Saturday, April 23, 2016

On Six Months of Marriage -- And The People Who Don't "Get It"

Photo of our wedding day by Lena Lee Photography
My husband Chris and I got married six months ago today.

We honestly love being married. We like that we've really become a team, and our love is stronger than ever.

There's some obvious perks too: Older people seem to take us more seriously. People are asking us about our goals for the first time in a long time. There was a noticeable difference at tax time. I think we were able to get our car loan because of our marital status.

And as nice as these perks are, I wish there was one thing I could change: the stigma that we were too young to get married.

We got married at 24 years old, which is light-years after when our older family members tied the knot. And yet, it's way too early for our generation? When did that change?

I get that people are delaying marriage for particular reasons, like education. We did that. But that doesn't mean that any other way is "wrong," and I'm tired of people being judged for dating a variety of people, being on Tinder, committing or not committing to a relationship. Everyone wants different things, and not everyone is at the same "stage" in their lives. Let people live!

An employee at the car dealership last week remarked that he was surprised to learn that Chris and I were married. He said something along the lines of (in a skeptical tone) "Wow, you guys are really young. I mean, everyone your age is waiting until, like, 30." 

Is that a fact? A good chunk of my peers are engaged or married, including some of my closest friends. Maybe I ran with a certain "type" growing up, people who were mature for their age, people who grew up surrounded by great examples of commitment. Maybe that's what makes us "different."

But I don't think that means anything after 25 is too old. I think the time is right when the time is right, no matter when that comes. I just think people like Chris and I find comfort in a committed relationship. That's not the lifestyle for everyone, but some people scoff at it, some are wary of it, some try to tear others down for it.

Take an old "friend" of ours, for instance. Shortly after our engagement, the friend tried to rationalize my engagement for me. (I didn't ask him to.) 

He said things like "Are you sure this is what you want to do? I just don't think it's a good idea. I mean, why would you want to be tied down to one person for the rest of your life? You can do that much later."

Why can't we all respect each other's decisions? I respect his right to an opinion, but not his choice to try to tell me I was wrong.

The age at which someone decides to "commit" shouldn't matter to anyone but the person who is making that choice. You don't know everyone's situation. You don't know what makes that person tick. You don't know what stage of life they're in at that moment. And believe it or not, most people do it all "out of order," these days.

And that's OK.

What really matters is being 100 percent secure in your decision, whatever that decision may be. If you know this is the person you want to marry, marry them! If it seems like no one's good enough for you, maybe that's true. Maybe there's something better up ahead. But never, ever judge someone for the path their life is taking. Instead, be there to support and uplift them, or you should expect to be kicked to the curb.

Getting married at 24 years old was the right decision for us, and I couldn't have asked for a better six months. As I'm typing this, he's being the "Kenny to my Dolly" as we sing and hum along to "Islands in the Stream." 

It's a simple life, but it's our life, and that's for no one else to judge.

1 comment:

  1. I've read that people in the so-called millennial generation are waiting longer to do lots of things but marriage actually wasn't one of those things. Instead, they seem to be waiting longer to have kids, buy a house, that sort of thing. It all comes down to money and not feeling financially ready for those commitments.

    Fun fact, did you know in Alabama you can technically just say that you're married to a person and it be legal? The things you learn when you work in news...