Post # 1
My SO and I are both 20. Our 4 year anniversary is in 2 weeks (though we have known each other for 12 years) and I have been pondering the prospect of marriage over the past few months. I will show him rings and dresses casually to gather his opinion on them, and once we window-shopped at a local Zales where he pointed out the “only ring” he would want to get for me (with a ridiculous price tag of nearly $5,000). I have always wanted to get married young and have children before the age of 25 since I want several children, and starting a family has always been the most important goal for my life (much more so than any career or travelling.)
But as he starts to play along and give his opinion on dresses/rings, a part of me is also getting extremely scared. Am I naive in wanting a marriage? There is such a stigma with young people getting married, and I cannot help but acknowledge the reason why that stigma exists. All divorced young couples were in my shoes at one point; how can I be certain I won’t end up like them?
So I suppose what I want to know is how you KNEW you were ready. Were you nervous at all? Was there anything in your relationship going on that made you wonder if it could work?
I have no idea if he is even going to propose ANY time soon, and while a huge part of me is excited for marriage and would be thrilled, I know if he did I would be scared out of my mind.
Post # 3
If you have ANY reservations or doubts, don’t do it! You have nothing but time. You’re still so young.
Post # 4
@Cory_loves_this_girl: I have heard this from many “marriage survivors” as well. 😀 I’m not sure if I have any doubts per say, but I do have anxiety over the stigma of young brides. I know the stigma exists for a reason and I am so nervous that I am no different than every other married-young-now-divorced woman. Are there any clear-cut signs to indicate when you are ready for marriage? Surely age can’t be the ONLY indicator of one’s readiness.
Post # 5
@Meglin: I’m 21. I understand the desire to be a young mom more than most people my age. I completely get your point of view. I also understand doubts. And I can assure you that anyone, regardless of age is bound to have some doubts. If they don’t, they aren’t very realistic! As long as you two are financially secure, in love, and have went through some decent pre-marital counseling, I say go for it!
Post # 6
I’m pretty sure if you look at the stigma/statistics on young brides… most of the issue is actually with TEENAGE brides. (All of those statistics drastically improve right out of the ‘teen’ years)
You said you’re 20… so yes, you’re young.. but it really isn’t about the age IMO, it’s about the maturity level.
I think it’s normal to be nervous, even slightly scared (in a way), about taking such a big step… but that doesn’t mean he’s the wrong one or you aren’t ready, it just means you’re recognizing that it will be a big change in your life. All changes (good and bad) can make you nervous and a little scared!
Post # 7
I have been propose to 5 times before I met my Fiance. I said yes to the engagement but when I really got to know them I decided that it wasnt in my best interest to get married. When I have no doubt and the man is what I wanted and needed in a my life then I will go through with it and marry him.
I would not settle because I always knew what I deserve and didnt do what my friends thought I should because they got married (they are divorced now …except for one). I mentioned the above to give you some insight into wanting to get married when you are not ready or feeling that that is what you should be doing.
I got pregnant at 21 and I would not marry my daughter’s father they told me that I was making a big mistake blah, blah, blah…She is now 27 and a nurse so dont believe the hype.
I personally think you shouldnt be thinking in terms of marriage right now.
Post # 8
I got engaged at 19 and I felt beyond ready, not an ounce of doubt ever. We both knew we were the one and didn’t feel young at all, no one said a word to us about being young. His mother married at 21 and they’ve been together over 25 years, my MOH’s parents married at 19 and have been together 30 years. It’s not an age thing it’s a maturity and ready thing. I agree if you have doubts don’t do it. In my community if you’re not married with a few kids by 23-24 people start talking, so I understand wanting to get married and have kids young, I was at least 2 by 25. The divorce rate is so high because people of all ages don’t take the commitment as seriously as they should. Don’t worry about divorce if you have the mindset that marriage is a serious commitment and you can’t just leave and forget your commitment.
Post # 9
@babybee92: @MrsN14: It is reassuring to hear of ‘young’ brides who are proving to be successful. Part of my dilemma is that I have no inherent doubts, but my doubts really stem from my fear of divorce. Nothing scares me more than destroying a family I have chosen to create.
The only thing that makes me wonder about our future together is how our love seems to eb and flow. There are times when I am enamored by him, I get the butterflies and all those sweet feelings inside. Other times, however, I don’t get those butterflies. I still love him, but those typical feelings associated with ‘being in love’ are not always there. I’ve read about women on the Bee who get butterflies from their husbands every day; that certainly does not happen to me. The ‘in love’ feelings go up and down. I know how I feel about him but I can’t help but shake the fear that what I think I feel is caused only by my age and lack of maturity.
I don’t know what I am “supposed” to feel, again because I don’t to be another stereotypical naive young bride. I never think that I don’t love him, but the constant ‘in love’ stage faded for us 2 years ago.
Post # 10
@Meglin: You do sound very mature in your post, but I will say that the thing that stood out to me most was this:
I have always wanted to get married young and have children before the age of 25 since I want several children, and starting a family has always been the most important goal for my life (much more so than any career or travelling.)
If you’re thinking about getting married, just satisfy your desire to have kids soon, then that is not the right reason. Yes, maybe you do love your SO, but is it the unconditional love that nothing can come between, nothing can break, and will last forever? I agree, it’s important to marry someone with your same desires for kids, but the MARRIAGE is between you two and what is the focus now. I think people sometimes instead focus more on the age they see themsevles doing things, how long they’ve been together, etc., versus the actual person they would be marrying. Can you whole heartedly see yourself with your husband for the rest of your life, even if you two couldn’t have your own kids together? What would you guys do then?
If you don’t think you could ever love another man the same way you love your SO, then I think that is how you know.
Post # 11
@MadTownGirl: You are absolutely right, and that is something that gives me pause. I have always envisioned myself to be married young and have children at 25. Not sure why, but I always saw it in my mind. Now that I am in my 20’s I am scared by my own plan. Would I marry to satisfy my ‘children by 25’ requirement? I certainly hope not. But everything you mention in your post is extremely valid and makes me nervous.
I absolutely love him. We shared our first kiss when we were 15 and I remember having this feeling that I cannot describe that he was different than the boys I had kissed before. That same feeling stays with me today. I can certainly answer ‘yes’ to everything you have said right now. Right now, I think we have something special and rare and have a love that can’t break. Right now, I can see myself with him the rest of my life, and I am excited for the prospect. But my fear stems from these assurances. Am I saying ‘yes’ to all these things because I know what love is, or am I saying ‘yes’ because I am a naive young girl who will ultimately get divorced like so many young brides before me?
Not knowing for SURE what will happen 5 or 10 years from now between my SO and I scares me. How do I know with 110% certainty that he is for me? I have these feelings, but are they enough?
My heart is racing right now just thinking about it. When people say they are 110% sure, what do they feel that is different than what I feel? Is it just my anxiety sparking this worry in my head, or is it justified because I am young and naive?
Post # 12
@Meglin: the “in love” stage does fade, but it transforms into a mature, constant love with an unbreakable bond. The butterflies aren’t always there but that just shows the relationship is more than those starting stages with butterflies. I don’t have the butterflies anymore but I miss him like crazy when he’s gone, I make all my decisions based on the relationship, couldn’t imagine life without him, and share all our dreams and goals and if you feel that way then it seems like you are ready for marriage and the commitment. And when you take your vows just know it’s forever and no matter what happens it’s a lifelong commitment. Have faith in your marriage and don’t worry about what happens to other people. But if you feel you need more time to mature there is nothing wrong with that!
Post # 13
@Meglin: I don’t think you need those butterflies every single day. That’s unrealistic. Some days you’ll be sick. Some days you’ll be stressed or he will, or life will get in the way.
I don’t think you’re being naive, but yeah, as you say, the stigma exists for a reason. Do you have the financial footing to get married and have kids? Are you happy with whatever job(s) you have as a couple or will you struggle once the kids come along? Money is hugely important in marriage.
I changed a lot between the age of 20 and 25. I am glad I had the experience of getting my degree and living alone. I could have done without the bad relationship I had for those years, but I learned from it.
There are pros and cons to getting married and having kids young, but I would say that there isn’t a rush just yet. Live a bit more and then see how you feel. Under 30 is pretty young to have kids these days.
Post # 14
Butterflies fly away. Real long-term love is knowing that your partner is the one who you want to fight through all the tough stuff with. After many years of marriage, you probably won’t want to jump their bones constantly or spend much time laying in a field of wildflowers with them. But if you still genuinely like, respect, and trust that person, you’re doing fine.
My secular, practical suggestion: live together. Get used to each other. Have jobs. Get used to being adults. Go through some tough stuff together. Do NOT get married for a few years. Do NOT NOT NOT get pregnant. See if this is a workable partnership and then take the plunge for lifelong commitment. You’re only 20 — you’ve got a lot of babymaking years ahead even if you want to be a young wife and mother.
Post # 15
@MadTownGirl: You said exactly what I was going to say! Don’t marry the guy because of the structure of life you want. For those things to be what you want them to be, your groom needs to be more than a piece of the puzzle.
That said, if you’ve been with him this long and see him as the key ingredient to all of your happiness in the life yuo’ve described, then that’s how you know. When it’s *his* kids you want, and not just children in general. When your experiences with him are the ones you want to amplify, then you know. I wouldn’t rush, at your age – you don’t want to take what you have and try to shoehorn it into what you’ve dreamed of, you want to marry someone who already makes you happy, and who would make your dreams both more real, and more dreamy all at once.
I guess what I would advise you to do is imagine the worst possible moments of your relationship, amplified. Could you handle that in the future? Could you stay committed? Are you really in it for better and for worse? I think you should feel giddy and in love when you’re thinking of marriage, but you also need to think about whether or not you can handle things going awry, and sticking to it anyway, fixing it, holding onto the good feelings. If the bad is worth sticking through for the good, then you’ve probably got something. Is the better worth the worse? Is the health worth the possible sickness? If yes, then you probably know.
If you’ve got a little doubt, take your time, focus on having as much fun as possible with your partener, and enjoy being so young and in love!
Post # 16
Also, finish your education first. Before you get married, and before you have kids. If you’re confident in your relationship, marriage can wait till you’re set as your own person, with an education and job. Even if you’re convinced you’ll last a lifetime, there are practical considerations. Children are expensive. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. Even if your plan is to be a stay at home mom, things happen. If he loses his job, gets hurt and can’t work, if gods forbid he dies in an accident, you NEED to be able to provide for yourself and future children.