I think it depends why people are giving you negative feedback. If they are just against marriage then… haters gonna hate. However, I suspect that they have genuine concerns about your age, and here’s why.
Do you remember when you were 13 and you looked back over the past few years and felt so mature, like you were grown up now? And now at 19 you look back and see how young you were? I am 28, andI look back now and see what a child I was at 19. This process continues throughout your life… I recently made an error in judgement at work which I apologised for, and a co-worker said “but that’s understandable, because you are young and impatient and you want to make a difference”. At first I thought hang on, I’m almost 30! But then I saw myself through her eyes… this lady who had been in the industry for 30 years could see how young I still was at 28.
Now, that said, why is getting married at 19 worse than getting married at 28? Because it is during your 20s that you are free to find out who you are as an adult. You have left home for the first time. You live alone or with friends. You manage your money, study, and free time by yourself. You develop a character. You also make mistakes and experiment… for some people, this is about sleeping around. But it wasn’t for me. Other people choose to start businesses, travel the world, work for a charity, live on a kibbutz, sleep in the desert, write novels… the list goes on. Now, I’m sure you think that you can do all of this whilst you are married, but you will honestly find it a lot harder. When you are married, you have made a financial, legal and religious commitment to have a home together. If you want to start a business, you are no longer risking just your money, you are risking the financial security of your home. If you want to live in a different city to take an educational course, you will find it much harder (both financially and emotionally) to do this. Marriage will close certain roads for you, or make them harder to take, and I think that people are cautioning you because of this.
People are probably also worried because the life of an army wife is not easy, and can be very lonely. You may move all the time, and find it hard to make friends and have a career. If you know what you are getting into then this is OK, but this life can be very narrow in terms of new experiences, and I think that people are urging you to experience new things before you become an army wife.
I don’t think anyone thinks marriage is hell, and if I thought that then I wouldn’t be doing it myself. But, for example, if I was married then I could not have taken the job overseas which I currently have. I would have felt too guilty about leaving my husband and home. I am glad that I took this job, and I now feel much more prepared to live a life which is based mostly in one country (with no more than a few weeks here and there overseas at any one time) after marriage.
Just a few things to consider… I think your friends really mean to say what I’ve just said… they just didn’t phrase themselves very well!