We got married in a fever—I love saying/singing that:)
I was 19, turning 20 a few weeks later, and my husband was 22.
Several things happen when you marry young (and by young, I mean before the age of 25, which seems to be the “cut-off” for consideration when it comes to “young married”):
#1. Most people have NOTHING positive to say.
– “they’ll never make it” (prove them wrong).
– “wonder when the baby’s due?” (which may be the case, but is that any of their business? NO).
– “what were they thinking?”
– “you’re gonna have a hard row to hoe”–this one’s actually true, though, but not just because you’re young and married (although all the negativity makes it worse), but because all newlyweds will go through some sort of acclamation to the whole married vs dating relationship.
#2. You’re gonna have it rough for a few years or intermittently, in many aspects: financially, spiritually, and emotionally.
– Finances are the NUMBER ONE reason for divorce in our Country and being young married only increases the risk of divorce. SO, unless you’re a silver spoon child, you’re gonna struggle as a young married couple, but even if you’re blessed enough to have parents that will bless you financially, you still need to learn how to stand on your own four, married-couple feet. Ideally, we would all have been raised to be financially responsible, but that’s not often the case and when you’re young, your priorities are different, thus merging in these bills and new married lifestyle, things can get complicated and tension can (and will at some point) occur.
Find a book (my favorite is Larry Burkett–Dave Ramsay also has great financial workbooks and budget plans).
Find a mentor to teach you how to plan for the future.
Don’t spend what you don’t have. Become debt free and stay that way.
Spiritually, you are merging two fleshly people into one. AND FYI, it’s more than sex. You have to place someone’s needs above your own and trust me when I say–that is NOT an easy feat at any age–but, typically, the younger you are, the more self-centered you are, so this combo isn’t exactly idealistic for a healthy start. I spoke with my pastor’s wife one day regarding this very thing. I had only been married about 3 years at the time and we were fighting a lot and I was near my wits end with the whole “marriage” thing. She looked at me and very bluntly said “well, you’re just gonna have to die”. What?!? Excuse me?!? Yes, that’s what she said. By that, of course she meant “die to my selfishness”–which was exactly the problem. I was offended at first, I’m not gonna lie, because who wants to be told that they are IN FACT the problem? Then, I got over it, because the truth hurts and she was right.
Emotionally, you’re gonna be in a place you’ve never been before. Why? Well, because all of the above. Don’t sull up and not share your emotions. Talk and talk some more. You can get through it. My TWO pieces of advice to the young married couple: Find someone besides momma to talk to and DO NOT EVER talk bad about your spouse–to anyone!
#3. There’s little tolerance and almost NO respect for your marriage from outside sources. You have to gain a few years of sustainability before that occurs…because (let’s be honest) people are judgmental. The odds are stacked against you, according to most folks, so they’ll pay you no mind until you get some years under your belt–which is really asinine if you think about it—when not that long ago, people married in their YOUNG teenage years, but that was before it was okay to have premarital sex and co-habitating was nonexistent. Do yourself a favor and surround yourself with people that will speak positively about your marriage. Surround yourself with people that believe in you and still believe in the covenant of marriage.
There’s more, but I’m sure you get the point.
Here’s the truth about being married young:
You’re gonna have hard times: all marriages do.
You’re probably gonna change, with age and experiences, you’ll mature. Change together.
People are going to say some stupid things to you—most of them will likely be those you are close to, e.g. your family. Make up your mind to not accept what they say, if it’s negative. Surround yourself with supportive people.
You’re going to go to bed angry sometimes. Apologize. Let it go. Die to yourself. Older couples aren’t exempt from this either.
You’ll be tempted and not just in a “sexual” way, but that too. You’ll be tempted to give up. You’ll be tempted to become another statistic. You’ll be tempted to flirt. AGAIN, no marriage is exempt from the same things. Flee from temptation: turn and run.
You’re young, so passion is going to come way easier for you—and not just sexually:) Embrace how passionate you become when it comes to your marriage. Fight passionately and love passionately. And keep that passion alive!
You’re young, so when you make it, and you will if you BOTH put your heart and soul into it, your love story is going to be Oscar worthy!
*And for those that are reading this that are feeling down because they married young and didn’t make it: take heart! I bet you have more advice than I on what not to do/what to do. I bet that that experience taught you a lifetimes worth of lessons that you will be able to share with others. I bet that God is going to bless you with the marriage you so desire. And I bet that no weapon formed against you shall prosper.