On Getting Married Young

Inspiring 156

jenny erickson
My wedding day
Next month I’ll celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary. I’m 29. Yup, I was a teenage bride, and before you ask, no, I was not knocked up. It’s a cultural anomaly to get married so young these days, forgoing the wild ‘discover yourself at the end of a beer bong while wearing a wet T-shirt to show off your still perky breasts’ years, but it’s a decision I’ve never regretted. 

More from The Stir: Why You Shouldn't Marry Someone You've Known Less Than a Year

There’s an article out in the Huffington Post by Jennifer Nagy highlighting her failed marriage and the failed marriages of her friends as the basis for raising the legal age for entering matrimony to 25. She writes:

People under the age of 25 are still discovering themselves; they are figuring out what is most important in their lives. They are discovering the joys (and heartache) of being in a relationship, and then the partying that often characterizes life between relationships.

24-year-old Steven Crowder (who’s marrying his lovely-on-the-inside-and-out fiancée in August, by the way) hit the nail on the head with his response to Nagy’s narcissistic ramblings:

Let me see. Today I am somebody who seeks to be the best believer, husband, father, businessman and man of integrity that I can be. Looking back, when I was fourteen, I aspired to… be the best believer, husband, father, businessman and man of integrity that I can be.

What is this obsession with discovering yourself and finding out what is important in life? Where are the core values of integrity, honesty, responsibility, and kindness? Ms. Nagy thinks it’s impossible to know at 21 what you’ll want when you’re 29, and in part, she’s right. When I was 21, I didn’t know how many kids I’d eventually want, where I’d be living, or exactly what I’d be doing professionally. But those are all peripheral circumstances, not who I am.

Probability of divorce has less to do with what age a person gets married than their reasons for getting married in the first place. Ms. Nagy says that she got married after dating her boyfriend for five years because it was just the thing to do. When the excitement of the wedding was over, she and her new husband had no idea where to go from there.

Getting married because it’s the thing to do is not a good reason to tie the knot. A wedding is a day; a marriage should be a lifetime. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 85, understanding that marriage is ultimately about sharing your life with another person through all the highs and the lows is a much better place to start than because your relationship has reached a plateau and it seems like the next logical step.

Ms. Nagy doubts that people that get married young can make it long-term because puppy love doesn’t last forever. Of course it doesn’t. Over the years the butterflies melt into something different, something better, something more. When I think back to my wedding day almost ten years ago, I realize I barely knew my husband. But I knew what marriage was, and he and I made a commitment to love, honor, and cherish one another until death parts us.

I have grown up this past decade. I’ve done it with my best friend and life partner right by my side. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, let alone for a decade of self-discovery through partying.

anniversaries, commitment, in the news, love, marriage


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nonmember avatar Kate

I definitely agree with you on this one Jenny. Not everyone needs that time to party to discover themselves. There are some of us who are mature enough to know what we want from a relatively young age. A law that prohibits marriage before the age of 25 would be disgustingly discriminatory against those who have figured out their lives earlier than most. Why should people who are mature and responsible be discriminated against for knowing what they want out of life and who they want to spend life with?

Pinst... Pinstripes4

I was totally with you until the partying quip. There are many people who want to have a career and financial stability for their wedding and marriage. Still, congratulations on finding that person so early in life. I know I wish I was that sure about things at that age.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I've been with my husband for 10 years now as well (although I wasnt married until I was 20)...Nothing wrong with getting young as long as it feels right. My husband and I fit as perfectly as two people can :)

Pinst... Pinstripes4

Btw I really like that wedding dress. Simply gorgeous. Ok I'm done now.

nonmember avatar H

I agree with Kaye that such a law would be disgustingly discriminatory. Almost a disgustingly discriminatory as those that prohibit same sex marriage.

nonmember avatar Royce

My wife and I will be married for 35 years this January. I was 19, she was 15. Yes it is exactly what you think. I would not change a thing, and will be married to my bride for the rest of my life.

nonmember avatar zizzler

Wouldn't you rather live the prime of your youth WITH your spouse? Otherwise, you'd miss out on so much important things in their lives! I can't imagine waiting until after 25 to get married.

Lynette Lynette

I married at 21(DH was 20).  Had our first child the month before I turned 25.  13yrs latter we are still happily married.  I agree w/ you Jenny!  DH & I were not the partying type.

nonmember avatar Emily

Normally I have a sincere dislike for all the stuff you normally write. This however I can stand behind. I was 19 when I married too, and will be celebrating my 10 year anniversary as well. They were taking bets at my wedding how long it would take my husband and I to get divorced. Well three year long deployments, four kids and a million moves later we are still together. I have been married longer than pretty much everyone I know, so as far as I'm concerned age has nothing to do with it.

stace... stacey541

I also agree...my 3 best friends and I all got married right around 20/21...and we are all still very happily married 9 years later. In a good relationship you grow together , not apart.

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