This also could have been titled: “Why The Internet Often Enrages Me.”
I know reading silly things on the internet shouldn’t bother me. But I’m…passionate. Or easily angered? Let’s go with passionate.
I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how much I, or anyone else disagrees with it. I should probably avoid reading these things because they tend to spark that…passion…I spoke about earlier. When so many people apparently disagree with your life choices, it can feel a little disheartening.
I’ve come across so many blog posts and online articles stating the “dangers” of getting married young. So many posts written by young ex-wives warning (mostly) women not to fall into the same “trap” that they did. My post is a direct response to two specific articles I read. I suggest you take a quick look at them before reading on.
There are so many more out there, but if I read them all I would a) probably go crazy with “passion” and b) write the world’s longest blog post. So, we’ll just stick with these ones.
Some information you should know: I got married last year at the age of 23. My now-husband and I dated for – oh my – just 7 months before getting engaged. Our engagement was – oh my AGAIN – just 8 months long. So far, things are so good. But what about 10 years from now?! Well according to these articles and many others like it, we “probably won’t last.”
Obviously, I think that’s a load of B.S.
The article 9 Legitimate Reasons Why Getting Married Young is a Bad idea states, what a surprise, 9 “legit” reasons why the author thinks getting married young is a bad idea.
Here is my response to those 9 points.
1. “You’re not the same person you’ll be in 10 years, and neither is he.”
You’re right. We won’t be the same people we are now in 10 years. And isn’t that amazing? Watching my husband grow from where he was just two years ago has been one of the most wonderful experiences in the world. It’s been hard for both of us, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges. We get the chance to grow up together. This article says that “growing together” is “kind of bullshit.” Yeah, I guess it can be. If your partner isn’t willing to work on their faults. I guess it can be, if your partner isn’t willing to put you and your needs first. I guess it can be, but if your partner isn’t willing to grow with you at 23, who’s to say they will be at 33?
2. “The first few years after you graduate are teeming with opportunity.”
Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that as soon as you get married you have to throw out all your hopes and dreams and future aspirations. Someone better tell my husband that. Since I’ve been married, my husband has given me the confidence to work hard at my future career goals. For the first time in my life, I have been given the opportunity to work in my ACTUAL field. Yeah, it may not work out. But let me tell you – if it doesn’t, that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m now married.
3. “People are living a really, really long time now.”
I wanted to reply to this one with some sarcastic comment, but I’ll try to keep those to a minimum. I guess this point just means don’t rush into marriage, which I totally agree with. You should make sure you’re ready first. But, I don’t believe readiness comes with age. Also, let’s just be real here. You have no idea when you’re going to die, so the fact that people on average live longer is irrelevant.
4. This also means that you’re hopefully going to spend a good 50 to 60 years with whomever you hitch your wagon to.
To me, this seems great. I hated dating and everything that came along with it. I did not want to party, I did not want to travel, I did not want to date 100 guys. I wanted to settle down.
I also want to get to know someone so well I never have to guess what they’re thinking. Also, guess what. If you marry someone at 23 or 33 or 43, you’re still going to get tired of them at some points. You’re still going to want to stab their eyes out sometimes. You’re still going to dislike them in the middle of the night when they’re snoring so loud you can hear them from the couch. Getting married later in life won’t change that. It’s the attitude that you have that will make all the difference.
5. “As Gloria Steinem said, “We’ve become the men we wanted to marry.”
I do agree with some of the sentiments in this paragraph (some). You shouldn’t need a man (or a woman) to make you happy. If you NEED a relationship to feel fulfilled, then you probably shouldn’t be in one. However, my husband and I strive to find our happiness in God, not in each other and not in ourselves either.
6. “You have more money.”
Yes, that is true. My husband and I, and I’ll be honest here, are dirt poor right now. We are both students, so, what would you expect? But we have loving parents who help us out, and a loving grandmother who was willing to let us live in her beautiful basement apartment for free. Yes, it would have been nice if we had our own house to move into the second we got married. But that’s all it would have been. Nice. It’s not a necessity and it did not play a factor in our decision to get married.
7. “The longer he’s been in the workplace, the nicer your ring will be.”
8. “The older you are, the better your taste is.”
9. “The same goes for your dress.”
I clumped 7-9 together because they are basically saying the same thing. And that thing is “3 legitimate reasons why having a wedding young is a bad idea.” These have NOTHING to do with being married! Weddings and marriage are like, not even close to the same thing. A wedding is just a celebration. And guess what. It lasts for just one day. Out of your entire marriage, it’s just one day.
The author writes, “Let your taste mature a little before spending thousands of dollars on a party you’ll look back on for years to come.” Seriously? I shouldn’t get married because maybe a few years down the road I’ll look at my wedding pictures and think, “hmm, maybe I should have picked different napkins?” No.
Author Jennifer Nagy writes this in her article Why I Believe Marriage Shouldn’t Be Allowed Before the Age of 25: “We decided to get married when I was 24. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time because everyone knows that after five years, you should be married or at least engaged, right?…Once the excitement of planning a beach wedding was over, after the suntan had faded, I was left simply living my life with my husband.”
Well, it sounds a lot more like this person got married for the wrong reasons, and a lot less like getting married young ruined her marriage.
If you’re getting married because you want a wedding, or because you want a ring, or because your family is pressuring you, or because all your friends got married at 20 and you feel “old” at 23, then those are all wrong reasons and you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
But if you’re getting married because you love your partner, and if you’re willing to always work through every single thing that ever comes up, if you’re willing to say “divorce is off the table”*, if you’re ready to grow together even if you don’t feel grown up, then go for it.
No silly article on the internet, or even divorce statistics, should persuade you from getting married. If you’re ready at 21, that’s awesome! If you’re ready at 28, that’s great! 45? Sweet! Getting married young doesn’t ruin relationships. The attitude that “it’s not worth fixing” does. The attitude of “marriage is always fun” or “marriage is 24/7 sex” or “marriage equals happiness” does.
P.S. I know I’ve only been married for like, 10 months (not even). So I’m sure if you don’t agree with me, you’ll be like “What do you know? It’s been 10 months! You’re still in the honeymoon phase! You have no idea where you’ll be in 10 years.”No, I don’t. But I’m confident my marriage will last not because my husband and I love each other (which we do very, very much), but because we love God. Because we’re willing to work through all the crap that life is going to throw at us. Because we won’t give up.
*Although I do not believe divorce is the right thing to do for the average Christian couple experiencing a hard time, in the case of any extreme situation (i.e. any kind of abuse including sexual, emotional, and physical, a cheating spouse, etc. ) that it is the right thing to do. No legalism here.