Getting Married Young: Advice from someone who did it

May 1, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Boys, Love, Relationships

may_marriageBy Emily Herring Dunn

I know that I have my regular column entitled Married in College, but I thought it may be refreshing to write an actual article on being married young. After all, many of you may be nearing an age where you feel ready to be with that person whom you love.

My husband and I knew each other all through high school. Though we were friends and we were there to support each other through rough times, we were not romantically involved until our senior year of high school. In the first month of our freshman year of college, we eloped.

While this may seem extreme and not well thought out to many of you readers, we are still going strong and still feel like we did when we first started dating.

It’s not easy. Being married young is NOT easy. No matter how easy people may make it look on the television or through articles or books, it is not easy.

I think it’s and for people who got married young to admit the trials and tribulations they faced. Why? Because when you marry young you are automatically put into a category of concern. People do not understand why you couldn’t wait; if it’s so meant to be, why can’t the couple wait a few more years?

Everyone has their reasons, but being in a category that is so questioned these days makes it hard for younger couples to admit they’re struggling. Getting married young is typically viewed as a mistake to the outside world, so for those who got married young they have to stay strong and appear as though nothing is ever wrong.

OK, you may think that’s a little over the top. There are the few who look at young married couples with admiration and wish that they could do the exact same thing. Perhaps others have patience, perhaps others aren’t sure, or perhaps others wait because they don’t want to be seen as other young married couples.

I cannot speak for everyone. I can simply give you some pointers.

One: If you feel as though you are ready to be married, make sure you talk it through. Don’t just get up and get married because others are telling you not to, or because you want to prove people wrong. Those are NOT good reasons. Get married because you know it’s right, because you know you don’t want to wait another day to start your forever together. Don’t get married for sex. Talk everything through and make sure you are getting married for the right reasons.

Two: Look at your financial situation. One thing I do look back on and laugh at is that Clark and I were not ready financially. We were both college students and the only reason we had money is because I had quite a bit saved from babysitting the year before. Neither of us had “real” jobs, and we were trying to make it in school. If you’re going to get married, you need a support system—friends, family, finances. Clark and I didn’t have any of those, possibly because we didn’t tell anyone we were getting married. Make sure you have enough money to stabilize yourselves in the beginning—especially if you are both in college.

Three: Talk to others about it. Clark and I were concerned that no one else would understand. We told my roommate, a few close friends, and hoped for the best. The day we got married, we e-mailed both of our parents a long letter explaining why. While I know that their advice would have been full of questions of, “How are you going to,” “Don’t you think you should,” “You are far too young,” I think we could have handled it. I think we would have seen things we didn’t think about, and things we needed to wait on, but I know we still would have done it. Premarital counseling, I think, is important; though we didn’t go through it, I think it’s a good suggestion—especially if you’re young. You need to have someone else talk you through situations, point out the importance of communication, and so on. We didn’t get all of that until after we were married, and I think the first few months would have been a lot easier had we talked to our closest friends and family.

The times that we live in do not support young marriages. Women and men are supposed to go out and establish themselves on their own. However, I think that if you are ready—you’re ready. If you know, you know. No one else can make the decision for you, but I think it’s a decision that is not to be made lightly and should only be carried out if you are completely positive.

While my three pointers left out the most important in my opinion, I thought it would be best to end with.

The Most Important thing to Remember: Always put God first. In the relationship, you must remember that there is Someone who needs to come before your spouse. It should be God, each other, and then everybody and everything else. God is always first, and if He is not first in your relationship, then you need to rethink your decision. Clark and I struggled with God in the beginning because we were so enamored with each other that we seemed to forget Him. Talk to Him about it, pray about it… because only He can give you the right answer.

Marriage is one of the most important decisions you will make in your entire life. It doesn’t matter if you decide when you’re 18 or when you’re 65 as long as you’re sure it’s the right decision, the right person, and God is not going to be pushed aside for it.

I married at age 18. Now, at age 21, I look back and know that I would still make the same decision, with the same man, but I would tweak it just a bit. I would make sure we had the support systems, would make sure we talked to someone, and would enforce the most important thing to remember: that God was first in the decision.

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17 Responses to “Getting Married Young: Advice from someone who did it”
  1. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  2. Beth says:

    Thank you. My boyfriend and I are thinking through marriage in college and I really needed to hear this. It was a great reminder that God should come first, I have fallen back in this area and it was totally a God thing that I wandered onto this page. So, thank you.

  3. Melanie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been wanting to get married, having been dating my boyfriend all throughout high school and am entering my junior year of college. We’ve been holding off because of finances, which I think is wise, but I really wish we could just get married now. But it’s a good reminder that it’s not our time, but God’s time. I hope to see more of your stuff and advice!

  4. Dolly says:

    Thank you for this advice! My boyfriend and I have been discussing marriage a lot. We both want a strong Christian marriage. We are both freshmen in college. I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to find your article after browsing through SO MANY other sites that are just drilling in the message: “wait until after college to be married.” It’s just not true! We love each other now and wouldn’t ever want to be with another. Your site is a refreshing viewpoint that differs from the mainstream way of thought. Thank you!

  5. Kimberly says:

    Emily -

    I am entering my junior year of college as my boyfriend is currently working hard to run a small business. I just happened to be feeling really down about our situation, which is wanting desperately to get married but being very unsure of our finances. So, I was just going to do some looking online to find someone out there to encourage me rather than make things seem more impossible – so thank you! I am also a firm believer in Christ & I have no doubt that he constantly provides, but in this scary day and age it’s very difficult to feel like either my boyfriend or I could manage financially on our own. When I hear success stories like yours of people who were facing the same odds, I feel greatly encouraged. Thank you!

  6. Tiffany says:

    Thank you so much for the advice. I am 17 and my boyfriend is 18. We both are Christians & want to get married ASAP. We both are waiting to have sex after marriage but we are afraid if we wait to get married until I am 22-24 that we will end up breaking purity and ruining our relationship together and with God. So, we are thinking of getting married when I am 18 and he is 20. He will be in the Marines and I plan to go into a 4 year degree for teaching. I am madly in love. I have never felt this way for anyone. He truly is amazing… we have talked about having children, our faith, and view points. Everything feels so right. Am I crazy for thinking this?

  7. I’d been honored to get a call coming from a friend as he discovered the important points shared on your own site. Studying your blog write-up is a real amazing experience. Thanks again for thinking about readers just like me, and I desire for you the best of success for a professional in this area. Discount Travel Vacations Deals To Cuba

  8. Lori says:

    My boyfriend and I are getting married this December. We’ve known for about a year and a half that we were getting married. He had to move and I thought I would never see him again. The thought of breaking up was not an option. We had both committed to this relationship and separation wouldn’t stop us from loving each other. We kept a long distance relationship and fortunately he was able to come back home a few months later. We had planned to get married when we both got out of high school, but he was a grade ahead of me and would have to move far away after he graduated. We both decided we would do whatever it took to make this relationship work. He joined the military, I started an online school and was able to work hard and get in the same grade as he was. Because he joined the military, we wanted to be married before he volunteered for an early deployment. We planned to get married December 2011. We bravely told our family our intentions and dealt with a lot of chastening but we stood strong and suprisingly we got their blessing. With careful financial decisions we have already gotten the wedding paid for and are working on the honeymoon as well as still saving up to put money away. He recently got medically discharged from the military and this put us back to square one, we didn’t know where this would put us….If we didn’t have God in our lives showing us every single step of the way throughout our entire relationship we would not have made it. We both firmly believe that this is God’s Will and he has made a way for us to still go on with our plans. A few days after he was discharged, we discovered something that made us glad that he wasn’t in the military. It would have caused us a lot of grief in the long run (without going into too much detail) I’m just praising God for how much he has done for us!…..I’ve got chills from writing this.

  9. Crystal says:

    Wow, thank you so much for this article. I have been thinking a lot recently about wanting to marry my boyfriend, and last night he told me he wanted to marry me. Instead of jumping for joy, I became quite scared actually.. because before it was just a fantasy but now that it is beginning to be a reality, I became scared of the pressures and trials we’ll have to face. Your article really helped me and I’m so glad you included God :) . Thanks again!

  10. It’s really helpful for me which I have ever seen. Its presented well and nicely written which easy to understand. Thank you very much for the information.

  11. Refreshing blog post you have hereabouts. I hadn’t pondered this.

  12. Amber says:

    I think this article might be a little more useful if it were written ten years from now. I am glad to hear that things are going well for you, but at the same time you have only been married 2-3 years. Many of the trials that young couples face result from the fact that people often change between 18 and say, 40. At 21, you are still very young and would probably still be lumped into the category of “married young,” even if you were to be married today. Young people considering marriage should be thinking about the “long haul,” and three years time really isn’t enough to lend your thoughts on that yet.

  13. These vertebrates, as well as an infinity of other life forms — animal and vegetable, marine, terrestrial, and aërial — were the products of unguided evolution acting on life-cells made by the Old Ones, but escaping beyond their radius of attention. They had been suffered to develop unchecked because they had not come in conflict with the dominant beings. Bothersome forms, of course, were mechanically exterminated. It interested us to see in some of the very last and most decadent sculptures a shambling, primitive mammal, used sometimes for food and sometimes as an amusing buffoon by the land dwellers, whose vaguely simian and human foreshadowings were unmistakable. H.P. Lovecraft “At the Mountains of Madness”

  14. loveyou says:

    when my family know about webpage I love to us for your very goodnews. I will bookmark it.

  15. Jacob says:

    I am glad to see that you are a Christian couple. My girlfriend and i are planning on getting married next summer and have next to no money and no jobs. Any ideas on how to get some money fast? (we are still looking for jobs).

  16. Amber says:

    Me and my current boyfriend have been together for almost 7 months now. It may not seem like a long time but we were best friends a year before we started dating. We have both faced some terrible issues in our own lives since we’ve been together. And without a doubt he is the only one who has ALWAYS been there for me whenever I need him. We are in a long distant relationship now which is very hard but I couldnt imagine breaking up just because of that. I knew from day one that he was the person I want to marry. Im planning to get married after high school an possibly before college. I grew up extremely fast and had to take on some adult challenges at a very young age. Im so glad I found this website! Everyone I talk to is against getting married young but like you said If your ready your ready ..if you know you know! God is always number one and always has been in our relationship which I think has got us through the many challenges we have faced!

  17. Nice site you have here ill be sure to bookmark and visit often.

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