Getting Married Young Doesn't Mean Your Marriage Is Doomed

couple in chicagoI met my husband in November of my freshman year of college. I was 18. He was 19. We were crazy for each other. I mean -- we weren't planning our wedding (I was never one of those girls clipping pictures out of wedding magazines) nor was I even looking for a relationship -- I had just started college for goodness sake. At the University of Miami of all places. The last thing I was thinking about was finding a boyfriend! But isn't that exactly when things happen? When you aren't looking for them?

We knew, almost immediately, that we were a good match. The connection between us was instantaneous, passionate, and strong.

We both cared about the same things. Family was important. Communication with each other was even more important. And trust was even more important than that.

But man, our dating and getting serious at such a young age -- it really freaked people out!

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We ended up getting engaged during my senior year and at least half-a-dozen people tried to convince us (separately) that we were nuts and should wait to get married. My question back to them was always ... how long should I wait? Is there some magic number? By the time we were to get married -- assuming neither of us ran for the hills -- we would have been together for five years. Would seven years be enough? Do I have to wait until I am 28? Or maybe you need to be over 30 for a marriage to last?

No -- there is no magic number. If it is right -- it is right. Although it was a little disconcerting when, at my first work Christmas party, a very jaded divorcee pulled me aside and told me she was sure I would be divorced in five years!

So I realized through all of this that what really mattered wasn't what everyone was saying -- but rather how we felt. Were we ready? And we were.

At whatever age you get married, you need to understand that relationships will have ups and downs. It's not always going to be roses (though it's nice to get them) and lovey snuggles on the couch. My husband and I have had plenty of things we've had to work through over the years. After our first child was born we didn't like each other -- literally -- for about five months. But you figure out why ... because every problem has a solution ... and you work on fixing it. Not for a day. Not for a week. You really work on it -- until it is fixed. And in some cases it can't be fixed. And that's just the way it is. But how old you are when you get married has nothing to do with it.

Relationships provide us with a love and security and a strength that build over time -- but holding on to that relationship isn't always easy. Staying married is hard work. My mom's been telling me that since I was a little kid -- and she's happily married to my dad for 46 years.

My husband and I have managed to grow together -- and that's not luck. We talk about everything. We have the same goals for our family and understand we both must be happy individually too -- whether it's allowing him time to run his 40 miles a week or me taking a weekend away with my girlfriends. 

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary. I am not sure how so much time has passed ... but two kids later, we are still madly in love. 

So to all of you haters that thought we were crazy to get married so young ... we're still going strong.

Do you think people who marry young are more likely to get divorced?


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