Sunday, March 8, 2015

Marrying Young

I have seen a lot of articles about young marriage floating around on Facebook. Some have been pro. Some against. Some military specific. None of them ever really defined "young marriage," but it's a term we all just seem to know.
"Young" typically means "having had fewer than some predetermined number of trips around the Sun." And in a lot of situations, that's a pretty good definition. Abilities such as walking, talking, writing, and driving are learned according to our number of years lived. The physical stuff is easy to measure that way, but the mental and emotional side of development isn't so simple. The range of gaining the capacity for abstract thought is years wide. Depending on whose theory you subscribe to, not everyone reaches the highest level of mental development. But it's the mental and emotional aspects that are important when it comes to something as personal as marriage.
My opinion on marriage in general is that it's not for everyone. Monogamy isn't even for everyone. We're not all cookie cutter people who can live the same life of grow up, graduate high school, go to college, get a job, get married, have babies, pay bills, die. And that's okay. We shouldn't all be the same.
What I like about having gotten married at 19 is that we were forced to be grown ups. When you have a spouse, your life isn't all about you and your life experiences. There's a lot of joint decisions and group activities. There's an entire other person in your world you have to consider. Learning how to balance personal growth with family bonding is one of the best experiences out there for people like me. Getting to grow up and grow old with the same person is as exciting as it is challenging.
I can't remember where I heard this, but one of the greatest pieces of advice I've ever received is that marriage is falling in love many times with the same person (if anyone knows where this came from, please tell me in the comments so I can give credit where credit is due). That is especially true when you get married before your brain is done growing. 25 is the general age for when the brain has hit its peak and abstract thought is possible. If that's when it is for me, my husband has 6 years of change and growth to get through before I settle into who I am. That means 6 years of growing up and growing together and rediscovering each other regularly.
If that doesn't force you to make the big decisions about money, goals, children, dreams, and desired lifestyle, I don't know what will. But again, that's for people like me. Getting married at the ripe old age of 19 isn't for everyone. It all depends on where your heart and mind are, not just your body. Truly, age isn't the determining factor for if you married "young" or not.
I married at the exact right time for me. I know people who married younger. I know people who married older. I know people who married more than once. I know people who never married. IT DOESN'T MATTER. Who you are as a person is not determined by your labels. Do you, whoever that may be, and have your happiness. It's that simple. "A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms." -- Zen Shin
What are your thoughts on young marriage?