I’m Getting Married at 22 and Apparently That Upsets People on the Internet

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Photography courtesy of Caitlin Skinner Photography.

A few years ago, I was in a pretty low place. Like, Garth Brooks kind of low place. I was your average college student, facing the stress and rigor of attending school full-time, working, attempting to be social, and trying to swim my way out of an abusive relationship. I was stuck there, in a relationship with someone who I thought I was in love with, who I thought was my soul mate, who I thought would one day tie our daughter’s shoes on her first day of school. I was so convinced that he was the source of my happiness, the one person who really understood me, and the person I would be with forever, that I was blind to his constant manipulation and made excuses for his aggression. One day – and to this day I’m still lost as to how or why – I woke up feeling strong and empowered, so I walked away. I walked away from the mental and physical pain that accompanied that relationship, I prayed to God for the strength to never look back, and I healed. (The healing part was not a one-day process)

I don’t know why things happen the way that they happen, but I like to think that there’s a greater reasoning behind it than simply “because.” What I do know, is that oftentimes, when we let go, stop searching, and leave behind the anchors of pain and despair, we stumble upon what John Green so eloquently describes as “The Great Perhaps.” When I walked away from all of the pain and baggage that I was carrying from my previous relationship, God opened a door for me. He opened a door to a journey that led me to my Great Perhaps.

Facebook is littered with blog posts titled, “10 Reasons Your 20s Are Meant for Exploration,” “23 Things I’d Rather Do Than Get Married at 23,” “Why I Don’t Need to Be Completed by My Significant Other,” et cetera. Relationships are a hot topic among millenials, and social media has exacerbated the desire for user-generated content that makes 20-somethings feel validated in whatever current relationship status they’re in. What I’ve also noticed throughout this sea of viral Facebook posts is also more and more 20-somethings getting engaged and married. This isn’t a new concept – most of us have parents or grandparents who got married young; the difference is, social media and the internet have given everyone the opportunity to voice their opinions on the topic.

Right now, I’m 21, I’m engaged, and I’ll be married at 22 years old. To some people, it’s like “leaving the party at 9pm,” it’s too young, it’s rushing things, it’s [insert other negative comment here]. Those “some people” are internet strangers and my parents. My parents have a right to be concerned about my life choices and future, and I understand their concerns and am thankful to have parents who love me so much that they want the best and happiest life possible. However, I stand by my commitment and I’m not going to change my mind. I’ve read articles that say you can’t possibly know what you want out of life at 21, and that your life experience has not yet prepared you to make wedding vows. Let’s look at traditional wedding vows:

For better or for worse – I think we can all agree that loving people is pretty easy during the “better” part, and it’s when the “worse” comes around that things get tough. Alex and I have seen each other at some pretty low points (details not necessary). Will I see him at worse? Probably. But I have an idea of how he acts when he’s at his lowest, and it’s helped me to understand him better emotionally, so hopefully whenever we face disaster, grief, stress, and pain in the future, I can love him in the best way that I can.

For richer or for poorer – About a year ago, I had $30 to my name, I drained my savings account to pay my rent, and I was attending free lunch and dinner at a neighborhood church twice a week because I genuinely could not afford to buy groceries. The financial stress I was under seriously affected my mental and physical health, and I was in a constant state of panic and anxiety over making sure my bills got paid. Who did I turn to? Alex. He helped me look for a second job, he listened to me cry, he bought me groceries for Valentine’s Day. This period of time really brought us closer as a couple because we didn’t let the misery tear us apart. Conversely, when I was making a lot more money, Alex brought me back down to earth and if I was spending a lot of money, he let me know that he noticed I was spending a lot more and maybe I needed to slow down.

In sickness and in health – Also about a year ago, I was extremely ill. I will spare you the details, but I have never felt so helpless over my own body. I was constantly up in the early hours of the morning writhing in pain on my bathroom floor, and Alex somehow managed to wake up and answer my sobbing phone calls and comfort me on his already limited sleep schedule. He sent me medicine and positive messages, listened to me when I just needed to vent and cry, and supported me through doctor visits. He was there.

To love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part – I promised this a long time ago, and have no intentions of ever going back on it.

I know that people always say I’m at the age where I think I know everything, but I don’t think that changes as you get older. I think people in their 30s and 40s think they know everything as well, and we all learn as we get older. People get divorced in their 20s? People get divorced when they’re 50 too. It’s smarter to save up and be financially sound before you make any commitments? I’m going to be relatively poor at 22 whether I’m married or not. I’d rather spend those years with someone who makes the misery just a little less miserable. Getting married to Alex is going to make me happy, even through the inevitable petty arguments, Ramen Noodle diets, and toilet seats left up. And I would think it’s pretty selfish for anyone to not want me to experience that happiness just because I’m not living my life in the order they think I should live it in, getting married at the age they think I should get married at, or getting married to the person they think I should marry. I’m not going to live my life in fear of divorce or poverty or anything else for the sake of other people, because at the end of the day, it’s my life, my love, my happiness, and I deserve to be in control of those emotions and face the adversity that comes with it on my own.

I don’t need Alex to complete me, I don’t need to backpack through Europe to “find myself,” and I don’t need to date 20 more people to make sure he’s the one. I don’t need to spend the next 5 years getting to know him better. I’ve known him since I was 13 years old, and I get to know him more every day. Being married allows me to get to know him on another level that 5 years of unmarried life won’t give me.

If getting married at 22 is like leaving the party at 9pm, at least I get to go home, put on yogas, plop down on the couch with Alex and watch two hours of Game of Thrones before bed. We’re going to travel together. We’re going to grow together. We’re going to love each other more, and the reasons for which we love each other are going to change over time. We’re going to build a life together. We don’t have any unrealistic beliefs or expectations that marriage is going to be sunshine and rainbows or easy, but so far none of our relationship has been, and it’s made us stronger.Our love alone will not make our marriage successful, but our commitments to each other and our willingness to be a lifelong team will. And I have yet to figure out why that is so offensive to everyone else. If you don’t want to get married until you’re 30 – don’t! If you don’t want to get married ever, then don’t! I think it’s admirable to admit that you’re at a point in your life where you aren’t ready to settle down and you don’t know what you want out of life – or maybe you do know what you want and marriage isn’t it. Better to be honest with yourself and save yourself and others from heartbreak than to commit to something you know you’re not ready for. However, I’m at a point in my life where I’ve decided (after much thought and prayer) that I am ready to make this commitment, and I couldn’t be more excited to do so. And if that upsets you, well then, I’m sorry – sorry that my future marriage is the most pressing thing in your life that you have to be upset over. I will never apologize for my happiness.

xx

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117 thoughts on “I’m Getting Married at 22 and Apparently That Upsets People on the Internet

  1. Well, I got married when I was 28 to THE. WRONG. MAN. And had a child with him. Somehow I found my way to therapy and then a lawyer… sad but true. I didn’t actually find my soul mate, my husband, until I was 40. But then, I never knew what I wanted when I was young, and the disaster that was my parents’ marriage was no good life lesson in wanting and needing!

    Having said all that, having been a working divorced mother who longed to stay home wtih and for her daughter, and being a proto-feminist who still has those same values… here it comes.. (wait for it… ) LOL!

    BE HAPPY. You are lucky to have found someone with whom to share your life at such an early age. Good for you! And if people – any people for any reason – find it hard to believe or hard to accept because of their own (narrow) life lenses, I say to hell with them! They should shush and listen to your plans and be kind.

    The only thing that should matter is whether you are happy. I sure hope this is not your parents laying on the guilt, because if it is, let them know a reader who is 58 and has a daughter who came out of the closet at age 17 says, “Shut your cakehole until your daughter cuts the cake!” Ha ha ha. Have a good life, babe. Amy from Madison

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily

    My husband and I were both 21. Both still living with our parents. Niether making much money at all. This year is our 12 year anniversary and I love him more with every breath. My FIL fought us about it, because he assumed we were just going into it for sex So needless to say, we got the whole “young marrieds get divorced more” lecture.
    I can honestly say that I don’t believe that. When you marry young, you tend to go Into the marriage with less baggage. You grow together. You learn together. You make mistakes together. You make money, and blow it on the wrong things together. As long as you make the choice to do all of those things together. Niether is personally responsible for the money, or the cleaning, or anything. Every aspect is team work.
    When people get married older, they already have had those life experiences alone, so they have no need to add another person. They likely have been living on their own, and have to learn to live with someone and accept them into their own space. Not to mention that the chance of one of them already having children is higher…that’s a thing in and of itself. I think I have seen more people married in their 30’s divorcing that 20’s.
    Whatever you do, you have to decide that what won’t kill you will make you stronger, and just to not let anything kill you. When things are bad, don’t vent to other people, and don’t leave. Allow yourselves to Fight about dumb things like the lyrics to a song, or what you would name a bull dog if you ever got one, and learn to get through those things, so when bigger things come up, you will have experience communicating in a way that works for you, instead of yelling, and using hurtful words.
    Lean on God, and each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Anonym

      “I can honestly say that I don’t believe that… I think I have seen more people married in their 30’s divorcing that 20’s.”

      Whatever you have observed, it is a true statistical fact that couples married in their late teens and early twenties divorce at a higher rate than those married later in life. The thing is: you don’t choose when you meet a person you could spend your life with and live for the rest of your days and having that kind of love, building and sharing an entire life with someone, is precious and rare and shouldn’t be thrown away just because it happened early and that raises your risks of divorce. The stats still show that many young couples do make it, even if in smaller proportions than older ones, so it should be an encouragement to reflect deeply on the meaning of marriage before making that commitment, something everyone should do regardless, rather than “lol don’t do it”.

      Having divorced parents or mental health issues or being less educated or X and Y ethnicity pairing or Z religion can also mean having higher statistical risks of divorce but we don’t – or at least shouldn’t – use them to say ” her parents divorced, dump her ” or “he has just been diagnosed with depression? Bail” or “he’s just a bit collar, don’t marry him” or “don’t date a black woman” or “convert to Mormonism”… and some of those would be truly abhorrent sayings.

      Most couple fall in one category or the other of increased divorce risk. We don’t have to pretend that those don’t divorce more on average, but statistics are not individual predictions. What makes the difference in the end is your love and commitment.

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    2. Brittany

      Married when I was 22. Engaged at 20. I’m now 25. Our son is 1 year old. And I love my life and feel so grateful for the life we share together. Glad to see you will not be bullied by media. or any e on this topic. we all have our paths and what is best for us. And you will definetly see each other at your lowest Argue about things. Moving through those make you both stronger as a couple. sending you both love and hope the very best for you.
      Brit And Adam.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hayley

    Every love story is different. I have been having some of the same issues as you, but I learned years ago not to pay attention to people who think they know what you want. You are the only one who knows what you want, no one can tell you any different. I have been engaged for a few months, and I am about to turn 21 as well. I know a lot of people don’t agree with it, but I don’t care what others want. My wedding is my day, and you can come or not come I could care less. I am going to have a lot of fun getting married in October to my other half with all the people who love our relationship and support out decisions. It is going to be perfect to us regardless. Best of luck to you and Alex. Y’all sound happy and that’s all that matters.

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. Mary

    Wow, this is my same story. But as someone who went against what friends and family advised: it was the best decision of my life! I was married in a court house no less to my husband. I wore a green polka dot shirt for crying out loud, which is the only regret I have. June we will celebrate 8 years of marriage. At the age of 24 we had our first child, 10 month later our second came into the world. Again people advised against having babies so close together. We’ve lived our lives the way we want to and have never been happier. These people aren’t there for you day to day helping with laundry or doing the dishes, or rubbing your back when you’ve had a hard day at work. They don’t listen to you go on and on about the slightest details of your day. So who cares what they think?! If if makes you happy then do it! Without sounding like a crazy teenager and yelling yolo, I’m saying instead life is short and trust me after 8 years they still don’t take back the mean things they said or admit they were wrong. In the end it’s your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kaylynn

    I have been with my wonderful high school sweetheart since I was 14 years old, we have now been married just under seven years. We were married when he was 21 and I was 20 we went through a many of ups and downs and ramen noodle diets but we beat out all the negative ideas of what people believed would happened based on us being marriage so young. Like you say not everyone is built to take on marriage at a young age, but if you are it’s a beautiful thing. You just get to love that person and enjoy your bond with them sooner and longer! Best wishes, and I leave you with some advice: try never to go to bed mad, but if you do go to bed together; start and end your day with a kiss and I love you; and find ways to bring joy to your own life as well as your spouse through gestures, hobbies or random acts of kindness!

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  7. Amber

    I got married at 20 and everyone thought we were both nuts, but we basically figured out this crazy world together. Your 20’s are a struggle as you figure out how to fit into your new “adult” life, but I was always anchored by having my husband there. We’ve been married 12 years now and he’s not the same man I married. But I’m not the same woman he married either. We’ve loved each other through the changes, the struggles, and the messes. Infertility, miscarriages, a preemie, job changes, a lot of moving around, parenthood, an unexpected diagnosis that could cut our time short at any moment… and guess what? He is still my person and I love him more today than ever. Don’t let the haters get you down. Chase that love into the sunset and walk down the aisle with your head held high.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rachel

    This is great. May 4th will be my two year wedding anniversary with my husband, and I was 20 and he was barely 21 when we got married. We had been together for over four years by the time we got married. Now 22 and 23, we are sometimes shocked by how much we have changed and how much tough stuff we have gone through already. But through every moment, I have my best friend by my side, and I don’t regret a thing. We also had many people share their “opinions” with us, which really meant they told us how to live our lives to their liking/understanding… but thankfully we had parents who supported us and friends & family who understood as well. You’ll be fine as long as you keep the perspective you have – every day is a choice, and it will absolutely be more difficult than you could have expected. But the joy of the great times, and the simple pleasures of cozying up to watch Netflix on your nights off, or going for long drives or walks and talking about your future…. those will sustain you. Best of luck to you on your marriage. I pray you are blessed through it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Caite

    I got engaged when I was 18 but I’m going to be celebrating my one year anniversary May 24! I promise it is so worth it, and people only judge because they don’t understand the love and happiness that comes from being truly in love and ready for the commitment. Congratulations and have a wonderful marriage!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Heather

    I married my high school sweetheart at 21. I jokingly say it was because I wanted to be able to legally drink at my wedding. We had been dating for 5 years at the time we got married. We share a similar story of financial stress. We also experienced several tragedies in the family…too great to bear the pain alone, we had each other to lean on, and that is the only thing that has kept us going. This June we will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary. We have 2 beautiful children to celebrate with us. We love or life together, and continue to put our relationship first even with children, because we feel that the most important thing a child needs is parents with a healthy loving relationship that they can grow to appreciate and look for in their own relationships when they become adults. I commend you for knowing what you want and not backing down to those around you who disagree with your choices. You are correct that people in their thirties know everything (im 31) I’m lucky to have never had my heart broken because I met the right person for me at a young age, and after surviving 10 years of marriage (it isn’t always easy) I can safely say that I will get to go the rest of my life without a broken heart. I wish you all the happiness and joy that comes from marriage with the right person. It sounds like you found it! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Alexa Ray

    First off, congratulations on your engagement! I whole-heartedly agree with everything you have stated above and agree that it is your decision, and your decision alone.

    I have a bit of a nitpick question on what you mean when you say “I don’t need to backpack through Europe to find myself.” I have been living abroad in Italy for the past 5 months and have truly discovered a lot about myself throughout the process of living in a foreign country, immersing myself in a new culture, and indeed backpacking throughout Europe. I have been thrown in a completely new setting and when every single factor changes except the person in the situation you truly are exposed to all of your faults and strengths.

    When you say that you don’t need to backpack through Europe to find yourself I take offense to that statement because although I would not say that I have “found myself” as that is quite the cliche, I will say that at 21 I have changed drastically in the past 5 months, more than I ever had during the rest of my years in the United States.

    As I said I don’t know what your intent was on that comment, which is what I’m asking. BUT as this article is about how people should not have judgment and views on things that they have not yet done themselves, I don’t think that you should bash traveling through Europe to understand yourself better as a person, because it is one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my life, of that I am sure.

    I hope that you will get the chance to “backpack” through Europe, with or without Alex because I promise you you will discover parts of yourself that you hadn’t before. Ask any traveler.

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    1. Hi Alexa!

      I’m sorry that you felt offended by my comment – that wasn’t my intention. When I said I didn’t need to backpack through Europe, it was in response to a popular blog post floating on Facebook that implied it’s something 20-somethings should be doing instead of getting married, and I do not personally feel it’s a prerequisite for myself before getting married. I assure you, I love to travel and have been all over the US and Canada, and will hopefully be traveling to Japan in the next year or two. I think finding yourself is a lifelong process, and for me, I look forward to doing that with Alex by my side, whether or not I am backpacking through Europe. Again, it was not in any way a downplay on the value of being abroad, just an affirmation that it is not a prerequisite for my marriage and I apologize if it came across any other way.

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read and comment, and I hope you continue to have an amazing experience abroad!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Meghan

        Seriously Alexa? You are what is wrong in this world today. Taking offense to someone saying THEY don’t need to backpack through Europe just because YOU do. Get over yourself and stop finding someone to pick a fight with and cause drama. Get over yourself because this post has nothing to do with you.

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  12. berniceyamasaki

    I love this. I went through the same issues. My husband is in the airforce. We were married at 20 years old and now 2 years of marriage and I wouldn’t change a thing. What a great post. I would really appreciate if you can check out my blog as well.

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  13. Reblogged this on cambralie and commented:
    I love this, because I can relate to her story on so many levels. I married young; it might be like leaving a party at 9 PM but I get to come home to my husband every night. I wouldn’t trade that for anything that this world can offer.

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  15. Hanna

    You are a military girlfriend. Makes sense. I see this happen a lot to young girls… Young lady falls in love with a man in uniform then gets engaged, then moves to wherever he is. Some still together and some not. Good luck… Seriously. I wouldn’t get married at 22 because I want to continue traveling (which is amazing), but if that makes you happy, go for it. Give zero fucks about other people.

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    1. Anonym

      They don’t take away your passport when you get married 🙂

      You don’t have the same freedom to just go solo traveling wherever you want whenever you want when you are in a committed relationship as much as when you are single though.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I don’t think falling in love and moving to your spouse is unique to military relationships lol, but yes it’s probably more common. Your rights to travel aren’t magically revoked when you get married. My parents have been to 11 countries in Europe, 49 out of the 50 US states (as have I), and are soon spending a few weeks in Portugal. My fiance and I are planning on going to Japan soon. I agree, traveling is amazing, and I can’t wait to do it with my future husband. 🙂

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  16. Barb

    Well, I got married at 18 and it was the biggest mistake of my life. I stuck it out for 7 years. What I learned is that you never truly know a person until you live with them. That maturity means being willing to listen to others with more life experience. And love is not all you need nor does it conquer all. So, good luck.

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    1. Hey Barb – thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear your marriage didn’t work out. I agree – part of growing up is the willingness to accept dissenting opinions or advice from others who may have experience. However, experience is just that – experience! It is not a one-fits-all blanket that applies to every person or situation. I have a lot of different opinions coming my way. I listen to them all, but the true mark of maturity is being able to make informed decisions on your own and accepting that there may be consequences. I agree that love does not hold a marriage together, rather a combination of love, commitment, humility, and honesty and an infinite list of other variables as well.

      Thanks for stopping by, Barb!

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    2. Helen

      I am truly sorry for what happened to you.. I don’t agree with you that you have to live with a person before you get married. I got engaged at 19 and got married half a year later and we didn’t live together before we got married, we just celebrated 7years of marriage, I am really happy with my husband, we have 2 beautiful daughters. Life wasn’t easy but one thing people don’t want to do is fight for their marriages (it takes 2 people). We almost went through divorce when we just got married not because we didn’t love each other but because peoples mouths never closes, they started controlling us cuz we are young but I am so happy my husband got some encouragement and told some people that we’re trying to get into our lives to back off and now we live really good. I count my blessings everyday. I don’t think age matters in marriage and that we have to live with a person before we marry.

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      1. Hi Helen, thanks for your comment! I’m not sure where you read that I think couples should live together before they get married…I don’t think that at all! I am now happily married and my husband and I did not live together before we got married. 😊 Congratulations on 7 years and being committed to never giving up! ❤️

        Shelbie

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  17. Deanna

    My story is short but sweet! I met my husband when I was 16 and he was just shy of his 20th birthday. He asked me marry him on my 18th birthday. We were married a couple months after my 19th birthday. We celebrated our 14th anniversary this year! I have no regrets and I feel blessed to have been able to grow up together. Congrats on your engagment!

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  18. A.O.

    What is right for one may not be right for another. I am a big believer in this. No one can predict, based on their own experience, what will be the outcome of your marriage at a young age. Going into it with your experience, mindset, and level of commitment is certainly going to help your success.

    I also got married young, at 23. I could have written this blog post myself back then if blogs had existed. Your sentiments were mine.

    I am now 36 and going on being married for 13 years. I love my husband and our little family (one 6-year-old daughter) and my life as it is right now. Knowing what I know now about myself, my husband, marriage, and life, would I do it all the same way again? My answer is: I don’t know.

    At 23, I thought I was on solid ground getting married. I thought we were on the right track in life and doing what was best for us.

    In the 13 years to follow, things happened in our lives that I never would have predicted. There were so many life-altering circumstances thrown our way over and over and over, sometimes unrelentingly. Identity crises, careers down the toilet, financial ruins, huge mistakes, major let downs, mental illness, deaths, etc.

    As a result, our relationship and marriage were tested at different times, sometimes nearly to the point of breaking our bond.

    We have been very lucky, however, that at each low point, we both have been true to our commitment to make our marriage work. And, we have been lucky that when life has thrown us for rides and changed the very essence of our beings, we changed in ways that continued to compliment each other.

    At 36, I am wise enough to know that life will continue to pummel us. Now, perhaps even more so then ever. Our parents are aging and falling ill and closer to death. We are both aging and our health is changing. We have a child whose growth and development and well being is unpredictable, as any child’s is. As you get older, more of life entangles you.

    How will I change when my mother dies? How will I handle it? What type of support will my husband provide?

    What will happen if another career choice fails? Will the one it happens to pick himself/herself up and keep going? Will the other be able to provide the right kind of support?

    Can we survive any more financial turmoil? Will we remain a united front and continue to work well as a team?

    As our daughter nears teenage years and beyond, will we be able to manage her struggles together? What might happen that will test us as we guide her to be our best?

    The answers to these and many other questions are unknowable. Might things become insurmountable? Maybe. Might one of us change so drastically that we are no longer successful as a team? Maybe. What gives me comfort, however, is knowing that we have 13 years of practice behind us in facing challenges. And that precedent gives me hope that we will continue to make our marriage our priority.

    My current belief:
    Marrying young can work. I am glad it has, so far, for me.

    Any long-term commitment a person enters is going to be tested over time. The more you know about what the commitment entails, the better prepared you will be.

    Experience and maturity has its benefits when making life choices. This does not mean, however, that you absolutely should never commit to marriage at a young age. It should mean, however, that you become aware of all that you could be facing in your long journey together.

    As for what I try to instill in my daughter (which represents all of what I have learned and value greatly up until this point in life): Continue to learn and grow and explore and keep an open mind about life and it’s choices as long as you can. Never settle. Never compromise. Set up a life for yourself that allows you to be free to make choices that make you happy. Take the road less traveled. Do not do something because you think it is what you should do or because every one else is doing it. Try to listen to your inner voice because it will not fail you.

    Why I don’t know if I would have married at age 23 if I had known then what I know now: Because no one ever encouraged in me the things I am installing in my daughter and that I believe in now. Although I did not know it then, the choices I made at 23 were very much influenced by what I thought I should be doing and not by listening to my inner voice. My happy marriage and family, now, has been shaped more luck and happenstance than by well-informed choices. I am. Dryucky to love my life right now.

    If I knew what I know now, I may have married with better preparation. Or, I may have decided to hold off to see if we were still compatible after more years of life and growing up.

    My only advice to you: If your decision to marry is a well-informed choice that is supported by every ounce of your being and inner voice and if you are ready to steer a ship through many serious storms along with your husband-to-be, then I wish you the best of luck and all that is happy in life!

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  19. rew

    Married at 17, still married 30+ years later. Two beautiful children and four grandchildren. Many said we wouldn’t make a year, many more said they only gave us a few years. Here’s an old piece of advice … marriage isn’t being in love with the same person for years and years it’s about falling in love with the same person over and over again. There have been days when I could have knocked that mans head off and watched in roll down street with glee but there are sooooo many more days of good, great and awesomeness.

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  20. alaraoluwaseyi

    I must say I’m inspired by your firmness and determination. One thing I’ve learnt over the years is to go for whatever it is I want out of life. if I make mistakes along the line, its an indication that I’m doing something really worthwhile. All I need do is press on in my determination and persistence. People will always talk and voice their opinions.

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  21. alaraoluwaseyi

    I must say I’m inspired by your firmness and determination. One thing I’ve learnt over the years is to go for whatever it is I want out of life. if I make mistakes along the line, its an indication that I’m doing something really worthwhile. All I need do is press on in my determination and persistence. People will always have opinions

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  22. Maggie

    I think what makes people the most angry about it is because happiness doesn’t always seem to find all of us like most of the lucky people in the comments and the article. I am currently 22 and have went through one abusive relationship and lost the second one with the love of my life because he did not know what he wanted out of life. Maturity for men is different than women and the hardest part is knowing that every single one of my friends are engaged but I am currently alone and having to deal with the pressure of weddings being constantly rubbed in my face while knowing that these people never had to get hurt and can be happy while I had to be hurt more than ever and still haven’t found happiness. How is it fair that many of you find love at a young age but there are others who have to wait or even never find it at all. I think that the articles telling people to wait are just trying to help those of us who have had struggles and can’t always get everything they want out of life like others.

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    1. Hi Maggie,
      I’m sorry to hear about your hardships. I can understand how it might be hard to see your friends getting married and engaged, but if I can give you any advice at all, it’s not to waste your life away trying to find happiness in another person. Happiness comes from within, and I hope that someday you do find it. I don’t think being in love and happy is “fair” or “unfair,” merely an experience that happens to people at different times in their life – in my case, my early twenties. My issue with the aforementioned articles is not that they promote travel, self awareness, and experience, but rather that they promote the idea that those things and marriage are mutually exclusive and that the former are prerequisites to getting married. One is not better than the other; life plays out differently for everyone, and for me, getting married is the right decision right now, but I still intend to explore life, travel the world, and I plan to do it with my husband by my side. For my others, marriage isn’t the right decision, and that’s perfectly fine – it just doesn’t make them better than me or vice versa for doing things differently.

      Anyway, I truly wish you the best in life and hope that you someday find happiness and “everything you want out of life.”
      Remember that you’re in control of your own destiny!

      Shelbie

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  23. Pingback: I’m Getting Married at 22 and Apparently That Upsets People on the Internet | Worldian

  24. Wendy

    i was married the week after I graduated from college, at 21. My husband was 24. We lived in three states and two countries during our 21 year marriage. We were blessed to become the parents of five amazing kids, starting four years after our marriage began. We grew up together and spent our whole adult life together. And then he was diagnosed with ALS, Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I cared for him over the course of 22 months as he slowly lost the use of all his muscles, including standing, walking, eating, talking, and eventually breathing. He died in March of 2014, leaving me a widow and a single mom to our five kids ages 17, 16, 10, 8, & 5. I cherish the time I had with him and there is no doubt in my mind that our marriage was meant to start at the young ages we were.

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  25. lil

    Shelbie you strike me as a young woman with a very good head on your shoulders and a very realistic outlook on marriage and commitment. I wish you and your husband a happy and satisfying marriage.

    I am also baffled as to why we get so many articles that think yout need to achieve 20 items if your bucket list before you get married as if life is some video game model with linear achievement.

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  26. sarameyer

    We met at 17, got engaged at 19, and married at 20. I remember how much my parents wanted us to wait a couple of years to get married so we could be better prepared, and listening to my brother try to convince me that I don’t know myself well enough yet, and getting “concerned emails” from family members who had hardly seen us together and barely even knew me.
    I was in college at the time and I remember how many of my fellow students had an opinion on my getting married, as though their opinion mattered. Funny looking back, hurtful at the time. My parents argument was semi-valid, but we were successfully buying our own house and have lived on our own, managing responsibility and hardship just fine. Almost 8 years later, God has brought us so much closer to each other and himself than I thought was possible.

    The reality is, everyone is different at 20. The ones who try to convince you to wait remember themselves at 20, often irresponsible, immature, and extremely selfish. And while a 20 year old doesn’t have expert status at avoiding mistakes, not every 20 year old is equally stupid.

    If you write this post to try to convince someone (or yourself) that you’re ready, you might not be. But otherwise, when you stand before God & witnesses to give your vows, mean it. Keep your commitment to love each other until death. Communicate & pray with & for each other, serve each other, set spending limits (ours is $50 w/out talking about it first), and find an older couple that has a relationship you would want to have and ask them to mentor you. Marriage takes work, but it’s awesome. 🙂

    And don’t skip a weekly date night. We didn’t have one for the first few years & within a couple weeks of starting it, we noticed a huge difference in how we interacted throughout the week. It wasn’t bad before, but it’s so much better with a date night – uninterrupted best friend time is the best. 🙂

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  27. EllaGleaves

    Loved this. My parents got married young. I never thought I would get married young as well, but it happened last year, one week before my 19th birthday. Got a lot of weird looks when I told people I was engaged at 18. I met my husband when I was 12 years old. We only dated for 2 years, but we started talking about marriage two months in. There was a lot of growing as we dated. I was very afraid to truly commit to a relationship at the beginning, but I’m so glad we stuck it out. It’s super cheesy to say, but we were made for each other. We’re best friends. People were telling us the first couple years of marriage would be really hard, but it’s just been a ton of fun! I love my husband so much, he is such a blessing in my life and I’m so excited for the future. I hope you and Alex love being married as much as we do (:

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  28. Malerie

    I was married at 19 and coming up to our 5 year anniversary. My boys are 2 (almost 3), and 8 months.

    Everyone said I was too young and should wait. But I am so thankfully to have made the choices I made. My husband continually is by my side and is there for me. He is the type of person who makes me continually strive to become a better person.

    Sure we don’t have much money and live on the opposite side of the country from family. And yes some days are extremely difficult and makes me want to give up. But we give each other strength by leaning on each other.

    So getting married at 22 is not too young. You do what is best for yourself, not what others think is the best.

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  29. We met when I was graduating from high school (age 18) and he was going to be a senior in high school that fall (age 17). We dated for four years before getting married, only because he thought you were “supposed to be older when you got married” – after all, his older brother tied the knot at age 24 and everyone thought that was young.

    However, there is no magic age. He was 21, I was 22.

    We both had jobs and could support ourselves. We bought a brand-new house a month before we got married. We had our first baby a month before our first anniversary. Friends and family said our marriage wouldn’t last six months. We’ve had job changes. We’ve moved. We’ve hit rock bottom financially. We’ve had promotions and raises. We’ve had miscarriages. We have six children. We’ve had lots of ups… and plenty of downs over the years, facing everything together. Yes, we’ve disagreed, argued, and, in all honesty, at times hated the sight of the other person. Divorce was never an option we put on the table.

    Over the years we’ve learned how to better communicate with each other when we don’t see eye-to-eye, and how to compromise to find a solution that works for both of us – or at least is in the best interest of our family and our marriage. We pray together. We make goals together. We hold hands in public. We go on dates often (sometimes it’s just to the grocery store). We don’t talk badly about each other to others. We have each other’s back. We make important decisions together. We share good news with each other first before telling others. We text/email/call each other during the work day. We surprise each other with little things (and sometimes big surprises!!) We would rather hang out with each other than anyone else.

    25 years later we are noticing our laugh lines, wrinkles around the eyes, some gray hairs are starting to make their appearance. And I still get butterflies in my stomach and my heart skips a beat when he pulls into the driveway after work.

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  30. Julia

    My fiancé is 22, and I’m 26. Maybe it’s because I’m older (scandal, it’s the lady who’s 26), maybe it’s because we’ve been together for nearly 5 years, or maybe it’s because he skipped a few years of school before college, but we never get flack for his age. People were asking him when he was 20 when he planned on proposing to me. You can’t put a number on being ready for marriage, nor should marriage become a “burden” to living your life as a young person: in fact, marriage should enhance your life, allowing you to share all the stupid mistakes and free-spirited decisions you make in your 20s with another person. I also find that being in a serious, long-term relationship when you’re younger prepares you to accept your better half as they change and grow.

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  31. We got married at 22, we had dated 3 years before that. It’s been almost 17 years and we are still happy, still married, still in love. We are not the same people that walked down the aisle, but I think that happens to any couple after 17 years, no matter how old they are when they get married. We were talking a few months ago about a kitten we got last summer, and how if things go for our kids how they went for us, that this kitten is likely to know our future son and daughter in law and our grandkids, and I think that was probably the first thing in this whole adventure that’s really scared either one of us. 🙂

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  32. I met my husband when he was 18 and I was 19. We were friends for a bit and started dating a few months later. We got married when I was 23 and he was 22. I had so many people tell me later we were SO young but 13 years of marriage and 3 kids later we are still happily married. Congrats on finding your happy ending, especially after a rough relationship before. Ignore the haters who married young and regretted it or have yet to find the person that makes them want to settle down. Sometimes you meet “the one” at 19 and sometimes you don’t. 😉

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  33. Kathryn

    Hi Shelbie,

    Please be encouraged. Amongst other couples that I know of who married in their 20s, my parents, who got married in their 20s, are celebrating 34 years of marriage this year. It works if you make it work. Don’t accept people’s opinions that marrying in your 20s is a mistake…etc. Why should you have to procrastinate with your marriage/family goals because other people think you should be doing different things at this age? School, at the least, has taught most of us that procrastination is NEVER, EVER beneficial. It doesn’t matter what statistics have proven. That’s like saying a young, black boy should not make effort in education because statistics have shown that there is a high level of underachievement by black males in education. I am 21 and I’m not in a relationship or anything but it is very discouraging for me to hear people expressing their negative expectations, opinions or doubts of young couples marriage/family plans.

    Never lose hope and don’t doubt, because doubt does not stay small forever. If you start doubting, all it will do is grow as time goes by. If you have faith and believe that this is the best and most amazing decision and new life you are preparing to begin right now, that faith will just grow and grow and grow….it will end up silencing every doubtful thought/opinion.

    I pray for all the best for you and your fiancé.

    Maybe everyone who stayed at the party beyond 9pm will realise what a big mistake they have made!
    🙂

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    1. Hi Rosie! I do have a twitter, but it’s not associated with my blog. If you would like to follow my blog you can subscribe by email in the sidebar! Thank you!

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  34. I met my (now) fiance 5 years ago and high school when he was 16 and I 15, we have been together ever since. We have a daughter together (Whom was PLANNED, although everyone assumes was an oops), and are planning our wedding for May/June 2016 when I will be 22 and he will be 23 and our daughter will be 21 months old. We have heard a LOT of criticism and have been through a lot of very hard tomes together (stranded In a foreign country, have zero dollars to our name out on our own, living in a motel for 2 months, etc.) but now are in a very good place and plan to outright buy buy our first house in the coming 6 months. Best of luck to the two of you, it’s nice hearing someone’s story and I hope you find every ounce of happiness you deserve!:)

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  35. This is beautiful! I couldn’t agree more. I got married this past year in October and I was 21. I love what you said about leaving the party at 9 p.m. Just cracked me up! I’m just gonna go chill in my yoga pants with my husband and binge watch some TV.
    Personally, I don’t think I needed my 20s to “find myself” like these articles say. I love that I have the man I love beside me as we take all these new adventures.
    Wonderful writing 🙂

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  36. Thank you for this, you have no idea how much you’ve helped me , with the whole struggle of wondering if whatever I’m doing is right or wrong and scared of what people might think of me, but as long as it makes me happy.

    Great read!

    Congratulations to you and Alex 🙂

    Like

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