Marriage: A Beginning, Not an End

By: Madelyn Starritt

I started dating my first boyfriend when I was 17, got engaged when I was 19 and then married a year later. I am 22 now and will be celebrating my two year wedding anniversary in August. This might seem crazy or way too fast to some, but for me it was just right. Now, I am not some seasoned pro here to give unsolicited relationship advice. I am just a college girl who found love at a young age. I am here to share my experience about marrying young and how, contrary to popular belief, it has not destroyed my life.

Now I still have my whole life ahead of me so there is plenty of time for things to go sour but as of right now I don’t regret my decision to get hitched at 20. I think married life is great. It is not too much different from not being married even though every person asks us, “How does it feel?” and “How’s married life?” These are two questions my husband and I constantly got asked after we got married and even still now. It feels great to be married and I love it but honestly our lives didn’t change drastically after we said our vows. Some things did though.

an engagement picture of the author and her husband.
This was one of our engagement pictures. We used this photo for our wedding invitations. Photo by: Madelyn Starritt

Our relationship feels a little stronger now that we are married. We both know that we really want to be together and value our relationship so much more. We felt this before we got married, but tying the knot just made these feelings a little bit stronger. I was also welcomed into a new amazing family. I love my in-laws and am so grateful to have them in my life. Family is very important to me so it is wonderful to get to have two wonderful families in my life.

I also always have a partner to join me in adventures. Besides wondering if I was pregnant (I wasn’t) something I heard often from people in my life and the internet was that I’m young so I need to live a little instead of settling down and getting married. Like, somehow getting married would be the end of being able to enjoy my life. Like it is a requirement or something to become miserable and pop out a kid as soon as I am bound to another. Sorry to disappoint but this is not how it is. I still get to live and go out and have fun, I just have someone I care for deeply to do it with.  I have a travel buddy always! Not that travelling alone is bad, it’s just not my preference. I will always have someone to walk home with at night and wake up next to every morning. I have my best friend to spend my life with. Not that I can’t do all these things alone but that I want to share them with someone.

We are not “whipped” or “tethered down” because we are married. We are still our own people who can do things on our own. That’s right, we don’t actually have to do everything together just because we are married. Checking with my husband before I go out or make a big purchase does not mean I am not my own person. I am not asking permission from my warden, I am deciding with my husband. Our lives are intertwined because we are married so we let each other know what is going on. This doesn’t mean we are not our own people.

I am still a person with my own opinions and activities and he is, his own. We still have our own lives connected to each other. I am pretty sure I would go crazy if I spent every minute of the day with him and he probably would too.

Also, no. I am not pregnant and I do not plan on having a child anytime soon. Being married does not mean you or I have to have children immediately or even at all. I am very excited to have children in my future but that won’t be for a while because right now I am enjoying being young.

Meeting my husband when we were young also means we have seen each other at our worst and still want to be together. When I say at our worst, I mean the awkward stages of growing up. We knew each other through puberty, acne, and all the silly and stupid things we did as kids. We knew it all because we were there to witness it and we still love each other.

A prom photo of a couple kissing on a dock.
This was a photo of us from our senior prom. Photo: Jesse Murdock

 

Marrying is not for everyone, really it is not my place to say. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions in their relationships and decide what works for them. This was my experience so far, obviously I have a lot more to learn in life and my relationship in the many years to come. I wanted to show that marrying young doesn’t have to be for any other reason than you want to and it doesn’t have to mean your youth is over. That’s not what it was for me anyway.

Getting married young is not a death sentence to a social life or independence. It is getting to share experiences and a whole life with someone special.

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6 thoughts on “Marriage: A Beginning, Not an End

  1. Hi all: My Young Wife and I have been married for 42 long happy and challenging years. It is not always easy but when I look back I know I have been very fortunate to have even met my wife when she was only 18. Today she is on a holiday of a life time for some 72 days. Yes I miss her constantly but with each day I thank god for the tremendous gift that I have been given. Hang in there Young Lovers . God Bless you both. Thomo from the ” Land Down Under”

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