In about two months, my husband and I will be celebrating our fourteenth anniversary. In less than two weeks, I’ll be celebrating my thirty-second birthday. Yes, your math is correct: I was eighteen, just barely, when we got married.
We had a “whirlwind courtship.” It was seven months and eleven days from “Nice to meet you” to “I do.” With the short period of time that we’d known each other, and how young we both were, there were quite a few people who assumed I was pregnant. (I wasn’t.) Most of them were polite enough to keep their opinions to themselves, but we got very used to having people look at us sideways. So, after almost fourteen years, I’d just like to say: Pppppppbbbbbbtttttt. 😉
Why is it such a big deal that we got married so young? We were both legal adults. (Honey was 22 when we got married, by the way.) We met, we fell in love, we actually LIKED each other. We agreed on the big topics (politics, religion, kids, etc.) and figured that we’d have plenty of time to work out the little things. He asked me to marry him, I said “yes.” Should we have waited two, three, eight more years before we got married? I don’t think so.
Do I regret getting married so young? Absolutely not!! With getting married so young, and becoming parents so young, we have so much to look forward to! By the time that both of our girls become legal adults, we’ll still be in our forties. That’s plenty young to go out and do all of the things that so many people say they want to do before they “settle down.” Personally, I’d rather do my traveling, exploring, and/or adventuring when I’ve got the money for it. When I was in my late teens/early twenties, I was far too broke to do even a quarter of the things that I’d like to be able to do someday.
Did we have some growing up left to do? You bet!! We were practically kids still. But, we did the growing up together. We didn’t start our lives separately and then have to figure out how to integrate a new person into our old routines. We made our routines together, as a couple. Then all we had to do was integrate kids into the picture.
The best piece of marriage advice I ever received was from a novel. I’m paraphrasing, but it roughly said, “Learn to laugh; otherwise, you’ll beat him to death with a hammer while he’s sleeping.” It’s so true. If you let the little things get under your skin, you’re going to be miserable. Everyone has annoying traits or habits. Either learn to find them funny or learn to overlook them. If it’s a big enough thing that you just can’t get past it, talk to your significant other about it. Open communication does wonders. But don’t make the little things into big things. For example:
My husband takes his lunch to work most days. Quite often, he uses Tupperware containers. I try to have water in the sink, to soak the dishes. When Honey takes taco salad for his lunch, those containers get pretty nasty. (What is it about taco juice? That stuff just hates to come off of plastic!) He’ll come home from work, take the containers out of his bag, and put them in the sink of water. With their lids still on. So they just float around in the water. I think someone missed the point of having water in the sink!
I told my mother this story, and I was laughing. She told me that she was glad I found it funny. Well, of course I find it funny! I told her, “He’s such a wonderful man. If this is my cross to bear in our relationship, it’s a pretty light cross.” And it is! Is it worth me sighing and getting frustrated? Nope. I just open the lids and push the containers down so they fill up with water. No big deal.
Now, don’t think I’m trying to say that I’m the only one bearing crosses. My mother-in-law used to make homecoming mums. (If you’re not from Texas, look them up. From what I’ve discovered, it’s a Texas-only thing.) So, my husband grew up in a house that seemed to have glitter everywhere. EVERYWHERE. All the time, but more concentrated during mum season. He’s practically glitteraphobic now. And I’m a raccoon. (Oooooooooo, SHINY!!!) I love glitter, gems, sequins, sparkles. I have several shirts that have glitter on them. And I made the mistake of washing them in the same load as some of Honey’s work shirts. That poor man was picking glitter off of his clothes for a week. Not to mention the jibes from his co-workers. Even worse, our daughters take after me with the raccoon tendencies. I wouldn’t be surprised if my husband develops a tic/twitch pretty soon. But, he loves all three of us, so he doesn’t say anything.
He’s a wonderful man, and a fantastic father, and a great husband. He’s sweet, and funny, and infinitely patient. And I’ve spent almost half of my life as his wife.
Too young to get married? No. Old enough, smart enough, to hold on to the best thing that’s ever happened to me. The little things will work themselves out later. 🙂