My husband and I got married pretty young by today's standards. I was a few months shy of 21, and he was almost 22. We both had some college under our belt and felt that we were ready to take this next step in our lives. We were friends first who then fell in love. After we married, we continued our educations, started a family and have enjoyed spending our lives together over the last 15 years (and look forward to 50 more!).
Though there were some who questioned our choice to marry young, we knew it was the best choice for us. In fact, even though many people think it's best to wait longer to get hitched, one study about marriage and happiness stated, "most persons have little or nothing to gain in the way of marital success by deliberately postponing marriage beyond the mid-twenties."
While it may not be for everyone, there are some great reasons to get married young.
Trust and "baggage"
Trust is a huge part of any relationship — especially marriage. Our life experiences have an impact on our ability to trust. We bring in our experiences from every relationship we've ever had and often compare it to our current one. If we have had many bad relationship experiences, we come into our next relationship with a somewhat cynical point of view.
Carrying the baggage of past relationships can taint our ability to trust our spouse. We can find ourselves questioning our spouse's every move. However, the earlier we marry, the number of painful relationships decreases giving us less latent emotions we have to filter through. We can trust more easily and love more readily by having a mostly clean slate to start with.
More time together
For couples who are truly in love and happy together, many may wish they could have known each other longer. When we marry younger, we get much more time together. We can grow together while maintaining the same goals and supporting each other through individual goals. Even getting through college together, struggling through tight finances, job hunting and raising a young family are moments that will strengthen your marriage. Strong marriages don't come from an easy path; they come from working through the hard times together.
It's no secret that kids have a lot of energy and take a lot of energy to keep up with. As we age, we get tired. By marrying younger and thus having children younger, we are more physically able to care for our children from birth and into adulthood.
Additionally, there are more health risks for the mother and child the older you are when you get pregnant and give birth. It's better to have children while you are younger and healthier. That's not to say that women can't have kids when they are older without complications, it's just a lot more risky. Additionally, it can limit the number of children you are able to have.
Cramming it all in
For those who marry later in life, it can be quite difficult to cram in all your family goals. Navigating a new marriage with a potential ticking biological clock can add pressure to your beginning together. Not to mention, if you wish to have multiple children, marrying later shrinks your timeline a bit, which can impact how close or far apart in age your children can be.
In an article on marriage and relationships, it states, "Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to each approach, and life circumstances are going to affect which path someone takes. The most important factor in a happy marriage is not age, but choosing the right person. Sometimes that happens earlier on in your life, and sometimes it takes longer. And those who find the peanut butter to their jelly later in life can absolutely go on to have spectacularly happy marriages."
Marriage is a huge decision to make. When you are ready, don't put off marriage for financial reasons or because you'd rather finish school, travel the world or because you think people will judge you for being too young. When it's right, it's right. Find someone you'd like to grow together with who will support you and that can lean on you through hard times.
Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen