Post # 1
My FH and I aren’t engaged yet, but we plan on becoming engaged next year in late summer or fall. I will be 19 or perhaps 20, and he’ll be 23. When we get married, I’ll be just shy of 21 and he’ll be 24.
My mother is a firm believer that one should be finished with college, established in a career, and preferably at least 25 when one gets married (probably partly because she got married at 24 and her marriage failed). A few people on my father’s side of the family got married at 18-20, but I’m not sure what he thinks about that. He recently told FH not to propose to me too soon, and he said it was because he (my father) wouldn’t be able to afford to help pay for the wedding anytime soon. Since he just had a huge increase in his income, I figured by “soon” he meant anytime in 2011 or something, but I asked and he said we should wait 4 years.
My FH and I have had many, many discussions and prayed about our decision, and we know we’re making the right decision for us. Waiting 4 years before even getting engaged is not going to happen, and with the job my FH has, we should be able to pay for most of the wedding ourselves anyway.
Anyway, my question is not whether we will be too young, but how we will go about announcing the news to my family (I think his family will be okay with it) when we get engaged. I’m afraid that instead of getting a congratulations from my mother, I will instead get a lecture about how I’m throwing my young adult life away.
If someone tries to tell me why I should wait a few more years, should I try to explain my decision? I’d like to so that people will understand our decision and be happy at our wedding instead of gossiping about how stupid we are during our vows, but I don’t want to start an argument. Will I sound ignorant or arrogant if I just say something like, “Thank you for your concern, but we’ve made the right choice for us”?
Post # 3
The problem with trying to convince someone that your choice is right is that it probably won’t work and will just leave you frustrated. I wouldn’t waste your time trying to explain to them. Just tell them that is what you are doing and you appreciate their concern but it’s your life and your choice.
Post # 4
I got that reaction from a few relatives and all I said was, “It’s the right choice for us.” I think your response is fine. Just stick it out. The naysayers will shut up eventually!
Post # 5
I’ve gotten that from a few people as well (even one person anonymously and really rudely on our wedding website!!) and all I say is that I appreciate their concern, but we know what we are doing.. I wouldn’t try to explain it to them.. They’re not going to change their minds unless you and your hubby reach 80 years old and are still happy married and as in love as ever.. So just tell them thank you but no thanks, brush it off, and prove them wrong 🙂
Post # 6
There is nothing wrong with being younger and on the happy to announce side when it comes to marriage.
My biggest question would be will you guys be able to find your own living space and support yourselves? If so then, your fine and you family will have to grow to honor and respect your decsion. The worst situation for you would be having them not offer to help you should you need it later on in your marriage because you didn’t wait.
Theres no reason to have a huge engagement party or send out announcements. Share it with the ones you love and when the time comes, people will get invitations or save the dates:)
If you belong to a church or have access to a local Christian college/ young adult group, see if you can get in-touch with some young married couples. For mentoring and advice! It can be done :
Post # 7
My grandparents got married when they were 16 and my parents got married when they were 18, and they are still married! When both sets got married, that age was the norm. Now the norm is all over the place. Is it easier on the couple to wait until they are settled into careers before they get married? Usually. But you have to do what’s right for you guys. If you feel this is right, then do it! There will always be naysayers, whether you wait a year or 5 years. So as long as you are confident with you decision, that’s all that matters.
Post # 8
Sorry but, why not wait a few years? You don’t give any concrete reasons besides it’s “not gonna happen.” I think your mother knows what is best for you, and getting married so young against her wishes is only going to cause a rift in your family.
You’re living with extended family, unemployed, and a student. I think having a few more years under your belt, as well as being better suited for real life (bills, houses, REAL unemployment, living on your own) will not only not hurt anything, but also only make you and your relationship stronger.
Post # 9
@Brandiola: I didn’t list a whole bunch of reasons because I came on here to ask people how I should break the news, not to try to prove that I’m ready. I’m actually not unemployed–I’m self-employed while I look for a “real” job. I moved to the Bay Area to live with family so I could a) have more opportunities than I would have in a small town and b) do the responsible thing by saving the $800 a month I could be wasting by living on my own (which I don’t want to do anyway) toward my future. If I still don’t have a “real” job in a year, or if FH becomes financially unstable for some reason, we won’t get engaged yet. It’s that simple.
Post # 10
@Eva Peron: Thanks! 🙂 FH and I are still getting on our feet since we both just moved last month, but he’s already landed a promising job, and we’ve both been saving for our future since we’ve started being able to. Unless something goes terribly wrong in the next year, we should be quite financially stable by the time we get engaged–and like I said above, if we’re not, we won’t get engaged yet.
Getting in touch with young married couples is a good idea. We’re still searching for a home church (and we think we’ve found one), so once we’re sure which church we want to stay at, we’ll try to do that. 🙂
Post # 11
@Brandiola: OP clearly stated she only wanted responsed on how to deal with her family, not for an opinion on her age. Who cares why she wants to get married at her age? All the best to her!
OP, your family will think what they want to think reagrdless of what you really say. The best thing you can do is to prove them wrong! Good luck with your furture 🙂
Post # 12
I wouldn’t bother trying to explain reasons to them – they won’t agree, and it will just leave you even more frusturated.
Post # 13
@Miss Pinup: Thanks for the response. 🙂 You and at least one other poster have said that the best thing to do is simply prove the naysayers wrong and not try to convince them of anything, and that sounds like the best option. I don’t think FH and I should have too much trouble with that. 🙂
By the way, I’m very curious: have any of you ever received disapproval from friends or family about you and your man’s relationship, but later gained their respect and/or approval? At what point did you gain it? I’ve heard about several people (including my sister) who faced disapproval from certain people, but once everyone attended the wedding, they saw how much the two people loved and respected one another, and changed their attitudes. I might have to start a whole new thread for this one… 🙂
Post # 14
@NatAndTy: The disapproval faded at different points for different family members. It took my auntmom (maternal aunt who raised me, so she’s part aunt, part mom, all awesome) a while to fully warm up to DH because she saw me go through hell with an ex and was really cautious, but now they’re quite close. My grandma and her sister loved him instantly. Another aunt only warmed up to him right before the wedding (and we had been together for two years at that point!).
Post # 15
@NatAndTy: At my parent’s wedding, my grandpa was in the back room offering to go out and tell everyone they weren’t getting married, and reminding my mom it wasn’t too late to change her mind! I couldn’t say exactly when it changed, but either before I was born or when I was very young since as long as I can remember he is supportive of their marriage.
Post # 16
Oh honey, this sounds like me! My family gave us such a hard time when we were newly engaged. We had been together for 7 months (we knew right away that we wanted to marry each other- he proposed on our first date) and we were still young (19 and 20). All I kept telling them is that it was my decision and I wasn’t going to leave him just because they didn’t like it. They continued to tell me that I was unhappy because of him but in reality, I was unhappy that my FAMILY was telling me that the only thing I have ever been 110% sure of was a mistake. It took 4 years and 2 kids for me to grow a backbone and tell them to shut it. We went to the courthouse in December and I have never been happier. My advice- tell them that you have made your decision and do NOT back down. If you stick to your guns, you will be happier in the long run. Don’t let them push you around like I did- it strained my relationship with my husband terribly and we almost didn’t make it. Best of luck!