@JazzieB: Here is my take – I don’t think young marriages are necessarily DOOMED TO FAIL. But I think older women such as myself who look back on who we were at 17, 18, 19 years old know we aren’t the same girl we once were. You grow and change and evolve. And sometimes, you and your partner grow in different directions. It’s not a guarantee, but it is probable.
I acknowledge that you two have faced trials together and I think it’s wonderful you were there for one another. But there is a lot more life to come. And with more life, comes more trials and tribulations. You clearly have a pattern of working through those things together, overcoming problems together. That’s great. But, be realistic here. Some troubles can really take a toll on a relationship – job loss, loss of a parent, trouble trying to conceive, or even a simple case of lack of personal fulfillment. (Also, you mentioned overcoming depression and anxiety… I don’t believe those are things you overcome. I think you learn how to cope better, and how to manage your feelings… but it doesn’t just go away. Just some food for thought).
You need to know that successful marriages require so much more than love. Love is a beautiful thing, and it is the basis for a relationship. But marriage… it’s a iron clad, life long commitment. To stand by your spouse through thick and thin. You want to choose someone who emotionally supportive, financially sound, responsible, reliable, faithful (and I’m not only talking about cheating), etc. I personally don’t believe that many teenagers possess those qualities. I think they are things you learn as you grow and mature. That is why most people will suggest waiting until you’re a little bit older.
I married the man I started dating at 17. I never thought seriously about marriage until 24 years old. And it’s not because I didn’t love him enough. I’ve always loved and adored him. But we both had a lot of growing up to do. And even now I look back on us at 17 years old, hell even at 20 years old and think – God, I really didn’t know how much more there was to all of this. I thought I knew what love was, but I didn’t know how deep it went and how much more was required of both of us to make good life partners.
So go ahead, live together, continue with school, HAVE FUN TOGETHER!!! Do all of those things you should do in your youth – drink too much, have sex outside, get a tatoo, dine and dash – ok, well work within the parameters of legality! But don’t rush to grow up just yet.