Post # 1
So as many of you military wives and fiances probably understand, the conversation about getting married is totally different when the man (or woman) in question is a member of the United States Military. I just got engaged to a man in the US Air Force, a man I am confident that I will be with for the rest of my life, no doubt in my mind. I’m only 18 years old. I don’t need anyone to tell me I’m too young or not ready for this commitment. We want to live together starting next summer, and the only way for us to do this with any amount of financial stability is with spousal benefits, a option most young couples don’t get to consider. He will be able to support us both while I continue my college education to become a nurse, and his current job does not deploy. As a brand new development, I have not yet told my family and friends of the engagement, and I have no idea what to expect from them. Without their support, my airman and I can’t have a real wedding, and I’m so worried that what will soon be the happiest day of my life will be seen so negatively by the people closest to me. I want to wear a white dress, cut a traditional wedding cake, and say our vows surrounded by people who care about us, and who celebrate our life together. I know that most young couples just go down to the courthouse, and that is our backup plan, but I’m only getting married once, and I want it to be celebrated. Why should that be taken away from me just because of my age? Have any of you women married so young? Did you encounter a lot of criticism for your decision, and if so, were they still able to be supportive? This is my first post on this site, and would love feedback and advice, both supportive and honest.
Post # 2
aliwatkins7: I will speak as a mother. I would be happy that she found someone to loved and to be loved by. If my eighteen year old daughter told me she was engaged and wanted to get married asap, I would do everything to encourage her to wait, at least until she was finished her nursing training.
Speaking also as a Registered Nurse, it is hard enough to get your degree with only yourself to worry about and care for. It will be even harder as a couple. When he is off duty and wants to have fun, you will need to be studying.
The person you are today is not the person you will be in 10 or even 5 years. You say your FI is in a job where he is not subject to deployment but will that always be the situation? If you follow him around the country or around the world, it will be next to impossible for you to complete your education.
Post # 3
julies1949: I really appreciate your honesty, and I want to take a minute to further explain our situation. I am currently at the University of Oregon, and got a great opportunity to do a three month health care internship in Equador next year. My advisors have recommended that I take the entire year off to keep my sequenced classes in the correct order, so I will need somewhere to live, and ideally that somewhere would be with him. Then, September of 2016 his current job will end, and he will begin a two year training program for CCT. While he is training, I will be back in Oregon completing my degree, and he will continue to support me financially. After those two years, we will be able to fully establish a life together.
Post # 4
aliwatkins7: Military wife here. I would encourage you to wait. Do you need his financial assistance or are your parents helping you pay for college?
I met my DH when I was 18 and he was active duty in our college’s officer candidate program. We started dating my freshman year. I knew right away I would marry him but I wanted the same things you do, the real wedding. However, I also wanted to be independent and not let anyone ever have the idea that I wasn’t going to finish school. We were engaged my last semester, and didn’t get married until almost a year after I had graduated. In that time I had gained some experience working and when we moved to our permanent duty station, I found a job within 2 weeks.
Many people asked why we didn’t just “get a paper signed” so we could get financial assistance while waiting for our big wedding. That was not what a marriage was to us. A marriage wasn’t about the money or benefits from the military. I was on my parents’ insurance and I also worked (they paid my rent while I was in school) so my situation may be different than yours.
My advice from experience would be to get your degree. I know so many military wives who start, but then never finish and their only identity becomes “military wife.” Thats not a bad thing, but its also not something you did for YOU and one day you may regret that. And if you know he is the man you want to marry, there shouldn’t be any rush. He will tough out the hard times of distance and finances if you are truly meant to be.
Post # 5
Chiming in to agree with those who said to wait.
My college room-mate married her high school sweetheart the week after they graduated college. He became a Navy Seal, and over the course of the next 15 years he was home on average two or three months out of the year.
She raised all three of their kids effectively as if she were a single mother. Christmases, birthdays and Thanksgivings were spent without dad because he was halfway around the world. He finally retired and is home now coping with post traumatic stress syndrome, and they’re getting divorced.
Seriously. WAIT and think this over…. I’m not saying not to get married to anyone in the military. I’m saying that 10 years from now, you probably won’t be sorry you waited and thought it over a little more.
And at the very least, don’t have kids together for AT LEAST six or seven more years.
My two cents.
Post # 6
I got engaged at 19, but I didn’t consider myself young. I was proud to be engaged and proud to tell my family and friends. Not one person said we were too young. We had an amazing wedding with 350 people. I know plenty of young people that get married and don’t go to the courthouse.
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2016 - Whitetail Ridge
If you feel you have to hide you’re engagement from your family, then you’re not ready to be engaged.
Post # 8
CEM16: I’m certainly not hiding anything. We got engaged two days ago and I’m getting ready to make the announcement.
Post # 9
I will echo CEM16… If you have to hide it, you’re not ready. 🙁 Sorry! Just wait even just a few more years.
EDIT: Saw you said you’re going to tell the fam. Maybe if they react negatively, you might not get to have the whole shebang wedding if you need finacial help?
Post # 10
aliwatkins7: I too, spoke of marriage with a West Point cadet when I was 20/21. In our year together, I noticed that many many times, our plans were changed due to the military, though he was still in school (and thus stable).
Yes, there are benefits to be unlocked when you marry military but there are also huge sacrifices to be made. If one of those is a PPD, only you can consider what’s right for you.
there’s little downside to waiting. You’ll both learn and grow individually and together. You’ll also get a sense of what kind of orders he will get vs. the orders he was promised. Good luck.
Post # 11
Haruyou: like I said in my original post, the courthouse is our back up option.
Post # 12
aliwatkins7: Yeah, I saw that. You just sounded like you’d be hoping for the full experiance. White dress, cake, etc. Whatever you choose, good luck!
Post # 13
- Wedding: February 2015 - Casa Feliz
Do what you want, but don’t expect everything to go as well as you want it to. You may have to make a decision between getting married young and having a small or even courthouse wedding, or waiting until you’re more stable and actually having the wedding you’ve envisioned. Can’t have the best of both worlds, sweetie.
Post # 14
With all due respect, I’m quoting from your original post:
I have not yet told my family and friends of the engagement, and I have no idea what to expect from them.
You’ve been engaged to be married for two whole days and you haven’t told anyone in your family — literally not one of your relatives?
And you seriously don’t feel like you’re hiding anything from them, just because you’re planning on telling them soon?
You don’t see any contradiction between your statements and your actions?
This is all just starting to smell wrong.
Post # 15
aliwatkins7: hi, I firstly want to congratulate you on your engagement. I am not familiar with anyone being a military wife, but I can tell you that at age 27 now, I am a lot more grown up than at age 18. I have always been mature since a young age but with time, comes more wisdom and experience. I thought I know who I was, what I was doing and who I wanted to be at age 18. But time passes and I am so grateful to have the experience that I’ve had to date. I’m not saying that it will be the same for everyone but it is definitely advice I will give to those younger than me. That is, take your time to grow and learn about yourself over time.
I dated my high school sweetheart for 5 years but towards the end of college, I realised more and more than despite being together for so long, we were not meant for each other (given our values, approach to the relationship and long term plans). Despite a sad ending, I do appreciate the time with him. I can now say that the man I am now with is my true love. It is a love I feel for greater than anything else that I’ve felt in my life. The thought of him makes my heart melt. We have now been together for over a year but the feelings for him grow everyday.
I have high school friends who have dated their partners for over 7 years now and are going strong. At age 27-28 now they are not married. My point is that every relationship is different and unique. I do appreciate that you are in love and marriage is a special thing. But as the other PPs have said, there is no rush. Take your time to be happy together first. Marriage can come later. Good luck and be happy 🙂