encourage your confidence and security, or emotionally wound you with passive aggression. They can laugh with you, or they can cause you to cry. Ultimately, the person you marry has the power to build up your life with you, or to tear you down from the inside out.
Marriage is an incredibly serious commitment, and it should not be taken lightly.
Most people assume that this means they must wait until they are "old enough" to make a wise decision, but honestly, I don't think that age has much to do with it! If you are a young stable, intelligent, and rational person, you will probably be able to make a better decision than an emotionally unstable and irresponsible older person!
Waiting longer to find a husband and get married is not necessarily the ticket to success in marriage, just as getting married young is not always the damning choice that many assume it to be. You should not pass up a good relationship just because you are "too young to settle down," and you should likewise not force a marriage or companionship prematurely, just because you just turned 29.
Your life's happiness is not dependent on WHEN you get married, as much as it is on WHO you get married to!
Of course, I think it's good to be looking, dating, and trying to wed in your 20's, when you are fertile, young, and in your physical prime, but that's not to say that it is a good idea to marry the wrong person just because you're young. I married my husband because he was the right man for me, and the person I wanted to build my life with; not because my timeline was ticking and he was the closest person to me.
My boyfriend before my husband was more of a "convenient choice" boyfriend. We were close, amicable, and had a lot of fun together, but I was not in love with him, nor did I truly respect him. As I always say on my channel, emotional connection and respect are 2 of the most important factors when choosing a husband! And I simply did not have that for my other boyfriend.
I almost married him because it fit my timeline, but by the grace of God, I came to the realization that it was better to be single than to be in an incompatible relationship with a man I could not respect. All this is to say that just because I got married young doesn't mean that I think people should force marriages, relationships, or timelines just because they're young. Some relationships are simply not a good match, and not a good idea.
No one is perfect, but if the person you are with is not compatible to you in important areas like values, morals, worldview, future goals, or emotional connection, then you're going to have a difficult time.
I however must say that there ARE some overlooked benefits when it comes to young marriage.
It gives you more time to build your life together, and more time to build a nest for children. Not only that, but young marriage is also a good option for religious people, such as myself, who do not participate in premarital sex.
I think it can be demanding and unrealistic to encourage young people to wait to get married until after a Bachelor's degree AND a few years in the workforce, but then to ALSO tell them to wait to have sex too!
I don't think sex is the reason people should get married, and if it is, it's probably an unstable marriage. But if you are waiting to have sex until marriage, AND you have found the right person, there's no need to wait years and years to start your life together.
Getting married young allows us more time to have children before my fertility drops, more time to build up our wealth together, and more time to live in marriage together. We have been able to acquire a home, go on vacations, work towards my husband's career success, and it even allowed me the time to build this blog!
Young marriage has been a huge blessing, and one of the best thing I ever did in life.
Our young marriage works because my husband is a good man. We didn't get married just to have sex, and we didn't get married before we were ready. He is my compatible companion, and through his encouragement and guidance, I've been able to achieve SO much more than I ever did when I was single. His encouragement and provision allowed me to a be a homemaker, which truly helped me step into a much more stable and peaceful mental and emotional state than I was in before.
I don't think that we necessarily need another person in order to achieve great things in life, but I do know that my life has been greatly benefited by my young husband and my young marriage. Together, we are a team, and we are building a life together.
So in total, it is a precarious balance! I want to encourage young marriage because I think it is beautiful and allows for so much more time together and more time to build a family, but I would never encourage young marriage at the expense of a HEALTHY marriage.
I think that a healthy marriage is ultimately more important than a young marriage, but it's important to remember that young marriage is not a bad thing. It is not silly, irresponsible, or crazy: if you are in a healthy and life-giving relationship, young marriage is just as reasonable and valuable as any other marriage.
Don't throw out the option of getting married young, or looking for a husband young, but remember, this should not come at the expense of a thriving and healthy relationship. We all have different paths to walk, and young marriage might be the one for you, but it doesn't mean that you need to do it with the wrong person.