Marriage Mondays: MarriAGE

Before I met A.P., I always told myself that I wouldn't get married until I was well into my 30's. I figured that by then I would know myself really well, know what I wanted, and be able to ask for it and accept it with an open mind and an open heart. Little did I know, I'd turn out just like my mother: married by 29. Oh, the ironies of life. No worries though because I love A.P. a whole lot, so it's worked out.

Still, I'm always in a bit of disbelief about how young I was when I met A.P. And in even more disbelief when I realize that my whole plan to get married in my thirties went right out the window. I know I blame my mother for the whole "not the marrying kind" moniker, but let's be honest, I accepted it because in some ways, I always thought it was true. I didn't see myself as the kind of girl guys wanted to marry. I figured I'd need an older, wiser guy to have that realization.

I also thought jumping into marriage young was not exactly the wisest decision. I still stand by that statement, but am a lot more open to exceptions now. The reason I'm more open is for the same reason I stand by the statement: half of the people I know who married young are divorced now. That means there are some exceptions, but for the most part, things are as statistically stated many times before.

Still, if you peruse sites like Wedding Bee or The Knot's community boards, or heck, just read various blogs, you realize a lot of people marry young. And let's clarify what "young" is. I consider young to be 30 and younger, with the full understanding that most people think young is actually 25 and under. That being said, I can't for the life of me imagine being married at that time in my life. It was hard enough being in a relationship in my late 20's. I felt like I was growing up too fast in some ways when a lot of my friends were still all out having fun. Those first couple of years were tough sometimes and honestly the only thing that made it easier was that I loved A.P. and I couldn't imagine breaking up with him.

Also, your 20's are this great big leap between childhood and adulthood. You change in ways you can't even foresee. You settle, for lack of a better word, about a lot of things, too. The things that I'm doing now I didn't even envision for myself at age 22. I have a hard time thinking back about my early 20's and being sure about anything, let alone a person I was going to marry. I know everyone is different and some people can mature and grow together from even an early age, but most people I know who married young and are divorced now grew apart because their interests changed. Their direction in life altered in a way that no longer coincided with the person they'd vowed to be with for life and so the marriage ended.

I'm not offering any answers here and I'm not arguing any side is right. I think that rules I thought existed before I went ahead and broke anyway, so I'm certainly not one to judge. But it is an interesting conversation and one I thought might be appropriate here. Is there an appropriate age to get married? Did you/do you have any preconceived ideas about the age you'd be when you got married? And if you are married, do you think your age going in has affected the relationship at all? Let's discuss! : )

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  1. Actually, I fully agree that it's not the best plan for most people to marry young (to me, that's younger than 25.) I think most poeple need a few extra years to find themselves on their own, both while single and while dating. However, as you said, it does work out well sometimes. I never thought I would be married young, as a born northerner living in a southern state where ideas about age and marriage and how the two go together are VERY different from where I grew up. I knew people who got married before we even graduated from high school, which was an incredibly foreign idea to me.

    And then I met Lindi. And we got married when I was just a few days shy of 22, and she was 25.

    It was the right decision for US, I know that. I don't think I would have gotten married this young if I hadn't found her. (Actually, as you know from my bride post, I didn't really know how I felt about getting married at ALL!)

    It's kind of a hard thing to muddle through, but I think most people figure it out for themselves- or don't.

  2. I am glad I didn't get married until the "late side of average" (which in my world is the end of yoru 20s). Because if I had married younger, I would have married my ex-finace and it would have lead to an unhappy divorce. I can say that with the clarity I have now that I didn't at 25. But I would never asy that my story should be anything more than just my story - certainly not judgement to others.

  3. @Helen: See? Maybe you'll be one of the exceptions. I also wonder if same sex marriages change the rules at all. There's not enough statistics for that probably, but it would be interesting. At the end of the day, there's a million factors that can make you statistically more likely to divorce, and half of them are out of your control anyway, so, I'm with you, do what's right for you.

    @highdivingboard: I'm with you. My story is my story and I certainly don't think I'm living proof you shouldn't marry young, because to me 29 was still young. However, I do think that if my 21 year old nephew or someone came to me tomorrow and said they were getting married, I would probably try to talk them out of it. Still, I have had a couple of friends marry young and they are still married. I also think it depends on what you want out of life. The marriages that have lasted, they were clear about what they wanted early on and that hasn't changed. The friends I have who have divorced, they changed in ways they didn't realize could happen and it made them grow apart.


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