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Keith and I got married when we were both very young, and we’ve been together for five years now! In that time, we’ve really grown into our marriage, moved states, and had a beautiful daughter. But to be honest – it hasn’t been easy. Getting married young comes with its own set of challenges that we battle against often. If you’re considering getting married at a young age, my hope is that our experience will give you a real-life look at what to expect.
I was 18 when we got married, and Keith was 21. We had been dating and engaged for less than a year! But we had been friends for a few years, and we knew that we wanted to do life together for the long haul. We got married at the courthouse in front of my mom and sister – I wore a white cotton dress from TJ Maxx. Eight months later we learned we were expecting!
It hasn’t been easy, especially the first year, and when Keith took an over-the-road truck driving job to provide for us. But he’s worked hard, and we’ve worked together on our marriage and communication skills. We’re on track to pay off our debt within a few years. And I’m lucky enough to stay home with Emma and start my business!
Getting married young has had its benefits. I’m only 23 and I already have a wonderful life and five years of marriage under my belt. And there are more!
Pros of Getting Married Young
You grow up together.
We married while we were still deciding who we were going to be as people. And we got to do it together! We learned from each other and guided each other into real-life adulthood. I’m sure who we are would be much different if we hadn’t met until later in life.
You learn things together.
We learned how credit cards work, how to buy a car, how to shop for groceries… all together. Neither of us came into our marriage already having ‘the way I do it’ with many things! Granted, we made a lot of mistakes (that we’re still paying off now)! But we did them together, and we’ll learn from them together.
You have more common experiences.
A big portion of Keith’s and my life have been spent with each other! We have so many memories, good and bad, that we share and laugh about often.
Cons of Getting Married Young
It’s hard to make changes in yourself.
Having grown together, it can be hard to try to change something about yourself. Any change can be seen as a threat to what you’ve worked toward… Even if it’s not expressed that way! Trying to develop a hobby or change your eating habits can make your spouse feel forgotten. This is true in any marriage, but especially true for couples who married young. The interdependency that forms in young couples can make it hard to change, even for the better.
It’s hard to make changes in your relationship.
In a similar way, trying to improve your relationship can feel like an affront to the marriage you’ve worked so hard to build. Oftentimes couple’s therapy is out of the question due to finances. And figuring out how to have a strong and solid marriage takes work, and trial and error. Interrupting the fragile peace in order to build something stronger can be uncomfortable in the moment. But it’s worth it in the long run!
There will be judgement.
We can laugh about it now, but we had a discouraging moment in the courthouse when we married. The justice asked how old I was, and I told her I was 18. She said, “Oh great, another one for the divorce books!” How I wish I’d misheard her. What a way to start off a marriage! A lot of people asked if I was pregnant. A few members of my family didn’t support our decision to get married young. But we stuck with each other, against the odds, and we have a flourishing life to show for it!
Did you get married young? Tell me your story in the comments!
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