3 Things I learned from getting married young
Dear Young Bride,
I can only imagine the thoughts bouncing around in your head. Is he the one? Am I making the right decision? What if we fail? What if marriage isn’t what I thought it was? Am I really too young?
I’m here to tell you a few things I learned as a young bride married before 20.
Before I get started, let me give you a few details about myself. I began dating my husband when I was 14 years old, and he was 15. I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. We were inseparable. Sure, we had our friends outside of each other, but there was a deeper feeling between us that made us confident that our relationship was more than just a high school fling.
My husband, Bobby, proposed to me in January 2006, my senior year of high school. I was only 17 at the time and I received some criticism for saying “yes.” I didn’t let that get to me though. At the end of the day, I found comfort in knowing who I was going to spend the rest of my life with.
We married each other in August of 2006. I had just turned 18 in July and exactly 1 month later we were married. It was a huge turnout with nearly 300 of our closest family and friends surrounding us. Looking back, I wonder how we pulled that off.
It’s been 12 years since we said, “I do” and I have felt a tugging to share a few things I learned in the past dozen years.
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3 Things I learned from getting married young
You lose all your best friends once you get married.
I can’t sugar coat this one. It’s the truth. There may be a couple that sticks around, but for the most part, you two are all each other’s got. It’s not that a fight breaks out between you and your friends, but after your wedding day, you don’t really have a lot in common with most of your friends.
Most of my friends and I went to college, but the difference was, I was not single. A lot of them were into joining sororities, parting, or doing things with just the girls. It made me sad, but I was also happy to have my husband. I didn’t have to wonder who I was going to spend my life with. We did life together and eventually found friends who were in the same season of life as us. Married, no kids. Most of our friends then, and still to this day, are about 3-4 years older than us. We often forget about the age gap because, in the adult world, age is just a number.
You grow up together.
Not the little kid growing up, but the young adult type of growing up with the dropping out of college, losing jobs, and figuring out what you want to do in life.
Oh man, did we ever change our minds and make mistakes! We both realized we were going to college with no real aim and did not know what we wanted to do other than be together. We dropped out and started working full time. I never chose a job with high aspirations of going anywhere with it, and my husband had several jobs here and there. Because of this, we struggled a lot financially.
Once we figured out a few things, we discovered our strengths and weaknesses and became each other’s biggest supporters. For example, when I approached Bobby with the idea of writing a book, he was 110% on board. It has been the sweetest experience to be able to tell him what I need in order to write and he makes it happen. Whether it be actual money, or watching the kids in the evenings while I write my book.
Neither one of you are “stuck in your ways”.
Because you are so young, you don’t exactly know what your ways are yet.
We figured our “ways” out together and have learned they can still change with time. Which is a good thing, because it’s taught us to be flexible. When you’ve been living the single adult life, it may not be the easiest to show grace or change your ways.
We do still have differences, but we also know that’s okay. My husband and I are able to work through them. We’ve learned what makes each other tick and what makes us happy. With that knowledge, we feel we have more tools to strive for a joyful marriage.
Bobby and I have been through a lot in the past 12 years. I go into detail about it all in my book. To put it briefly though, we’ve had 7 children to date. Four in heaven, and 3 here on earth. My husband and I endured a stillborn son, carried a daughter who was “incompatible with life”, experienced 2 early miscarriages, and felt the roller coaster of infertility.
My husband has been a constant in my life and together we have striven to keep Christ at the center of our marriage.
A little more advice…
This may seem cliche to some, but I believe this to be truth with every fiber of my being. In order to have a happy and successful marriage, Christ must be #1 in both of your lives. He truly is the foundational rock in which marriage stands. I highly recommend a strong support system and/or premarital counseling that is Christ-centered that you can always turn to, or look back on for guidance.
Marriage is not something to be taken lightly. Love is a commitment, not just a feeling. Marriage is what binds that life-long commitment together.
If you truly cannot see yourself in an abiding love relationship with the person you are with, I beg you, do not commit to it. It’s not worth the headache and heartache that will follow.
Finally, if you know that the person you are with is “the one” and you both strive to have Jesus Christ as #1 in your lives, then I am confident your marriage will last.
p.s. if you married young and have some things you’ve learned over the years, I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Also, if you are young and considering marriage and have any questions, please ask! I’d love to hear from you too.